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New Canon, Time, and People's Memory in Universe
 PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:08 am Reply with quote  
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  Skywalker2B
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The more that I hear and read in the new canon (this includes the movies, tv shows, comics, books, etc.) the more it bothers me.

In the PT (and TCW) there was a massive war...the Clone War, which was essentially a civil war that lasted for about 10 years. But, not long afterwards it's as if most people, in universe, have forgotten all about that war. It took about 16-17 years for people to even feel the negative affects of tyranny under the Empire enough to start a GALACTIC war...which was more of a revolutionary war. That one lasted about 6 years. Again, only about 20 years later and most people have forgotten most of that war. In universe they are even calling those events legends...as if some don't even believe they happened.

To me, it's just not enough time in between events to have this sort of stuff happen. 60+ years later and we still remember WWII and why that war was fought...let alone all of the other wars that have happened since.


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 PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 3:11 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I don't see how it is a problem with the New Canon. Did they change the timeline?

I'm not saying this to be political, but how familiar are you with the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? If you aren't, you mention WWII that took place 60 years ago, but the DRC over the last two decades has been the most devastating conflict since WWII.

Most of the people in the world were not involved with that, so they don't know about it.

I only bring that up to illustrate that the perspective we see in SW is from the Outer Rim planets. Most of those people had no involvement with the Clone Wars and little with the Republic as a whole. They probably have never seen a Jedi, so when a generation past and they were told the Jedi never existed at all, it might have been easy to believe it.

And erasing and changing the historical record is one of the hallmarks of a dictatorship. Just like how China bans all mentions of the Tianamen Square Student protests, which a million people participated in. But that was 20 years ago, so people who weren't born yet will never have heard about it. Same for many things in North Korea.

As for the Rebellion, there were always people who were opposed to Palpatine, but it took a long time for enough people to realize he was evil and gather enough resources to fight against him.

Another real world analogy with Hitler. Virtually no one opposed Hitler when he rebuilt the Wehrmacht, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Even when he invaded Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain negotiated with him to let him keep the occupation and expand Germany's borders back to pre WWI. Only when he invaded Poland did England declare war against him. Of course the US didn't enter the conflict until after Pearl Harbor.

I think that is pretty realistic, and again we are talking about organizing an entire Galaxy, when it's hard enough for one planet Earth.
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 PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:50 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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^ Good examples, Dog.

The one thing I would like to see addressed is how cleanly the Clone Wars was resolved. Sure Palpatine was orchestrating the war and the Separatist leader, Count Dooku, only used the Separatist cause as a cover for his master's grand plan, but surely there were many people who genuinely believed in the Separatist cause. We even saw some of them like Mina and Lux Bonterri in TCW. What happened to people like them after the war? They likely couldn't have continued on the war at a reduced scale like the Empire did after the Galactic Civil War because their army of droids was shut down, but as it stands the Separatists virtually disappeared after the Clone Wars.

This could be something that Rebels could explore in the future. I could see some former Separatists joining the Rebel Alliance. The goals of the Separatists and the Rebel Alliance would almost align at the time of the Galactic Civil War. They were both fighting against a Republic/Empire that they believed was corrupt.
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 PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Those are just apologist rationalizations, though. Unless the material itself makes it clear they are referencing how easily public perception can be altered, what we are seeing are retcons and plot convenience leading to unfortunate implications about people's memory.

And it all started with PT showing us how grand the scale of the CW was, and how instrumental the Jedi were to it, even as the OT had every non-Jedi act like they and their Force were bogus -even though they or their colleagues had been kriffing present for it all. That wasn't Lucas making clever references to reality.

Why JJ has seen fit to continue the tradition of treating the SAS as mythic figures from WW2 in TFA is anyone's guess.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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What retcons though?

You call it apologist to make assumptions based on what was in the material, simply because we accepted the narrative limitations and didn't demand some long winded exposition to explain everything? That's what the EU was for, and it was always meant to be supplementary, and most people were fine with that.

The only mention of the Clone Wars in the OT was when Luke asks Obi Wan, "You fought in the Clone Wars?" and he says "Yes." and then says that he was a pilot with Anakin.

Luke hick farmboy apparently doesn't know anything about his father or the Jedi, which reinforces what I presumed, but more importantly he does know about the Clone Wars. So where's the implication that no one remembered it, or it was unimportant, or it was somehow different in the OT than it was shown in the PT?

As for people forgetting about the Jedi...

It's unclear whether Luke knows about the Jedi, in the sense that he believes they don't exist, or has never heard about them before. It's apparent that he doesn't know about the organization of the order or the Force, but why would he? He doesn't seem to express any doubt or surprise about the truth of Obiwan's statements about the Jedi.

Han says he doesn't believe in the Force. But it's likely that he has never seen anyone using it, and I don't think we can take that statement to imply he has never heard of it or the Jedi before.

The other people who talk about the Jedi and the Force are people who talk to Vader, and obviously they know about these things, because they know who he is.

Tarkin: "The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion." True statement.

That conforms to what Obiwan told Luke, that Vader wiped out the Jedi. That means they don't currently exist, it doesn't imply that people think they never existed.

Admiral Motti: "Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fortress..."
(Vader makes a choking motion with his hand)
Darth Vader: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

Again, True. Just because he thinks Vader's Force powers are useless doesn't mean he thinks they aren't real.

Obiwan says that the Jedi served the Republic for a thousand generations until the time of the Empire. They truly are an "ancient religion", you are just interpreting his comment as saying that they are only ancient and not in contemporary times, but they already demonstrated that wasn't the case.

Is there anything to contradict these? I can't think of any.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:28 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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PS. The only major timeline retcon, other than some fuzzy dates with events during the Clone Wars, was when Lucas said that The Republic was formed 2,000 years before the PT. Then they retconned that to create the distinction between The Old Republic 20,000 to 2,000 BBY, The Republic 2,000 to 0 BBY, and The New Republic 0 ABY... but that wasn't in any of the movies, so it doesn't matter.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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For clarity, when I say retcon, I'm not using it in the deeply apologist way Legends fans tended to: I deem something a retcon when the implication of a movie or series are violated by later material. It does not need to be explicit, for movies and TV shows are visual mediums where the ideal is to show, not tell. Implications are expensive as hell and carefully selected by the creators, there is no excuse not to give them all the weight of explicit information.

So which retcons?
The retcon that Jedi and their Force who took center stage in the GFFA equivalent of a World War, fighting alongside impeccably loyal troops with every reason to spread the word after, against droids able to record holos with a glance, who had a temple on the galactic capital and regularly fraternized with the politicians of the time, and somehow did not leave enough of a mark on history, even just through mass media, that 20 years later we have Luke not being aware of them even though he knows of the CW itself, Han (who was alive at the time) not just doubting something he hasn't seen, but indeed refuting just the possibility on strength of his many strange experiences, and Motti treating the Force as if it was tarot cards, even though his colleague Yularen a few seats down worked closely with Jedi for the entire war. The Force was a tool of war. It is inconceivable in any credible universe for a strategic officer not to take his tools into consideration, and know them intimately.

The OT painted a picture by implication, one that makes no goddamn sense in light of the PT and TCW. There is a reason Legends had to reach for the handwave about Imperial propaganda.

And beyond implication, various material from the production side of things reveals the state of GL's vision as an entirely different one than it eventually turned into, one that much better aligns with what we saw in it. The CW having taken place 30 years prior, not 20. The clone war being about rogue clones from the far side of the galaxy or something like that, a smaller conflict with better reason for obscurity.

Not to mention Force power creep. The OT Jedi were weaker and less flashy in their supernatual abilities than those of the PT. What we saw was consistent with Han's doubt, where the superheroics of our time aren't. No wire-fu and special effects, just great personal skill in wielding swords, with the occasional telekinesis. Stuff that could conceivably have gone unnoticed by the media and general populace.


These are all changes to how SW worked, and they IMO qualify as retcons for not aligning with the implications of the earlier material, and simply relying on those not having been made explicit as an excuse to ignore them. Even though the end result looks stupid enough to give rise to threads such as this one.

And looking at that stupidity and fashioning rationalizations for how it could all make sense after all? I feel justified in calling that apologism. You are right that you are just looking at the totality of the facts and making sense of them. That is what rationalization is. The apologism comes from presenting that as a defense when the OP rightly comments on how the implications retroactively don't match up with the facts they were supposedly based on.
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 PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:21 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I cited real world examples of a dictatorship repressing information. I fail to see how it makes no sense that Palpatine would do the same thing and have far more reaching capabilities to do so.

Yes, that is an inference because it doesn't state factually that is what happened, but let me put it this way, even if some historical record of the Jedi did exist, where do we ever see Luke on Tattoine interacting with any kind of media? I don't recall ever seeing a single holovid or screen there. It seems that all of his information about pretty much everything comes from word of mouth, in particular from Owen who is inclined not tell him anything. That is reinforced when he asks him about Anakin and he tells him to shut up, basically.
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 PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 7:14 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Luke is hardly the issue, though. His ignorance is explained by age and living out in the boonies. Motti and Han are worse.

I was inspired to look closer, and it seems I gave GL too much credit. While early drafts went a long way in explaining Jedi obscurity through low numbers steadily dropping over time until Obi and Ani were the last of a dying breed, by 77 he had arrived at the conclusion that the Jedi numbered in hundreds of thousand in Palpatine's lifetime, and tried to side with the Senate during the reformation of the Republic. While none of that is as bad as what we got, it still strains credibility for them to be treated the way they were in the OT if that is true.

As for propaganda and misinformation, sure that is an easy explanation to jump to with the Empire. It just majorly smacks of retcon when no mention of such is made, and it apparently didn't prevent Luke from knowing of the CW. That is some awfully specific propaganda, if so, to scrub the fame of its leaders and most feared soldiers while leaving the conflict itself common knowledge. Even high within Imperial ranks, among people above age 20. The CW doesn't at all seem intended as having been subjected to any such campaign.
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 PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 1:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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DarthMRN wrote:
I was inspired to look closer, and it seems I gave GL too much credit. While early drafts went a long way in explaining Jedi obscurity through low numbers steadily dropping over time until Obi and Ani were the last of a dying breed, by 77 he had arrived at the conclusion that the Jedi numbered in hundreds of thousand in Palpatine's lifetime, and tried to side with the Senate during the reformation of the Republic. While none of that is as bad as what we got, it still strains credibility for them to be treated the way they were in the OT if that is true.

Do you have a source for that?

You may have a point here. The original idea probably does jive better with what we got in the OT. Still, if Lucas had decided for there to be hundreds of thousands of Jedi during Palpatine's lifetime during the final draft of ANH, I would hardly call it a retcon if he followed through with that idea twenty years later.
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 PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 1:52 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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To me Han's skepticism has everything to do with his character and almost nothing to do with an ontological argument about The Force. Leia plainly states it, "You don't believe in anything, do you?" He doesn't even believe it when he sees Luke using The Force with his own eyes; "Luck, kid."

Yeah, it's a strain on credulity that someone as knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the Galaxy as Han shouldn't be aware of the Jedi's capabilities for no other reason than because he could exploit it for his own profit. But that's a narrative sacrifice that I think is worth it. Call it semi intentional oversight.

I'll give you Motti. I do think it can still be psychologically justified within the narrative and the realm of plausibility, but that would be more of a reach than I am comfortable standing behind. It's just a set up for him to be Force Choked, which is awesome, but clumsily handled from a writing standpoint.

Now that I think of it, the phenomenon of lack of cultural memory, or whatever we want to call it IS a part of TFA. How prevalent, I don't remember. I just remember a quote about "Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth?" I don't remember if it's Finn or Rey who says it.

That would technically fit with Finn's brainwashing as a Storm Trooper and Rey's most likely altered memory, but I feel fine calling that one a hack job on Abrams to rip off the OT in a way that doesn't really justify the story.
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 PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 7:30 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Reepicheep wrote:
Do you have a source for that?

You may have a point here. The original idea probably does jive better with what we got in the OT. Still, if Lucas had decided for there to be hundreds of thousands of Jedi during Palpatine's lifetime during the final draft of ANH, I would hardly call it a retcon if he followed through with that idea twenty years later.

http://fd.noneinc.com/secrethistoryofstarwarscom/secrethistoryofstarwars.com/republicrevolution.html

EDIT: I took a closer look, and it seems I was wrong. What GL anno 77 seems to be saying, in a vague way, is that the Jedi had once upon a time numbered in hundreds of thousand, not necessarily during the rebellion. "During their height", to quote him, with no further info on when that was. But Vader is blamed for the majority of Jedi death, and it really strains credibility that he assassinated several hundred thousand of them.

Which means what the PT showed us was really, really far removed from the original backstory. And not even a retcon, but a discrepancy, since no explanation for any of this exists in the Lucasverse.
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 PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 3:55 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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pre production material isn't canon. This is getting absurd. Lucas said there were hundreds of thousands of Jedi at their height....and when was that? He didn't say. What's the assumption that the height of the Jedi was during the Clone Wars, and not some other time during their twenty thousand year history?

Here's the qoute:

Quote:
Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.


helped the Empire. He didn't say Vader personally killed all the Jedi, and not hundreds of thousands of them. He is also a liar, canonically. Although I will readily admit that Vader as Luke's father constitutes a retcon.

This is just debating semantics, not a continuity issue.[/i]
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 PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 4:39 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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DarthMRN wrote:
For clarity, when I say retcon, I'm not using it in the deeply apologist way Legends fans tended to: I deem something a retcon when the implication of a movie or series are violated by later material. It does not need to be explicit, for movies and TV shows are visual mediums where the ideal is to show, not tell. Implications are expensive as hell and carefully selected by the creators, there is no excuse not to give them all the weight of explicit information.

If we couldn't still feel the weight of this discrepancy, this thread would not exist. A good retcon would leave no trace of the original truth unless you were aware of it. Here we have no Lucasverse retcon, period.

That link? It features GL saying Ani had personally assassinated Jedi to the point that when the rebellion occurred, they were as powerless to stop Palp as anyone else. Only after were death squads added to help him in his task. So regardless of how you slice it, if their height was at the same time, Vader must have assassinated numbers of them inconsistent with his age. The PT Jedi numbered about 10.000 and took an entire war and O66 to wipe out. If you are right, the same ocean of blood was what he called a good year. Even the Chosen One would be hard pressed to do that, much less the original Darth Vader, powerlevel 4 to Obi's 6, or however it went.
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 PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 6:58 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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You have a solid point about people thinking the Jedi were myths in a high tech world where their exploits would have been caught on camera and recorded. Though that would almost certainly be the case regardless of their size. There are big contradictions between the OT and the PT, but I don't see the size of the Jedi as one of them. I think there's just an inherent problem with having heroic figures attain mythic status in a high tech universe, but I like both elements so I'd say it's a necessary evil.

This whole "retcon" thing doesn't make sense. Like Dog said Lucas's private notes leading up to ANH aren't canon. You're using those notes to continue your argument after Dog already said citing them isn't valid.
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