Canon is strange. I freely admit that and I am obsessed with Star Wars canon; and not only Star Wars, I can tell you the plot inconsistencies between the 2 Mamma Mia films. The concept and narrative framework that fiction tells a regular story has constantly meant a great deal to me; the connectivity and cohesion between works is actually among the reasons I like Star Wars almost as I do.
‘Canon’ is actually the established material which comprises a fictional story. All the Star Wars stories (via film, books, games, TV, comics etc.) come together to develop one bigger narrative set in the identical galaxy. Canon is exactly what actually’ happened’. If I write the personal book of mine about Obi Wan Kenobi, it is nevertheless a story, though it is not recognized, it is not the’ real’ story. What’s and is not element of the official story has changed over time, and it is a bumpy history.
People’s interest in Star Wars canon varies considerably based on a lot of things: the general interest of yours in Star Wars, the value you set on books/comics vs. film/TV content, just how long you have been a fan, the way you look at fiction as well as, in case you have any idea what canon is actually. It is a thing most fans want taken earnestly but in order to different degrees and for various reasons.
Many contributions to the lexicon of Star Wars are actually placed into the timeline without any problems, though a number of pieces possibly do not fit, contradict what is already been established or even come from questionable sources. A coordinated universe of this particular size with a lot of mediums contributing can certainly not be flawless and before we jump into the thick of it I would love to go on record saying I am mainly pleased with the canon at the moment and I just examine and critique from an area of pure interest and enthusiasm.
Over the following couple of weeks I will be writing a series of articles evaluating different parts of the canon: issues faced, the great, the poor, as well as the future. Firstly though: context. Let us briefly look at just how we got to the place that the canon is actually now and just how crucial it’s to the fabric of Star Wars.
A Varied History
Originating from a New Hope’s 1977 release until 2014: canon, marked as the films as well as the Expanded Universe (EU), had been surprisingly consistent, given it had been fairly self managed and with no significant oversight, but there is reason behind a low maintenance approach.
First of all, following 1983’s Return of the Jedi, no one knew for more than a decade if there’d be much more films. Novels, comics as well as the unusual video game/kids tv show had been the entirety of new Star Wars, which created for a significantly smaller, very low profile universe to keep monitor of.
Secondly, until 2000, database program was not advanced enough to catalog specific parts of a story, rather simply story arcs themselves. Therefore while you might ensure Luke Skywalker did not get married two times (although Han and Leia did), cataloging anything more comprehensive compared to that was not effective or even vital enough.
That leads to the third reason: importance. Fans of the EU have generally cared about continuity and cohesiveness but for people who just like the films it is neither here nor there what occurred in the Heir to the Empire books or maybe the animated Droids TV show. That obviously is always relatively accurate today however with a number of caveats that make all of the difference:
‘Geek’ culture entering the mainstream
The positive reaction to Marvel Cinematic Universe’s use of connectivity: interweaving events and characters throughout many narratives
The ease and quality of access; Tv programs are not the disposable notice it or perhaps miss it pieces they at one time were, they are cinematic in the own right of theirs along with the rise of streaming, accessible by everyone, whenever, forever
These highlight the value of a cohesive Star Wars universe today and contrast it being LESS crucial (not unimportant) pre 2000.
Back to history. Enter: Lelan Chee – Keeper of the Holocron. Hired by Lucasfilm in 2000 to produce a far more extensive continuity tracking database, Chee redesigned exactly how canon will be designated for the following fourteen years.
A tier system was developed, wherein content from higher tiers overrode stories that contradicted it from lower tiers. It was essential with George Lucas’s go back to produce the prequel trilogy. I will not go more than the whole system though the top was G canon: the George Lucas Tier (the films and some eventually edits made to them for the special editions), after that was T canon: television tier, then C canon: continuity canon (things in comics, novels etc. which did not contradict higher levels) as well as, so on. There was 5 levels of the tier system (a sixth level did exist but was Detours canon, talking about one particular never aired show).
It absolutely was a confusing but method that is essential for a period of uncertainty, as well as held together quite well considering all it was juggling. It was much from perfect though as well as to list all of the issues and inconsistencies between the 6 films, different children’s tv shows, over approx. 300 books and thirty years worth of comic books will be a thesis in and of itself. Several of the greatest inconsistencies lay in pre A New Hope info which was invalidated and overwritten by the prequel trilogy.
To further confuse the problem, debate raged as to how’ Star Wars’ the EU essentially was and some purists considered the films the only’ real’ Star Wars. There’s also debate whether George Lucas considered the EU to be put in the Star Wars universe of his at all. In either case, he nevertheless guided parts of it at times: keeping pre A New Hope content to a bare minimum until he would made the decision to create the prequel films, keeping Yoda’s history and species a secret and his being enthusiastic about the EU Jedi, Quinlan Vos.
I am not here to praise or maybe critique the EU just to provide context (but be at liberty to get lost down the Womp rat hole.) Keeping this brief: Lucas sold the company to Disney and they announced the sequel trilogy. If the announcement was made in late 2012 fans will invest the following year wondering: What about the EU?
Would you create a film that can incorporate and exist inside the many books/comics which had covered just about all elements of both the state of the characters and also the galaxy in it post Return of the Jedi. And, in case they were not going to acknowledge the EU, what would come about to the state of the Star Wars universe going forward, would they simply let whatever the parts and fit lie which did not would simply be left to the tier system.