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Old November 19 2012, 12:06 AM   #10
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Re: Question for authors: General 'rules' for tie-in media (any franch

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
I'd like Christopher, Greg, and other authors' opinions on how best to respond to the following post without offending anyone:
So if anyone was going to get a heads-up about anything, it would be the authors IMHO. Rather reminiscent of the Karen Traviss situation re. TCW.
I was thinking the same thing. If anything is thrown out we are definitely gonna lose authors just like with her. And considering all the money that people are still putting into these books I see no reason (monetarily, mind you) that Lucasfilm would call for anything to be rendered non-canon. Lucasfilm doesn't care if a movie makes sense or not it's all about that green paper. And about different planes of existence, Star Wars isn't Star Trek.
Well, I think the only way to avoid offending anyone in online fandom is to say nothing. But what I would say is this:

The money being put into the books -- and gotten out of their sales -- is a minuscule fraction of the money involved in the movies. The thing to understand about tie-in novels and comics is that they're basically promotional tools, a way to create additional interest and keep the fans engaged between movies, just as video games or action figures or coloring books or toothbrushes are. So it doesn't matter if they're canonical any more than it matters if a Darth Vader PEZ dispenser is canonical. What matters is that they're keeping the characters and the universe active in the audience's attention, which supports the core franchise itself. The movies and TV shows are the real thing; the books and comics are just an optional supplement for people who like to read, just as the video games, action figures, LEGO sets, and the like are optional supplements for people who enjoy those forms of entertainment.

As I said above, it's only fans, not creators, who treat canon as a rigid, immutable thing. The process of creating a book or a movie, of constructing a story, is a process of constant refinement and adjustment -- trying out ideas, cutting the ones that don't work, folding in new ideas as they occur to you, gradually improving things until you get something that pretty much works. Fans only see the finished product, and think of it as a monolithic, permanent thing, but creators see the canon as the result of a process of change and improvement. And that process never truly ends as long as the canon is still being made. The creators of any canonical work are always open to changing it as they go. If they don't have the option to actually go back and alter things in earlier installments, as Lucas did in the film re-releases, they'll just retcon or ignore the bad or problematical ideas from earlier installments and pretend they always happened differently. Canon is a moving target.

And I'll say what I always say: since all stories are equally imaginary and unreal, it doesn't make sense to say that one made-up story is worthless just because it's contradicted by a different made-up story. I used to think that removing a novel or comic from my personal version of the Star Trek continuity constituted "throwing it out," but eventually I realized that that was silly, that the stories were still just as good whether they were compatible with other stories or not. Consistency is not the same thing as quality. Maybe it is if you're studying for a history exam and need to get your facts straight, but this is fiction. All that matters is being entertained.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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