Star Trek: Discovery, the X-Men, and Canon.
So people are making hay about Star Trek: Discovery bending or breaking canon, and I have this to say…
An analogy I’ll draw is why I prefer the Marvel editorial style over DC.
Here’s the reality about comics. For most, you have 12 issues coming out over the course of a year, and a plot arc of 6 issues can easily take place over the course of a single evening. So as a result, several years worth of storytelling can only encompass a few days of in-story time.
How does DC handle this? Well they developed convoluted multiple timelines, and when things became too stupidly complex to maintain, they presented an in-universe Crisis event to reset everything. And they seem dedicated to presenting explanations for everything that they change, to appease that technocratic and mirthless demographic of the comics fanbase that would excoriate them for any lapse in continuity.
How does Marvel handle this? They seem to have a perpetual policy of retroactive continuity. How old is Cyclops in canon at this point? Maybe 40? When did we see him going through his College years? In the 1960s. How do they explain the discontinuity? Well why on Earth would they have to. Any reasonable person could follow the subtle changes. Kids don’t care about decades old lore. And adults have the capacity to simply keep up.
So lets keep track of the things in the original series that just don’t make sense here…
Women not being allowed to command starships, via Turnabout Intruder.
Warp Drive having just been invented, via The Menagerie.
The Organians and a multitude of other looming, powerful races being wiped away with the advent of The Next Generation.
So Star Trek has been in a constant process of being reinvented. I’m okay with that.
What I’m really grappling with is the regressive elements of the fanbase rejecting the notion of women in leading roles. I object to people trumpeting that they’re going to pirate the show instead of supporting the franchise that they supposedly love. I loathe oblivious fans trash talking the design of the Discovery.
So through all this, I have no patience for canon purists. Roddenberry was the first person to retcon, with his redesign of the Klingons in The Motion Picture. It’s okay to continue that trend.