I see this discussion still goes on.
During my computer issues a new bit of commentary from someone with in the Star Wars writing group posted some rather controversial statements. That’s nothing new of course but this one speaks to a questionable approach to storytelling and franchises, and something that needs to be discussed. At issue is his statements about canon. This one in particular is what gets me.
To me that’s a terrible approach. If you go into something treating it as fake you’ve already lost the audience. Yes, good stories are important, but to ignore canon…actually the problem is continuity more than canon since canon is pretty obvious; it’s the movies and the last three cartoons. (I’m not sure where Forces Of Destiny lies but Clone Wars, Rebels, and, Resistance are canon.) The question is whether or not something makes sense in that particular continuity. At least he notes that the creators need to keep that straight but if they’re doing it wrong we as the audience know it because that continuity is important to us for different reasons. Andre Einherjar over at Midnight’s Edge goes over the full Twitter thread, an article from IO9’s “Gizmodo” site, and actual fan complaints and tries to find neutral ground while bringing the appropriate parties to task for the current trend. Since I’m not just simply posting the video in the daily special, you know I have a few thoughts of my own.
I’ve already given my opinion on the IO9/Gizmodo commentary mentioned in the video. And here’s another video about canon versus continuity, which again is what’s really being argued here. (You only need the first few minutes, not the actual theory the video is about.) While the video and the important segment to this discussion focuses on how the Five Nights At Freddy’s video game series and book series are both canon but different continuities (to compare to recent discussions the three versions of ThunderCats are canon but three different continuities) MatPat brings up the example of someone using the Force to heal others (that’s all I’ll say given that my friends and I are still waiting for the quarantine to be lifted enough that we can get together to finally see Rise Of Skywalker), which is canon because it’s in the movie but doesn’t make sense to the movie and cartoon continuity. If LucasFilm made it either under Lucas or Disney it’s canon. (I don’t think that includes the games, which was a separate division.) That’s the movies and cartoons. (It may not include the Nelvania Saturday morning shows or even Tartakovsky’s version of Clone Wars) The question is whether it makes sense in continuity. A series is just one really long story, often with multiple people telling it. Things need to match up just as much as they do in a single story.
Also, don’t approach your story as if you know it’s fake. Don’t go thinking it’s real or you’ll be on the road to madness, but if you have the “it’s fake” mindset instead of “these are fictional characters but I will treat the story as if it is real so it feels like an actual world to the readers” you aren’t going to convince anyone to become immersed in your reality and that connection between story and reader/viewer is gone. Sometimes it can go too far and I’m against extremism in any form. “It’s fictional” is also one of my defenses against the “realism” crowd but that’s not how you approach your fake reality. You have to treat it like it is a real world, whether it matches our world or not, for the length of that story. If you don’t care about your story or your characters then to quote a certain Master, “that is why you fail”.