To Russia, With Love

Re:  Canon Issue


My new friend has a very confused view of the Star Wars canon and the role of the Expanded Universe, similar in most respects to that of his rabid comrades.   Though it's been done several times before (1, 2, 3, etc.), I'll explain this yet again:

Basically, the Lucas quote states that "they don't intrude on my world, which is a select period of time" . . . The EU is a parallel universe - a period of time not covered by movies, not some other place (notice that the "Expanded Unvierse" means expanded in time, not in location).

Anyone who's seen the entire quote, or even just the earlier TV Guide quote, knows this isn't accurate.  

"TVGuide: Yet novelists have written "Star Wars" sequels using the same characters and extending their stories. 

George Lucas: Oh, sure. They're done outside my little universe. "Star Wars" has had a lot of different lives that have been worked on by a lot of different people. It works without me." 

That's from a TV Guide interview with George Lucas from November 2001.  Note well that he places the novels outside his "little universe". Then, in the summer of 2002, he had this to say in Cinescape:

"“There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books.  They don’t intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe.”"

As I've had to explain repeatedly, there's no dancing around the quote above.  Warsies like Wong (and now Stas) like to try to seek refuge in the "intrude" part of the quote, and pretend it alters the meaning of and therefore overrides "parallel universe", "two worlds", "other world", and "outside my little universe".   

What they refuse to acknowledge is that there are two separate and distinct timelines, and these timelines (i.e. universes) are parallel to one another.  The facts of one are not the facts of the other.  This was made explicit by Lucas in a December 2002 answer on StarWars.com, penned by Steve Sansweet (LucasFilms' main man in Fan Relations):

Q: "Did George Lucas intend for Boba Fett to die in the sarlacc, despite what others may say or print?"

A: "Yes, in George's view -- as far as the films go -- the baddest bounty hunter in the Galaxy met his match in the Great Pit of Carkoon where --unfortunately for Mr. Fett -- the ghastly sarlacc made its home.

However, Lucas also approved Fett's comeback in the expanded universe. And of course, by going back in time with the prequels, the Star Wars creator has brought Boba Fett back to life himself, albeit at a much younger age."

Lucas believes Boba dead in the movies, and alive in EU.   Lucas, then, considers the histories of the canon and the EU to be divergent.  How can this be, outside a parallel universe scenario?

Now, regarding this temporal intrusion:   EU authors, who must follow the EU's internal continuity and who are operating in the EU timeline, are generally disallowed from venturing into the time periods which, in the canon timeline, are occupied by the films.   This is done, as per Sue Rostoni (master of LucasBooks), in order to avoid having the EU continuity conflict with or undermine Lucas's films.  

However, this is not always the case.   Take, for instance, this:

Fans of the old monthly Marvel Star Wars comic will be heartened to know that LucasBooks does indeed consider them part of continuity.  (Chris Cerasi)

Those monthly Marvel comics include the EU adaptation of Lucas's films, with several distinct variations from those films, and the remainder of canon.  Similar issues abound . . . take, for instance, the E2:ICS declaration that the few shots Boba fired against Obi-Wan at Kamino (which, canonically, were both piddling, and exhausted the energy packs of the weapon) were really 600 gigajoule shots . . . in the EU, what we saw could not have happened.   Then there are games like the "Battle for Naboo", in which the player gets to fiddle with the history as seen in TPM.   Indeed, according to the EU, there was some other guy who fired the killing blow against the Death Star at the same time Luke did.

Further evidence that the EU has no canonicity abounds.  Take, for instance, this Steve Sansweet use of a quote of Cerasi in the StarWars.com article linked to above (emphasis his):

"When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves - and only the films."

Or, to quote myself from the Wong debate:

Absolute Canon = Real Story of Star Wars

Absolute Canon = *Only* the Films

Therefore: *Only* the Films = Real Story of Star Wars
Or: Real Story of Star Wars = *Only* the Films

You argue that:

*Only* the Films /= Real Story of Star Wars
or
Real Story of Star Wars /= *Only* the Films

However, that claim is absurdly illogical. If A = B and A = C, then B = C.

I actually violate that a bit by allowing the scripts, film novelizations, and radio plays to be included . . . I'm already expanding the canon universe beyond all of the above recent statements.   Why?   Because for about seven years, the definitive statement of Lucasian canon policy was this one from Insider #23, by Sue Rostoni of the book department, and Allan Kausch of Lucas Licensing:

"Gospel, or canon as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelisations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers."

(There's also some minor support for a continuation of this view, insofar as Sansweet and Cerasi's comment that the novelizations "should be regarded as very accurate depictions of the fictional Star Wars movies.")

Now, on the good side of things, Stas did manage to realize that the "Continuity Whiplash Theory" of Wong and his cronies is inaccurate.   His paraphrase of my position regarding that theory follows:

"Q: Some elements from the EU slipped into canon, like Coruscant, Outrider and more. Does that mean the whole EU received a level of canonicity?
A: No. The EU and SWOS
[i.e. Star Wars Official Site, aka StarWars.com] have no level of canonicity whatsoever. They are not canon and nothing, except for a statement from LucasFilm or Lucas himself can make them canon. Some elements from the "Infinities" series out of Continuity have slipped into the Continuity, but that does not make the "Infinities" a part of Continuity."

He also improves upon Wong by recognizing that the Special Editions outweigh the original versions of the films, though he still errs by accepting the original versions as 'canon', instead of 'replaced'.

However, once all is said and done, his position is no different than that of Wong, Ossus, Poe, or the other SD.Net flunkies, who blindly accept the EU as a source of relevant data.  This can be seen in the extraordinarily sloppy heirarchy graph on his page, which (in a nutshell) says that the entire canon and EU, together, make up Star Wars.

Why don't these people listen to George?


Back to the "To Russia With Love" Index
Back to ST-v-SW.Net Index