2008-01-25

State of the Debate 2008

I'd been batting around ideas for a State of the Debate 2008 for awhile, even back when it would've been 2007, and thus wouldn't have rhymed quite so nicely. Of course, I've been ever so busy for the past several months, and thus many ideas for updates, blog posts, and so on have been left by the wayside, if not forgotten altogether. But this one keeps re-appearing in my brain.

A State of the Debate, by its nature, is not meant to cover every little detail. Here, we primarily wish to ponder some of the grander themes and overall tracks of the debate.

For the purpose of this post, we'll accept as accurate some statements of the opposition.

My opponents have long listed the the matters of canon policy and the technology of the Death Star as what they consider to be my two primary arguments. While I never considered it in that way, it is true that those two topics bring us to our major points of logical departure.

Their assumption of selected EU material's validity for the purpose of analyzing Star Wars tech (even allowing them to re-understand clear film evidence) carries them far, far away from views that a normal movie-goer would hold. Also, their assumption that the Death Star uses raw, focused reactor energy to annihilate worlds results in much of their beliefs on Imperial reactor power and firepower, as they initially derived estimates by simply scaling downward. That is to say, they simply assumed years ago that a turbolaser was a small superlaser, with a linear firepower relationship joining the two. Ignoring that this would result in ridiculous blaster firepower, this scaling view informed all other firepower estimates, even those that ought to have been taken independently.

Meanwhile, we have argued since at least 2002 that the EU is not valid for the purpose of understanding the Star Wars universe of Lucas. While there might've been room for almost-reasonable doubt at first, the matter became quite settled a couple of years ago, what with Lucas et al. repeatedly stating that there are two separate, parallel universes with the EU being the other. This means that analyzing the Expanded Universe for info on the Lucas universe would be like watching "Mirror, Mirror" to find out about Trek technology, or learning history from alternate history books like Fatherland.

The pro-Wars debaters still refuse to accept this point, instead choosing to ally with the similarly-stuck "EU Defense Force" types who are also emotionally invested in claiming that the EU is not to be discounted for any purpose. But despite such irrational resistance, their position has been thoroughly discredited.

As for the Death Star, we have maintained since at least 2002 -- based on analysis of the films and novelizations thereof -- that the Death Star is not a brute-force weapon directly transferring its reactor's energy . . . instead, the superlaser produces a highly destructive hyperspace-related matter-energy conversion. This was the only useful way to explain the rings added to the Special Editions, material disappearance, and so on, effects which the other side chose instead to ignore. It was also the only way to satisfactorily explain how a vehicle powered by simple fusion could have a planet-busting raygun.

In what must seem the ultimate betrayal for the EU-phile pro-Wars side, the Star Wars Expanded Universe now forces this position, as well. October 2007's Star Wars: Death Star novel also discusses the superlaser in terms of a hyperspace-related matter-energy conversion, with hyperspatial reflux rings and target matter that disappears into hyperspace. Even the reactor technology, despite use of the EU's "hypermatter" nonsense, is incapable of planet-busting energy levels except under catastrophic superlaser misfire conditions, similar in broad strokes to our explanation of the destruction of DS1.

This means, in short, that their cherished EU now officially agrees, in principle, with what their arch-rivals have maintained for years. They can continue to argue the point by trying to scour older EU sources for contrary-sounding minutiae, but only at the expense of their own logical consistency.

And so, with the canon debate also long-settled, the situation they are faced with is quite terrible for them . . . what they view as my two primary arguments are both now lost.

Even putting the best spin on things (emphasis on spin), they are faced with a Catch-22. Either they can try to argue the point of the superlaser at the expense of the EU, or they can argue the EU at the expense of the superlaser.

-------------------------------

There is, of course, a certain irony to all this. For all the work that's gone into ST-v-SW.Net . . . for all the debates and postings and so on . . . it was generally outsiders who decided the issues. Lucas and Lucas Licensing personnel clarified the existing facts, but the Death Star novel was an independent construct of the two authors (barring the outside chance that they somehow stumbled upon this internet backwater and paid attention to some of the same details I presented in the Death Star Research Project).

But given the vitriolic, irrational taking of sides that I have long railed against . . . the sort of us vs. them war mentality that is so often prevalent in this, the most unimportant of topics, just as it is in American politics (which often seems tamer by comparison) . . . that was really the only way it could've happened. Their 'Darkstar Derangement Syndrome', to coin a phrase, has been too prevalent, and thus nothing I or anyone espousing similar views could've said would've convinced them.

That having been said, there's no reason to presume that they will be convinced by anything.

- When faced with devastating facts in the canon debate, they withdrew into a virtually impenetrable groupthink, outright ignoring the facts and patting one another on the back for doing so.

- When faced with devastating facts from the EU regarding troop numbers far smaller than their pulled-from-the-air quadrillions, they attacked and made threats against the author, who now seems to rather enjoy slipping in additional jabs in her continuing EU writings. Nowadays, the author's numbers are ignored despite their repetition in the EU.

- When initially faced with the Death Star novel, their claim was that this increased the Death Star's firepower and reactor power to unknowable levels, instead of decreasing it from their already-expanded values.

With all those facts in mind . . . and oh so many others from similar stories . . . the future will likely not involve an acceptance of the facts.

The pro-Wars Vs. Debate subculture has seen its heyday, what with one of its members contributing to the EU a few years back, but with its assorted attacks on EU personnel they have served to isolate and marginalize themselves rather effectively, and as they continue to spout quadrillions in the face of everyday Star Wars EU readers who see millions, they will continue to be viewed as off their collective rocker . . . especially as their vitriol increases.

Thus I would wager that they will engage in continuing re-imagination or outright ignoring of the Death Star novel, with the same 2002-era myths of theirs told and retold.

Meanwhile, Star Trek will have a film in late 2008, with Star Wars possibly having a TV show in 2009. Thus the topic itself will probably not be dying out anytime soon, and . . . years behind as I already am . . . I'll continue to have work to do, thus enabling me to get even further behind without even trying.

There's much more that can be said on the State of the Debate 2008, but for now . . . with the rather serious exceptions of the author being AWOL and all the pages being in need of updates . . . ST-v-SW.Net's position is strong as ever.

And, with the continuing presence of StarfleetJedi.Net in the pro-Trek side, along with its forum that the SDN pro-Wars side have failed to destroy, the debate itself is proceeding apace.

52 comments:

  1. It has become pretty clear that the current EU disgrees with SDN at least as badly as it disagrees with ST-v-SW, and will continue to do so.

    To be fair, the SDN community hasn't attempted to "destroy" my forum. They have tried the tactic "ignore it and it will go away" from time to time, but that hasn't (and won't) work well for them.

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  2. The simple fact is that the Federation outguns, outranges, outmanuvers, outstrategises, outbuilds (design-wise anyway), outtrains and outtechs the Empire by at least some dozens of Earth years in some respects (their hyperdrive is only slightly slower than warp drive) and many hundreds of years in others (their tactics are positively Napoleonic)...

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  3. If Star Trek: Cardinal does go into production and goes on the air as the next Trek series, it'll only be another nail in the coffin of the Pro-Wars side of the debate, because the technology and energy levels used will far surpass even the SW figures listed on SDN. The Empire is on the order of 80-100 years behind the Federation in firepower, and centuries behind in power generation, as of Nemesis. Tack on another 25 years for Cardinal's time setting, and they just can't compete against that, even if you don't consider the OTHER tech areas that the Empire trails the Federation in.

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  4. I was just searching for some random stuff when I found this page. I'm sorry, but this is the saddest thing I have ever seen. You take some silly little debate so seriously that you feel that you need to address some nonexistent constituents?

    Get a life man.

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  5. Yeah, seriously, dude. You need to get laid.

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  6. Yeah, 'cause anonymous . . .

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  7. . . . is so convincingly someone different each time.

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  8. But in all seriousness, no I don't take it that seriously.

    Hence my frequent comments on that point, such as the comment in the very post you're replying to in which I call this "the most unimportant of topics", and lament the 'lol internet war' mentality of the opposition.

    This ought to be a fun discussion between reasonable people, which is why I've always found the opposition's refusal to listen to reason and their use of vitriol, flames, character attacks, and even personal threats to be clear evidence of deep psychological trouble.

    And yes, there are the old adages about not arguing with crazy/stupid people ("those watching might not be able to tell the difference", or "they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience") . . . but before I knew they were crazy, all I knew was that they were assholes and they pissed me off. And I'm a far, far bigger asshole. :)

    Besides which, if you really want to compare emotional investment and need to get laid, compare my $30/mo. for hosting and my limited time investment to their $2400/year (of perfectly good college money for their kids), their tales of writing notes for site updates while on dates, their tales of trying to get info on me from exes of mine, their calls to the homes of their opponents, their discussion of how to approach opponents' homes via Google Maps reviews, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam.

    If you do that math, you ought to come to the correct conclusion that I'm doing just fine in the getting laid department, but I do thank you for your concern. :)

    For me it's a hobby, based solely on when I have some idle time to release my inner geek to lay down the geek law.

    For them, it is a deep emotional investment and their primary social interaction.

    That's just how it is. Sorry if you missed it.

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  9. Well then how about this. A Star Destroyer is much much larger then a Fed ship. Not only that the accepted calc for both seem to be highly in favor of Star Wars (even if I think SD.net is full of crap in their calcs). Even taking low end Wars and high end Trek (Beyond stupid calcs).

    The Death star is irrelavent in any and every case. The Emperor's hard on for super weapons was a stupid position and cost him his Empire. It'll come down to fleet actions. In which The Empire has much larger fleet and much larger industrial base. The Federation is small, covering a small percent of the galaxy. The Empire is massive covering most of their galaxy. Which does tend to lead to Quadrillion troops number wise (Though I think it'd be more a few trillion). And honestly the Federation ground forces suck, badly. Minus movie induced stupidity Stormtroopers are fairly competant (And before you start ragging on me for not doing movie based stormtrooper, just take a look at your red shirts. No one is worse then them)

    Seriously most places not flood4ed with trekkies or warsies tend to beleive that trek is not even in the same league as Star Wars. In fact the Empire's most ardent revile would be 40ks Imperium of Man. Which would also dominate trek. Hell one Emperor class battleship was enough to take out every borg fleet seen in the shows and movies. (if no one noticed, I root for 40k)

    My disdain for this is such that I won't bother running this through spell check

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  10. That Star Trek: Cardinal thing sounds like that Richard Whettestone loser who was harassing PBS to make his sci-fi show.

    Even after the Berman years in which the cash cow was gently milked with nary a risk taken in storytelling, I find it incredibly unlikely that CBS would hand the reins of a billion-dollar property over to some 24-year old Cessna refueler with no film/TV credits to his name, and nothing else to his name other than his claim to have been an award-winning author and to have helped with some unknown people's scripts.

    This is especially true given that he has nothing more than a hotmail address and a freeweb account as his starting points. He couldn't be screaming "amateur" more loudly.

    Trek's return to television would either be a top-down maneuver (i.e. CBS going back to the milking barn and finding a showrunner) or a little sideslip (where some fairly big-name guy says "gimme Trek" to the brass, who say "sir yes sir") . . . a la JJ Abrams with Paramount.

    The only exception would be if all those angry bitchy Trek fans were given a budget and told to do episodes by committee that would actually be filmed, so that when they sucked CBS could laugh and say "okay, bitches, we gave it to you and it both fellated goats and made no money. Will you shut the hell up now?"

    I wouldn't anticipate any of those happening in the near future.

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  11. Anon,

    Alot of what ST-v-SW.Net is about is not what to think, but how to think, and that's an element that I need to capitalize on and emphasize quite a bit more.

    For instance, saying that a Star Destroyer is bigger than any Enterprise means nothing about which can whoop the other . . . it just means that in a rather phallic measurement contest, the ISD wins. That doesn't make its weapons stronger or its engines faster. Would an 18-wheeler be faster and better than a 'crotch rocket' motorcycle?

    As for "accepted calcs", I have to ask (a) where your information comes from and (b) whether you think those calcs make sense.

    Ask an average Joe off the street who has never participated in the debate but knows both Star Trek and the Star Wars films, and chances are he'll believe Trek has superior technology (i.e. discounting the Force).

    Indeed, the only deeply impactful visual suggesting SW superiority that comes to mind would be Coruscant versus Earth cityscapes. But Trek is not without its megacities, floating cities, and so on.

    Other than that, he'll know of transporters versus shuttles, he'll know that exploding Trek ships blast a massive area compared to piddly-fart SW ship explosions, he'll know that phasers 'vaporize' while blasters singe, that Star Wars ships get right on top of each other to shoot, and so on. Only the Death Star will correctly appear to be supreme, though being reminded of the fact that a simple Trek missile can blow up an entire star system . . . its planets included . . . might give him pause.

    Then of course there are little personal combat things like Stormtroopers versus Ewoks and "The Patriot"-style Napoleonic fighting compared to Federation officers versus Greek gods, amorphous killing clouds, evil assimilating zombie robots, and bastards from across the galaxy who can turn invisible. Unless I'm mistaken, no teddy bear ever killed a redshirt.

    When you get right down to it, the entirety of the pro-Wars Vs. Debate subculture is predicated on counteracting these common-sense appraisals.

    You can claim that "most places" have Star Wars on top, but I rather doubt you've been most places that haven't already been invaded by some SDN schmucks, since they scour the internet trying to find places where the common-sense appraisals need counteracting.

    If you're a mere innocent who has fallen victim to their logical fallacies, misuse of evidence, and so on, then I'm truly sorry.

    But ST-v-SW.Net's existence is based on giving a fair appraisal to both sides, and even giving SW plenty of leeway to avoid any bias caused by my interactions with its worst fans.

    (Were that not so, it would be GalaxyClassStarship.Net:

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/weblog/2006/02/moderation-and-extremism.html

    It's not.)

    You might want to give the site more of a read. You're obviously interested in the topic.

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  12. The place I've seen that usually uses the best calcs is Spacebattles. Even though I think they do wank up SW just a bit. The bad special effects behind the use of astroids to calc a turbolaser has always annoyed it. But on the flipside then you can hardly use the battle of coruscant as a fair representation of Star Wars ship to ship fighting.

    Star Trek just isn't big enough to fight Star Wars. The use their technology in fundementally more clever ways (Eg they technobabble their way foreward with great skill) then Star Wars does, but it doesn't change the fact that no matter how much you technobabble up those phaser banks, they are not going to go through a Star destroyer's sheild.

    Nor do I remember any events of phasers vaporising anyone. They usually hit and the person falls over. And while red shirts are consistently stupid (They have died to spear wielders and people using 19nth century guns. I'm sorry, them dying to greek gods and such doesn't mean they are any better, it just means the god kills them faster) Stormtroopers seem to only suffer from adverse character sheilding effects (eg whenever they encounter a main character their intellegence drops along with their surviveability) every other instance of them has seen them fairly competant fighting force. Even in the movies, the battle of Hoth was well fought out by them.

    And I think that average people would think that a star destroyer is stronger then the enterprise mostly because a star destroyer is phallic, and thus seem to be beefier. Never underestimate the power that a phallic symbol has on the psyche.

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  13. Spacebattles is not an independent resource. Many SD.Net folks are there and vice versa. Hell, I used to be there until pro-SDN mods banned me for (gasp!) disagreeing with SDN folks. SD.Net folks moderate. Click on the white "Forum Leaders" thingy at the bottom. There you'll find that the "Vs. Debates" and "Space Battles" forums in question are moderated by guys like H.B.M.C. and Lord Woodlouse, which is no doubt why you get situations where questioning the numbers from the Incredible Cross Sections (written by an SDN'er with assistance of SDN'ers for the explicit purpose of making Trek tech look inferior) results in locked threads.

    On the ICS authorship issues:
    http://www.st-v-sw.net/Warsiegroup.html

    On the locking issues:
    http://www.starfleetjedi.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=745

    In short, Spacebattles is not an independent resource.

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  14. Anon:

    It's clear from your post that you've only heard a particular representation of Trek. Not knowing about phaser 'vaporization', for instance, is astoundingly bad, for it means that at Spacebattles you've effectively been sheltered from the very basics of Trek. I'm not saying there's evil afoot in that regard . . . those forums have so many universes being discussed at once that it's little wonder so much of Trek would be overlooked . . . but wow. Just wow.

    If I may, let me recommend some fodder for the debate:

    http://www.canonwars.com/
    - to see what ought to really be counted

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWground.html
    - phasers vaporize. a lot.

    http://www.phasers.net
    - even more here

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSW-WeaponRange.html
    - a look at the sort of problems Star Wars ships would have against Trek ships

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  15. Heh, maybe you can ammend that weapon range page to include linkable sources, because I find it hard to beleive that SW ships are that bad at shooting things. Ignoring the fact that when I have watched fleet actions in trek they all seem pretty damn close too.

    And I still can't remember any instances of a phaser vaporizing anyone in the show (I'm sure they are there, but are they really standerd phasers or pumped up technobabble). And anything that pumps out that much energy in that much of a space would fry everything around it. Which it doesn't. I honestly don't understand why phasers have so many various yeilds too. Stun and max power sure. And something in the middle too. But they have a silly number of yeilds which confuses people.

    But hey if SW is really that wimpy it makes me happy. 40k once again becomes the undisputed main power its its level class.

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  16. "Clickable sources"? Did you click the red and yellow icons under section B? Everything's laid out. Here are the two pages that are thus linked to:

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSW-WeaponRange-Wars.html

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSW-WeaponRange-Trek.html

    As for phasers, yes the "vaporization" seems to involve some sort of technobabble, hence my placing it in quotes every time I've used the term. But that's what they call it on the show. I believe you'll find it referenced as "POOC" or "POOCing" in discussions at Spacebattles.

    Here are a few instances that come immediately to mind:

    Klingon with Starfleet hand phaser:
    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=63&page=16

    Suicidal androids with old first-pilot-style phaser pistol:
    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/thumbnails.php?album=8&page=37

    TNG hand phaser:
    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=43&page=9

    ST2 phaser pistol (another suicide):
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=38&page=3

    TOS phaser pistol:
    http://ent.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=96&page=25

    I know nothing about 40k so I can't really speak to any point about it. But yes, you'll find that at Spacebattles, much as at SDN, Star Wars has been massively wanked.

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  17. Hi DSG2K,

    As an infrequent reader of both this and your Canon Wars blog, I was curious – you mention that the EU is “not valid for understanding the purpose of the Star Wars universe of Lucas”, but I was under the impression that you were a dual-canonist, accepting the existence of twin Film Only and Film + EU continuities as expressed by Chee when I questioned him* at the end of 2006? Surely the validity of the EU depends simply on which of the two continuities you choose to use in a debate, since both are equally valid?

    *You would know me as ulic_g99 on Starwars.com; Kast Iron is the alias I use most frequently on other websites, including my earlier posts on this one - sorry for any confusion, I didn't want to mix screen-names on the same site!

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  18. Ulic (Kast Iron I'll never get used to, but Ulic I know),

    First, I just want to make it clear that I'm speaking in the context of this site. A fan reading the EU can certainly let it inform his or her opinion of Star Wars, and there have been times when some minute bit of Lucas's thinking might be reflected there but not in the films. I'm referring primarily to technical matters.

    That out of the way, I am certainly of the opinion that there are two continuities. There is the Lucas continuity, and then there's the Licensing continuity. The Licensing continuity tries to keep up with the Lucas continuity, but is not itself a part of the latter.

    The way this plays out in regards to this site is that way back when on alt.startrek.vs.starwars, even long before my arrival on that scene, the standard had been set of what sources counted and what sources didn't count. Those who determined it were outsiders . . . at the time, this was Paramount and Lucas.

    1998 newsgroup "FAQ" mention:
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.startrek.vs.starwars/msg/530ca2e569d9f1e1

    The standard, therefore, was one of canonicity dictated by the power of ownership, and this was made more explicit in later versions of the ASVS rules and regulations.

    ASVS accepted EU material, and had made up a bunch of rules on how to accept it. Not all of it made sense, but those were the rules.

    But back in 2002, I realized there was a flaw. Their premise was sound inasmuch as letting the owners dictate, but they had been misinformed.

    This realization was mainly due to the quote of Lucas in a 2001 Cinescape wherein he says that the EU materials are part of a parallel universe. (From there I'd begin a search for other quotes, eventually finding a similar reference in a TV Guide interview, and so on.)

    Thus by August 2002 I'd written this ancient bit:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030529004659/www.st-v-sw.net/STSWEU.html

    Although the terminology was somewhat different (Lucas's "Canon" versus the "EU Continuity"), the basic premise was the same. As I said then:

    "This does not mean that the Expanded Universe didn't happen. It did happen, but it occurred in its own reality. If a fan prefers the parallel Expanded Universe event over a Canon event, they can do so, since it only means they are choosing one reality over another in the entire Saga of the Star Wars universes {...}. However, the real story of Lucas' Star Wars universe is the Canon, and that must be kept in mind by the fan or debater."

    The pro-Wars ASVS folks (my loyal opponents, many of which you've seen at StarWars.com's forums whenever I've popped up) rejected that rationale, even when more and more explicit quotes would appear. They basically wanted it both ways . . . to accept their own premise of owner control, but then to ignore the owner. (They do this with Star Trek, too.) In other words, they kept the conclusion and rejected the way they arrived at it when the facts turned against them, which is classic intellectual dishonesty.

    (When I started ST-v-SW.Net, I basically continued many of the ASVS rules, sans the dishonesty. It's been fun to see how things play out without the foregone conclusions of ASVS.)

    Pointing out Lucas's words resulted in a lot of vitriol and flaming, but any SW fan who knows the name Tasty Taste probably knows by now that there are two separate continuities in play. It's just that I caught on in 2002 whereas the old ASVS'ers (now SDN'ers) still refuse to accept it, even after Licensing folks said so.

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  19. International Man of MysteryWed Jan 30, 06:04:00 AM 2008

    Lets see the thread where you where banned from SB, Darkstar.

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  20. They don't appear to have the old stuff locatable via Google anymore, but I'll see what I can do.

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  21. Ulic (formerly Kast Iron)Wed Jan 30, 06:20:00 PM 2008

    Apologies G2K, I'll use the name Ulic from now on to minimise confusion!

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  22. Thanks the reply G2K, I think I see where you’re coming from now.

    A question though – you refer in your articles to the Film Only universe as “Lucas’ universe”, while the Film + EU universe is the “Licensing universe”, based primarily on the Cinescape 2002 and Starlog 2005 quotes made by Lucas; could the “universes” of the quotes, however, not simply refer to the films (“Lucas’ universe”) and the Licensing products (“Licensing universe”) rather than actual storyline or continuity universes?

    In Cinescape 2002 Lucas defines “two worlds” – “his world” containing “the movies” which is “a select period of time” and “this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books”. He then goes on to explain that the licensing world intrudes in between the gaps in his world; but this is where an anomaly lies - if the “worlds/universes” are literal continuties, how can the EU continuity ‘intrude’ in between parts of Lucas’s one? And what exactly is it ‘intruding’ into? Indeed, surely “the licensing world of the books, games and comic books” cannot by default be a continuity in itself, since according to Lucas’s previous definition it lacks the films in itself? Could the above not simply refer to the fact that Lucas is stating that the continuation of the saga won’t be with him (“I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe”)? Wouldn’t this make more sense within the context of the quote (in the interview, he is being asked whether he will be doing more films; highlighting the fact he wouldn’t be doing the additional expansion of the saga would seem to make more sense contextually than explaining canon policy to them)?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this quote proves that there’s only one Star Wars continuity or something, I just don’t think that these quotes are about continuity at all. Especially if you read them in the context of some of his other quotes (both earlier and later), I don’t think Lucas thinks of the Films Only universe as ‘his’ universe and the Films+EU universe as ‘not his’, I think he thinks of the movies themselves as his (as he says in Cinescape) and the EU as an expansion of his universe - ‘not his’ only is the sense that he hasn’t made it himself. I’d thus personally argue that the Films+EU universe would be as valid as the Films Only universe as far a technical debate would be concerned; I think that “Lucas’s universe” is inherently part of both the Films Only and Film+EU continuities – one is simply an officially expanded version, and one is not - it’s just down to a matter of choice of which to use for a debate.

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  23. What you've offered is known as the "Production Claim" (or "Production Defense" or "Production Evasion" depending on who said it and who's commenting on it).

    The general idea of it is to suggest that Lucas was not referring to the 'fiction content', but instead to the medium and its production . . . paper vs. celluloid, editors vs. directors, et cetera.

    Such a concept represents quite a leap from taking the words at face value.

    Further, I don't understand how you could read that idea into this quote:

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/images/VisAid/Starlog337-Lucasrules.jpg

    http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2005-Lucas-Starlog

    Direct quote:
    "STARLOG: The Star Wars Universe is so large and diverse. Do you ever find yourself confused by the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots?

    LUCAS: I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one. They try to make their universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions."

    There's just no way to twist that one into production concepts. There's no realistic way to make a paper product consistent with a celluloid one except in a storyline sense. Lucas doesn't speak in poetic mystical haiku.

    The last time somebody tried the Production Claim was when a guy used other quotes to keep pounding the idea of production, and then slipped Starlog 2005 in at the end without comment, as if to lull the reader into a false sense of security. My response is here:

    http://www.canonwars.com/weblog/2006/01/eu-completisms-new-production-claim.html

    Also, the "Intrude Claim" is also old hat. It is responded to here:

    http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonwars-2.html#Universes

    My question for you is, how exactly do you take Starlog 2005 by itself and conclude that it refers to production? I'm serious when I say that I have absolutely no conception of how you would come to such a conclusion. (It's not just you, don't worry . . . I've requested this of all who've said it, but none have come forward.)

    Perhaps if you explain it to me better I'll be able to address the point more thoroughly.

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  24. Sorry for this post being so long G2K, I thought it would be better if I quote you to show what bit I’m replying to rather than just mish-mash it all together in a big block of text! Please do tell me to stop commenting if this is getting too long-winded, I don’t want to spam up your blog.

    Such a concept represents quite a leap from taking the words at face value.

    I think this is where we disagree – within the context of the article, I would argue that him talking about production does make sense; in the interview, he is being asked whether he will be doing more films - highlighting the fact he wouldn’t be doing the additional expansion of the saga fits within that context, and I’d even go as far to say that it fits better contextually than Lucas suddenly starting to explain canon policy to them.

    Let me put it another way; we both agree that there are two separate ideas in this quote under dispute – “Lucas's world” (let’s call it W1, as you do in your analysis) and the “other world” (W2).

    I would argue that:

    W1 = the movies
    W2 = the EU


    …while you would argue (and please correct if I’m wrong about this, I don’t want to misrepresent you):

    W1 = the Lucas continuity
    W2 = the EU continuity


    Using these definitions, I would interpret the quote as:

    “There are two worlds here. There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. [The EU doesn’t] intrude on [the movies], which is a select period of time, [but the EU does] intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in [the EU].”

    This meaning doesn’t require any additions or changes of meaning to any words bar the definitions that Lucas himself provides in the quote. It is also logically consistent with itself and fits within the quote’s context.

    Your interpretation of the quote (again, apologies if I’m mistaken) would read as follows:

    “There are two worlds here. There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. [The EU continuity doesn’t] intrude on [the Lucas continuity], which is a select period of time, [but the EU continuity does] intrude in between the movies [of the parallel universe]. I don’t get too involved in the [the EU continuity].”

    The problem with this interpretation is that you would have to effectively add the additional words “of the parallel universe” (“intrude between the movies [of the parallel universe]”) for the quote to make sense, and even then there is an anomaly – he would effectively be saying that the EU continuity intrudes in between… other parts of the EU continuity (the films of the EU continuity, in this case), which seems rather redundant.

    My question for you is, how exactly do you take Starlog 2005 by itself and conclude that it refers to production? …. Perhaps if you explain it to me better I'll be able to address the point more thoroughly.

    I think the reason our views on this diverge so much is the fact that you suggest we should take Starlog 2005 quote in isolation, while I would argue that we should take all his quotes within the context of his other quotes to maintain consistency; if he has already said what he means by the term ‘parallel universe’ in a previous quote, it would be incorrect to ignore this definition if he uses it again in a previous quote on a similar subject.

    While obviously I can’t speak for them, I believe the proponents of the production claim for the Starlog quote simply use their interpretation of the Cinescape quote’s “parallel universes” definition of “the movies” and “EU” in this quote, effectively:

    “I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two [areas of storytelling*]: [the movies] and then [the EU]. They try to make the [the EU] as consistent with [the movies] as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions.”

    (*I really don’t think this is a good term at all, but for the life of me I can’t think of a more concise description. You know what I mean…)

    …opposed to your interpretation, which would read:

    “I don't read that stuff. I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two [continuities]: [the Lucas continuity] and then [the EU continuity]. They try to make [the EU continuity] as consistent with [the Lucas continuity] as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions”.

    Both interpretations are mostly consistent (see next paragraph for the exception…) and both make sense within the context of asking Lucas why he doesn’t get confused with all the subsidiary stuff (in both interpretations, because he’s not bound to the EU, though for different reasons).

    Of course, the biggest hiccup in both interpretations is the “like Star Trek” bit. According to the literal interpretation, this quote doesn’t make sense, as Star Trek doesn’t literally have two different universes (each of the authors has their own one which their books are based in, correct?) According to the production interpretation, however, there is some marginal sense involved since Star Trek does have a production split between the TV/Films and the books; of course it then breaks down as this is almost nothing like the Films/EU split in this interpretation, so why did Lucas use it? Personally, since neither interpretation makes much sense in relation to this bit, I’d suggest that Lucas simply made a mistake in comparing it to Star Trek.

    In addition to all this, another pointer of which interpretation to use is the fact that using the production interpretation of these quotes, all of the Lucas quotes concur with each other, as do the quotes of people from his companies. The literal interpretation, however, means that a handful of Lucas’s quotes disagree with some of his other quotes, and a many of those from his own companies. For these reasons and the ones above, I’d personally argue in favour of the production interpretation.

    By George, that was a long post. That’s an explanation of where I’m coming from, G2K – does that make any sense?

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  25. I'm sad to say, but no, it doesn't make sense to me.

    First, don't you fret one little bit about being long-winded. I mean, hell, it's *me* you're talking to, the guy who wrote a 25-single-spaced-page dissertation on Star Wars canon . . . and who also has additional tangential pages on the matter.

    Second, I'm not suggesting that we take Starlog 2005 in isolation. Simultaneously, I reject the notion that we should attempt to reimagine Starlog 2005 based on a non-obvious redefinition and reimagining of what he said in the past.

    In my mind, Starlog 2005 is the nail in the coffin of such redefinition attempts. For instance, I see no significant difference between your two edits of Starlog 2005, because in both cases the material is the subject matter. Even the question itself references EU material.

    Even trying to come up with a different, pro-production term to inject in the place of "two universes" (which you noted having trouble with), the last sentence still doesn't work from a production-claim standpoint.

    That's why I asked the question in my last message of how Starlog 2005 could possibly be production-related.

    To be perfectly honest, if you start with Starlog 2005, you'll find that understanding the rest doesn't produce so many headaches. You'll be jumping through fewer hoops in your mind, which is the natural result of starting an analysis aiming toward a desired conclusion.

    Third, I am against the idea that we should even find it necessary to try to rewrite the quotes. They say what they say, and despite attempts to muddy the issue by some, what they say is clear enough . . . to paraphrase myself regarding another topic, it seems as if EU completists expend all their efforts in trying to counter the common-sense understanding of the words Lucas speaks.

    However, if we were to play that game, then:

    Cinescape 2002:

    In response to what is reported as a topic of there being more SW movies (based on the old trilogy-of-trilogies thing that Lucas used to say, implying material after Episode VI), Lucas says something unspecified about there only being EU stories set in that time, followed by:

    “There are two different [stories] here. There’s my [story], which is [shown in] the movies, and there’s this other [story] that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe [story] – the licensing [story shown in] the books, games and comic books. They don't intrude on [the movie story], which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in [the EU stories].”

    This is quite consistent with the article idea of Lucas reporting that the only new SW-brand stories set after the SW6 time period would be in the books. However, he makes it clear that despite the timing, those stories are not his own. This same concept appears in both versions of the USC Q&A.

    Starlog 2005 works similarly insofar as quote rewriting goes, though it is of course superior since we see both the question and the answer. Cinescape 2002 smells of being lifted from a conversation.

    As for the Star Trek angle, it is deadly to the production claim, but I see no difficulty with it in regards to the quote itself. Star Trek's novels are outside the continuity of the show . . . whether they are taken individually or not is irrelevant.

    (That said, many ST books and comics and whatnot do reference other such materials . . . this practice was only slowed when Roddenberry laid down the law in the late 80's / early 90's, though it has seen a resurgence since his death.)

    In short, besides pure obstinance at the expense of the clear meaning of the quotes, I see no way for them to mean anything to anyone other than what they say.

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  26. "Jedi Master Spock said...

    It has become pretty clear that the current EU disgrees with SDN at least as badly as it disagrees with ST-v-SW, and will continue to do so."

    So then what, for example, are the true firepower numbers for the weapons on the ships, or the troop levels in the army? If you're right they are not what is found on either website, so what would they be?

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  27. DarkStar, why can't you accept the EU as canon? They are, but yet you refuse.

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  28. Wow, CC!

    After reading and re-reading your post, having been dazzled by its deeply moving inherent logic, and awed by its rhetorical might, I have been inspired. Verily, I say that yes, Lucas be damned! The EU is King!

    . . . except not. Sorry.

    Why won't you accept the words of Lucas and his associates? They're clear in that the EU is not canon for the purpose of the Lucas universe, yet you refuse to accept this. Why be so fickle?

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  29. I've got someone on a forum I frequent repeating the "EU is canon" thing like a mantra as well... I just don't understand it...

    Lucas has quite clearly said there are two seperate universes at least twice, others have confirmed this as being Lucas' view and someone else (which you yourself apparantly base your canon policy off, Darkstar) said that the 'gospel' was the movies, the scripts and respective novels for each other those movies...

    Yea... I think the only reason Warsies cling to the EU is because in canon fact, Star Wars is really, really shithouse. Oh sure it's entertaining, but the Galactic Empire is clearly inferior to the Federation in every way, shape and form except size and the fact that they aren't restricted on the use of cloacking devices, whatever a 'cloacking device' happens to be by Star Wars standards. I find it quite likely that, given the track record of other Star Wars tech, a cloacked Star Wars ship could probably be tracked by motion sensors like a Romulan BoP from the TOS era, but all that's really irellevant, because cloacking devices aren't going to win a war with a Federation that's at least 10 orders of magnitude superior in almost every concieveable way...

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  30. So then what, for example, are the true firepower numbers for the weapons on the ships, or the troop levels in the army? If you're right they are not what is found on either website, so what would they be?

    "True" and "current EU" are not always considered the same thing. The EU has never been, and will never be, perfectly matched to the movies.

    In general, the EU will tend towards "reasonable" values in between the two websites, as do my own estimates on my website.

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  31. Gah! My apologies for not replying to you sooner G2K - I’ve had a busy fortnight, and writing a Star Wars canon argument wasn’t at the top of my priorities... sorry if you’ve stopped checking this part of the blog and don’t see this!

    I’m a bit confused about what you said about the Cinescape quote; you suggested that the quote should be interpretated as:

    “There are two different [stories] here. There’s my [story], which is [shown in] the movies, and there’s this other [story] that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe [story] – the licensing [story shown in] the books, games and comic books. They don't intrude on [the movie story], which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in [the EU stories].”

    ... but I don’t see how this would refute the production claim; the above interpretation is actually pretty much the same as the one that the production claim holds - the ‘story of the EU’ intrudes between ‘story of the movie’ to form a single continuity (the films+EU one).

    For the most part, I think I see where you’re coming from on the Starlog quote; however I don’t understand why the last sentence of the quote doesn’t work from a production standpoint? “They try to make their universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions." would simply mean “They try to make [the EU] as consistent with [the movies] as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions." from a production interpretation view.

    There’s also the point about the Star Trek part of the quote being deadly to the production claim – doesn’t it disrupt the parallel universe claim as well? The main point of the parallel universe interpretation is that Lucas is talking literally rather than figuratively about two different continuities – but this doesn’t work with the Star Trek bit, because there simply aren’t literally two Star Trek continuities. You thus have to change the literal meaning of his quote and assume that he made a mistake; not an unreasonable assumption, but why is this any different from what the production interpretation does? After all, the production interpretation assumes that Lucas is talking in the same terminology as their interpretation of the Cinescape quote and that the ‘like Star Trek’ part is simply confusion on Lucas’ part about how Star Trek works; surely the parallel universe interpretation assumes the same thing?

    In respect to the production interpretation of the Starlog quote being a “non-obvious redefinition”, I agree with you – but only if you take the Starlog quote in isolation. You suggested that “if you start with Starlog 2005, you'll find that understanding the rest doesn't produce so many headaches” – but what about the earlier quotes of Lucas where he says completely the opposite to the parallel universe Starlog interpretation (SotME preface 1994, E!Online 1999, TFN 2002, Hidalgo 2003, AP 2004, Empire 2005)? How do you reconcile the statements of Cerasi, Chee and others at Lucas Licensing?

    The only way the parallel universe claim can reconciled to the differing statements of Lucas is to assume that he simply changes his mind (and has at least three times so far). However, it begs the question as to why his company’s canon policy has remained unaffected; if Lucas has declared the EU to be non-canon, why does no-one in his company (including the actual continuity database administrator!) seem to know this? Why has his will on this matter never been enforced? Why is it still not enforced – Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing said in an article on Starwars.com on Feb 2008:

    "We've stuck to a very clear branding strategy for the past decade. This is Star Wars. Individual movies come and go, as do TV shows, video games, books. They all contribute to the lore of Star Wars, but in the end it is one saga and that saga is called Star Wars. We've wanted to send a clear message to our fans that everything we do is part of that overall saga."

    Taking the parallel universe interpretation, it must be concluded that LL is somehow mistaken about Lucas’ statements on the matter; this also raises the question of how we know that Lucas hasn’t simply changed his mind on the issue again? The company stance seems fairly clear, as seen above; without a new statement from Lucas, how can we say that they are wrong, rather than that they are simply following Lucas’ new wishes?

    The production claim, however, doesn’t need to ask these questions; the Lucas quotes mentioning parallel universes (TV Guide 2001, Starlog 2005) are simply interpreted using his own definitions from the Cinescape 2002 quote, and the rest of the company seems to fall in line behind this interpretation – no quotes need to be declared invalid, and no conflict between Lucas and his companies need arise. This is the primary reason I believe the production interpretation to be correct, and that the ‘parallel universes’ of Lucas are simply the movies and the EU, not separate continuities; taking all of the evidence into consideration, it seems the most logical conclusion.

    At least, if I am mistaken, I will stand shoulder to shoulder in error alongside the rest of Lucas Licensing. :)

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  32. I’m a bit confused about what you said about the Cinescape quote; you suggested that the quote should be interpretated as:

    Well, actually I don't think we should be attempting such re-interpretations at all. It is what it is, and we are treading dangerous ground to even begin re-writes.

    The English of Lucas is not terribly complex, generally speaking. As soon as we start trying to simplify it further, parsing and paraphrasing what was said into a Cliff's Notes version, we start losing the meaning and flavor of the words used, and can rapidly end up with other problems. The worst (and easiest to fall into) is to start debating based on one's re-write, instead of the initial source.

    It's one thing for two English-speaking Christians to sit around contemplating "thou shalt not kill" versus "thou shalt not murder" or something, because translations can differ. But Lucas spoke English, so there's no need for translation. The only reason such a thing would come up is because some people want to take the clear words and try to pretend they mean something else.

    Re: my Cinescape 2002 redux:

    the above interpretation is actually pretty much the same as the one that the production claim holds - the ‘story of the EU’ intrudes between ‘story of the movie’ to form a single continuity (the films+EU one).

    (Here the subject *is* my re-write, so -- despite my earlier statement about the dangers of starting to debate based on re-writes -- we'll have to use it.)

    Recalling my rewrite:

    “There are two different [stories] here. There’s my [story], which is [shown in] the movies, and there’s this other [story] that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe [story] – the licensing [story shown in] the books, games and comic books. They don't intrude on [the movie story], which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in [the EU stories].”

    You say the story of the EU intrudes and thus a single continuity is formed. That makes no sense, I'm afraid, especially in the light of the "parallel universe [story]".

    For example, take Arthur C. Clarke. 2001: A Space Odyssey begat 2010 which begat 2061 which begat 3001. Each one references the one before, and uses the same characters. Yet in the valediction to 3001 (quoting the introduction to 2061), Clarke notes that "Just as 2010: Odyssey Two was not a direct sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, so this book is not a linear sequel to 2010. They must all be considered as variations on the same theme, involving many of the same characters and situations, but not necessarily happening in the same universe."

    But how can this be? Each new novel's story continues the stories, per his statement, and thus intrudes on the prior tales.

    Ergo (per your view) they form a continuity. And with work and some retconning, we could make one. It could be done . . . we have the technology!

    But we can't do it meaningfully, because the maker just said they aren't direct sequels, and not necessarily part of the same universe.

    Similarly, Lucas has said over and over that the EU is not the same universe as that of the films, and the makers of the EU have concurred. But nevermind that for now . . . back to the single-quote thinking:

    The key issue here is the pronoun "they", and the reference to time. If Lucas merely wished to say that the EU stories fit between the movies, it would not have required such complexity to say so. (He could've merely said "oh, those books fit between the movies, and others fit before and after, but I'm not really involved", or words to that effect. No need for the parallel universe stuff.)

    More to the point, I think "they" refers to the books, games, and comics, per the quote. There is nothing else in the quote that satisfies the criteria.

    Thus we would again rewrite the quote as follows:

    “There are two different [stories] here. There’s my [story], which is [shown in] the movies, and there’s this other [story] that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe [story] – the licensing [story shown in] the books, games and comic books. {The books, games, and comic books} don't intrude on [the movie story], which is a select period of time, [but] {the books, games, and comic books} do intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in [the EU stories / the books, games, and comic books (doesn't really matter for this sentence*)].”

    So now . . . if, as you do, one were to seek to try to re-imagine the first part of the quote by parsing the second part (which I mightily disagree with, by the way) . . . we would find that our primary interest lay in the time issue.

    That is, what purpose does the mention of "a select period of time" serve?

    Obviously the presses don't stop rolling whenever George is making or distributing a film, so that's not it.

    Obviously writing new EU stuff doesn't stop because a movie is being made, so that's not it.

    Obviously the published items don't get sent back in time after they've been produced, so that's not it.

    What, then, could it be?

    I think it's clear that it refers to a period of time. And no, that's not circular logic. I'm saying that he's now defined his world (or, as re-written, the "movie story") in terms of sections on a timeline, and he's saying that the books, games, and comics . . . i.e., the stories therein, in a minor instance of metonymy . . . do not intrude on those sections.

    (* Hence the asterisk, since the metonymy renders the last sentence to be of little utility.)

    But how could this be? After all, the EU is chock full of stuff that occurs during the films. Of course he's solved that question already.

    Which is why we back up. We don't even have to go into EU details, because the question should not exist. This is a question focused on the second part of a quote that has been artificially separated. If we take the quote as a whole, we know that he has already identified his world . . . his movies . . . his movie story . . . and contrasted it with the "parallel universe". Meaning that we have a select period of time in two separate and distinct universes . . . the "two worlds" he initially mentions. The mention of a period of time draws that distinction that much further.

    Now read the actual quote again:

    "“There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There's my world, which is the movies, and there's this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. They don't intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in the parallel universe.”"

    It just doesn't make sense from the standpoint of the production evasion, and the Starlog quote is even worse for this.

    We know from other sources, for example, that despite the fact that Lucas says he doesn't even read the "offshoot" material, he does maintain a say in regards to the EU . . . lists of film characters that can't be killed, having one Solobaby die instead of another to avoid confusion with the films, et cetera. It hardly makes sense to conclude that he could not also draw a line on when stories can be set in the parallel universe.

    (Similarly, Roddenberry's railing against the "damn books" (i.e. the licensed Star Trek novels . . . a similar instance of metonymy) and control thereof was exercised at the same time as their canonicity was discounted.)

    (Incidentally, someone once tried to ask something like "well, why would he talk about this intrusiveness?", as if to imply that it somehow contradicted my point. But that is a silly, if insidious, question . . . by the same token, we could ask why he mentioned parallel universes at all if he intended merely to say that the EU stories aren't allowed to take place during the film time-settings.)

    (Also incidentally, your argument's best defense would require that "they" refer to the creators of the EU, who are mentioned nowhere in the quote besides via inference in the passive "has been created" bit. That would satisfy the production claim better than to mix it with stories, which causes you to shoot yourself in the foot, except it also doesn't work, because again unless it refers to their stories then the time period talk makes little sense.)

    The main point of the parallel universe interpretation is that Lucas is talking literally rather than figuratively about two different continuities – but this doesn’t work with the Star Trek bit, because there simply aren’t literally two Star Trek continuities.

    First off, that implies that Lucas is intimately familiar with the Star Trek novels, which I rather doubt. Rumor has it he considers himself a Trekkie (Wookieepedia bio), but that doesn't mean he's ever picked up a book. He doesn't even read his own franchise's books!

    (Besides which, the history of the Star Trek "expanded universe" is tricky, since there was some continuity between some works for a long while . . . then a period of Roddenberry's control during which no connecting threads were allowed . . . and now in the post-Roddenberry era we're seeing things tied together again, such as books that reference other books and whole book series that all reference one another, and others, too. You seem to be referring to a "select period of time" in your statement, one which Lucas may not be aware of at all.)

    Second, Lucas didn't even refer to Star Trek as having a second continuity . . . that, I must note, is a concept you inserted.

    Further, whether apocrypha is self-referential or not (i.e. whether or not it forms a separate continuity) is largely unimportant . . . just as the Star Trek novels are apocryphal to the shows and films, so too are the Star Wars EU novels apocryphal to the Star Wars films.

    In respect to the production interpretation of the Starlog quote being a “non-obvious redefinition”, I agree with you – but only if you take the Starlog quote in isolation. You suggested that “if you start with Starlog 2005, you'll find that understanding the rest doesn't produce so many headaches” – but what about the earlier quotes of Lucas where he says completely the opposite to the parallel universe Starlog interpretation (SotME preface 1994, E!Online 1999, TFN 2002, Hidalgo 2003, AP 2004, Empire 2005)? How do you reconcile the statements of Cerasi, Chee and others at Lucas Licensing?

    Chee? Excuse me?

    I've been enjoying a pleasant conversation with you, which is why I went to all the trouble of alllllll that text above, but if you're going to try to suggest that Chee concurs with your view then we have ourselves a problem, because then you'd really piss me off.

    For instance, you say: "if Lucas has declared the EU to be non-canon, why does no-one in his company (including the actual continuity database administrator!) seem to know this?"

    Chee has previously informed you directly that there are two separate Star Wars continuities, which is perfectly in keeping with my view. And this was directly to you he said it, as obviated by your reply:

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

    Chee said it:
    http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=152583&start=1054
    You responded:
    http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=152583&start=1055

    It is forgetful at best, flagrantly dishonest at worst, to attempt to lump Chee in as being someone who does not agree with the idea of there being two continuities.

    And to turn your question back on you, how do you reconcile the statements of Chee, Sue Rostoni, et al.? Those you tried to cherry-pick from the list are a selection, but what of the others you ignored that stand against your view quite plainly?

    As for the rest of your shotgun of references above, most if not all are already covered at the CanonWars site, which you ought to be aware of since you mentioned reading it previously. You should re-read it. To cover your list in quickie-style, though, with references for those unfamiliar:

    "SotME preface 1994": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#1994-SplinterPreface
    - reinforces parallel universe view
    - http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonwars-2.html#Splinter
    - http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanon2.html#III-A

    "E!Online 1999": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#1999-EOnline
    - does not contradict parallel universe view
    - http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonwars-2.html#45
    - disputed quote . . . variants exist

    "TFN 2002": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2002-Lucas-Translated
    - does not contradict parallel universe view
    - also is a translation from Brazilian, and thus I report it for completeness, but you'll note I don't use it for anything

    "Hidalgo 2003": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2003-Hidalgo-AnakinScar
    - reinforces parallel universe view

    "AP 2004": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2004-Lucas-Genre
    - does not contradict parallel universe view

    "Empire 2005": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2005-Lucas-EmpireMag
    - seems contrary to other statements, but also seems incomplete, especially if one believes it took him a full paragraph to say the novels fit between, before, and after the films.

    "Cerasi": http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2001-AskJC-SansweetCerasi
    - does not contradict parallel universe view in the slightest
    - http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonwars-2.html#AbsoluteNugget
    - http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanon2.html#III-B-2-A

    Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing said in an article on Starwars.com on Feb 2008:

    "We've stuck to a very clear branding strategy for the past decade. This is Star Wars. Individual movies come and go, as do TV shows, video games, books. They all contribute to the lore of Star Wars, but in the end it is one saga and that saga is called Star Wars. We've wanted to send a clear message to our fans that everything we do is part of that overall saga."


    A saga is not a universe.

    Lucas mentioned folks contributing stories to the saga, too, in his preface to "Splinter". But both before that and after that we have him disavowing the material in comparison to the films . . . indeed, he ignored "Splinter" outright.

    But let's assume that Roffman means that all the material is contributing to a single universe. So what? He's Roffman of Licensing, and we all know that Licensing's official continuity policy is to treat the films and EU as one single universe. Chee's already told you this, in regards to a Lucas film continuity versus a film+EU continuity, and Rostoni's already said this same thing . . . contrasting Lucas's universe with the EU canon which includes the films.

    So again . . . no change.

    Though I must say I do quite enjoy Roffman using the concept of Star Wars branding, since "Star Wars-branded storylines" is how I referred to the Licensing publishing department business model previously. Regarding Licensing, "They're salesmen of the Star Wars brand name, and though they have a department that does produce some of their own goods in addition to licensing the brand name to other producers, they most certainly do not speak for Lucas or Lucasfilm in regards to the facts within the films."

    Taking the parallel universe interpretation, it must be concluded that LL is somehow mistaken about Lucas’ statements on the matter

    Why? We heard from Rostoni for years about what was or wasn't canon, and it wasn't until the parallel universe thing was brought to her attention that we heard that, yes, Lucas has his own continuity. It wasn't error or dishonesty before that . . . she was simply talking about a different canon than some might've preferred she refer to. But how would she know what they wanted? She deals with Licensing and the EU, which has its official continuity policy.

    (Similarly, Roffman is talking about the Star Wars brand name and Licensing's use thereof. He probably knows as well as I do (and as well as you actually do) that Lucas does his own thing. Why expect him to talk about the Star Wars stuff they're peddling and yet ignore Licensing's canon, instead noting "oh, but this shit doesn't count"? It does count . . . it's Licensing's bread and butter, and fits in Licensing's continuity. It just depends on your point of view.)

    Only the EU Completist viewpoint requires mistakes and contradiction. That's why you think you have to re-imagine Lucas's quotes into saying something they most clearly do not say. Otherwise, you're stuck with equally absurd ideas such as Licensing folks with painted faces running around guerilla-style doing things behind Lucas's back. QEA.

    This is the primary reason I believe the production interpretation to be correct, and that the ‘parallel universes’ of Lucas are simply the movies and the EU, not separate continuities; taking all of the evidence into consideration, it seems the most logical conclusion.

    The production evasion is an attempt to avoid acknowledging the reality we have been told from Lucas, Rostoni, Chee, Cerasi, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum . . . nothing more.

    The concept of dual canons is the only self-consistent way to understand the otherwise-contradictory views, and . . . I emphasize here most strongly . . . it is the only way to understand the quotes for what they say, and not what we wish they said.

    (Hell, a guy who is an EU author and maker of the Star Wars Timeline (chock full of EU research) came to the same conclusions I did at around the same time. He had a vested interest in drawing another conclusion, but didn't. What makes him wrong and you right?)

    At least, if I am mistaken, I will stand shoulder to shoulder in error alongside the rest of Lucas Licensing.

    Except for Chee, Rostoni, Cerasi, et cetera. Those people you just blatantly ignore.

    I'd rather stand with Lucas, thank you, and I consider having Chee, Rostoni, Cerasi, et cetera with me as a nice but unnecessary bonus. Lucas is the guy running the whole thing, after all. It's his baby . . . not theirs. They have their own.

    Which is, of course, the point.

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  33. International Man Of MysteryTue Feb 19, 05:23:00 AM 2008

    So you find that link yet?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nope. Stopped trying after a while. Why?

    ReplyDelete
  35. international man of mysterySun Feb 24, 07:22:00 AM 2008

    Because I'd like to judge for myself what happened.

    ReplyDelete
  36. While I too would like to know what happened exactly. I can guess that what G2K said happened did happen, after having seen their multiple threads on him and their hate page about him. That and having to deal with them ST.com.
    (though I only mock them and put little effort into arguing with them)

    -SSFPhoenix

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  37. international man of mysteryThu Feb 28, 07:28:00 PM 2008

    I wouldn't put stock in what anyone claims to have happened on the internet without seeing it yourself. There's more spin on here than there is in a dryer.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sorry for the fortnight delay again in replying G2K. As these posts are large, I’ll quote you and then respond to the part of your post I’ve just quoted; for longer quotes, I’ll snip the bulk of it for brevity, but still assume that I am referring to all the material snipped from the quote as well.

    ”Well, actually I don't think we should be attempting such re-interpretations at all. It is what it is, and we are treading dangerous ground to even begin re-writes.

    The English of Lucas is not terribly complex, generally speaking. As soon as we start trying to simplify it further, parsing and paraphrasing what was said into a Cliff's Notes version, we start losing the meaning and flavor of the words used, and can rapidly end up with other problems. The worst (and easiest to fall into) is to start debating based on one's re-write, instead of the initial source.”


    The ‘re-writes’ were only used as a concise way to illustrate how the different meanings we each give certain terms in the quote fit within the context of the original quote, not as a mandatory method of analysis. It only becomes a problem if one were to analyse the semantics of the ‘re-written’ version’s wording to prove a point (e.g. to try and find out why Lucas used the phrase [Movie continuity] within a quote when, obviously, he doesn’t actually use that exact wording, since it’s been re-written) which neither of us have done so far and I assume do not intend to do.

    It's one thing for two English-speaking Christians to sit around contemplating "thou shalt not kill" versus "thou shalt not murder" or something, because translations can differ. But Lucas spoke English, so there's no need for translation. The only reason such a thing would come up is because some people want to take the clear words and try to pretend they mean something else.”

    No; this is not a matter of ‘translations’, we’re talking about the interpretation of analogies. Lucas may speak English, but this does not preclude him from using analogies – and you don’t take analogies literally, thus they must be interpreted. If you were to say “It’s raining cats and dogs!” it wouldn’t be a ‘translation’ if I said that you mean it’s raining heavily; likewise, it would be foolish to take the analogy literally, that cats and dogs are actually falling from the sky.

    In the same way, the idea that Lucas’s words must be taken literally and cannot be interpreted any other way is incorrect. If Lucas were asked “Is the EU canon?” and he said “No, the EU is not canon.” then it would be quite obvious that this is a literal statement and trying to ‘interpret’ it would be meaningless; it is not a stretch, however, for someone to refer to a place/person/thing to be in “a world of its own” or “in a different world” - these are commonly used analogies, not some form of ‘poetic mystical haiku’.

    “Recalling my rewrite... snip ...You say the story of the EU intrudes and thus a single continuity is formed. That makes no sense, I'm afraid, especially in the light of the "parallel universe [story]".”

    Within the context of the production interpretation it does make sense; remember, that interpretation doesn’t take ‘parallel universe’ literally, only as an analogy for a storyline that Lucas doesn’t really follow (hence it being like ‘different world’ to him). In the same way that three different (but related) stories go together to make the original trilogy, the story contained in the movies goes together with the stories in the EU to form the Films+EU continuity – indeed, those two storylines combining is that continuity’s very definition.

    ”For example, take Arthur C. Clarke.... snip ...But how can this be? Each new novel's story continues the stories, per his statement, and thus intrudes on the prior tales.”

    Not exactly; in the Arthur C. Clarke example, they intrude on parallel versions of those tales, they don’t intrude into the actual continuity of the original tale. On the other hand, the Cinescape quote just says that the EU intrudes between “the movies”, which Lucas earlier describes as ‘his world’, the implication being that they intrude between his world, not a parallel version of his world.

    “Ergo (per your view) they form a continuity. And with work and some retconning, we could make one. It could be done . . . we have the technology!

    But we can't do it meaningfully, because the maker just said they aren't direct sequels, and not necessarily part of the same universe."


    No; my view would not place the Arthur C. Clarke books into a single continuity since the quote specifically say that the other books are "not a linear sequel”; there is no use of analogy here. Furthermore, the quote goes on to state “They must all be considered as variations on the same theme, involving many of the same characters and situations, but not necessarily happening in the same universe."; again, no possible use of analogy.

    “The key issue here is the pronoun "they", and the reference to time. If Lucas merely wished to say that the EU stories fit between the movies, it would not have required such complexity to say so. (He could've merely said "oh, those books fit between the movies, and others fit before and after, but I'm not really involved", or words to that effect. No need for the parallel universe stuff.)

    I’m not sure what you mean here; I don’t see why “[The EU] doesn’t intrude on [the movies], which is a select period of time, they do intrude in between the movies” is significantly more complex than the alternate version you proposed – besides, we have to remember that this is an off the cuff interview, not a policy document; I don’t think we can just dismiss a meaning because he could have said it in a more concise way (as we have both demonstrated, people don’t always use the most concise form of language even when they have that opportunity... :D).

    More to the point, I think "they" refers to the books, games, and comics, per the quote. There is nothing else in the quote that satisfies the criteria.”

    I agree; this meaning is necessary in my interpretation too.

    "Thus we would again rewrite the quote as follows:

    “There are two different [stories] here. There’s my [story], which is [shown in] the movies, and there’s this other [story] that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe [story] – the licensing [story shown in] the books, games and comic books. {The books, games, and comic books} don't intrude on [the movie story], which is a select period of time, [but] {the books, games, and comic books} do intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in [the EU stories / the books, games, and comic books (doesn't really matter for this sentence*)].”"


    Leaving aside the intrusion part, which you deal with in more detail later, the problem with this interpretation is that it adds in words which don’t actually appear in the original quote; it’s one thing to say ‘when he says “parallel universe” he means “continuity”’, but very different to actually insert words where none exist – you add in “shown in” to change the meaning from “my story, which is the movies” to “my story, which is [shown in] the movies”, significantly altering the quote’s meaning. Originally he says that his story is the “movies”, implying the same “movies” that get intruded between; to add in the [shown in] to mean a whole storyline/continuity alters the original meaning.

    ”So now . . . if, as you do, one were to seek to try to re-imagine the first part of the quote by parsing the second part (which I mightily disagree with, by the way) . . . we would find that our primary interest lay in the time issue.... snip ...they do intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in the parallel universe.”"”

    I don’t want to misunderstand you - am I correct in thinking that in your interpretation, when Lucas says ‘parallel universe’ and ‘licensing world of the books, games and comic books’ he’s talking about the complete story of the parallel universe, i.e. EU and the parallel (though obviously identical) movies taken together to form a single continuity, and that this continuity constitutes a parallel ‘select period of time’ to Lucas’s continuity’s ‘select period of time’?

    It just doesn't make sense from the standpoint of the production evasion, and the Starlog quote is even worse for this.”

    I’m not sure that I follow; I get that you don’t believe my interpretation is the correct one, but I don’t see how:

    “There are two worlds here,” explained Lucas. “There's my world, which is the movies, and there's this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe – the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. [The EU doesn't] intrude on [the movies], which is a select period of time, [but the EU does] intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in the [EU].”

    ...doesn’t also make sense. In this interpretation ‘Lucas’s world’ is the movies (as he says exactly in the unaltered quote), the ‘licensing world/parallel universe’ is the EU. The EU intrudes in between the movies, to form a single continuity (the EU+film continuity). This also fits with the context of the original question. I don’t really see how you can say that this interpretation is absolutely and utterly unable to be formed from the above quote.

    Also – the production interpretation is suddenly the ‘production evasion’?

    “(Also incidentally, your argument's best defense would require that "they" refer to the creators of the EU, who are mentioned nowhere in the quote besides via inference in the passive "has been created" bit. That would satisfy the production claim better than to mix it with stories, which causes you to shoot yourself in the foot, except it also doesn't work, because again unless it refers to their stories then the time period talk makes little sense.)”

    Not sure what you mean here – could you elaborate please? I don’t see why reference to the EU itself rather than its creators shoots my interpretation in the foot.

    “First off, that implies that Lucas is intimately familiar with the Star Trek novels, which I rather doubt. Rumor has it he considers himself a Trekkie (Wookieepedia bio), but that doesn't mean he's ever picked up a book. He doesn't even read his own franchise's books!”

    Exactly; that’s the problem with this quote – if he’s not familiar with Star Trek (and thus doesn’t mean precisely what he says), how can we be sure what he does mean? How can either of us say with certainty “Yes, he must mean this and this alone when he says like Star Trek” – he could be referring to production or he could be referring to canon policy (either works in the context). For that matter, how do we know he isn’t mistaken about how the Star Trek canon policy works (or even knows of its existence – as you said, we don’t even know if he’s picked up a book!)..?

    “Second, Lucas didn't even refer to Star Trek as having a second continuity . . . that, I must note, is a concept you inserted.”

    Eh? Lucas says “we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one.”. According to your interpretation, the ‘two universes’ he’s talking about are his (canon) movie universe are the parallel (non-canon) EU universe; two separate continuities. Going by this reasoning, he says that like Star Trek, Star Wars has two separate continuities. This isn’t something I inserted or made up, this is the literal meaning of what he said.

    “Chee? Excuse me?

    I've been enjoying a pleasant conversation with you, which is why I went to all the trouble of alllllll that text above, but if you're going to try to suggest that Chee concurs with your view then we have ourselves a problem, because then you'd really piss me off... snip ...It is forgetful at best, flagrantly dishonest at worst, to attempt to lump Chee in as being someone who does not agree with the idea of there being two continuities.”


    I really don’t appreciate being called ‘flagrantly dishonest’, especially when I’ve done my best to be polite to you, doubly so when your reasoning for calling me it is so erroneous. At no point have I said that I believe that there is only one Star Wars universe continuity, or that the policy of separate Film Only and a Film+EU universes does not exist. Indeed I have said quite the opposite; if you go back to my second post of this topic I say quite clearly, and I quote:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this quote proves that there’s only one Star Wars continuity or something, I just don’t think that these quotes are about continuity at all. Especially if you read them in the context of some of his other quotes (both earlier and later), I don’t think Lucas thinks of the Films Only universe as ‘his’ universe and the Films+EU universe as ‘not his’, I think he thinks of the movies themselves as his (as he says in Cinescape) and the EU as an expansion of his universe - ‘not his’ only is the sense that he hasn’t made it himself. I’d thus personally argue that the Films+EU universe would be as valid as the Films Only universe as far a technical debate would be concerned; I think that “Lucas’s universe” is inherently part of both the Films Only and Film+EU continuities – one is simply an officially expanded version, and one is not - it’s just down to a matter of choice of which to use for a debate.”

    Perhaps you are simply confused about the basis of my argument; I don’t believe that the Cinescape and Starlog quotes are talking about two different continuities (Lucas’s vs EU’s) but that they are talking about the movies and the EU themselves; these two elements go together to make the Films+EU continuity, while the Films Only continuity is obviously just the films alone without additions. I don’t consider the Films Only universe to be ‘superior’ to the Films+EU universe, or vice versa; what I was trying to argue is that they should both be open to equal debate as they both contain Lucas’s universe – on the other hand, your interpretation of the quotes contends that the Films Only universe is Lucas’s universe and thus is ‘superior’, while the EU+Films is not and should thus be discounted in a technical debate.

    This is where Chee comes in. I have not forgotten my own question where Chee states that there were two continuities, however you appear to have forgotten the question I asked after that one, namely:

    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 would seem to imply that he personally believes the Film+EU to be the ‘superior’ continuity (understandably, since by its very nature is exactly the same as the Films Only universe, but in more detail), but goes on to state that obviously that would be unfair to the people who have only watched the films; hence, the continuities are officially equal – hence why I said that Chee supported my view.

    “And to turn your question back on you, how do you reconcile the statements of Chee, Sue Rostoni, et al.? Those you tried to cherry-pick from the list are a selection, but what of the others you ignored that stand against your view quite plainly?”

    Chee I’ve mentioned above, and Roffman you deal with later; Rostoni’s comments fit with both our interpretations (except her Star Wars Gamer 2001 comment, which would seem to support my argument more than yours); Sansweet’s 2000, 2003 (where he quotes Cerasi) and 2005 quotes seem to support my view, as do Handley’s 1999 quote and the anonymous Star Wars Insider 2003 quote. The rest of the quotes seem to either be irrelevant to the argument or can fit either of our views.

    ”As for the rest of your shotgun of references above, most if not all are already covered at the CanonWars site, which you ought to be aware of since you mentioned reading it previously. You should re-read it. To cover your list in quickie-style, though, with references for those unfamiliar:”

    I’ll go through each quote you mention here:

    SotME 1994 - the first part of your analysis contends that SotME is not a part of Lucas’ universe because he ignores it; this is not really a viable conclusion, since something can still be canon and be ignored – indeed, if this were not the case, the films themselves would not be canon as he has totally changed parts of them, and still has the prerogative to do so. He is not bound to the works of others as to be so would limit his total creative freedom - and, more importantly, he doesn’t actually read the things in the first place, so he doesn’t know whether he’s contradicting them or not! Additionally, contrasting his ‘further adventure’ with SotME actually reinforces the opposite view that you contend; that he refers to it in a similar manner to his ‘adventure’ implies he considers them at least on similar terms! We know from other sources that this of course is not the case, but it certainly doesn’t reinforce your argument.

    The second part of your argument deals with the idea that his use of the term ‘saga’ refers to a parallel EU universe. While ‘saga’ has been used at different times to describe both the films themselves and the whole Films+EU continuity, it should be noted that Lucas uses it most often to describe the films. In this particular quote, he does just that – he refers to the saga ‘of the Skywalkers and the Jedi Knights’. It would take extraordinary proof that he suddenly changes his use of ‘saga’ to mean ‘EU parallel universe’ (the terminology of different universes isn’t even mentioned in this quote), particularly when he has just been talking in the same sentence about ‘the legacy of Star Wars’, which he previously called a saga. It should also be noted that unlike other Lucas quotes, this one is not an off the cuff interview but an actual written preface.

    E!Online 1995 - You argue that when Lucas says ‘movies’ here, he means ‘movie universe’ based on his other quotes and that ‘the Star Wars universe’ (unusual that he would refer to a parallel EU universe not belonging to him as the Star Wars universe) - but the problem is that he doesn’t actually say this, so this is speculation at best.

    Additionally, the context of the quote is asking about ‘this universe’ (i.e. his universe, the one he’s making a movie for and that the interview is presumably about); the fact that he says in reference to questions about ‘a map of this universe’ that “somewhere in some of the dark recesses of my company's files there is something like that, but I've never seen it” (a reference to the Holocron, perhaps?) would seem to indicate that these extra factoids he doesn’t know about belong to this universe; it certainly doesn’t reinforce the opposite view.

    TFN 2002 - I’m a bit at a loss as to how this doesn’t contradict the parallel universe view. While it is a translation, I’m not really sure how it could have been mistranslated to mean something very different (short of the translator having put in ‘this universe’ instead of ‘the other universe’, which seems a little unlikely, but I’ll concede that it shouldn’t be used as cast-iron proof (no pun intended).

    Hidalgo 2003 - You’ll have to explain this one to me; how does this quote reinforce the parallel universe view but not the production one?

    AP 2004 - The quote talks about Lucas moving from movies to TV and then letting other people take it, stating that his work on the TV will be an offshoot and then saying that he already has offshoots with the books and comics (incidentally, it is interesting to note the fact that he refers to the books and comics specifically as ‘his’, which is the only time in his quotes that he does). This would seem to fit my interpretation rather than yours.

    Empire 2005 - The problem with this one is that you’re using circular logic in you analysis of it – you say that it’s contrary to other statements, but that’s only assuming your interpretation is correct; if it contradicts your interpretation, it’s an indicator that the interpretation needs some revision, particularly when it doesn’t contradict an alternative one. As for the quote not appearing in full, it’s impossible to say what other things were omitted or scrapped in any interview, but I again I’ll concede that this one shouldn’t be used alone as proof of an interpretation.

    Cerasi - The problem with this analysis is that you don’t seem recognise the possibility of different levels of canon – the films are absolute canon, but there can be other levels of canon (or continuity; Rostoni says that these terms are pretty much interchangeable); this is implied by the use of the term ‘absolute canon’ (rather than just saying ‘canon’, the implication being that there are things less than absolute canon). The films are the only ‘real story’ in the sense that they are the only materials guaranteed to be 100% true – everything else is not so absolute. The EU on the other hand is an imperfect window into the ‘real story’; it can be changed and overwritten, and some bits of it are extremely stylised (comics and computer games, for example), but it is still a window to the real story, just as a historical document is to the actual event itself in real life. Additionally, Cerasi goes on to say that Marvel Gamer is a part of continuity (i.e., is a part of the canon according to Rostoni’s definition), which fits with my interpretation.

    “A saga is not a universe.”

    A saga is a set of stories making up one over-arching story or continuity; in the context that we’re discussing, that would fit the definition of a universe.

    But let's assume that Roffman means that all the material is contributing to a single universe. So what? He's Roffman of Licensing, and we all know that Licensing's official continuity policy is to treat the films and EU as one single universe. Chee's already told you this, in regards to a Lucas film continuity versus a film+EU continuity, and Rostoni's already said this same thing . . . contrasting Lucas's universe with the EU canon which includes the films.

    If that’s the case, though, then why doesn’t the EU have its own branding to distinguish it from the ‘true’ Star Wars universe? If one is supposed to be separate from George Lucas’s vision, why is it billed as the same? They have the special Infinities logo for non-canon stories; why not an EU logo to distinguish it? After all, Licensing does this branding for LucasFilm; they’re not just doing it as ‘Licensing only’ branding.

    “Why? We heard from Rostoni for years about what was or wasn't canon, and it wasn't until the parallel universe thing was brought to her attention that we heard that, yes, Lucas has his own continuity. It wasn't error or dishonesty before that . . . she was simply talking about a different canon than some might've preferred she refer to. But how would she know what they wanted? She deals with Licensing and the EU, which has its official continuity policy.”

    I actually meant about Chee being mistaken; he said that the two continuities were of equal officiality.

    “(Similarly, Roffman is talking about the Star Wars brand name and Licensing's use thereof. He probably knows as well as I do (and as well as you actually do) that Lucas does his own thing. Why expect him to talk about the Star Wars stuff they're peddling and yet ignore Licensing's canon, instead noting "oh, but this shit doesn't count"? It does count . . . it's Licensing's bread and butter, and fits in Licensing's continuity. It just depends on your point of view.)”

    The problem with this is the separation of Licensing and LucasFilm again; Licensing is part of LucasFilm, it has to brand their products too, not just its own.

    “Only the EU Completist viewpoint requires mistakes and contradiction. That's why you think you have to re-imagine Lucas's quotes into saying something they most clearly do not say. Otherwise, you're stuck with equally absurd ideas such as Licensing folks with painted faces running around guerilla-style doing things behind Lucas's back. QEA.”

    Not sure I get this... you say my interpretation require mistakes and contradictions, but doesn’t your interpretation only work with certain people being mistaken? Don’t you need the TFN 2002 quote to have been mistranslated, the Empire 2005 quote to be incomplete and missing something vital which contradicts it, and for Chee and the SotME preface to be wrong for your interpretation to work? Also – ‘clearly do not say’; isn’t most of this argument subjective to a certain extent?

    ”(Hell, a guy who is an EU author and maker of the Star Wars Timeline (chock full of EU research) came to the same conclusions I did at around the same time. He had a vested interest in drawing another conclusion, but didn't. What makes him wrong and you right?)”

    Curious; who was this? I can’t find a reference to this on your Canon Wars site, but to be fair it is rather extensive and I could have easily missed it.

    “I'd rather stand with Lucas, thank you, and I consider having Chee, Rostoni, Cerasi, et cetera with me as a nice but unnecessary bonus. Lucas is the guy running the whole thing, after all. It's his baby . . . not theirs. They have their own.”

    Yeah, that’s... kind of missing the point of my original comment, which was that if I’m wrong, then I’d have Licensing (which I must concede was incorrect; it is more specifically Chee) wrong alongside me... we both think we stand side by side with Lucas, that’s kind of the point of us having this discussion.

    Additionally, something you didn’t seem to address in the last response: assuming you say that Chee is incorrect on the Films Only and Films+EU continuities being of equal officiality, how do you know that Lucas hasn’t simply changed his mind on the issue? Lucas is unlikely to release a statement to tell us this; without a new statement from Lucas, how can we say that they are wrong, rather than that Chee is simply following Lucas’ new wishes?

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  39. This is getting rather ridiculous.

    Ulic, I fear you have yourself running in mental circles, with fallacies as the signposts along the route.

    Your defense of the production evasion is spirited (and lengthy), but falls flat on several counts due to the tactics you are required to use in support of it.

    First, your reasoning is circular by necessity. You require the Lucas quotes to refer to production . . . thus you assume they do and ask me to disprove this (e.g. "I don’t see how this would refute the production claim", "I don’t understand why the last sentence of the quote doesn’t work from a production standpoint", et cetera). Yet you have no positive, evidenciary proof of this use.

    You are able to phrase things much more effectively than did Poe in his aforementioned 'persuasive essay', given that the ridiculous mental leaping is slightly less obvious, but your argument is still exactly the same. The nebulous concept of "production" is interjected by fiat into the quotes of Lucas and others, and from there the concept is extended to include Starlog 2005.

    Your opening foray into this territory makes this plain, regarding Cinescape 2002 and Starlog 2005: "could the “universes” of the quotes, however, not simply refer to the films (“Lucas’ universe”) and the Licensing products (“Licensing universe”) rather than actual storyline or continuity universes?"

    When challenged to explain how this works in regards to Starlog 2005, you suggested that we should understand Starlog 2005 in the light of Cinescape 2002 . . .as if Lucas is actually speaking in his own unique code-words that he continually fails to explain, code-words that look surprisingly like English counterparts but are, in fact, of much different meaning.

    That's silly.

    Second . . . and again, this is required by your conclusion . . . your arguments are based largely on obfuscation and ambiguity. Clear and simple context and word meanings have to be cast aside in order to make enough room for the interjection of "production", which is then carried across quotes where it does not fit . . . you yourself refer to my view as the "literal interpretation".

    And indeed, interpretation is at the heart of your method. But Lucas speaks English and needs no interpreter.

    See, the above two sentences are an example of ambiguity in the logical sense . . . "interpretation", meaning to construe or understand in a particular way, is replaced in the second sentence by "interpreter", in the sense of "translator". You do the same thing in regards to Lucas quotes. Admittedly, he gives you a little wiggle room in this regard, what with the Cinescape 2002 quote in which he deliberately shifts "my world" from just "the films" to a reference to "a select period of time", but that does not mean we can insert additional meanings as desired at our whim.

    Here I should also like to interject that it strikes me as deeply flawed to try to re-imagine Starlog 2005 in the light of Cinescape 2002. Starlog 2005 ("two universes") is the best and most direct quote we have from him. We know the question, and we know the answer, so there's no confusion on context. He's asked if he gets confused by "the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots". His answer was no, because the material is outside his universe.

    This is why I challenged you to look at Starlog 2005 by itself . . . because it is clear. You cleverly tried to suggest that this was an effort by me to take Starlog 2005 "in isolation", as if to suggest that I was taking it out of context in the same way you do with "intrude". However, that is inaccurate.

    Your maneuvering here is to try to take Cinescape 2002 ("parallel universe"), for which we do not know the question (and thus do not know the context as precisely), interject your own interpretive meaning (based largely on a selective re-reading of a section of the quote), and then try to re-imagine Starlog 2005 after your maneuvers are complete.

    Starlog 2005 makes things simple. Your maneuvers are exhaustingly complex and wrong-headed, as are the mental steps required to get there.

    And so despite your protestation that Lucas was speaking in some sort of unique code-words, the meaning of which can only be divined by those who have parsed his previous statements from a certain point of view, it is both logically obvious . . . and my firm belief . . . that he meant precisely what he said. Yet you say "the idea that Lucas’s words must be taken literally and cannot be interpreted any other way is incorrect". This sort of willingness to play fast and loose with the material is incredibly dangerous.

    In language, words have meaning. Yes, there are times when that meaning is somewhat metaphorical. For instance, when Lucas says that Star Wars has a lot of different lives, he is not suggesting that Star Wars is a living thing or multiple living things. Reason tells us that this is not what was meant, and to look elsewhere. Then reason and common usage are our guides to figure out what is meant. But in a case of clear language use . . . especially when the speaker defines his terms . . . there is no need to go hunting, and no cause to claim ambiguity. Then it is mere obfuscation, the attempt to create confusion where none exists, and to 'solve' this self-created problem of confusion by offering your own meaning in the stead of the original.

    And then (tying back to the circular reasoning notation), you ask me to disprove what you've chosen to interject. That is an invalid methodology. Taken on a basic level, it is the argumentum ad ignorantium on a multi-paragraph scale. The claim is "we don't know for sure if Lucas means X, so he could mean Y . . . so now you must disprove Y". But X is precisely what he said.

    As for Lucas on Star Trek's novels, there are but a few possibilities. If Lucas, a self-described "Trekkie", knew nothing of the status of Star Trek novels, it is unlikely he would use them as an example. Further, by using the Star Trek reference, he is not only indicating his own knowledge, but also giving an example that he presumes others will comprehend. Common knowledge, in other words.

    These concepts are obvious, and I find it peculiar that I have need to defend them. You, meanwhile, have attempted to obfuscate his point, removing it from consideration by taking what is obvious and hiding it behind your own murky speculation on an irrelevant sub-point. You do so by questioning whether Lucas is aware of Trek inter-novel continuity.

    That is, you basically argue that Lucas might not be aware of whether Trek books have a continuity . . . "the ‘like Star Trek’ part is simply confusion on Lucas’ part about how Star Trek works" . . . and that in his "confusion" we therefore should ignore that example, and all that he says with it. That's absurd.

    The question of whether Trek books have an inter-novel continuity is irrelevant. (Some do and some don't, much as with Star Wars, so the point is moot there anyway . . . his usage was correct.) Lucas was referring to them as an example in the context of whether he gets confused by "the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots". His answer was no, because the material is outside his universe. Game, set, and match . . . it's as simple as that.

    Finally, you need to decide whether you want to argue for a single continuity or multiple continuities. You have been consistently arguing that Lucas views Star Wars as a single continuity . . . e.g. "the ‘story of the EU’ intrudes between ‘story of the movie’ to form a single continuity (the films+EU one)" . . . yet you claim not to support it yourself. It's a curious maneuver, to say the least . . . that angle of argument basically inverts both relationship and rank, not to mention usual fan preference.

    That is, I have demonstrated in his own words that Lucas views the EU as a separate continuity, and that Licensing folks are trying to create a single one consistent with his films, though (if even begrudgingly) they acknowledge that Lucas has his own separate one, too.

    You're trying to suggest that Lucas views it all as one continuity, but that Licensing folks (not all, but some . . . Roffman presumably being an example of a hold-out, in your mind) have generously granted Lucas his own. And so instead of listening to Lucas, you choose to listen to the insurgents.

    That's all just quite weird, and contrary to just about everything. Rostoni herself echoes my position (and vice-versa), so I don't know where yours comes from.

    As for more specific bits from your last post:

    Your response to the Arthur C. Clarke analogy missed the point (and was curiously literal to boot), but it would be an inefficient use of time to argue the example further.

    "the problem with this interpretation is that it adds in words which don’t actually appear in the original quote" The same could be said of all such interpretive re-writes, yours included, which is why I've been counseling against their use.

    "I don’t want to misunderstand you - am I correct in thinking that in your interpretation, when Lucas says ‘parallel universe’ and ‘licensing world of the books, games and comic books’ he’s talking about the complete story of the parallel universe, i.e. EU and the parallel (though obviously identical) movies taken together to form a single continuity, and that this continuity constitutes a parallel ‘select period of time’ to Lucas’s continuity’s ‘select period of time’?"

    If I understand that rather exhaustively long question correctly, then yes.

    Not only is this the conclusion drawn from the quote itself (as I've previously pointed out by linking to http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonwars-2.html#Universes ), but secondary support appears in the USC 2003 comments (for which we do not have precise quotes, but independent confirmation of the concepts).

    http://www.canonwars.com/SWCanonquotes2.html#2003-LucasUSC

    "I really don’t appreciate being called ‘flagrantly dishonest’"

    Then it's good I didn't do so. I said "It is forgetful at best, flagrantly dishonest at worst, to attempt to lump Chee in as being someone who does not agree with the idea of there being two continuities.” To claim I called you flagrantly dishonest is your selection, not mine. Had I concluded that you were engaged in flagrant dishonesty, I would've said so directly.

    In any case, as you have now acknowledged that he does agree that the two both exist, thus withdrawing your remark that suggested the contrary, the point is moot. The statements of Chee support dual continuities.

    See? We're making progress.

    You also bring up the idea of asking which Chee feels is 'superior' in whatever sense, but that's irrelevant. How he feels about the existence or relative merit of the two universes has no bearing on whether or not he acknowledges they exist . . . he does, and thus he knows they do, and that's all that is of consequence.

    Rostoni's comments are the same. You attempt to claim that Rostoni's Gamer 2001 comments somehow support your view, but that makes no sense. She is speaking in regards to Licensing's canon . . . she even says so repeatedly:

    "Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that the Lucas Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas's Star Wars saga of films and screenplays. Things that Lucas Licensing does not consider official parts of the continuous Star Wars history show an Infinities logo or are contained in Star Wars Tales. Everything else is considered canon."

    So where does this help you?

    "Not sure I get this... you say my interpretation require mistakes and contradictions, but doesn’t your interpretation only work with certain people being mistaken?"

    Not at all, though if so certainly not as much. Your creative interpretation requires that there be a virtual insurgency and civil war on the part of Licensing folks . . . insurgency against Lucas, and a civil war since internal opinions also differ. (I've joked with others about having this peculiar view of Licensing folks skulking about the corridors of the Lucasfilm Presidio complex making military hand signals while doused in camo face-paint. It's a silly notion, isn't it?)

    Chee and Rostoni would've created a separate continuity for Lucas out of whole cloth, ignoring his efforts to keep everything consistent . . . Chee and Rostoni would be talking about separate continuities, fighting against Roffman who is trying to present Licensing's stuff as unified with the films and itself . . . et cetera. It's ridiculous.

    On my end, meanwhile, everyone has their particular place, and it all fits together pretty nicely. Most of the time Licensing folks are talking about Licensing's canon, and thus the vast majority of seeming contradictions between assorted quotes all fall into line. As I've said, once you split the quotes by rank, you'll see that most of the seeming contradictions split along rank lines.

    "Don’t you need the TFN 2002 quote to have been mistranslated,"

    I don't need the TFN 2002 quote at all, and yes I find it dangerous in principle to use a translation. That having been said, though, I fail to see how it doesn't fit the rest of Lucas's statements.

    "the Empire 2005 quote to be incomplete and missing something vital which contradicts it"

    That's ridiculous. First off, it is incomplete, rather obviously . . . we haven't the question, and it looks like we don't have the full answer. Further, if you look at the other quotes on the TV show, you'll see that they are almost all contradictory . . . as I've had noted on the canon page for a long time. Some have Lucas writing scripts and such, some have him doing nothing with it whatsoever.

    2005, May: Lucas reportedly says it will be a different world unto itself, saying he'd be working on it.
    2005, May: Lucas reportedly says he won't be doing the TV show, but will peek in from time to time.
    2005, May: Lucas reportedly says he won't be really involved, and it's the company doing its own thing.
    2005, June: Lucas reportedly says it will be in the same world, but that he wasn't doing it.
    2005, July: Sansweet reports that Lucas will be involved in the TV show.
    2005, August: Lucas reportedly says he's not involved at all in the TV stuff.
    2005, Sept.: Lucas is writing the script.

    Counting on my fingers here, that's five different stories about Lucas's role in four months. And you want to base a canon policy on a throwaway parenthetical of one of those, one which came before Starlog anyway?

    "and for Chee {...} to be wrong for your interpretation to work?"

    There you go again. Chee acknowledges the existence of dual continuities, as you yourself admit. So stop implying otherwise.

    "and the SotME preface to be wrong"

    No, it's not wrong . . . you're just misunderstanding it. If Lucas had been trying to suggest that Splinter was a part of his universe, he could've not only been direct about it (i.e. not requiring the semantic tomfoolery required to presume the reverse), but could also have done so by deeds.

    Case in point . . . Lucas discussed changing Boba Fett's death in RoTJ into a survival in the Special Edition version, but decided against it. (The Boba Fett thing is a whole other angle you fail to address, but we can come back to that at a later time.)

    "isn’t most of this argument subjective to a certain extent?"

    Not really, no. Words have context and meaning, and as a rule of thumb I've found that the attempt to claim things are subjective and gooey and nebulous when they are not is merely a maneuver designed to support escape from the objective facts of a situation.

    "Curious; who was this?"

    Nathan Butler. At almost the exact same time, he and I both made the same basic point that EU Completists and Movie Purists are both wrong. Here's how he phrased it:

    "The reason you won’t hear me taking a side with either of these extremes {i.e. purists vs. completists} is because, well, they’re both wrong, after a fashion. What we’ll see as we go along here is that there are two Star Wars sagas at work. There is the saga in Lucas’ vision and the saga that Lucas himself allowed to develop outside of his narrower vision and timeframe into a much larger saga, legally-created with his vague “okay” by Lucas’ company."

    Also:

    "Lucas told Cinescape in July 2002 {...quote snipped...}

    A parallel universe? But that would mean that there are two sagas out there, Lucas’ vision of just the six films in their final form, and then the Official Continuity that LucasBooks maintained! Uhm, yeah. Exactly. One can only hope that someday more fans will get that through their heads and stop arguing that it has to be one or the other. Even Lucas himself looks at it as, effectively, two different sagas."

    "I’ll go through each quote you mention here:"

    Hold on there. For starters, you're the one who brought them up. Next, I have no desire for you to go skipping around to cherry-pick snippets of other quotes when Cinescape 2002 and Starlog 2005 were the ones you started out with. This charade has gone on long enough as it is, so let's keep the cans of worms manageable. In other words, let's settle something before changing subject, shall we?

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  40. Good afternoon!

    I have a few questions about the ST SW debate.

    One, I haven't been able to find information about how often the various ships need to be supplied.

    How often do the Star Destroyers need to be refueled? Could they be refueled in the ST galaxy without setting up their own tibanna gas mines, carbonite mines, etc?

    Conversely, could the Enterprise find dilithium crystals in the SW galaxy?

    Also, the hyperspace lanes in SW need to be mapped before they can be used -- how would Stardestroyers travel in an unmapped ST galaxy? And how long before the storm troopers get hungry?



    As far as straight-up combat, it does seem that the Federation is underpowered compared to the Empire -- it's like comparing the old HMS Beagle (exploration) to the latest HMS Ark Royal (aircraft carrier).

    Plus, even if the Federation is able to take out 20 Imperial ships (or ground troops) per each Constitution or Galaxy class cruiser (or shipboard security), the Empire wins by dint of overwhelming numbers.

    (of course, in the movies/shows, the writer determines who wins -- that's why Ewoks can beat Storm Troopers, and J Random Alien can whup any number of ST Security, including Worf.)

    Most scenarios i've seen match up "Us" strength versus "Them" weakness -- what happens if a Jedi goes up against Leonardo da Vinci? The Ferengi versus the Trade Federation? Ewoks versus Tribbles?

    ReplyDelete
  41. (I just thought I'd explain the da Vinci reference -- in one of the TOS shows, the crew comes across the immortal Leo's retirement planet, and he's able to shrink the USS Enterprise down to 1/100th its origninal size, transport it from orbit to a desk in his office, with the crew intact, tiny, and in stasis -- all with less effort Yoda used to move Luke's X-Wing a few yards.)

    ReplyDelete
  42. We don't have much info on vessel resupply, I'm afraid.

    As for numbers, the Empire *ought* have approximately one gazillion ships, based on what they could've done. But estimates based on what little information is available suggest that they neglected their shipbuilding, presumably in favor of the Death Star:

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWdsimpfleetsize.html

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  43. When "ron p" mentioned Leonardo I thought he was referncing that "Voyager" episode when Janeway met her favorite holodeck character outside when he somehow got attached to the Doctors portable holo-emitter, on that planet where they had all that stuff stolen from them.

    I do have to agree somewhat that the Empire might eventually win a costly (for the Empire) war of attirtion , but add the fact they are also having to crush a growing Rebel insurrection in their own home universe, I wonder if they would even bother to try.

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  44. Ok, same format as last time - I’ll snip the longest quotes for brevity, but still assume that I am referring to all the material snipped as well.

    “First, your reasoning is circular by necessity. You require the Lucas quotes to refer to production . . . thus you assume they do and ask me to disprove this (e.g. "I don’t see how this would refute the production claim", "I don’t understand why the last sentence of the quote doesn’t work from a production standpoint", et cetera). Yet you have no positive, evidenciary proof of this use.”

    No; I have given multiple examples of reasons why I believe we should use the interpretation that Lucas is using an analogy (for example, the ‘intrudes’ section of the Cinescape quote, the fact that other Lucas quotes contradict the literal interpretation, statements by Chee and some others in Licensing). There is no circular logic at work here – I presented this evidence and said why I believe it supports my interpretation; if you disagree with me, you must suggest why this is not the case. Likewise, you have given evidence and said why you think it supports your interpretation, and I have been responding to that in these posts. We are doing exactly the same thing.

    “The nebulous concept of "production" is interjected by fiat into the quotes of Lucas and others, and from there the concept is extended to include Starlog 2005.”

    There’s nothing ‘nebulous’ about production (i.e. talking about the EU and films rather than two whole universes), and my interpretation was not injected without evidence (else what have we spent this time discussing?) - see my above paragraph for examples.

    “When challenged to explain how this works in regards to Starlog 2005, you suggested that we should understand Starlog 2005 in the light of Cinescape 2002 . . .as if Lucas is actually speaking in his own unique code-words that he continually fails to explain, code-words that look surprisingly like English counterparts but are, in fact, of much different meaning.

    That's silly.”


    No; firstly Lucas doesn’t ‘continually fail to explain these code-words’, he defines them quite specifically in the Cinescape quote and even tells us how they interact (which in itself is a bit of clue that he’s talking figuratively instead of literally, but I’ll leave that for later). It’s hardly unreasonable to assume that if he uses one turn of phrase in one interview, it’s likely he’ll reuse it in another.

    Secondly, the idea that its “silly” for Lucas to use “code-words that look surprisingly like English counterparts but are, in fact, of much different meaning” seems rather odd – what do you think an analogy is? When someone says someone is in a ‘world of their own’, is it silly because they’re not literally talking about a separate ‘world’, despite the fact they use that particular English word which has a very particular definition?

    This is what I just don’t get; I could understand you saying “alright, this part of the quote could be taken literally or it could be an analogy, but I believe that this is not an analogy because...”, but you’re actually saying that there’s not even the possibility of Lucas using an analogy, and that it’s silly to even consider it! Why is this? What prevents Lucas from using analogies? It’s not even like it’s an uncommon one to use; indeed Lucas uses the same analogy in a different context in the 2005 Daily Telegraph interview, saying that the upcoming TV series is ‘a different world unto itself’.

    Throughout your posts you’ve used curiously axiomatic statements like “Lucas speaks in plain English” and “the English of Lucas is not terribly complex” with your elaboration being that an analogy doesn’t fit with context – however, the analogy in question does fit with the quotes’ contexts. In the Cinescape quote, they are talking about the possibility of additional films; George Lucas saying there would be no more films, only books, and then saying that while they intrude in the gaps in his stories, he doesn’t personally get involved with them makes sense in this context. In the Starlog quote, he is asked if he gets confused by all the extra EU material; saying that no he doesn’t as he doesn’t read or even know about it and that its production is totally separate from him (though kept consistent with whatever he’s doing) makes sense in this context.

    Second . . . and again, this is required by your conclusion . . . your arguments are based largely on obfuscation and ambiguity.

    This is the biggest problem with your method of analysis of these quotes – you seem to be treating them like legal policy documents; carefully worded, meticulously precise and open to withstanding detailed semantic analysis. You don’t allow for the fact that these are off the cuff interviews, for the possibility of human error or for imprecise wording. In many ways you treat Lucas’s quotes as a Christian fundamentalist would treat the Bible, with the words being totally sacrosanct and error free, to be taken literally with no possibility of analogy, metaphor or even ambiguity.

    The key point is that there is subjectivity in this discussion; the fact that there are other, contradictory quotes from Lucas and his employees is reason enough to assume this, let alone the fact that interviews should not be treated as absolutely inerrant scientific documents. We can look at the quotes and say what we think the evidence points to them meaning (i.e. literal or allegorical), but neither you nor I can say with absolute certainty that this is irrevocably what is meant.

    Obviously this is not the case with direct statements (if Lucas had been asked directly ‘is the EU canon?’ and he had simply said ‘No’ then there would be no ambiguity unless he contradicted himself in another interview), but we don’t have any of these from him; indeed, he doesn’t even mention the term ‘canon’ and hasn’t been asked a direct question about it.

    “Here I should also like to interject that it strikes me as deeply flawed to try to re-imagine Starlog 2005 in the light of Cinescape 2002. Starlog 2005 ("two universes") is the best and most direct quote we have from him. We know the question, and we know the answer, so there's no confusion on context. He's asked if he gets confused by "the subsidiary material that's in the novels, comics, and other offshoots". His answer was no, because the material is outside his universe.”

    In actual fact, the SotME preface is the most direct quote we have from him, since it was an actual written document, produced and checked at his leisure, rather than an off the cuff interview. Additionally, his response to John Knoll as reported on StarWars.com by Pablo Hidalgo is as direct as Starlog; we have both question and answer.

    It’s also worth mentioning that while we don’t have the exact wording of the Cinescape quote’s question, there is no confusion over its context; as the article says, Lucas’s statement was in relation to whether there would be any more films - he says that there wouldn’t be, but there would be books, comics etc. though he wouldn’t be doing them – he doesn’t get involved in that sort of thing.

    The main reason Cinescape is used as an indicator of his meaning in Starlog is due to the fact that he uses the same terminology, and actually explains what he means by that in the quote. Even if it is not as ‘direct’ as the Starlog quote, it doesn’t mean it should not be considered.

    “As for Lucas on Star Trek's novels, there are but a few possibilities. If Lucas, a self-described "Trekkie", knew nothing of the status of Star Trek novels, it is unlikely he would use them as an example.”

    This doesn’t take into account the fact that he could have simply been mistaken; taken literally, he is.

    “Further, by using the Star Trek reference, he is not only indicating his own knowledge, but also giving an example that he presumes others will comprehend. Common knowledge, in other words.”

    I’m not sure you can really say the canonicity of Star Trek novels is particularly ‘common knowledge’. This interview isn’t aimed at Star Trek fans, this is for the general public (perhaps slanted towards Star Wars fans), who would not be aware of it.

    “These concepts are obvious, and I find it peculiar that I have need to defend them... snip ...His answer was no, because the material is outside his universe. Game, set, and match . . . it's as simple as that.”

    The point I was trying to make with Lucas’s use of ‘like Star Trek’ in the Starlog quote was that it is ambiguous, not that we should discard the whole thing completely. If you take his words literally, then he can’t be talking about literal separate universes like you consider the EU and movies to be since Star Trek doesn’t have two literal separate universes. You contend that what he really means is that Star Trek has stories that are non-canon and stories which are canon, and that he compares this to the EU and movies; the irony of this, of course, is that you’ve moved away from the literal meaning of ‘parallel universe’ (that is, a storyline or continuity) to meaning ‘all the things that are canon/non-canon, which may be different continuities’. How do you reconcile this with your previous statements to me about how ‘Lucas speaks in plain English’ and ‘the English of Lucas is not terribly complex’, and how it’s ‘silly’ me interpreting ‘parallel universe’ as anything other than a complete storyline/continuity?

    “Finally, you need to decide whether you want to argue for a single continuity or multiple continuities. You have been consistently arguing that Lucas views Star Wars as a single continuity . . . e.g. "the ‘story of the EU’ intrudes between ‘story of the movie’ to form a single continuity (the films+EU one)" . . . yet you claim not to support it yourself. It's a curious maneuver, to say the least . . . that angle of argument basically inverts both relationship and rank, not to mention usual fan preference.”

    You still seem to be confused about my position. I claim that Lucas thinks of the movies and EU as one universe, i.e. that the EU fills in the blanks of ‘his’ world. As described by Chee, the canon policy recognises two official continuities; the Films Only and Films+EU continuities.

    This is where I think your confusion comes from; you constantly refer to the Films Only continuity as the ‘Lucas continuity’, yet it has never been called that by Chee or anyone else within Lucas’s company. I do not believe that Lucas sees one continuity as ‘his’ and the other as ‘not his’, I believe that he sees the films as ‘his’ and anything in the EU as ‘not his’ in the sense that he hasn’t personally created it. ‘His’ world is present in both the continuities; one simply has additional details fleshing out that world. For that reason the continuities both have equal canonicity, as described by Chee.

    It should be noted that the two continuities are incapable of deviating from each other; the EU must reflect what is in the latest version of the films, and thus will never contradict the Films Only continuity. The two continuities are both versions of Lucas’s Star Wars universe, one simply only records the core events of it (i.e. the films). It should also be noted that contrary to what you suggest, the Films Only continuity is not the totality of Lucas’s vision – it doesn’t contain Darth Bane and the Rule of Two, Chewbacca’s death, the film novels, the upcoming TV series or any of the additional details Lucas has created; these only appear in the Films+EU universe.

    “You're trying to suggest that Lucas views it all as one continuity, but that Licensing folks (not all, but some . . . Roffman presumably being an example of a hold-out, in your mind) have generously granted Lucas his own. And so instead of listening to Lucas, you choose to listen to the insurgents.”

    No; what you’ve just suggested above actually doesn’t make sense, since if according to you I believe that Lucas views it as one continuity, and the Licensing people give him his own one as well, then I’m not in conflict with Lucas, am I?

    “That's all just quite weird, and contrary to just about everything. Rostoni herself echoes my position (and vice-versa), so I don't know where yours comes from.”

    Actually Rostoni merely confirms the Starlog quote (“the Star Wars Universe” being split into two ‘universes’), she doesn’t confirm your interpretation of it – that’s your own assumption. The original poster gives contradictory uses of the term ‘universe’ and we have no way for sure of knowing which use Rostoni affirms – does she take the “Star Wars Universe” as a literal universe and give the two split off ‘universes’ a non-literal meaning (i.e. the films and EU respectively), or vice versa with “Star Wars Universe” being a non-literal universe (i.e. all Star Wars products) and the two split off universes as literal universes (i.e. continuities)? You can’t have both meanings of universe taken literally. The context also doesn’t help, since the poster is simply asking ‘is this right’?

    It could go either way; I personally believe that, taking into consideration the statements of Chee about the two continuities’ equal status and Lucas’s mentions of the EU fleshing out his world, she means the first version I suggested.

    "the problem with this interpretation is that it adds in words which don’t actually appear in the original quote" The same could be said of all such interpretive re-writes, yours included, which is why I've been counseling against their use.”

    No; my “interpretative re-writes” do not inject new words into a quote where none exist before as yours (in the example you quoted me referring to) did, they simply assume certain words to be taken allegorically.

    "I don’t want to misunderstand you - am I correct in thinking that in your interpretation, when Lucas says ‘parallel universe’ and ‘licensing world of the books, games and comic books’ he’s talking about the complete story of the parallel universe, i.e. EU and the parallel (though obviously identical) movies taken together to form a single continuity, and that this continuity constitutes a parallel ‘select period of time’ to Lucas’s continuity’s ‘select period of time’?"

    If I understand that rather exhaustively long question correctly, then yes.”


    I wanted to make sure this is what you were trying to say before I responded to it.

    As you said above, the core of this argument is that the ‘parallel universe’ of the ‘licensing world of the books, games and comic books’ refers to a whole parallel continuity containing not just licensing products but also contains parallel (though obviously identical) versions of the films.

    Leaving aside for the moment the fact that ‘the licensing world’ could simply refer to the stories of books, games and comic books sans movies (i.e. the EU itself rather than its continuity), a problem arises when you fit your definition of ‘parallel universe’ to the ‘intrudes’ section; the first part of not intruding in Lucas’s world makes sense, but the second part does not – if ‘they’ refers to the complete parallel universe as you suggest, how can it intrude between the movies when the parallel universe already contains the films? The movies can’t intrude between themselves. The quote only makes sense if the ‘licensing world’ is the EU without the films, which fits in with the production interpretation of the EU intruding between the films to form the Films+EU continuity.

    “You also bring up the idea of asking which Chee feels is 'superior' in whatever sense, but that's irrelevant. How he feels about the existence or relative merit of the two universes has no bearing on whether or not he acknowledges they exist . . . he does, and thus he knows they do, and that's all that is of consequence.”

    Eh? Chee’s statement of the two continuities being of equal officiality is vitally important, as it’s the whole issue of what this discussion has revolved around - my question to you that kicked off this discussion in the first place was “As an infrequent reader of both this and your Canon Wars blog, I was curious – you mention that the EU is “not valid for understanding the purpose of the Star Wars universe of Lucas”, but I was under the impression that you were a dual-canonist, accepting the existence of twin Film Only and Film + EU continuities as expressed by Chee when I questioned him at the end of 2006? Surely the validity of the EU depends simply on which of the two continuities you choose to use in a debate, since both are equally valid?”

    You answered the first part of the question (‘aren’t you a dual canonist?’) in your first post with ‘yes’, and since then we have been back and forth over how you hold this view and still consider the EU to be inapplicable in debate (in your original post on your weblog you had said it was not, and I was questioning you in this regard).

    “Rostoni's comments are the same. You attempt to claim that Rostoni's Gamer 2001 comments somehow support your view, but that makes no sense. She is speaking in regards to Licensing's canon . . . she even says so repeatedly:

    "Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that the Lucas Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas's Star Wars saga of films and screenplays. Things that Lucas Licensing does not consider official parts of the continuous Star Wars history show an Infinities logo or are contained in Star Wars Tales. Everything else is considered canon."

    So where does this help you?


    It would help me because she refers to the EU being part of ‘the official Star Wars history’ and making up ‘a continuous and unifed history of the Star Wars galaxy’ (in both cases, emphasis mine), rather than an alternate non-canon one; if that was what she meant, it would be a very strange way of saying it – would she have referred to linked Infinities stories (which I think we both agree are definitely non-canon) as being part of ‘the official Star Wars history’ when she meant an alternate one? This would seem to support my view more than it supports yours.

    “Your creative interpretation requires that there be a virtual insurgency and civil war on the part of Licensing folks . . . insurgency against Lucas, and a civil war since internal opinions also differ. (I've joked with others about having this peculiar view of Licensing folks skulking about the corridors of the Lucasfilm Presidio complex making military hand signals while doused in camo face-paint. It's a silly notion, isn't it?)”

    No; my view does not require conflict between Lucas and LL - remember that the idea of guerrilla licensing employees is your idea of my interpretation, not my own.

    “On my end, meanwhile, everyone has their particular place, and it all fits together pretty nicely. Most of the time Licensing folks are talking about Licensing's canon, and thus the vast majority of seeming contradictions between assorted quotes all fall into line. As I've said, once you split the quotes by rank, you'll see that most of the seeming contradictions split along rank lines.”

    How do you reconcile quotes from Lucas which say the opposite, the two main examples being the SotME preface and the quote provided by Hidalgo?

    ”I don't need the TFN 2002 quote at all, and yes I find it dangerous in principle to use a translation. That having been said, though, I fail to see how it doesn't fit the rest of Lucas's statements.”

    That’s the thing – it would take quite a large translation error (“this universe” would have to have been translated as “this other universe”) to make it work for your interpretation; he talks about his world in the movies and the next sentence talks about the people who ‘expand this universe’ (i.e. the one he had just mentioned in the previous sentence). However, as I said in the last post, this quote alone should not be used as sole proof for my interpretation due to it being a translation.

    “That's ridiculous. First off, it is incomplete, rather obviously . . . we haven't the question, and it looks like we don't have the full answer. Further, if you look at the other quotes on the TV show, you'll see that they are almost all contradictory... snip ...Counting on my fingers here, that's five different stories about Lucas's role in four months. And you want to base a canon policy on a throwaway parenthetical of one of those, one which came before Starlog anyway? “

    You’re implying that Lucas completely contradicts himself later in the interview and that the interviewer doesn’t note this. While this could have happened, you don’t actually have any proof that it does; my interpretation does not require this and so doesn’t have to ignore this quote. Also – where did you get the idea I wanted to base an entire canon policy on this quote alone?

    Incidentally, you’ve also just provided an excellent example of the ambiguity of this topic and why we shouldn’t treat Lucas’s interview words like a policy text with the point about five conflicting interview stories within four months.

    “There you go again. Chee acknowledges the existence of dual continuities, as you yourself admit. So stop implying otherwise.”

    I wasn’t disputing the existence of the dual continuities, I was referring to the fact that Chee has said that the continuities are of equal weight.

    “No, it's not wrong . . . you're just misunderstanding it. If Lucas had been trying to suggest that Splinter was a part of his universe, he could've not only been direct about it (i.e. not requiring the semantic tomfoolery required to presume the reverse), but could also have done so by deeds.”

    Why is assuming that when Lucas says “new writers are contributing stories to the saga”, he’s referring to contributions to his films (since he defines ‘the saga’ as the films in the preceding paragraph) ‘semantic tomfoolery’? I went into your website’s analysis of the SothME preface in more detail in my previous post, but you seem to have not included a reference to any of it here.

    ReplyDelete
  45. You know, Ulic, I'd been meaning to reply to you for days. I'd started one as
    soon as I saw your message, but got distracted away from it.
    Frankly, your posts had become tiresome, because you were unable or unwilling to
    grasp the simple facts, and logic would not sway the selected topic of your
    verbosity. Case in point: you still claim weird things about
    the Star Trek novels, even after correction.

    But just as I'd decided to come back to it and tidy things up for the
    endgame, someone posted a hysterical comment in the old "Détente, Of Sorts"
    thread.

    First, though, let me just send along what I'd already written:

    *****************

    In my last post, I made several points about your pattern of argumentation .
    . . the illogic you are required to use to support your view.

    Condensed, the two major points I first made were:

    1. You assume what you seek to prove.

    2. Your arguments are based on subjective treatment of language . . .
    obfuscation and artificially-inserted ambiguity being your tools.

    In your response, you say that you "assume certain words to be taken
    allegorically
    " with your re-reading of Lucas in Cinescape 2002, say that "there
    is subjectivity
    " with regard to Lucas's words, and so on. Yet you also
    deny that you're assuming anything, and attack me for treating the quotes like
    objective facts.

    In short, then, you deny the failings of your argument, yet simultaneously take the failings and revel
    in them
    .

    ~~~~~~

    I also find it extraordinary of you to claim . . . in the midst of all your
    talk of human error and imprecision . . . that "while we don’t have the
    exact
    wording of the Cinescape quote’s question, there is no confusion over
    its context
    ". Your entire argument is based on trying to
    promote ambiguity, yet when it suits your argument you suddenly assert that
    there is nothing ambiguous about a question we do not have the text of.

    Regarding that point, you're attempting to equate the quality of a quote for
    which we have the question and the answer (Starlog 2005) to one where we have a
    statement and two different (but similar) reported topics. You talk
    of human error, yet -- besides the ever-present possibility of misquotation --
    the Starlog quote is direct. Yet you say there is "no confusion"
    over context when we don't even get the quotation . . . just possible
    paraphrasing.

    I reject that. The two are not of equal quality.

    *************

    I could go on from the paradigms above and refute the nonsense you've typed
    point-by-point, but I really don't see the purpose of such an exercise.
    Lucas has also replied, after a fashion, as the poster to the Détente thread
    alerted me to:

    "Do you think you'd have other people
    continue the Star Wars saga past Episode VI or turn some of the other material
    into films?




    But there's no story past Episode VI, there's just no story. It's a certain
    story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies, that's kind of the
    end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I mean apart from the
    books. But there's three worlds: There's my world that I made up, there's the
    licensing world that's the books, the comics, all that kind of stuff, the games,
    which is their world, and then there's the fans' world, which is also very rich
    in imagination, but they don't always mesh. All I'm in charge of is my world. I
    can't be in charge of those other people's world, because I can't keep up with
    it."


    That comes from StarWars.com on March 17. (

    http://www.starwars.com/theclonewars/news/news20080317.html
    )

    We even get the entire interview here, to see the question and answer in
    context:


    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/showestnews.php?id=42983


    Specifically, we see how the topic of "other people" continuing Star Wars
    comes up. Here's the full section, including what's already quoted:

    "CS: What are your plans
    for theatrical films in the future? You have "Indiana Jones" with Steven, but
    are you going to continue making movies, even if you're producing other
    directors?


    Lucas: Probably. I mean, what I'm doing is I'm doing a film called "Red
    Tails" I've been working on for years, and then I'm working on a live action
    "Star Wars" TV series, and we're in the script stage. That probably won't come
    out for a couple of years, then I'm going to do my own films. I'm basically...
    you might say "retire" and just work on "hobby movies" after that.



    CS: It's funny you should mention that because it leads to a question I've
    always wanted to ask you. Anyone who works at the same job for thirty years must
    wake up somedays and think, "You know what? I don't want to do this job today."
    You've been so invested in "Star Wars," creating so many worlds and characters,
    but you must wake up some days and say "I want to do something else today."


    Lucas: Yeah, well that happened actually right after I finished the first
    trilogy. I said, "Look, I expected to do one movie and it turned into three and
    I expected to be done in a year and it ended up being ten, so I'm ready to move
    on now." It was later when I realized that it was so big that no matter what I
    did, it was going to be linked to me and that was basically what I am no matter
    what I do, so that's when I said, "Okay, I'll finish the whole saga" and then
    once I came to that, I said, "Well, gee, it would be fun to do an animated
    film." I love animation. The idea of CG anime is something I've been interested
    in for a long time, and it's a chance to explore other things and then train a
    lot of people and let them take off and use their imaginations.



    CS: Do you think you'd have other people continue the "Star Wars" saga past
    "Episode VI" or turn some of the other material into films?


    Lucas: But there's no story past "Episode VI", there's just no story.
    It's a certain story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies,
    that's kind of the end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I
    mean apart from the books. But there's three worlds: There's my world that I
    made up, there's the licensing world that's the books, the comics, all that kind
    of stuff, the games, which is their world, and then there's the fans' world,
    which is also very rich in imagination, but they don't always mesh. All I'm in
    charge of is my world. I can't be in charge of those other people's world,
    because I can't keep up with it. "


    So, Lucas mentions the idea of letting other people do CG anime with Star
    Wars (e.g. the stories he's had a hand in), leading to the question of whether
    others might continue Star Wars in a post-RotJ timeframe, or perhaps turn some
    of the "other" (i.e. EU) material into films.

    Lucas responds that there is no story past RotJ, which fits with other quotes
    he's made on that concept. Further, he notes that there is no
    further Luke story, apart from what's in the novels. But lest people get
    confused, he then makes the point again . . . with wording similar to the
    Cinescape 2002 quote . . . that the EU world is separate from his world, 'not
    his but theirs' (a la Rostoni's comment), and he notes that the two (now three
    with fan-stuff, but same difference) don't always mesh.

    This is not some silly code-talk exclusively about production issues and with
    nothing to do about story content, and there is no way to pretend it is so.

    ReplyDelete
  46. http://www.canonwars.com/weblog/2008/03/bounty-showest-2008-reports.html

    More on the ShoWest Lucas-quote bounty.

    ReplyDelete
  47. G2K, what happened to the ‘pleasant conversation’ you were talking about earlier? Throughout this discussion I have tried to keep my posts as neutral and civil possible, while over time yours have become increasingly condescending and filled with repetitive rhetoric. I have tried to ignore this during the last few posts, but you seem to be intent on turning this discussion into an argument just like you did in our previous discussion on StarWars.com.

    I had hoped that back then your behaviour was down to the fact that you were beset by members of StarDestroyer.net at the time and that your responses to me were simply misplaced knee-jerk reactions to anyone disagreeing with you; I had hoped that when I asked you my initial question here, away from that influence in a non-confrontational setting, that we could have a civilised discussion, but it seems that I was wrong.

    If you find this discussion ‘tiresome’, then I suggest you agree to disagree with me and discontinue it, rather than insulting me, not answering the majority of my points, hand-waving them away as ‘nonsense’ without explanation and then pretending that this constitutes a rebuttal. It seems you don’t want a discussion anymore, but an argument.

    Case in point: why did you find it necessary to attack me for ‘verbosity’ in your intro? I must admit, I was somewhat astonished to see you (“...the guy who wrote a 25-single-spaced-page dissertation on Star Wars canon . . . and who also has additional tangential pages on the matter”, in your own words) rebuke me for being long-winded; perhaps you had forgotten that I asked you whether this would be a problem at the beginning of this debate and that you replied “...don't you fret one little bit about being long-winded. I mean, hell, it's *me* you're talking to...”?

    This aside, I’ll now go over the actual discussion elements of your post:

    “In my last post, I made several points about your pattern of argumentation .
    . . the illogic you are required to use to support your view.

    Condensed, the two major points I first made were:

    1. You assume what you seek to prove.

    2. Your arguments are based on subjective treatment of language . . .
    obfuscation and artificially-inserted ambiguity being your tools.

    In your response, you say that you "assume certain words to be taken
    allegorically" with your re-reading of Lucas in Cinescape 2002, say that "there
    is subjectivity" with regard to Lucas's words, and so on. Yet you also
    deny that you're assuming anything, and attack me for treating the quotes like
    objective facts.

    In short, then, you deny the failings of your argument, yet simultaneously take the failings and revel
    in them. ”


    You appear to have missed the main point of my original reply; as I said in the previous post, I make my ‘assumption’ that Lucas is talking metaphorically based on the evidence available, not simply by fiat, which was your original point. This evidence is, after all, what we have been talking about in this discussion. Again, how is this different from you ‘assuming’ that he’s talking literally?

    You also haven’t yet explained why my response to your second point about subjectivity (i.e. that there is subjectivity in the analysis of magazine quotes) is incorrect.

    “I also find it extraordinary of you to claim . . . in the midst of all your
    talk of human error and imprecision . . . that "while we don’t have the
    exact wording of the Cinescape quote’s question, there is no confusion over
    its context". Your entire argument is based on trying to
    promote ambiguity, yet when it suits your argument you suddenly assert that
    there is nothing ambiguous about a question we do not have the text of.

    Regarding that point, you're attempting to equate the quality of a quote for
    which we have the question and the answer (Starlog 2005) to one where we have a
    statement and two different (but similar) reported topics. You talk
    of human error, yet -- besides the ever-present possibility of misquotation --
    the Starlog quote is direct. Yet you say there is "no confusion"
    over context when we don't even get the quotation . . . just possible
    paraphrasing.

    I reject that. The two are not of equal quality.”


    On your first point you claim there is confusion over the context of the quote; but what, precisely, are you confused about? There is ambiguity over the question’s exact wording (since obviously we don’t have it), but the context of it is given for us in the magazine – Lucas was asked about the mythical third trilogy and replied that it was a joke, with the only additional Star Wars stories being in the licensed materials rather than more movies; the “There are two worlds...” part continues on from there. Where is the ambiguity regarding this context? What other possible interpretations could it have?

    With your second point about the ‘equality’ of the Cinescape and Starlog quotes, you seem to be under the misapprehension that I argued they were of equal directness; my actual argument was that “Even if it is not as ‘direct’ as the Starlog quote, it doesn’t mean it should not be considered.”

    You have also not yet answered the points I made about Lucas’s response to John Knoll as reported on StarWars.com by Pablo Hidalgo being as direct as the Starlog quote (we have both question and answer), and the SotME preface being the most direct of all since it was an actual written document, produced and checked at Lucas’s leisure, rather than an off the cuff interview.

    “Lucas has also replied, after a fashion, as the poster to the Détente thread
    alerted me to:...snip...Lucas responds that there is no story past RotJ, which fits with other quotes he's made on that concept. Further, he notes that there is no
    further Luke story, apart from what's in the novels. But lest people get
    confused, he then makes the point again . . . with wording similar to the
    Cinescape 2002 quote . . . that the EU world is separate from his world, 'not
    his but theirs' (a la Rostoni's comment), and he notes that the two (now three
    with fan-stuff, but same difference) don't always mesh.

    This is not some silly code-talk exclusively about production issues and with nothing to do about story content, and there is no way to pretend it is so.”


    This new Lucas quote is very interesting, especially as he uses similar language to the Cinescape quote, as you note. It should be pointed out, however, that the ‘no story past RotJ’ part is referring to the story of the movies, not the whole story of the Star Wars universe; indeed, he goes on to say that there isn’t a further story of Luke Skywalker apart from the books, a very strange thing for him to say at this point if he doesn’t consider the books to be a part of the Star Wars universe that his films are part of (and that he’s just been talking about). He also very interestingly says that the worlds “don’t always mesh”; the implication of course being that the majority of the time they do. He actually doesn’t talk about the canonicity of the ‘worlds’ in relation to each other at all; after all, this is an interview, not a policy document.

    I’m not sure however that I understand the point you make about the quote not being ‘some silly code-talk exclusively about production issues and with nothing to do about story content’; I’ve never argued that the ‘production areas’ had nothing to do with storylines, indeed the whole point is that the ‘my world’/’their world’ are split along the boundaries of the films and EU storylines, rather than whole continuities. Do you mean ‘continuity’ rather than ‘story content’ here? Additionally, as asked in my previous post, could you also explain why the use of metaphors in an interview is ‘silly code-talk’?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Case in point: why did you find it necessary to attack me for ‘verbosity’ in your intro? I must admit, I was somewhat astonished to see you (“...the guy who wrote a 25-single-spaced-page dissertation on Star Wars canon . . . and who also has additional tangential pages on the matter”, in your own words) rebuke me for being long-winded; perhaps you had forgotten that I asked you whether this would be a problem at the beginning of this debate and that you replied “...don't you fret one little bit about being long-winded. I mean, hell, it's *me* you're talking to...”?

    This made me laugh. My saying that logic would not sway you with regard to the selected topic of your verbosity is hardly an attack on your word count, but on the words themselves.

    Of all the moments where I probably let the fact that my patience was running thin with you to show through . . . of all the things to feign offense over . . . and you pick as an example a throwaway word which you yourself recognize that I have acknowledged having no problem with. That's silly.

    (I'm also amused by your insistence that I agree to disagree with you, which is equally silly. You have basically come in my open door. If you don't like the surroundings and feel your host has become impolite (which is really just a tactical maneuver on your part, but whatever), why remain? That's silly, too. Don't pretend you haven't made a choice.)

    Speaking of feigning offense, after my last post, which was largely simply a quoting of Lucas's new statement, you suddenly decide to cry foul over what you feel to be an impolite tone on my part. Such "tactical offense-taking" is often considered a clever technique by some, but you botched its use severely.

    You can try to pretend that you've been polite here in my comments section, but you have still been insulting. It doesn't matter how milquetoast you pretend to be in your posts. The simple fact is, you are being illogical, utterly rejecting that realization despite having the facts explained to you (while simultaneously and perversely revelling in your fallacious reasoning). Worse, though this was already touched on ever so slightly in the last sentence, you have been dishonest, both intellectually and directly.

    The worst case, of course, was your insistence that Chee's and Rostoni's statements supported your position. When called on this, you tried to change your position so that you were suddenly arguing for something else, and kept making the claim. In another instance, when you decided to try to evade your own selected topic of argument by trying to move toward a "creationist scattergun" technique of argument spam on other quotes, I answered briefly but demanded you remain on topic. Yet now, you are trying to spin this as a refusal to answer your points, despite the short-but-direct answers given. And finally . . . and perhaps even worse than the aforementioned worst case . . . is your argument that nothing means anything (unless you say so). Your selective subjectivity is just awful. Being in a position where you have to argue for maximal subjectivity means you're in a tough spot already, but to then try to suddenly switch to objectivity when it suits you is just disgusting.

    Now, obviously, even a dishonest and illogical style such as yours does not necessitate that the underlying argument is wrong. Applying your same techniques in favor of the argument that the sky is blue would have nothing to do with the truth value of whether or not the sky was blue.

    Thus, in my next message, whenever I have time to make it, we'll review the logic of your arguments once again, from the top.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Well, hell, dude . . . color me lazy. For now, I'm just gonna let George himself give you another round in my stead:

    "The Star Wars universe has expanded far beyond the movies. How much leeway do the game makers and novel writers have?

    They have their own kind of world. There's three pillars of Star Wars. I'll probably get in trouble for this but it's OK! There's three pillars: the father, the son and the holy ghost. I'm the father, Howard Roffman [president of Lucas Licensing] is the son and the holy ghost is the fans, this kind of ethereal world of people coming up with all kinds of different ideas and histories. Now these three different pillars don't always match, but the movies and TV shows are all under my control and they are consistent within themselves. Howard tries to be consistent but sometimes he goes off on tangents and it's hard to hold him back. He once said to me that there are two Star Trek universes: there's the TV show and then there's all the spin-offs. He said that theres were completely different and didn't have anything to do with each other. So I said, "OK, go ahead." In the early days I told them that they couldn't do anything about how Darth Vader was born, for obvious reasons, but otherwise I pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. They created this whole amazing universe that goes on for millions of years!

    Are you happy for new Star Wars tales to be told after you're gone?

    I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married..."

    - George Lucas, Flannelled One, May 2008, Total Film interview

    ReplyDelete
  50. Well, I was hoping to have been able to summon up the time and enthusiasm to reply to your last posts earlier than this, but oh well. In the unlikely event that anyone’s still reading:

    “This made me laugh. My saying that logic would not sway you with regard to the selected topic of your verbosity is hardly an attack on your word count, but on the words themselves.

    Of all the moments where I probably let the fact that my patience was running thin with you to show through . . . of all the things to feign offense over . . . and you pick as an example a throwaway word which you yourself recognize that I have acknowledged having no problem with. That's silly.”


    Wait a minute... how is me picking out as an example a minor example of your behaviour and admitting yourself that there were worse things that I could have pointed out an argument in your favour? I only pointed that particular one out because of the obviousness of its hypocrisy; the fact that you actually state yourself that there are worse examples supports the point I was making!

    ”(I'm also amused by your insistence that I agree to disagree with you, which is equally silly. You have basically come in my open door. If you don't like the surroundings and feel your host has become impolite (which is really just a tactical maneuver on your part, but whatever), why remain? That's silly, too. Don't pretend you haven't made a choice.)”

    Agreeing to disagree (or even simply not replying) is simply common courtesy if you wish to duck out of an argument; you instead ignored the majority of my post and tried to hand-wave it away with rhetoric. Your contention of why I remain also applies to you too – if you take offense at my posts for simply disagreeing with you and find it tiresome, why are you still replying?

    “Speaking of feigning offense, after my last post, which was largely simply a quoting of Lucas's new statement, you suddenly decide to cry foul over what you feel to be an impolite tone on my part. Such "tactical offense-taking" is often considered a clever technique by some, but you botched its use severely.”

    Claiming a ‘tactical manoeuvre’ for simply calling you on your obnoxious behaviour is bizarre. Perhaps you expect the correct response to insults should be to simply pretend they haven’t happened and politely carry on? Indeed, for most of your posts I actually did that despite the escalating condescension and rhetoric, only finally mentioning it when you started using direct insults and when it started impacting the debate itself (i.e. completely ignoring whole tracts of my posts).

    ‘Tactical manoeuvres’ (and I’m a little curious who precisely you think they would be for the benefit of, considering its almost certain that you and I are the only ones reading this discussion) would consist of actually using points like this to influence or enhance my argument itself, i.e. style over substance fallacies. I haven’t done this; indeed, I deliberately separated the comments about your behaviour from the debate proper, as I’m doing now. Whether you act like a prat during the debate or not has no influence on the strength of your arguments or mine; you can be obnoxious and I can be polite and it won’t make a difference to the strength of our arguments. That doesn’t mean of course that basic courtesy shouldn’t matter; a lack of it usually cripples a debate like this, as who wants to have to resort to trading insults over as frivolous a topic as this one? Which is more important – winning a fictional canon debate or having the ability to display basic social skills?

    The irony in all of this is that while you falsely accuse me of tactical manoeuvres, you yourself have quite patently been using them throughout the actual debate itself and seemingly have no qualm about interspersing rhetorical tricks through your arguments.

    You have used increasingly prejudicial language throughout this discussion in the manner of a persuasive essay; analogies become ‘silly-code words’, ambiguity or subjectivity (from not just off the cuff interviews, but contradictory quotes!) becomes ‘murky obfuscation’, posting multiple quotes as evidence becomes ‘cherry-picking’ and ‘creationist scattergun techniques’, the ‘production interpretation’ is quietly changed to the ‘production evasion’ halfway through, all interspersed with rhetoric about nonsense, illogic, silliness, mental leaping and fallacy, and insinuations about dishonesty and appeals to motive (me ‘cleverly’ suggesting things, calling my points ‘manoeuvres’, suggesting I’m merely ‘feigning offense’, etc.).

    Possibly the most blatant tactical manoeuvre was halfway through the debate when you outright accused me of dishonesty after erroneously thinking I was contradicting Chee; when you were called on the error of this, you rapidly back-pedalled and used a cheap rhetorical trick to say that you weren’t really insulting me, and that “had I concluded that you were engaged in flagrant dishonesty, I would've said so directly” – and yet you continued to use insinuations to the contrary like those above, and then in your last post flat out stated that you believed that contradicting Chee was what I meant, and that it was dishonest. In short, you lied. To do this (coupled with the above persuasive tactics) and then accuse someone of dishonesty is sheerest hypocrisy.

    “You can try to pretend that you've been polite here in my comments section, but you have still been insulting. It doesn't matter how milquetoast you pretend to be in your posts. The simple fact is, you are being illogical, utterly rejecting that realization despite having the facts explained to you (while simultaneously and perversely revelling in your fallacious reasoning). Worse, though this was already touched on ever so slightly in the last sentence, you have been dishonest, both intellectually and directly.”

    Ah – so if someone dares disagree after ‘having the facts explained’ to them by yourself, you start to insult them? Is that what a debate is to you, you stating your position and expecting the other person them to instantly cave in, or else? After all, I’ve ‘explained the facts’ to you as well; should I have started insulting you after your initial post as you didn’t agree with me?

    The above is your whole problem in a nutshell; the belief that you and you alone are always right and that your logic and reasoning is utterly infallible. This is why in my previous discussion posts I simply state my case in clear neutral language rather than peppering it with rhetoric about how right I am and how illogical my opponent is; to do anything else is arrogance. Indeed, I’ve stressed that due to the ambiguity of certain aspects of the topic, to proclaim myself irrevocably correct would be folly; the best we can hope for is to come to a logical conclusion based on the latest facts available.

    ”The worst case, of course, was your insistence that Chee's and Rostoni's statements supported your position. When called on this, you tried to change your position so that you were suddenly arguing for something else, and kept making the claim.”

    I am astonished that you are still arguing this. It has been pointed out twice to you that I have been arguing the same thing consistently (i.e. that I don’t think Lucas thinks of the Films Only universe as ‘his’ universe and the Films+EU universe as ‘not his’, I think he thinks of the movies themselves as his [as he says in Cinescape] and the EU as an expansion of his universe - ‘not his’ only is the sense that he hasn’t made it himself) and backed up by actually quoting directly from my second post on this topic (which even starts with phrase “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this quote proves that there’s only one Star Wars continuity or something...”), and then had to explain it again to you in a subsequent post! If you can actually see that the same argument is there at the beginning of the debate as well as later on, why are you still claiming that I changed it halfway through?

    “In another instance, when you decided to try to evade your own selected topic of argument by trying to move toward a "creationist scattergun" technique of argument spam on other quotes, I answered briefly but demanded you remain on topic. Yet now, you are trying to spin this as a refusal to answer your points, despite the short-but-direct answers given.”

    Again, the prejudicial language – me citing sources of evidence to back up my original argument becomes ‘”creationist scattergun” technique of argument spam’. Out of curiosity, if you thought that the sources were ‘off topic’, why did you reply to them at all?

    Your assertion that I was subsequently ‘trying to spin this as a refusal to answer your points, despite the short-but-direct answers given’ is, ironically enough, spin itself – you refused to answer my rebuttals of your brief answers, only demanding that I remain ‘on topic’ in the post after I had made them. Even then, the only rebuttal I pointed out that you had ignored was the SotME one, since you brought up a point about it in the same post that you said it was ‘off topic’, ignoring the points I had just made about it.

    This is only one of a number of points you have consistently ignored. I’ve asked you numerous times why certain text can’t be analogous (especially since he uses the same analogy about the TV show in other quotes!) and was replied to that it didn’t maintain consistency, and rhetoric about ‘code-words’ and ‘Lucas only speaks in plain English.’ When I pointed out that it did maintain consistency, you dropped this point and renewed focus on the ‘code-word’ part; despite my insistence you still haven’t explained why analogies are ‘code-words’ and why Lucas can’t possibly use them when he uses the same analogy about the TV show.

    I’ve asked you twice what your response to my point about the Pablo Hidalgo Lucas quote being as ‘direct’ as the Starlog quote and the SotME one being even more direct is, but both times you simply posted rhetoric about subjectivity inconsistency and ignored this point.

    I asked you what exactly was ambiguous about the context of the Cinescape quote and what other possible meanings it could have, and you still haven’t answered this despite spending time going through the aforementioned subjectivity inconsistency rhetoric.

    I gave you a rebuttal of your position on the Cinescape quote, how your contention that its ‘two worlds’ were the Films Only and Film+EU continuities could not be correct as the second (EU) world intrudes between the movies; how can the Film+EU continuity intrude between the films when it already contains the films? Again you had much to say about subjectivity inconsistency, but pointedly ignored this response.

    Additionally, you indirectly ignore points by frequently using strawmen. Instead of talking about why Lucas can’t use analogies, you talk about how silly ‘code-words’ are. Instead of saying why contradictory quotes and off the cuff interviews aren’t subjective or ambiguous, you talk about how everything being meaningless is stupid. I sincerely doubt that these are the only ones.

    ”And finally . . . and perhaps even worse than the aforementioned worst case . . . is your argument that nothing means anything (unless you say so). Your selective subjectivity is just awful. Being in a position where you have to argue for maximal subjectivity means you're in a tough spot already, but to then try to suddenly switch to objectivity when it suits you is just disgusting.”

    As stated above, ‘nothing means anything (unless you say so)’ is a strawman; I have never said that everything is meaningless or that no words can be taken for granted – I even stress this point to you in the fifteenth paragraph of my seventh post.

    Stawman aside, do you not realise how inconsistent your above complaint is? I mentioned that there was a certain amount of subjectivity early on in the discussion, and you claimed that this was simply ‘murky obfuscation’ on my part – yet now you’re arguing that there is some ambiguity, and even provide an example of five changing quotes about the TV series as evidence? Even more inconsistently, why have you only just now decided that the Cinescape quote shouldn’t be used as an indicator of Lucas’s intent when compared to more direct quotes? I’ve looked at your history and previous debates, and you were arguing that the EU should be omitted as non-canon when the Cinescape quote was the latest available Lucas quote – so why did you not let the more direct SotME quote point to its meaning instead of vice versa?

    This isn’t the only time your argument is inconsistent; you spend much time arguing how stupid ‘code-words’ are – yet you happily accept that Lucas is talking figuratively when he calls the TV series ‘a separate world’ (the exact same analogy that I suggested for Cinescape!) and tell us that the second instance of ‘saga’ in the SotME preface really means ‘parallel EU continuity’ even though the word ‘saga’ is used in the preceding paragraph explicitly to refer to the movies!

    Again, you mentioned earlier how stupid it was to think that elements of LFL had gone rogue – and yet again, looking at your previous debates, you have in the past actually argued this, stating flat out at times that Leland Chee was wrong.

    “Now, obviously, even a dishonest and illogical style such as yours does not necessitate that the underlying argument is wrong. Applying your same techniques in favor of the argument that the sky is blue would have nothing to do with the truth value of whether or not the sky was blue.”

    This is precisely why I had not mentioned any of the points I go though above until now; they weren’t relevant to the actual veracity of the debate. If you too believe this, why have you spent so much time and effort populating the previous discussion with the aforementioned appeal to motive fallacies?

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  51. With the above out of the way, onto the actual topic being discussed.

    The new Lucas quote you provide above is quite similar to the previous one mentioned in our last posts in that it talks of the three different pillars of Star Wars (his world, Roffman/LFLs world, and the fan world), that the EU tries to stay consistent with the movies and doesn’t always mesh, and, somewhat importantly, mentions the Star Trek comparison again, this time in greater detail.

    However, the most important detail here is Lucas’s statement that “the movies and TV shows are all under my control and they are consistent within themselves.” I think we both agree that this means that they are both part of ‘his world’. Leland Chee confirms this on page 123 of the Holocron continuity database questions thread:

    “3) i've read some articles that say the clone wars and the live action series are going to be considered official star wars canon, along with the movies. official star wars canon? is that true?

    Most things novadays are official SW canon. But there are different levels of it, each more reliable, or serving a certain purpose, than another. The new series will be pretty high up in this hierarchy, but not so high as the moves themselves.

    The clarify this point just a little bit further, The Clone Wars will not be considered Expanded Universe. They'll be ranked up there with The Movies.”


    And two posts later:

    “T-canon in its entirety is not supposed to be considered part of the EU pillar, but part of the Lucas pillar.”

    This is very important.

    Now, you have contended that the ‘Lucas world/pillar’ is the Film Only continuity and the ‘EU world/pillar’ is the Films+EU continuity, while I have contended that the ‘Lucas world/pillar’ is not a literal continuity but simply the films (and now the TV show) while the ‘EU world/pillar’ is simply anything created in the EU; the two pillars go together to create the Film+EU continuity.

    I believe this quote supports my interpretation for the following reason – on page 118 of the Holocron continuity database questions thread Leland Chee states that the TV show does not take place within the Films Only continuity:

    “so i'm assuming the film only continuity only consists of tpm through rotj, and not the clone wars movie and other possible future sw films?”

    Correct. I'll be treating the material from The Clone Wars theatrical release as "Television Canon".”


    Thus, the ‘Lucas world’ cannot be simply the Films Only continuity, since by his own definition this does not make up the entirety of his world. In reality, his world straddles the two continuities, one being a retelling of the core events of the saga (the movies), the other containing the complete mythology. This would tie up with his previous quotes where he mentions the EU as an addition to the saga (e.g. SotME, the Pablo Hidalgo quote) rather than a completely unrelated continuity and also his talk of two worlds/universes/pillars – they are simply the spheres of influence of the different authors, as well as the canonicity ranking policy (G canon over C/S canon) and different storylines (i.e. the Skywalker saga, the vast EU histories).

    The only anomaly here, of course, is the part about the Star Trek universes. I can think of four suggestions which could explain this seeming discrepancy:

    1) Roffman (as it is revealed that it was he who told Lucas about the two Star Trek ‘universes’) was talking about the Star Trek universes differences in terms of individual storylines rather than continuities and the fact that one did not intrude on the other.

    2) Roffman was talking about the Star Trek universes as canon and non-canon, and that was how it was when the EU originally started; since then it has expanded in its role and has become part of the official Star Wars mythology.

    3) Roffman made a mistake and was incorrect as how the Star Trek universes work.

    4) Chee made a mistake and was incorrect about how the Star Wars continuities work.

    There’s no clear cut answer to this one; I personally would go for options 2 or 3; I assume that neither of us would go for number 4 since otherwise we’re entering the realms of rogue LFL guerrillas again.

    Additionally, we have a new Lucas quote from the LA times (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la
    -et-lucas7-2008may07,0,3749545.story):

    "Whatever it is that happens afterward [ROTJ]," the 63-year-old filmmaker said, "that isn't the core 'Star Wars' story that I like to tell."

    The stories that do interest Lucas are the ones that take place before Anakin Skywalker dons the ebony mask of Darth Vader, which is why he and his 5-year-old Lucasfilm Animation venture will add a seventh feature film to the "Star Wars" canon on Aug. 15 with "The Clone Wars."
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-lucas7-2008may07,0,3749545.story
    The movie has been produced with state-of-the-art computer-generated animation and voice actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, reprising his Mace Windu character, and Anthony Daniels as the familiar voice of C-3P0.

    The fact that Daniels is back raises the idea that this new approach could provide a digital fountain-of-youth for other original trilogy actors, such as Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, who haven't been in the universe of the Jedi since they frolicked with the furry Ewoks on the forested moon of Endor at the end of "Return of the Jedi" in 1983.

    If there's any force behind that concept, Lucas isn't feeling it.

    "There really isn't any story to tell there," the filmmaker said. "It's been covered in the books and video games and comic books, which are things I think are incredibly creative but that I don't really have anything to do with other than being the person who built the sandbox they're playing in."

    In the non-film versions of the saga, for instance, Han Solo and Princess Leia marry and have three children, one of them named Anakin after his notorious grandfather. All of it has been popular with core fans, but Lucas doesn't see any upside to extending the tale past the leafy luau on Endor where Vader's corpse was torched.

    "I get asked all the time, 'What happens after "Return of the Jedi"?,' and there really is no answer for that," he said. "The movies were the story of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, and when Luke saves the galaxy and redeems his father, that's where that story ends."


    As he says here, he considers the movies the ‘core’ story of Star Wars, rather than its entirety, and that the story after the movies (note that he doesn’t say the story after the movies in a parallel alternate continuity, but simply the stories after the movies) is covered in the books, games and comics.

    In conclusion, I would argue based on the evidence we have presently that the Films Only continuity is not the same as ‘Lucas’s world’, and that the Films+EU continuity is as much an official version of Star Wars saga as the Films Only continuity is (this would seem to be additionally supported by the time I asked which the ‘real’ Star Wars continuity; Mr. Chee said that while he personally considered the EU to be the ‘real’ one, that was unfair on people who had only seen the movies, implying that the continuities are equal), and thus either should be acceptable in a debate involving the ‘official’ Star Wars.

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  52. {...} I believe this quote supports my interpretation {...}

    I was curious to see what tone your messages had, in general, so I was quickly skimming and found this in your second message.

    I have no intention of troubling myself to read further. The notion that you would even try to continue your absurdities after what Lucas said makes me seriously question your sanity. "I don't know you from Adam", as the saying goes, but for your canon-related internet posts. However, based on those alone, I find it impossible to conclude that you are mentally healthy, for if you expend so much effort to believe what you want in the face of the facts in this topic, then I rather doubt you're normal in regards to others.

    This has, from my point of view, been an attempt to have a discussion on an objective analysis of the Star Wars canon, specifically regarding Lucas's parallel universes of continuity versus the production evasion that EU Completists favor.

    After that last round of quotes from Lucas, the simple fact is that your only valid response ought to have been along the lines of "sir, yes sir".

    For you to even hint at the suggestion that your opinions have any objective validity is dishonest in the extreme. Therefore, you are no longer permitted to post your drivel on my blog unless and until you can rationally support it . . . not merely rationalize it to your own satisfaction.

    Good day.

    ReplyDelete