28

I love Scifi and I love Star Trek.

I have seen everything. Every series, every movie (at least everything official).

I understand that if you take note of every detail mentioned somewhere you can combine than and can conclude to a lot. For example triangulate a map of the galaxy.

But in Star Trek fan scenes I see fellows talking about a lot of stuff. Like some weird ship classes, how many crew members, technical specifications...

Stuff that I am SURE has NEVER EVER been mentioned in any of the official series / movies.

So where does all this stuff come from?

  • When all else fails, the Star Trek wiki "Memory Alpha" is usually quite good at citing the specific source where a 'trek fact' came from - whether it's the original script, the writer's bible, an off-shot comic, an AOL chat, or anything else. But, like any wiki, it's not an official source. (Hence this being a comment and not an answer) – Zibbobz Apr 21 '14 at 20:19
29

A lot of it comes from the show bibles - reference material put together by the show writers to keep everything (mostly) consistent.

Even if the details never show up on screen or in dialogue, having the details in the show bible means that what does show up is self consistent.

As a (made up) example, having definitions for the various ship classes and their capabilities means that when the Enterprise needs to run into an abandoned ship somewhere, the writers can ensure the ship they find makes sense for the situation.

  • 6
    There are other sources, too - especially for the TOS era, the Role-Playing Game was considered canon (until it wasn't, when TNG started, and they reversed that policy) and provided a LOT of background information on different alien races, technologies, and ships. – Jeff Feb 3 '11 at 22:49
8

Writers and other miscellaneous personnel are paid to come up with these ideas.

The Deep Space Nine companion goes into length about how they come up with the ideas for a show, it's a good read.

I imagine they either hire writers to milk a product line or writers approach them with material, and they get it published.

7

Star Trek "facts" tend to come from a wide variety of sources.
I've listed them in the order of canonicity; e.g. how much weight they carry in the trek community.

Canon references;

1) The TV episodes and films themselves, as well as transcripts of the episodes.

1.5) The new IDW Ongoing Star Trek comic series, and film prequel comics and are all now considered to be canon sources of information

2) Original scripts (which may or may not mirror what actually happened on the show)

3) Interviews with the writers and producers, cast and crew.

4) Canon reference books such as the "TNG Technical Manual", "DS9 Technical Manual", and "Voyager Technical manual". These were originally written as reference manuals for potential script writers.

5) Non-canon reference books such as "Mr Scott's Guide To The Enterprise" and the "Starfleet Technical Manual". These were written by people closely associated with the show but may have been contradicted later. They're usually considered 'canon unless otherwise contradicted'.

6) Official novelisations of various episodes and films.

Non-canon references;

7) Deleted scenes

8) Officially licensed properties such as Star Trek Games, RPGs and Trek Comics

9) Expanded-Universe Star Trek books. Those written by those involved in the show (such as Bill Shatner, Jeri Taylor, Andrew Robinson and Armin Shimerman) are generally considered more worthwhile than those written by people with little or no involvement in the show itself.

10) Fan-made properties such as Star Trek: Phase II

  • Why are original scripts canon if deleted scenes are not? – Douglas Dec 24 '17 at 19:15
  • Surely they're basically equivalent. – Douglas Dec 24 '17 at 19:15
  • @Douglas - Because sometimes the deleted scenes directly conflict with what's seen in the episodes – Valorum Dec 24 '17 at 19:18
  • don't the Original Scripts do that too? – Douglas Dec 24 '17 at 19:43
  • @Douglas - Yes, absolutely. And where there's a canon conflict, I think most fans would argue that you go with what made it onto the screen. That being said, it's not like Star Wars where there's an actual canon policy. All of this is merely fan opinion, intermixed with highly contradictory statements from the studio. – Valorum Dec 24 '17 at 19:44
3

They also sometimes publish books that detail in-universe facts not directly mentioned in the show, e.g.

I lapped that stuff up when I was a kid. Now that I’m a grown-up, I no longer do, mainly because I can’t remember where I put the damn book.

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