Discovery's Not a Reboot, Per Se, But…

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Discovery's Not a Reboot, Per Se, But…

Post by 2046 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 am

In an interview with Digital Spy, Kurtzman, co-creator and showrunner of STD, said:
"Everybody is always trying to maintain continuity," Kurtzman told us. "But given the 50 plus years of Star Trek, it literally becomes impossible because people decide that they want to follow a character in a book series after the show has been cancelled, and so they'll invent stories."

"And then 15 years later, a new show will come on that will take that character back and you can't be consistent with everything. Our goal is always to try, always, always to try and never to negate what has existed in the novels and graphic novels but it is a literal impossibility."

"And part of what has kept Trek going for so long is everyone's wonderful imagination to keep writing books and keep making graphic novels and keep making shows. And at a certain point, given the volume of things that are out there it's just impossible for everything to sync up perfectly. So we give it our best effort."
Source: http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/star-trek- ... fix-canon/

The big takeaway from that is that when Kurtzman says words like "Prime" or "canon", he doesn't mean what you thought he meant. His idea of Trek continuity includes the books and comics.

Thus, Kurtzman has revealed that the canon policy he's operating under is totally different than the one used during the Roddenberry- and Berman-era of Trek production. Through the end of Enterprise and the Viacom split, Star Trek canon included only live-action Trek, with ultra-rare, explicit exception.

By adding in novels & comics generally, most never intended to be canon anyway, Kurtzman has fundamentally altered the Trek universe. This is more than the references we had before of them consulting "The Final Reflection" by John Ford for background material… that's little different in principle than using a WW2 submarine flick for inspiration. Making it canon, however, is a much different animal.

For example, if I take Babylon 5 and declare that Stargate SG-1 is suddenly canon in that universe, I just radically altered Babylon 5 at the stroke of a pen. But can I say I altered it, or is it that I have made a new universe different from what existed before?

Clearly, the answer can only logically be the latter, because such a fundamental shift in meaning and fact cannot work any more than one can have a visual-only reboot of an audio-visual medium (e.g. replacing TOS visuals with clips from Star Wars).

While perhaps not as emotionally satisfying as having CBS explicitly say it is a reboot, the same effect is achieved over and above Fuller's previous "reimagine" comments. Discovery's universe is not the same as the one first seen in Star Trek: The Original Series and last seen in Star Trek: Enterprise. It inhabits a new universe that includes other material, like the Star Wars EU before it.

Indeed, calling it a reboot might be unfair, as a reboot is usually something new. This is just something different.

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Re: Discovery's Not a Reboot, Per Se, But…

Post by Darth Spock » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:27 pm

Good points, though I wonder more how we in the versus community might be approaching this from a different perspective than the show's producers and the fandom at large. I've noticed that when executives talk about canon they generally are referring to the narrative and historical continuity rather then the technical details, which often don't even remain consistent within a series, let alone the franchise. Consider the past and present attention given to the continuity of Klingon appearance compared technological inconsistencies in the community at large. The only real attention seems to be paid to specific individuals or historic events. Even before Disney, Lucas did similar things with the prequels, and it appears Kurtzman is doing something similar here, trying not to alienate larger fan networks who have more invested in the ST "EU" than in the past, especially since they are not only making prequel material, but as it butts up directly with well established characters and canon. I'll be honest, I don't really like the current cinematic styles, but if ST Enterprise could be canon, unless they explicitly alter the timeline in an obvious fashion, I'm still inclined to take a wait and see position before treating it as an obvious spinoff like the Abramsverse.

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Re: Discovery's Not a Reboot, Per Se, But…

Post by 2046 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:24 pm

Darth Spock wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:27 pm
Good points, though I wonder more how we in the versus community might be approaching this from a different perspective than the show's producers and the fandom at large.


The thesis that, to paraphrase, "we are odd" is not wrong. But, excess nerdiness has gone more than a little mainstream, to the point that folks like JJ Abrams recognize that you can do transmedia (with canon policy to match) which not only lets you share story elements without wasting screen time but also turns a pretty penny.

Marketing folks have thus weaponized their canon policies, as I like to say, to capitalize on this.

I've noticed that when executives talk about canon they generally are referring to the narrative and historical continuity rather then the technical details, which often don't even remain consistent within a series, let alone the franchise.


Technical consistency is hard, yes, but so is the rest. For instancex Discovery has a big technical problem even figuring out what Voq/Tyler's transformation was, exactly, and they escape the mirror universe by tying in the spore and warp drives in five minutes after having shown spore drives exceptionally dangerous before.

If that were so but they still managed to keep to Trek history your point would be agreeable, but the show doesn't even keep consistent with historical details from other Treks.

I'm still inclined to take a wait and see position before treating it as an obvious spinoff like the Abramsverse.
Short of a ginormous reset button, I don't see how it works.

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Re: Discovery's Not a Reboot, Per Se, But…

Post by 2046 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 am

There are those on Twitter and TrekBBS who made challenge over my reading of the quote. However, it is consistent with this more direct statement from ten years prior:

Alex Kurtzman: We did a lot of reading of the books. I think we consider the books canon to a large degree so it’s very important to us to stay consistent. But there is a bit of a hole and there’s actually different mythologies about their history so it’s a matter of staying consistent but also figuring out how you can play around a little bit anchored by the rules


Source: https://trekmovie.com/2008/09/19/orci-k ... ven-books/

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