Memory Alpha

Talk:Content policy/Canon policy archive

36,853pages on
this wiki

Back to page | < Memory Alpha talk:Content policy

Revision as of 23:26, April 3, 2013 by Archduk3 (Talk | contribs)

Past and special-purpose discussions related to this article can be found on the following subpages:
Help icon

Memory Alpha talk pages are for improving the article only.
For general discussion on this subject, visit the forums at The Trek BBS.

Documentary canon

Should we have pages on every Star Trek documentary there is?

There are 14 documentaries listed on the Star Trek documentaries page. Paramount was involved in producing only at least 6 of them. We could shorten it to official, Paramount-released programs and have others listed on the documentaries page in a way similar to parodies and fan films, or there could be some other criteria I am not aware of.--Tim Thomason 01:23, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it is a matter of "canon" at all. It is not as if a 'fact' or 'story' told in a Paramount is any more or less accurate than a non-Paramount documentary 'fact' or 'story'. --Alan 02:20, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

The canon is only in the thread title, and not to be taken literally. What I'm asking is should we have an article for every single documentary made about or concerning Star Trek? I don't think so for the reason that anyone can *make* a documentary and post it online or whatever (or even a local news story), and it shouldn't carry more weight than, say, a professionally produced fan film. If we limit it to Paramount-involved documentaries, plus the documentaries page for other major ones, then that would cover all bases.--Tim Thomason 02:34, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I think there is a big difference between a documentary "made by anybody" and a professionally produced documentary containing interviews with Trek actors and production staff. If it was just a segment of a documentary covering a larger scope than just Trek, then make it a section on the documentaries page. --Alan 03:13, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Star Trek XI and canon...we need to get ahead of the curve

Moved from Memory Alpha talk:Policies and guidelines

The new film is going to open up a whole brand new can of storming controversy, I fear. Despite constant statements of "we're following what was laid down" and "respect for what's been done before", if you read the interviews and press materials closely enough, then you'd see that at MOST they are talking about TOS (and MAYBE TAS) when they refer to the canon they respect. The mood at CBS/Para is "back to basics", and that will have PROFOUND implications for MA.

Will we have to disregard TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT and remove them from our articles? Or will we start a whole new set of "Second Universe" articles to cover the JJAdams and after canon?

Decisions need to be made NOW so that we can be ready when the movie hits.Capt Christopher Donovan 04:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, I think we already made that decision, years ago. When two facts are contradictory, we're using both equally, and eventually make note of the contradiction in a background section. We're doing that even now, and I don't see the need to get nervous now about something that might not even be that big of a contradiction in December 2008... -- Cid Highwind 11:03, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
In addition, remember that one of the writers is a die-hard fan of TNG (the other prefers TOS), while Abrams is a huge fan of both TOS and TNG and has stated that he owns the DVDs to all the series (including DS9, VOY, and ENT). Plus, the writers themselves may have been doing their own research into canon, utilizing Memory Alpha itself (see Talk:Star Trek (film)). And, although you may interpret that they are only speaking about TOS canon, I think they're intelligent enough to know that, when the say canon, they mean the whole kit-and-kaboodle. I also think they're smart enough not to do anything that would turn countless Trek fans against them. So, yeah, like Cid said, no need to get all jittery about it. Stand down from red alert, Captain. ;)
Also, this may have been better placed at Memory Alpha talk:Canon policy. Eh... oh, well. :P --From Andoria with Love 12:43, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Besides, they have claimed they use MA for researching the movie, which means they will actually read this, gasp! ;-) --Jörg 12:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Kinda dangerous to get ahead of a curve whose shape you can't even see yet. I can't imagine that a single movie, reportedly designed to fill in a very specific gap in the timeline, will be able to definitively erase the post-TOS Trek universe. There's just not enough time in an hour and a half to do that. (Well, not if the primary intent of the film is to tell a good story that will bring first-time viewers into the cinemas). So I really wouldn't worry just yet. CzechOut | 15:46, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Which becomes canon?

Hypothetical query - if something in the 2009 movie very obviously contradicts what we saw in TOS (say, oh...the look of the NCC-1701, which at least in the teaser appears different), which would Memory Alpha consider canon? Which becomes in-universe 'fact', as it were, according to this site? --Mada101 00:35, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Same as we treat current contradictions. Note both and leave it at that. We'll deal with that when it arises (since the trailers and teasers are not canon :) ) -- Sulfur 00:44, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
The reason that the Enterprise looks different is something to do with Nero creating an alternate timeine. So the new look of the Enterprise should be mentioned like with other alternate timelines.The preceding unsigned comment was added by Icecreamdif (talk • contribs).
Please see the discussion about this subject here.--31dot 23:31, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Pathways and Mosaic Novels Should Be Canon

I understand all novels are considered non-canon on MA, but I think this is a mistake with regards to Pathways and Mosaic by Jeri Taylor.

Consider this. She co-created Voyager and its characters. Therefore these are her characters. Therefore is she or another co-creator not the best person to write about them and their early histories before joining the ship's crew? Since they are hers, what she says about their early histories should be considered canon, don't you think? This isn't some writer who decided to write a Voyager novel about the characters; this is one of the creators of the characters themselves. If Gene Roddenberry had penned such a novel about the TOS characters, I certainly do not think that would have been considered non-canon.

I further quote from MA's Background Information section of the MA article on these books:

Pathways was considered canon by the writers and producers of Star Trek: Voyager following its publication. Many of its plot details made their way into episodes. However, like "Mosaic", it has been superseded in some cases by events in later seasons.

Mosaic was considered canon by the writers and producers of Star Trek: Voyager following its publication. Many of its plot details made their way into episodes. However, like "Pathways", it has been superseded in some cases by events in later seasons

Of course, what is seen onscreen is to be considered canon above all else, but for events in the characters' early histories that the show says nothing about, I think (as MA's articles clearly support) that these books a should be considered a canon resource–the only, and I stress that word–ONLY such books.

Just something to think about.

Watching... listening... 20:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

No detailed response at this time... other than to note that Roddenberry penned the novel for the Motion Picture. And he never stated that he considered it canon. He always stated "only what's on screen... other than the Animated Series" :) -- Sulfur 21:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Star Trek is not about what is in books, it is about what is on the screen. There are many books written by production staff and actors which are not considered canon.(Roddenberry, Shimerman, and Andrew Robinson). There are even books which were considered canon at one time but are no longer. Star Fleet Technical Manual) The same could happen in the future with Okuda's reference books, despite them being used by the writers of TNG-on. I would oppose letting these books be considered canon. If someone really wanted to, MA already has Background sections where information from these books could be added.--31dot 21:37, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Canon: precedence

I'm going to assume that the tvshows/movies take precedence over technical manuals and other "canon references" but I'd like to know from the rest of the community. – Morder 10:21, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Per our Memory Alpha:Canon policy, tech manuals and the like aren't "canon references". Paramount doesn't think of them as canon, and neither do we in this case. They are a "permitted resource", but limited to background sections of articles only. That is why on many of the starship class articles you will see the technical specs from the DS9 TM in the background section, and not on the article sidebar. --OuroborosCobra talk 11:13, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Great. Thanks. I'd undo my change but someone else took care of it. I'll remember for the future. – Morder 11:51, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

...where "permitted resource" (at least as I see it) doesn't mean "we absolutely have to include this", but rather "why not, as long as it's separated from the main text". :) -- Cid Highwind 13:44, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Is the film canon — now?

I started a discussion at Memory Alpha talk:Spoiler policy#Dealing with film spoilers about dealing with spoilers from film pre-publicity (the trailer, interviews with film personnel, spoiler reports and so on). In that discussion, it was suggested that the film is not canon until its release. I can see that argument, but there's nothing in the canon policy that states this explicitly. (I proposed a counter-argument that the film is canon before its release, but as its contents are not yet known for certain it exists in a state of quantum flux... well, it made sense at the time.)

I guess I'm doing three things here. One is pointing readers of this page towards the discussion on the spoiler policy talk page. The second is asking whether people agree that the film is not canon until it is released, or whether it can be considered "canon but not known". The third, which is dependent on the answer given to the second, is asking whether something should be added to the canon policy, clarifying the status of material not yet released. —Josiah Rowe 06:37, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't see what part of...
Valid resources
The following are valid resources from the episodes and movies and may be referenced in Trek universe articles as citations, in descending order of precedence:
  1. Spoken dialogue (what is said)
  2. Visual material (what is seen)
  3. Aural material (what is heard that is not dialogue)
Visual material can be supplemented by clearer visual images of the identical material seen (for example, production art identifiable as being the same as shown on screen in an episode but more legible than what is shown on screen) if the clearer image is a freeze frame from the episode, contained in an authorized publication, or otherwise generally and publicly available from a verifiable production source.
...this is unclear - since the movie hasn't aired none of that information could be see/heard. Since the Trailer isn't the movie it doesn't count...let's also keep the discussion where you started it - or where it belongs - let's not move it around. — Morder 06:49, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) This seems to basically be the same conversation in the page you linked. At least, it certainly seems like you're looking for the same answers. Please keep discussions on one page; it makes things much more easier. Having said that, no, a movie is not canon until its released, because no canon has actually been released. As stated in our spoiler policy, we contain spoilers on in-universe articles from released material only. If it's not released, then there's no in-universe information to add. Anyway, since I can tell already that this discussion is going to go the same route as the one you linked, I would advise just keeping the discussion there. :/ --From Andoria with Love 06:51, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. I only came here because TribbleFurSuit suggested that it might be a more appropriate venue. And for what it's worth, I don't see anything in the policy as it stands now that explicitly says "released material only" — there's a bit about "material intentionally not in episodes", but that's not quite the same thing as a film that's completed but not yet released. I don't mean to push the point, though. —Josiah Rowe 07:14, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, I think this point is moot, anyway... Our "Canon policy" is just one of several policies that govern what material we accept, and what we don't. Even if we considered the content of an unknown film "canon" (whatever that would mean, really) - we still shouldn't add that "canon" material to an article if another policy has a problem with that. :) -- Cid Highwind 10:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

"Countdown" exception

Should "Countdown" be included in the "canon resource" section despite it's not being a filmed depiction? The associated materials with the comic declare it the "Official Movie Prequel". The story comes from the screenwriters. Also, it is listed on the backblurb "JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (and the 'scriptwriters for the comic} present the origin of Nero..."

I've listed this as a question on the "Ask JJ" section which would give us a definitive answer, but all available evidence says "Countdown", unlike other comics, IS canon.Capt Christopher Donovan 13:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I present, as evidence Pathways and Mosaic. I'd say... no. -- sulfur 13:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd also ask how many novels are written by writers of episodes? I'd have to say 'no' as well. — Morder 16:14, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I would also say no. I think that Abrams has said that it is not neccesary to read the comic in order to understand the movie, which would suggest that he doesn't think its canon.--31dot 17:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above, and would like to add the following for consideration: If we allow each new producer to define what we will need to consider "canon" or "non-canon", we potentially have much rewriting to do each time a new producer comes aboard. In fact, it seems as if Abrams view of the Trek universe doesn't contain everything that is considered canon right now. In this regard, it might be a good thing that we already have a policy for "valid resources" instead of "canon vs. non-canon". I'd say, let MB handle that comic, while we handle the film. -- Cid Highwind 20:21, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

"Isn't necessary to read" does not = "isn't canon", IMO. He's just saying that you don't HAVE to read it, not that he does or doesn't consider it "what really happened" prior to the film.

If Abrams is the new "creative force" behind Trek, as is the case here, then hasn't he become the new "keeper of the canon" as primary creator? Paramount, by signing off on it (by producing it) would be considered to have given it's tacit approval to his decisions in the matter.Capt Christopher Donovan 21:37, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Paramount is the only decider of canon. (especially with the recent addition of TAS to it - thought we had an exception because of our what was seen on screen is canon) Adding an exception to one print comic is a slippery slope with regards to people asking "why not this one" or "why is this novelization not canon". We have novelizations of films that aren't canon that contain a lot of information not seen on screen. They're official novelizations. Even if J.J. does say "it's canon" - he's not paramount and only to him is it canon. There might be a new director for the next movie there could be a change in writers, lots of stuff can I still have to say 'no'. We have an Apocrypha section for stuff that is deemed important (though i think we should remove it - who gets to decide what's important enough to list here - and have links to MB as we do everywhere). Anyway - this is what MB is for. — Morder 21:55, 16 April 2009 (UTC)


Abrams has stated that Star Trek happens right before the five year mission. So the ship design goes against canon! What will happen to all the new non-canon facts on MA? The facts are in a different universe now. Just like the non-canon Mirror Universe. -- 16:17, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

See here: talk:Star Trek (film)/Ten Forward#Star Trek (film) - SPOILERS - Where to place new information (pre-release discussion) -- sulfur 16:26, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Also, the Mirror universe is not non-canon. -OuroborosCobra talk 00:16, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Altered Canon or Parallel Canons

At several points existing canon was altered (?)


For the so-called 'Directors Cut' of The Motion Picture the dimensions of V'ger were drastically reduced.

With the 'Remasterd' episodes in 'The Enterprise Incident' one of the Klingon type ships was altered to the Romulan type ships seen in 'Balance of Terror'.

In 'The Ultimate Computer' the space station originally was a sister station of the one seen in 'The Trouble with the Tribbles'.

What is your point of view here? Is old canon being destroyed or do we simply see canon of a parallel universe?

And if the latter wasn't the case, is there now a change of heart if you look at more recent developments. I'm of course referring to the big event of this year, and certain interviews that have been given by people connected to that event. --Doctor Zeppo Dunsel 17:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

To avoid further spoiler spilling, let's have this discussion after said "big event", or in one of the forum topics already existing for this purpose. Thanks. :) -- Cid Highwind 16:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Okay! --Doctor Zeppo Dunsel 17:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

In terms of TOS stuff being changed, we're simply acknowledging the change and making a note of it. No mention of destroying past canon or parallel universes. -- sulfur 17:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Canon confusion

You considere canon his first name but you don't "canonise" the jonathan Archer's death date !!! Sometime your policy is hard to understand !! can you explain me C-IMZADI-4 21:24, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

You should ask this on the canon policy talk page as it pertains to that and not this article. — Morder 21:27, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh...and read this...
  • Richard Robau was portrayed by Faran Tahir. His first name comes from official production material, including his dossier profile on the official movie site. According to his profile on Intel's Starfleet Shipyard site, Robau was born in Sagua La Grande, Cuba, and his Starfleet Service Number is SA-476-2549-CM. Ambassador Spock's commentary about George Kirk's survival of serving on the Kelvin in the unchanged timeline indicates that Robau probably had a longer life in the unaltered chain of events as well.
Morder 21:28, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, I already read this, because I've just made french version ! but first name come from material production, and for jonathan it was in scenes cut, if my Memento is good ??? I'm french and "medium in english language and my policy page is not complete, can you be clear (in 2 words) ? why Richard and not jonathan death date , C-IMZADI-4 21:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

The relevant section is:
"The only exception to the exclusion of production or reference material not seen on-screen from the main body of an article is for naming items or people that were seen on-screen but not referred to by name. For example, names such as Livingston and Neural were not mentioned on-screen, but are derived from production sources. The primary reason for this is to avoid creating a large number of "unnamed" subject pages when an official name already exists."
In other words, names of articles can come from production sources; any other data cannot be included in-universe. -- Michael Warren | Talk 04:35, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd like understand:

Information from production materials (such as dialogue in scripts that was cut for the finished product) and reference materials (such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia) should be noted in the relevant article's background section, while information from official novels and similar publications should be included under an "apocrypha" section of the relevant article(s). More specific details and exceptions are below, and in our Canon policy FAQ

you told me one day, script is accepted, but in this sentence you read, scripts should be noted in background section... I know, I know, I must read... but I'd like a real explication with Canon material accepted !!! I'm french and my english is not super perfect !!! Thank you C-IMZADI-4 19:32, January 24, 2010 (UTC)

A name from a script can be used as canon material (as long as canon doesn't contradict it). But, if that's done, it must be noted in the BG what the source is (ie... the script). Things in the script cut for time (ie, deleted scenes) only get BG mention. In short, See DarkHorizon's comments right above yours. -- sulfur 19:44, January 24, 2010 (UTC)

Background Policy Question

If a Star Trek producer or writer (or some other production personnel) is ask to speculate about something in the Star Trek universe, is that speculation automatically considered background information? The reason I ask this is because I've seen a lot references lately pointing to interviews with people involved with the making of Star Trek. However, in these interviews they are often developing answers to questions that they had never considered when they were making the movie. In other words they are speculating after the fact. Is this acceptable? This isn't unique to Star Trek either.--Hribar 03:31, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd call it background, as we've done with the Ronald Moore interviews. --OuroborosCobra talk 04:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Geographic minutiae

I think with the recent series of geographic articles about places which were not clearly seen and/or not seen for more than a fraction of a second, we may need to create some sort of policy about this issue. I'm not sure how it should be worded or anything, but I think we need to mention it.

In the case of some of the pages I've suggested for deletion, a map from "The Cage" is offered as evidence that it existed. If you ignore the fact that it was on screen for a miniscule period of time, most of the places like Ottawa cannot be seen on the map. Taken to the extreme, since the entire Earth has been seen in canon, every geographic feature on Earth could have an article. I don't think that's what we want.--31dot 12:32, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Real World Canon Policy

What is the MA policy concerning events, persons, places and things that exist in the real world but are referenced in Star Trek? Is the knowledge base of these subjects strictly limited to what is derived from canon resources? Same thing with background information.--Hribar 17:27, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

In short, yes. It is best to limit the content to the reference. Establishing context is ok, if necessary to establish context and motive, but it shouldnt go much beyond what was flat-out stated or implied. Ronald Reagan is a fair example of addressing this (although I am not sure about the necessity of the actual years he was president) as well as what makes relevant background information. --Alan 17:44, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Authorized Fiction by Production Staff

There currently is some confusion if Star Trek: Countdown can be used for articles or not, for example "Hobus" or Teral'n. In the case of Teral'n deletion was already rejected on that basis. But per our current policy, this comic is NOT different from any other even if AK+BO contributed to it. We need to be consistent with this! So, maybe this event is the point to reopen the debate whether authorized fiction written by production staff should be elevated to the same level as other production materials- no new articles but naming on-screen "things"-we could get Lori Ciana for example. Kennelly 17:44, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

There's no confusion. It's not canon unless Paramount says so. Simple as that. In the case of the Teral'n, there is a source for that name besides the comic(the script). You are correct though that if it was the only source for the name of an object, it might be permissible to use it for that particular instance. I don't know of a situation like that, though.--31dot 22:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, according to Paramount TAS canon status is ambiguous (or was for a long time), so I'd really reject simple statements like "Paramount says what is canon"!And according to Teral'n talkpage, the sources for naming are the comic, the novelization and the toybox (!) produced by people allegedly having access to the script, but certainly so did Gene Roddenberry when he did TMP's novelization? Kennelly 16:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
To follow on Kennelly's comment, I bring up (as usual), the novels Pathways and Mosaic. -- sulfur 00:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Suggest title change - "Resource policy"

Since it's always coming up whether "x is canon, y is non-canon" in terms of using it as a reference here, might I suggest that this be renamed as Resource policy, and we try and refer to things as valid and invalid resources, to avoid confusion with the true usage of canon (since things that are non-canon can be valid resources (for background information, etc)). This is not our policy on what is canon - we don't get to define that. Instead, it is a policy on what resources can be used in our articles, and should reflect that. -- Michael Warren | Talk 10:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Full agreement and support. This policy already does not really talk about what is canon and what not, but about "validity". The title should reflect that. -- Cid Highwind 12:01, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Also agreed. I assume this is just a matter of a name change? --Alan 16:22, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
After the note below, agree. - Archduk3 16:30, February 20, 2010 (UTC)
We all aboard on this? If yes, should we have a bot change all the links already on the talk pages, or just leave a redirect? - Archduk3 22:33, July 7, 2010 (UTC)
Not totally convinced today, but if we do it, I can have SulfBot make the changes. And we'd definitely leave an RD. -- sulfur 14:13, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Why not convinced sulfur? - Archduk3 06:31, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

Content policy?

This didn't go anywhere the last time, so I'd like to bring it up again, combined with another suggestion for the new title: Content policy - this page already describes what we'd like to have as content (and not just based on what resources), so this is actually a better title. It might also be slightly less confusing than "resource policy". -- Cid Highwind 12:50, February 13, 2011 (UTC)

This name is much better than "resource policy", which encompasses far more than this one does already. The current policy is already pretty complex and detailed, and to expand to cover all resources for everything? That's getting to be a bit much. Content is more suggestive (to me) that it covers the main content. -- sulfur 12:57, February 13, 2011 (UTC)
I don't really think the "resource" suggestion failed so much because of the name, but rather because there isn't really a need to do this. I know why it's been suggested, and I support changing the name of this, but I don't think anymore that it will stop the pointless debates on what is canon, for the most part, like we want it to. That said, I'm still more inclined to this being called the "resource policy" than the "content policy," since the latter seems more heavy handed as it implies that it covers "what content can be created" rather then "what resources can be used to create content." - Archduk3 13:13, February 13, 2011 (UTC)
Either suggestion works for me.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 00:39, February 14, 2011 (UTC)

Splitting this up

I've taken some time to create a split version of the policy here. While I don't consider this to be a final draft, I think it's a good place to start if we're going to move towards something as described in the sections above. I'm not sure would could get entirely away from using the word "canon" with this, as it does tend to be the term that applies the best here, but I think listing the resources removed from the definition of what the site uses as canon might be a step in the right direction towards alleviating the issues we have. - Archduk3 21:54, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

That is a good beginning; I think it's something we are going to need to address especially given the discussion at Talk:Star Trek (video game) and the likelihood such discussion will come up again. 31dot (talk) 23:01, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I doubt that's going to be last of it no matter what we do, but I think this might help. Part of the reason I kept the word "canon" is that even if we had a policy about what "content" we would want or not want to be considered in-universe, in the end the word "canon" was going to come up either way. That said, it's worth noting that every time the words "canon" and "non-canon" are used in these you could replace them with "in-universe content" and "real world content", if anybody is interested in more radical changes. - Archduk3 23:26, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

What is Canon?

So, I've asked this before, and it didn't really get explained well. Or I didn't understand it. What exactly is considered canon. I know anything on screen is canon, thats not the issue. I also know that certain documents released in close cooperation with production staff is considered canon (I.E. the single nacelle ship from BOBW named as freedom class in the encyclopedia, or the rest of the encyclopedia for that mater as much of it didn't appear on screen.) So why is one document released in close cooperation with production staff canon, but another is not? (Encyclopedia vs. Countdown)Cpt Kaziarl Nanaki 10:04, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

The Encyclopedia is not canon - if you read the article, it makes it quite clear: "The various "official" references (such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia or the Star Trek Chronology) may be used as a guide to canon information, but are not canon in and of themselves." Only the episodes and movies are canon. And, furthermore, canon is solely intended to define what must be adhered to by authors of licensed material. -- Michael Warren | Talk 10:12, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so I got the terminology wrong, but my that on the talk page where this came up I was told that information from sources where the production staff is involved then it could be used here. So whats the difference between the two sources? Both involved the production staff. Thats the part I'm not getting.Cpt Kaziarl Nanaki 10:17, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, which talk page are you referring to? Secondly, we don't define canon, we define what references we can use in our articles. Again, this is quite clear - information from production staff can only be used as background information. Information from licensed works, like Countdown or novels, can be used in the background information, but are usually put under an "Apocrypha" section. I'm not sure where your confusion lies. -- Michael Warren | Talk 10:25, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It was the talk page for the Hobus star. I was the one posting without logging in, I had forgotten my password till earlier today. Someone questioned the validity of the page considering it was not seen or heard in the movie, which I understand. When I asked the question of why it was not ok, but the previously mentioned freedom class was, (not the ship it self, but the name of the class,) I pretty much got a "cause it is" type of answer. So I thought I'd come here and ask for clarification.Cpt Kaziarl Nanaki 12:28, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Right, I think I see where the issue lies. With the Freedom class, we have actual information from the production staff that they derived the name and used it for that particular ship. With Hobus, all we know is that it is used in Countdown, which is not a production source. The writers of the comic (who are not production staff) may have been the ones to come up with the name, in which case the name does not from a production source. -- Michael Warren | Talk 12:30, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

But Orci and Kurtzman were intimately involved in the countdown comics, doesn't that make it at least somewhat credible? I guess thats mainly the part of it that gives me the question.Cpt Kaziarl Nanaki 12:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

A different example: the Star Trek Star Charts were produced by Geoffrey Mandel, who was also involved with several Trek productions. However, that doesn't make each and every bit of the maps "canon" (or "valid"). First, he didn't create these maps in his function as a Trek production member. Second, parts of the maps weren't even created by him, but by others. The same applies here: if Orci/Kurtzman were using the name "Hobus" in an earlier script version, and it just didn't make it to the screen, there may be some validity to it. If they were just suggesting it for use during an unrelated production, the validity becomes less. And if "random guy" who wrote some of the comics dialogue invented the name, even less. -- Cid Highwind 12:59, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, now see... THAT makes sense to me. Thank you. Cpt Kaziarl Nanaki 13:03, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I am wondering why Memory Alpha has decided to declare the works of employees of Star Trek to be non-canon. Thats like saying the book of Matthew is not of the bible even though God wrote it. To me, anything that an employee of Star Trek (Real Life, production etc)created or wrote or filmed for the series (All series except Abrams) is Canon. Remember my biblical reference. I at first was excited about Memory Alpha but after the junk about the USS Constitution I have lost my excitement. For a long time I have understood the USS Constitution NCC-1700 was a Constitution Class ship. I even asked Gene Roddenberry at a Convention about it and he said "Yes the USS Constitution is NCC-1700". Now who in their right mind would question "god"? Also I feel it does not matter weather the person who was an employee wrote the work or created it during their time on the set or decades later at their home. So I feel those charts are canon because a person who was a current or past employee wrote them. On the same note, are you saying, if Gene were alive, if he wrote a book about Star Trek it would not be canon?
Thats my view. Magnumserpentine 02:00, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Completely off topic, Why did the Wiki put my last comment and signature in a box?Magnumserpentine 02:01, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Because you put a space. As for your statement, the roddenberry quote isn't canon because it wasn't stated on screen. the ramblings of someone who is associated with the show isn't necessarily right. The writers all have different ideas, for instance, and they want to do things their way but then someone higher up would say 'no' does that make the idea canon? no. especially since most stuff like that can't be proven or backed up. your statement about "All series except abrams" just goes to show that people have different views. The simplest, most verifiable answer is simply what our canon policy currently states. — Morder (talk) 02:11, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
We also didn't make this decision. MA didn't decide it, Paramount and Roddenberry himself did. --OuroborosCobra talk 02:21, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

It should be noted that, by definition, "canon" is defined as a body of fiction that is accepted as "true" by the masses. The most conservative version of Star Trek Canon states that anything labeled "Star Trek" after Roddenberry's death is not canon, as the creator did not sign off or agree to it. In the context of this wiki, it is the users and administrators of this wiki that decide "what is Canon". It's entirely possible that over the course of time, what is considered "Canon" may change- the acceptance of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie, for example. And although it is given significantly more "official" support and weight from studios, actors, and Star Trek writers, the Star Trek Online game is not considered canon yet. As noted elsewhere, a lot of non-canon work has ended up becoming incorporated. Essentially, "Canon" is what we make it to be. Nestaja 22:53, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

Our definition of canon has been set by Paramount, not by "the administrators and users" of this wiki. JJ Abrams work is accepted as canon already, so nothing needs to change to accept them. If Paramount wishes to change the status of video games, or single out STO, then we can change it here. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:02, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
We definitely need to move this page to "Resource policy", as has been suggested in the section above, to avoid things like these popping up again and again and again... -- Cid Highwind 16:18, February 20, 2010 (UTC)
This would make the idea that we do not decide what is and is not canon seem even less valid.
Of course, it isn't valid. We decided to accept the Paramount definition. For a while, we did not, as TAS was considered a valid resource before it was officially declared as canon by Paramount. We even explicitly stated it as an exception.
I don't see how a rename would do anything to cause people to not disagree with our choices. A real reason for a rename would be so we could have a separate "Canon Policy" page that just said {possibly in better words) "For the purposes of this wiki, canon is as is defined by Paramount. If you have a problem with their definition, take it up with them."
Commodore Sixty-Four(TALK) 04:37, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
Huh? We already have a page that describes what exactly canon is. That page is an article, named Canon. We don't need a third page besides that article and our policy regarding "allowed content", because that third page could just reiterate the fact that "yes, canon is what the other page says canon is". Where's the policy part in that statement?
The idea behind renaming this page to "Resource policy" is the fact that it contains statements about our resources (which may or may not be what someone else has defined as "the canon"), and not statements about what is or isn't canon. -- Cid Highwind 10:46, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know about that page, since it is not in policy namespace. That was the only place I looked. With the existence of that page, I question why this page was ever named Canon Policy in the first place. My guess is that this page came first.
I agree we don't need three pages. Canon is sufficient. But I do not believe the assertion you are making here is the same as the one I was responding to. You may have meant that, but that's not what I got. You said it needed to be renamed to avoid what happened above, which was someone challenging canon. I'm saying that changing the name will not avoid this, as there will always be people who disagree, whether with our policy or even Paramount's description of canon. —Commodore Sixty-Four(TALK) 06:52, July 7, 2010 (UTC)

Canonicity of Interactive movies

There is a section on the Star Trek: Borg discussion page that discusses the canonicity of the work. I would respond there, but not only is the discussion old, but Cid said the appropriate place to discuss it was here.

The title of the work calls it an "interactive movie", not a game. That's a pretty good reason to at least not lump it with the games, which are decidedly not canon. This means we haven't any explicit policy on whether this and Star Trek: Klingon are canonreliable sources.

I could not find anything from Paramount either way, but, even if I could, I think we should have an explicit policy for these. I would base it on whether any of the events have been mentioned in current reliable sources.
        —Commodore Sixty-Four(TALK) 06:21, July 2, 2010 (UTC)

Still "games". -- sulfur 10:15, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
It's technically a game, as the user controls the outcome. If you just sat and watched it, that's another matter, but that's not the case here.--31dot 10:28, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and that discussion was from 5+ years ago. :) -- sulfur 10:33, July 2, 2010 (UTC)

And yet none of this is in the policy. Why is it better to argue that definitions exist that you did not bother to write down, rather than flat out say it in the policy itself?

I don't know why the age has anything to do with it. If anything, the age means there's more likely a chance that consensus has changed. Especially since I brought new information. The people I knew here mostly seem to be gone. But, even if they weren't--minds can change.

But I didn't even come in here prejudging it. I inferred that you would say that they weren't an acceptible resource. I just wanted permission to make it explicit. After knowing for sure that Paramount does not consider it canon, since, again, we catalog canon, not decide it, as you guys have asserted above.

Commodore Sixty-Four(TALK) 06:41, July 7, 2010 (UTC)

I think the key here is that this is a solution looking for a problem- there are no issues with people creating articles or adding content from these two interactive movies(which are pretty old now). We shouldn't add to policies unless there is some sort of major issue warranting it. As these interactive movies are basically games(and were sold with the games) I think the existing policy covers it enough.--31dot 09:53, July 7, 2010 (UTC)
Star Trek: Borg has many elements which contradic the established "canon universe". Like it begins in 2377, but all crew personnel are wearing TNG-style uniforms, which became obsolete at least 4 years earlier (of course the game was made in 1995, before Star Trek: First Contact), while back in 2366 all people are wearing DS9-VOY style jumpsuits with DS9 Season 3+ combadges, which is too early for that time period. But, I guess Enterprise is treated as canon on this site, which contradicted established facts as a routine... Although I still say "interactive movies" are non-canon.--Ltarex 12:06, July 7, 2010 (CET)
They may be called "Interactive movies" by some, but they're still games. And that's covered (explicitly) under the policy. If we had to sit down and explicitly list everything that's not canon or an allowable resource, we'd spend more time creating that list than actually maintaining the wiki. -- sulfur 10:16, July 7, 2010 (UTC)

Deleted & unreferenced content?

This page clearly states: "Articles should not be created for subjects that are not seen or heard of in an episode or film," yet we have multiple pages in Category:Deleted material and Category:Unreferenced material. So, I think more info should be added to the line here, though I'm not sure how to phrase it; could anyone help? --Defiant 13:28, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

The intent of those categories (originally) was to list things that were in canon, but also had references in deleted scenes, and such. Over time, it expanded a bit, and when there was a significant amount of information, a "real world" page was created. As such, a decision should really be made as to what constitutes a reason for mention here (ie, how much information, what kind of appearances, etc). -- sulfur 13:54, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Stupid question re Non-canon section

(Warning in advance: dumb question) What does the following, contained in the "Non-canon" section, mean?

"Simple name-dropped references should not be mentioned, only instances where information about the subject is expanded."
I don't think it's likely I'd violate this policy, but it'd be nice to know what it means just in case – I might otherwise violate it in the future. (I have begun to add quotes from production staff interviews, so....) Cepstrum (talk) 14:23, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

"X is mentioned in Y". That kind of thing. So, "Miral Paris is seen in Star Trek Online" is not acceptable. "Miral Paris is seen in Star Trek Online as the commander of Deep Space 9" is. -- sulfur 14:30, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Cepstrum (talk) 16:59, February 26, 2011 (UTC)


The Enterprise-F page has been deleted because it is non-canon. However, CBS has said that when it is chosen it will make its way into actual canon like the series and movies. Yes, it was asked to be made by the devs at STO, but CBS did not create it for that sole purpose. Whilst Star Trek Online is not canon (I have no problem with that), I do have a problem with that the new Enterprise-F isn't considered. Some of you are reading this and have different opinions on it and frankly, I kind of expected it to be not included here at Memory Alpha. Shall we discuss? --Ooiue 07:56, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you want to discuss- you seem to be saying you know it isn't canon and you "expected it to not be included here at Memory Alpha". So what's the problem? An "Enterprise-F" is not canon until it appears in an episode or movie. I think this is unlikely, as they will probably make shows or movies derived from the Abrams universe of the new Star Trek movie.
If it appears in a game, it can be discussed as part of that game's article, but it can't have its own article. You may be interested in Memory Beta, which does cover all Star Trek licensed works, canon and non-canon.--31dot 08:41, May 6, 2011 (UTC)
As to STO being canon, we've had that discussion before.--31dot 08:44, May 6, 2011 (UTC)
Sorry need to be more clear. I mean is that the Enterprise-F has been said to be considered canon once it has been chosen. Since it has been chosen and CBS stated it would be canon, you'd expect it to be on here however the page for it has been deleted on the basis it isn't. Since it is canon, it should have its own article and shouldn't be considered part of STO because the contest wasn't soley about putting the next Enteprise in the game, but about choosing the next Enterprise to be part of the rest of the TV series and movies. There may not be much to say in it however it does need its own article. --Ooiue 09:27, May 6, 2011 (UTC)
It's exactly this shaky definition of what's "official canon" that led us to rather talk about "allowed resources" in this policy. Once the E-F is seen in an episode or movie, we will of course be happy to see an article about it. In the meantime, we don't want to have articles about topics that are just dealt with in a game - MB is a better place for that. -- Cid Highwind 12:36, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

Reception resources

See Forum:Inclusion of websites that collate viewer ratings.

I don't see how "reception resources" have anything to do with... "canon". It might be better to simply move that policy note added here (to "canon policy") to the end of the forum discussion as the "consensus", and archive that discussion to the policy archives.

In fact, it might be worth going through the various archived discussions there and summarizing them with the consensus. -- sulfur 13:33, May 14, 2011 (UTC)

I'm not even sure why this is still called the "Canon policy" when we seem to have a consensus above to rename it to either the content policy or resource policy (still waiting on a reply to my question there). Summarizing the archived discussions is all well and good, but we shouldn't have "guidelines" that aren't located somewhere on a policy page. - Archduk3 18:50, May 14, 2011 (UTC)
I agree that something as specific as this (concerning about 2% max. of our articles) shouldn't become a part of this policy - whether it is called a "canon", "resource" or "content policy". As I think I already stated in the other discussion, what should be added instead (if it isn't part of the policy already) is something to explain that we generally don't want information that is fan-based, biased and/or "unscientific". I'm going to move the addition to this talk page for further discussion for the moment (see below). -- Cid Highwind 08:27, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
My questions are when do we want information that is fan-based, biased and/or "unscientific", and how should this have been worded to be unspecific enough? I think it's pretty pointless to not provide an example when the whole problem was a difference of opinion on what is considered biased and unscientific. - Archduk3 09:11, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
Providing an example - and even using "reception resources" as such example - would be fine. However, as currently worded, the section is not an example of some generic "no biased stuff" policy, but simply a specific-purpose policy just for ratings. After re-reading the policy, the problem seems even worse, because it explicitly states that "Trek franchise articles [including episode pages] are not covered by the canon policy." We'd need to start a bigger rewrite of this page, if there isn't a better place to add the ratings stuff. -- Cid Highwind 10:07, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with writing an entire other policy for the real world articles if this one doesn't cover that, and that could be the Resource policy, while this one would still cover the in-universe material. There would be some overlap, but I don't think there should be any major changes where they would. - Archduk3 10:15, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
We already have a failed draft concerning a research policy (which could form the basis of the suggested new policy after a severe rewrite) - and we have Memory Alpha:What Memory Alpha is not (which could be used to add something about ratings if a whole new policy is not considered necessary). I'm not sure about calling that suggested new policy our "resource policy" while keeping restrictions about "valid resources" in this policy. That doesn't seem like a sensible split. -- Cid Highwind 10:28, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
My thought was that this would be part of the "resource policy" (What can be used as real world information) with this covering what MA considers canon (What can be used as in-universe information), with MA:NOT being part of the resource policy as well, since all of these things deal with what should and shouldn't be used in MA articles. I'm fine with a combined policy as well, it's just that there seems to be resistance to changing the name of the policy that deals with "canon". - Archduk3 07:49, May 19, 2011 (UTC)
Avoiding the phrase "what we consider canon" is what brought up the rename debate in the first place - so I still think that this policy should get a new name, whether it is "Content policy" or "Resource policy" (or even "Xxx policy (in-universe articles)" if we decide to split this policy and need the same title for both pages).
That said, it might really be the easiest way to resolve this: Keep this policy about in-universe ("canon") stuff, and create a new policy draft by rewriting Memory Alpha:Research policy and merging Memory Alpha:What Memory Alpha is not to it. This policy should then reference the other, because that one would also be the relevant one for background information in in-universe articles. -- Cid Highwind 09:06, May 19, 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with that rewrite, since we don't seem to really have any policy for real world articles. What MA is not covers things for both in universe and real world articles, so it should be linked to from both, but not merged with either one yet. - Archduk3 15:15, May 23, 2011 (UTC)

Reception resources

Reviews and ratings from professional, published sources are acceptable as background information, while public reviews and rating polls are not. For example, reviews and ratings from the "all critics" section on review aggregator websites like Rotten Tomatoes are acceptable, while reviews and ratings from the "audience" section are not acceptable.

Nielsen ratings should be limited to the first airing of an episode. Reviews from film critics should be used sparingly, generally with a single blurb on either side for neutrality.

Orci interview discussing canon

The comments in this interview are likely to be brought up by others; especially the "VP from Paramount who said the upcoming Star Trek movie game is canon from their perspective" and Orci's comments about canon. Where do we go from here, if anywhere? 31dot (talk) 10:04, July 17, 2012 (UTC)

"At this point in time, Memory Alpha only treats the television shows and movies as canon. This decision may be revisited in the future."
There are some big issues with this...
a) Countdown (and Nero) are contradicted by the movie,
b) A Paramount VP said that Star Trek Online was canon too,
c) We don't know how much of the ongoing comic will be contradicted when the new movie comes out.
I propose we take a "wait and see" viewpoint on this matter. -- sulfur (talk) 11:51, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
It might be worth adding this and the STO stuff to the FAQ, as in we're aware that these things were said but haven't changed the policy because of the many issues with doing so, even for the relatively small amount of material we're talking about (and I'm including the two VOY novels as part of this as well, since those were at least suppose to be canon at one point). I don't really see a reason to change the policy either, as I doubt anyone at Paramount would dismiss anything approved by them as less than the real deal. There simply isn't any one person, or even a group of people, who are "in change" of the franchise to a point where I think the people after them would at least feel obligated to remain true to what they may have decreed. That said, I remain open to different ways of displaying and incorporating non-canon info here. - Archduk3 21:58, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
Thus the reason for my "quoted" sentence. I do agree that we should acknowledge the interview and the STO comments, and completely thrash them down at this point in time. Changing our own particular canon policy would require a revisit of some of the prior suggest "canon" items and non-canon items (ie, novelization of the first movie, possible removal of Threshold and STV, etc). -- sulfur (talk) 03:26, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
While I understand that official announcements made by Paramounts leadership should be taken into account overhere, I cannot refrain from making a personal observation. I strictly speaking for myself do not take too much stock what the Paramounts "suits" have to say. They would declare their limo's drivers canon, if they would think they could squeeze a buck out of it...Case in point, the in my view unfortunate canonizing of TAS, a so obviously base money driven decision. Do not get me wrong though, Paramount is a corporation that needs to turn over a profit, nothing wrong there, and their decisions did fund the franchise. But throughout Trek's history the suits (with the very rare occasional exception) have shown a thorough lack of understanding of what Trek is all about, and their random purely money-driven canonizing left and right, always through highly publicized events where they express their professed concern for the franchise contents, smacks of hypocracy, making me at least sick to the stomach. I could have summoned up more respect for them if they would have be more honest about their roles, i.e. looking after the bussiness aspects of the productions, instead of constantly trying to rewrite history about their "visionary" roles in the franchise...Okay, got that off my chest--Sennim (talk) 12:41, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
With further followup from Orci in the comments to that interview... he, for all intents and purposes, backtracks from his comments almost completely, suggesting that he was browbeaten into saying that. -- sulfur (talk) 14:20, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
That does not surprise me. To be perfectly clear, I was not referring to the actual producers of the shows/movies such as Orci, Bermann, Justman etc., but to the higher-ups in the food-chain, the ones that are lurking around on the top-floor of the corporate buildings, and at one time, like Michael Eisner, commanded salaries that even made Wall Street bankers recoil in shame. If anything, after reading through tons of Trek history it has given me a renewed respect for the producers, always caught between a rock and a hard plate, who had to perform Houdini juggling acts to balance the needs of the suits, who wanted less, and the creative staff, who wanted more, in the process shielding the creative staff from the upper floor meddling..--Sennim (talk) 15:25, July 24, 2012 (UTC)

I believe that Roddenberry's statement takes precedence. 'If it happens on screen, it's canon'.
Gene already gave us a mirror universe and its existence is canon so I believe that the "existence" of Abram's alternate timeline is canon but should not in anyway affect what we already 'know' to be canon just like what happens in the mirror universe doesn't affect what happens in the Prime universe unless characters cross over.
Thus, we 'know' that Spock didn't die in the Prime universe but went to an alternate timeline. Within the Prime universe, Spock is likely considered dead.
A possible solution for MA would be to disregard most of what the Paramount suits think or say about canon for now and keep listing things as "Alternate Timeline" within concerned articles until such time as there is enough A-T material to start a new wikia just for that.--Aemielius (talk) 19:10, August 24, 2012 (UTC)

We already do those things- and as for a separate wiki our mission is to be "the most definitive, accurate, and accessible encyclopedia and reference for everything related to Star Trek" which includes the Alternate Reality. Certainly someone could create such a wiki, but that is no reason to stop referencing it here. 31dot (talk) 23:44, August 24, 2012 (UTC)

Uh, aren't you talking about Memory Beta? I'm pretty sure they cover what you're talking about. There's also the STEU but we're a whole different ball game. --Kevin W.Talk to me 01:59, September 3, 2012 (UTC)

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki