The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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time is, in fact, the new last frontier
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I posted a part of this in a comment in this entry, but while I was writing, it hit me why I was excited to see Star Trek before, but when I finally gave in and got spoiled, I realized I wasn't just excited, I'm damn well desperate.

Trek has been innovative from the start--from social issues to cowboys in space to the heavy handed and sometimes silly, but they always, always tried. And it's hard, even for me, to really, really get that we can be pretty damn blase about how Trek did things, and still does things, that no show, no movie, has ever done before.

I think the best part is, I am writing this without having seen the movie, but I am so spoiled so whatever. I am betting like, ten thousand people have made this argument, but like all good arguments, it bears repeating and examinating and also, Trek! This is just fun.



I think when people hear reboot, they hear remake. This isn't a remake. It's the first fully functional canonical alternate universe to, as far as I know, ever be created and then allowed to exist beyond the scope of the original and then gets its own franchise on top of it.

I--don't have words. We've had canonical Parallels (Mirror Mirror) and crossover AUs (Tasha Yar) and oh man, anyone who watched Voyager, remember Kes's storyline that's like canon-reboot-au-overwrite-something? Or Harry Kim's and his ice planet? Or the end of the show? In general, AUs are overwritten by the canon in show, or are true non-fork parallels like Mirror Mirror, and then there is Tasha Yar, which I am going to get back to in a second.

[I have no authority in DS9 or Enterprise, but I'm sure they did it, too.]

I know there are other examples of the multiverse of Trek, but I want to go to that one, because if Abrams didn't watch TNG and the way Tasha Yar and the double universe were handled, I'd be really surprised.

For those who don't know, Yar died in first or second season (I cannot remember), then later, abruptly, suddenly there's this completely crazy ep where the Enterprise is all weaponized! and Wesley Crusher is gone! and they are at war! With Klingons! And Guinan is like this is the wrong universe! And they also rescue some people from the past who are instrumental in helping to bring peace between the Federation and the Klingons in the past, so you see, them hitting Magic Science Thing Of Moving People in Time totally totally caused this mess. Eventually, they go back, and Tasha goes with them, as Guinan gives disturbing hints that in the 'correct' universe Tasha is dead.

Okay, bear with me because to this day the only show I've seen handle an internally created AU coming back to bite is Buffy with their Wishverse crossover.

[Actually, I know there are others, but I am so blanking, and feel free to tell me in comments.]

[Wishverse actually was interesting to me in that with the coming of Wishverse!Willow, it was implied that an overwrite isn't possible; once created, a universe cannot be destroyed, it goes on merrily on its way, or Rule One of the Universe: You Cannot Change the Past Really, Just Make a New Past. But then comes quantum physics and relativity and no. That way lies SGA's end of fourth season and my head hurts. And the second Elizabeth of first season. Just--I am so not ready for that kind of thinking.]

Tasha of AU goes back and becomes part of Canon Trek and then she marries (becomes mistress of? Engages in dirty filthy delicious sex with?) a Romulan and has a kid and this comes back too (TNG, I love you so damn much), but now we're at the end of my badly remembered example and go watch it already. Damn that storyline was awesome.

With the time correction, AU!Tasha's world was overwritten (presumably) and ceased to exist (I know the all possible worlds, but what I'm saying is, that's what the show seemed to be implying happened). In general, when Trek goes AU outside of parallelism--when it forks--it seems to overwrite the AU with the 'canon' again. Trek is really big on time correction. Like Timelords, in a way. But not.

Abrams didn't overwrite. I mean, I am sitting here, kind of wondering how many times it's happened that we are given two actual related canons--not book versus movie or insert your media here--but literally, leaving the original and saying "This exists" and then, with pleasure, saying "And now, so does this. Let's see what happens!" I don't know if any show or franchise could or would have thought to do something that's only obvious now that it's been done. You don't have to overwrite your original to create something new, dammit. You can fork the damn thing.

You know. It's how Livejournal and Dreamwidth and Insanejournal can all exist in the same timespace here. Forks.

Here is the thing: if there was ever a fandom, a franchise that deserved a reboot, that should get to have this, we should have. I have loved Trek all my life; I don't remember a time not knowing what Star Trek was. Trek is so huge--it's hitting me now, in all my time in other fandoms, just how massive Trek really is in both scope and storyline and the sheer amount of canon. And by deserved, I don't mean, the original sucked, lets do better; it's not "Let's retcon and start over". This is not Old!BSG versus New!BSG or reinterpretations of independent canons with no relation to each other.

This is like if someone said, I'd like to base a new franchise on Mirror Mirror and follow that for a while, but better because this canon was created by the original without being rewritten and without rewriting anything else. It's a baby universe and now, we will get to watch it grown up. And let me tell you, as a fan of AUs in fanfic that do this, that the source canon wants to join fanfic writers just makes my year.

I think--and I could be wrong--that a lot of the problems people are having is with the implied idea that the original wasn't good enough, or treating this like it's supposed to be a superior remake, which--I'm sure people do believe that, whatever. People believe lots of crazy things. But when I finally let myself get spoiled and realized what Abrams was doing with this, I just--I stopped and wondered why, why this hadn't been done before. He didn't retcon, he didn't break canon, he didn't overwrite anything that was already there. He created a new canon as a direct offshoot of the old so it stayed itself.

This is what I feel when I see this, when I think about it: Abrams said, this is Trek. And this is time. And this is an AU. Now lets follow along with Trek Mark 2 universe instead of going back and staying in Trek Mark 1--lets see what happens at this fork in the road. It's like if we'd been allowed to this time, instead of seeing the alternate and then return to the original, we get to see how the alternate played out instead of just a glimpse.

We get to follow a canon AU! In its own series! It wasn't snatched away, retconned, rewritten, destroyed, left behind, hit by freaking graviton particles and thank Roddenberry, Seven of Nine has nothing to do with it. A canon AU! It's own series! All Treks existing in spacetime! How fucking amazingly cool is that?



Why is it not Saturday yet? Seriously, I am this close to skipping out on work and just going to watch. So. Close.

A canon AU! It's own series!

Yes. That. I was sitting in the theater and when the "we don't know where things are going, anything could happen" speech was given, I leaned over to ras_elased and went, "they're in your canon, making an AU". Because it IS an AU. And they damn well know it.

I admit it, when it sank in? I squeed. I squeed hard. I love that they did it. I love that they didn't take the easy way out and overwrite then start retconning the crap out of the original, which would in fact have sucked. They did this, and it's amazing.

I am this close to skipping out on work and just going to watch. So. Close.

WHEN you do, I shall POUNCE ON YOU. And make sounds of glee so high-pitched only dogs in a parallel universe can hear.

I AM TRYING TO REMAIN OF RELATIVE CALMNESS. RELATIVELY SPEAKING.

I've been gleeful over exactly this ever since seeing it Wednesday evening. It becomes pretty clear that the bad guys are time travellers five or so minutes into the story and it's just yes and OMG and AU LOVE. It shows a respect and love for the original universe that no remake could ever achieve, because they're not remaking at all, they're doing exactly what fans do.

The thing that makes fanon so important to canon is that we get to break things, we get to go off on tangents, explore the AU, dive right into the multiverse - commercial creators really can't do that, they are *always* chained to some kind of format. To see a realized AU on screen is fucking brilliant, and everything else pales against that.

And that Tasha Yar storyline is some of my favorite story-telling in any medium. Time travel, alternative universes and Tasha Yar - there is nothing that beats that, anywhere, ever.

It shows a respect and love for the original universe that no remake could ever achieve, because they're not remaking at all, they're doing exactly what fans do.

YES THIS. In fanfic, we AU and follow along all the time! We love fully realized AUs!

The thing that makes fanon so important to canon is that we get to break things, we get to go off on tangents, explore the AU, dive right into the multiverse - commercial creators really can't do that, they are *always* chained to some kind of format. To see a realized AU on screen is fucking brilliant, and everything else pales against that.

That's what keeps hitting me--how new this is. How just--how this hasn't, at least in this kind of format, ever been done before. And that it worked.

Tasha rocks. That storyline was among the best Trek ever produced.


I was also really excited by the ingenuity of the au - I don't think I've ever seen it done like this ever. Bravo, JJ.

I don't think any franchise has ever sat down and said, y'know, let's not remake or sequel--let's alternate universe this! And see where it goes! It's like remembering Mirror Mirror and how man, didn't everyone want to see more of Dark Trek and how they got there?

This. Is. Brilliant.

Reading that makes my gut do weird things. First because Yes, Yes and Yes, and also because the Plotbunny of Doom I've been whining about all these months is a take on that storyline, among other issues they dropped and never explained. I was under the impression that few if fewer would care one way or the another what I did with the fragments for all I heard about it.

No pressure, though, really. It's just A/U fanfic. LOL!

About halfway through, it clicked on me that dude they are making a canon AU holyshit and I bounced and grabbed Husband-san's arm. Because, seriously. YES. So much YES. And shiny. Husband-san is not a fan of the originals, but he really enjoyed the movie.

On the way home, we gleefully discussed AUs and how there was already canon time travel and canon parallel universes and omg AU. I started talking about Mirror, Mirror.

"What's that?" Husband-san asked.

"You know. The episode where they meet their evil twins from a parallel universe," I explained.

He smirked. "Do they have mustaches?"

"Uh-huh."

He thought about that for a few seconds. " ... Is that where that comes from??"

"Yep!"

"Huh. I never knew that!" He thought about it some more, then said, "Now I'm trying to imagine Spock with a mustache."

"It's actually kind of hot," I said.

Trek was my first introduction to AU. There was the infamous Mirror, Mirror, and Tasha Yar rocking like only her half-Romulan offspring could, but even DS9 had an AU based off of Mirror, Mirror with canon BDSM and dykes. Gotta love what they got away with just by saying, "Er, it's Sci-Fi and, um, AU. Yeah! AU! Totally means free pass, man!"

Want to see the movie so much. My partner and I were all excited about taking the kids to their first reall Trek movie, only to have them come home from a Mother's Day visit to their grandmother saying they have already seen it. Eldest is keeping Youngest from spoiling us too much, for now.

1. The movie is SO GOOD. And I know I'm just tormenting you more, here, but. IT IS SO GOOD. And it's good in actually kind of exactly the way fanfic is good, where you go, "Okay, so that plot twist was completely ridiculously improbable, but I don't even care because the characters are dead on perfect and it's all so pretty-shiny! ZOMG BABY SPOCK! DON'T BE SAD, BABY SPOCK!"

...Or maybe that was just me.

2. TNG rocks the house. As does Tasha Yar.

3. Most of the longtime TOS fen I've seen on LJ have been actually really supportive, and if they're nitpicking at all they're just wandering in to delicately point out that, no, green blood means green blushing, or whatever. Possibly this is because they're mostly hunkering down elsewhere, but, you know...their loss, because there's some awesomely fun and hilarious and incendiary stuff being posted already (the kink meme is AWESOME), and the new writers want to try to get canon right and incorporate it in, but are probably not going to stop writing just because somewhere out there, someone is snarking about their newbieness.

I don't know if any show or franchise could or would have thought to do something that's only obvious now that it's been done. You don't have to overwrite your original to create something new, dammit. You can fork the damn thing.

Um. Have been lurking, but felt moved to point out that now all Star Trek meta will, in my head, sound like Withnail.

Also, you are very right. The was whimpering when I (unspoiled, so very unspoiled) realised they were going AU. And then more when I realised they weren't hitting reset, ye gods, Abrams, balls of steel.

I accidentally saw it on the 7th of May, at a preview midnight screening.... and I kept waiting for the reset. And they kept not resetting. And then we got to the end and they still didn't reset.... and then I was bouncing. It was 2:30 am and NO ONE had seen it yet and I had no one to talk to about it and zOMG FLAIL!

BEST F-ING TIME TRAVEL FLICK EVER!!!

They didn't "go back in time trying to fix somethign"... it jsut happened and now they're dealing and woo!


I'd hesitantly venture to wonder if SG1 fits your bill of:

"...be created and then allowed to exist beyond the scope of the original and then gets its own franchise on top of it."

It has sufficient differences from the movie to qualify as an AU.

Nope, no more than the differences in the transition from BtVS the movie to the TV series. They just retconned a bit from the pilot movie, is all. And then went on to lose any credits on that score they might have had by repeatedly spawning time-travel-caused AUs that they then managed to perfectly revert to canon on the first try, leaving characters to just live out their days in ancient Egypt/an Atlantis stasis chamber/80-years-ago America while their AU versions just proceed with the series and enjoy the tiny benefits inevitably derived by having prior versions of themselves around to hide a ZPM in ancient Egypt / prevent Atlantis from sinking when the expedition arrived / keep their grandfather from being killed prematurely and wind up on a b/w photo hanging in their own locker in the SGC.

(Can you tell I finally saw SG Continuum the weekend before the Trek movie and am still carrying a little grudge for that one?)

Trek is so huge--it's hitting me now

right there with you lady

I was so impressed they didn't "fix" everything at the end. That was awesome.

I just saw this yesterday. Hurry up and goooooooo!!

Yes. Exactly.

I was utterly delighted to see a reboot done right, i.e., in such a way that it doesn't invalidate the original canon.

It was like someone looked at what Star Wars did wrong, and then DIDN'T DO THAT.


I was trying to explain just this to the BF, only it wasn't coming out so coherantly with the fandom common knowledge.

Him: FABULOUS FILM. I don't quite get the thing, though. Like.
Me: It's an AU! But cannon!
Him: I do not understand. The following terms do not compute - 'AU', 'cannon'. Please explain.
Me:...erk!

I came home and ordered the first season of ST:TNG on DVD. That was my Trek -- I was only allowed one hour of tv a day when I was a kid, and then only when my homework was done. I always rushed to get everything done by 6pm so that I could watch the daily ST:TNG reruns and then begged my parents for extra tv time on the one day a week when it aired new.

I am rebooted with the Trek love, too. :)

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