Wong Debate

Round 3



> RSA Debate
> Round 3, Part 1a (EU inclusion)

Since most of your post is focused on attempts at attacking me,
grandstanding, and other such silliness, I shall first reply to the small
on-topic portion of your reply.

******* On-topic Matters:

> > Actually, this is not readily apparent from the Cerasi quote, hence
> > my brief exposition. Remember, he said that "the real story of Star
> > Wars" is the Absolute Canon films, "and *only* the films".
> Once again, real-life historical records are not the "real story"
> either; they are imperfect descriptions of it, and they might even be
> wrong. This does not mean they are inadmissible if we want to know what
> happened at a particular time or place and we lack direct observations.

"*Only* the films" constitute "the real story of Star Wars". Again, your
analogy is false.

> > Sansweet may have cleared this issue up a bit for Australian fans
> > during a convention there:
> > "Steven Sansweet said this at a convention in Australia: "In the canon
> > debate, it is important to notice that LucasFilm and Lucas are
> > different entities. The only canon source of Star Wars are the radio
> > plays, the movie novels and the movies themselves - in Lucas' mind,
> > nothing else exists, and no authorized LucasFilm novel will restrict
> > his creativity in any way.""
> > http://www.peak.org/peak_info/mlists/info/prequels.html
> Hearsay. Even if we were to assume that Sansweet was choosing his verbal
> statements at this convention as carefully as if they were published
> articles (an assumption you CONSISTENTLY make about such comments)

"... as carefully as if they were published articles"? In case you hadn't
noticed, that's all we've been dealing with, up until the quote above which
fits nicely within those published comments.

> , and even if we assume that he is speaking about the entire continuity
> rather than just the canon, Steven Sansweet is not qualified to testify
> about the state of "Lucas' mind".

Unfortunately, your argument is nullified as a result of the fact that
Sansweet is not 'testifying' as to the "state" of Lucas's mind, as if he
were a psychological witness in a court of law. He is telling the audience
what Lucas does and does not consider fact, and thereby providing yet
another confirmation of the fact that the EU has no canonicity whatsoever.

> The fact that Lucas chose to let an EU
> author (Timothy Zahn) name the capital world Coruscant (not to mention
> inserting some EU-based vehicles into the Special Editions of the
> original trilogy) nullifies your hearsay-based claim that the EU does
> not exist in his mind.

1. It is not my claim; it is what Sansweet said, and is consistent with
other comments.
2. Inclusion of EU elements does not give the entire EU canonicity. Zahn
named the world Lucas had described. So? Several "Infinities" elements
have found their way directly into the EU's internal Continuity . . . does
that mean all Infinities material is valid EU material? No, clearly not.
Again, the whiplash idea is incorrect.

> He is, however, qualified to testify on the status of what he HIMSELF
> on,

"In 1996, Steve joined Lucasfilm Ltd. as Director of Specialty Marketing to
help promote Star Wars to fans both old and new. He is currently Director of
Content Management and in charge of fan relations in Lucasfilm's Marketing

> and he did so in the preface to the Star Wars Encyclopedia:

. . . From 1998, when he was part of Specialty Marketing, and not in his
1999-current position of fan relations and Content Management.

> *********
> "Which brings us to the often-asked question: Just what is Star Wars
> canon, and what is not? The one sure answer: the Star Wars Trilogy
> Special Edition- the three films themselves ... in a close second we
> have the authorized adaptations of the films: the novels, radio dramas,
> and comics. After that, almost everything falls into a category of
> "quasi-canon"."
> *********

1. Note, if you will, that this term never appears again, and the concept
does not show up in Sansweet's writings or comments since that time.
Indeed, by his use of Cerasi in 2001, he has effectively contradicted it
himself. Further, a search for "quasi-canon" on StarWars.com gives no hits.

2. The terminology and concept is contradicted by all other statements by
other individuals, including Lucas.

> You mocked my use of the term "quasi-canon" in your first reply

Another completely untrue statement. I never referred to "quasi-canon" (or
quasi-anything) in my first reply, nor did I engage in mockery regarding
your EU position.

> The term "quasi-canon" is published in the SWE, which was
> approved by Lucasfilm.

The "quasi-canon" statement, however, would not seem to be approved by
Lucas, LucasFilms, or LucasBooks, given that no one before or since has
agreed with it.

> > > Moreover, on a fundamental philosophical level, the lack of absolute
> > > certainty does NOT preclude investigation or analysis.
> >
> > True. However, evidence which is known to be certain by definition is
> > a superior source than a historical document known to be riddled with
> > error.
> Yes, the canon is superior to the EU. However, this is yet another red
> herring fallacy on your part. We are debating the question of whether EU
> material is admissible AT ALL, not whether it should be elevated all the
> way up to canon status. You are employing the "false dilemma" fallacy to
> force us to choose between making the EU equal to the movies or ignoring
> it completely.

Both accusations of fallacy are incorrect.

Regarding the "false dilemma": Cerasi, via Sansweet, has already made it
clear that the real story of Star Wars is *only* the films, and Lucas has
placed the EU outside his universe. It is not a false dilemma . . . it's
the dilemma placed on us by those in charge of dictating canonicity.

Regarding the "red herring": It was you who brought up real-life history
and tried to use that as a counter-claim, in spite of the faultiness of the
analogy and the off-topic nature of it. Do not cry "red herring" when I
*reply* to yours.

> > > You are ignoring the point. I already explained that the EU can be
> > > separate without necessarily being excluded from the continuity.
> > > <snipe snipped>
> > That makes no sense whatsoever. If the EU is a parallel universe, it
> > is not only separate . . . it is different. This is demonstrated by
> > the in-house Continuity which the EU is expected to maintain.
> Irrelevant. We are discussing the question of whether the EU is
> admissible. Not whether it is parallel, not whether it is separate, not
> whether it is different, not whether it is equal,

<snipe snipped>

I have no idea how you can attempt to separate the concept of admissibility
from the fact that the EU is directly stated to be not a part of the same
universe, separate to and different from Lucas's Absolute Canon universe,
which is the real story of Star Wars.

The concepts are inexorably linked. You cannot "rationalize a fictional
universe" (as you stated in your opening statement) with evidence obtained
from a parallel, separate, different universe.

> You have already conceded on the
> main point, even if you won't admit it; you agreed that Lucasfim
> Licensing maintains a continuity, and that both the canon and EU are in

There is no concession. I would agree that *Lucas Licensing* and LucasBooks
maintain an *internal* Continuity, and that they do so in a manner
subservient to the Canon of Lucas . . . however, they have no control over
the Canon, so to attempt to claim that the continuity is inclusive of the
Canon is peculiar. Further, their internal continuity bears no relevance to
the superior statements by Lucas and LucasFilm. You have clearly
misconstrued my statements.

> However, you contend that this larger continuity is worthless, by
> consistently implying that Lucasfilm Licensing's in-house continuity
> should be given no weight whatsoever by the fans. Please justify this

1. There is no "larger continuity". The in-house Continuity is subservient
to the Canon, not inclusive of it and in control of it. I again point you
toward Rostoni's comments on the matter: "Our goal is to present a
continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that
history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas's Star
Wars saga of films and screenplays."

2. I have not said that fans cannot enjoy and give weight to the contents
of the in-house continuity. There are a few books I wouldn't mind reading,
as a fan. But, I'll do so with the understanding, as per Lucas and company,
that it is part of an alternate reality to Lucas's Absolute Canon universe.

3. What I do state is that the alternate universe cannot be given any
weight insofar as trying to make claims regarding the Absolute Canon
universe. It is an alternate reality, a "parallel universe", and not part
of "the real story of Star Wars". That is the justification of the claim.

To accept that the EU is not part of the same universe, and not part of the
real story of Star Wars, and then to try to use its data to add to the
Canon's universe is, quite simply, ludicrous.

> > > George Lucas is a human being, not a set of legal documents with
> > > varying precedence. The act of analyzing any SENTENCE FRAGMENT is
> > > inherently fallacious,
> > In which case your attempt to analyze the "intrude" fragment to
> > override the "other world" and "parallel universe" comment is
> > inherently fallacious. My argument is that the entire sentence is a
> > cohesive whole. Since he has used the "universe" comment on more than
> > one occasion (TV Guide and Cinescape), the logical implication is that
> > he means it. Even if your claim that we cannot analyze his comments is
> > correct, it could only apply to the new, ad-libbed parts . . . such as
> > the "intrude" comment.
> Are you even TRYING to watch out for self-contradictions in your
> argument? First, you say that you treat the sentence as a "cohesive
> whole". Then you IMMEDIATELY turn around and dismiss the second half of
> the sentence as "ad-libbed parts" and recommend that we ignore it.

AS PER YOUR CLAIM. I was demonstrating the logical inconsistency of your
position, not making a claim of my own in regards to ad-libbing.

> You still fail to understand my point: George Lucas is a human being,
> and you cannot carefully analyze his choice of words.

All we have to go on are the words of human beings, Mike. To suggest that
Lucas completely misspoke and said something he didn't mean in two separate
interviews in regards to the exact same idea is preposterous.

> He may have an entirely different interpretation of "parallel universe"
> than you do, so your literalist method of interpretation is entirely
> fallacious.

1. The context of his use refutes your claim. When Lucas says "parallel
universe", there is nothing to suggest he means it in a manner not in
keeping with the denotation or connotation of the terms. Indeed, his use of
"other world", and his statement in TV Guide of "outside my little
universe", strongly support my "interpretation".
2. To suggest a fallacious method because X "may" do or be anything is
3. You can't tell me that the guy who made Star Wars, based on various
sci-fi serials and pulp science fiction, and who executive-produced his
friend's old pet project based on a parallel universe where ducks evolved
instead of humans, didn't know what "universe" and "parallel universe"

> Face it: George Lucas said that the EU is separate from his canon,


> but it still intrudes on his world.

False. First, Lucas specifically says that the licensed materials do not
intrude on "my world, which is a select period of time". However, as
already demonstrated in my first reply, this results in a contradiction if
you try to use it to claim what you're claiming . . . the licensed materials
do intrude in that manner . . . games, toys, the Marvel comics, and so on.
That means that you cannot argue that the EU content is part of the same

Second, what Lucas did say (i.e. intrusion in between the movies) does not
equal validity of content. If the EU materials are "outside my little
universe" and part of a "parallel universe", that places their content
outside the Absolute Canon . . . which we already knew because Sansweet and
Cerasi told us that the Absolute Canon was the only source for the "real
story of Star Wars".

It is clear that Lucas was placing the content of the EU in a parallel
universe. That way, they can't possibly intrude on his universe, though
they can squeeze in between the movie time periods in the parallel universe.

> Sorry, but my explanation can explain both halves of his statement. Your
> explanation clings to a semantic analysis of the first half and
> completely ignores the second half.

Absolutely incorrect. Your preferred interpretation requires that the
entire rest of the quote, other similar quotes, and basic facts be thrown
out in favor of your chosen view of what "intrude" means. In other words,
your interpretation requires that the context and facts must not only be
ignored, but denied.

****** Quasi-topical Matters:

> > > The term "overall continuity" is not important for my argument;
> > Then why use it in all-caps and assert that I deny its existence?
> What part of "it would still exist by any other name" did you fail to
> read? It is the idea, not the name, which is important.

The "idea" is the internal Continuity of the EU. I have never denied the
internal Continuity. I do deny the "overall continuity" you argue for and
claimed the existence of based on the Insider quote, no matter what you wish
to call it now.

> > And here we arrive at the peculiar notion that I have previously
> > labelled the "Continuity Whiplash Theory".
> > You say that the Infinities label does not imply EU non-canonicity,
> > yet then choose to assume the reverse, that the EU moves closer to
> > canonicity because it places some of its own works outside its own
> > Continuity. This makes no sense.
> > If A is A and X is X, then just because some former X is turned into
> > not-X does not make X A or closer to being A.
> Strawman fallacy. I said nothing whatsoever about the EU being canon or
> moving closer to canon.

There is no straw man in play:

Your position is that EU materials and the in-house Continuity of these
should have canonicity . . . i.e. that they are admissible as evidence in
the canon universe, as part of some "overall continuity" which includes the
Canon. (You claim elsewhere that this is a strawman: "Nowhere have I ever
claimed that the EU material is canon; it is part of the larger continuity,
not the canon." However, this "larger continuity" you speak of requires
that the EU data be part of "the real story of Star Wars", which by default
requires that they have some degree of canonicity.)

My position is that EU materials and the in-house Continuity have no
canonicity whatsoever, and are therefore inadmissible.

And I quote, from your first reply:
"Indeed, you have provided several more pieces of evidence that go directly
AGAINST your case . . . The fact that the "Infinities" label specifically
marks a particular anthology outside continuity HARDLY implies or proves
that the ENTIRE EU is outside continuity (in fact, the existence of a
special label for non-continuity material implies the opposite; that
everything not specifically marked as non-continuity is probably in the

It is not a straw man to argue against your parenthetical assertion. You
suggested the Continuity Whiplash Theory.

> I was speaking about the EU being part of the
> larger continuity which includes both the canon AND the EU, and the fact
> that special labelling for non-continuity EU obviously implies that the
> REST of the EU is part of the continuity, as publicly stated by
> Lucasfilm representatives and in official Lucasfilm publications.

The EU is not canon, nor does it have any inherent canonicity whatsoever, as
stated by Lucas and company. The implication which you claim . . . that
somehow the EU materials, because they are not marked with an Infinities
label, somehow have the canonicity you wish to ascribe to the Continuity . .
. is invalid, as demonstrated.

****** Summary:

> > 1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little
> > universe.
> > 2. Sansweet of LucasFilm correctly points out that nothing else but
> > the canon exists for Lucas.
> > 3. Sansweet of LucasFilm directly quotes Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks
> > in regards to the fact that the only source for the real story of
> > Star Wars is Lucas's canon.
> > 4. Rostoni of LucasBooks and Kausch of Lucas Licensing correctly
> > identified the canon, but commented that between them, much of the
> > EU material is part of a continuity.
> > 5. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of the in-house continuity of
> > LucasBooks.
> You have done a fine job of making a simple issue complex (not to
> mention long-winded)

On the contrary . . . the position is quite simple. It is only the
inexplicable continuing denials of that position that require arguments.

> , but here are the only fact which really matters:
> Exhibit A: the Lucas quote:
> *********
> "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."- George Lucas
> *********

Which is perfectly in keeping with my position. Indeed, when that quote was
first reported, it confirmed my position.

> Exhibit B: the Sansweet quote:
> *********
> "Which brings us to the often-asked question: Just what is Star Wars
> canon, and what is not? The one sure answer: the Star Wars Trilogy
> Special Edition- the three films themselves ... in a close second we
> have the authorized adaptations of the films: the novels, radio dramas,
> and comics. After that, almost everything falls into a category of
> "quasi-canon"."
> *********

The above is contrary to my position. However, it is also contrary to every
other statement of Canon Policy, including Lucas's, Sansweet's (quoting
Cerasi), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Your effort to give it more
weight than Lucas's comments, Sansweet's own later position, and so on is
illogical in the extreme.

> In both cases, you have shamelessly misrepresented the words of these
> men to mean the opposite of what they obviously intend, once you look at
> the larger picture.

Blatantly, "shamelessly" untrue.

> Moreover, you consistently base your argument upon
> verbal interviews,

Also untrue. I base my argument on Lucas's comments, StarWars.Com-published
statements, and other published sources.

> Salient points:
> 1. You have no explanation WHATSOEVER for George Lucas' statement that
> the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars.

Completely untrue.

> Your flimsy excuse is to call it "ad-libbing" and dismiss it on that

Completely untrue. That is what your position requires, as I was

> You insist that it irreconcilably "contradicts" his statement that the
> canon and EU are separate

Only when one attempts to interpret it in the manner you display.

> even though I have an alternate interpretation which easily
> ties both comments together.

Completely untrue.

> 2. You have no explanation WHATSOEVER for observed intrusions of EU
> material into the canon movies, particularly in the case of Coruscant's
> name, not to mention EU-based spaceships appearing in the special
> editions of the original trilogy.

Thank you for proving my point about the Lucas quote with additional
so-called "intrusions" into his Absolute Canon world.

The fact of the matter is, Lucas is at liberty to do whatever he wants when
creating the canon. If he likes something in the non-canon, he is at
liberty to include or exclude it at his whim. The fact that he or his FX
artists have included a couple of non-canon bits does not give canonicity to
the EU any more than inclusion of Infinities elements in the EU's internal
continuity gives Infinities materials Continuity status.

To claim otherwise is illogical.

> 3. You use the fact that Lucas is willing to contradict the EU as proof
> that all of the EU is invalid.

It is yet another confirmation of that fact, yes.

> By that "reasoning", since we have no
> guarantees that the real-life universe will obey the laws of physics or
> even mathematics, all of that is invalid too.

An utterly false analogy, the same vein as your other similar false

> Moreover, George Lucas has
> even contradicted CANON on occasion (the infamous Greedo first shot, for
> example), but that doesn't mean we ignore it.

Lucas didn't contradict the canon . . . he *changed* the canon,
intentionally. He's the creator of it, and he has the power to do that.

> 4. You employ an array of proofs that the EU is not canon, in order to
> prove that it is not part of continuity either. This is highly
> fallacious; you cannot use proof of A as proof of B.

Straw man. I've engaged in simultaneous disproof of your "overall
continuity" claim while offerring proof of the EU's lack of canonicity.
Your attempt to misstate my argument is unsuccessful.

> 5. You quote Steven Sansweet out of context;

Completely untrue.

> the fact that George does
> not worry about contradicting the EU does not mean that the fans can do
> the same thing.

Yes, it does, when Lucas has told everyone that the EU is not part of his
universe, and when Sansweet and Cerasi have pointed out that the real story
of Star Wars is only the absolute Canon.

> George is in a special position with respect to Star
> Wars; he is its creator. We, on the other hand, should abide by what he
> tells us, rather than acting as though HIS freedom of action should
> somehow translate to us.

I *am* abiding by what he tells us.

> 6. Your attempts to contradict my comparison between real-life
> science/history and sci-fi analysis merely undermine your own position.
> By pointing out that there's no such thing as "canon" for real-life
> scientists, you inadvertently conceded that real-life scientists ALWAYS
> work with data which would fail your requirements for admissibility when
> studying sci-fi.

Once again, completely untrue. By pointing out that there is no canon
knowledge in science, I have shown you that your analogy is false and
specious. Your inexplicable effort to claim otherwise is irrelevant.

> You have conceded that there is a Lucasfilm continuity which includes
> both the canon and EU.

Completely untrue. There is a LucasBooks and Lucas Licensing in-house
Continuity which is subservient to the canon, but it has no power over the
canon and therefore cannot be said to "include" the canon.

> You have conceded that Lucas' quote about the EU
> intruding on his world contradicts your interpretion of his position,
> hence your amusing recommendation that we ignore it.

Yet again, completely untrue. It is your own interpretation which
contradicts Lucas's quote, not mine. I have shown you the ways in which
your interpretation is contradictory . . . that does not imply or require
contradiction on my part.

> You have been reduced to the use of hearsay as evidence.

Incorrect, and prejudicial. I gave yet another piece of evidence that your
position was flawed, in addition to the evidence already known.

> Your only remaining passable
> argument is your claim that we should IGNORE the Lucasfilm continuity
> because it is "in-house"

No, I say that we should ignore the LucasBooks/Lucas Licensing in-house
continuity. The "continuity" of Lucas and LFL is clear, and contrary to
your position.

> (no one ever said "EXCLUSIVELY in-house", but
> you apparently felt free to consider it a silent implication).

Of course it is exclusively in-house . . . Rostoni, Sansweet, Cerasi, and
Lucas all say so outright and/or strongly imply it.

> However, you have no public statements telling us to ignore the
> continuity,

. . . except for Lucas's statements that the EU's internal continuity is
outside his universe, Cerasi (via Sansweet) comments that the only source
for the real story of Star Wars is the films, et cetera.

> and I have produced Sansweet's published description of
> the EU as "quasi-canon".

. . . which stands contrary to everything else.

> Your refusal to accept defeat prolongs this debate with
> no conceivable benefit to you,

. . . except for the benefit of resolutely standing against continuing
efforts to misconstrue and misrepresent the facts.

The facts, again (I'll even remove what you consider to be the "hearsay" of
Sansweet, since the facts stand firm without it):

1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little universe.
2. Sansweet of LucasFilm directly quotes Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks in
regards to the fact that the only source for the real story of Star Wars is
Lucas's canon.
3. Rostoni of LucasBooks and Kausch of Lucas Licensing correctly identified
the canon, but commented that between them, much of the EU material is part
of a continuity.
4. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of the in-house continuity of LucasBooks.

I still do not see how you can argue that the EU is part of Lucas's
universe, part of the real story of Star Wars, and useful as evidence within
Lucas's Absolute Canon universe.

So ends the on-topic portion.


I'll now take a brief moment (which, because of the amount to deal with,
constitutes almost half the post) to comment on some of your off-topic
claims, fallacies, personal attacks and snipes, and other irrelevancies. It
is hoped that by separating the wheat and chaff in this manner, the main
arguments will not be clouded by smokescreen efforts:

> 1. You say that the EU is not part of the story of Star Wars.
> 2. I say that the EU is not canon, but it is still part of the larger
> continuity.
> 3. You retort that the EU is not part of the canon.
> What part of this do you not understand, Robert?

I understand it just fine . . . it is a straw man argument, a blatant
misrepresentation of the debate and my claims within it.

> You replied to every identification of a logical fallacy by simply
> denying it (indeed, at one point you denied committing a logical
> fallacy anywhere in this debate; an unreasonable and pointlessly
> obstinate claim since even the best debaters may carelessly commit
> a fallacy now and then).

I denied your claims of fallacy because your claims were untrue. Had you
pointed out a fallacy I had actually committed, I would have agreed and
amended my statements accordingly.

> > 2. No logical fallacies have been employed by me, despite claims to
> > the contrary.
> Not one logical fallacy in the whole debate, eh?

You have not identified one, save for the one I actually made and openly
confessed to in advance of engaging in it.

> Your responses make it clear that I must not only identify your
> fallacies but also explain the definitions of said fallacies,

. . . and then you start posting definitions.

Mike, this sort of disrespectful grandstanding is just shameful. I
understand what a fallacy is, and evidently understand what they are, how to
avoid them, and how to identify them better than you do. However, unlike
you, I did not try to claim that you were ignorant, as you do above. I
pointed out that you were incorrect, and explained why you were incorrect.
Please be more careful about following the precepts of a rational

> thus making it more difficult
> for you to simply dismiss logic-based criticism by saying "incorrect"
> and deny it.

Once more, a blatantly untrue statement. At no point did I simply say
"incorrect" and not explain to you why you were incorrect or point out that
you were incorrect in the same way you'd been incorrect previously.

>From http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html:
> *********
> Red Herring
> This fallacy is committed when someone introduces irrelevant material to
> the issue being discussed, so that everyone's attention is diverted away
> from the points made, towards a different conclusion.
> "You may claim that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent
> against crime -- but what about the victims of crime? How do you think
> surviving family members feel when they see the man who murdered their
> son kept in prison at their expense? Is it right that they should pay
> for their son's murderer to be fed and housed?"
> *********
> You attempt to deflect accusations of red herring fallacies by arguing
> that the subjects you introduce are related in some tangential way to
> the subject under discussion. However, that is NOT ENOUGH to avoid being
> guilty of the red herring fallacy.

Once again, your statements are untrue. Had I failed to address your claims
while only bringing up other matters (thereby trying to change the topic
away from your claims), your accusation of a fallacy might have had merit.
However, I not only addressed your claims, but pointed out the wide variety
of other ways in which your arguments failed. That is not a red herring.

> The red herring fallacy applies
> whenever anyone brings up subject B in a debate over subject A. It
> DOESN'T MATTER whether subject B is related in some tangential way to
> subject A (as it is in the above example); the red herring fallacy
> applies as long as it is a different subject.

> In order to avoid the red herring fallacy, your rebuttals must deal with
> the subject of my post and only the subject of my post, or they are red
> herrings by definition.

See, this is what I meant when I said I understand red herrings better than
you do. You offer the definition, and then promptly fail to use it. I
never threw up subject B *in the absence of* a retort to subject A, and a
red herring *is not* "whenever" related subject B is brought up, as you
continue to erroneously claim.

Further, unlike insults, false accusations, and so on, my so-called "red
herrings" are relevant material to the debate, removing the statements
another step from the claim you make of them. Please be more careful about
such things.

> By demanding that I make the first post, you allowed me to choose the
> exact subject,

Actually, according to your own stated beliefs, the challenged party chooses
the topic, rules, et cetera. As I had already stated that the Death Star
superlaser debate would be undertaken on strictly canon grounds (i.e. the
Lucas/LFL position, as per my so-called "interpretation"), your entire EU
gambit was neither necessary nor called for.

> and that subject was the simple question: IS THE EU
> MATERIAL ADMISSIBLE? It was NOT "does the EU material introduce error",
> or "can scientific conclusions be drawn from EU sources" or "can you
> generate valid upper and lower limits from EU-based sources," or any of
> the other myriad red herrings you have attempted to drag into this
> debate.

Your exact statement was:
"However, as a matter of basic principle, it is impossible to hold a
rational discussion based on the evidence without first determining what the
evidence is, ie- what is admissible. Therefore, we must deal with the issue
of Star Wars continuity first."

Dealing with the continuity issue is precisely what I have done.
Determining whether the EU material can introduce error (and your multiple
rephrasings of that) is a valid part of determining what the evidence is and
should be.

> All of the "related" questions you raise are completely moot
> points if the EU material is not admissible in the first place; you
> introduce them in a transparent attempt to "appeal to consequence"
> rather than discussing the original subject.

Actually, no. In my debate on the subject with Cromag on your forums, I
brought up the EU=error issue with the preface that it might be an appeal to
consequences, as you no doubt read. In the context of that debate, it was.
However, the context of this debate is different . . . you argue that the EU
is part of a 'larger overall continuity' which includes the canon.
Therefore, by pointing out inconsistency with the Canon and the fact that
the EU is not part of "the real story of Star Wars", I am pointing out the
error of your claims of a larger overall continuity.

> > This third accusation of a red herring is also inaccurate. In this
> > case, I was explaining my position on intra-canonical relationships
> > for the sake of clarity, lest my position be misunderstood or open to
> > misrepresentation. Stating my position on the Canon Policy issue is
> > not a red herring.
> >...
> > We are not debating in a vacuum. The present beliefs on the EU are
> > valid segues toward understanding the Canon Policy as it should be
> > understood, if only as negative examples. It is not an argument on
> > the manner of analysis, but on the treatment of the data in regards
> > to its perceived truth-value.
> In the first example, you defend your red herring of the novel's
> positioning relative to the movie EVEN THOUGH NEITHER IS EU.

Stating my position on the Canon Policy issue is *still* not a red herring,

> In the second example, you defend your
> discussion of EU analysis methods as a "treatment of the data in regards
> to its perceived truth-value", which is a long-winded way of saying that
> you think it's relevant because it relates to how seriously the EU
> should be taken.

No, Mike. Read it again. What I said (in simpler, less "long-winded"
language) is that (1) the common misinterpretations of Canon Policy (yours
included) and (2) how truthful the EU is considered are valid concepts in
the discussion.

> In both cases, the subject is different from the simple
> question: is the EU admissible?

Irrelevant, since I deal with that question both via direct quotation of
Lucas and company, and by negative examples (i.e. pointing out the inherent
flaws in other ways of thinking, yours included).

> I am running out of patience for your endless space-wasting red
> herrings.

Then stop erroneously claiming I have made them.

> ********* (http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html)
> Argumentum ad hominem
> Argumentum ad hominem literally means "argument directed at the man";
> there are two varieties.
> The first is the abusive form. If you refuse to accept a statement, and
> justify your refusal by criticizing the person who made the statement,
> then you are guilty of abusive argumentum ad hominem. For example:
> "You claim that atheists can be moral -- yet I happen to know that you
> abandoned your wife and children."
> This is a fallacy because the truth of an assertion doesn't depend on
> the virtues of the person asserting it. A less blatant argumentum ad
> hominem is to reject a proposition based on the fact that it was also
> asserted by some other easily criticized person. For example:
> "Therefore we should close down the church? Hitler and Stalin would have
> agreed with you."
> <second form snipped>
> *********
> You attempted to defend your repeated use of ad hominems such as your
> ubiquitous "<snipes snipped>" rhetorical trick (subtle accusation of
> misbehaviour without having to bother actually identifying or explaining
> the offense)

Well, "snipes snipped" is hardly subtle, but it is more subtle than your
misbehavior. This, ostensibly, is to be a rational discussion of the
issues, not open season on me, or a flame-war. I could have completely
stopped the on-topic discussion I was engaging in, and taken several minutes
to explain to you in painful detail the error of your ways, but I hardly see
that as beneficial to either of us, or the discussion at hand. Further, it
would certainly have been irrelevant with regards to the truth value of our

And finally, such personal attacks by you are not worthy of my time.

For example:
> > > "Appeal to prejudice" fallacy. You are attempting to link those who
> > > would analyze the EU to shifty lawbreakers, <snipe snipped> [adding
> > > back the part you removed] in an obvious attempt to generate
> > > prejudicial feeling against them.

Now see, this is what I'm talking about. You've already made your claim
"the attempt to link those who ..." which I then replied to. But, you felt
it necessary to add in the gratuitous attacking comment that I engaged in
"an obvious attempt to generate prejudicial feeling", and then to re-add it.

Now, would you actually prefer that I stop the presses, identify and call
you on your behavior, spend twenty lines make a big grand display for
everyone of what you'd done, and then continue with the real argument?
Or, would you prefer what I feel to be the better solution: identify the
irrelevant remark for your benefit and carry on with my argument, so that
you'll know that such childish behavior should be avoided in the future?

Naturally, both solutions have their drawbacks, but because of your
cheap-shots, the damage is done . . . it can't be a perfect world with a
perfect solution. I simply tried to make the best of a bad situation.

The best thing that could happen would be for you to simply quit making
cheap-shots. Discuss rationally, and I'll have no snipes to snip.

> Moreover, I grow weary of your "snipes snipped" rhetorical trick.


> <snip more red herrings, attempts to bait me with ADMITTEDLY
> fallacious ad hominem attacks against my website, repetitions
> of previous points, etc>
> <snip more repetitions of basic argument that anything deemed imperfect
> should be discarded>
> <snip more red herrings and repetitions>
> <more repetition snipped>
> <snip more repetition>
> <adding back the rest of the paragraph which you quietly snipped>
> [adding back the rest of the paragraph which you quietly snipped]
> <snip more repetitions and excuses for fallacies>
> <snip many more denials, repetitions, and excuses for fallacies>

Mike, if you actually think "snipes snipped" is such a bad thing, the best
thing for you to do would be to set a higher standard, not drop below it.
Just a suggestion.

And while I'm at it, let me point out that your re-adding of snipped
materials (both your snipes and your argument extensions) is highly
improper, and of questionable honesty. I deal with all of your claims . . .
to re-add a claim dealt with elsewhere is to make it appear as if I did not
respond to it.

> and your insistence on repeatedly mentioning my behaviour
> outside the debate with comments such as the following:
> > That means that I did not attempt to claim that your behavior had a
> > bearing on the truth value of your arguments (the definition of ad
> > hominem).

I was replying to your comment: "Ad hominem fallacy: attacking my personal
behaviour before even mentioning any of my arguments."

To refer to my reply as a repeated mentioning of your behavior (as if I
wouldn't stop bringing it up) is silly, and a paltry effort at being
prejudicial with your language. I'm not sure how I was supposed to reply to
your false accusation of an ad hominem regarding your behavior without using
your term "behavior", much as I have once again had to use the term in this

It wasn't an ad hominem. Stop talking about it, and I won't keep having to
use the term "behavior".

> Your refusal to cease and desist (and, indeed, your unapologetic
> of even MORE comments about my behaviour outside the debate) when
> confronted belies your claim to be conducting an exclusively rational
> debate.

If you do not falsely accuse me of an ad hominem, I will not have to defend
the point. False accusations of ad hominems have no place in a rational

> > A."Historical literature and narrative" is not generally considered
> > a valid primary source for such things as firepower estimates,
> > materials strength, and so on.
> While this is a red herring, I would deign to address it anyway:
> historical literature CAN be used for such things as firepower
> estimates; we have no direct observation of a Roman-era catapult in
> action, yet we can use historical sources to determine what their
> capabilities were.

*In the absence of other evidence*, it can be used to make a guess.
However, in the matters we are discussing, we do not need such guesswork.
We have the canon, which (to extend your analogy) is akin to having via
time-warp a fully-trained Roman crew with a mint-condition ballista or
catapult, available for study.

> > B. You may consider the following an ad hominem, and it is your right
> > to do so . . . I am about to point out that what is preached is not
> > practiced. You just mentioned your website . . . it contains the claim
> > that the EU materials are historical literature and are to be treated
> > as such (including considering them "highly suspect" works "written
> > from the point of view of the New Republic", possibly capable of being
> > "coloured by the author's bias, competence, and data-gathering
> > limitations"(as stated here), and that it cannot be analyzed as
> > scientific data).
> > http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Misc/Canon.html#Analyze
> > However, it cannot be left unsaid that this is not the observed
> > approach on your pages, or in Vs. Debates in general. For instance,
> > in spite of canon ANH novel quotes of the Empire having a million
> > systems, you give them twelve million inhabited systems, as per Dark
> > Empire's non-canon figures
> > http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Tech/Industry/Industry2.html).
> This is not only an ad hominem fallacy, it is also a strawman fallacy.
> On that page, I describe the entire SW civilization as being 12 million
> systems based on the DE quote, and the Empire as having nominal control
> over 1 million of those systems, based on the ANH novelization.

There is no straw man in play:

(ANH) "This station is the final link in the new-forged Imperial chain which
will bind the million systems of the Galactic Empire together once and for

"From Dark Empire, issue #3: Leia: "It's true, Han. The Force is bringing me
closer to Luke ... even though he's light years away ... he's in terrible
trouble, Han. The dark side is swallowing him whole! We've got to find him!"
Han: "Sure, why not? There's only twelve million inhabited star systems out
there ... it shouldn't be too hard.""

"The DE quote indicates that the number of inhabited star systems is
actually greater than twelve million. However, it must be noted that many of
these star systems are probably small outposts rather than full member
systems, like the one million systems mentioned in the ANH novelization."
"The breadth and width of our territory covers the entire galaxy, although
there are literally billions of star systems which have yet to be explored."

You describe an Empire of one million member worlds and 12 million "small
outposts rather than full member systems", all of which are within the
territorial bounds of the Empire.

Meanwhile, Tarkin states that the Empire has a million systems. That's it.
That's as far as the canon goes, yet you accept the EU and therefore take it
further, past the canon line.

> By the way,
> this is ALSO a red herring fallacy, since it has nothing to do with the
> question of whether the EU is admissible, despite your irrational
> assertion that "it cannot be left unsaid".

It is not a red herring. It is yet another point, on top of direct disproof
of your claims of EU admissibility. It's validity might be questionable as
a result of its unavoidable "you don't practice what you preach" angle, but
that does not make it a red herring.

> You have efficiently combined THREE fallacies into a single argument
> (one of which you actually ADMIT to)

Because only "one of which" actually occurs.

> > > By this "reasoning", all of real-life science and history are
> > > ALSO useless,
> > Incorrect anyway, but even if it were it would be irrelevant:
> > "slippery slope fallacy".
> SLIPPERY SLOPE fallacy? From
> http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html:
> *********
> The slippery slope argument
> This argument states that should one event occur, so will other harmful
> events. There is no proof made that the harmful events are caused by the
> first event. For example:
> "If we legalize marijuana, then more people would start to take crack
> and heroin, and we'd have to legalize those too. Before long we'd have a
> nation full of drug-addicts on welfare. Therefore we cannot legalize
> marijuana."
> *********

Your preferred definition is rather limited. "Slippery slope" can refer to
anything stated to be inevitable, whether logically or chronologically.

> Please explain how it is a "slippery slope fallacy" to argue that the
> elimination of all data without guaranteed certainty would eliminate
> science and history.

Mike, you just made my argument for me.

But, in case you don't see it:

"If we can't use uncertain EU data, then we can't use uncertain data
anywhere, in any situation. Therefore, we can't use uncertain data in
science and history, which means that DarkStar's argument requires us to
ignore science and history. Therefore, DarkStar's argument is wrong."

Perhaps you'll note that at no point have I claimed that we cannot use
uncertain data anywhere. That would be a straw man, if it weren't part of a
slippery slope fallacy. I have argued that we ought not wantonly use the
EU data which is known to be error-laden, because we have error-free canon

If you still prefer to define slippery slope as a chronological-only
phenomenon, then change to "straw man".

> The logical connection is clearly demarcated:
> science and history both rely on data which is not guaranteed true (in
> fact, nothing is guaranteed true; reality does not have a "canon").

Bingo. Reality doesn't have a canon, and that is the precise reason why it
is a false analogy.

> > > The fact that the full quote is buried somewhere else on your
> > > website [restoring the paragraph to a contiguous block] does not
> > > excuse this fallacious method. You employed the "quote taken out of
> > > context" fallacy and ignored Lucas' statement that the EU intrudes
> > > on his continuity despite its obvious relevance.
> > Prejudicial language: the quote is directly linked from that page in
> > the references section, and the references section is referred to in
> > the introduction. You can't miss it.
> Hardly. If anything, the language was not harsh ENOUGH;


Not harsh enough? To claim that the quote is buried, hidden, or otherwise
not accessible is, to be blunt, a lie. You have now been corrected three
times in regards to this false claim of yours . . . the first time could
have been an error on your part, but since you've been corrected twice and
yet continue to claim it, your behavior offers no other explanation. This
is not a debatable issue . . . you made a claim contrary to fact, and were
corrected. You made the claim again, and were corrected. Now you have made
it yet again, and even suggested that you were not harsh enough in your
claim . . . that is insane.

Lies are not a part of a rational discussion. You will desist in employing

> you extensively
> analyzed the semantics of the sentence fragment "parallel universe"
> while IGNORING the part of his quote in which he stated that the EU
> intrudes on his timeline. That is the "quote taken out of context"
> fallacy, and it was clearly DELIBERATE. The fact that you chose to
> IGNORE that part of his quote in your article is not mitigated in any
> way by the fact that you hyperlink to the full quote in your end-notes.

Another exercise in dishonesty, this time regarding the analysis of partial
quotes on my site, which you have previously received correction in regards
to on more than one occasion. As I showed you, I did not ignore the
intrusion angle.

Again: Lies are not a part of a rational discussion. You will desist in
employing them.

> > Further, science is not self-referential in the way the EU is. The
> > only real story of Star Wars is the films . . . it is the best, most
> > reliable data from which to draw conclusions. The "historical
> > literature" of the EU does not limit itself to these facts, but
> > instead creates its own and references them frequently.
> Wrong. Science is HIGHLY self-referential. It creates its own principles
> based on the evidence, and then it develops other theories based on
> those principles.

However, those principles are based on the evidence . . . it all references
back to the evidence. The EU does not always reference back to the canon .
. . it uses itself as evidence. Again, your analogy is faulty.

> > Incorrect: your claim of a non sequitur is based on misunderstanding,
> > caused by slicing through the argument in the middle of it.
> Robert, I grow tired of the way you simply make statements of fact
> without justifying them.

You sliced through the argument in the middle of it, arguing against the
claim you felt was being made by a section of my argument, when in fact the
argument was headed elsewhere. You finally dealt with the point I was
coming to later on, but that does not alter the fact that your claim of a
non sequitur was false.

> > > Quasi-religious mentality.
<irrelevant material re-snipped>
> > Prejudicial language is irrelevant, and given our opinions on
> > religious mentality, that's a thinly-veiled ad hominem.
> A negative term is not fallacious prejudicial language if it is the only
> accurate term.

That is true, but your terminology not only fails to be the only one
available, but is also grossly inaccurate.

> What ELSE would I call this bizarre mentality, if not "quasi-religious?"

"The Canon Policy", perhaps?

> > > "Appeal to prejudice" fallacy. You are attempting to link those who
> > > would analyze the EU to shifty lawbreakers,
> ><snipe snipped>
> > No, I used an analogy in reference to the "questionable intellectual
> > honesty" sentence, where I discussed the practice of allowing the EU
> > to guide one's thinking. I expected the reader to have comprehended
> > the previous point that allowing the EU was to engage in the practice
> > of considering EU materials canon unless contradicted.
> Your excuses will fool no one.

There is no "excuse". I have corrected your misinterpretation of what was
going on, which led you to erroneously conclude that there was a fallacy in

> You tried to equate EU analysis to those
> who think anything is OK unless they get caught by the authorities,
> without even bothering to show how one was equivalent to the other.

That is not at all correct. Not only was the chain of reasoning in place,
but it was also the best-fitting analogy available. To allow the non-canon
to be canon until the canon says otherwise has as its best analogue the
analogy I gave. I considered some modification of an analogy regarding a
child getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but the modification
would have sounded odd, with the analogy becoming peculiar. Of course, the
implication . . . someone doing something wrong and being caught, would be
the same.

That is what I was going for, in case you hadn't noticed. The EU is a wrong
source of information . . . using it until the canon contradicts it (i.e.
until the police/mother/etc. show up) doesn't make the non-canon any less

> Your flimsy
> excuse (to assume that it would be interpreted dishonestly and then
> equate EU analysis to "intellectual dishonesty" on that basis) is even

You have once again horrendously misconstrued and misinterpreted my

I said: "Thus, to include the EU according to current common doctrine is
not only to flagrantly ignore Cerasi's caveat that *only* the films are the
real story of Star Wars, but it is also to allow "interpretation and
speculation" and distortions of the Canon to enter into one's thinking. To
allow such distortions to guide one's efforts unless those distortions are
contradicted by Canon is of questionable intellectual honesty. (Rather like
those who maintain that everything is legal, so long as you don't get
caught.) Though playing fast and loose with data in such a manner may be be
acceptable in some circles, I do not consider it appropriate. I certainly
find it highly inappropriate for our purposes, where ostensibly we wish to
choose the safest, most reasonable course to determine fact."

Nowhere do I suggest or imply that someone might interpret the non-canon
dishonestly, therefore intellectual dishonesty will exist. That's absurd.
The analogy relates to what I say above: inclusion of the EU is contrary to
policy, and allows distortions of the canon into one's thinking. To
knowingly allow those distortions to guide one's thinking on the grounds
that it is "canon unless contradicted" is of questionable intellectual

Got it, now?

> In fact, you CONSISTENTLY delete the strongest parts of
> my criticisms in your replies.

Completely untrue. If I think you've made a claim that is false, and then
you pile on a personal attack, snipe, etc. on top of it, I'll snip out the
latter and point out your error in the former. If you consider that to be
the strongest part of your criticism, then the problem does not rest with

Similarly, if you make a claim that I think is false, and then continue
going on and on about variations and extensions of why you think it is
false, I'll still snip out the extraneous bits and focus on the basic claim.
Otherwise, I'd end up replying to each and every line with something like
"false, for the reasons already provided", which you would then complain
about. Alternately, I could leave your entire paragraph in, but you are the
one who asked me to shorten my posts.


Back to the main issues of the debate, though:


To sum up:

re: Canon Policy - Lucas overrides LucasFilm. Lucasfilm overrides
LucasBooks, Lucas Licensing, etc.

1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little universe.

2. Sansweet of LucasFilm correctly points out that nothing else but the
canon exists for Lucas.

3. Sansweet of LucasFilm directly quotes Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks in
regards to the fact that the only source for the real story of Star Wars is
Lucas's canon.

4. Rostoni of LucasBooks and Kausch of Lucas Licensing correctly identified
the canon, but commented that between them, much of the EU material is part
of a continuity.

5. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of the in-house continuity of LucasBooks.


I really don't understand why the disagreement continues.


On to Round Four

Back to The Wong Debate

Back to STvSW