Q: What is your location and profession?
A: I lead a team of integrated circuit design engineers in Siegen, Germany.
Q: What is your motivation to create this website?
A: A question that deserves a detailed answer. Read the Introduction to EAS.
A: My favorite series in TNG, but I love all classic Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT). There are several fantastic episodes I could watch all day, such as TNG: "Parallels", DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", or VOY: "Distant Origin". I was always fascinated by Spock, I admire Picard, but the most intriguing character is probably Worf. I also like Seven of Nine very much, because of her unique qualities as an individual. :-D My favorite Federation starship is the Galaxy class, my favorite alien ship the original Klingon Bird-of-Prey.
Q: Can I contact you via chat, phone or video call?
A: Sorry, no real-time communication. You can contact me by e-mail, by commenting on this site or in social networks.
Q: Are you on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks?
A: Unlike a blog or forum, EAS consists of static HTML and can't be integrated with social networks. It takes some efforts, but EAS news get reposted on Twitter and Facebook. I don't check the social media every day, so it may take a few days until I react on comments.
Q: Will you join my RPG, social network or fan club?
A: Sorry, no.
Q: Isn't this long-winded FAQ conceited? You may want to tone it down.
A: Anticipating questions is what an FAQ is useful for, and I am actually asked questions like these. You don't have to read the FAQ if you don't want to, but you may save me a lot of trouble if you do. Very few owners of personal sites, who need to work for a living too, take time for answering requests the way I do. In my experience most webmasters don't reply to e-mails at all! I will answer every single request, even if the question is trivial or is already covered in this FAQ.
Q: What is the difference between "Trekkie" and "Trekker"?
A: It would be better if there weren't one. In the early 70s "Trekkies" became a commonly known name for Star Trek fans. But it later earned a humiliating undertone, also because of the similarity of "Trekkie" with "junkie" or "groupie". Whenever someone who does not like Star Trek talks about the fans, "trekkie" (in this case usually written with a small "t") stands for the "Comic Book Guy" type - overweight men who are also computer nerds and have lost their grasp of reality. Therefore fans that don't like to be "Trekkies" any more refer to themselves as "Trekkers". But I don't mind if you call yourself or me a "Trekkie".
Q: Where can I download full episodes?
A: Since this may not be legal, I couldn't tell you even if I knew a download location.
A: The only good chance of finding the old AMT/Ertl and Revell/Monogram kits is on conventions or on auction sites, but be warned that kits cost at least twice the former shop prices, and I'm not even talking of the rare models. The good news is that there more recent Star Trek kits, from much better new moulds by Bandai and by Polar Lights, not to forget the Eaglemoss Official Starships Collection.
Q: Can you tell me who did what in which episode and why?
A: Dammit, Jim, I'm a Trekker, not an encyclopedia. There are fabulous search engines to start with. And speaking of an Encyclopedia, this is the one book you ought to buy if you are full of questions about Star Trek. In addition, there is Memory Alpha, the biggest Trek database to exist.
Q: Can you tell me where to find information about conventions in Central Wyoming, what are the specs of the Premonition class from Armada or where to buy Vulcan ears?
A: I have no idea. There are limits to what I can and what I like to find out.
Q: Do Starfleet Marines exist?
A: Why is half of the Trek fandom *obsessed* with Starfleet Marines? Canonically, there is no such thing as Starfleet Marines, at least not at the time of TNG. Oh well, there is Colonel West in "Star Trek VI" and there are ground troops with different uniform colors in DS9: "Nor the Battle to the Strong" and "The Siege of AR-558". Based on this evidence it would be far-fetched to conclude that the ground troops must be called "Marines". Why not "Federation Army" or simply "Starfleet Ground Troops"? Moreover Starfleet, as stated several times especially in TNG, is not intended to be a primarily military organization anyway. I don't like if fans in RPGs narrow Trek down to its military aspects. Since few other countries besides the USA have Marines, it is also Americentric. Anyone is free to include Marines in their own fiction, but don't insist on them being canon. Finally, the fact that several MACOs (not "Marines") board Enterprise in "The Expanse" doesn't change my opinion. On the contrary, Archer too says that Starfleet is not supposed to be primarily military. More about False Canon.
Q: Can you help me? I need to prove that an Imperial Star Destroyer wouldn't stand a chance against a Starfleet Sovereign class.
A: No way! Never bother me with such childish requests. The two science fiction universes were designed to remain strictly separate. While it is already hard to apply the rules of real-world physics to either of them, the two pieces of fiction are absolutely irreconcilable with each other. You are free to create cross-over fan fiction, but don't expect it to make any sense, much less expect to find any "proof" why your ship should be superior to one of a different universe. And aside from that, I loathe the fanboyish bias of most cross-over fiction that seems to fulfill the only purpose to disparage the other sci-fi universe. You will receive no support whatsoever from me in such an attempt.
Q: What is your opinion on slash fiction?
A: To me Star Trek is only enjoyable and meaningful as long as it remains truthful to its foundations (see my above answer pertaining to "vs." discussions). I understand and support the desire to get gay characters on the show. It is only fair that they are visible in Discovery after decades in which the existence of homosexuality was ignored in canon Star Trek. But fabricating a gay relationship of Kirk and Spock ("K/S") or other established crew members in fan fiction is utterly out of character. And the attempts to find "proof" for homosexuality or a romantic relationship in random gestures in canon Star Trek are amusing at best. I mean no offense to fans who enjoy reading and writing slash fiction, as long as they understand it as a light-hearted thought experiment and not as a "truth". I have personally chosen not to care for this subculture, which distracts from the real issues of Star Trek and whose significance is vastly overrated as I believe.
A: "Star Trek (2009)" is the most exciting and overall most visually compelling Trek movie in a long time. It profits from great performances by most of the actors, and from the work of J.J. Abrams, who knows like few other directors how to bring a story to the big screen. But the story is the movie's principal weak point. It suffers from just too many unlikely coincidences and other huge plot holes. Most importantly the character relationships that are quickly forged just don't work out. The movie is set in a parallel timeline, which shows a lack of continuity with the established Trek where we would expect it (design & technology), while there is continuity where it shouldn't exist (characters). The movie is too obviously designed to get seven characters and a ship named Enterprise together no matter when and how, while the intellectual standards that used to define Trek are deemed expendable. Finally, the spectacular yet shocking events in the movie are not likely to get me interested in seeing more stories set in this desolate universe. "Star Trek (2009)" compares to the old Trek like a one-night stand to a decade-long relationship.
Regarding "Star Trek Into Darkness", Harrison's true identity is just a gratuitous reference; it has no impact whatsoever and doesn't even make much sense in the story. But there is an even worse rip-off towards the end of the movie, one that turns the scene and perhaps ultimately the whole movie into a parody. Abrams has given himself carte blanche to create a Trek universe it its own right, but all he does is recycling characters, stories and plot devices. And he tries to compete with superhero movies, rather than telling great science fiction stories. STID is an enjoyable summer blockbuster with lots of great action, but a lousy Star Trek movie, as even casual fans have told me.
"Star Trek Beyond" is perhaps the most pleasant watching among the three movies. It manages to recapture some of the old spirit that was missing in the Abramsverse so far. The characters and their interactions work much better for me than in the previous two movies. On the downside, the story is nothing more than generic science fiction action and not visionary at all. What's worse, the movie's villain is the arguably weakest of all Star Trek movies so far. There is no bigger picture in the movie. There is no ethical debate. And no relevance of the story for our time.
Q: What do you think about Star Trek Discovery?
A: Discovery is an exciting series that introduces new kinds of characters and new ways of storytelling to Star Trek. But the whole production is let down by disastrous creative decisions, most notably by Klingons that don't look like Klingons at all. It is nearly impossible to suspend disbelief and accept Discovery as just another iteration of Star Trek in light of its totally different look and historical facts. All this could have been avoided by simply setting the series in the 25th century and redefining the Klingons to some other race, instead of trying hard to shoehorn a whole new universe into the established history of the 23rd century. Also, Discovery pretends to preserve the spirit of Star Trek, but is devoid of exploration and full of war and intrigue. Every second character is a mole, a traitor or a maniac. Every statement that Starfleet stands for peaceful exploration is mere lip service and ultimately hypocritical. Finally, most characters, with their haphazard behavior and their vaguely defined relationships, are neither relatable nor likable. The watchability of Discovery has improved since the big reset button at the end of season 2, but I still don't think it is good Star Trek.
Q: What do you think about Star Trek Picard?
A: The first season of the show suffers from the slowness of its first couple of episodes, from continued mystery mongering, from stereotypical villains, from the obsession to blow up planets and kill innocent people and from the idea of the Federation as a dystopia. But Star Trek Picard demonstrates that new Star Trek may be recognizable as Star Trek in more than only the name and may be meaningful, quite unlike a certain other series.
Read my reviews of Star Trek Picard.
Q: What does "Ex Astris Scientia" mean?
A: It is the Latin motto of Starfleet Academy, meaning "From the stars knowledge". The ancient Romans usually did not use verbs in inscriptions, so it would be better supplemented to "Knowledge comes from the stars". If you miss the comma of "Ex Astris, Scientia" as in the official Academy badge, this is one more thing the Romans would have omitted. I have chosen this motto to express the relation between the fiction in Star Trek and real science. You may have noticed that my site logo (upper left corner of this page) is not only reminiscent of a communicator badge, but also represents the title, since the knowledge (Starfleet arrowhead) emerges from a star.
Q: Where did the creators of Trek get the idea for this motto in the first place?
A: There are two theories. "Ex Astris Scientia" might be inspired by the motto of Apollo 13, "Ex Luna, Scientia" - an obvious choice. Another possibility is that it was derived from "Ex Scientia Tridens" ("from knowledge sea power"), which happens to be the motto of the US Naval Academy - another clear parallel.
Q: How do you pronounce this, "Ex Astris Scientia"?
A: "Ex Us-trees See-en-tsee-ah" or, if you prefer a pronunciation even closer to the classical Latin, "Ex Us-trees Skee-en-tee-ah".
Q: How big is EAS and how many visitors do you have?
A: Here are the Site Statistics.
Q: How many people are in the team that maintains EAS?
A: EAS was created by yours truly in well over 15,000 hours by now - the time watching episodes, hanging around in discussion forums and answering e-mails not even included. However, it wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of countless individuals who have made available images, information and encouragement and who receive their due credit on the Acknowledgements page.
The research and preparation for many articles was done by Jörg Hillebrand. The Starfleet Museum, as a distinct sub-site, was created by Masao Okazaki, the ASDB is the work of a group of individuals listed on the project's About Us page, and the works in the Fan Fiction section were penned by various people that are far more capable writers than I would be.
Q: I know a lot about Trek and I'm experienced in web design too. How can I join the EAS team?
A: There is no way of "joining" EAS. This is because the static site concept is totally unsuited for collaborative efforts, and there is no way of changing that. Another reason is that I want to be free in the decision what to tend to with priority. I am horrified by the idea of working under permanent deadline pressure in my leisure time, but exactly that would be absolutely inevitable to get anything done in a group. I don't expect that from my contributors either. Moreover, you can call me conceited, but I am fond of exerting total control over one of the world's most influential Star Trek websites. You can help me as a contributor, you can point out problems or recommend improvements. More on the topic of contributions can be found in the FAQ section on Content.
Q: I am sure my site fulfills the criteria. Why don't I get your award?
A: The EAE Award is not an award presented on the basis "give me your award and you get mine". I don't need it to increase traffic to this site. Please don't be disappointed if you're not the winner, and please don't apply repeatedly - it won't boost your chances.
Q: Do you give me permission to put up a link to EAS?
A: Of course! However, please acknowledge that I usually won't return the favor. You may want to add a link to your site yourself using my Add-a-Link feature.
Q: Will you join our advertising program? You might earn a few dollars with it.
A: No way. My website is strictly non-commercial and will always stay strictly non-commercial, although significant expenses are necessary to maintain it. I do not post any links to commercial sites, unless they are useful for obtaining facts and pictures. In particular, I oblige myself never to accept any payment for posting anything on my site or for giving away its reputation for commercial purposes. I move any sponsoring offers straight into the trash can.
Q: Do you accept donations from visitors?
A: No. I am able to and I wish to pay for the expenses myself.
Q: Would you announce the launch of my blog or post news of my community on your index page?
A: Sorry, no. This is not a news site, and I only post EAS-related news. If you have to announce something, please do it in the social media, or head for Trekmovie.com or TrekCore and let their editors decide whether your scoop is important enough.
Q: I'd like to recommend EAS to other people. Are you going to add Facebook "Like" buttons to your pages, or buttons to vote for you on other social networks?
A: I have added "Share" buttons in the form of simple links on each EAS page. But I won't include anything such as "Like" buttons or similar widgets. For four reasons. Firstly, I'm not a politician and I don't solicit you to vote for me. Secondly, it is a bottomless pit because there are many social networks with button codes that change every few months, and I have better things to do than keeping them up to date. Thirdly, I have obliged myself to keep my site clean, without parasitic code that I can't control. Fourthly and most importantly, I respect your privacy and with my non-commercial site I won't help companies to sniff out your browsing behavior. Well, I make an exception for YouTube, because there is no other way to show videos, and because I deem it less critical.
Q: I run a social media account, forum account or blog for your site. I hope you have no problem with me using your or your site's name. It's for you to save work, and free advertising.
A: I may decide to outsource some social media activities but it has to be in an environment and with standards that I agree with. You have to ask in advance, and most likely I won't approve of it because it would be yet one more thing I'd have to monitor. If you go ahead nonetheless and create the impression that your social media account is affiliated with EAS or if you spam forums with posts that look like I made them, I will get very angry at you and I will insist that you (or an administrator) remove any hint at a possible affiliation.
Q: Why don't you answer my e-mail?
A: I generally reply to every request. If you haven't received a reply, one of the following reasons may apply:
- You attached a huge file and it didn't make it to me. Please try again with a smaller attachment.
- Your e-mail account didn't work properly and my reply bounced off. Please make sure in advance that my message gets through.
- Your e-mail account was configured in some way to recognize either my e-mail address or its subject or even every e-mail of unknown origin as spam. Even when prompted to do so, I will not manually confirm my e-mail address to your spam protection. You need to take care yourself that people can reply.
- Your message contained a worm-like file (e.g. .exe) or a spam-like subject phrase (especially with "adult" and financial language or ALLCAPS), and my filters have deleted it.
- Your e-mail or my reply was lost out there without reason. Please try again.
To tell the truth, I never hear again of many people who make a big deal of getting their "urgent" questions answered, showing out their starships, using my images, having a link on my site or who even offer me some sort of partnership. I may reconsider my e-mail policy and simply discard messages that seem irrelevant to me - all those which don't help me improve my website but just cause extra work. So please do me a favor and don't waste my time, for instance with inquiries that you could find answered at a magic place called Google. If you contact me, you will notice that I am a kind guy, but I can't serve the Trek community 26 hours per day.
Q: Why are you sending spam mails from your domain(s)?
A: I swear that I have never sent out any spam and I will never do it. Still, you may find "ex-astris-scientia.org" (or any other reputable domain name) in the header of a spam mail as their alleged origin. This is because the SMTP protocol basically does not require authentication, and spammers may enter any unsuspicious e-mail address in the "From" field. The mail, as the spam victim likely sees it, pretends that it was sent from my e-mail server at ex-astris-scientia.org. In order to recognize the e-mail spoofing it would be necessary to enable the display of the complete e-mail header, which hardly anyone does. It goes without saying that spamming with spoofed e-mails is utterly criminal and will be punished. I naturally take no responsibility for spam that pretends to have been sent out by me. There is absolutely no technical possibility for me to put a stop to such criminal activities except for preventively killing all dumb assholes on this planet.
F: Das ist ja alles ganz schön. Aber warum nur auf englisch?
A: Als ich Ende 1997 mit der Planung meiner Website begann, schien Deutsch die naheliegende Wahl zu sein. Es gab damals nicht besonders viele Websites zum Thema Star Trek und nur ganz wenige davon auf deutsch, die mehr als nur ein paar Seiten mit Episodenlisten usw. aufwiesen. Auf der anderen Seite kann man nur mit einer englischsprachigen Website internationale Besucher ansprechen. Also müßte die Website zweisprachig sein. Dies gestaltet sich jedoch in der Praxis außerordentlich schwierig. Mit dem bloßen einmaligen Übersetzen des Inhalts - was, wenn es wirklich sinngemäß sein soll, auch schon eine zeitraubende und sehr langweilige Arbeit ist - ist es nämlich nicht getan. Um eine einheitliche Gestaltung und Synchronisation zu gewährleisten, muß jedes geringste tägliche Update doppelt durchgeführt werden. Und um zu wissen, wo man was geändert hat, muß man entweder beim Update ständig zwischen beiden Sprachversionen hin- und herwechseln (nervtötend) oder aber alles haarklein protokollieren (zeitaufwendig). Andernfalls würden beide Versionen nach ein paar Wochen hoffnungslos divergieren, und gerade das ist ja nicht der Sinn der Zweisprachigkeit. Bei sehr vielen und sehr häufigen Änderungen kann ich aus meiner Berufspraxis sagen, daß der Aufwand tatsächlich mehr als doppelt so groß(!) wird wie bei einer einsprachigen Website. Und das, ohne tatsächlich mehr Inhalt zu erzeugen. Ich denke, daß ich mich angesichts des anhaltenden internationalen Interesses (unter 10% aus deutschsprachigen Ländern) für die richtige Sprache entschieden habe. Von Zeit zu Zeit werde ich trotzdem einzelne Artikel auf deutsch verfassen. Ich wünsche allen deutschsprachigen Besuchern noch einen schönen Aufenthalt und stehe natürlich gern für Diskussionen auch auf deutsch zur Verfügung.
Q: I read you had some trouble with web hosting in the past. I may help you out or recommend a new web host with low charges.
A: If you are running a server of your own or have a dedicated server, that may be an interesting alternative, and if only as a backup solution. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
If you know a host, then it should be one who gives me a data transfer of at least 200 gigabytes per month, something that many hosting plans don't allow or charge high extra fees for. Those web hosts who offer "unlimited" traffic usually have clauses that would allow them to throttle sites that take away too much of the server's performance. And if they promise unconditional "unlimited" traffic in spite of everything, they may resort to semi-criminal methods as Strato did when they kicked me off the contract.
Q: You complain about not being able to watch some Star Trek series in your country. And about YouTube videos being geoblocked. Ever heard of VPN?
A: I have VPN, but in my experience it doesn't solve problems with geoblocking. More often than not, VPN plus log-in equals trouble. Regarding paid streaming accounts, even though logging in with IPs from outside my country may be perfectly legal, it very likely violates the terms of service. They could shut down my account once they notice I'm logged in from a known VPN IP on their blacklist. And even if they don't penalize me immediately, they may block these IPs beforehand and additionally monitor how often I try different IPs. I won't take the risk.
Regarding the YouTube videos, you don't understand the problem. It's not because I can't view those videos, such as trailers by Paramount+. I'm running a website, and when I post a video I am concerned that visitors from many countries may be locked out, without me knowing about it. Yes, I can check with VPN (after logging out from Google, of course), but I don't want to do this each and every time!
Q: Why are some large files hidden in "protected directories"?
A: My server's physical bandwidth is generous but not free, so precaution against download tools and against "visitor invasions" such as "Slashdotting" is advised. If you really need those big files that are available in smaller sizes just as well, please take a few seconds and answer the simple password question.
Q: What software do you use to edit your web pages?
A: When I created this site in 1998, I didn't want to care about the code and rather focus on the content. I purchased Microsoft Frontpage, a WYSIWYG editor that allowed me to use the full range of styling options that was available at the time without requiring HTML knowledge. I never found a replacement for Frontpage, although I would have needed full support for CSS, and converting the whole site to a CMS was totally out of the question. In 2015, I finally decided to abandon Frontpage. Believe it or not, I now maintain this whole big site with Notepad++ and occasionally Excel! I use the latter to compile image galleries from directory listings, and the former to assemble and edit pages. I insert tags and links all manually, and I perform more extensive changes with the power of regular expressions.
A: EAS is only partially optimized for mobile devices. The mobile viewport is 640 pixels wide, which is a compromise between fitting the content on the screen on one hand and making everything readable on a mobile device on the other hand. It would require a total manual recoding of the whole site, table cell by table cell, and quite possibly a reduction of the content to make the site 100% mobile compatible.
Q: Is this site's accessibility optimized?
Q: I noticed this site still isn't W3C compatible. What are you going to do about that?
A: This site was originally built with quasi-standard HTML as it existed back in 1998, and I already put a lot of effort in the conversion to HTML 4.01 transitional. There is nothing "wrong" about my code. The pages are displayed correctly in the major browsers and on most devices, and I'm constantly working to enhance the compatibility.
Q: Why don't your links open in a new window or tab?
A: I think every user should decide himself where a link opens. Just use "CTRL+LMB" to make links open in a new browser tab.
Q: Should I report dead links or images to you, or other technical problems?
A: Yes please! As perfect as the site may look to me, as flawed it may appear due to problems with the server configuration or to corrupt files on the server, although these are rare problems. If a file exists but is messed up or if it is refusing to load completely, it is most likely a server glitch or a temporary problem with your connection. Please try to reload. You may have to clear your browser cache too. If, however, a file is totally missing even after reloading it may be a link I forgot to modify or an incomplete upload for which I have to apologize. The reason for the latter is that there are sometimes files with old dates among the updates, and I might overlook them when transferring everything to the server via FTP. I hope you bear with me and point out these errors to me. You can best help me if you tell me the missing file name and the URL of the referring page.
Q: I have found a dead link to www.ex-astris-scientia.org/somepage.htm. Hope this helps.
A: Thanks, but to fix it I have to know the referring page, not the link. If the broken link is on a site other than EAS, then either the webmaster made a mistake for which I'm not responsible anyway, or it is an outdated link.
Q: Why don't you tend to the links to other sites? So many of them are broken.
A: I check the complete site for broken links every few months. I even try to find useful content again that may have been moved to a new URL and/or a new CMS. Extremely few other webmasters perform regular external link checks the way I do. But external links have a half-life of less than two years. I too hate broken links, but you have to complain to those people who came up with the doctrine that the internet is for news postings only and not for keeping knowledge accessible. At some time I will have to stop posting any outgoing links.
Q: Should I report typos or wrong semantics/grammar?
A: No for the first, yes for the latter. I know there are typos on practically every page. I'm constantly trying to eliminate them myself, which is much easier with my own tools than based on an e-mail notification. On the other hand, I am grateful for any correction of semantics or grammar, as English is not my native language.
Q: What software do you use for your drawings?
A: Micrografx Designer, a software no longer available since 2001(!). You may wan to read my extensive Software Test, although it is naturally totally outdated by now.
Q: Which Star Trek fonts do you use for your starships?
A: A variety of fonts can be found at Star Trek Minutiae. The ones I use for the TNG ships are called Federation Hull (with outline) and Federation Bold (without outline). The perfectly fitting font for TOS starships is called Airborne by Charles Casimiro. This font looks a lot more crisp than the similar, yet rather amateurish fonts that have been around for many years.
A: Actually, I only cleaned them up and replaced missing parts. I neither created those drawings in the first place, nor do I know for sure which software has been used. I can only say that it was a 2D illustration program. My best guess is Adobe Illustrator, since that is what most people working in that business seem to be using.
Q: Could you give me some advice on 3D starship design?
A: No, for the simple reason that I have not the faintest idea of 3D design. Really. All the 3D models on my site are made by artists whose experience and talent I admire myself. I don't even have a simple program for 3D design. If you're looking for advice, I can highly recommend SciFi Meshes. This is the place where the experts gather. Once you are there, you will find many examples, tutorials and meshes for download.
Q: Could you design a starship for me?
A: No. I'm neither a design service, nor do I have any time left for it. Creating a small 2D ship from scratch with details takes more than 20 hours. At most I may give you a few hints about using a drawing program and designing starships. Read the tutorial.
Q: Where do you get your texts and images from?
A: 100% of the text was created especially for EAS. I have taken a few photos (Reports section, starship models) and drawn some graphics myself (10%). The other images are taken from various websites (5%), submitted by visitors (5%), scanned from books (20%) or captured from TV (60%). Submissions are accordingly credited. I don't claim the ownership of graphics that were only altered and not originally created by me. If you like to use some of the scanned images, it would be fair to give me credit though (see next answer for the conditions) - after all it is plenty of work to scan and clean them up for the web. The entire Starfleet Museum, including all text and images, is copyright of Masao Okazaki, unless otherwise noted. The entire content of the ASDB is copyright of the ASDB group. The Journal of Applied Treknology is copyright of the individual designers. The Fan Fiction is copyright of the individual authors.
Q: Star Trek is owned by CBS/Paramount. You infringe on their copyright.
A: No. All copyrighted material shown at EAS falls under the "fair use" exemption, which may be invoked for fan websites, fan fiction and fan art. More about fan art copyright.
Q: May I use text or images created by you?
A: Yes. I grant you the right to use parts of my material under these terms:
- You republish the material in the form of excerpts. I do not approve of reproductions of entire EAS pages. I do not approve of sites that use my layout graphics or otherwise imitate the look of EAS.
- You attribute it to EAS including a hyperlink. I will agree to a mention on a global credit page if you use single graphics or text passages, but I insist on more clearly visible credits in case of more extensive excerpts.
- I reserve the right to deny or retract my approval if the material appears in an improper context. This may include, but is not restricted to: political propaganda, promotion of illegal activities, disfiguration of images taken from EAS (no matter if intentionally or accidentally because of bad image editing), misquoting of my views and findings, commercial exploitation of EAS content.
Read also the more comprehensive copyright notice.
Q: May I use text or images created by you in my school project?
A: No objections. And good luck!
Q: May I use some of your starship designs for my fan fiction or RPG?
A: No problem if you give me credit (i.e. link to my site). Yet, I may have objections in case you alter the design or the specs, so you should check back with me.
Q: May I use text or images from EAS for a commercial project?
A: Only with my explicit permission.
Q: May I modify images created/scanned by you?
A: Any time, if you adhere to the above conditions. But you are required to add a note that you modified the original. As already mentioned, I will not approve of images that look like created by me but are aesthetically or technically flawed.
Q: I have found some pictures you might want to post.
A: With a few exceptions (which is whenever I urgently need an image to illustrate an article) I only post images with the explicit consent of the copyright owner. I have thousands of images resting on my hard drive which I don't show because I simply can't tell where they came from. So please don't send me any pictures without being authorized to distribute them, and never send me pictures of unknown origin - well, unless it is something exciting and new.
Q: May I ask you to remove from the site the pictures (or the text) that I sent to you?
A: Sorry, no. I never remove anything. I refuse the double work of first preparing your stuff and then removing it. The latter is never effortless, as it usually involves finding and fixing several links and textual references and, moreover, justifying to other people why it is gone. You have to consider any permission you grant to EAS as absolutely irrevocable. I will only make an exception in case of a copyright dispute or if I deem it useful too (for instance, if it contained substantial errors).
Q: May I ask you to remove my name from all of my submissions? I don't want to be associated with it any longer.
A: What I can do is replace your name with a nickname of your choice. I won't remove the credits altogether.
Q: May I load images directly from your server to display them on my website or as my forum avatar?
A: No. You have to save such files to your own server. Hotlinking is only allowed in discussion forums and social media, if the hotlinked image suits the discussion. Hotlinking is enabled on the server, but I have created a blacklist for cases of misuse.
Q: On your main index page, can you provide links to everything you have changed?
A: Even if I don't count in typo correction, I make a dozen small updates every few days (like fixing errors, adding or replacing images, adding references, hunting dead external links). It is impossible to keep a log of all these changes. Also, I don't want to overburden the main page with loads of puny announcements because then the information about essential new features would suffer. This is why the update list focuses on new content and significant changes of existing stuff.
Q: Would it be a lot of work to tag every single item you have changed with a "new" or "updated" sign?
A: It wouldn't be hard to add a "new" sign to every new picture, but it would be an insane effort to remove them after a due time. I would have to spend several hours at least once per month to review the whole site, just to get rid of the expired "new" or "updated" signs, and verify which of them are really expired. This is why "new" or "updated" signs are usually only on the index pages, and even now there are many I forgot to remove.
Q: In your gallery you forgot to include a picture of Worf's brother Nikolai, and in your review of "These Are The Voyages" you didn't mention Trip's Frankenstein figure. Also, your episode reviews are biased - please stick to the facts.
A: Your remarks are appreciated, but please note that this website comprises different sections with different emphases. I certainly make mistakes, but in the particular examples there is neither an omission nor an inconsistency. There is nothing such as an "incomplete gallery", and unless I made an error I won't include your suggestions to my reviews. Here are the categories of data at EAS:
- Lists Strictly organized data; uniform format; intended to be complete; canon facts & observations
e.g. episode data, quick reference, ship database, timeline
- Collections Random uncommented data; largely uniform format; never complete; either canon or non-canon
e.g. image galleries, fleet charts, ship yards, fan fiction, links
- Analyses Subject-specific and rated data; varying format; complete only within a narrow scope; analyzed canon facts
e.g. investigations, ship articles
- Comments Subject-specific random data; varying format; incomplete; non-canon and subjective
e.g. "Abramsverse Enterprise" comment, episode reviews, book & model reviews, reports & interviews
- Interactive content Data not created by me; spam-filtered and censored where inevitable
e.g. guestbook, add-your-link, poll
Q: Why are your updates coming so slowly? When are you going to continue your article about warp travel? When can we expect the missing episode reviews?
A: I intend to get all these things done some day, but long-term projects may have to wait indefinitely because urgent updates usually eat up my complete spare time. It doesn't help if I have one hour per day when I need months of research for just one big topic like the article on warp propulsion.
Q: How do you decide what you update and when?
A: Generally, what I present is governed by the principle "correctness, originality, completeness" - in descending order. The real life of website maintenance dictates a slightly different set of criteria. Taking into account new findings and making amendments to facts, conclusions, layout errors, dead links and typos has the highest priority. About a dozen of fixes of this kind take place every few days. They are crucial in my view yet almost unnoticeable and are never announced on the index page. Updates with common projects and visitor suggestions come next if they can be concluded in a realistic time. This all leaves almost no time for bigger projects.
Q: Will you create databases on species, planets, actors, weapons, medical procedures, holodeck programs, etc.?
A: I see some of these suggestions as future options. But note in the previous answer that "completeness" is the least significant of the criteria. It can't be my goal to post every available image or to create complete lists of each and everything ever mentioned. If you are looking for a fairly complete database, Memory Alpha will much better suit your needs.
Q: Are you going to create a site about other science fiction?
A: A definite no. Although I like a few other series outside the Star Trek Universe, I neither know enough of them nor could I take care of them besides Star Trek. And believe it or not, in spite of my lacking enthusiasm about the Abramsverse and Discovery I have plans for many years worth of updates.
Q: But what about The Orville?
A: Still a definite no. Even though I prefer it over Discovery, I am not going to review The Orville. EAS is about Star Trek, and everything off-topic would only distract from the goals of my site.
Q: Why is EAS so strongly focused on the TNG era?
A: Actually, this is not a frequently *asked* question but I refer to complaints such as "The focus of EAS is on the 24th century." or "EAS has little to offer for TOS fans." that I have repeatedly seen on other websites and message boards. I find such observations very odd, and I can only assure you that TOS has absolutely the same weight at EAS as the later series. If you have a contrary impression, it has very likely statistical reasons, as we've got just 3 TOS seasons and 6 movies as opposed to 21(!) seasons and 4 movies set in the 24th century.
Q: I sent you some information/suggestions weeks ago. Why didn't you include them?
A: I am grateful for any assistance in expanding and updating this site. But unless mistakes need to be corrected or the update takes me just a couple of minutes your suggestions will generally have to wait several weeks or even months. In many cases I won't be able to take it into account at all, because it is hard to verify, because it results in an unrealistic quantity of work or because I can't find the right place or format for it. Please acknowledge that I'm not a company. I maintain this site in my spare time and pay for it out of my own pocket. Still, it is totally free for everyone. I feel no obligation to fulfill any visitor suggestion brought forward.
And one last thing: If you don't receive a negative reply from me, it doesn't mean that I will take care of your suggestions. In many cases additional research is required from my part before I can include anything, so you will get a response like "I will look into it". This neither implies that I will eventually decide in favor of your suggestion, nor that I will ever send a negative notification if I should discard it.
Q: I have revised a few things in my article / in a couple of my graphics that are already on your site. Would it be a lot of trouble for you updating them?
A: It is a hell of a lot more work than most people can even remotely imagine. Any text and most images have to be heavily edited to make them HTML-ready (and, in many cases, remove typos). You may spend a couple of minutes to change a few words in a few paragraphs or a few lines of a drawing. I may need an hour to find what exactly you did, to update just the changed portions - quite possibly as long as I needed the first time I prepared it. I may have to reconstruct images almost from scratch or re-encode whole portions of an HTML page if the extent of the changes is not obvious. So please only send updates if they are substantial or necessary because of errors. If you send an update, please indicate your changes (such as with a different text color).
Q: I created some new content for your site, saving it as HTML in Word for Windows for your convenience.
A: Sending me so-called "HTML" files created with Word is the worst thing you can do. I'm not joking! Word creates an absolutely atrocious code, with proprietary pseudo-CSS that makes me sick. It requires 20 to 30 regex search & replace passes to turn this mess into reasonable HTML. If you use Word, please send me files in the good old .doc (rather than .docx) format, or in .rtf.
Q: Why don't you have anything about the Bonecracker Heavy Attack Cruiser and the Starfleet Special Strike Force in your databases and articles?
A: No way. My site takes into account canon information only. No novels. No games. No RPG stuff. All non-canon stuff made by me and other fans (starship designs, fan fiction) is strictly separated from canon facts on my site. I strongly recommend reading the paragraph on Canon further down this page (although I made up the particular examples in the question in order not to offend anyone).
Q: I looked through your ship database, but the Enterprise-F is missing.
A: It's not there because the design is non-canon.
Q: I can point you to detailed fan-made schematics of the Enterprise-J for your database.
A: Thanks, but I won't show them because we could see too little of that ship to make out more than a coarse shape. Everything detailed would be too much speculation.
Q: Why have you removed some fan-made drawings and CGI renders from your ship gallery?
A: It is my goal to provide the most accurate available references. Regardless of their quality, I continually substitute fan-made renditions for photos or CGI images of the "real" ships as they appeared on screen.
A: I wonder why it is such a big deal that I beg to disagree with official figures (note that there is a difference between "official" and "canon"). I have pointed out incidences of mis-scaling many times before, and I have arrived at different figures for the BoP and the Defiant, to name only the two EAS articles that have become classics of their kind. The ship has been designed at 366m, and there are various pieces of evidence why it should be at most 400m long.
Q: Please send me bigger orthographic views of the Malcorian warp ship, of which you show just a thumbnail on your site.
A: If I got my hands on these, be assured that I would upload them immediately. You are mistaken if you think that bigger side views must exist because there are thumbnails. The latter are often just placeholders and not smaller versions of images with a higher level of detail. Please read about the Structure of the Starship Database.
Q: Why do you have so few definite figures on your site, for instance about weapons power?
A: As sad as it is, especially power and energy figures from dialogues and reference books are subject to vary considerably. Sometimes power and energy are even confused with each other. If we also take visual evidence into account, the figures will make even less sense. The dilemma is that with this contradictory evidence we can't tell how strong a phaser beam or photon torpedo actually is, neither in the fictional universe nor in the real world. Here and here are a few general considerations.
Q: The length of the Negh'Var class on your site is wrong. It should be 685m, and not 682m.
A: Different sources may give differing numbers. But aside from that, do you really think that a difference of 3m (0.4%) makes it "wrong"? It may surprise that I, as an engineer, am not that pedantic. There are cases in which higher accuracy is required, but starship lengths are not among them. In my view 685m equals 682m, unless I were to design a close-fitting temperature-compensated hood for the ship.
Q: You give away all the essential plot information about episodes. Why are there no spoiler warnings?
A: The whole site is a spoiler and it wouldn't be possible otherwise. If you don't want to be spoiled you can read hardly anything of it. Even if the rest of the site didn't reveal very much, I don't feel like marking episode reviews with spoiler warnings.
Q: Your links page is fine, but it doesn't refer me to the exact stuff I'm looking for on other sites. You may consider putting more direct links to similar topics on other sites into your articles.
A: Sorry, but I will even further reduce the number of links to external sub-pages because they have a half-life of less than two years. While it is already troublesome when websites go offline altogether or switch to another server, webmasters who keep moving around their files and directories on the same server or switch to a new CMS are a pain in the ass even if it is not their intention.
Q: What are the Star Trek Fact Files?
A: The Star Trek Fact Files used to be a weekly publication in Europe and Australia. I know of a German version in Germany and an English version in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The Fact Files contain sections with general and planet information, Starfleet (ships), alien ships, characters, equipment, episode guide and an A-Z encyclopedia. The mere facts are essentially identical to the Star Trek Encyclopedias, but there are many more images in the Fact Files and some exclusive schematics. One point of criticism is that the Fact Files are written on a completely fictional level like for a 24th century reader. Hence, there is not the slightest background information on actors, production history, production crew, props or visual effects. The Fact Files were first released in 1998 and were discontinued in late 2002. After that a revised and updated version of the Fact Files was released in Japan. Read the complete review and see the sources for order information.
Q: What is Star Trek: The Magazine?
A: It was a monthly official magazine only available in North America with various information on all aspects of Star Trek in the form of articles, including a good deal of behind-the-scenes information, like interviews with actors and "making ofs". Star Trek: The Magazine was rather expensive, but had more content for its price than the Fact Files. The magazine has been discontinued. Read the complete review and see the sources for order information.
Q: What is Star Trek Mechanics?
A: This was a book/magazine series in Japan. I only have #4, which features countless studio model images, almost all of which you can find in my starship gallery. See the sources for order information.
Q: You're a dick for showing a "blocked.gif" image when I put your files on my website or use them as my forum avatar.
A: You're a dick for hotlinking, letting me pay for your traffic and not even credit me. Hotlinking is generally enabled, but I have created a blacklist for cases of misuse such as in your case.
Q: Your website is a mess. The idea to maintain it without a CMS is ludicrous, and you are lazy for not giving it a shot. Seriously, what world are you living in?
A: It would be ludicrous if I decided to launch a hand-made website today. But EAS was created in 1998, and much of the content dates back to a time before a future-proof CMS software even existed. Clever dicks like you lecture me that I would have to create a new site in a CMS by the book, and then I could simply start over again. Yes, I could start over again, with zero content! I would lose everything that I have been building for over 20 years. Sure, I could spend a thousand hours of slave labor to rip apart a thousand articles and convert them to a completely new format, to fix several thousand broken links and to debug endlessly until everything works half-way decently again. I know exactly what I'm talking of because since 2015 I have been spending hundreds of hours just on the script-assisted conversion of deprecated Frontpage HTML code to CSS, a work that is still ongoing, that is indispensable to preserve the site but that is only one step towards a CMS. I think there are good reasons why there are no decent conversion/import tools for old HTML code, why a thorough conversion of a huge site to a CMS has never been done before and why even big companies usually abandon the bulk of their websites and keep only some basic stuff when they switch to a new system. You can blame me for making EAS very big, detailed and complex in the first place. Go on and ridicule the code of EAS if you think it is more important than the content! But never call me me lazy and never call me backward because I'm working extremely hard, not only on the content, but also on the organization of this site! Maybe, some time in the future, as the code of EAS gets further consolidated and as commercial software evolves, there may be a chance to import the pages into a CMS without losing everything.
Q: FYI: The movie of 2009 is called just "Star Trek", not "Star Trek (2009)" as you keep calling it.
A: I know that. It would be easy for me to distinguish "Star Trek" (the movie of 2009), Star Trek (TOS, The Original Series) and Star Trek (the franchise). But it would still cause a great deal of confusion among the readers. Instead of complaining about fans who prefer "Star Trek XI" over his official title "Star Trek" for exactly this reason, J.J. Abrams should have chosen an unequivocal (and search engine friendly!) title in the first place. I have switched from "Star Trek XI" to "Star Trek (2009)" because the movie isn't in the same continuity and the same tradition as the previous movies.
Q: Stop calling the alternate timeline "Abramsverse". It's the Kelvin Timeline!
A: I know that. I use "Kelvin Timeline" for any events that happen after Nero's incursion, but I still refer to the entirety of the Abrams films as "Abramsverse". It is not possible to explain this in a few sentences so I have to refer you to the complete article on the continuity of the Abramsverse.
Q: Why do you hate the Abrams movies?
A: Read my reviews, rather than listening to hearsay. Abrams produced three exciting movies, but I have numerous issues with the basic premise, with the plot logic, with the outcome, with the characterizations, with the many amendments to the technology and the set design, with general continuity, with miscarried homages, with an overdose of action, with superhero themes and with visual effects of the three movies.
Q: Stop using the derogatory abbreviation "DIS" for Discovery as a part of your miserable crusade. Everyone else refers to it as "DSC"! It's official!
A: While "DSC" may be production jargon, I have settled on "DIS" for the sake of consistency. I'm not a fan of military-style all-consonant short names that are hard to pronounce. Some 20 years ago EAS already set the standard of referring to Voyager as "VOY" instead of "VGR". Memory Alpha followed my example for Voyager, and beat me to it regarding Discovery. You probably wouldn't complain that an unsuspecting site like MA too uses "DIS", would you?
Q: Something like "visual canon" never existed. Only facts are canon, aesthetics are not!
A: Wrong. Visual canon is a firmly established standard in Star Trek. In TNG: "Relics", DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations" and ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly", the world of TOS was faithfully reconstructed, not denying its look in any way. In Star Trek, visual facts are facts on par or even more meaningful than script contents. We're talking about a TV series after all, not a radio drama or a novel! Many visuals that the makers of Discovery and, sadly, many fans discard as "purely aesthetic" have story relevance. It is not a matter of aesthetics but a canon fact that Klingons underwent some metamorphosis, as evidenced by DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations" and ENT: "Divergence". It is canon that older Starfleet ships have tubular nacelles, and newer ones have angular or pointed ones, because this, among many other differences, visually sets apart the eras. Without a visual distinction of "humanoid" vs. "more alien" species or of "old" vs. "new" ships, Star Trek would become arbitrary, and stories wouldn't work any longer. Or stories would only work within their respective reboot universe.
Q: Quit bashing the Abrams movies and Discovery. If you think you're so smart, why don't you launch your own TV series or produce your own movie?
A: You completely miss the point. First of all, I never claimed I could do a better job. I freely admit that I would be a lousy director, screenwriter or producer. But the people who are responsible for Star Trek are professionals. Star Trek television and movies, in strong contrast to this website, is a commercial product for which we pay in some fashion. We have a right to criticize it. Wouldn't you want your vacuum cleaner to be fixed if it didn't work properly? Secondly, if you complain about me complaining about something on TV or in the theater, you either presuppose that everything shown there is inherently terrific (very unlikely), or that particular series or movies are beyond criticism, or that only your opinion counts anyway. It's a matter of opinion, so please leave me mine. Finally, I never force anyone to read or even to believe what I'm writing. To paraphrase your words, why don't you write your own reviews?
Q: Your episode and movie reviews are unfair. They focus on finding what you think are errors. You don't recognize good drama.
A: First of all, you need to take my reviews with a grain of salt, as you would do it with anything written by anyone else. It may be true that I pay more attention to continuity and technical plausibility than most other critics. But as I repeatedly state in my reviews I take the errors only into account for my rating if they really ruin the episode (such as in VOY: "Threshold"). As my assessment of the drama and the resulting ratings are concerned, I don't think that they usually deviate much from what other reviewers think about them. And a differing opinion should always be allowed. I never criticize other reviewers for their views.
But what is "good drama" anyway? In my view you can't call something "good drama" that relies on silly premises or on stereotypes, even if the directing and acting are fine. Unlike most other online critics, I never compare Star Trek with any other TV show, and I rate it on a completely independent scale. On the other hand, I always compare a new episode with everything that has been shown on Star Trek before. We are dealing with a series, and I am simply not forgetful enough not to notice when writers either rehash or ignore previous stories (or even do both at once!). See a more detailed explanation of my Episode Ratings.
Q: Why are you so keen on finding errors and inconsistencies?
A: I'm not a nitpicker who keeps looking for missing rank pips, but I rather pay attention to continuity on a more general level. For instance, I would have appreciated if there had been at least a bit of continuity to TNG when the DS9 Trills were created, if it had been decided to make NX-01 look like a genuine 22nd century design instead of an Akira-esque travesty and if Roberto Orci had refrained from including the idiotic "Delta Vega" reference. And all this is certainly overshadowed by the biggest and most predictable failure in the history of Trek, the Discovery Klingons.
Q: Why do you always bash TPTB, the writers, the Star Trek Art Department or the VFX companies for crappy work?
A: I never want to create the impression that the responsible people are doing bad job. I am aware that tight schedules, lack of budget, unexpected script changes and the necessary coordination of many involved people sometimes inevitably lead to compromises, to improvisation and ultimately to continuity errors - many of which most fans don't even notice. So even if everyone in the staff does their very best (and I'm sure they usually do), it can't be 100% perfect, but only 99% or so. The Making of Star Trek by Stephen Whitfield is highly recommended reading in this regard. So it's not my general impression, let alone a preconception that Star Trek is flawed. On the contrary, if I didn't honor the great work of the production staff, I could hardly be a fan of the show. Only few things such as the moronic rollercoaster sequences inside the USS Discovery and inside the Discovery-Enterprise anger me because they were willfully screwed up.
Q: Why do you always bash the Star Trek Fact Files or the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual for being wrong or inaccurate?
A: I wouldn't say that the secondary publications are generally wrong and everything stated there should be doubted. Some inaccurate ship schematics in the Fact Files and silly technical specs in the DS9TM are no reason that these publications are flawed on the whole. On the contrary, they are mostly well-researched and should be on every fan's bookshelf. Reading my site might create the impression that I find fault with everything, but that's because I simply don't want to reproduce their content, so I pick the errors and try to correct them. Concerning their reliability and plausibility there are differences between the publications, though. I would wish every reference manual were as well-crafted as the TNG Technical Manual.
Q: Your own ship designs are fanciless and boring, and they look unrealistic and cheap.
A: That's just your opinion. When I design a starship I always try to keep the shapes and dimensions technically plausible. Regarding the style, I just don't like aggressive looking warships with exotic weapons, and I would want to see them neither in the show nor on my website. Regarding the quality, I freely admit that my software as well as my artistic skills have hit the wall and that I lack the time and patience to get into 3D design.
Q: Your English sucks. Learn it.
A: Listen, smartass. In case you haven't noticed (which would only speak in my favor), English is not my native language. Is any language you speak besides English remotely as good as my English? If yes, I can assure you that I am constantly learning and that I frequently correct errors. In case this is still not enough in your view, you have to prove to me that the language on at least 90% of all websites maintained by native speakers is better.
Q: Your scientific analysis is sketchy. You shouldn't subscribe to pseudo-science and technobabble but use real science, like Lawrence Krauss, the author of The Physics of Star Trek.
A: I am well aware that the science in Star Trek is flawed. But that's just the nature of science fiction. At least of any science fiction with FTL drive and aliens. It has been envisioned by authors with often just high school level knowledge of science. Why should I go and over-interpret something that was made without any ambition to be scientifically correct? I comment on errors where I notice them, but I see no reason why wrong usage of units, figures that are way off or sloppy visual effects should require me to re-assess the meaning of Star Trek. I would like to keep my suspension of disbelief, and not watch it with the eyes of a 21st century physics nerd who thinks that he is better than anyone writing science fiction. Over-interpretation or re-interpretation ultimately ruins any kind of fiction. Although his book The Physics of Star Trek is definitely good reading, Lawrence Krauss is guilty of the latter. It is a thorough physics lesson, but a poor Star Trek reference. Read my review of the book and more about the Realism of Science Fiction.
Q: Some of the content on your website is incomplete, inaccurate or wrong. Other websites disagree with your findings.
A: Don't mistake it as arrogance, but you can be sure that I have checked various references for every little piece of information, including the Trek episodes themselves, Trek reference books, Memory Alpha, real-world references and discussions with other Trek fans or even with the production staff. I can always tell you how I came to my conclusion, but unless you have new proof I hope you understand that I don't like to rehash all the old arguments over and over.
The majority isn't always right. If information on other Trek sites appears more detailed or more accurate, it may be outdated, it may gloss over inconsistencies or it may contain conjecture that is not noted as such. It is the price for the approach to cover more topics or provide a better user interface than EAS - well, sometimes it may be laziness and lack of interest too. I don't claim that you have to believe every word I'm saying, but I'm doing everything to fix errors and keep the information up to date.
Q: You are not TPTB (The Powers That Be). So why do you try to impose your opinions on other fans?
A: I often notice that other fans are very curious about my opinion, as if it were taken more seriously than other fan work. Some few people accuse me of being dogmatic or just arrogant. This is probably because EAS does not parrot stuff published elsewhere. I know it sounds immodest, but EAS is the world's leading source of technical Star Trek information. The site presents my personal findings and those of many contributors I rely on, thoroughly based on strictly canon information, real science, common sense and with an absolute minimum of conjecture. Nothing more and nothing less. I always know what I am talking about, and I strongly doubt that many other fans could claim the same.
But the question is already the answer. I'm not in a position to tell other people what they ought to believe, and I don't want to. I don't create anything canon. If you don't like my views, you don't have to listen. If you think I'm wrong, you may always go and prove it. You will notice that I don't simply reject your arguments if they are valid. I incorporate visitor comments to my articles every few days.
I hope I could make my point clear. BTW, even TPTB shouldn't be allowed to exert total control. Star Trek™ may be the property of CBS and Paramount, but ultimately Star Trek belongs to us, the fans.
Q: It's only a show. Get a life!
A: Okay, William Shatner once said that, but it was in a skit and he only quoted a truism among people who decry Trek as mindless entertainment. Star Trek fans will lack social acceptance as long as the prejudice about them being overweight male teenage computer nerds in their parents' basement is further disseminated. No one would say "Get a life!" to someone who is into rock music, motorcycles or mainstream sports, pastimes that are all commonly rated as "adult", "cool" or at least "acceptable". If you don't like what I'm doing, give me real reasons or shut up. Be tolerant. I don't insult you because of your dedication to a hobby either.
Q: What is "canon" exactly?
A: You may read my extensive write-up about Canon. In brief, I always try to stick to the following widespread definition.
Technically, canon is what writers should pay attention to in the making of new Star Trek episodes. Everything that was shown in a live action episode or movie is canon. Anything physically impossible in the shows like the 78 decks of the Enterprise-A is still canon. Yet, we don't have to buy everything and make up twisted explanations where logic and common sense fail. For instance, although they are technically canon, Discovery's all-new Klingons are absolutely irreconcilable with the rest of Star Trek. Official publications by Denise and Michael Okuda, Rick Sternbach, Herman Zimmerman, Doug Drexler or other people directly involved in the production are not canon themselves, but they reflect canon facts. Even if these books are supplemented with "apocryphal" names, dates or specs not mentioned in the show, this may be practical to limit the room for speculation.
Finally, there is the huge category of licensed and fan fiction, all of which is non-canon, including all novels, games, RPGs and fan-made web pages. It is obvious that no one could ever reconcile all these additional contradictory facts. Even the novels and games authorized by CBS/Paramount are non-canon, considering that "authorized" merely means that a license is given to another party which doesn't oblige CBS/Paramount to anything. For instance, although many fans accept that the "Insurrection" scout ship was (imprudently) christened "Venture class" in a game, it will never go by this name in an official publication.
Q: Why don't you distinguish better what is canon information and what was made up by you?
A: Actually, I wouldn't know how to draw the line still clearer than it already is. All information on this website is strictly based on canon facts, and speculation is limited to very obvious conclusions and always explicitly marked as such - please note the systematic use of the subjunctive, of "could, would, might be" and little words like "if" or "perhaps". Unlike it is the customary on other websites, I don't make up any information about ships and technology, even if this leaves wide gaps in my lists and charts. Please check if seemingly more complete listings don't possibly use lots of non-canon information. The Starfleet Museum, the ASDB, the JoAT and the EAS Fleet Yards are fan fiction, which I hope becomes clear at the first glance.
Q: Why don't you list the ships in the game ABC or the book XYZ as official designs? They are authorized by CBS/Paramount.
A: All games, all novels and essentially all non-fiction books have to be regarded as non-canon, no matter if authorized by CBS/Paramount or not. Once again, please note that "authorized by CBS/Paramount" means nothing more than that the game or book company is allowed to use the brand name "Star Trek". CBS/Paramount has no obligation to adopt anything published this way for the TV series. On the contrary, they avoid involving anything that was not created by them or one of their contractors for the show as otherwise they might have to pay royalties!
Q: What about the Abramsverse or Kelvin Timeline? Is it fully canon?
A: Principally, yes. At least as far as I have to accept the producers' stance that it is supposed to be a canon Trek movie that happens to take place in a parallel universe. I have reservations though. Many events and other facts in the movie are inconsistent with established canon regardless of the parallel universe premise. I may decide to give the old Trek (5 series, 10 movies) precedence over the rebooted Trek. For the time being, the new Abramsverse will remain in confinement, meaning that facts will be accordingly tagged, in a similar fashion as with TAS.
Q: Is Star Trek Discovery fully canon in your view?
A: Officially, yes. And EAS respects the official status of Discovery as a canon Star Trek series. But there are huge problems to integrate Discovery because the visuals (Klingons!) and numerous other facts from the series contradict what has been established before. In the case of Discovery, the continuity issues are even worse than those with the Abrams movies, considering that Discovery supposedly is set in the Prime Universe, just a few years before Kirk takes command of the Enterprise. In cases of conflicts, I will give the existing Star Trek precedence, and I will not try to blend in Discovery with far-fetched explanations, unless these are hinted at in the stories themselves. Read my article on The Continuities of Star Trek. Essentially the same applies to Strange New Worlds.
A: So far EAS strictly complied with TPTB's stance that TAS was non-canon. The official canon policy was purportedly amended in 2006. Yet, TAS has remained largely isolated, and some facts will remain irreconcilable with the five live-action series. Especially due its nature as a show conceived for children and the often lacking quality of the production it often even doesn't allow to apply the same criteria. It gives TAS a different, usually lower weight than the live-action series in my view. These are the reasons why TAS will remain in a "proto-canon" limbo at EAS. It will gradually appear in side notes and in separate sections, but evidence from live-action Trek will generally supersede accounts from TAS. As soon as a new Star Trek series heavily references events from TAS and hence TAS fulfills the criterion of being linked with everything else as outlined at startrek.com, I may reconsider this solution. In any case the TAS policy at EAS is mainly a technical necessity, not primarily a decision because of my opinion of the series.
Q: But there were references to Franz Joseph's Star Trek Technical Manual in canon Star Trek.
A: If canon Star Trek shows Franz Joseph (even FASA) ship designs, this doesn't mean that they are all canon too. Since they are otherwise largely ignored and contradicted by TPTB, they can be best described as non-canon unless otherwise stated.
Q: But didn't Gene Rodenberry decanonize "Star Trek V" and "Star Trek VI" as well?
A: He may have meant it this way. However, unlike TAS the two movies are necessary for the overall Trek continuity. They are canon. As such, the events in "Star Trek V" may have and should have been as presented, but we don't have to believe that there was a journey to the center of the galaxy or that the Enterprise-A had 78 decks.
Q: Why are you so strict about "canonicity" anyway?
A: There are people who accept only canon - because they know the Okudas' Encyclopedia by heart or because they just refuse to see that Trek can be anything else. On the other hand, there is the kind who stir up canon and fandom at will - because they either don't know that much and believe anything they see or read or because they don't want their creativity be limited by TPTB. I know lots of either type of fans and any shade in between.
One typical situation is (or was in the 1990's) that some people on a message board explicitly talk about the number of nacelles on canon starships and someone throws in that the Federation class and Saladin class (from Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual) are odd-nacelled. The result is a fruitless discussion about the term "canon", about the value of canon, about the authority of Roddenberry, Okuda, CBS/Paramount or Pocket Books, about books which should be considered canon because they are written by Jeri Taylor, about Colonel West and the Starfleet Marines, and so on.
Since I'm tired of such discussions, I go with TPTB and agree with their definition of canon, while I encourage anyone to include whatever they like to their own view of the Star Trek Universe. That's what I'm doing with my personal ship designs, the ASDB and the Starfleet Museum too. I would never want to miss the fan-made stuff because it really enriches the universe, no matter if I "believe" in it. I probably can't help those who don't even want to see anything that was not released by Paramount or the other extreme group, those who don't care about the idea of Star Trek and are turning Starfleet into a military organization with big-gunned warships. For anyone in between, canon is a common ground. At least, it was the common ground until Discovery came along and suddenly claimed that only writing matters and that production design is completely arbitrary.
Q: Your page on canon is a total waste, because it is not up to you to decide what is canon.
A: If you care to read the frakking page, you will notice that I discuss the issue because the people who are expected to decide what is canon don't always agree or don't even care.