EAS Today

EAS Random Page & ImageEAS Blog @ TumblrEAS @ FacebookEditorial
EAS UpdatesEAS CommentsEAS @ TwitterEAS @ Flickr

 

The latest posts and comments on this site and on the social media pages of EAS. See Trek Feeds for feeds from other important sites.

EAS Blog @ Tumblr
EAS Timeline @ Facebook
Editorial
09 May 2019

The Continuities of Star Trek

The live-action TV series and movies produced by Star Trek's copyright owners are canon by definition. Until 2009, all canon Star Trek was set in the same timeline (although owing to time travel it was frequently subject to subtle changes). But the continuity is becoming increasingly complex. The Abrams movies explicitly take place in a detached timeline and hence in a new continuity. And although Star Trek Discovery is meant to exist in the same continuity as TOS, this official claim is hard to uphold.

A new article looks at the continuity of Star Trek and how the concept changed over time, from a single timeline to something like a multiverse. The article takes into account the official policy of CBS but also outlines a way to handle reboot series such as Discovery. Note that the purpose of this article is not to discuss whether or not the Abramsverse and Discovery are in contradiction to classic Trek, which I have already done in excruciating detail in several other articles and episode reviews and don't want to rehash here. Regarding the existing continuity issues, there are only summaries.

Read more about how the different series and movies fit in: The Continuities of Star Trek.

Bernd Schneider

Archive

Recent EAS Updates
  • 14 Jul 2019
    I continue my Voyager reviews in season 5. Read my takes on "Night" and "Drone", two episodes with classic Trek stories that I still find inspiring after so many years.
  • 06 Jul 2019
    Dan Tessier reviews the latest novel by Christopher L. Bennett, The Captain's Oath.
  • 02 Jul 2019
    Marten van Wier reviews the issues #8 and #9 of Star Trek Early Voyages by Marvel Comics.
  • 22 Jun 2019
    In an all-new article, we investigate The Emblems of the Federation Founding Members: Earth, Vulcan, Andor(ia) and Tellar, including all notable variations, as well as related symbols. Research: Jörg Hillebrand, illustrations: Brad Wilder.
  • 31 May 2019
    Here is a comprehensive (but probably not yet complete) list of Discovery Continuity Problems, aside from it being a "visual reboot".
  • 30 May 2019
    A new article by Jonah Kuttner looks at the Navigation Lights on Starfleet Ships and how the pattern remained (almost) consistent across the design generations of Star Trek.
  • 15 May 2019
    The new series with Sir Patrick Stewart has an official title. It's Star Trek: Picard!
  • 14 May 2019
    Just a quick note that I have made the feedback form operational again (without confirmation e-mails).
  • 09 May 2019
    I have compiled an overview of the multiverse that has effectively been created with the advent of the Abrams movies and Discovery: The Continuities of Star Trek. The article addresses the supposed official policy as well as the caveats at EAS.
  • 26 Apr 2019
    New Poll question: Did Alex Kurtzman keep his promise to "sync Discovery with canon"?
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 18 Jul 2019

    I think the DIS Klingons look great aside from silly colors, hair loss and being in DIS.

  • 17 Jul 2019
    The idea of time crystal power-up method as a limiter is not a sufficient explanation, thanks to Mudd. Likewise, the unavailability of time crystals is not a sufficient explanation, thanks to Mudd. (And asTenavik speaks of multiple visitors coming to get time crystals, as Pike is able to, it appears that there are plenty of opportunities to try.) We now know of at least three crystals in 20 years that were successfully procured, and activated. If they are powerful enough to make the signals as well as space and time travel, and someone like Mudd can get his hands on one that has been activated... non-proliferation is not accounted for by either of these methods.

    Pretty much everything Tenavik spoke to, indicates that they don't let just anyone even try to obtain one of the crystals, and I suspect given their nature they know damn fine what the individual is going to use it for, and where they come from is not common knowledge. Obviously some are being obtained illegally and turning up on the black market (S31's was, Mudd's was probably). Mudd's wasn't powered up like Discovery's or S31's, it was used in a very narrow sense compared to the other two.

    (Unless of course the implication is that Mudd's crystal was not activated; but neither, it appears, was Gabrielle Burham's- and it accomplished the colonist relocation.

    Dr Burham's was 70% charged (and rising) from the supernova according to Dr Burnham's log entry just before the Klingon attack. But it was 70% properly charged rather than the destructive charging method being used by the Discovery crew.

    And the possibility of charging from a supernova precludes the need for high tech as the only option.

    I think the technology for charging would also seem to be somewhat extraordinary as well though.

    Not to mention, again, the issue of over 100 years of development; if Po is able to accomplish this feat with even what is a brilliant leap for her time, technological advances over the next century should catch the technology needed to do so up to that level pretty easily).

    But Po's solution applied to a component not available after Discovery took it's trip to the future. Plus whilst an adequate solution to powering up a Time Crystal might be available in the future, you'd have to know that there would be a practical application towards doing so - most "users" of the Time Crystals will be doing Mudd's little parlour trick with them, and all those who know exactly what could be accomplished are either minded to sequester that knowledge or no longer around.

    The idea that Section 31 ships would be 'somewhat cautious about showing themselves' does not jibe with the department being assigned to Tyler; Section 31 isn't scattering, it is entering a new era of oversight and transparency.

    That's not what I said. I expect S31 under Tyler to be exactly what you say. But if you've just had S31 purged of most of its organic components by the system controlling its protocols, organisation and communications, and some of the ships (2 or 3 tops) being wily enough to see what looked to be a "night of the long knives" and avoid it in such a paranoid organisation would certainly be at the least extremely suspicious of any "It's okay, the big bad computer is gone and it's me, Tyler the human (cough) in charge now, you can trust me, please stop hiding" messages might not be taken at face value. I can see those few assets going rogue for a while at least.

    There is no evidence of a sudden vanishing of assets; no implication that Tyler will have to build a new Section 31 from scratch. The organization is receiving a radical overhaul from Starfleet- indicating both an organization (and assets) left to overhaul, and a general lack of secrets left to them.

    I seem to recall the majority of S31's fleet being destroyed (30+ ships plus the drones)... After all their crews were killed (so minimum of couple of thousand personnel)… Most of S31's infrastructure is gone (HQ, Control...) you are mostly left with the operatives that were not assigned to their ships and whatever else those personnel know.

  • 17 Jul 2019

    So noted, that the suit has been established to incorporate technology from the future. And I see that, looking more closely, the issue of future technology being created by replicator has already been addressed, so I will drop the issue.

    The idea of time crystal power-up method as a limiter is not a sufficient explanation, thanks to Mudd. Likewise, the unavailability of time crystals is not a sufficient explanation, thanks to Mudd. (And asTenavik speaks of multiple visitors coming to get time crystals, as Pike is able to, it appears that there are plenty of opportunities to try.) We now know of at least three crystals in 20 years that were successfully procured, and activated. If they are powerful enough to make the signals as well as space and time travel, and someone like Mudd can get his hands on one that has been activated... non-proliferation is not accounted for by either of these methods. (Unless of course the implication is that Mudd's crystal was not activated; but neither, it appears, was Gabrielle Burham's- and it accomplished the colonist relocation. And the possibility of charging from a supernova precludes the need for high tech as the only option. Not to mention, again, the issue of over 100 years of development; if Po is able to accomplish this feat with even what is a brilliant leap for her time, technological advances over the next century should catch the technology needed to do so up to that level pretty easily).

    Again, either the time crystals- which have been proven to be both securable and activatable (or extremely powerful without activation)- are the source of these superpowers, and should be an ongoing issue for various powers of the quadrant to exploit... or the tech is inherent in the suit constructable with pre-TOS technology, and should be duplicatable by the advancing march of technology. Either way, we are left with a problematically-powerful macguffin that has logistical issues to its non-duplication in the future.

    The idea that Section 31 ships would be 'somewhat cautious about showing themselves' does not jibe with the department being assigned to Tyler; Section 31 isn't scattering, it is entering a new era of oversight and transparency. There is no evidence of a sudden vanishing of assets; no implication that Tyler will have to build a new Section 31 from scratch. The organization is receiving a radical overhaul from Starfleet- indicating both an organization (and assets) left to overhaul, and a general lack of secrets left to them.

    Either way, I am fairly certain we are not going to agree here; I am looking for flaws in Discovery, you are looking for its defense. My hope is that Bernd will read the thread and judge for himself whether any of these additions are fit for the list; certainly, he's gotten both sides of the case presented. :-) I am going to step back, here, in favor of a busy week at work- the last word is yours, Paddy.

  • 17 Jul 2019
    However, even the Section 31 tech being future technology is a complete speculation, rather than anything supported by canon at this point, to the best of my understanding. It doesn't just remain to be established where ti came from; it remains to be established *as* future tech.

    Er, the suit tech (which IS S31 tech) is stated repeatedly to be too advanced and evidence of time travel from the future in the show by main characters prior to its discovery as being a S31 project. So not pure speculation.

    And there are potential issues which each of those three explanations, I believe; Control's time travel being limited to when the Red Angel suit's wormholes lead rather prevents it from being the cause of the suit's creation. And as for the latter 2...

    That's a "Single World" rather than a "Many Worlds" view though, and clearly the time travel in DIS is being viewed as MW. The Future Control we saw can only utilise the Red Suits wormholes yes, this Future Control was also eliminated by the events of Season 2 so those incursions were from a (now) paradoxical future created as a result of Dr Burnham's time travel incursions. This does not preclude a previous Future Control having an alternate method of time travel to seed this all (neither does it say it must be so), but in doing so unmakes itself as was down that new version of the timeline. I'm not saying Control bootstrapped itself, just that it remains a possibility until and if we ever get an explanation to the contrary.

    The idea of replicator technology being the cause is, to my mind, insufficient. Firstly, the technology itself appears to be anacronistic, and certainly at the required resolution for high technology. Even then, the notion that a replicator can make future tech if it has the pattern would seem to be disproved by stories like the failure to replicate the mobile emitter in Voyager; simply having the tech and a replicator doesn't account for everything that future tech can contain, programming it, alloys, etc. (And since a stranded time traveler or Temporal Cold War guy that only appears as a blurry projection would not have resources on hand... it would be the same issue; reconstruction from contemporary materials, or this replicator issue).

    Er, because on VOY they didn't have the pattern to make the mobile emitter, whereas in DIS they clearly did have the pattern designed to fabricate the suit; We of course do not know who or what provided the insights required for Dr Burnham to develop this anachronistic tech.

    And again, that would mean that something with technology 25 years pre-TOS, including only materials to hand and whatever that supposed generation of replicators could produce, is capable of creating these absurdly-powerful signals (when powered by a time crystal), when 24th century technology could (apparently) not.

    And there's the key... The Time Crystals are only suitable as power source if powered up in the right way, if you have the knowledge to do it. Georgiou highlighted the ethics of one such method - you can't just go around blowing up stars, and whilst Po is unlikely to share her bit of tech in any case, the Spore Drive is not available.

    I would still count that as a conflict absolutely in line with this article. The capabilities are simply too advanced for the era's technology, or else it adds a whole new facet to these magical crystals as not just a source of time travel, but a new power source that puts anti-matter reactions and anything seen in the previous 50 years of Trek to shame, and has been under the Klingons' noses the whole time, plus available to small-time crooks like Mudd. And yet has somehow never found its way to becoming a super-galactic-power creating new power source that makes a warp core look like a AA battery? One way or another, the capability creates problems.

    Given that L'Rell said the Klingons don't use the Time Crystals and they are left under the stewardship of the Monks on Boreth and seem to treat their (known) theft as a Very Bad Thing that side isn't a problem. Also as noted above, getting them suitable empowered isn't really an option.

    As regarding the badges, I'd suggest they're at least somewhat advanced technology, in regards to miniaturization, based on the communicators of the era.

    All we saw Tyler's do was communicate, whereas we've seen Burnham use the controls on hers to establish two way universal translation so on two single uses of each we can point to the standard model being more sophisticated.

    Small ships like Georgiu's, field agents like Tyler, manufacturing plants... plenty of instances of that technology would still be out there (and again, the issue of Starfleet requisitioning it *before* the events of the season also remains).

    Almost the entirety of the S31 fleet was destroyed (stated on screen) after being assimilated by Control so any remnants (1 or 2 ships known about by Starfleet...) might be understandably somewhat cautious about showing themselves. Between the official cover-up and un-official reform of S31, any other survivors not directly in the loop (and almost by definition of the events of Control's takeover, they won't be) may think that S31 has been purged and they might be a loose end. Best to keep your head down. Yes, there might be production facilities dedicated to S31, but there might equally be some contractors unknowingly producing odd batches of things in amongst their normal production and suddenly most of those orders stop, and perhaps without the widget from Factory A combined with the Whosit from Factory B you have nothing but some odd looking parts.

  • 16 Jul 2019

    One possible explanation for both how advanced S31 tech existed, but wasn't rolled out to the rest of the fleet after the events of Season 2, is, firstly, the tech, in general, was recovered, but there were enough holes in the plans, to prevent a general roll out, hence the plans needing to be recreated. Secondly, while there were likely physical examples, they were studied, and "reverse engineered", both to create accurate plans, as well as to make sure there weren't any "security holes" left over, such as something like an "access port" left by Control, but could be used by 3rd Party Groups to hack in. They would also likely need to create the "research trail" of whoever "developed" the various pieces of tech, versus it appearing "out of nowhere". Finally, they were rolled out, in a "slow fashion", plus not everything rolled out successfully, the first time. The "wrist communicators" from ST:TMP could have been a first attempt for a general rollout of the "combadge technology", but it was awkward, didn't work, and enough "old Starfleeters" (like Kirk, Scotty, and maybe Spock) resisted, albeit not necessarily for the same reasoning, since Spock might resist due to his knowledge of the background of the tech, resulting in them going back to the handheld communicators, for a while longer, as seen in the rest of the TOS Movies. The "second rollout" was maybe slower, more deliberate, and included existing TOS Movie Uniforms, with the then current badge being upgraded/replaced with the combadge, introducing the idea of upgrading/updating the badges independent of Uniform Updates/Replacements.

  • 16 Jul 2019

    However, even the Section 31 tech being future technology is a complete speculation, rather than anything supported by canon at this point, to the best of my understanding. It doesn't just remain to be established where ti came from; it remains to be established *as* future tech. And there are potential issues which each of those three explanations, I believe; Control's time travel being limited to when the Red Angel suit's wormholes lead rather prevents it from being the cause of the suit's creation. And as for the latter 2...

    The idea of replicator technology being the cause is, to my mind, insufficient. Firstly, the technology itself appears to be anacronistic, and certainly at the required resolution for high technology. Even then, the notion that a replicator can make future tech if it has the pattern would seem to be disproved by stories like the failure to replicate the mobile emitter in Voyager; simply having the tech and a replicator doesn't account for everything that future tech can contain, programming it, alloys, etc. (And since a stranded time traveler or Temporal Cold War guy that only appears as a blurry projection would not have resources on hand... it would be the same issue; reconstruction from contemporary materials, or this replicator issue).

    And again, that would mean that something with technology 25 years pre-TOS, including only materials to hand and whatever that supposed generation of replicators could produce, is capable of creating these absurdly-powerful signals (when powered by a time crystal), when 24th century technology could (apparently) not. I would still count that as a conflict absolutely in line with this article. The capabilities are simply too advanced for the era's technology, or else it adds a whole new facet to these magical crystals as not just a source of time travel, but a new power source that puts anti-matter reactions and anything seen in the previous 50 years of Trek to shame, and has been under the Klingons' noses the whole time, plus available to small-time crooks like Mudd. And yet has somehow never found its way to becoming a super-galactic-power creating new power source that makes a warp core look like a AA battery? One way or another, the capability creates problems.

    As regarding the badges, I'd suggest they're at least somewhat advanced technology, in regards to miniaturization, based on the communicators of the era. With this and the shields, I can accept the advancements being minor- with the major exception of the Red Angel suit, which really throws off the curve. Either way, whether the advancements are major, or minor- Section 31 has starships (with databanks). It has standard-issue equipment incorporating this technology. I don't think the proliferation of their assets allows for their technology to have simply all been bound up in Control or erased as records. Small ships like Georgiu's, field agents like Tyler, manufacturing plants... plenty of instances of that technology would still be out there (and again, the issue of Starfleet requisitioning it *before* the events of the season also remains). I don't think their advanced tech can simply be explained away as eliminated so neatly (not with as much of the organization as apparently still survives)- and while their is speculation on the origins of the Red Angel suit, until an origin is established, its existence as a Section 31 invention also suggests a much high tech level than the combadge and shields that remains an issue in-canon until an explanation giving the suit a separate origin is ever entered into canon.

    (EDIT: Also added several issues regarding the signals themselves, remotely projecting them, transcending the speed of light, and the plausibility of covering up the season's events when these signals were so widely visible to everyone...)

  • 16 Jul 2019
    However, there is no actual evidence for any of those things in the show; in terms of actual continuity as presented, these explanations due nothing to resolve the breach. They are imaginative, and could certainly be incorporated into canon to provide an explanation to some of the issues raised. But at present, they don't actually explain any of these issues, just imagine how they could be explained in future.

    As I said, the only actual issue is where the future tech came from which for now is purely in the realms of speculation.

    However, even if any of these explanations indicate how Section 31 could create such a suit, they do not cover how standard contemporary technology from the Discovery could be used to recreate it (at best, it relies solely on contemporary parts arranged in a novel pattern, like some sort of steampunk contraption with capabilities far exceeding the era? I believe even Spock's mnemonic circuit and Data's 19th century San Francisco device still required some integration of future tech they had with them, and both barely functioned; I don't think this is a viable explanation for something so complex and powerful, even with the Time Crystal doing a lot of the heavy lifting)

    The huge difference is replicator technology. Provided the materials aren't too exotic, and provided you have the patterns you can make anything in a replicator. The contemporary technology is up to the fabrication task, even if the technology it is building isn't fully understood.

    They also don't explain how such a powerful signal could be generated with said contemporary-technology-built suit, rather than a theoretical one built from future tech in Section 31's hands.

    Both suits were built from the same plans - we're told that explicitly. The only exotic requirement was the power source. Dr Burham's suit may have been built with insights from future tech (unknown) but it was built using contemporary tech those 20+ years ago. Micheal's suit followed those (completed) plans. As to the how, it clearly is a function of the suit with its suitably exotic power supply.

    In addition, the tech level creates a problem either way you try to answer the above issues. Section 31's tech appears to be, generously, TNG-era (or perhaps a little before; combadges existed in the Enterprise-C era), with the exception of the Red Angel suit itself. Rating it further than that begs a number of questions, including how Discovery could possibly stand up to their ships if they have beyond-TNG-level tech at their disposal

    It's not a uniform application of technology obviously. The commbadge thing is a bit of a red herring for how advanced the tech is - it's there only as indicator that something is amiss with S31 to my mind. It's not exactly radical technology though and well within the capabilities of the DIS era - it's a TNG era application though. We, as the viewer know when that idea is from and it's clearly anachronistic in a general sense, and to Pike it was more a "your badge does, what?" and meant that his badge was taken from him when he was framed by Ariam.

    Clearly the shields on the S31 drone ships was something a little special, but their weapons load out was not. The ships clearly did not have superior warp drive to the Discovery or Enterprise either.

    And the question of Starfleet appropriation remains an issue (one arguably compounded the more advanced you posit the 31 tech to be) particularly in the aftermath, when the capabilities of Section 31 tech are known, the organization becomes more transparent, and a 'good guy' is placed in charge. Is there really any way, after the Control incident, that Starfleet wouldn't demand a complete rundown of all the tech projects that Section 31 has, to ensure it doesn't have any other deadly little secrets waiting int he wings to bite them? Or any liklihood a more transparent version of the organization run by someone sympathetic to Starfleet interests would continue to suppress the available tech they'd developed even if they didn't make such a demand?

    With the destruction of Control, S31's headquarters and most of S31's resources (gathered together by a free roaming Control), exactly where are the records of these projects? Control was the central database for such things and was rigorously purged... Most of those "in the know" are dead or no longer present. Tyler hadn't been with the organisation that long, there will be a whole bunch of things he won't know about because they were above his pay grade and he wasn't a seemingly single minded as Georgiou at finding things out for blackmail purposes.

  • 16 Jul 2019

    However, there is no actual evidence for any of those things in the show; in terms of actual continuity as presented, these explanations due nothing to resolve the breach. They are imaginative, and could certainly be incorporated into canon to provide an explanation to some of the issues raised. But at present, they don't actually explain any of these issues, just imagine how they could be explained in future.

    However, even if any of these explanations indicate how Section 31 could create such a suit, they do not cover how standard contemporary technology from the Discovery could be used to recreate it (at best, it relies solely on contemporary parts arranged in a novel pattern, like some sort of steampunk contraption with capabilities far exceeding the era? I believe even Spock's mnemonic circuit and Data's 19th century San Francisco device still required some integration of future tech they had with them, and both barely functioned; I don't think this is a viable explanation for something so complex and powerful, even with the Time Crystal doing a lot of the heavy lifting). They also don't explain how such a powerful signal could be generated with said contemporary-technology-built suit, rather than a theoretical one built from future tech in Section 31's hands.

    In addition, the tech level creates a problem either way you try to answer the above issues. Section 31's tech appears to be, generously, TNG-era (or perhaps a little before; combadges existed in the Enterprise-C era), with the exception of the Red Angel suit itself. Rating it further than that begs a number of questions, including how Discovery could possibly stand up to their ships if they have beyond-TNG-level tech at their disposal. Even then, to keep the technological disparity relatively low, one would presume perhaps 80-to-a-hundred years more advanced at most. The space and time-travel capabilities of the suit can be explained away as artifacts of the time crystal in this scenario. In that case, one wonders why the capabilities of such signal generation do not appear to be even close to the technology that actually exists 100 years later, something that Voyager could do with contemporary resources.

    If, on the other hand, you choose to accept Section 31's tech as even MORE advanced, you run into the aforementioned issues of why other technology seems strangely held-back and more contemporary, how such incredibly futuristic technology did not attract sufficient notice for Starfleet to demand it be handed over, how Section 31 even faced any challenge with their massive technological superiority (when late-TNG/VOY era technology should have handily solved all their problems and overcome their enemies), how (speculative scenarios aside) they actually got it in-canon... and most significantly, the more advanced you posit it to be, the greater the problem of Discovery recreating it with the resources on-hand becomes.

    At the base of this problem, either way, lies a technology that can do something that couldn't be done in the TNG era with parts that came from before the TOS era (and in fact decades before, based on the original suit, but even Discovery's time for the recreation), no matter how creatively-configured those parts may have been. Whether the problem is 'slightly advanced tech that the future couldn't replicate when it reached that level,' or 'majorly advanced tech from the far future that can be duplicated exactly using 'stone knives and bearskins,'' either way creates a problem.

    And the question of Starfleet appropriation remains an issue (one arguably compounded the more advanced you posit the 31 tech to be) particularly in the aftermath, when the capabilities of Section 31 tech are known, the organization becomes more transparent, and a 'good guy' is placed in charge. Is there really any way, after the Control incident, that Starfleet wouldn't demand a complete rundown of all the tech projects that Section 31 has, to ensure it doesn't have any other deadly little secrets waiting int he wings to bite them? Or any liklihood a more transparent version of the organization run by someone sympathetic to Starfleet interests would continue to suppress the available tech they'd developed even if they didn't make such a demand?

EAS Timeline @ Twitter
Screen Caps@ Flickr
TNG Remastered

Important notice Part of the above feeds, videos and galleries are not under the control of the EAS webmaster. EAS is neither responsible for the correctness and legality, nor for the safety and correct display of the external content. In order to preserve the visitors' privacy, EAS does not include any kind of "social plug-ins" anywhere, the only exception being the above gallery and video players.

 

TopShare
View as gallery