Newcomers Please Read- EU and Canon in the Film Sections

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This issue has continued to resurface as of late so this note will serve as a continually visible reminder of the way things work.

This dispute arises out of the way that EU material is not considered valid material to be accepted for debate in the film sections. I will now explain the reasoning for this.

EU means Expanded Universe, those parts of the Star Wars franchise that were not directly created by George Lucas himself- that is, the books, the computer games, technical manuals, encyclopedias etc. Note that it does NOT include the Novels of the films, even though GL did not write those himself.

'Canon' (as in gospel) means continuity, the validity of a storyline. Its most common use is when, say, two books in aseries contradict each ither, Which one is correct? The one that is had the 'canonical' take on the subect.

Canon can also be used in a more passive way, though, which is how it tends to be around here- meaning the things that always contain the canonical information, whether they are being contradicted or not.

The important thing here is that the EU is not canonical as far as George Lucas' Star Wars plot- the films- are concerned. Yes, GL, does have some form of veto process over the content of EU material, but he only ever exercises this in a very vague way- like setting some things the EU cannot discuss and putting limits on who can be killed. It does not mean he considers it part of his storyline.

This therefore means that anything said in EU material has no bearing on the plot or storyline of the films at all. It is simply the interpretation of some authors of the Star Wars woprld that GL created. In recent times, EU has been far less contentious in regards to the films than earlier EU, but nonetheless this absolute truth about canonicity remains so.

Because of this, when a fact or plot point about the films is being discussed, EU sources are not factual. This doesn't necessarily make them useless- they have the power of opinion and interpretation (e.g. you could say, in a discussion about lightsabres, that the EU says 'x' about them and I think this is a good idea. That's fine- so long as you don't say it is a fact).

This is the only reason why this prohibition against EU in the Film areas exists. It has nothing to do with whether people like EU or not. Yes, some people hate it, but then some people hate Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, doesn't mean we stop people talking about it. The only prohibition that exists is that as the EU is not canon it cannot have any factual input at all on things from the films. If this policy frtom Lucasfilm changed, then the policy on this board would change as well, regardless of who likes it and who did not.

If you wish to discuss the seperate continuity of EU, its plot, characters, fuure, and even its inter-relation with the films, please use the EU section! That is what it is there for. But any future attempts to try and use EU as a factual basis to discuss with the films will simply be met with a link to this thread and a reminder that that is invalid.

This is the policy of this board- please respect that.


Some additional points:

Lucasfilm Canon Policy: "Canon includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelisations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers."

This affirms the idea that only the things that GL himself directly created can count for canon. The rules that follow are awkward, but basically the films are the 'primary' canon and the books and others are 'secondary', in that you assume what they say is true unless they are contradicted by the films (like Owen Lars being Obi-Wan's brother, for example).

This is different to EU, where none of it is considered canon whether it is contradicted or not.

When asked if George Lucas considered Boba Fett to be dead regardless of what the EU said, the OS replied yes- George Lucas does consider him dead. It then points out that GL approves his ressurection for the Expanded Universe- and that only. It did not change Fett's fate in the films. The idea that these two entities have different continuities is very important to bear in mind.

Perhaps a far simpler and more handy view of canon was made far more recently when a question about continuity arose on the OS:

"When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves - and only the films. Even novelizations are interpretations of the film, and while they are largely true to George Lucas' vision (he works quite closely with the novel authors), the method in which they are written does allow for some minor differences."

I think if you follow this rule, officially stated, you will do well.

EU/Non-canon non synonimity: It must also be pointed out that just becase EU is non-canon, it does not mean the same thing as non-canon, which some people make the mistake of thinking- they see anything about Star Wars that is not truer and say "that is EU." This is not so. It so HAPPENS that the EU for Star Wars is non-canon (as opposed to the Matrix, where the opposite is true- Matrix EU is 100% canon), but it didn't have to be, and if it was not, non-canon sources would still exist.

As it is, there is plenty of non-EU material that is not canon- the back of video and DVD boxes, interviews with Rick "only three colours of lightsabre" McCallum, and even the Official Site, which has made errors from time to time. I remember when I pointed out once that the OS said that Mace Windu was the head of the Jedi Council that caused a few stirs... that's all been changed since then.

However, some modicum of common sense is needed. Whilst the Official Site might not be 100% canon, we would normally need a good reason to disbelieve anything it says about something that is specifically in the film section. Even so, on contentious issues, it is best to find something GL has had to say about the matter- either in his films or in person- and leave it at that.

A final note- none of this is in any way supposed to clamp down on speculation, Speculate using EU sources, or any sources, all you like. This is only about FACTS- the claiming that something is truth, to not be disputed, It is here where canon is important, and so only film and other GL sources can really be considered.

Thankyou for your time, and please enjoy the threads!

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