TVTropes.org Idea

There's an interesting suggestion at tvtropes.org regarding series bibles ...

thus, if it's written in the Universe Bible, it's considered de facto canon, even if it's never mentioned in the series itself.

Not so sure about that. Unless a push is made to both conform to and include facts within the bible (which defeats the purpose of considering the bible canon anyway, given that it just went on screen), then one can readily find the bible contradicted.  Sure, some writer-for-hire won't probably have that ability, but if some superb story comes up that features a rule or fact violation -- some departure from the biblical position -- then chances are good the bible's out and the story's in.   (The same is often true of simple continuity concerns, after all.)

Ostensibly, of course, the bible is precisely what is to be conformed to by everyone, and should be constantly updated and so on. But in practice, that may not be so.

Thus, you can't assume a de facto canon status for the Universe Bible of anything, in my view, without some real proof.  Mere elements of the bible coming to pass are not proof enough; to my mind, you probably should have the explicit blessing of the creator/owner.  Even then, however, the show itself ... the primary depiction to the audience ... must take precedence.

Just a thought.


Dual Canons on ForceCast

The dual canons, parallel universe concept is going mainstream as more people listen to what Lucas has said. 

TheForce.Net and RebelScum.com present the ForceCast podcast, and in the latest one one of the guys expounds the Lucas view and the reality of the situation.  Skip forward to about 31:54 and hear a part of it, though there are other snippets throughout the podcast.

Tip of the hat, guys.


Leland Chee: Renegade

Leland Chee "does not support the notion of parallel SW universes." George Lucas, of course, does.

I exaggerate with the title, of course, but there is a disagreement brewing, and Chee is digging in his heels on the wrong side. Fortunately, Lucas has no idea who he is, probably, so he's safe. In any case, I feel for the guy. Chee is, after all, kinda stuck.

Lucas has been repeatedly and clearly in favor of the notion that the Licensing EU material is not a part of his film (and now TV) universe, which goes a long way toward explaining why he's demonstrably willing and able to overrule it at a stroke. Indeed, he's even hinted that there was a delay on letting the EU go forward until it was suggested that it would be its own separate reality. But the whole point of the Expanded Universe as told by its makers . . . and, more specifically, the whole point of Chee . . . is to try to patch together some sort of cohesive whole, with the movies and EU all happening in the same universe. As Chee said, "EU is OU. Let's just make that clear." But as we know from Lucas, that just ain't so. Thus, by necessity, Chee is always having to engage in all sorts of mental gymnastics to try to find a way to ignore clear and obvious contradictions in the disparate licensed works and between those works and the films.

Unfortunately, I'm worried that perhaps Chee's starting to do this in regards to the words of Lucas, as well. Sue Rostoni has kept a hands-off approach to the canon debate, but Rostoni's statements have generally suggested that she knows good and well that Lucas is not interested in the EU and considers it to be Licensing's baby, not his own universe as seen in the films (though she notes that he reads and likes the comics . . . hence the blue hottie Aayla Secura in the prequels).

Of course, we see the result of Lucas's parallel universe view in regards to The Clone Wars CGI show, a show Chee has effectively zero involvement in. Lucas, unable to help himself, got interested in providing story ideas and helping point the show in the direction he thought best. As a result, the show . . . despite being run by EU-philes and drawing in a few EU characters and ideas . . . is trampling all over the EU. The devastation to the Licensing continuity is awe-inspiring, and frankly the image that comes to mind is the painting of the Yuuzhan Vong laying waste to Coruscant. As Chee and others have noted, Licensing is just sort of waiting it out until The Clone Wars goes off the air before they really start to assess the full measure of the continuity damage and start making repairs to the EU.

So in Chee's mind, it appears that the belief is that there is a single Star Wars universe and Lucas is its creative tyrant, laying waste to existing EU continuity by his divine right, always leaving Chee and the gang to clean up his messes, and blessed they be for not only are they of Lucas but they are also Chee's bread and butter.

Reality, I'm afraid, is somewhat different in the mind of Lucas, for as Lucas has made quite clear he does not view it as a single united universe, which is why his ignoring the EU seems so tyrannical to folks like Chee. Of course, the benefit of this, untapped by EU-philes, is that Lucas can pee on the EU all day long and it doesn't have to affect the EU continuity!

Only acknowledging the dual canons and dual continuities gives the true Star Wars fan peace. To reject that clarity is to reject that peace and choose to struggle without logic or purpose. The EU is a self-referencing entity with a life apart from the Lucas materials. Let it be so. All this retconning just warps it and makes it look like latter-day Michael Jackson instead of whatever beautiful thing it could have been.


Though I felt sure I knew the answer, I went ahead and inquired of Chee . . . just in the interests of fairness . . . whether the line about not supporting parallel universes in Star Wars referred to a mere dislike or if he actively opposed the Lucas position.  We'll see.  Given the place I asked, a nuanced position is not possible, so hopefully if his position is more nuanced and if he has the time to respond adequately he'll do so somewhere else.


There was no response.   That said, however, it is remotely possible that Chee's still amenable to the correct idea.  After all, he once stated that there were two continuities . . . a Films+EU continuity and a Films-Only continuity (which would presumably now include The Clone Wars CGI series).   So perhaps . . .


Popular SW Writer Quits Over Continuity

Karen Traviss, author of a great deal of licensed Star Wars material and one of those writers who truly interacted with fans, has decided to end her relationship with Lucas Licensing.   The reason?   The relationship between George Lucas and the EU.

Traviss expressed the fact that to do her job to her satisfaction with her assorted multi-book works, she needed a universe to write in that wasn't constantly having the rug pulled out from under it.   However, the Star Wars EU is not such a universe.  By constantly adhering to what Lucas creates without their consent but also trying to remain self-referential, keeping an internal EU story rolling that can plug in to the Lucas films and TV shows at any time, the Star Wars EU must -- by necessity -- be a moving target.

I feel her pain.   I don't think she's being a diva, as some have claimed* . . . she simply can't continue the storyline because Lucas, as far as Licensing is concerned, is overruling her years after her earlier work already appeared.   As she said, "[i]t would have required a lot more than routine retcon. The only solution I could think of that could accommodate the changes was a complete reboot."   

By getting in bed with the Licensing canon for a long-term relationship, as it were, Traviss unwittingly exposed herself to this sort of disappointment.   Frankly, folks who recognize the nature of canon as I do would've expected such things to occur.  It is only when you get sucked in to some of the worst EU Completist nonsense . . . Lucas having personally guided the EU by his own hand and deep involvement, sharing the benefits of his inexhaustibly bountiful mind with them, and other such oddball stuff . . . that you start to believe that the EU is a functional, internally-consistent universe, and not a hodgepodge of datapoints that have managed to survive the universe-altering finger-snaps of George "Q" Lucas.


Sue Rostoni of Licensing's Publishing department has commented on the departure.

"re: Karen Traviss, Boba Fett, and The Clone Wars --- I just read Karen's blog -- and can't reply to the posts because it's Saturday and I don't have the whole story. Still, I knew there were issues with the Boba Fett title, so I imagine it will be cancelled. This doesn't mean that you won't be reading about Boba Fett -- He's a major character.

The new chronological issues that the animated series have brought up: Leland is working on mitigating the impact on old and new fiction, but until the TV series is completely finished, he won't know the extent of what he has to work with. None of this is new information --

I like Karen's writing, too. She's a very strong and passionate author."

There's been no further comment made on the topic, though she's replied regarding other things. We'll see.   Her comment about Karen being a passionate author just reiterates the point I originally made in footnote below:

*  Traviss popularized the term "Talifan" to refer to StarDestroyer.Net types who go loony-tunes with hatred against authors who they feel "abuse" their franchise.   Therefore StarDestroyer.Net types are celebrating her departure in true Talifan fashion, without realizing how devastating this sort of thing will be to the quality of the EU.  Where will Licensing be when they can't get authors who are willing to emotionally invest, long-term, because at any moment their entire years-long storyline is excised in a single stroke?  Seems to me that day just got a lot closer.