I recently starting reading Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn with my son as a bedtime story. Some of you who have followed my musings for a while know that my son is mildly obsessed with Star Wars. Well, let’s just say some issues have arisen.
The further we get into the story the more puzzled Henry seems to be.
In fact, he looked at me and said, “Dad, that’s not the way the story goes.”
When I explained that the story was written decades before the new movies came out, he looked at me in wide eyed amazement. I told him that Han and Leia had three kids and even Luke married Mara Jade and they had a kid named Ben.
Needless to say, this started my mind cranking.
How important is Canon?
I know this is a pretty heated debate in the Star Wars Universe, but I wanted to question the importance overall. Theoretically, it should apply to every single form of entertainment that comprises a series, be that science-fiction, mystery, thriller, or anything else that is more than a stand alone movie, book, or show.
Personally, I believe deviation from Canon destroys the integrity of an overarching story. If continuity is taken from a single person or a small collaborative group, the cohesiveness of the story is easily lost. I think we can pick on Star Wars and say that that stability was lost when Disney took over. When Lucas passed the reins the storyline fell apart. It was just too big for someone new to pick up all the threads and keep the tapestry tightly woven.
That transition carved huge holes in the Canon when they decided to throw decades of story out the window. And what’s more, it planted questions and problems in the minds of long-time Star Wars fans.
Where Heir to the Empire helped fans logically bridge the gap between old enemies and new, the new movies simply thrust the First Order into role of “bad guys” without ever really helping to explain the years in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Timothy Zahn easily explained where the antagonists came from while Disney simply said, here are the bad guys, they look just like the old bad guys enough to be understood … but they are different.
I won’t get into the countless points of Star Wars discrepancy, but I will tie it into Atom & Go. As I’m working on book three, I’m really trying to decide how intertwined the books will be. Personally, I want each book to be a stand-alone adventure so people can jump in wherever and enjoy the story. But I have to keep in mind that decisions and characters that appear in one book, will have ramifications further down the line.
Canon needs to be important. Otherwise I’ll be left with a muddled universe that creates more questions than it answers.
What are your thoughts on Canon? Are there other series where Canon has worked really well or destroyed the integrity of the show?
Anywho, keep on reading, keep on creating, and keep on flying the Black.