On With the Wailings and the Gnashings of Teeth

(Edited ... see below)

I've seen the Rayten blog post reposted at some of the Star Wars forums that are home to "EU Defense Force" groups. At GalacticSenate.com for instance, someone posted Rayten's blog with a little sad emoticon afterward.

Of course, then a guy came back with a cockamamie theory as to how, if Rayten was accurate, Lucas could be re-understood and/or dismissed:

Alright, here's by theory. GL says a lot of stuff in interviews etc. but none of it actually has bearing on the actual Star Wars story.

This is the 'Boba Evasion' . . . SD.Netters claim that Lucas's belief that Boba died is irrelevant since he's alive in the EU, not realizing what it means on a policy level. Similarly, this guy is claiming that Lucas's belief about parallel universes doesn't show up in the movies (i.e. Mace Windu never says "perhaps we can contact the alternate universe for help!" at which point Z-95 Headhunters come flying every which way), and thus Lucas can be dismissed. Just as with the 'Boba Evasion', the guy is trying to miss the point and thus ignore the obvious.

What is official is the continuity ladder, where the EU is part of the Star Wars galaxy unless it contradicts something in the movies.

In other words, 'don't listen to Lucas . . . he doesn't know what he's talking about. Leland Chee alone knows what's going on, and is the only source for real Star Wars and canon policy statements.'

When it does, the EU is responsible for righting the mistake. Realistically, there is no way Mr. Lucas can keep up with everything in the EU. He is a busy man, and most fans can't even keep up with everything. So, because he probably likes to "have control" over all things Star Wars, he dismisses what he doesn't know as quasi-Star Wars. But, in reality, his actions speak louder than words. If he had wanted to undermine the EU, he had many opportunities to do so, with Coruscant and other places. But, instead he includes names like Quinlan Vos, Aayla Secura and others that originate in the EU. To me, that says more than something he says in Starlog Magazine, because it effects the actual galaxy and a magazine article doesn't. So, until GL blatantly puts something into the movies or TV shows that unalterably contradicts something I read in the books, the uncontradicted EU will always stand on the same level as the movies.

In other words, the guy is saying two things:

{1} Although Lucas has buttraped the EU on multiple occasions by not following along with its backstory, as long as the EU can be retconned then it's okay (which is illogical, since anything can be retconned if you dismiss enough of what was there before). That "unalterably contradicts" bit is quite insidious, really. But in any case, we already knew that the makers of the EU are warping the EU to try to fit what Lucas does, so I'm not seeing how the fact of retconning can change or override what Lucas said.

{2} Lucas ganking occasional things from the EU (like blue-skinned hottie Aayla Secura) overrides his repeated statements that it is a parallel universe. How? No idea. He could gank the entire flippin' Expanded Universe, but so long as he declared it a different universe then it is a different universe and must be treated accordingly.

In any case, while there is no logic to the fellow's arguments, we do at least get to see that yes, the militant EU-philes are going to ignore Lucas and make up any inane argument to try to maintain their belief system.

==========EDIT 12:15p

Well, now we're seeing another evasion maneuver. Wayne Poe responded to my comment on StarWars.com's BCaT forum with the following:

Now that I've read the actual quote [i.e. the one I provided from "Galvaron"], I feel much better about it. Lucas doesn't invalidate the EU at all in this interview. He is saying, once again, that the filmed portion of the overall story of Star Wars is his story alone to tell. I'm afraid those "infidel purist cossacks" of yours are once again sadly mistaken. But we al[ready knew that!

Above, Wayne extends the 'Production Evasion'. This was the attempted counter to the earlier parallel universe quotes. The 'Production Evasion' is the claim that the different worlds and different universes somehow refers to who is making what, as opposed to differing storylines and timelines. Of course, it doesn't work, since Lucas would have to refer to "my world, which is a select period of time" from the Cinescape quote to refer to 1977-1983, for instance.

My reply:

Taken without context, I suppose one could almost view Lucas's comment as being a reference to who's doing the producing of what. However, per Lucas's DVD commentary et cetera, he maintains that Boba Fett died in RoTJ, as opposed to being found "somewhat indigestible" and going on to other things per the EU. That's proof of separate futures, and thus separate timelines . . . which is thoroughly consistent with the idea that there are "two" separate, "different", "parallel" universes as he has repeatedly stated.

That said, however, the EU does get changed to try to fit in with what Lucas creates (or in the case of Boba's comeback, authorizes), per Sue R. and Leland C., so despite any declaration of dual universes the EU will always try to conform with the Lucas universe. In any case, though, there's an actual thread on the topic, lest we bore those here any further.

(I did go back and edit it when I recalled the 1977-1983 point.)

So, let's review the three escape maneuvers attempted in regards to the quote:

1. EU retconning keeps the universes the same no matter what Lucas says.
2. Lucas borrowing from the EU overrides any declaration he makes.
3. Lucas meant to talk about backstage production issues.

Wow . . . what crap so far.


Reported Quote from Starlog

Yes, I'm enjoying myself thoroughly, and will continue to break news as it develops. ;)

According to an SW.com forum poster, we have the following:

I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world... We decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one.

Yes, I think I'm going to enjoy owning that issue . . . if you'll forgive the double entendre.

Sometimes You Just Can't Resist

I know, I know . . . it was bad of me, but I just couldn't resist. As noted earlier, Wayne Poe had exhibited fear of the Starlog quote, but had (in SD.Net fashion) wrapped his message in moronic, insulting, faux-arrogant bluster.

So here I was, pondering the fact that once again I have every right to engage in an activity I try to avoid. Call it gloating, dick-waving, or what-have-you . . . I had the high ground, but an opponent was claiming to have it while cowering at the base of my hill.

It was just their obnoxious refusal to accede to fact back in the day, and to do so while insulting those who'd shown them the facts, that caused me to produce this website to begin with. And there it was again.

So, like I said . . . I couldn't resist:

Can anyone quote this {...} it sounds like wish fulfillment misrepresentation from the irrationalist "The EU is not canon" crowd.

Well, "Galvaron" quoted it last month. But, he could very well be part of the Purist Conspiracy, and thus one of the dirty lying irrational infidel purist cossacks you refer to. In any event:

I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world... We decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one.

If so, it still doesn't invalidate the EU ... as Sansweet said, that sort of call is probably best left up to one's "point of view". So it would just mean you, personally, choose to enjoy and accept the fine creative merchandise produced by Licensing under the careful, thoughtful guidance of BCaT VIPs. Others may not, but who cares?

Of course, some may be confused by that last paragraph, but they shouldn't be. At no point have purists suggested that it is wrong or evil to like the EU, any more than it would be wrong or evil to like a Star Trek novel. The reverse is not true. The problem is militant EU-philes like Wayne who've always tried to ram the EU down the collective throat of everyone, insulting and maligning those who disagree.

Accepting the EU as part of Lucas's film universe is a subjective, personal choice to go with Licensing's merchandising canon. If you claim to go by an objective standard of listening to the owner/maker of Star Wars, then of course the EU wouldn't apply. That's just how it is, and no amount of whining and complaining and bitching and moaning and insulting can change that.

Of course, human history is replete with examples of people who believe their subjective opinion should be enforced as objective law, so I don't see the canon debate going away anytime soon. However, quotes like the Starlog one (assuming Galvaron was accurate) can only help to make the logical bankruptcy of the EU militants even more clear than it already was.


Sue Rostoni on Lucas's Canon Policy

Just to once again confirm what I've said she said before, we have this lovely post from the StarWars.com forums:

"eddie": "Sue, or any other Vip, can you tell us a little more about GL's official stance towards the EU? or do you, like the most of us, have not the slightest idea. I read the following in Rayten's blog:

Within the issue of Starlog magazine with the War of the Worlds cover is an interview article with George Lucas. He stated something which he had said before, which is that he doesn't follow the SW EU, he doesn't read the books or comics. He also said that when they started doing all this (which is allowing other storytellers to tell their own SW tales), he had decreed that the Star Wars Universe would be split into two just like Star Trek (I don't know nuts about Star Trek, so don't ask me about that), one would be his own universe (the six episode movie saga), the other would be a whole other universe (the Expanded Universe). He continued to say that the EU tries as much as possible to tie in to his own universe, but sometimes they move into a whole other line of their own.

Sue Rostoni: "Yeah, this is pretty much what I've heard, except that people have said he reads the comics."

(Note: I'm not sure, but I think this might be the June issue of Starlog, which would be #336 by my reckoning. I'm trying to locate one, since although Rayten was pretty thorough in what he said, it's still hearsay.)

Of course, Rostoni has made this point several times before, but the SD.Netters have invariably twisted whatever she said into a pretzel and gotten the completely wrong idea. The underlying problem, of course, is that they are unable to synthesize data or understand it in context, because they are so blinded by their desire for a preferred outcome.

I'm not going to gloat about it . . . I'm just saying that there's a lesson here for anyone involved in the debates, or in anything else. Indeed, the outcome of the Vs. Debate itself is entirely unimportant. What's important are the lessons you should be learning from it . . . how to think and reason given a subject's rules. And of course, thanks to the other side of the aisle you get to see some interesting psychological problems . . . such as people threatening others for disagreeing over their beliefs about science fiction programs. (Indeed, my personal opinion is that the other side of the aisle has many people providing many examples of how not to behave, but that's neither here nor there.)

But I digress. Regarding that lesson, let's take a look at some of the things Rostoni has said in the past about Lucas's position on things:

"In general, George does not take the EU into account when he's making his movies."

"It's our job to manipulate the EU into fitting George's future movies, which often contradict stuff we've done."

"He doesn't see the extended universe as "his" Star Wars, but as "ours.""

"Yes, the books follow the continuity of the films as best we can taking into account that George follows his own continuity, and rightly so."

Even from these four lines, logical suppositions can be formed. It would, for instance, probably be inaccurate to say that, in Rostoni's opinion, Lucas works closely with the EU-makers to keep continuity between his films and the EU and vice versa. And it would probably be accurate to say that, in Rostoni's opinion, Lucas doesn't pay much attention to the EU continuity, instead making his own that does not fit in with the EU (until she goes back to try to make the EU fit).

Such reasonable inferences are not, however, what the SD.Net EU-philes believe. Indeed, from the last quote above, Wayne Poe declared that "Rostoni completely dashed all of [G2k's] hopes of making the EU illegitimate".

" . . . The hell?" . . . that was roughly my reaction when I saw him say that, and it still is. Now that Rostoni has made her point about her beliefs on Lucas clearer, though, is it possible that Wayne and his fellows would reconsider that belief?

Qui-Gon: "Hmm . . . not likely."

It's too easy to just mock them. I mean, any number of jokes about the Iraqi Information Minister come to mind instantly. And it's not useful to get angry with them, except insofar as it can help to fuel the complete deconstruction of their position. And given their threats (like Wayne's death threat postings, et cetera), it isn't like you can pity them, really. And, of course, since these people are the pro-SW intelligentsia (as scary a fact as that is), I personally can't really just ignore them.

And so, I just get to keep making posts like this. In any case, though, one must avoid getting too terribly smug, for although I disagree with the notion that a stopped clock is right twice a day (it's just lucky), the sentiment is still accurate. You never know when even the worst idiotic scoundrels might make a valid point.

I'll be waiting . . . though I won't be holding my breath.


Canon Thesis

I'm nearing completion on the canon page rewrite that I got stuck in the middle of previously. And, out of curiosity, I decided to stop and see just how big the page really was.

With Arial 10-point font, the document would currently print out to over 20 pages according to Windows Wordpad. Double-spaced, that would be the equivalent of a 40 page research paper. At a ballpark figure of 250 words per double-spaced page, that's about 10,000 words.

Funny . . . 9,998 extra words simply because the Star Wars EU-philes refuse to accept just two: "parallel universe".


Encyclopedia Update

Incidentally, here's an interesting question from the SW.com VIP thread, and an interesting answer by Sue Rostoni:

Will we see the Star Wars Encyclopedia that was written by Mr. Sansweet updated?

This is definitely in the plans, probably for late 2006 or sometime in 2007. Stay tuned.

Hmm . . . wonder what will be said about canon in the new intro? The 1998 one still gets talked about from time to time.


Lucas, May 25 1977

I've bumped into a very fascinating Rolling Stones interview with Lucas from 1977. It's actually quite interesting to see how some things have changed but others have stayed the same. A brief rundown of the parts I found noteworthy:

1. Lucas seems to identify Star Wars as being intended as a kid's movie, circa 10-12 year olds.

2. More on the idea that Star Wars is space fantasy and not sci-fi:

"You firmly establish that at the beginning of Star Wars with the words: "A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .""

"Well, I had a real problem because I was afraid that science-fiction buffs and everybody would say things like, "You know there's no sound in outer space." I just wanted to forget science. That would take care of itself. Stanley Kubrick made the ultimate science-fiction movie and it is going to be very hard for somebody to come along and make a better movie, as far as I'm concerned. I didn't want to make a 2001, 1 wanted to make a space fantasy that was more in the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs; that whole other end of space fantasy that was there before science took it over in the Fifties. Once the atomic bomb came, everybody got into monsters and science and what would happen with this and what would happen with that. I think speculative fiction is very valid but they forgot the fairy tales and the dragons and Tolkien and all the real heroes."

3. A lot of the self-beating and disappointment Lucas expressed in the OT films around the time the Special Editions came out appears.

4. Unless Lucas was bullshitting profoundly, he had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on with Star Wars. That claim of this being worked out well in advance was completely bogus. For instance:

"Why does Darth Vader breathe so heavily?"

"I had wanted to do that and tie it in with the dialogue."

"It was a nice touch, because it adds to the bogyman quality of the character."

" [...] It was a whole part of the plot that essentially got cut out. It may be in one of the sequels."

"What's the story?"

"It's about Ben and Luke's father and Vader when they are young Jedi knights. But Vader kills Luke's father, then Ben and Vader have a confrontation, just like they have in Star Wars, and Ben almost kills Vader. As a matter of fact, he falls into a volcanic pit and gets fried and is one destroyed being."

5. Now that Lucas is finished with Star Wars, he's been saying he wants to go do little films that are experimental, avant-garde sorts of things. Looks like this dream has been in his head for a long time:

"The film's success should guarantee some success in the merchandising program you've launched."

"One of my motivating factors for doing the film, along with all the other ones, was that I love toys and games. And so I figured, gee, I could start a kind of a store that sold comic art, and sold sevety-eight records, or old rock 'n' roll records that I like, and antique toys and a lot of things that I am really into; stuff that you can't buy in regular stores. I also like to create games and things, so that was part of the movie, to be able to generate toys and things. Also, I figured the merchandising along with the sequels would give me enough income over a period of time so that I could retire from professional filmmaking and go into making my own kind of movies, my own sort of abstract, weird, experimental stuff."

Of course, those people who claim Lucas said he never thinks of possible toys while making films would be sadly mistaken, given the above.

There's a lot more to the interview, and it's an interesting read. Go give it a look-see.