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Old 11-30-2008, 08:09 PM
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Default What is "Canon"

Hate to sound silly but can soneone give me a definition and what it is to Star Trek?
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:13 PM
miles3347 miles3347 is offline
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Default canon

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Originally Posted by Sybock View Post
Hate to sound silly but can soneone give me a definition and what it is to Star Trek?
The canon is the established events that have happened on star trek in the series and movies but the books games TAS are not considered canon. Paramount pictures years ago made it so.

Last edited by miles3347 : 11-30-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:20 PM
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It's more of a guideline than an actual rule. At least to moi.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhanner View Post
It's more of a guideline than an actual rule. At least to moi.
Ah, so it is called the Code ?

Most simple explanation IMO is that canon is just what is (on the screen). Most of the times wrongly used when people actually talk about continuity, they want something to remain as it was. Discussions about it quickly turn into fanboys at war, one better stays out of the way.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:38 PM
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So there you have it...there is no firm definition of Canon...even when Paramount put out the 'definition' years ago, it had the legal loopholes in it. TAS isn't canon, but certain background material for Spock presented in TAS was. The fact that McCoy had a daughter was never mentioned on the show, however D.C. Fontana always considered that a canon part of McCoy's backstory....

Everyone has their own interpretation of what Canon is, which is why the fanboy wars do get so heated, because it's a debate over already shakey ground.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhanner View Post
It's more of a guideline than an actual rule. At least to moi.
blasphemer!!!

*stones jerhanner to death with fake plastic vulcan ears*
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:50 PM
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Is it possible there should be a stickied thread on this? It comes up so often....but then, we have so many stickied threads...if we get too many more we'll have to go to page 2 to get to the unstickied threads...


While the question has been answered well for Star Trek, I thought a broader answer might be in order. The word canon as defined by the dictionary is:

Quote:
1. an ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and, in the Roman Catholic Church, approved by the pope.
2. the body of ecclesiastical law.
3. the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art: the neoclassical canon.
4. a fundamental principle or general rule: the canons of good behavior.
5. a standard; criterion: the canons of taste.
6. the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired.
7. any officially recognized set of sacred books.
8. any comprehensive list of books within a field.
9. the works of an author that have been accepted as authentic: There are 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon. Compare apocrypha (def. 3).
10. a catalog or list, as of the saints acknowledged by the Church.
11. Liturgy. the part of the Mass between the Sanctus and the Communion.
12. Eastern Church. a liturgical sequence sung at matins, usually consisting of nine odes arranged in a fixed pattern.
13. Music. consistent, note-for-note imitation of one melodic line by another, in which the second line starts after the first.
14. Printing. a 48-point type.
In "fandom"...that's ardent fans of a particular TV show, book series, movie series...whatever, canon is what is considered to be "established fact" in that universe.

In Harry Potter, canon is fairly easy: it's what the author put to paper, said in an interview or wrote in an article. Very simple: if JK Rowling said/wrote it, it's canon.

In Star Trek, it's a bit trickier....probably because Star Trek was really the progenitor of "fan fiction" and fan obsession...which are the things that lead to the idea of "canon" for a TV show. At the time they had no idea that people would still be combing through episodes 40 years later looking for details to explain why Spock lets Uhura touch him or why Sulu knows the let Spock use his viewer...

However, the powers that be have recognized that there is a need for an established "canon" and so Denise and Michael Okuda, who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation and wrote Star Trek, the Chronology have been tapped by Paramount to be the voices of canon. So, what they say goes.

They do an excellent job as keepers of the flame, and while I disagree with some of what has been excluded from canon, I have nothing but respect (and, a bit of awe) for the Okudas.

Essentially, it can be distilled down to: what you see with live actors on screen (tv + movie) plus one episode of the animated series (Yesteryear)

However, as noted, when the show began, they had no idea that people would still be dissecting the episodes 40 years later...so, there are a lot of inconsistencies within the original episodes.

That's why I agree with Jer's "it's more of a guideline"....

Trying to argue that what's on screen must be the truth is fraught with peril... I doubt it would take me more than 20 questions to break the most ardent "canon" fan down and have him/her admit that "it's a show, things aren't real, there's no true fact".

So...while we like to invoke canon and we'd love the new movie to show some respect for canon, most of us recognize that it's a bit loose as it stands so the movie makers do have considerable leeway.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:01 PM
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Eh, the Okuda's used to be the keepers of Canon, but even then, they were more of a general guideline.

For example, in the Encyclopedia, they liked to make a lot of the lost ships mentioned in the TOS episodes "Daedalus" class vessels, because chronologically, it fit. They also threw in a picture of what they thought the "Daedalus" class looked like. However, were any new incarnation of Star Trek, whether TV or Movie suddenly to show, say, the Archon as an "NX" class for example, then the visual record superscedes the Okuda's encyclopedia.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Ah, so it is called the Code ?
Jack Sparrow knows that rules are made to be broken!
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