Wong Debate

Round 4

Canon

Guardian


"Michael Wong" <mike@stardestroyer.net> wrote in message
news:3D9CE453.4070503@stardestroyer.net...
> RSA Debate
>
> Round 4, 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.
>
> Tell me, does your debating technique extend even slightly beyond the
> childish "you too!" technique?


I hoped to have a discussion focused on the evidence. That means that I
find efforts to play games with the truth . . . smokescreens, personal
attacks, and other such silliness . . . reprehensible. I could've played up
your improper behavior right from the start, but as I explained in the last
message, *I saw no logical reason to do so*.

However, you have not only engaged in improper behavior, but hoped to score
a bit of a coup by accusing me of it first. I allowed myself to be drawn
into your game to the point of defending myself and pointing out your
errors, but no longer. I am not here to play games with the truth.

You choose, for instance, to play up the length of my posts:


> Please stop violating your own debate stipulations and make an HONEST
> effort to A) keep it short


I keep it as short as possible, but the fact remains that a simplistic,
pleasant fiction can be stated very quickly and easily . . . fact takes
longer, especially when replying to someone's pleasant fiction. Creationist
scattergun tactics with pleasant fictions are geared toward just such a
situation . . . it takes a scientist ages to point out why each element is
incorrect.

If you find my posts overly long, then don't give me cause to make them so.


> and B) avoid logical fallacies.

While I have avoided all real logical fallacies to my knowledge (with the
exception of the one I admitted before using), it would be impossible to
avoid things which you would *claim* to be logical fallacies. I'll stick
with avoiding the real ones.

I do not believe fact-based discussions are to be judged on such
gamesmanship . . . hence my editorial dislodging of your poor behavior in
the last post to a point below the discussion on fact. I assumed that the
maneuver might clue you in on the situation, but I was clearly mistaken:


> I have discovered that this would only give you an excuse to continue
> dissipating this debate into endless time-wasting arguments over
> minutae, rather than focusing on the major points in a straightforward
> manner


It is absurd to claim that I am dissipating the debate . . . I *am* focusing
on the major points, hence the editorial dislodging of your silliness.
Evidently, you either missed the message last time, or chose to hope to
employ such shenanigans again for their possible tactical utility (at least,
when it comes to readers who aren't watching for just the facts).

Either way, it involves you missing the message or failing to employ the
dictates of it, so I'm going to repeat that message in plain English: that
which does not relate to the facts of the case is irrelevant crap.

I will, in this message, simply snip out your irrelevancies, since I made it
clear in the latter half of the last part-one post that they have neither
merit nor relevance. If this snipping involves slashing entire paragraphs
and restating the tiny on-topic portion of your position, you are, of
course, at liberty to complain . . . but the fault is your own.


*********************

Now, regarding the Sansweet quote from a convention:

"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."

. . . you still argue that it is hearsay, and apparently believe that it
should be thrown out on that basis. You're partially right . . . it is
hearsay, but I hardly see that as a reason to throw it out. An independent
party wrote down what was said, either at the time or later from a
recording. Reality is a court of fact, not a court of law. Since we do
not have the primary source (the recording, or the paper the person wrote
on), this fact should be weighted accordingly (i.e. low), but not counted or
discounted merely in regards to its convenience. And, as I pointed out in
the last message, it is simply another confirmation, not the bedrock quote
of my position. My argument stands with or without it.

Further, you continue to argue that Sansweet's use of the term "mind" must
constitute some sort of psychological courtroom testimony by Sansweet, and
he should be ignored because he is not qualified to testify about the
contents of Lucas's mind. That continues to be an absurd argument . . . he
is telling the audience what Lucas does and does not consider fact. This is
readily apparent from the quote and his use of the common phrase, and it is
consistent with other examples.

**

Regarding Lucas's TV Guide and Cinescape quotes, you continue to attempt to
dismiss them by claiming that verbal interviews are not as carefully
composed as articles written for publication. However, as I have already
pointed out, that argument is not useful for you, since you would need Lucas
to be so utterly careless with his words that he states the precise opposite
of what you want him to state, and (even worse) states this same erroneous
concept in two separate interviews.

I, on the other hand, hold that it is virtually impossible that one would
state the exact opposite of their belief in such a manner once, and
certainly not twice . . . in other words, Lucas said what he meant to say,
and this is his repeated (and therefore consistent) position. I consider
that rather obvious, and see no logic in attempting to dismiss Lucas's
statements.

**

You continue to argue that there ought to be a middle ground wherein the EU
can be partially true and partially worthless, or at least useful in spite
of that fact. However, we have been over this point repeatedly . . .
Sansweet (quoting Cerasi) makes a comment that the real story of Star Wars
is only the absolute canon. The use of the term "only" is logically
exclusive. Further, if the EU is outside the canon universe, there is no
logic in applying its facts to the canon universe and claiming to have found
truth. To employ an analogy involving TOS, it would be akin to claiming
that all Starfleet personnel carry daggers. Well, they did, but that
wasn't in our canon universe.

It is not a false dilemma to employ the same dilemma placed on us by the
facts. In other words, when we are given only two choices, you cannot
claim a false dilemma because you'd prefer a third.

**

You continue to insist that the existence of the in-house Continuity
espoused by LucasBooks and Lucas Licensing overrides the canon policy
statements of Lucas and LFL, and you insist that there is an overall
continuity (as stated by LB and LL personnel in Insider #23) which includes
the Canon and Continuity. You have failed to realize that this 'overall
continuity' is, in fact, simply the in-house Continuity of LB and LL. They
control it, they maintain it, but their in-house Continuity has absolutely
no control over the Lucas/LFL canon or Absolute Canon, and as per Rostoni is
subservient to it.

Again, I stress that there is no continuity which exists or that is being
maintained which has any control over the canon. The subservience of the
EU does not an overall continuity make.

Any individual is at liberty to accept the LB/LL dictates regarding what
they consider to be the facts of Star Wars. However, strict adherence to
fact requires that we accept the Lucas/LFL statements that the EU is outside
the canon universe, and that the only real story of Star Wars is the canon.

***

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


> 1. You cite Cerasi who said that only the films constitute the "real
> story" of Star Wars,


True.

> while the EU represents a somewhat distorted window
> into that story.


More or less true. Cerasi referred to the in-house continuity of
LucasBooks, and the diligent work to keep the Expanded Universe 'cohesive
and uniform' (in spite of the amount of interpretation and speculation that
comes the further one branches from the movies), and his *analogy* regarding
that is that every piece of EU fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars
universe . . . some foggy, some abstract, but each with a nugget of truth.


> 1. Cerasi agrees with me, not you.

That's absurd.

> I have been saying that the canon
> represents direct observation (ie- the "real story")


The absolute canon is this real story, and it comes from the films, "and
*only* the films". This is a logically exclusive statement . . . that which
is not the films (the absolute canon) is not the real story, and is
therefore unreal (with the exception of the novelisations, which are "very
accurate depictions").

You claim that "real" and "complete" are not synonymous, and that's true in
some senses of the terms. However, what you fail to observe is the fact
that "only" + "real" and "complete" are synonymous.

Or, to break it down for you:

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.


> while the EU represents historical data (ie- distorted retellings,
> ie- "windows" onto events), and both should be interpreted accordingly.


Cerasi's 'nuggets of truth' in the EU can only be those elements derived
from the canon (which is the only source for the real story of Star Wars),
unless (in keeping with one of your efforts with the Lucas quote) we should
take one part and override the rest, instead of understanding the statement
as a cohesive, non-contradictory whole.

> You, on the other hand, insist that the canon represents the
> entirety of the story,

As per Cerasi and the logical exclusivity of his statement.

> and that the EU does NOT represent any kind of view into the Star Wars
> story, thus directly contradicting the Cerasi quote.


I'm not the one contradicting Cerasi, nor have I suggested that the EU
doesn't represent any kind of view into the real SW universe. It just
happens to be a useless view, except for those nuggets of truth from the
canon that are not butchered by interpretation and speculation.


> 2. You cite Sansweet, who says that EU does not exist in Lucas' mind
> when he makes the films but who also said that the EU is "quasi-canon".


And both of these can be given low weight . . . the first is hearsay, the
second is overridden by Lucas, later Sansweet, etc.


> 2. First of all, Sansweet obviously agrees with me,

Also absurd.

> not you, given his statement in the SWE.

I understand the fact that you desperately need the quote from the foreward
of the Star Wars Encyclopedia to be approved by LucasFilm and presently
valid, in order for your claims of positional validity to have any weight.
However, do you not understand the following?:

1. "Quasi-canon" appears nowhere else in any statement of Canon Policy
anywhere, before or since.
2. It is contradicted by other statements, including those of Lucas,
Sansweet himself, Cerasi, and Rostoni, both before and after that
publication.
3. Sansweet, as part of Specialty Marketing for Lucas Licensing, was hardly
in a position to illuminate LucasFilm canon policy. He is now in such a
position, and he certainly does not employ the term "quasi-canon", and (as
per #2) has effectively denied it.
4. Judging by the dates, LucasBooks would've been the approving party, not
LucasFilm.

At best, his position at the time was a method of compromise between
Lucas/LFL canon, and Rostoni's peculiar assignment of the term "canon" to
the contents of the EU. In any event, that comment cannot and does not
override Lucas, modern Sansweet, or Cerasi.


> And finally, your interpretation is
> over-arching; even if Lucas composes the prequels without studying the
> EU first, that HARDLY means that he thinks the fans should ignore it!


Grossly inaccurate . . . the EU being a parallel universe does not equal
'Lucas doesn't study the EU before making canon'. Further, to claim that
when he tells the fans that the EU is a parallel universe it should have
absolutely no bearing on their view of the reality of that universe is
absurd.


> He is George Lucas, and he can violate lesser parts of the continuity at
> will (he has even contradicted canon on occasion!),


I assume your proof of this claim is still your assertion that the Original
Edition has merit, and that, by creating the Special Edition, Lucas has
contradicted canon. As previously pointed out, he *changed* the canon.
That is not a contradiction, it is a completely truthful revision that must
be accepted if we're going to talk about canon.


> 3. In your last post, you claimed that the LFL continuity is
> "subservient to the Canon, not inclusive of it and in control of it."


Correct.

> 3. Your argument is a non sequitur. The continuity need not "control"
> the canon in order to include it.


The in-house Continuity is left to accept the facts of the Canon wholesale,
and as per Rostoni attempts to avoid conflict with the canon or undermining
of its meaning. This is not inclusion into an overall realm inclusive of
the canon . . . this is subservience to that canon.


> An occupied car includes its driver; does that mean the car MUST
> control the driver, and not the other way around?


False analogy. We're talking about authority and fact. A better analogy
would refer to the set of things which the driver controls . . . the car's
speed, radio settings, direction, and so on . . . but not the road he or she
is expected to follow.


> 4. You cite many, many sources (including Lucas) which indicate that the
> EU is separate from the canon


More than "separate" . . . outside the canon's universe.

> (although in Lucas' case, he also said
> that the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars).


Which, as oft-demonstrated, does not mean what you want it to mean.

> 4. It is possible for the EU to be separate from the canon but still be
> part of the overall continuity (picture attached for clarity, since you
> seem incapable of understanding this simple concept).


I understand the concept you are arguing for just fine. Your position is
that of an EU fan . . . your "overall continuity" would be the belief about
Star Wars in the mind of a fan. However, this fan belief has no basis in
the Canon Policy, and is actually opposed to it.


> The Pacific War in WW2 was separate from and parallel to the European
> War in WW2 with very little overlap, yet both theatres of war were
> part of the same timeline.


Another horrendous analogy. We are not talking about parallel events in one
universe . . . we are talking about parallel universes, with the events of
the parallel universe being explicitly outside the 'real' universe. Nothing
of consequence to the real universe can occur in the parallel universe.


> You have already acknowledged that an overall continuity exists,

I'm curious to know when *that* happened, given my statements on the matter:

From my first post:
"So, while we have no idea what the "overall continuity" referred to by the
unspecified Insider #23 personnel refers to, it would seem to bear a
striking resemblance to the in-house continuity of LucasBooks, insofar as
non-canon EU material is taken into account."

From my second post:

"

> a continuity of some sort must exist,

Correct: a continuity of some sort must exist if we are to assume that Star
Wars has a consistency and story that is to make sense.


> and it would still exist by any other name; we are debating
> the question of what is included in that continuity, and you
> have failed to present a shred of evidence that the EU is
> NOT included.


Contrary to fact: we know what the real story of Star Wars is . . . it is
the films, "and *only* the films"(Cerasi, quoted by Sansweet)."

From my third:

"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."

. . . and evidently, continue to do so.


> 1. Justify your belief that anything which is not guaranteed true should
> be discarded completely.


We've already been over this territory, and I'm not going to repeat myself,
since that will merely bring us right back to your analogy regarding history
and science, the false and specious nature of that analogy having already
been demonstrated.

Since we're talking about canon anyway, I will employ a religious analogy:

You want to know pi to the fifth digit. You have several views of pi
available . . .

One is someone's confusion with e, thereby arguing pi to the fifth digit is
2.71828.
One is a very rough estimate, exactly three. So, pi to the fifth digit is
3.00000.
One is a very rough estimate, about three and a half. So, we'd end up with
3.50000.
One is a fraction of 22/7, therefore some say that pi to the fifth digit is
3.14285.
One is a confusion of the fraction, 27/2. And so, pi to the fifth digit is
13.50000.

Another was handed down to you by God himself. He said that it is actually
3.14159, and went on to give you more: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795

So, what to do to figure out pi?


I argue that we accept the canon ("God-given") figure. You suggest that we
take that figure and acknowledge the others as well, perhaps by averaging to
4.8338 or maybe by claiming that it could be as high as 13.5, but that God
merely spoke of a lower value of pi.

I find such a notion absurd.


> Explain why you feel it is NOT a false dilemma
> fallacy to force us to choose between "guaranteed true" and "totally
> worthless", with no permissible middle ground.


Because that is the choice given to us by the canon policy. The truth is
logically exclusive. It is not a false dilemma to employ the same dilemma
placed on us by the facts.


> 2. Explain why you flatly insist on interpreting the phrase "real story"
> as "100% comprehensive; nothing else exists" rather than "known to be
> true" (as per the dictionary).


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

The Absolute Canon is the real story of Star Wars, and the only source of
that is the films.


> 3. Explain why you feel that the LFL "in-house continuity" should be
> ignored,


Because it is not the LFL in-house Continuity, it is the in-house Continuity
of LB/LL.


> 4. Explain why you feel that the preface to the SWE should be either
> ignored or painted as irreconcilably opposed to the other statements,
> rather than trying to interpret them in a manner consistent with it
> (which IS possible, as I have demonstrated).


You have demonstrated nothing of the sort.

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you assume
that "Real Story of Star Wars /= *Only* the Films", though this is contrary
to Sansweet and Cerasi.

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you accept the
dictates of Specialty Marketing and LucasBooks over Lucas and LFL without
any effort to weigh statements (this is just in general, whether or not they
agree).

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you must
assume that Lucas was wrong when he placed the EU outside his universe, and
part of a parallel one.

. . . Et cetera. I have detailed these and other reasons to you
previously.


> 5. Explain why George Lucas' comment about the EU intruding on the world
> of Star Wars should be ignored.


Contrary to your straw man efforts, I do not think it should be ignored. I
do, however, think it should be understood in context, and not used to
override and ignore the rest of his statements about the content of the
parallel universe.


> Explain what else he could have possibly meant by that statement,
> in a manner consistent with the other quotes.


Perhaps he meant what he said . . . that the EU is part of a parallel
universe, the content of which is outside his universe, though the EU has
occasionally attempted to insert things between his time periods of the
films (albeit, logically, in the EU universe).

In other words, Lucas "owns" the movie time period blocks in both universes
(whether this should be understood as one fat one, two smaller ones, or six
slender ones is unclear). Your notion is that, because temporal intrusion
occurs in the EU universe, it is actually the same universe . . . but this
is absurd. We already know the EU is outside the universe (as per TV
Guide), and part of another world and a parallel universe.

Temporal intrusion in one universe does not equal a crossing of the boundary
between universes.


> 6. In your last post, you claimed that "You cannot "rationalize a
> fictional universe" (as you stated in your opening statement) with
> evidence obtained from a parallel, separate, different universe."
> Justify this axiomatic statement (which relies upon an ultra-literal
> interpretation of the word "universe") in light of the fact that both
> have been stated by official LFL representatives to occupy the SAME
> timeline, ie- continuity.


What? LFL representatives have not placed the EU in the same timeline.
Rostoni of *LucasBooks* has said that they hope to present a continuous and
unified history, but her goal and the statements of LFL in regards to the EU
are not compatible.

You need to be more careful about confusing who (and what company) says
what.

Because the EU universe is separate from Lucas's canon universe, it is not a
valid source of information regarding the canon universe.


> 7. Explain why you feel that George Lucas' power to override or ignore
> the EU (or even the canon in some cases) should extend to YOU, even
> though he reserves it for himself and does not extend it to his own
> official authors.


Absurdly stated. First, I do not think that I, personally, have the power
to override the EU or canon, objectively speaking, and my position does not
imply or require such a notion.

Second, you're coloring the issue in a most peculiar and improper way by
claiming that I am appropriating Lucas's power to ignore the EU. Lucas
stated that the EU is part of a parallel universe . . . why should we not
accept that?

Third, your question belies an ignorance of the nature of the in-house
Continuity of LucasBooks. The entire point of EU authors is to contribute
to the EU, and it was decided by Wilson and Rostoni that a continuity should
be maintained within EU materials, to avoid contradiction. Lucas has
nothing to do with it.


> 8. Try to defend all of these points without resorting to your
> ridiculous strawman distortion that by including the EU in the
> continuity, I am making it canon.


I have never argued that you are making it canon. I have argued that you
are giving it canonicity. It's a subtle distinction you seem to have
missed (thereby leading to yet another of your false fallacy accusations).

For something to be canon means that, in its entirety, it is part of the
inviolable truth of Star Wars. To have canonicity is to simply have truth
value . . . it need not be 100%.

You believe that the EU can add information to the real story of Star Wars.
This gives it canonicity.

*****

And now we move on to your attempted synthesis of various faulty examples:


> This is really very simple, Robert: LFL tells us that the EU is
> official, or "quasi-canon", according to the SWE.


I note that you have given the Encyclopedia quote the greatest weight, even
over Lucas. That's a desperate position, to say the least . . . not only is
Lucas's position disrespected, but the facts surrounding the Encyclopedia
foreward quote are ignored.


> Lucas tells us that the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars wherever
> his films don't.


No, he says that the EU intrudes between the movies in his time period of
the movies. You think this overrides the parallel universe comment, but it
doesn't . . . something occurring in a contemporaneous fashion does not
automatically occur in the same universe.

> Cerasi tells us that the EU gives us a "window" into the world of Star
> Wars, albeit an imperfect one. Ergo, the EU counts.


No, since Cerasi also gives us the "*only*" comment. To be a window into a
universe does not mean that the window itself is part of the other universe.


> You may insist that it's somehow wrong to include the EU as per the
> wishes of LFL and Lucas himself,


Yes, I do insist that.

> you can't change the fact that every source you bring up to support
> your position (Cerasi, Sansweet, Lucas) actually DAMAGES it when you
> look at the big picture


Now *that's* an interesting claim, given that my position is based on the
evidence in part and in whole.

I must assume that "when you look at the big picture" = "when you modify or
ignore any and every quote to fall in line with the Encyclopedia quote and
unsupported assertions."


> You refused to admit the fallacy of your basic philosophical approach,
> which would nullify both science and history if applied to real life

I refuse to admit any foolish notion of yours or anyone else's that is based
on a horrendously false analogy, such as your claims regarding my approach.

**********************

Summing up, I find that we're still in the same basic place, with the same
major points which you still have not adequately answered:

re: Canon Policy - Lucas overrides LucasFilm. Lucasfilm overrides
LucasBooks, Lucas Licensing, etc.
(This you merely ignore, or confuse)

1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little universe.
(This you hope to override with the "intrude" nonsense)

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, and has been heard to say in public that only the canon
is relevant to Lucas.
(The first of these you ignore the meaning of, and the second you dismiss)

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.
(This forms the bedrock of your position that there's an overall continuity,
in spite of #4.)

4. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of this in-house continuity of
LucasBooks/LL, which Wilson and Rostoni decided to create and maintain in
the publishing department.
(These facts you simply ignore, choosing not to relate them to the
continuity which Rostoni and Kausch spoke of, for no apparent reason.)


On to the Final Round

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