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Topic:  What is canonical
Raziel
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  What is canonical
February 5, 2013 5:39:53 AM    View the profile of Raziel 
So I always find this an interesting topic to discuss. We have particular soft rules for the DJO on this issue, but thought it would be fun to chat about on here.

How do we decide what is a canonical source?

The Star Wars universe is a mass of information from a variety of sources. However, people often take what is written down on Wookiepedia etc as gospel, without taking into account where it has come from.

For example, the abilities of Jedi, and technologies on display in the games are often tailored for the requirements of the game's mechanics and may not fit in with established canon. Force Unleashed versus Jedi Outcast is a good example of this.

The Clone Wars tv series. On top of being a steaming pile of turd, the series often strays away from existing canon and doesn't even seem to maintain self consistency at times. Yet the Clone Wars series is officially considered higher canon than the EU novels. I certainly wouldn't. Even relative to the prequel trilogy, it's little more than a marketing exercise for kid's toys.

On the other hand sometimes information from games can be useful, I know Fury has found the relative stats of ships from certain D20 sources to be quite helpful, even if they don't always seem to match what is seen on screen in absolute terms.

So, how do we deal with all this?

I think the main answer is just for everyone to be careful and sensible. When you read a wookiepedia article look carefully at the sources. Something taken from the films is clearly the best source*. EU books are generally good. Comics have been going for a long time and seem to have a lot of conflicting storylines. Anything taken purely from games, and I include D20 and RPG stuff in this, should generally be taken with a pinch of salt.

At the same time you have to remember that a lot of stuff in the films is there for visual effectiveness. Sometimes it makes no real sense and we shouldn't feel too constrained about straying away from what is displayed sometimes. (Advise this is always done with consultation as below). We do this a lot in the DJO.

To take a quote about the droids talking to each other in the prequel trilogy: "You know, we could probably coordinate our forces a lot better if we had built-in WLAN. But I am sure saying "Roger Roger" in clear english will somehow terrify our enemies."

Would battle droids talk to each other in real-time spoken English? Of course not. And so I'd never have qualms about describing battle droids, even the models from the films, as using some other form of communication.

If in doubt ask your divisional leaders on a particular matter. They may in turn ask the High Council who have overall responsibility for making sure out own canon is consistent.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Another interesting question is how to deal with the new films being made? They could shit all over our established canon, but at the same time they may add some very interesting story features we may want to build into out own.


*A good example of where this gets confusing imo is that a lot of people took the following line: "I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete." to mean that the construction of a lightsaber was the final part of a Jedi's training. To my knowledge this hasn't been repeated in the prequel trilogy where the Jedi seem to have a much more blasé attitude towards an individual lightsaber.
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[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited February 5, 2013 5:42:35 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited February 5, 2013 5:42:58 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited February 5, 2013 5:58:29 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited February 5, 2013 6:00:50 AM)]
Trykon
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  RE: What is canonical
February 5, 2013 2:56:11 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
Good topic.

I'll say that, for the VEN's official stories, we more or less operate on the same principles you mentioned: there's a hierarchy of canon sources.  The original trilogy is at the very top (since they are closest to our time period), followed closely by the prequel movies (since they are, in fact, movies in the series), followed by the EU novels (particularly the Thrawn books and X Wing series), followed by particular official sources like the Atlas, Guide to Warfare, etc.  Everything else, from video games to comics (and I'd include the Clone Wars TV show in this, myself), needs to be taken with a LOT of salt, as far as I'm concerned.

As far as the new films that are coming, I'm conflicted.  On the one hand, they will no doubt draw even more people to the franchise, and that interest will be good for attracting attention to the VE.  On the other hand, though, they may very well chart a new, very different direction for the canon timeline, which may diverge even more from the club's timeline.  I don't see it as a huge problem, though: we already have a point of departure from the universe of the official EU, and then we play out from that point.  Our Galaxy far far away is going to be different from Lucasfilm/Disney's, no matter what.
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[This message has been edited by Trick (edited February 5, 2013 3:03:16 PM)]
Valthir
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  RE: What is canonical
February 5, 2013 4:52:07 PM    View the profile of Valthir 
If I remember correctly, VE is in an alternate history, rather than part of the established canon (naturally). So I think that Raz has it right when he says to be careful and sensible. It's alright to tweak some canon, as long as it is a fairly realistic (so to speak) change. But we don't have to take the other canon absolutely, though I'm all for sticking as closely as possible, if only for familiarity. It just depends on the need at the time and the source material.

For instance, the VE needs enemies, correct? Else there really wouldn't be much to do outside the one-off squad(ron) stories that. So the Imperial Remnant was created and allied with Thrawn. In much the same way were our dealings with the New Republic fabricated. In the EU, there were, if I remember correctly, only a scant few Imperial splinter factions who were powerful enough to warrant the NR actually seeing them as a threat. In our universe, we're one of those few.
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Sniping101
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  RE: What is canonical
February 8, 2013 2:53:20 AM    View the profile of Sniping101 
I will start with a fairly standard disclaimer for dealing with the way I write stories: I keep the continuity fairy shackled behind my throne to be kicked and prodded continually until I need some magic dues ex machina. At least as far as Osk goes.

For everything outside of Osk I have a fairly standard basis for my canon judgements: Is it fucking stupid? If it's stupid it doesn't count. I look at how practical a thing or concept is. There are plenty of things that I just think are too stupid to live and completely ignore them. There are other things I let live, on occasion, for 'Rule of Cool' or 'Rule of Funny'. For the most part I only really consider Thrawn and the Original Trilogy to be truly canon in any sense, and that's more about events. Some of those edited to fit with the VE's alternate universe. Everything else is only dubiously acceptable.
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