Lit Feelings about the EU after Retcon

Discussion in 'Literature' started by windu4, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    I 've always turned to the EU as my own form of Star Wars canon. Especially after the Prequel Trilogy. Even though I personally feel that the EU tends to drop the ball I've always enjoyed it and the characters that have been explored. Yet as of late it's been really hard for me to come to terms with my feelings.

    I was a huge fan of the Clone Wars comics that came out (along with the books) a few years back after the Clone Wars movie came out. I'm not a huge fan of the movie but I am a huge fan of the comic books. People like Quinlan Vos and Dooku were fleshed out very well and the dynamic of Anakin and Obi-Wan was explained to a greater degree. Then I heard of the TCW movie/tv show which I am not a fan of at all.


    Basically since marketing the Clone Wars to a younger age group was considered more profitable than maintaing the EU were thrown all these changes. The moment Anakin Skywalker was given an apprentice I knew that the EU for Clone Wars was finished. After that there are so many conflictions that establish the television show as new canon instead of old canon.

    Then there's the new Star Wars Trilogy. I'm much more open to this but I have the feeling that this trilogy is again going to ignore two decades of established EU for their own story. I know George Lucas can do whatever he wants and I've come to terms with that. But does knowing that the EU has essentially been reduced to an alternative timeline (read: published fanfiction) change your feelings on what your reading? Does it take away from your experience knowing that this isn't what happened in a galaxy far, far away?
  2. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    There are only two TCW conflicts that are irreconcilable, and we've generally settled on Piell and Galia being titles of some kind now.

    Apocalypse is looking (from my opinion), as setup for the Sequel Trilogy. Really is.

    How Dreadnaughts of Rendilli and Obsession sit with the shuffled TCW timeline is also the only issues that have yet to be remedied.
    kataja likes this.
  3. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    I still don't see how Anakin/Ahsoka aren't irreconciliable differences. In between the comic books and clone war novels and the other show they were pretty thorough.
  4. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    star 7
    It just shuffles things.

    The dates of events have been moved before. The original Clone Wars was moved. The date of TUF was nudged to 29 ABY rather than 30 ABY. Birth dates and months are nudged all the time.

    Ahsoka is just information we never had.

    I'll acknowledge it's frustrating, but it's reconcilable.
  5. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    My mistake then! I suppose this thread really is kind of pointless then :p
  6. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Oh, it definitely isn't.

    A lot of people stop paying attention to the EU when Young Jedi Knights ends, or when the New Jedi Order ends. Or completely ignore the Clone Wars cartoon. Or disregard Dark Empire. And not just for continuity reasons!

    You just happened to have opened the thread when one of the people who is still reading and paying attention to everything was about. Wait until morning, US-time. They'll be here and agreeing with you and everything I just said will look pointless. :p
    windu4 likes this.
  7. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    I always enjoyed the EU as a "parallel universe" (as GL put it). Never considered it "what actually happened".
    Alexrd likes this.
  8. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Frankly, I think there are only a limited number of way to 'divide up' the EU for one's personal consumption. One is to ignore it entirely.

    The other is to segregate events by date. It is relatively easy to produce AU variations on the EU that hold up effectively based on discrete cut-offs in the timeline. It is far more difficult to do so by picking and choosing one source against another, various EU materials are simply far too self-referential. This is also the method that the Sequel Trilogy will hopefully take: picking a point in the EU timeline and shunting everything following that date (whether it is 4 ABY, 25 ABY, or 50 ABY to name the three most obvious points) into an alternate universe.

    And I would echo Sinrebirth's general point that there's a fair amount of flexibility to the retconning. Admittedly some of it is of the wink-wink nudge-nudge variety, but as long as it doesn't get too bad the universe is simply so big that it can absorb it without too much difficulty. Even TCW, if you accept the premise that 100 epsodes worth of TV were going to get dropped into the Clone Wars, has not required that many changes.
    kataja likes this.
  9. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Well, given that I'm one of the people who's given up on post-NJO EU, my massive regard for completionism has also fallen by the wayside. I still love the EU, and I enjoy the virtuoso continuity performances of the likes of Abel Peña, Dan Wallace, Jason Fry, Pablo Hidalgo, Leland Chee, etc. (despite my occasional strong disagreement with some of the choices) but I'm no longer going to cry that it's the end of the world when something doesn't fit.

    Now, I still wish people would do better: and I certainly have hope that with Lucas's role minimized we might see more attention paid to continuity, but continuity isn't the main reason I like EU. The EU is the reason I like the EU.
  10. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I would like to think that after NJO ended the next thing would be the Legacy comics but I like parts of DNT/LOTF/MF/FOTJ that I can't just throw it out.
    I am wondering about the placement of 7-9 and the rest of the EU just like everyone else.
    I have the original Clone War books and all but the TCW movie novelization. I'm working on getting the comics for the original comic run. I also haven't seen the series since season 2. So no idea on how to fix that.
  11. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Remember how Boba Fett was really legendary journey man Jastor Mareel [face_laugh] so things have been changed before.

    To be honest I am not too bothered anyway, the EU has gotten way to big and large parts to be totally frank are not very good and deserved to be retconned.

    The problems lie with the publishers both Bantam and Del-Rey and what they did and how they did it.

    OTOH Some EU is pretty good and can make a mark and cannot be retconned.

    Zahns TTT despite being out in 1991, yet apart from the odd date, still holds up. Its still remembered and known outside EU circles too. Even the Times in the UK mentioned it when the Disney news broke.
    Or Stovers Revenge of the Sith ( also argubly the best EU) book is so well written and tells such a good story its considered better than the film and again is known outside just EU circles and again can't be retconned.
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I'd disagree with your claim that the EU is simply published fan fiction - it may not be now what it once was, but not everyone gets offered the chance to write a SW story and even when someone does, there's no guarantee their work will make it through the entire process, works have been axed!

    Is there a clear sense of the LFL left and right hands not talking to each other? Oh definitely.

    But why are we here? Because we're active primarily as fans and not consumers, consumers would have legged it years it ago and as for posting on a SW message board....
    Zorrixor likes this.
  13. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    I don't like the idea of thinking of the EU as "Fanfiction" but I feel like that's what it is. Not because of the quality of writing but because of the fact that George Lucas can literally retcon whatever he wants and I've learned that the EU is just an "Alternative Future" which just seems like a waste of effort for something that's been around for so long. That being said I people are still willing too add/subtract/edit the SW canon line to adjust for stuff like this so I may be under-analyzing the situation.
    Last edited by windu4, Dec 28, 2012
  14. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks to Warhammer 40K, I now have far more tolerance for "looser" canon, so I am not all that concerned. That, and the fact that the last few Del Rey series have killed off a good chunk of enthusiasm for the universe as a whole. I actually like the Clone Wars series quite a bit personally.
  15. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    Does anyone find themselves placing the Canon of the EU ABOVE the movies?
  16. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    QFT.

    Did Han shoot first? Did he? [face_whistling]

    And when Disney remakes the OT in 20 years (don't pretend it won't happen) will the original OT just be fanfiction?

    To a lot of people, George Lucas or Walt Disney can do whatever they want: it'll still be the baby that gets thrown out with the bathwater, so there will still be people who will just choose to ignore things, regardless of whatever the Mouse, peace be upon him, now chooses to divine in his new role as the Prophet who has come to cast aside the heretofore hidden truths of that galaxy far, far away. (Seriously, if the ST does scrap stuff, you can bet your boots that it'll just lead to "Han shot first!" debates forevermore.)

    And that's why I really don't see the ST as anything new: like @Sinrebirth says, the EU has gone through such things before.
    kataja likes this.
  17. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    The premise behind this comment is that 'fanfiction' is a prejorative term. That is unfair to Star Wars, Star Trek, and in fact any shared universe enterprise or any appropriation of art in the public domain.

    All art becomes public property over time (due to the very specific actions of the Walt Disney Corporation a rather longer period of time than it did say, seventy years ago). Therefore everything becomes subject to so-called 'fanfiction' eventually. The term fanfiction is a legal, not literary, designation - one that references the fact that a derivative work violates current copyright law. That's it. So the misnomer of 'published fanfiction' applies to all derivative works that have been duly liscensed by their copyright holders, or any derivative work based on material that is in the public domain, including things like Les Miserables the musical.

    Now fan-fiction does have a colloquial meaning that references written material, usually produced by a single author without access to a publisher, and made available for free. This generally comments on the lack of quality control associated with such material. This dovetails with a certain viewpoint of literary criticism that is already prejudiced against both derivative and genre works (Star Wars and other major shared world settings tend to be both), so there's this built in idea that the Star Wars EU is some sort of poor quality product from the outset.

    Ultimately, the Star Wars EU is a very strange, possibly nearly unique derivative work universe. The policy of having a single universal continuity for something so unbelievably immense - many times larger than the RPG settings to which it is best comparable - and across so many media is really rather astonishing. Of course it's imperfect. Certainly there are quality control issues, there's plenty of material that was published under Lucasfilm's label that never should have seen the light of day, but that should be judged on its own merits.
    TheCouncilHistorian and kataja like this.
  18. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Han certainly shot first in ESB :D which was even more morally reprehensible as far as he was concerned Vader was unarmed.

    I doubt they will remake the OT but I would have no problem with them redoing the PT and I am sure they will give it a go.
  19. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    If only.
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  20. Zorkel567 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2010
    star 3
    Having thought a lot about Apocalypse recently, I really believe it has been used as a way to set up a new opening for the ST, and am really hoping that that is the case. I understand that Lucas can change what he wants, but without the EU, the Prequel trilogy probably would not have been made, and Star Wars wouldn't be as big as it is today. Star wars had died out, and without the Thrawn trilogy, it may have stayed dead. Lucas has been making money off the EU for the last 20 years, and I feel he should consider it canon, or at least the majority of it. If he didn't want it made, didn't consider it "real," then he could have said no to publishing it. But he let them, and I feel he should consider them canon then. He wanted the money they made him, then he should treat those who have been buying for years now with respect and place the EU as canon like his show and the films. He let them be made, he profited from them, then he should treat them, and the fans, with respect.
    windu4 likes this.
  21. Darth_Kevin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 5
    He also believe that "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side", but in that case I think Vader proved him wrong for "the Force was his ally".
  22. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Just the post-'83 movies.
    Reaper63 likes this.
  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I remember back in the day when Greedo was some young, cocky kid who was out to prove himself. Barely on the edge of adulthood (not even the legal drinking age in Pennsylvania!) and Han blasts him good. Kind of made more of an impact when Han blasts some naive nineteen-year-old war orphan, rather than some 40+ luckless thug.

    But, alas...
  24. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Why was it okay to retcon Greedo's identity in TPM but not in TCW? Was there something specific about his TCW appearance that inarguably confirmed him as the same character from ANH, or is TCW a more absolute level of canon than Episode I?
  25. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Because the Flanneled One demanded to have his way.