Wong Debate

Round 1



OK, here's the opening round. I disagree with Darkstar on so many subjects that I could fill a book, but I don't have the kind of free time that he has, so I'll restrict myself to a couple of topics. The following post is also on my website at http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/HateMail/RSA/Round1a.html with full screenshots. Since this is a binary newsgroup, I can't post those screenshots here, but I can post all of the text, as follows:

RSA Debate

Round 1, Part 1

Darkstar, we have many disagreements on many, many, many subjects, but for this debate, I will focus on your so-called "Death Star chain-reaction theory". However, as a matter of basic principle, it is impossible to hold a rational discussion based on the evidence without first determining what the evidence is, ie- what is admissible. Therefore, we must deal with the issue of Star Wars continuity first.


When we try to rationalize a fictional universe, any fan can arguably use any rules of admissibility that he likes, and as long as he is CONSISTENT in the use of that definition, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. I have even dealt with fans who refuse to recognize the Star Wars prequel trilogy! However, objective discussion and analysis is impossible without a widely accepted standard, so we generally defer to the copyright holder. There are TWO kinds of legal copyright: property rights and so-called "moral rights", which go to the legal owner and original creator respectively. In the case of Star Wars, the intellectual property rights are held by Lucasfilm, and moral rights reside with George Lucas. This is a trivial distinction since Mr. Lucas owns Lucasfilm, but it's a much bigger issue with some other sci-fi series.

In any case, you have the following to say on your Canon page:

"Recently, Lucas cleared up the messy issue by explaining that the books, games, and comic books are part of a parallel universe, another world created separately from his own (Lucas in Cinescape). By design, the settings in time of the parallel universe do not intrude on his movie time period, since LucasBooks disallows authors from playing with events and periods of time that Lucas intends to use. LucasBooks tries to use the events in the Canon universe in the parallel universe, but the fact that it is a parallel universe explains why Lucas isn't bound by it (as stated by Sansweet)."

You conclude (in your preface) that "the Expanded Universe is NOT part of the official story of Star Wars". Unfortunately for you, this is a non sequitur. Yes, official material is not canon, but the overall continuity includes more than just the canon! It also includes most of the official materials, as stated clearly by the Lucasfilm continuity editors:

"Gospel, or canon as we refer to it, 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. However, between us, we've read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity. The entire catalog of published works comprises a vast history -- with many off-shoots, variations and tangents -- like any other well-developed mythology."

Therefore, if you want to dismiss the EU, you must do more than merely show that it is non-canon; you must show that it is NOT part of the larger OVERALL CONTINUITY, whose existence you seem to deny. Of course, you feel that you can appeal to a higher power than Lucasfilm's continuity editors: George Lucas himself. To this end, you chose to reference "Lucas in Cinescape" with phrases taken out of context rather than the full quote. Luckily, I happen to have the full quote here. Mr. Lucas said:

"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." (emphasis added)

It's pretty obvious why you chose to take the phrase "parallel universe" out of context rather than providing the full quote, isn't it? Once we look at the full quote, we can see that he's actually saying that the official material is valid for all points in the Star Wars timeline other than the movies themselves! Your entire argument is based on a quote which, when viewed in its entirety, directly CONTRADICTS you!

Let us review. You said: "the Expanded Universe is NOT part of the official story of Star Wars". George Lucas said: "They don't intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they DO intrude in between the movies." Sorry, but George's opinion counts for more than yours. Of course, EU material isn't 100% reliable, but the same could be said of ANY historical source, which is why they must be evaluated as such. The canon films can be thought of as footage of "real" events, while the EU is relegated to the status of historical source (equivalent to books, government records, etc. in real life), but it cannot be discarded out of hand the way you would like, because George made it quite clear that the world of the books DOES "intrude" into his continuity.

On to my reply

Back to The Wong Debate

Back to STvSW