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Visuals vs Dialogue in ST Canon

Vorta_the_point

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Report this Mar. 20 2010, 11:54 am

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Mar. 19 2010, 11:50 pm)
They ?DON'T contradict at all, they compliment one another. With a little common sense one should be able to figure out how the content of the visuals is either complementing or being complemented by the dialog and how its being expressed.


I agree VAB, this is the way I see it also; while I would imagine there occasionally are irreconcilable contradictions between the two, in most cases we should be able to take the two together to rationalise them as a whole.


Quote (Guardian47 @ Mar. 19 2010, 8:05 pm)
But in the end, if there's a contradiction, the words and story must take precedence. ?You can argue that characters are all idiots, but doing so you remove the story and entire premise of the plots and turn the entire show into a festival of accidents and boobery. ?So, again:

"Both are valid, but in the event of a contest I'd prefer dialog. ?The scripts are passed through science advisors, Trek tech guys, and even a legal team that also has a penchant for knowing Star Trek lore (as seen in the Making of DS9 book).

The visuals, meanwhile, are illustrations to the story made by artsy guys like David Stipes, who irrationally upscaled and downscaled ships for what he thought were "dramatic" reasons, but which end up merely being confusing to those of us with an eye for spatial relationships and scale."

If there is clear evidence that a character is wrong, then it's probably a plot point . . . but your automatic assumption of character stupidity is dangerous and silly, and is probably meant only to allow you to insert your own fanciful re-interpretations into the canon.

I'll have none of that, thank you.


The problem is, this doesn't take into account whether the character is talking literally or colloquially, using an analogy or hyperbole, is being vague, is biased or is lying; they don't have to be incompetent or even simply mistaken. Is the dialogue actually itself correct; how do you know that the error creating the contradiction lies with the visuals? How do we know what the writers were intending, or even if they were intending anything and it wasn't simply a throw-away line?

These factors cause serious issues for the type of analysis that Marshall is talking about, as they are entirely subjective and almost impossible to prove; there's no consistency to analysing them.

I'd also possibly disagree with the idea that the visuals are supposed to just be interpretations of the 'real' story; as VAB said, the visuals and the dialogue complement one another, and are there to be taken as a whole - the canon of 'Star Trek' is the complete entity, otherwise it kind of reduces it to a radio drama with accompanying dramatic interpretation rather than a TV show.

When we watch Star Trek, in most cases we suspend disbelief to pretend that what we are watching is a Q's eye view, as it were, of a 'real' event. Likewise, in the sorts of analysis that Marshall is talking about, it makes the most sense to in the same way suspend disbelief when attempting an analysis of the material as we would if we were watching the show. In that respect, there is a logical consistency in the analysis that trying to second-guess character or writer intentions does not have; as we are suspending disbelief and pretending what we see is 'real', visual evidence is primary data and should be regarded as having more weight than secondary data like dialogue, just as in real life.

Obviously there are limits to suspension of disbelief, and if we know for certain that a visual is in error (like Risa's two suns not giving a double shadow, or if the writers have actually made known something is an error) and which cannot be easily explained away in-universe without seriously impacting the canon, then obviously the dialogue should take precedence in those cases.

However, I'd suggest that automatically assuming that the visuals are overruled by dialogue in any contradiction or taking things on a case by case basis rather than trying to rationalise the two together runs into serious consistency issues as well as being largely subjective, and it's all too easy in the sorts of analyses that Marshall is talking about for the criteria deciding "which comes first, the visuals or the dialogue" to end up as...

Quote (marshall8472 @ Mar. 20 2010, 7:01 am)
the one that doesn't favor star wars :laugh:

Guardian47

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Report this Mar. 20 2010, 7:27 pm

Vorta, you basically said the same thing I said.

My only complaint in regards to what you said is this notion that we can't trust the main characters to know what they're talking about, despite the fact that what they say drives the plot. Unless we have specific reason to distrust their statements (beyond crappy FX), then I don't see any rationale in opposing it. I've seen far too many examples of people declaring character idiocy as a prelude to inserting their own ideas into the canon rather than what was clearly meant to be.

As for chr3335:

Quote
How does a team of legal experts not seen on the show tell us a character in the show isn't lying?


Demonstrable lying by a character relating to the contradiction in question is a valid argument.

Quote
Why do you ignore suspension of disbelief for star trek but not for star wars?


Demonstrably stupid personal attacks, posed as questions like the one above, are not valid. ¿My treatment of the universes diverges only insofar as I give Star Wars much more of the benefit of the doubt than I do Star Trek.

God_in_an_Alcove

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Report this Mar. 21 2010, 4:11 am

Visuals, unless there are no visuals to contradict dialogue.

stovokor2000

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Report this Mar. 22 2010, 2:13 am

Quote (marshall8472 @ Mar. 22 2010, 1:44 am)
I liked the example they showed in the star trek mistakes video.

Picard goes to risa in episode "captain's holiday". ¿When a ferengi puts a shadow over picard, he says "you're blocking the suns" yet we only see one shadow? ¿Visual evidence shows that there is only one sun but dialogue says there are two suns. ¿Which is canon?

canon is the fact they would use in the next mention of risa's sun(s). ¿In this case, when worf and dax went to risa and they showed a sunset with 2 suns, this confirms that dialogue overruled the visual objection.

Lesson learned: dialogue overrules visuals that are overanalyzed.

The question is "would this appear in a later episode as fact? or would the fact from the contradicted evidence appear?" ¿that determines what is canon or not, right?

I'm not sure the casting of only 1 shadow would be a error.

God_in_an_Alcove

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Report this Mar. 22 2010, 2:40 pm

Quote (stovokor2000 @ Mar. 21 2010, 11:13 pm)
Quote (marshall8472 @ Mar. 22 2010, 1:44 am)
I liked the example they showed in the star trek mistakes video.

Picard goes to risa in episode "captain's holiday". ?When a ferengi puts a shadow over picard, he says "you're blocking the suns" yet we only see one shadow? ?Visual evidence shows that there is only one sun but dialogue says there are two suns. ?Which is canon?

canon is the fact they would use in the next mention of risa's sun(s). ?In this case, when worf and dax went to risa and they showed a sunset with 2 suns, this confirms that dialogue overruled the visual objection.

Lesson learned: dialogue overrules visuals that are overanalyzed.

The question is "would this appear in a later episode as fact? or would the fact from the contradicted evidence appear?" ?that determines what is canon or not, right?

I'm not sure the casting of only 1 shadow would be a error.

Definitely wouldn't be. Two objects of equal intensity that are so far distant from the object casting the shadow but at the same time so close to each other would act as a single light source. Hence, one shadow.

(Well, technically, there would be two shadows, but the angle of the shadows would be so similar to one another that there wouldn't be any apparent difference, so it would appear for all intents and purposes to be a single shadow.)

stovokor2000

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Report this Mar. 22 2010, 5:51 pm

Quote (God_in_an_Alcove @ Mar. 22 2010, 2:40 pm)
Quote (stovokor2000 @ Mar. 21 2010, 11:13 pm)
Quote (marshall8472 @ Mar. 22 2010, 1:44 am)
I liked the example they showed in the star trek mistakes video.

Picard goes to risa in episode "captain's holiday". ?When a ferengi puts a shadow over picard, he says "you're blocking the suns" yet we only see one shadow? ?Visual evidence shows that there is only one sun but dialogue says there are two suns. ?Which is canon?

canon is the fact they would use in the next mention of risa's sun(s). ?In this case, when worf and dax went to risa and they showed a sunset with 2 suns, this confirms that dialogue overruled the visual objection.

Lesson learned: dialogue overrules visuals that are overanalyzed.

The question is "would this appear in a later episode as fact? or would the fact from the contradicted evidence appear?" ?that determines what is canon or not, right?

I'm not sure the casting of only 1 shadow would be a error.

Definitely wouldn't be. Two objects of equal intensity that are so far distant from the object casting the shadow but at the same time so close to each other would act as a single light source. Hence, one shadow.

(Well, technically, there would be two shadows, but the angle of the shadows would be so similar to one another that there wouldn't be any apparent difference, so it would appear for all intents and purposes to be a single shadow.)

Thats kind of what I thought......but since I'm no expert I didnt want to make a grand statement or anything.

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