What's more important, good story telling or adherence to continuity?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by The Overlord, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I have heard a lot of complaints about this show, but many seemed to be about continuity contradictions then anything else, so my question is, what is more important adhering to past continuity or good story telling?

    Let's the say the writers have a good idea for a Romulan story, should they not use it due to Balance of Terror?

    Let's face it, Star Trek has had issues adhering to continuity in the past:

    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/what-is-the-worst-continuity-error-in-trek-history.139195/
     
  2. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    Good story telling is everything. Continuity means nothing without good story telling.
     
    Grendelsbayne, Psion, Feron and 15 others like this.
  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Location:
    New England
    A good story. All day, every day.

    The time period, universe, visual style, design elements etc. are all there simply in support of the ultimate goal: to tell an entertaining story.
     
    Psion, Feron, Jedi_Master and 2 others like this.
  4. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    This. To a tee.
     
    KirkusOveractus likes this.
  5. Mirror Mirror

    Mirror Mirror Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Good story, trek retcons and ignores its own canon all the time. And that one Ep is both silly and makes alot of the back story silly. Fought a whole war and no one ever saw what one looked like. That is even more silly since we know about DNA testing.
     
    Nyotarules likes this.
  6. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    North Hills, CA
    Good story telling is what matters. Adherence to continuity should never be more than a secondary issue at best.
     
  7. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    A good writer can make anything work, doesn't matter what it is.
     
    Mad Jack Wolfe likes this.
  8. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Good storytelling.
     
  9. Monkey Klaus

    Monkey Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    I will go with continuity since everyone else went with the other option. If your having fun while watching Trek your doing it wrong. The writings of everyone from Coon to Braga must always be honored in our hearts and never to be soiled by the outsiders who want to come in and change them. Many of us nerds have sacrificed our very virginity and lives as in never being distracted by thoughts of romance and the real world to make sure they are always protected.

    Jason
     
  10. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    Exactly. Star Trek is pretty much the only franchise I know that has "committed" to adhering to continuity for more than 50 years (yes, I know, the continuity started after TWOK). That's what makes Trek enjoyable. It's a multi-generation story that is (mostly) self-consistent, and tries to be.

    All Trek fans know this, and whether or not they admit this is their own choosing. But to suggest that Trek should consciously choose to BREAK established canon just "because storytelling", that's just uncreative thinking, and says being contrarian is the new cool.

    Do it with Batman, do it with X-Men, but keep your hands off Trek. Canon is what makes it unique.
     
    jaime and TonyC like this.
  11. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    previously Mickmike
    Good storytelling. The fundamentalism towards creative teams having to adhere to dialog written 50 years ago is one of the worst aspects of trek fandom. I don't give a shit that a flux capacitor was previously established to do ABC and not XYZ if a character using a flux capacitor to do XYZ leads to a situation which allows character growth or a compelling situation.
     
    Feron likes this.
  12. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    My mansion on Qo'noS
    Good storytelling while maintaining some broad-stroke semblance of consistency with excellent world-building episodes that came before rather than dismissing them as "silly."

    Kor
     
  13. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    Canon is not established by one-off lines as you suggest. That's too limited in thinking. Rather, it's a concern about what events happened and when they happened. Good storytelling can always find a way to sandwich itself between critical events in an established history. If writers aren't creative enough to do so, then fire them and find those who can.

    The history of our own world has been written conclusively, yet we still find ways to enjoy fictional "historical" films that respect general "canon" of events. It's simply no different here. People just have to be smart enough to figure out how to do it.
     
    jaime, TonyC and Longinus like this.
  14. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Except Star Trek adherence to continuity is not that great, what about the fact the Klingons look and act totally different in the TNG and TOS era or what about a war between Cardassians and the Federation that no one bothered to mention until The Wounded, the Cardassian appear for the first time and everyone acts like they have met already. Not to mention all the times Voyager was extremely damaged and fine in the next episode with no explanation.

    And comic book fan boys have complained about comic book movies not being exactly like the comics, how those arguments less silly then this continuity orthodoxy that some fans want to enforce?

    I don't respect fanboy "This is not what happened in issue 213" type arguments and sacrificing good stories for the sake of continuity porn seems like an extremely bad trade off.
     
    Grendelsbayne and Feron like this.
  15. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    Jesus, you're completely going off the rails. No one said anything about fanboys and *strict* adherence to canon except you. So I ask again, what "good stories" can come out of, say, having Romulans be the antagonists here. Other than that, I don't see the relevant complaints about Discovery.
     
  16. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    Yes! Thank you!:beer:
     
  17. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Location:
    Balok's Decoy in Baltimore, MD
    Like asking what's more important, whether the food tastes good or whether the fork is on the correct side of the plate.
     
    Feron, Mad Jack Wolfe, Vger23 and 3 others like this.
  18. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I am not a writer for the show, so I don't what particular Romulan story would be great for this show, I am just saying, if they had a great idea for a Romulan story, they shouldn't use it because of Balance of Terror?

    Because then you have put fanboy concerns above creativity. You did not use the term fanboy, but I think its an valid term when saying continuity should trump creavity. Continuity should be the servant of good story telling, not the master of it and again Star Trek continuity has plenty of goofs in it.
     
  19. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    While good storytelling keeps a show alive, continuity keeps the universe the show is in seem at least a bit more real if it can maintain some semblance of consistency. Particularly if the show is long running and has multiple eras. That is not to say the show has to be a slave to its continuity. No. But either the writers or at least the art department should at least make an effort to not take the audience out of the subject matter by making things radically different without a logical explanation (be it in or out of universe).

    The Klingons in Star Trek keep changing appearances every other decade it seems. Now the easy answer and the original answer was, that the studio could afford better makeup for the Klingons and went for it. So the Klingons would have always looked like the new appearance even when they did not. Until suddenly they didn't look like that because of the need to use decades old stock footage and new actors made up like those decades old actors to interact with the newer show content (Trials and Tribblations). Than, suddenly, there needed to be an explanation for this difference. "We don't talk about it with outsiders", is of course a funny copout, but it did mean there was an explanation. ENT gave us one about a decade later. Some people don't like it, but it was there.

    Star Trek: Into Darkness gave use even more different Klingons, but no one really cared all that much. But now with Discovery, the Klingons are massively different even from that design. The makeup seems to have become too much that the actors, some what we can see so far, have trouble acting in the makeup. Maybe that was just for some of the actors and we'll see better later on. But this again is a massive change with little explanation. Now it can again be the older TMP explanation that, "that how the always looked" and we'll have to work with it, but the better explanation would be mutations, or one of a multitude of Klingon races within the Empire, or even a species that calls themselves Klingons, but either are not Klingons, or the species we've know as Klingons were never the true Klingons, just borrowed the species name for some reason and the Federation never figured that out (like if the Hur'q, as the 24th century Klingons called them, were actually the Klingons and what we know as Klingons took their name from their oppressors and made it there own, but wiped those records from their history. So they don't even remember what they called themselves all those millennia ago, and gave their former oppressors a new derogatory name.)

    Now for Starfleet, we actually don't have a lot on it from the TOS time period. So the new ships and equipment can fit in or not as much as they like. The only thing that should likely remain the same, or at least closely to the same, is the USS Enterprise and her class of starships. If for no other reason than that is what people would expect to see. And even if it contrasts with the rest of the fleet, it standing out would still be there to say "hello, remember me?"

    Doctor Who, for all its BBC cheapness back in the 1960s, still reuses 1960s props or likenesses to 1960s props for episodes that specifically relate to events from episodes that took place during that era of the show. In the 2010s, you can still see 1960s era Daleks and Cybermen used on TV along side modern versions of those creatures. The Ice Warriors outer armor remains more or less the same even though they updated the interior alien in appearance. The TARDIS is still a police box, though it make be better modeled on the real thing these days than it was in the 1960s. There are species they have updated and left updated. They have not returned to the old Silurians, and the Zygons, while still big red rubbery monsters, are better detailed now. The show will also reuse its 1960s era TARDIS interior....because they made one for the exhibit and can use it from time to time.

    Star Trek can easily remake a 1960s era Constitution-class bridge layout with the colors and styling from the era, while updating the display areas and panels to reflect the rest of the fleet. It is not that difficult, nor is it out of the writers or art directors ability to wave off an explanation as to why this class of starships look like this. Different shipyard contractor is by far the easiest answer. The rest of the fleet was built in Andorian yards, the Constitutions were built in Human years. That is how simple they could make it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    jaime, Galileo7, Kelthaz and 3 others like this.
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Good story telling. That was the major problem with Enterprise, they built the story around the SFX and then give you trash for a story.
     
    Mad Jack Wolfe likes this.