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Old June 16 2013, 06:36 PM   #52
Christopher
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Re: I thought they said the JJ-comics were canon?

^That's just the point -- that it's a mistake to equate canon with continuity, and it was misleading for Lucasfilm to use the label "canon" to describe its tie-ins. As with any other franchise, Lucasfilm has been free to draw on elements of its tie-ins or contradict them as it saw fit. There's really nothing unusual about that -- fictional franchises have been borrowing ideas from their tie-ins since the Superman comics borrowed characters like Jimmy Olsen and Perry White from the 1940s radio series and gave Superman the power of flight like in the animated shorts. Indeed, I expect there are probably much older examples. But of course they've only borrowed some elements and otherwise struck their own course.

And that's the natural way for it to happen -- different creative works inspiring and cross-pollinating each other. The problem comes from the attitude that canon represents some kind of barrier intended to isolate different works from one another, that canon and not-canon need to be aggressively segregated and forbidden from interacting lest people be -- gasp! -- confused. This is the damage done by the '89 Roddenberry memo, because that was what popularized the notion of canon defined in terms of what it excludes and rejects. Whereas Lucasfilm went with a deceptively broad definition of canon that suffered from being overly inclusive to the point that the label became meaningless. They both complicated the idea of canon far more than it needed to be, especially since they pulled in conflicting directions.
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