What bugs me the most about canon violations

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Lord knows that's how it works with pretty much every other long-running fictional enterprise. I don't expect every Tarzan or Dracula or Batman or Godzilla movie to fit together into a single seamless whole. Nor does it ruin my enjoyment if the Brendan Fraser MUMMY movies are not 100% consistent with the original Karloff movie (or the Lon Chaney movies or the Hammer Films remake). A certain degree of continuity can be enjoyable, but preserving the sacred "canon" should never be the be-all and end-all.

    To put it another way, a good STAR TREK story is still a good STAR TREK story, regardless of what timeline it's set in. Just like a good ZORRO movie is a good ZORRO movie, regardless if it's "canon" or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But the individual shows themselves are to varying degrees inconsistant. Which show(s) would we say were the most internally consistant and which show(s) were the least internally consistant. For the later I would say TOS and VOY, for the former most likely DSN and S3-4 of ENT with TNG coming second overall. DSC seems to be fairly internally consistant thus far.
     
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  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    In my case, this is incorrect. It annoyed me when the TNG-Voyager female Vulcans suddenly all acquired the same identical bowl haircuts as the male Vulcans (I could rationalize T'Pol's bowl cut on Enterprise a little because a starship is no place for hairdos like the ones worn by Amanda, T'Pring, and T'Pau - and remember that even child-T'Pring had her hair upswept in "Amok Time"... but otherwise it was the same unimaginative crap as the other non-TOS series).

    And then the Romulans suddenly turned up with bizarre cranial changes, Vulcan bowl haircuts, and then they started borrowing from 1980s Earth fashions with gigantic shoulder pads. There was no individuality to them.

    I realize that these points are not precisely canon violations, but they might as well be, since very little of Enterprise showed awareness that it was supposed to be a prequel to TOS, rather than TNG.

    Enterprise had over 30 years of old footage and other reference material to go by. There is no excuse in their case for errors. This is even moreso for Discovery, which has over 50 years of source material to rely on so they don't make mistakes.

    But since some of the mistakes are whoppers, it really gives me the impression that the collective attitude is that as long as they have some ship that resembles the major ones the older fans remember and do some name-dropping of recognizable characters, it's all good. I wouldn't object to the Michael/Sarek thing if he had been any other Vulcan, for example, because Sarek's backstory and his character are pretty well understood and this <stuff> is just so much BS. This, plus the Doctor Who-style Klingons does absolutely nothing to convince me that this is a true prequel to Trek, and everything to convince me that it's just another alt-universe bad fanfic that they slapped the Star Trek name on to draw in viewers and $$$.

    The 1976 movie was already signifcantly different from the novel in some ways. The movie and later TV series had Lastday happening on the last day of the person's 30th year, instead of the 20th, in the novel. The novel didn't have anything like Carousel; the person on Lastday would find their palm-flower blinking between red and black, and that meant they had 24 hours to report to a Deep Sleep centre, to be euthanized. If they missed the deadline, it would trigger an alarm to alert the Sandmen that they had a Runner to catch.

    Whereas the movie and TV series had everyone originally confined to a single automated city due to a nuclear war, the novel had a number of cities all over the world, connected by mazecars. The rest of the world was basically a wilderness where loners went, gangs, and runners hoping to find Sanctuary. Oh, and in the novel the reason for Lastday/Deep Sleep wasn't a nuclear war. It was population control, so Earth wouldn't be burdened by so many more billions of people than it could support.

    I can enjoy all three versions of Logan's Run, as I understand that they all had the same basic themes of people wanting to live, if even for one more day, and fighting an automated system that decreed when they were to die.

    But going by what Hollywood has been doing for the last 20 years, if they remade Logan's Run now, I have low expectations that I'd even recognize the elements that made the original so compelling. And yeah, it would seriously annoy me if they made Francis into Frances, just for the hell of it.

    Then be honest enough to call it alt-universe. Plenty of good fanfic is upfront that it's alt-universe, exploring the show's characters and stories in ways that could have happened if some part of what was shown on TV had been different.
     
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  4. Time is the Fire

    Time is the Fire Vice Admiral Admiral

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    General question: What does a "true prequel" to Trek look like?
     
  5. ralfy

    ralfy Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm guessing that what works is what's profitable for the franchise owners.
     
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  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    How did Voyager rob TNG, when according to Enterprise, the Borg were on Earth hundreds of years before? (which Borg got to Earth first, the ones in Enterprise, or the ones in First Contact?)

    You know what I wish you'd done in your Khan novels? Have a scene where Khan is pondering how best his people can survive on a planet with so little usable water (since the river was destroyed and the oceans turned to acid and the rain evaporates before it reaches the ground), and recall a novel he read back on Earth, by Frank Herbert, and conclude in frustration that no, they just don't have the materials necessary to construct stillsuits (I'm referring to Dune, of course, and how the Fremen coped on a planet with no surface water other than whatever dew and other condensation they could collect).

    I'm actually glad they gave the Ferengi another chance. I liked how Quark, Rom, and Nog became more interesting characters as the series went on.

    I should have said a true prequel to TOS, and if you prefer, you can substitute the word "authentic" instead of "true." Enterprise gives every impression of skipping TOS and going directly to being a prequel to TNG. Discovery gives me every impression that it's incredibly bad fanfic that somebody decided to film, slap the Star Trek label on it, and pretend it's a true prequel to TOS. It's anything but that.
     
  7. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Borg events of ENT were a continuation of TNG and 'First Contact', I guess that's the difference.
    VOY just put together a story where a shuttle went to find the Borg, a race that had not been seen before.
    Where did the Hansens get their info about the Borg anyway before their adventure to find them? They had some knowledge that the Borg have a cube shaped ship... Did the ENT story have something to do with it? This goes to fanfic and headcanon territory.

    Anyway, prequels suck. :)
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I was talking about whether it works dramatically . . . as a compelling theatrical experience and work of fiction. Did you get caught up in the story? Were you entertained? Moved? Captivated? Etc.

    Alas, artistic success and commercial success do not always go hand-in-hand, although we sometimes tend to conflate the two.
     
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  9. Time is the Fire

    Time is the Fire Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While your opinion is appreciated, that doesn't really answer my question. What does a "true" or "authentic" TOS prequel look like?
     
  10. Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai

    Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai Commander Red Shirt

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    "Incredibly bad fanfic that someone decided to film, slap the Star Trek label on..."

    Almost exactly these words were spoken by fans when TNG premiered. Every single series has gotten this. This is why I can't take knee-jerk "criticisms" from Star Trek fans seriously.
     
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  11. Balok

    Balok Commodore Commodore

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    It looks like each individual's own personal interpretation come to life. Which will never happen or exist. Hence the fandom rage.
     
  12. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    A true prequel to me should look, and have content, as if it had been produced first originally.

    With something like Discovery I expect that it should look reasonably similar to Pike Era Trek. It can have higher production values but should still look like its in the same universe.

    Now if you were doing a prequel to Pike's adventures. Say the adventure they went on right before the "The Cage" then i would expect pretty much exacting duplication of the style, characters, sets, etc. So that if you watch the prequel then watch "the Cage," You'd think they were made at the exact same time and "the Cage was a sequel to the prequel.
     
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  13. Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai

    Ensign Ogahd Ahmganadai Commander Red Shirt

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    I love how uniderth comes along and proves Balok's Decoy right.
     
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  14. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Woot Woot!

    :beer:
    :nyah:

    We aim to please, we hope you aim too, please.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  15. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    I guess for me personally, when it comes to canon, I look at more the overall story. Does Enterprise flow to the original series, to TNG, to DS9 and so forth. I don't get too hung up on minor details.

    With the extended universe I follow the novels. I'm not into comics or video games so I don't worry about those continuities. It'd be impossible to reconcile everything together. I give Memory Beta credit for trying to fit it all together as best they can, but it's just not possible. I like to read, and the novels do a good job expanding the Star Trek universe for me. Are they canon? No, but since we'll probably never see DS9, Voyager, etc. on screen again, there probably safe from being overwritten on screen. In a sense they might as well be canon. And I find the books even try to reconcile inconsistencies in the canon. Greg Cox did a good job with that with his 3rd Khan book. He answered inconsistencies I didn't even think of, like why Khan had a glove on during TWOK, and even how the Reliant could have lost a planet when they thought they were on Ceti Alpha VI. Other novels have done the same thing from time to time.
     
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  16. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    As with all TNG/DS9/Voyager oddities, I've just started to assume it's Section 31's fault.

    What it looks like, in the case of Discovery, is "The Cage". They supposedly take place in roughly the same time frame, so why does Discovery look totally different? It's a cop-out to say it's because modern audiences need modern interior design (I honestly couldn't give a crap what any of the Klingon ships look like; I don't notice such things) to enjoy it. This looks like a case of assuming the audience is stupid, and catering to those who think that anything that happened before the turn of the century is like the Dark Ages.

    Is a Shakespeare play less enjoyable because the characters are dressed like it's 500 years ago or more? Did the audience for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar I worked on 36 years ago hate it because the costumes and props were as authentic as possible? Hell, no. We had a sold-out audience for every performance.

    So why can't a TOS prequel be enjoyable if it looks like the time period in which it supposedly takes place? What is the point of the new goofy "Klingons"? Why did Sarek have a personality transplant? Why is Sarek even involved in this?

    See, this is why I consider a fan film series such as Star Trek Continues to be much more authentic than Discovery or Enterprise. If a talented group of fans can accomplish that with a fraction of the budget of commercial Trek producers, why can't the pros deliver something that doesn't look like visual chaos and revolting characters just for the sake of change?

    I've been a Trek fan since 1975, so it was 12 years for me between TOS and TNG. I wasn't actually upset by most of the first season (Patrick Stewart is a wonderful actor who could mesmerize an audience by reading the phone book, but I don't like Picard that much), other than when they killed off Tasha. With the TNG/DS9/VOY series, my favorite characters tended to be the second or third-tier ones.

    As for fanfic, I've got maybe a couple of hundred print 'zines, most of them TOS, most from the '70s and '80s, though I have reprinted copies of Spockanalia, which was the first TOS fanzine I know of; it was started while TOS was still in production back in 1967, and had Roddenberry's approval. As for TNG fanfic... I have a few TNG 'zines, but they just don't grab my imagination like TOS does. I don't follow any TNG fanfic on the internet (the only good one I found was discontinued by the author). I've read a few DS9 fanfic stories, didn't care for them, and am absolutely addicted to some of the Voyager series on fanfiction.net.

    I've written TOS, TNG, and Voyager fanfic, and I can safely say that every time I try to write anything serious for TNG, it takes a left turn into satire. I just can't take it seriously. Picard and Riker are just so pompous and full of themselves and Crusher and Troi are so vapid that the stories just write themselves.

    In spite of this, however, TNG was mostly a decent show that improved as it went along, even in spite of Data and Worf's respective soap opera storylines. It was set 80 years after TOS, so there was no need for it to look like TOS. I didn't care for the TNG version of Vulcans and Romulans, but whatever... the show kept my interest for 7 years.

    I lost interest in Discovery after 7 minutes (okay, maybe 10 or 15 minutes), although I forced myself to watch it all the way to the end of the first episode. It doesn't look like a prequel to TOS should look, the characters don't, from what I've read, act anything like "Cage"-era Starfleet officers, and the series milieu is nothing that could possibly make sense as contemporaneous to 10 years before TOS.

    I never said DS9 was like bad fanfic, and as for Voyager, it's inspired a hell of a lot of excellent fanfic.

    At this point, I can't really say which series I find dumber - Discovery or the nuTrek movies. Captain Frat Boy and nuUhura whining about her boyfriend problems while she's on duty vs... whatever the hell this garbage is. And both of them have a Vulcan Phone-A-Friend - RealSpock in the movies and some weird version of Sarek that I don't recognize.
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    Timewalker...that is an issue I see myself with Discovery. I think in reality it's a reimaging of Star Trek. Basically what would Star Trek look like if it were made today. They try to say it takes place in the Prime universe, but I can't reconcile that with the Prime universe. They probably would have been better off just saying it's a reimaging of Star Trek, or their own vision of what it should be...or have it take place say 100 years after Nemesis...since then they'd probably be pretty safe to do what they wanted.

    Enterprise was a bit different. There was a legitimate attempt I thought to balance the prequel idea while trying to make it look futuristic. There were buttons and knobs, like the original series, the ship was more claustrophobic, and some how they made that ship seem less advanced then the Enterprise from the original series. I actually give a lot of credit to Herman Zimmerman for trying to thread the needle. It wasn't always perfect, but he did his homework. Story wise Enterprise took a while to get into full prequel mode, pretty much when Manny Coto came on board was when they finally were on the right track. It wasn't always a perfect show, but it fit with the general storyline of Star Trek.

    But Discovery in some ways seems more futuristic then TNG. I have a hard time imagining it taking place at the same time frame as The Cage. At least for the Abramsverse movies they are set in a parallel time line so they can do what they want and it has no effect on the prime universe.
     
  18. Time is the Fire

    Time is the Fire Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because they are trying to appeal to an audience outside of those fans.

    For good or for ill.
    If this were an historical documentary, I might agree. However, since this is an entertainment franchise then I believe some flexibility must be given.

    Time will tell if DISCO fits in like ENT kind of did.
     
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  19. Ron Nasty

    Ron Nasty Piggy in the middle Premium Member

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    It just needs to take place prior to the other iterations of the franchise. The "look" isn't nearly as important as the story telling.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly. Old continuity. New art direction. The same universe, just with a new coat of paint.

    Just activate your "suspension of disbelief" circuits and pretend things always looked this way. Just like we did when the Klingons got a makeover back in 1979.

    The props and sets and costumes are just the window dressing.