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Do you accept everything as Canon or do you pick and choose?

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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?

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:

TCW Microseries (Tartakovsky)

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

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.

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.


--- Quote from: 501ST 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.
--- End quote ---

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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