A Problem of Interdimensional Relational Mechanics

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Kinoko_Otoko, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    Greetings, lifeforms.

    I have made an observation which I find interesting concerning a problem with the interdimensional relational mechanics of the Transformers metaverse.

    The original problem with the Transformers universe was, of course, that there were multiple versions of it which were mutually exclusive. The natural solution to this was to declare the existence of multiple parallel universes within a greater metaverse, so that no matter what happens in any fiction, characters will still remain available to use, new possibilities can be explored, etc. Many fictional universes operate within a greater metaverse for these reasons.

    Recently, I was contemplating a fan fiction featuring a pair of adventuring Transformers who, during their interdimensional hijinx, come to the realization that while every other Transformer apparently still exists in a number of universes despite having been killed in one or more of them (such as their sometimes-friend, sometimes-enemy Cy-Kill), they themselves have apparently been killed off in every different parallel universe. I was going to use this as the basis of some metaphysical pondering, until I realized it presented a problem; namely, that anyone who decided to write a fanfic featuring my characters (because, naturally, they will become phenomenally popular*) will in fact be contradicting my own fiction due to the fact that I have made a blanket statement about every universe, including other fanfics.

    *EDIT: The sentence in bold above is a joke. The entire above paragraph is just an illustration of my thought process leading me to post; I'm not worried about non-existent fan characters.

    This is not actually a great difficulty for me, since I could make the same basic points by saying that there are merely many fewer surviving instances of the characters in question; since there are theoretically infinite universes anyway, any finite number looks fantastically small.

    It's worth noting that there are actually entities which are unique across multiverses, and that there is an official explanation for why they can exist in multiple universes simultaneously (basically they make their own definition for 'simultaneous') and why they can be killed repeatedly (basically time travel by virtue of differing time flows). These explanations, while just a touch contrived, are a convincing enough handwave for the case of individuals; however there is another problem. Incidentally, it's also worth noting that I didn't know about multiversal singularities until I started researching for this post. The more you know!

    The remaining problem is this: It has been stated, or at least strongly implied, that the TransTech universe is unique and possibly something of a 'core' universe. Why is this a problem? Well, because it brings back the original problem that necessitated the implementation of a multiverse scenario in the first place: if a given universe is unique, you can't have divergent/contradictory events taking place in it. Therefore IDW, for instance, can never create a later iteration of the TransTech universe and turn it into an ongoing comic unless they scrupulously follow the previously established continuity. Similarly,if the universe itself is unique it implies that, even though they may not be unique in the wider multiverse, the TransTech version of any given Transformer is unique... implying, for instance, that while the 'normal' Cy-Kill can be killed any number of times, the TransTech Cy-Kill can only die once (and apparently has).

    Now, don't get me wrong; I don't really believe any of this is a genuine problem any more than the original Marvel comic vs. Sunbow cartoon discrepancy was a problem. Rationalization is easy. The TransTech universe isn't unique; like all continuities, there are multiple versions of it. And its phenomenon of a civilized, advanced Cybertron, like all 'unusual' universal circumstances (another instance being the Shattered Glass mirrorverse), can quite likely be found repeated in other, completely separate continuities. The only thing the TransTech universe has to make it unique is the manner in which it tends to act as a hub for interdimensional travel. I refer of course to Axiom Nexus. And even this need not be truly unique, if one simply envisions the interdimensional links as threads in a web, where the greatest likelihood in any given universe is for there either to be a thread linking it to a TransTech 'verse, or for such a link to form naturally upon the activation of interdimensional travel devices. Note that I say a TransTech universe; there could easily be an infinite number of TransTech universes connected to an infinite number of alternate versions of the same continuities that are connected to the known, canon TransTech 'verse.

    In other words, there can easily be any number of entire parallel meta-multiverses, and this is exactly as it should be. Because that way we can have the Shattered Glass TransTech BeastWars universe where the noble Cy-Kill's graceful antelope alt-form attracts the attentions of the demure and much-desired pop idol, Blackarachnia. And they live happily ever after.

    ...

    I must confess I wonder if anyone will read this, as I imagine myself to be unusual in my propensity for pondering the wider implications of things like multiversal relational mechanics. Indeed, I'm not really asking a question with this post, but more accurately presenting a thought I had experienced for the benefit of anyone who cares to read; but by all means, do surprise me with illumination should you see a flaw in my reasoning. And if you did enjoy reading, please post a response of some kind so that I can gauge the number of those who are interested in this kind of deep thought... This is not my only mentation, and I might share more in the future if there seems to be any demand for such a thing.

    Now forgive me for (metaphorically) listening to the sound of my own (figurative) voice, and if you've truly made it this far, then I thank you. If even one person appreciates this, it will have been worth my time writing it.
     
  2. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I tried. But you lost me after "Greetings, lifeforms."

    I appreciate that you put that much thought, time and effort into explaining whatever it was you were explaining. You were talking way over my little pea-brain, but it makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only obsessive-compulsive TF fan out there.

    Also, welcome to TFW2005. What a way to introduce yourself to the fandom there, buddy!
     
  3. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    Haha, thanks!

    I don't go in much for chit chat; small talk is a skill alien to me and I'm only starting to develop it (and that only because it seems I have no choice if I wish to be successful).

    I tend to make very verbose posts about serious topics. And about not-so-serious topics.

    There is actually quite a bit of stuff like my post on tfwiki.net, but I imagine it's mostly posted by a relatively small handful of people, who may or may not be members of this board... we'll see.
     
  4. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    As much as I complain about what a headache continuity is in Transformers, I really eat up discussions over it. So your post was a fun read. But the idea that even shattered glass can't be kept in a tidy single continuity makes me want to jump off a space bridge.
     
  5. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    See, I don't get that attitude. Why would you want to keep anything in a single continuity? You're just putting artificial limits on something that could (and should) be limitless.

    It kind of leads into the whole snake's nest issue of canon versus non canon, which I also intend to make a post about... but what it boils down to is exclusivity. The multiverse of separate continuities makes anything possible and that, to me, is where the fun lies. No matter how convoluted things get. Of course, it also allows you to simply discount things you don't like. Which is also nice. Canon just provides a filter of sorts as to how much of a given continuity the casual fan should bother paying attention to.

    What I can understand is your disappointment with canon continuity itself, seeing as it has traditionally been handled with a distinct lack of forethought, to put it mildly.

    Thankfully, as I understand it, the TransTech fiction has been handled by Fun Publications, who seem to know what they're doing. So at least we probably don't have to worry about a canon meta-multiverse. I was mostly thinking of theoretical fan fiction being served by that particular construct.

    Thank you.
     
  6. Wollstone

    Wollstone Banned

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    I think the reason why they don't delve into multi-verse metaphysical conceptual stories more often is because it tends to muddy things up.

    Look at DC Comics, it took them over 20 years to fix the continuity of their titles after the biggest multi-universe fictional tale.
     
  7. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed your post and look forward to the 'canon vs non-canon' topic you intend on starting.
     
  8. GENOZAUR

    GENOZAUR Banned

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    the guy soundas like a real doc brown /perceptor /spock/egon type of guy and as much as i love reading and watching scinece fiction myself this stuff is way over my head
     
  9. Stryder Wolfe

    Stryder Wolfe Is it...Safe???

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    Sheldon?

    Ha I kid....interesting post...although I agree with the idea that multiverses should be infinite I also think it's sort of a cheat, story-wise, since it lessens the impact of any single event in any one continuity...so while giant transdimensional stories are often interesting and grand, I prefer smaller, more human (read: individualistic) stories.

    Still it's nice that you have a valid argument for cherry-picking your favourite bits of each continuity. I do that in my brain (for example, in my head, rumble is blue and jazz acts just like he did in the sunbow cartoon, while grimlock and blaster are from the marvel g1 continuity. However they co-exist on my toy shelf just fine).

    anyway keep up the thoughtful posts....I love reading them
     
  10. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    I'm assuming when you say it tends to muddy things up, you mean it makes them unclear. I don't see why this needs to be the case. As for 'fixing' a continuity, I feel it's a similar issue... A continuity can not be broken. It seems unclear because event A seems not to lead to effect B but instead to effect C, when really you're looking at event A-2 and effect B-2, where events A and A-2 appear identical but effects B and B-2 do not and may not even be similar.

    If an event appears to have two divergent outcomes, then it does have two divergent outcomes. If universe A claims to descend from the existing contuinuity B but contradicts that continuity at the same time, then it's implied that universe A actually descends from continuity B-2.

    In other words, you simply assume everything is exactly as it appears to be. If it appears to be something it's not, then it's not what you thought it was.

    Perhaps I should make an example of this. For the sake of abstraction I'm going to use Superman, because I know nothing of DC comics. Let's say Superman throws Lex Luthor's heavily armed and operational space station out of Earth orbit at some point. It drifts away into the solar system on an ambiguous trajectory. In the very next issue, it's stated that the station fell into the sun and was destroyed. Later, there's a separate story from a different comic series which supposedly exists in the same continuity. However, it explicitly features the station being recovered by, say, Batman. In a multiverse this is quite straightforward: The second story is obviously descended from the first story's continuity, but due to contradictory events it's implied that the continuity is divergent. The same key events happened: Lex Luthor makes a space station and Superman throws it out of orbit. But in one universe, its orbit decays into a collision course with the sun; in another universe it doesn't. Same events, different outcome. No big deal.

    Thank you.

    Have you ever heard the story of the boy and the starfish? The story goes a little boy is walking along the beach as the tide is receding. There are hundreds of starfish stranded on the beach, from high tide; as the boy walks along he is picking some of them up and tossing them into the ocean. A man coming the other way stops to watch the boy's progress, then comments, 'Why bother? That can't possibly make any difference.' The boy replies, 'It does to this one.' And chucks another starfish back into the ocean.

    The point is, even if you know there are alternate universe versions of you, I'm fairly certain that's not going to be any consolation when Unicron eats YOU. Just because you can posit a divergent continuity where your favorite character survives, that doesn't remove the continuity where he didn't. As much as I like to imagine a continuity where Brainstorm and his human partner weren't impaled on Unicron's fingernail and subsequently eaten, there will always be a continuity where that totally happened and I find that horrifying.

    And I agree competely that large-scale, epic stories don't have as much impact as more personal stories. But that holds true whether or not the stories take place across different dimensions. You can have a story made more poignant by the fact that there are multiple versions of everyone... For instance, imagine an unlucky Transformer who watched his soulmate die horribly, only to end up in a universe where he saved his soulmate. So he has to watch another him living happily with the one he failed to save. Just an example off the top of my head.

    That's just personal canon... everyone has a personal canon, even if it's just a preference of one series over the others. That's true even without an official multiverse to support it.

    And thank you.
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    So your impetus for all this philosophizing is so people won't steal your fanfic characters?
     
  12. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    On the contrary, it's so that people can steal my fanfic characters without causing a contradiction and making me look foolish. When I say I expect my fanfic characters to become phenomena I'm being a bit optimistic, (EDIT: That means it was a joke) since I've now written precisely one part of one fanfic (for any franchise).

    And really I'm not trying to accomplish anything with this topic; it's just here because I felt like sharing my thoughts.
     
  13. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    I just pretend the "Multiverse" doesn't exist. It makes no sense, and as your long-winded yet rather thoughtfully composed statement shows it just raises too many questions. /Kilmer
     
  14. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I'm okay with multidimensional-ism in my fiction, as long as there is free pie in all of them.
     
  15. Cyber-Scream

    Cyber-Scream Well-Known Member

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    huh?
     
  16. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    :lol 

    while in real world terms theres a much more practical (not to mention easier) explanation for hasbros non-single continuity, TF lore has always been opened to the concept of extra dimensions as early as target 2006 storyline and reinforced in time wars: it is an accepted (if not widely acknowledged) that even in g1 there are may be more than 1 version of history (not talking about fanon too). so whether itd be AEC, animated, etc, it just takes a little creativity ans some wishful thinking to tie em all together.

    personally i dont see the need tho. you can see the effort in SW universe, the incongruity between canon and EU and ive always found TF fiction more attractive grounds in that theres more possibilities and lessm for lack of a better word, creativity red tape.
     
  17. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    Thank you for your compliment.

    Hmm... I was going to write a thought provoking response to this. However, 'the pros and cons of multiverse continuities in fiction' wasn't really the topic I was trying to start. More like, 'how to shoot yourself in the foot by establishing a multiverse and then making explicitly unique concepts therein, thereby defeating the point of establishing a multiverse in the first place'. But the former seems to be a rather more popular topic. Perhaps I should start a new thread?

    Meanwhile, feel free to proceed with intelligent discourse herein.

    ...

    EDIT:
    Blast! You replied while I was replying.

    It took me a minute to decipher the acronyms, since I'm new to this kind of discussion. To be clear, in order, they are: Armada/Energon/Cybertron, Star Wars, and Expanded Universe. Right?

    I agree completely with your point. The way the TF multiverse is set up is specifically to allow unlimited freedom from the necessity for tying everything together: there are no absolutes. My original point is that it's still possible to screw this up by making an exception to the rule and declaring something to be absolute. That's all I'm really saying.
     
  18. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    It's an interesting discussion, but as mentioned, all this because of concern over fanfic characters? It seems a bit much.

    The multiverse is a great idea and we even have a numbering system that while complex, is a bit of fun fanwank. Where it runs into a major problem is with the idea of multiversal singularities, which is beyond stupid. Starting with the idea that in the entire multiverse they happen to be created only once to the difficulty in explaining how Unicron, The Fallen, and Alpha Trion's in all the incarnations are the same three bots is beyond implausible (Unicron and Alpha Trion moreso).

    Given the seemingly limitless nature of the Multiverse, at best you could make the case of the "Bookshelf" approach. While each universe is a page in the book with an Axiom Nexus as an index, there would be limits to even that as being such a core that there would be other "books" of universes out there that are largely unconnected with "our book", filled with other tremendously divergent universes. Then should your so popular Hasbro makes figures out of them characters be featured, they're just from another "book" so to say.
     
  19. Spiderus Prime

    Spiderus Prime TFW Spongebob since 2007

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    Tigermegatron is that you?
     
  20. nemisispringer

    nemisispringer Well-Known Member

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    Specially megatron :lol 

    To the thread starter
    This kind of stuff goes straight over my head are you suggesting works by fans dont fit into the official continuity or should because that really doesnt make sense to me why should they because the official cannon is set up as a multiverse of alternate reality that doesnt mean that anything people produce in a fanfic will fit it just means anything offical canon produces should be tailored to fit however im sure it isnt without serious retconning face it hasbro isnt going to go over anything ever creted under the brand in order to get it to fit

    although takara did do something like this and if ind some of there explanations very intresting
     

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