Lit The concept of canon: good or bad?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by darklordoftech, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. darklordoftech Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 6
    Feel free to share your opinion here.
    El Jedi Colombiano likes this.
  2. Reveen Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    The concept of linear time is a lie brought on by our restricted capacity to perceive the universe around us. If we were more like Doctor Manhattan we wouldn't have to deal with this canon crap.
  3. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 5
    Personally, I don't care what GL or LFL or anyone else decrees to be official canon. I decide what I like and what I don't and I determine what is canon for me. I have no desire to make anyone else conform to my canon and no desire to conform to anyone else's canon.
  4. General Immodet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    SW Canon: Everybody should decide for himself what he considers to be canon.

    Literature Canon: = male, white, dead
  5. Darth_Xeres Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2010
    star 2
    At the risk of being decried, I'll say that canon is very important to me. It was the fact that the SW novel line was an official continuation of the movie series that made me decide to devote time and money to it. I have no interest in "what-ifs" and universes where material that comes out one month/year might well invalidate a lot of/all the material that was published last month/year (thus my lack of interest in superhero comics). If the SW novel line had been non-canon from the start like Star Trek's, I wouldn't have bothered with it.

    What that said, I'm hardly one of those "the EU must be included in/part of the ST!" fanatics. In fact, I hope the EU will not be part of the ST, and that the ST will have a fully blank slate to work with continuity-wise. As for the EU, I hope it (or at least its post-Endor era) will be declared an alternate universe, fully canon within its own continuity but not affecting the ST continuity beyond serving as a pool of characters/planets/vehicles/ideas for the ST to draw from as desired. Yes, I'd be sad that the EU that I've spent so much time in would no longer be the official continuation of the movies, but that is more than made up for by the thought of exploring an all-new EU set in the ST era with the thousands of enthusiastic new/returned SW fans that the ST will hopefully create.
  6. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    I think there's a universe, pun not intended, of difference between enjoying a unified continuity and seeing value in it, versus seeing it as the sole thing of value. Every time someone brings up, say, Marvel's 616 and Ultimate universes, detractors respond that, oh, "it's different for comic books". But there's nothing inherent to superheroes that makes a multiverse easier to sustain, any more than SW inherently couldn't sustain one. Even at this late date, I would still prefer to keep one timeline in SW, but if it's not to be, then that wouldn't ipso facto keep me from enjoying a new timeline--or devalue the old one, for that matter.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Aug 3, 2013
  7. blackmyron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    My sig pretty much sums up my feelings about it. It's what makes works like LOTR and Game of Thrones compelling - a rich, deep background. And honestly, Lit would be a duller place without it.
  8. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 6
    I view every single media franchise ever as all one canon. Unless the main, driving media (film or TV) contradicts it. Or there's a specific multi-verse set-up to differentiate the different lines. To me, I see zero difference between Star Trek spin-off canon and Star Wars spin-off canon. It all happened. These are fictional characters who lead incredibly busy lives. They can do all this stuff.
    Gamiel likes this.
  9. instantdeath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with this. On one hand, I do agree that a tightly regulated continuity adds a degree of credibility to the fictional universe that would otherwise be absent, and in turn, this consistent continuity strengthens the sum of the stories but also the individual parts: in other words, even the bad stories are made better simply by being a part of the larger whole. On the other, I can't entirely agree with the LOTR and ASOIAF comparison, because these works are the product of one mind, and are on a smaller scale than something like Star Wars: they're both just one series, where Star Wars is a massive multimedia franchise that has been continuing for over 30 years.

    With a few exceptions, I like the timeline we have. That said, I also believe that, in a franchise that has been going for as long as Star Wars has, it was only a matter of time until it got packed. Now, the EU fan could easily retort that the timeline isn't packed, that there's plenty of opportunities to go back and tell stories (in some cases, there are gaps of thousands of years that just beg to be filled). But I think the simple fact is that many fans aren't looking for more esoteric parts of the timeline filled. They don't want to read about the exploits of Xim the Despot, or read about campaigns in the New Sith Wars. I think comic book characters prove that audiences find certain ideas and characters so endearing that they don't mind them being constantly remade; they don't getting multiple choice answers.

    "What happened to Luke, Leia and Han after Return of the Jedi?" is a question big enough to justify multiple answers, in my personal opinion. Star Wars is unique in that its a franchise with size and scale to rival, say, a large comic book universe, but its treated more like a book series in that it tries to stay consistent. I love that, and I don't like the idea of losing it. But I've also come to think that multiple interpretations of the story could exist without compromising the integrity of each other (well, the integrity that LOTF hasn't already compromised.) A single consistent universe has its advantages, but it does have its disadvantages too; in Star War's case, all writers are bound to mistakes made by others. Because of what Troy Denning and other writers did to the post-NJO era, many of the better SW writers don't want to work there any more. ASOIAF and LOTR benefit greatly by being written by one author in this area, because no one is allowed to trample over the toes of anyone else.

    So I suppose my post can be summed up as, "I'm an indecisive bastard."
    Last edited by instantdeath, Aug 3, 2013
  10. darklordoftech Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 6
    Makes you wonder what the TOR timeline videos would be like without KJA.
  11. AlyxDinas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    It only really works when everyone subscribes to it and there is the problem.

    Especially when someone who's a bit enamoured of his artistic status decides to casually overwrite what he was happy to authorise and make money from years before because, hey they're fans, they'll get over it, right?

    It's different for comic books? To be fair it is. While it's sold as one continuity, no one really buys that 70-80 years of stories can really be reconciled perfectly. DC reboot, Marvel revise and they've both got numerous escape hatches all over the place for plots that go wrong. Although I'm not sure anyone expected, way back in 1991 for the EU to be going still 20 years down the line. Or for the timeline of the big 3 to jump forward just under half a century!

    I can't say I care as much about canon as the continuity - Trek books aren't canon, but they have had a pretty good continuity across the line from 1999 onwards. Why does that matter? Because it gives a sense of a shared universe, a grand collaboration with those of like minds. If there has become one major difference between Trek and Wars at the books level, it would seem that Trek fans are far more interested in having further stories of the characters and aren't as eager to see said characters killed off. There's a much greater interest in following characters that Wars has lost, characters seem to be more perceived as pieces on a board.

    I guess it could be said Trek is far more conservative in the best way, it wants to retain material to use in future books, it wants to keep itself running in a more sustainable fashion when compared to the radicalism that has characterised the Wars EU for the last decade.
  13. blackmyron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    True, but the comparison is more about the depth of the background of the world rather than how many "cooks" are involved. But would I still be invested in Star Wars if the cantina population remained a bunch of monster masks thrown together? Probably not.

    Although I'm amused that Lucas-as-consultant is apparently lecturing Disney people with things like "Most vehicles in Star Wars don't use wheels".
  14. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    Most of what was 'canon' twenty years ago is no longer canon, or altered significantly. It's an abstraction that's ever changing, so I try not to obsess over it.
  15. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Stuff is altered- but very little that was canon in 1993 is not canon now.
  16. Zeta1127 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    I respected the concept of canon, until Darth Maul "returned" in TCW, though my faith in the concept was already severally strained by TCW in general and the disaster that is the Denningverse.
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  17. Adrian the Cool Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    In almost all fictional universes I go along with the official canon if there is one. In Star Wars, I try to do so, still there are some parts I just cannot accept while I made up some by myself. ^^

    There are some things like:
    Legacy of the Force, Fate of the Jedi, Dark Nest, together with the entire post-NJO nonsense
    The Force Unleashed, say it's story, events and Galen Mareks uber-Force powers
    3,2 million clonetroopers, a few thousand Hammerhead like the entire number-crunching
    Crystal Star
    Darth Maul's return in The Clone Wars (maybe the worst of all?)
    A lot of inconsitencies like TCW vs. old Prequel EU, Marvel comics vs. new DH comics and the upcoming new movies against the entire post-Endor EU

    Just same examples why I don't consider all story and background fiction labeled as "canon" part of the Star Wars universe canon by myself.
    Last edited by Adrian the Cool, Aug 3, 2013
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  18. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    Sith originating from the First Great Schism? The holocron in Dark Empire was a unique, one of a kind item that Palpatine could not reproduce. The Clone Wars timeline of the Thrawn trilogy? Pellaeon fought against the clones? Canon is an abstraction that is ever changing and will always be changing in the future.
  19. Adrian the Cool Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    The CIS used a few clones in the war, too. Pelleaon fought such an Seperatist cloned army on the Republic side during the Clone Wars.

    Still, you're right that canon is ever changing. What's highest Lucasfilm canon today, may be declared non-canon by Disney the next day. A lot of stuff that seems absolutely impossible to all modern sciences today, could be everyday-reality next century...
    Last edited by Adrian the Cool, Aug 3, 2013
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Re: Darth Maul...

    Thing I Don't Like =/= Continuity Error
  21. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I find it a curious phenomenon that when it comes to certain "fixes" or "rationalizations," people are quick to point them out, but when it comes to other contradictions it's an unfixable travesty that has ruined Star Wars for them. What this tells me, and it's true for me as well, is that people don't get upset about canon itself, but for the fact that it preserves things that they like. Canon isn't an end, it's a means to an end. For instance, I'm willing to forgive a lot of the stuff I named because ultimately none of that stuff is important to me. They're extraneous details that aren't important to any of the stories they appear in. You can tell what a person truly values in the Expanded Universe based upon what breaches of canon upset them.
  22. Zeta1127 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    If George Lucas wanted me to believe Darth Maul had survived, he shouldn't have waited until 2011 to make such a claim. Its ingrained in how I know what happened in Star Wars that Darth Maul killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo in 32 BBY, just like its ingrained that Anakin Skywalker never had a Padawan and the multimedia project is what happened during the Clone Wars.
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  23. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I think canon is a bad thing when it is restrictive to new stories. But this sounds like you just don't like TCW rather than anything having to do with canon.
    darklordoftech likes this.
  24. instantdeath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    How dare you make such a baseless accusation. [face_devil]
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  25. Zeta1127 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    My problem with TCW is quite simply this, a whole new level of canon was created and its only representative conveniently seems to go out of its way to contradict the existing Clone Wars, in a manner that makes it seem like they did it just because they could and that film and TV are the only things that truly matter in Star Wars canon, which is the same mentality Star Trek possess, not that I have a problem with Star Trek, I like it too.