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DVD Extra FeaturesEdit
The extra features on Generations has many good pics and tidbits for this page. I remember a debate on the "founding of the federation day" or something, about how maybe certain pages in the book shouldn't be considered canon. How did this end? Are pages in the book, intended to be seen on screen by production (almost similar to a deleted scene) canon, particularly if they aren't contradicted later? - AJHalliwell
Well, I'm going to go ahead and add what doesn't contradict canon (actually, the only thing I've seen that contradicts canon is the mentioning of Alpha Centauri as a founding member of the Federation) Also, anyone that speaks fluent French and can translate somethings, it'd be nice. - AJHalliwell 02:45, 30 Sep 2005 (UTC)
- Actually, the debate ended kinda inconclusively. I still don't remember anything saying that the Alpha Centauri Colony couldn't have been a founding member. If the rest of the Federation founding is canon though that means articles listing UESPA General Georges Picard, Federation President Thomas Vanderbilt, Vice President Sarahd of Andor, Ambassador Natha Kell of Tellar, and Ambassador T'Jen of Vulcan. I have a word-for-word copy taken from a reconstructed image at Titan Fleet Yards on my user page.--Tim Thomason 06:40, 1 Oct 2005 (UTC)
- I like the idea of adding it, but I think that we are going to have to add some of the info to other article pages as well, this has a bit of history. Jaf 03:24, 30 Sep 2005 (UTC)Jaf
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that Memory Alpha had decided to reject information about the founding of the Federation from the album? -- Sci| 15:47 2 October 2005 (UTC)
- Isn't MA us? Hehe, j/k. It might have been rejected, do you know which talk page that was on? Jaf 14:52, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)Jaf
- On the Reference desk, It was actually AJHalliwell who suggested it was non-canon because it wasn't onscreen. Seems he might have changed his mind. On Talk:United Federation of Planets, I was still under the impression that it was non-canon, and someone might have taken what I said at face value.--Tim Thomason 15:24, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)
- I think he watched the special features of Star Trek Generations (Special Edition) and decided otherwise -- and the truth is, the album was on screen and the contents were real. They may not have been readable by the viewers as he turned the pages, but neither were half of the Okudagrams we base our info off of. --Alan del Beccio 15:46, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)
- Of course, most of those okadugrams don't deal with things as important as the question of who the first President of the Federation was, especially in a rather pooly-written fake news article that implies that the Federation is somewhat less democratic than it perhaps should be (what with an oligarchy of less than half a dozen people depicted as being allowed to determine the leader of an entire nation).... -- Sci 23:06, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)
- What the info *is* shouldn't be the big factor here. If it were up to me there wouldn't be a Federation President at all. Jaf 22:37, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)Jaf
- The nature of the info should be a factor if it suggests an incompatibility with previously-established information about the Federation's behavior and if it is non-canonical in nature. I'm not sure what you mean by there being no Federation President at all if it was up to you. But I do think we have a question here: Why is non-canonical information from the novels not accepted on Memory Alpha, but non-canonical information from extras segments on DVDs accepted? -- Sci 19:53 2 October 2005 UTC
- Likely because novels are not part of official company productions, while DVDs and such are. --From Andoria with Love 06:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- The point last made about 4 months ago is right, and cuts right to the heart of what is canon and how to deal with production material never intended to be clearly seen.
- The current (and, I believe, proper) content and resource policies is "Background information from the production staff (Rick Sternbach, Michael Okuda, etc) should either be included under the relevant background section (where available), or added to the article's Talk page where its validity can be assessed for inclusion."
- The question is how to deal with discussions in the Talk pages of items like this: things not intended to be seen closely on-screen, yet detailed photos exist of them. The presumption can be that they are right unless proven wrong, or wrong unless proven right. Unless we are prepared to accept out of hand all data on things not meant to be clearly seen (e.g., elements named "Daffyduckium", door signs with nonsensical labels, a shop in the DS9 Promenade that belongs to Tom Servo from MST3K, a giant hamster wheel in the middle of the Enterprise-D), I believe the latter is the way to go. After all, none of the foregoing is actually contradicted by other material in the show, and if we accept all the production art as gospel it would become canon.
- This is not a slight on the production staff. But we all know that background material is made by an art department with that in mind: that it will be background and merely has to approximate reality. Would any sane person think that a photo of Beverly Crusher with a heart frame would work its way into Picard's family album? Or Nimoy with young Spock (an image that could not possibly have happened, even if you assume that Nimoy was a "character"). Clearly these are jokes and should be treated as such.
- And what of information on names, dates, that sort of thing? What if the article on the Romulan war had said that it began in 1966? Or ended in 2266? What if the names of the Federation presidents had included U.S. President names? Would that make them so (to coin a phrase)?
- Sometimes the art department will even take a "shortcut". In VOY: "Death Wish", there is a Q newspaper shown clearly on the screen for a moment. The first few paragraphs make some kind of sense. But after that, they fall off and clearly become nothing more than a cut and paste from some external source having nothing to do with the fictional article. Should that text be canon because it is capable of being seen? Even though the production staff figured as long as the first couple of paragraphs looked right that was "close enough"?
- If the goal of Memory-Alpha is to be an encyclopedia of Trek material looked at as authoritative, trustworthy, and accurate we *have* to treat the material in Trek consistent with the intention of the production staff: jokes are jokes; approximations just look good far away; and only information intended to be understood by the audience in the shows themselves should be looked to as guidance on what is "real" in the Trek universe.
- Given the above, the Picard album falls into the "looks good from far away" category. It should be chronicled in Memory-Alpha, but not used as canon-fodder (so to speak). Alternative approaches will undermine the foundation of what Trek is by equating information intended to be understood by an audience with information not intended to be understood by an audience. Aholland 06:04, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- I take a 'not as canon as' stance. I think it should be added as long as it does not contradict a greater source, such as episode dialog. Jaf 11:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
- Agreed. --BlueMars 11:57, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- If I understand the "not as canon as" approach, there is a hierarchy of information, with higher categories taking precedence over lower ones in the event of a conflict. Something like: (1) spoken dialogue, (2) clearly seen screen imagery, (3) not clearly seen screen imagery but available through external sources, and – finally – (4) information written by people involved in production of the shows.
- This would place a presumption that all the above is canon except as conflicted out by a higher source.
- That works for a lot of information. However, it can clearly lead to absurdity. What of the jokes? A DC-3, a giant hamster wheel, and NOMAD are all shown in the Enterprise-D engineering cutaway drawing of the ship. None of them are contradicted by anything else in the show. Should they then be considered canon? What of clear production errors, like Geordi's alternate timeline uniform at the end of TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise"? That isn't conflicted out either (Guinan didn't leap up and ask him why he was sporting a variant uniform.) And let's not even start on production errors and props appearing and disappearing. :)
- So it appears that unless there is another proviso – along the lines that information that is not *intended* to be viewed as literally true by the production staff, whether through mistake or intent, shouldn't be considered to be true. Under that approach the hamster wheel goes bye-bye. So does Geordi's uniform. So do the mysterious prop malfunctions. None were intended to be seen.
- And so should Picard's family album. Other than its existence, the details inside were not intended to be seen on screen (and therefore weren't). So all the jokes and insider photos and fake news articles and the like can all just drop out nice and neat. We don't have to have a page by page analysis of whether a particular image – like Nimoy on a set – was a joke and therefore not canon, or whether a historical mockup was poorly researched. The entire thing should be noted, discussed, detailed – but should have no bearing on canon in respect to the information inside. Whether consistent, inconsistent, or otherwise when compared to higher category information. Aholland 15:13, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- This was originally intended for talk:Earth-Romulan War, but it applies as much here as it does there. First off, our "canon policy" has not been updated in almost a year. But as a lawyer, I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that what is there, does contain a loophole for Items on which policy is unclear: "Background information from the production staff (Rick Sternbach, Michael Okuda, etc)... should either be included in the background...or added to the article's Talk page where its validity can be assessed for inclusion." Since this practice has been followed before to help alleviate the vagueness of several other issues it seems the same is being applied here in accepting this as a valid sourece, especially since it really does not contradict anything else from within the series. One instance is found in the case of the Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, which is essentially accepted as a valid source because it cannot and most likely will not be contradicted anywhere else in the series'. The content in this album generally falls under the same circumstances, and if looked at with an open mind actually helps in our efforts to bring light into the darkness-- especially in the case of describing the founding of the Federation and the war between Earth and the Romulans.
- However, what really should be discussed here is how this is not being looked at in the proper point of view. Whether or not we saw the article discussing Federation Day on screen is irrelevant. We are writing this article in the "in universe" perspective, by not including information that Picard had in his scrapbook and banishing it to "background information" suddenly defeats our attempt to include all things "in universe" (whether we could read them or not) in our project. This is not some meta-Trek article about a piece of paper conceived by the production staff that was stashed in a scrapbook Patrick Stewart was reading in a movie "that was not even deemed important enough to show clearly on-screen;" it is about an "in universe" newspaper article in a scrapbook kept by Jean-Luc Picard. Just because it was not read out loud or shown to the camera does not mean it did not exist "in universe." Now granted there are a lot of "in jokes" in the series' that the production staff and writers have included, but you are comparing a competently written "newspaper article" with one line jokes about Daffy Duck and the like. Where do you draw the line? Short answer, you can't without destroying half of the content already used in Memory Alpha. (For all we know that periodic table from "Rascals" (the dead dog that keeps getting beat) was designed up by some 8 year old screwing around in class!)
- My assessment of conversations regarding previously accepted "useful references" can best be descibed as follows: 'you use anything that is useful, competent insightful and does not contradict pure canon sources, and you relegate the obvious jokes to the background.' As it currently stands, the consensus seems to be in favor of making this at least acceptable enough to be "semi-canon", or in other words, a valid source.--Alan del Beccio 18:24, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
- Just to be clear, I am not trying to be obstinate or a spoiler; I enjoy the Star Trek series as much as anyone – in all of its various incarnations. And one of the things that attracts me to it is its rich level of consistency across nearly 40 years of productions. I understand that it is an elaborate fiction, and I appreciate and respect differing opinions as to what Trek is, should be, and might be.
- Although some production information existing outside the show can be used to help interpret the show itself, I must respectfully disagree with the assertion that everything should count as real and valid data about the Trek universe (rather than interesting production trivia) unless contradicted by a higher valued source. A more stringent test needs to be applied, else this site will turn into less of an authoritative "go-to" site for real information and become little more than fan-based fiction based on the material surrounding the shows.
- What I think is missing from the above suggestion on what counts as canon is an understanding that Star Trek is a series of television shows and movies. Things that are seen to exist in the universe they describe (Picard's scrapbook) do not have to exist in the way the prop used to depict them does. For example, some of the tricorder props were very poorly made, with details simply painted on a shell rather than molded in plastic and lit from behind. The cheap tricorders were held by actors, sometimes main actors. That does not mean that from an "in-universe" perspective that some tricorders did not light up. The same thing with swords: some were made of rubber and some were made of metal. The props – whether cheap or hero quality – are simply stand-ins for filming purposes for the actual item in the Trek universe. Requiring that we, as archivists, accept that the actual prop is what counts rather than what it is supposed to represent is not reasonable or rational.
- This applies to the Picard scrapbook. In the Trek universe, Picard has a family scrapbook, handed down over the years. A prop – a representation of that scrapbook created solely for production purposes – was used by the Patrick Stewart to stand-in for the scrapbook. The prop is not the scrapbook itself (the "in-universe" thing) any more than the rubber sword, painted tricorder, wooden phaser, or non-functional Vulcan harp is the "in-universe" thing itself.
- If the prop is not the scrapbook itself, and is therefore just a stand-in for it, only that information actually visually or aurally imparted to the viewing audience should be counted as "canon" for purposes of the Trek universe. Anything else is just background information rounding out the prop – rather like the paint on the cheap tricorder. Interesting information, useful as guidance, but background all the same. Elevating it to a higher value of data merely because it isn't explicitly contradicted by the series is neither appropriate nor in the best interests of this site.
- The other problem with allowing information from props and production art not clearly shown on-screen is that people pick and choose what they like. For instance, on the menu from the small Parisian restaurant in TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris", the restaurant is named Café des Artistes. Fine, that supports the dialogue. But what of the note at the bottom that if you can't read the menu they will throw you out? Is that intended as a joke or a canon comment on the management style of the restaurant? What of the pages in the Picard scrapbook? Some elements are clearly jokes; others we're not so sure about. That reduces the discussion to what people like rather than what is part of the Trek universe.
- I propose that the Picard scrapbook be described, discussed, and cross-referenced on this site. However, I also propose that all references to data or conclusions drawn from it be identified as non-canon speculation. Aholland 20:37, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, let me chime in here. I'm trying to see both sides of the story and actually, all of you have some good arguments.
Aholland is right in bringing up rubber ducks and all sorts of in-jokes on displays and signs as well as the fact that, sometimes, the thing that is used in production (the plastic tricorder, some book) is not necessarily the same as the object it is meant to represent (a 24th century handheld scanner, Picards "real" family album). We're using an in-universe point of view here, which means that we deliberately try to ignore the existing production errors and obvious in-jokes that clearly should not exist from this point of view.
However, Gvsualan (among others) is right, too. While writing articles, we're trying to use as much information as possible, sometimes including barely visible display graphics and other "art department" stuff. This has been going on for almost the whole life of this project (see Talk:Theta VIII, for example), and it surely won't stop now and here. This is also one of the reasons for MA to use the term "valid resources" instead of simply "canon/non-canon".
So, in that regard, the simple question this whole discussion boils down to is: Are the contents of this book a valid resource? Depending on the answer to that question, we could either leave this page as-is, or rename the "Contents" section "Apocrypha" and be done with it. No big deal in any case, I think? The only thing that might still be a "big deal" is the Federation Day article that was mentioned several times here and on other talk pages. I honestly don't know, was this article visible in any form on-screen? If so, there would be precedent for taking information from the actual prop instead of from the barely legible screenshot of the prop - if not, then we might want to include that information in an "Apocrypha" section on this page and only use it as background information on other pages. -- Cid Highwind 22:08, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I have reviewed the scene with Picard, Troi, and the book, and the one where Picard retrieves it from the wreckage of the Enterprise-D. Near as I can tell, no article - or indeed text of any kind - can be seen at all; just family pictures of Picard's brother and nephew. (Which makes sense, since the only time we see it open is toward the back end of the book where more recent entries would be.)
Given Cid Highwind's thoughts on the matter (much more succient than mine, but I've never been accused of being terse), that would seem to place anything other than those few photos into an "Apocrypha" section. And require information other than those family photos to be in Background sections on other pages. Aholland 03:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Only if you don't think it's a valid source. I do. We are not talking about a subtle reference to anime that was not really suppose to be read and they didn't accidentally use in-universe material. I'd like to see an indented citation solution so that people who don't recognize it as a valid source are not tricked into thinking it is episode dialog or somesuch.
- It would look like this and say something like "this was never seen on screen".
- Jaf 14:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
The use of indented italics could work. But I am all for any kind of conspicuous notation for data and conclusions drawn from information not a "valid source" as discussed above. I assume for purposes of the album that only the photos of Picard's family as shown would not carry such a note. I can make the notations as necessary if that solution comports with the above. Aholland 15:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Are you mixing up our definition of valid with our definition of canon? Jaf 18:52, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
I hope not! Canon is the essential "truth" of the Trek universe; a valid source is a legitimate means of knowing that truth. (That sounds vaguely cult-like, but I'm running with it anyway.) The valid source for purposes of the album is the page or two with the family photos; other elements of the album are not valid sources, as discussed above and described more clearly by Cid Highwind. Aholland 19:55, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Can you quote for me the sentence where Cid rejects its validity, please? I can't seem to locate it. Thanks. Jaf 22:22, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
Sure! What he said was "If [the text was seen on-screen], there would be precedent for taking information from the actual prop instead of from the barely legible screenshot of the prop - if not, then we might want to include that information in an 'Apocrypha' section on this page and only use it as background information on other pages." The text was not seen on-screen, thus it would be Apocrypha or background. Aholland 23:38, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- I feel like we are reading two different things. And perhaps I am the one in the wrong, I hope Cid will weigh in and clarify. All I am seeing is a lot of 'ifs' and 'mights' without any solid opinion on validity. As this currently stands this debate is consisting of us restating our stances. Community consensus is needed. Perhaps some kind of vote? Jaf 23:46, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
- Aholland is right, that's what I meant. If the article ("text prop") would have been seen in the movie, I would support taking the actual text from the prop (instead of trying to decipher a barely legible screenshot). If the article wasn't seen at all, why even assume that it is a part of the family album? I feel that something that hasn't been seen in any form on-screen shouldn't be considered a valid resource for our purposes - and basically, the current canon policy seems to agree with that. -- Cid Highwind 00:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
- Cool, thanks for the clear up. This might be the end of my argument, unless Alan backs me up. *crosses fingers* (For the record my opinion is that such material should be at the bottom of the validity hierarchy, but still in the hierarchy) Jaf 00:06, 15 February 2006 (UTC)Jaf
A valid source? Edit
To the right is a view of Starfleet's historical archive as seen in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II". From the looks of it, it might simply be snippets from the Star Trek Chronology, but if we can make out what it says, then this would be a valid source, as it does appear on-screen. Since, however, it is unlikely anyone will be able to read this, I suggest asking Mr. Sussman what it says and what datapoints were used. Hopefully, it'll tell us something about the Earth-Romulan War. --From Andoria with Love 07:47, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- We can deal with the screen on Enterprise if more definitive information on it comes up. I don't think that it has a bearing on the validity (or lack thereof) of the Picard family album, though. Aholland 12:16, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Ooh, good point. :P --From Andoria with Love 16:52, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Status of ArticleEdit
- all the above;
- the fact that Harry Doddema (one of the sainted founders of Memory Alpha) has said here "there is more than enough reason to doubt the authenticity for this document though, both from a production viewpoint and a 'Star Trek' viewpoint." And in the same place said "there is no real reason to assume this document is 'canon'."
- the fact that Harry also did not change the notation of "This information is non-canon" from the Titus Oleet article when he changed the name from Cleet a week or so back;
is there anyone who still has a valid objection to finally noting this document as non-canon as to its contents? Aholland 18:25, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Wedding Invitation Edit
Hm, not quite sure where to put this. (Picard#Relationships#Crusher maybe?) Anyway, this is from an article on creating the Album from Star Trek: The Magazine and I wanted to put the deciphered words somewhere.
Isabel and Paul Howard
Wedding of their
Beverly S. Howard
Jack R. Crusher
Rim of Tycho Crater, Luna
July 20th, 2348
Reception at Phobos Inn
Copernicus City, Luna, Sol
R.S.V.P. by July 1, 2001
- This image is actually from Gates McFadden's twitter, not the Star Trek: Magazine article. I've corrected some of the interpreted wording. I think the invite actually says "Tycho Carter", but means Crater. - AJ Halliwell (talk) 22:59, August 29, 2013 (UTC)
A little more fuel Edit
Just linking to Talk:It's Federation Day!, as it has some first hand information, but is probably a rather less frequently visited Talk page. Though I also have to admit that I personally have kind of given up on the distinction between canon and non-canon, so I'm going trying not to jump into any of these discussions. -- Harry t 16:48, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Strasbourg, le 7 avril 2328
Tu ne peux savoir mon amour à quel point tu me manques. Je ne cesse de penser à toi, à notre amour... à notre future vie ensemble.
J'aurais voulu ne pas te quitter, ne serait-ce que pour quelques semaines, notre séparation m'étant si difficile à supporter. Cependant, tu connais Papa... Il a insisté que je vienne visiter sa sœur qui est souffrante.
J'ai hâte de te retrouver, de te tenir dans mes bras, et c'est avec ce rêve qui sera bientôt réalité que je termine cette petite lettre.
Je t'envoie tout mon amour et mille baisers.
My love, you don't know how much I miss you. I can't stop thinking of you, of our love... of our future life together.
I would prefer not leaving you, even for a few weeks, our separation is so difficult to support for me. But, you know Dad... He insisted that I come visit his sister who's suffering.
I'm in a hurry to see you again, to hold you in my arms, and it's with that dream who will soon be reality that I end my letter.
I send you all my love and thousand kisses.
Picard pour une alliance confiante UDF-RPREdit
After watching the DVD features from Generations, I will try to resume the article.
To understand french politics :
- "extreme left" : ...
- "left" : Communist Party (PC)
- "left" : Socialist Party (PS)
- "center" : Union for French Democracy (UDF)
- "right" (liberal) : Rally for the Republic (RPR)
- "extreme right" : ...
The first part of the article deals with the nomination of the centrist Dominique Baudis to represent UDF at the european elections, and a commentary from Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (French President in the 1970s and leader of UDF) stating that Strasbourg is a better choice for the European Parlement than Brussels and that European institutions should focus more on employement.
In the second part, Jacques Chirac (leader of RPR and actual French President) is said to share this point of view. I don't know what's written next, but that's probably the part where Picard could be stated, although I rather think that only the title of this newspaper was changed. If someone could find a complete version...
The right section deals with socialists, and the visit of Edouard Balladur (former RPR Prime Minister in 1993-95 under PS President Mitterand)
I think this article was written in 1993 or 1994 (during the preproduction of Generations), according to people and elements cited. "Picard" on the caricature made by Marty looks too much like Giscard D'Estaing to my mind. - Philoust123 22:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
What was on-screen?Edit
I haven't seen Generations in ages, so what part of this were really seen on-screen? I'm asking because the articles about the characters from It's Federation Day! were turned into real world articles, but those about Picards other ancestors (like Picard XXII) were not, so I guess a lot of them have to be transformed as well. Kennelly 18:49, 6 January 2007 (UTC)