Chee Rebuts Single Continuity

Leland Chee of Lucas Licensing has amended some of his earlier statements on canon.

1. Regarding Licensing's continuity database, the "Holocron":

"The database does indeed have a canon field for each individual entry and for sources, though the canon level of the entry would overide the canon level of the source since it factors in other sources associated with that entry."

So in other words, the old shuura fruit example (where the name came from one place and the fruit from the film) would be at the highest level since it came from the film, though the name for it was an EU invention.

2. A number of opponents of the canon took the following to be a declaration on Chee's part that there was no significant difference between G-canon and C-canon:

"Might we discover what the non-obvious G-level elements are, some time after Episode III?
I don't forsee that happening. Sorry. I really wouldn't take too much stock into the difference between G-level and C-level because the lines between the two are so blurred."

This has now been clarified:

"[ADDENDUM: to clarify, I mean blurred to the public. Since we started the Holocron, internally, we are well aware what information is G-level]"

In other words, certain fans can't seem to distinguish G from C, which of course is little wonder since there's an active group trying to dissuade folks from recognition of the fact that Lucas's saga and the EU are not one and the same. Speaking of which:

3. I find this interesting:

"Of the two official continuities (the films alone continuity and the films + EU continuity), is one more 'official' than the other; which is the 'true' Star Wars universe?
You're asking the Keeper of the Holocron, so of course I'm gonna be a bit biased. The "film purists" aren't the types to be hanging out on the boards so it's unlikely you'll hear much official rebuttal around these parts. With that said, the reality is that a huge number of people who have seen all 6 Star Wars films have never played a Star Wars game, visited a Star Wars website, watched a Star Wars television program, read a Star Wars publication, or purchased a Star Wars action figure or collectible. It would be great disservice to discount these people as fans."

That was interesting inasmuch as Chee didn't seem to rebut the notion of two official continuities. A quick googling led me to these forum posts:

User ulic_g99, referring to me:

"Sorry Tasty, a rather long and boring question about continuity, canon and the Holocron…

Much earlier this year, I participated in a debate in the Can We Get "The Canon Argument" Out of the Way Now... thread on this board and had a long discussion with another poster on the canonicity of the EU.

The poster had argued that based on George Lucas’s quotes in Cinescape in July 2002 and in Starlog in August 2005, where he mentions the films and the EU and films being “two separate worlds” and the EU being a “parallel universe”, that there are officially two different Star Wars universes or continuities:

- George Lucas’ Star Wars universe, which is the ‘real’ Star Wars universe, consisting of the 6 Star Wars movies and only those films; the stories set out in the EU do not happen, nor are a part of that universe or story.
- The Expanded Universe’s Star Wars universe, which is not the same as the ‘real’ Star Wars universe, but is it’s own spin-off universe based on it; it does not reflect George Lucas’ vision of the story of what ‘really happens’ in Star Wars.

When I mentioned your statements about the different canonicity levels in Star Wars, he argued that they were only applicable to the EU Star Wars universe, and didn’t apply to George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. Further more he posited that since Lucas Licensing and LucasFilm Ltd are separate entities, that the statements of Lucas Licensing employees do not and cannot override George Lucas’ quotes, or the quotes of LucasFilm Ltd employees, since Lucas Licensing cannot know or comment accurately about the policies of LFL.

I on the other hand argued that there was only one official Star Wars universe or continuity, which is made up of both the Star Wars films and the EU and contains materials of different levels of canonicity as described in your blog. I contended that the quotes of Lucas where he mentions “two worlds” were not supposed to be taken literally; he was describing how his work on the films was ‘his world’ and he didn’t get involved in the EU which was ‘a separate world’.

Additionally, I argued that LucasFilm Ltd and Lucas Licensing, being divisions of the same company, worked together closely and thus each division was aware of and could comment with accuracy on the policies of the other.

I was wondering which of our arguments were correct? Or are we both off the mark in some way? Many thanks!"

Chee responded thusly:

"The only relevant official continuities are the current versions of the films alone, and the combined current version of the films along with whatever else we've got in the Holocron. You're never going to know what George's view of the universe beyond the films at any given time because it is constantly evolving. It remains elastic until it gets committed to film or another official source. Even then, we know there's always room for change. Though the Holocron is maintained by Licensing, it is utilized by folks throughout all the Lucas companies."

That's "continuities", plural, for those not paying attention. And while Chee suggests that the film continuity is just the films alone, we've heard differently from higher sources. But the point is that even Chee is now admitting that there are two continuities officially recognized . . . the Licensing official continuity, and the Lucas continuity.

In other words, BOOM.

Unsurprisingly, the opponents of the canon have been utterly silent on the matter.

Ulic_g99, however, posted a followup:

"Thanks for answering my question, Tasty! Looks like I was wrong about there only being one Star Wars continuity.

A follow up question - of the two official continuities (the films alone continuity and the films + EU continuity), is one more 'official' than the other; which is the 'true' Star Wars universe? Also, do they share the same history, or are the events of one supposed to be different to the events of the other? For example, the age old question of did Boba Fett die in the Sarlacc pit - in the flims + EU continuity he survives, but in the films alone continuity we don't know if he does or not. Does this mean that it's possible that he died in one Star Wars universe (the films alone), but survived in the other (the films + EU)? Many thanks!"

Chee responded with the quote noted first in this post's point #3. Ulic then asked the following:

"Thanks for such a quick reply Tasty! Last question about canon and continuity, promise...

On this site in August 2001, Steve Sansweet quoted Chris Cerasi about the canon policy. At one point, he mentions:

"The analogy is that every piece of published Star Wars fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe. Some windows are a bit foggier than others. Some are decidedly abstract. But each contains a nugget of truth to them."

My question is this: with the two different Star Wars continuities of Film alone and Film+EU, is the 'foggy window' of the EU materials as described above referring to a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film alone continuity, the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film+EU continuity, or does it mean something else which I'm not understanding properly? I'm assuming that the Holocron is only responsible for managing continuity within the Film+EU universe - is that correct? Many thanks!"

Chee responded to part of the above with the following:

", is the 'foggy window' of the EU materials as described above referring to a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film alone continuity, the 'real' Star Wars universe of the Film+EU continuity,
Film+EU continuity. Anything not in the current version of the films is irrelevant to Film only continuity."

While Chee's statement can only really be considered his position (since we can't really think of him as rewriting what Cerasi and Sansweet said), it nonetheless follows perfect suit with my view.

That's Game, Set, and Match, folks, once again. I have been maintaining the position that there are two continuities for some time now, obvious as it was from the newer statements of the past few years, and confirmed by the repetitions by Lucas on disparate universes, Sue Rostoni of Licensing who acknowledged such statements, and so on and so forth. Other even harder-core SW fans acknowledged this.

But a small fanatic group resisted this notion, and in the past year or so have abused Leland Chee as their basis, claiming that I've ignored and/or attacked him for disagreeing with their viewpoint and interpretation of Chee, and for having the audacity to explain my own. But now it seems that Chee himself concurs with my position, at least in the broadest strokes.

So really, what's left for them to hang on to except their own fanaticism?

I suppose it's all they ever had.


Trek Canon and New Works

TrekToday and Trekmovie.com are reporting on a possible new Trek animated series. The article is also of interest because it makes mention of the "convoluted" Trek power-sharing arrangement previously theorized here between Viacom and CBS Corp.

As to the question of whether the new animated series would be considered canon, there's no real way to know. Based on the recent StarTrek.com FAQ change it seems that there's a more inclusive eye toward the old Animated Series (TAS), though at the same time it's clear that no one individual is a publicly-active decision-maker for Trek.

Time will tell.