Let’s talk about how the Star Wars canon is already getting messed up.
Star Wars Canon, or continuity, has a long and complicated history. From the days of Lucas, to the Disney buyout it’s not a simple matter to figure out what counts and how it does. While that was supposed to change with Disney, recent events have shown this isn’t the case. Let’s take a look.
Old Days of Canon
Back in the old days of the EU and Lucas, Star Wars was a huge sprawling and complex story setting. A lot of people had their hands in the pot when it came to storytelling. From Lucas with the movies, to West End games and the formative Star Wars RPGs (which are the source of more canon than you’d think) to dozens of authors. To help deal with massive hosts of contradictions a system was established. Most things were labeled as canon, though some were not, such as Tag and Binks. Within the canon, a hierarchy existed, with the movies at the top, and things like games or comics tending to be at the bottom. If there was a contradiction the higher “ranking” source was the correct one. It was complicated but kind of worked.
Disney Takes Over
All this changed when
the Fire Nation attacked Disney took over. The vast majority of Star Wars properties, collectively the old EU, were relegated to the non-canon Legends status. Only the movies, current TV shows and a handful of announced books would be canon. This represented a vast simplification of the Star Wars canon. With it came a promise, that from now on all the new Star Wars releases, of any kind (more or less) would be canon. Moreover, they would all be equally canon. Starting from mostly scratch and with lots of experience and a much firmer guiding hand it seemed Star Wars canon would now be standardized and controlled, free of the massive contradictions of the old EU.
Things Break Down
This however has not been the case. Recent shows have begun to directly go against established canon and seem to be rewriting events. This is not a mere matter of a retcon, where no info changes how we view old info. Nor is it the simple matter of an error, say an author stating a ship has 150 turbolasers when it had previously been listed as having 100. In this case, major events are almost entirely rewritten. There major examples of this happening are:
- In Episode One of the Bad Batch, Aftermath, we see the events of Order 66 that a young Kanan Jarrus went through. These are markedly different from the established canon events of his Order 66 experience as shown in the comics.
- In the final season of the Clone Wars, the Siege of Mandalore and Ahsoka Tano’s actions at the end of the Republic differ significantly to how they were described in the novel Ahsoka.
- In the Mandalorian Cobb Vanth’s backstory appears to have been changed from what it was in the novels
A New Hierarchy
What seems to be happening is that a new hierarchy of canon is being established. In effect while “everything” may be canon, the movies and shows take precedent. Disney has shown they are not adverse to rewriting events and changing canon if a show or movie needs it. And we should likely understand that when sources come into conflict the show/movie will take precedent over a recent comic or novel. This of course makes sense as that is where the money is.
Let us know what you think of the current state of the canon, down in the comments!