Sunday, 3 August 2014

Star Wars and the Canonical Issues [Thoughts]

So first off, let me say that I've seen this subject cropping up everywhere Star Wars related, in various forms, and decided I'd offer my thoughts on it.
I've been invested into the Star Wars Expanded Universe for as long as I've been a fan [it was Star Wars Battlefront 2 that got me being a fan in the first place - that has to mean something], and started out with the opening book to the Republic Commando series, and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. I loved those two books, and collected many more since. But there was a slight hitch. I was only interested in, and have only ever been interested in, the stories set between the films. Anything before The Phantom Menace and after Return of the Jedi I had no interest in. Oh, I kept myself informed of what was happening in those timelines when I came across something I wanted to check or get more informed on, but I never owned any of the media relating to those eras outside of the films.
Either way, I had a fledging list of books that I owned. Every single Republic Commando novel released, I bought as soon as. Books relating to certain events or characters I bought when I could. And eventually I owned all six tie-in novels to the films, which explained a lot better what happened in the films, I felt, than the films themselves [apart from the few inaccuracies in the original trilogy novels, but they are easily overlooked]. As such, I soon regarded the EU more canon than the films.
With the release of The Clone Wars animated series though, I felt the need for a better explanation of the Star Wars continuity and so found the passage on StarWars.com [which has somehow disappeared] relating all the canon sources and how they fit together. This explained all I wanted to know. And it is this list, despite all that Disney has said, that I still hold to today. To a certain extent.
G-Canon only consists of the films, and to a certain extent, the TV series, though that would be more under T-Canon [why they need that level of canon between films and EU is beyond me, but still]. The thing about G-Canon though, is that it can exist on its own, or with extra content. That is what I feel. The Expanded Universe is all well and good, fitting in near perfect with the films [aside from that which is ret-conned by newer things], but the matter exists that the films can exist without it. Now there is the argument that Star Wars wouldn't be as popular without it, but I'm not drawing anywhere near that card. Instead, I'm saying that the films are the basis for numerous versions of the same universe. The original EU was created so nothing would overlap with something else. If it did overlap, it would be put into another strand off the films. The Infinities line exists for this very reason. The LEGO Star Wars series has two strands dedicated to it - one for the games and one for the TV series.
While this explanation won't suit all - after all, the new official canon is effectively putting all of those strands on a lesser road to make way for its own strands - it does help in some way to organise what comes. The strands in the Disney-canon will be very similar to those of the original canon, if the areas of the start for the Disney-canon mean anything. For the comics, they are dealing with the exact same area the original canon is finishing off with. With the books, they are all dealing with the area between Revenge of the Sith and Empire Strikes Back. And, while not much has been said about the books, they seem to be dealing with areas within that time period that have been explored before.
Many people may regard this as the usual 'decide for yourself what is canon and not' argument, but despite the fact that the listing itself has been removed, that Holocron listing is still in effect. Now Legends might not be being added to any more, but despite what Disney say, all of what they call 'non-canon' is still, I think, recognised by the archives at the Holocron. If someone can prove that wrong, I will gladly take it back, but I haven't read, out of all these articles stating all the previous EU has been abolished, a single word from Leland Chee and the Holocron on the matter.
I'm all for the previous EU to still be considered canon as well, but I think, to some eyes within LucasFilm at least, it still is.

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