Does Trek canon still exist?

mbahde

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Canon died the moment Roddenberry died unfortunately....it started to happen in The Next Generation Series and movies. One of most everyone's favorite TNG movies First Contact....they got it right the Vulcans were the first to meet the humans....but Zephram Cochran wasn't born on earth...the Original Series episode "Metamorphosis" Kirk and company crash land on a planet and run into Cochran to which Kirk says, "The Zephram Cochran, of Alpha Centari? The man who developed warp technology" There are many more examples to give...but the new movie is obvious...I didn't need to wait for Spock to explain it to me halfway through the movie that it was a new timeline...watching enough Star Trek even with O'Brien complaining he "hates temporal mechanics", I knew right what was going on. 1) mostly tv personalities playing the parts...thus if the movie does well enough and enough of a cry for it...there will be a new series. 2) By having an alternate timeline...you eliminate canon from coming into play...it's now their show and they can run where ever they want with it.
 

reiver33

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I actually quite liked 'Voyager' (once they stopped using what looked like rejected TNG scripts) and 'Enterprise' (Humanity is clearly outclassed). But back on topic...

I enjoyed the breathtaking arrogance of the new film in simply junking all the expectations and 'requirements' of the existing ST canon, regardless of the logic holes (why no Federation timeship zipping back to re-establish the original timeline?), so I'll probably get it on DVD at some point and definately give a second outing a look.
 

littlemissattitude

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Perhaps the two franchises can run side by side so that there is two "Canon"?
This is my take...the fiddling with time created a separate timeline, and now the old Trek and the new Trek exist side by side without affecting each other (see David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself, which is appropriate consdering Gerrold's role in creating TOS canon.)
 

Overread

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On the other hand, I have a friend who insists on the canonical status of the original series and saw the most recent film only because everyone was giving him such a hard time about his adamant refusal to see it. And, because it wasn't "canon", he hated it.
I found it hard to like the new Battle Star Galactica because is was not in keeping with the original - just as I would find it hard if someone were to come alone and re-write the Lord of the Rings and call it the same book.

I find that often when that happens its the producers wanting to ride of the back of previous success whilst the writers and director want to make their own thing - so what tends to happen is you get a story which his hobbled because it has to cling to the original in some manner.
I would prefer things to follow a single canon (timelines can be changed about but I find in most cases its a cheap excuse for the writers doing what they want) and a single timeline idealy. If someone wants to make another series which is similar in scope that I great in my view - ok so it might be called a clone, but it allows the writers and director to make something new and slightly more fresh.

I note that Stargate has also tried the new timeline idea to squeeze another series out...
 

Dave

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I would make a big distinction between a franchise like Star Trek or Stargate in which all the stories told are meant to be within the same universe and timeline, and something such as the new Battlestar Galactica or the new V or new Knight Rider which describe themselves as a re-imagination of the original series.

Stories have always been re-written and adapted. It is less common in books, but very common in films and TV and in the theatre it is almost expected. That is why I'm at a loss about people complaining about BBC TV's 'Merlin'. It has nothing in common with existing Arthurian legend, but then that legend is only someone's interpretation of the original tale. Why can it not be changed? And I heard those awful harpies on ITV's 'Loose Women' complaining about how Pantomimes are being changed. The British Pantomime is a strange institution, but it has survived because it has changed with the times. The present Pantomime (or the 1950's version) that they were defending has very little to do with the Harlequinade it is derived from. At the cinema, how many different versions are there of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan of the Apes, Frankenstein...?

Anyway, my point is that having the 'real' Spock in this film means that it is not a re-imagination, it is meant to be 'Canon', just a different timeline. Of course you do then need to ask...
...the logic holes (why no Federation timeship zipping back to re-establish the original timeline?)
I find that often when that happens its the producers wanting to ride of the back of previous success whilst the writers and director want to make their own thing - so what tends to happen is you get a story which his hobbled because it has to cling to the original in some manner.
I do also agree with this though. If they need to change the story so much that it no longer has any resemblance to the original, then why keep the name except to garner some of the previous success. Why not give it a new original name and get success of their own without those bicycle stabilisers?
 

Overread

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I would make a big distinction between a franchise like Star Trek or Stargate in which all the stories told are meant to be within the same universe and timeline, and something such as the new Battlestar Galactica or the new V or new Knight Rider which describe themselves as a re-imagination of the original series.
True I could agree with this, if it were not for the fact that in the reality that we get with the TV shows, in most cases the alternate timeline and re-imaginations result in the same thing. The only difference being that the alternate timelines/realities might have an early episode or two where the changeover occurse (I belive this is the case for Stargate) whilst also throwing in the odd token episode where they might travel to the original setting. Very few (I can't think of one I have seen) of these actually pursue things in any greater depth than that. Further I feel that such a setup works best if the idea is there from the early days of the "original" series, so that it can be built in at an early stage, rather than after the series ends.
 

silvermoon

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The alternative is that we could go the whole 9 yards, as they did with the original Casino Royale back in 1967 (IIRR) with David Niven as Sir James Bond--and everybody else (including the Bond girls) as James Bond also...

Think of it, folks...ca. 50 different timelines, to each their own version of Captain Kirk, with various versions of Commander Data, Jean Luc Picard, Worf et. al., all coming together on the same timeline to give the Borg (or whatever is the latest enemy) a bit of a beating.

Star Trek TBH is just Westerns transferred into Space and time-shifted to the future--the various aliens being the Indians, the humans being the cowboys or the cavalry. I never took it that seriously once I realised I was watching a 24th Century version of My Darling Clementine or High Noon...:)
 

BAYLOR

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The Abrams film has pushed it into an alternate universe.
 

BelgarionOz

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I would imagine that there are a lot of ST fans who will ignore the new JJ Abrams addition in it's entirety.
Waves hands ecstatically at this.

Canon died the moment Roddenberry died unfortunately....it started to happen in The Next Generation Series and movies. One of most everyone's favorite TNG movies First Contact....they got it right the Vulcans were the first to meet the humans....but Zephram Cochran wasn't born on earth...the Original Series episode "Metamorphosis" Kirk and company crash land on a planet and run into Cochran to which Kirk says, "The Zephram Cochran, of Alpha Centari? The man who developed warp technology"
Originally Cochrane was from Alpha Centauri, that's correct, but then AC was meant to be a whole new civilisation, nothing to do with Earth. Regrettably, it seems unlikely that there is a real civilisation in that systems, so the idea of humans colonising it makes a great deal more sense. Also coupled with the fact that Zefram Cochrane has a human name, not some strange alien one, kind of supports that theory. It's a cop out, yes, but it kinda still works. (Alpha Centauri probably became independant or something, that might help explain some of the differences.)

The problem of course is that 'canon' is set as lose as possible, so that future writers have as much room as possible to play in. With so much being involved in that canon it is rather hard to keep tack of, even with the help of things like the Star Trek Encyclopedia, Chronology and the wonders of the internet. So there are bound to be a few problems that crop up from time to time.

I think though it comes down to using a bit of common sense. there are about five different Tarellians, all spelt different, looking different, with different cultures etc, and no one seems to be able to sort out them out, and argues that they have to all be the same species and someone stuffed up somewhere. i disagree. The number of cities around the world that share the same name, spelt the same and pronounced the same. The fact that in Trek we all ready have Kronos (a Greek God, though spelt differently), Vulcan (A Roman God, spelt the same), and many other things that I'm not going to mention right now, I think we can get away with a few little things like that.

Canon is plastic, and is changeable and mouldable to a certain extent. And we should just accept that and move on.
 

logan_run

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Canon died the moment Roddenberry died unfortunately....it started to happen in The Next Generation Series and movies. One of most everyone's favorite TNG movies First Contact....they got it right the Vulcans were the first to meet the humans....but Zephram Cochran wasn't born on earth...the Original Series episode "Metamorphosis" Kirk and company crash land on a planet and run into Cochran to which Kirk says, "The Zephram Cochran, of Alpha Centari? The man who developed warp technology" There are many more examples to give...but the new movie is obvious...I didn't need to wait for Spock to explain it to me halfway through the movie that it was a new timeline...watching enough Star Trek even with O'Brien complaining he "hates temporal mechanics", I knew right what was going on. 1) mostly tv personalities playing the parts...thus if the movie does well enough and enough of a cry for it...there will be a new series. 2) By having an alternate timeline...you eliminate canon from coming into play...it's now their show and they can run where ever they want with it.
kaugh recognized checkov in the 2nd tos film. cannon had been violated befrore Roddenberry died but canon is dead.
 

Dave

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I completely agree that Trek canon has always been very dodgy but I have to disagree that the two examples given here prove that.
  1. Zephram Cochrane could be "of Alpha Centauri" while being born on Earth. Just as you might describe Andy Murray 'of Wimbledon' but he is born in Scotland.
  2. Chekhov became Navigator after Khan took over Enterprise, but no where does it say that he wasn't aboard the ship in some other role. He could have been sweeping the floors on Deck 4 and met Khan there. Since it was a 5 year mission, it is unlikely that any crew joined them during the voyage.
However, such discussions are pointless now that canon is well and truly trashed. And I still have that Star Trek: Chronology for sale!
 

BAYLOR

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I completely agree that Trek canon has always been very dodgy but I have to disagree that the two examples given here prove that.
  1. Zephram Cochrane could be "of Alpha Centauri" while being born on Earth. Just as you might describe Andy Murray 'of Wimbledon' but he is born in Scotland.
  2. Chekhov became Navigator after Khan took over Enterprise, but no where does it say that he wasn't aboard the ship in some other role. He could have been sweeping the floors on Deck 4 and met Khan there.
However, such discussions are pointless now that canon is well and truly trashed. And I still have that Star Trek: Chronology for sale!
In the epside What are little Girls Made Of Kirk's brother Sam has three sons in Operation Annihilate He only has one son .
 

Brian G Turner

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Wasn't Star Trek (ToS and TNG) written specifically on a per-episode basis, to meet demands of TV at the time - and that issues of consistency just weren't a priority? Hasn't the issue of canon been one of trying to force backwards compatibility? Meaning that it was never intended to be there in ToS and TNG in the first place?
 

Dave

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In ToS the writers were given a sort of rule book to the universe and wrote their stories within it. Gene Roddenberry then okayed the stories and messed about with them as he saw fit. He famously had a big disagreement with Harlan Ellison over the changes to City on the Edge of Forever. If there are mistakes in scripts then it is down to him.

The Animated Series was very off beat with Kzin and stasis fields and all manner of non-trek additions.

In TNG Roddenberry was still around, and you are correct, consistency was never a priority, but Michael Okuda was given the job of trying to make it all work. The Star Trek: Chronology that he wrote, came about from trying to do just that, so there was an attempt. As you say, to force backwards compatibility, they did need to alter some things.

After that, they seemed to throw away any rulebooks. Yes, it seemed that the story was more important than any canon. Voyager's time travelling created new timelines. Enterprise just ran roughshod over everything, and didn't seem to care at all.

In the episode What are little Girls Made Of Kirk's brother Sam has three sons in Operation Annihilate He only has one son .
Isn't there also a gravestone that said his name was George Kirk?
 

BAYLOR

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In ToS the writers were given a sort of rule book to the universe and wrote their stories within it. Gene Roddenberry then okayed the stories and messed about with them as he saw fit. He famously had a big disagreement with Harlan Ellison over the changes to City on the Edge of Forever. If there are mistakes in scripts then it is down to him.

The Animated Series was very off beat with Kzin and stasis fields and all manner of non-trek additions.

In TNG Roddenberry was still around, and you are correct, consistency was never a priority, but Michael Okuda was given the job of trying to make it all work. The Star Trek: Chronology that he wrote, came about from trying to do just that, so there was an attempt. As you say, to force backwards compatibility, they did need to alter some things.

After that, they seemed to throw away any rulebooks. Yes, it seemed that the story was more important than any canon. Voyager's time travelling created new timelines. Enterprise just ran roughshod over everything, and didn't seem to care at all.

Isn't there also a gravestone that said his name was George Kirk?

Where No Man Has Gone Before The grave stone created by Gary Mitchell was inscribed James R. Kirk
 

BAYLOR

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Wasn't Star Trek (ToS and TNG) written specifically on a per-episode basis, to meet demands of TV at the time - and that issues of consistency just weren't a priority? Hasn't the issue of canon been one of trying to force backwards compatibility? Meaning that it was never intended to be there in ToS and TNG in the first place?

In the episode By Any Other Name The Kelvins take over the Enterprise modify it engines and ship structure for super warp speed so they can reach the Andromeda Galaxy in 300 years. So what happened to the warp modifications? In the next episode they're gone , like they never happened . They get new technology and never keep them.


They had no real canon in the original track series.
 

Susan Boulton

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I believe there is a "cannon" or "bible" as it is called, for people commissioned(not talking fan fiction here) to write novels in the Star trek world. Take a look at the books by Una McCormack to see how this is used to superb effect.
 

Vladd67

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I believe there is a "cannon" or "bible" as it is called, for people commissioned(not talking fan fiction here) to write novels in the Star trek world. Take a look at the books by Una McCormack to see how this is used to superb effect.
It's a pity all that work was ignored by Universal, their view, I've heard, was if it didn't happen on screen it doesn't count.
 

farntfar

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I have a great deal of trouble with the whole concept of canon.

Not only have I told one of the farntlettes stories of my childhood that are in direct contradiction of the stories I have told the other one, but I even have very clear and vivid memories of things from my childhood that I know never really happened. (**)
So keeping it straight in the Trek universe seems pretty unlikely to me.


(**)The other day I went past a room where my wife and farntlette minor were looking at a picture album from my teenage years.
After looking at one picture I heard my daughter say "It's his life, mum, but not as we know it."
 

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