Friday, February 15, 2013

Coming to Terms with Canon

I was talking about Jedi Healers on Twitter the other day.

 James of Club Jade asked why there weren't any Jedi Healers in the The Clone Wars episode 'Sabotage'.

 Star Wars writer and lore-master Pablo Hidalgo replied that he didn't think Healers actually exist in The Clone Wars canon. They'd been only seen in the games and books.

It got me thinking, because despite some clashes between canons in the last few seasons, I always imagine The Clone Wars to take place in the same 'reality' as the Star Wars movies. In my head, if Ahsoka flew far enough, she'd find Hapes and Zonama Sekot and the Chiss. As a fan fiction writer I considered all of it as part of the big universe I wanted to play around in.

But Ahsoka wouldn't find those things. She's a different 'level' of canon, because her creation involved more direct input from George Lucas.

On one hand I understand that it would be a hassle for Disney to fit their Star Wars movies into the existing EU timeline, and believe that they can probably come up with something more lasting and more emotionally powerful anyway.

But on the other hand, something is lost if one takes a universe so big and says that now it's a little bit smaller. I don't want Tahiri and Jaina and "my" Darth Revan to be gone.

And in a way they're not. I've got the stories in my head and the books on my shelf. But a totally clean slate in regards to the new movies, with only the films and The Clone Wars still being considered canon, does make the rest of it all feel a little pointless.

The books and games are still physically present but they're being shunted off into a little pocket universe, and I'm going to have to get used to that. Disney is in effect putting in an overpass between the little book neighborhoods and the big city. I knew all along they were part of a different level of canon, but it didn't feel important. With the new movies, it will.

 They're different levels of reality now. Whether one piece of fiction is more or less real than another is an academic question, but it's relevant now.  The Marvel universe, which also got the big-screen treatment from Disney, has a host of alternate universes, and fans seem to function just fine, even if it's confusing to think about these parallel realities.

We'll all have to get used to a new canon, and form our own new relationship to the old one. 

But I suppose I can still use Jedi Healers in The Clone Wars fan fiction if I really want to.

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