Author Topic: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?  (Read 1182 times)

Offline Lestat

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Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« on: December 27, 2010, 11:40 AM »
Do you guys think star wars has become like Masters of the Universe for the fans (aka a glorified fan fic)? I was watching the prequels this weekend (and painfully reminded what a missed opportunity they were) and thinking about how it's hard to look at all the Star Wars media as one cohesive canon. This is mainly because Lucas seems to care more about the creative process than a consistent unified universe. The prequel trilogy is like one alternate universe, the OT is another, the EU is another and now each separate series of CW seem like two more.

I find my self picking and choosing what I accept as canon and what I don't which actually detracts from my experience as a whole. For example, the OT, and alot of the really early EU (Dark Empire, the Thrawn Trilogy and the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Courtship of Princess Leia etc.) all fit together in my mind. The PT and the 1st Clone wars micro series fit together but not with anything else. The CW cartoon series seems seperate from everything. All of the series are enjoyable (in varying degrees) seperately, but together they are too frustratingly different to reconcile for me. I don't really care for Star Trek that much but it seems (to an outsider) that they have done a much better job of making everything fit together as part of a larger cohesive universe.

Am I just thinking too much or do you guys see this too?

Offline McMetal

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 01:02 PM »
Yes, it's a complete mess now, and you can thank Lucasfilm for not exercising better continuity and quality control over their properties, particularly the written drek. If I was Lucas, I would have hired the most die hard SW geek I could find and put him in charge of maintaining a unified canon. And I would have instituted a very stict adherance policy regarding the books and comics, which are the worst offenders, IMO. Pain in the ass to maintain? You bet. But worth every penny to keep the whole thing from devolving into an unholy, contradictory mess.

I think they just saw fit to start throwing the license up to the highest bidders and were more interested in market share and squeezing every last dollar out of the franchise than they were about the integrity of the story.

I think every fan has to draw their own boundaries and just try to figure out a vision that works for them. Even then, it's an imperfect tapestry at best.

For me, I go in this order, in terms of what I regard as legit:

OT
PT
Droids/Ewoks/etc
TCW Microseries (Tartakovsky)
TCW 3-D

As far as I'm concerned, everything else is just fan-fiction.
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Offline 501ST

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 09:57 AM »
OT and PT movies are the level of canon that is incontrovertible (unless GL decides to mess with it  ::) ) and then anything else like comics and books etc are less canon as they are meant to explore other areas not taken as far on screen.

Clone Wars TV series I see as also partly within both of the above as GL has oversight and there are characters in it who have pivotal placement for certain canonicity from the movies.

Not a big EU fan,not a huge comic reader and don't read too many SW novels etc nowadays.
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Offline Lestat

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #3 on: February 2, 2011, 10:54 AM »
I think if it's approved by Lucasfilm it's canon. To except anything less is a huge cop out IMO. For example Lucasfilm has been very clear that Infinities and Tag and Bink are not canonical. However Knights of the Old Republic and (for some god forsaken reason) Force Unleashed are a part of the canon. There are clear rules that only get bent when the big guy decides to bend them. Issues arise when Lucasfilm gives approval to write something like Boba Fett's origin and Lucas then decides to go back and change it. Which frankly I don't care about because ret-cons are a reality of science fiction. What I do mind is when ret-cons turn something that was good into something that is now confusing or crappy.

What would you guys think if LFL came out and said either 1) Anything that is outside of the live action movies is not canonical or 2) that the stories outside of the movies are divergent timelines?

If Clone wars was a divergent timeline (like in Star Trek or Mobile suit Gundam) then it really could have some surprises and greater longevity. When they are sandwiched between two established films we know none of the main heroes are ever in any real danger. If CW was outside the "canon" then anything could happen. Maybe Anakin never turns to the darkside and leaves the order to raise his kids. Perhaps Palpatine is exposed, ditches the Rule of two and creates a sith army to take over the Republic by force. There really are alot of creative possibilities.

Offline JediJman

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #4 on: February 2, 2011, 11:34 AM »
OT and PT movies are the level of canon that is incontrovertible (unless GL decides to mess with it  ::) ) and then anything else like comics and books etc are less canon as they are meant to explore other areas not taken as far on screen.

I always find this debate humorous.  If someone wants to view just the OT as canon and ignore the rest, then that's their right.  Likewise, if you want to incorporate every aspect of EU from comics to games, then that's fine too.  None of it is real, so the debate over which part of the imaginary SW universe is actual versus not is pretty silly.  And the notion that a comic or book should be taken as less legitimate than the movie is ridiculous - the books are far richer in detail and character development.

Personally, I like the vast majority of EU stories.  The novels are great and comics like Legacy (set 100 years after ANH) are rich stories with complex characters.  It's not for everyone, but I think you're missing out on a lot of great stories if you blanket ignore all of the EU. 

I Also think Lucas has done a pretty amazing job ensuring consistency against the hundreds of different SW storylines and dozens upon dozens of different authors building from his universe.  Yes, some things like Ahsoka in the CW are a bit goofy, but so were the adventures of Luke and Han in Marvel comics back in the day.  There are some stories that I'm not a fan of (Vector storyline in the comics or Death Troopers novel), but I don't really debate whether they happened or not - I just do my best to forget about them.   ;)
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #5 on: February 3, 2011, 03:21 AM »
Lucasfilm has said that everything is part of the "official continuity", but not canon, Lestat.  So basically they've said your one suggestion...  It's the films, and the rest is just part of the "continuity" (until they decide it isn't).  You can choose to indulge in it if you want, or you can avoid it if you want.  But only the films are something that can't be questioned, more or less.

Canon is what Lucas deems as such, nothing else is, and to me I'd say even that is open to debate at this point (hey, if he can dismiss anything LFL approved all willy nilly, why can't we dismiss even **** he writes? ;D).  "Canon" is ultimately what you make it in your mind I think, and you can pick/choose whatever you like.  However, the official stance from Lucasfilm has always been that Lucas has the only say on "canon", and everything else falls under their big catch-all "Official Continuity" stuff.

It's on SW.com if you want to see it.  Just do a search.  "Canon", everything is not.
« Last Edit: February 3, 2011, 03:36 AM by Jesse James »
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Offline Lestat

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #6 on: February 3, 2011, 11:28 AM »
I actually did what you suggested and googled "Star Wars" Canon. What I found was that there are levels of Canon with the movies taking ultimate precedence. EU is considered to be Canon, however if it contradicts something that has a higher level of presidence (like the movies) then the movies trump.


"By 1996, Licensing was keeping an in-house bible of reference materials as the volume of publications, facts, and figures grew to such unwieldy proportions that it became difficult to know everything relevant to a particular project. They finally decided something had to be done to organize the increasingly large collection of media which chronicled the Star Wars universe. A system of canon was developed that organized the materials into what was and wasn't fit for the Star Wars story.

In 2000, Lucas Licensing appointed Leland Chee to create a continuity tracking database referred to as the "Holocron". As with every other aspect having to do with the overall story of Star Wars, the Holocron follows the canon policy that has been in effect for years.

The Holocron is divided into 5 levels (in order of precedence): G-canon, T-canon, C-canon, S-canon, and N-canon.

G-canon is absolute canon; the movies (their most recent release), the scripts, the novelizations of the movies, the radio plays, and any statements by George Lucas himself. G-canon overrides the lower levels of canon when there is a contradiction. Within G-canon, many fans follow an unofficial progression of canonicity where the movies are the highest canon, followed by the scripts, the novelizations, and then the radio plays.

T-canon[1] refers to the canon level comprising only the two television shows: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Star Wars live-action TV series. Its precedence over C-Level canon was confirmed by Chee.[2]

C-canon is primarily composed of elements from the Expanded Universe including books, comics, and games bearing the label of Star Wars. Games and RPG sourcebooks are a special case; the stories and general background information are themselves fully C-canon, but the other elements such as character/item statistics and gameplay are, with few exceptions, N-canon.

S-canon is secondary canon; the story itself is considered non-continuity, but the non-contradicting elements are still a canon part of the Star Wars universe. This includes things like the online roleplaying game Star Wars: Galaxies and certain elements of a few N-canon stories.

N-canon is non-canon. "What-if" stories (such as stories published under the Star Wars: Infinities label), crossover appearances (such as the Star Wars character appearances in Soulcalibur IV), game statistics, and anything else directly contradicted by higher canon ends up here. N-canon is the only level that is not considered official canon by Lucasfilm. A significant amount of material that was previously C-canon was rendered N-canon by the release of Episodes I-III.
Leland Chee continues to answer questions about the Holocron in the Holocron continuity database questions thread at the starwars.com forums."


On August 4, 2004, when asked if the G and C-levels formed separate and independent canon, Chee responded by stating that both were part of a single canon: "There is one overall continuity."


So it's not quite as simple as the films are canon and everything else is not. The EU is canon unless it contradicts the TV show or the movies. "Official Continuity" and Canon mean the same thing so that's really double talk. What's approved by Lucasfilm is canon, it's just a matter of what level of precedence that canon takes over the rest. I agree with you though that ultimately whatever Lucas says is canon is canon.


« Last Edit: February 3, 2011, 11:58 AM by Lestat »

Offline JediJman

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #7 on: February 3, 2011, 02:16 PM »
Look at all the detail behind levels of canon.  Like I siad, pretty silly debate.
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Offline Lestat

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #8 on: February 3, 2011, 02:32 PM »
Look at all the detail behind levels of canon.  Like I siad, pretty silly debate.

The debate is as silly as caring about Star Wars at all. Grown men collecting toys and dressing up as Boba fett is silly too but it is fun. In the same vein, debating the nuances of a galaxy far, far awy may be silly but it is also entertaining to talk about. Isn't that the point of having the forum? :)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #9 on: February 3, 2011, 08:20 PM »
Look at all the detail behind levels of canon.  Like I siad, pretty silly debate.

Exactly...

The point is that they put those "levels" of canon in because NOT EVERYTHING IS CANON!  It's like saying, "well if it fits and George doesn't contradict it, then it's canon".

That's lame.  That's a cheesey way they've come up with trying to end these "what's canon" debates on nerd forums.  They've always said their "Official Continuity" was all one story they intend to fit together...  That's essentially what they're saying here too.  What I said is just as true now as ever, they've just now decided to try making "levels of canon".  Lame.  But it doesn't make what I said any less true at all. 

Everything's part of their "official continuity" as it was known, and now it's all part of their "official canon"...  unless of course it contradicts something Lucas says.  If it does, then Lucas denies it, and it now no longer fits into the canon's highest level.  :)  It's the same thing! 

And it's why arguing about it is lame, haha.

Everything's basically official till Lucas says, "I don't like that, I need more money, and I'm going to rewrite that whole thing".  Then someone at LFL tries really hard to cram them together so they make sense.  It's why I, and most other people I know who care about EU stuff at all, basically just pick and choose what they like and ignore the rest of it.  What you like can easily be written over at some point.

If someone wants to argue the fine points of The Old Republic era with you and you hate all the EU from that era though, how do you argue what's real and what isn't about a fictional universe that can be rewritten at its creator's whim?  It's pointless.
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Offline Lestat

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #10 on: February 3, 2011, 11:09 PM »
If arguing about canon is pointless and stupid then why are you even bothering with this thread? Regardless, this debate has become pointless so I think I'm about done.
« Last Edit: February 3, 2011, 11:12 PM by Lestat »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #11 on: February 3, 2011, 11:59 PM »
Because you asked.  I'm not really intending to "argue" with you about it because nothing's going to suddenly make me think anything is any different than it has ever been. :)  LFL set it up and have maintained it the same way for a couple of decades, and have made some adjustments along the way because of stuff like Clone Wars creeping in, and Clone Wars The Movie, and so on.  Arguing about what is/isn't canon has always been kind of pointless to me because it's always been established that LFL considers it all relevant and official...  till they decide they (and by "they", we all know it means Lucas) don't consider it relevant any longer and decide to change it completely.

I think fans just need to look at it like they're Lucas...  What works that your corporate monster approved, would you choose to **** on because it doesn't fit your ideal?  Make it yours, so you actually enjoy it more.  If something you like doesn't fit, bull**** a reason to make it fit, if you care.
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Offline 501ST

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #12 on: March 3, 2011, 03:47 AM »


I always find this debate humorous.  

Good... laughter is good for the soul.

If arguing about canon is pointless and stupid then why are you even bothering with this thread?

Interesting question indeed.
« Last Edit: March 3, 2011, 03:49 AM by 501ST »
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Offline darthschroeder

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Re: Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 01:37 PM »
I always liked the idea proposed by Robert Brown (the "Millennium Falcon : Ship of Mysteries" guy) :

That the films be taken as a (fictional) "History". 

And then everything else be taken as legend, "based on a true story", or "inspired by true events"

So I can rationalize: of course Luke started a Jedi academy after the Battle of Endor. But Hutts never "really" stole a Death Star gun and flew it around the galaxy.  That's just one of hack holo-drama  producer Jander Son-Nikev's stupid embellishments. 

This mind frame allows me to accept the  "existence" of Mara Jade and Thrawn without losing sleep over the events on which Zahn couldn't outguess George's prequels.

I guess this take on SW is like LFL's "levels of canon", but more individualized. 

George's Films are like "Tora, Tora, Tora,"  where KJA is making "Pearl Harbor."

doug