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DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations Empty Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations

on January 13th 2021, 8:14 am
Message reputation : 100% (10 votes)
This is part one of a three-part blog aspiring to overhaul Star Wars versus debating by making it more creative, dynamic, and reflective of the actual lore.

  • Part I - Shedding Limitations 
  • Part II - Alternate Timelines and Exaggerated Mediums (Summer 2021)
  • Part III - Force and Combat Mechanics (Winter 2021)

I. INTRODUCTION: GEORGE LUCAS AND LUCASFILM LICENSING

For decades, Star Wars has been split between two universes: George Lucas' universe—including the films, screenplays, and The Clone Wars 2008 film and TV shows—and the Lucasfilm Licensing (LFL) universe—tasked with creating and maintaining an 'expanded universe' across novels, comics, games, TV shows, roleplaying games, etc. Although the LFL universe is generally bound by Lucas' universe, the reverse is not true. In Lucas' universe, Boba Fett doesn't escape the Sarlaac, "the Emperor doesn't get cloned, and Luke doesn't get married" (George Lucas). In select instances like these, LFL exercises their authority to regulate what is and what isn't a part of their universe. Top officials of LFL include Sue Rostoni—the executive editor of LucasBooks across the 2000s—Leland Chee—who hierarchizes and chronicles LFL continuity in the Holocron database system—Pablo Hidalgo—who worked on StarWars.com, Star Wars Insider, and many roleplaying games—and Steve Sansweet—LFL's "ambassador" and "official representative." Understanding of and adherence to LFL policy is essential to formal Star Wars versus debating. Subscribing to its many officials and policies allow us to parse through thousands of different and sometimes contradicting sources without cherry-picking or bias, agree on basic premises that make a discussion or debate even possible, and make strong appeals to new debaters or different communities by operating under the same structure that dictates the expanded universe itself. It’s not a perfect system, but it's the best system we got—and the only system we can do half the things we want to do with. Simply compare the breadth and depth of our community's knowledge to that of any other to see, in significant part, the fruits of actually following rules and guidelines and striving toward 'truth'. 

References:

George Lucas, Cinescape Magazine (2002) wrote:“There are two worlds here. There’s my world, which is the movies, and there’s this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe--the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. They don’t intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, but they do intrude in between the movies. I don’t get too involved in the parallel universe."

George Lucas, Starlog #337 (2005) wrote:"When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one."

George Lucas, Total Film Magazine (2008) wrote:"[Howard Roffman] once said to me that there are two Star Trek universes: there's the TV show and then there's all the spin-offs. He said that these were completely different and didn't have anything to do with each other. So I said, "OK, go ahead." In the early days I told them that they couldn't do anything about how Darth Vader was born, for obvious reasons, but otherwise I pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. They created this whole amazing universe that goes on for millions of years! ... I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married.

\"Steve Sansweet To Start A New Chapter," StarWars.com (2010) wrote:Since 1996, Steve Sansweet has served as the Lucasfilm ambassador to the ever-growing, ever-evolving community of Star Wars fans. Today, Sansweet announced that in April 2011 he will be leaving the company to begin a new chapter in his life. "Nearly 15 years ago I left my post as Los Angeles Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal to follow my bliss and take a 'one-year job' as Lucasfilm's Star Wars ambassador," said Sansweet. "Now it's time for another change and new challenges, while still maintaining an active role in the Star Wars fan community."

"Steve's legacy here is clear: respect and appreciation for our fans -- and ongoing dialog -- are core values at Lucasfilm that will continue in full force. Steve has done an amazing job over the past 15 years of representing the heart and soul of Star Wars fandom within the company," said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. "I can't thank Steve enough for his enormous contributions over the years, as well as his friendship and guidance."

Whether as the author of insightful Star Wars books, the owner of the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the world, or as a representative from Lucasfilm at official and unofficial Star Wars gatherings, fans know Sansweet by many titles, hats and -- occasionally -- colorful costumes. Above all, Star Wars fans know him as one of their own.
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Sue Rostoni and Leland Chee have created a hierarchy for LFL continuity sources. G-Canon is the highest level and refers to all sources (e.g. films, screenplays) and statements (e.g. interviews, internal drafts) from Lucas himself. G-Canon also includes the "Movies" or "From the Movies" section entries from the StarWars.com Databank, operant from 2001 to 2011 (reference) . The second level is T-Canon, compromised of solely the The Clone Wars 2008 film and TV show, reflecting Lucas' heavy—but not absolute—involvement. The third level is C-Canon, which includes almost everything created by LFL and is where the LFL universe, by and large, 'expands' beyond the Lucas universe. The film, comic, and radio drama adaptations of the films have a unique status—they "come first" and are "Gospel" compared to other C-Canon sources (Sue Rostoni) but are nevertheless C-Canon themselves. Sansweet has likewise noted that 2003's Clone Wars TV show is "pretty, pretty close to the top of the hierarchy." The fourth level is S-Canon, specific to gameplay mechanics and stories from 1977's Marvel Star Wars comic series, 1992's Jedi Prince novel series, and everything "not completely outrageous or intentionally comic" from 1999's Star Wars Tales comic series (Leland Chee). These are only considered in-continuity if they "add to the universe" and "do not contradict either already-established facts or SW sensibility" (Sue Rostoni) but are elevated to C-Canon if mentioned in other C-Canon sources. Emphasis on the standard for S-Canon allowance not simply being the presence of an explicit contradiction, but also a contradiction of the broader "SW sensibility" or narrative itself. Also, while novel blurbs and publisher's summaries are LFL-reviewed, they "are probably the most unreliable of indicators" if it "has to do with power-levels" (Leland Chee), suggesting they are the lowest level of S-Canon. N-Canon refers to anything not in-continuity. Part two of this blog series will cover this all more in-depth.

References:


Sue Rostoni, Star Wars Insider #23 (1994) wrote:"'Gospel', or canon as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the [film] radio dramas and the [film adult] novelisations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers. However, between us, we've read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity. The entire catalog of published works comprises a vast history--with many off-shoots, variations and tangents--like any other well-developed mythology."

Sue Rostoni, StarWars.com Forums (2003) wrote:"There is a hierarchy--the movies, [film adult] novelizations, [film] radio dramas come first. Then everything else. If something in a novelization contradicts the movies, then we defer to the movies. IE, the ROJ novelization says that Obi-Wan and Owen Lars were brothers. This wasn't in the movie, and has since been discounted. Maybe it was a cover they used at one point... who knows.

The one area that's constantly in dispute are the Marvel comics and the David's middle grade books (The Glove of Darth Vader, et al). For these, if something ADDS to the universe, and does not contradict either already-established facts or SW sensibility, we accept it and add it to the lore. If it does, we disregard it. At the time these products were published, the idea of a continuous history hadn't been established.

Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2004) wrote:Anything in the films and from George Lucas (including unpublished internal notes that we might receive from him or from the film production department) is considered ”G” canon. Next we have what we call continuity ”C” canon which is pretty much everything else. There is secondary ”S” continuity canon which we use for some older published materials and things that may or may not fit just right. But, if it is referenced in something else it becomes ”C”. Similarly, any ”C” canon item that makes it into the films can become ”G” canon. Lastly there is non-continuity ”N” which we rarely use except in the case of a blatant contradiction or for things that have been cut. 

By everything else I mean EVERYthing else. Novels, comics, junior novels, videogames, trading card games, roleplaying games, toys, websites, television. As I've mentioned earlier, any contradictions that arise are dealt on a case-by-case. 

In a nutshell, anything created by the author would be C-level. Anything in the the novels created by George Lucas (whether it comes from unpublished early script versions, unpublished author interviews with George, or George's revisions to the novelization manuscript) would be G-level unless contradicted by the films.

Steve Sansweet, Comic-Con Q&A (2005) wrote:Question:  "Where is the [Clone Wars] TV series gonna fall in this hierarchy?

Answer: "George will be involved in the TV series... it'll be pretty, pretty close to the top of the hierarchy. The Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network is very much part of canon because it leads right up to Episode III, so these certainly will be too."

Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2005) wrote:Databank - The Movies descriptions are G; Expanded Universe descriptions are C.

Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2006) wrote:Consider everything that's not completely outrageous or intentionally comic as S-canon. If it's referenced in another non-+Tales+ source, then elevate it to C-canon.

Star Wars Insider #101 (2008) wrote:A common critique of the Expanded Universe is its size--no one, some say, should have to consume that much media to get the full Star Wars story. In fact, the six Star Wars movies have always been the core of the saga, and the only absolutely essential parts to being a fan.

But most of the EU is a part of the broader story too. Leland Y. Chee, the keeper of Lucasfilm's Holocron--and internal continuity base--has his own way of differentiating among all the different sources.

G-CANON (for "George Lucas"): Made up of only the six Star Wars movies and unpublished internal notes from Lucas or the movie production department.

C-CANON (for "continuity"): Just about anything created by authors, so that includes most of the Expanded Universe.

S-Canon (for "secondary"): Used for older published materials created when there was less attention to making everything in the EU fit with everything else in the EU. If it gets referenced somewhere else, it moves up to C-Canon. It can also include video game-play mechanics. 

N-Canon (for "non-continuity"): Rarely used except in the case of a blatant contradiction. But it can also be used for "Infinities" type stories that are outside of continuity intentionally, or crossovers and cross-branding like Darth Tater or Star Wars Transformers that ight have a small back-story.  

Leland Chee, Instagram (2021) wrote:Question: But, especially back during the pre-Disney era, did Licensing review and confirm novel blurbs like they did the inside contents, or was the blurb text left to the publisher's discretion? Thanks!

Answer: As long as I’ve been there and probably before. As the licensor, it makes sense that you’d want to do everything possible to make sure the product accurately reflects the brand.

Question: Makes sense! Given that, would you say then that blurb contents should be treated as valid as something said in an encyclopedia or sourcebook? 

Answer: Are you talking about a marketing blurb like “the greatest galactic tale ever told?” It’s a point a view.

Question: Yes, that makes sense, thank you. Final question if that's OK. Are blurbs (like the example you gave) more likely to embellish or filter through a certain point of view than other types of sources, or should we view all blurbs, sourcebooks, encyclopedias, fact books, etc. similarly in that regard? 

Answer: If this has to do with power levels, marketing blurbs are probably the most unreliable of indicators. I’ve never brought up a marketing blurb in defense of a position regarding continuity nor are they things I ever bother to track in the Holocron.


It is impossible to understate Lucas' weight within the LFL universe. As "anything from George Lucas" is G-Canon (Leland Chee), anything he says or does takes default absolute precedence over C-Canon sources. Further, the LFL universe "must follow certain tenets set by George" and "is bound by directives from George Lucas" (Leland Chee). In fact, Leland Chee even notes Lucas' internal thoughts are G-Canon (highlighted in blue under "References") and regards the highest canon as "'in George's head at any given point in time' canon." Unlike other mainstream fictions, Star Wars virtually fully embraces the "Word of God" authority of its creator.

For example, 1997's Visions of the Future made reference to Yoda fighting a Bpfasshi Dark Jedi on Dagobah during the Clone Wars. However, the Revenge of the Sith script states Yoda "surveys the unfamiliar terrain" after arriving on Dagobah, so Chee deemed all references to Yoda on Dagobah in Visions to be simply N-Canon—even despite the fact it destroyed the backstory of the novel's central character, Jorj Car'das. This was only reconciled later by pushing the events back until after Revenge of the Sith. Likewise, in a fan debate over Anakin Skywalker versus Darth Vader on the StarWars.com Forums, Pablo Hidalgo explained, "'GL says so' is all the argument that is needed... Regardless of how well-reasoned your inferences are, they're wrong in the face of Lucas's fiat..." So, to really beat the point with a hypothetical, if Lucas stated, "Character X is physically unable to jump or run," but then ten C-Canon sources depicted character X physically jumping or running, the comics' depictions would simply be instantly overruled and rendered N-Canon. Lucas' word binds the LFL universe... it in and of itself is 'lore' of a higher level than LFL-produced C-Canon. Only "direct, incontrovertible G-level evidence to the contrary" (Pablo Hidalgo) or a LFL directive that something otherwise G-Canon does not apply to their universe can overrule it. Accordingly, the rest of this blog concerns strictly C-Canon. As G-Canon sets the parameters for the LFL universe, it is binding regardless of time or lesser sources.

References:


Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2004) wrote:Question: "Is there anything post-Return of the Jedi that is G level?

Answer: "Not in the database, no. If there is anything anywhere, only George knows."

Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2005) wrote:"The EU is bound by what is seen in the most current version of the films and by directives from George Lucas."

Leland Chee, StarWars.com Forums (2005) wrote:"GL is certainly not bound by the EU, though he's certainly open to using things created in it (Aayla Secura and the Coruscant name, for example). On the other hand, the quote you provide makes it sound like the EU is separate from George's vision of the Star Wars universe. It is not. The EU must follow certain tenets set by George through the films and other guidelines that he provides outside of the films."

Leland Chee, Star Wars.com Forums (2005) wrote:Question: "Does LucasFilm Ltd. itself actually have a Canon Policy? You said anyone can have their own perception of what is and isn't canon... which I take means that there isn't one single overarching "Canon Policy" used by every single Lucas entity. What is Lucasfilm Ltd. proper's canon policy, if it exists? Is it the same as used by George Lucas? (By Lucasfilm Ltd. proper, I'm referring to the company (or part of the company?) that produces the films.)

Answer: "No. I'm not exactly sure what the existence of such a thing would actually mean. Beyond the merchandise and online, I don't see how or where it would be applied. It's not like there's a document that exists that says 'these are the things that are canon" that everyone in the company can look at.'

If Greedo can shoot first and an old Anakin ghost can be replaced with a young Anakin ghost, then there's always room for things to change.

I guess you could say there's an "in George's head at any given point in time" canon, which no one besides George knows.

Against I have to say that there's no policy beyond the scope of Licensing's Holocron."

Pablo Hidalgo, StarWars.com Forums (2005) wrote:Question: I see. So KOTOR is a part of continuity then, despite all its contradictions. Could you put in the Holocron that Vader can still be the most powerful Jedi, and can use force lightning? Because frankly, I haven't seen any argument to suggest otherwise than "GL says so." Of course, his word is high up on the list, but the films sort of contradict him on both issues.

Answer: “GL says so" is all the argument that is needed, as the films DON'T directly contradict him. We never see Force Lightning used by a cybernetic character, and we have no evidence from the films comparing Vader's abilities before and after his encounter on Mustafar. Regardless of how well-reasoned your inferences are, they're wrong in the face of Lucas's fiat without direct, incotrovertible G-level evidence to the contrary.


II. SHEDDING LIMITATIONS: THE BASICS

Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations Images_1_1o

On the StarWars.com Forums, a user asked Leland Chee to comment on Palpatine's many "most powerful Sith" statements. Another user chimed in that LFL would hesitate to "definitively say that one Sith was the most powerful" because "by definition any others that you create in the EU must be inferior," or, in other words, by definition future characters would be bound by past statements. Chee affirmed this with, "Agreed, us continuity people don't deal in absolutes." However, Chee has also stated that Ben Kenobi is "stronger" than Darth Vader (link) , that Anakin Skywalker "on paper should have defeated" Obi-Wan Kenobi (link) , and that the Father is the most powerful Star Wars character as of at least 2013 (link) . Chee also personally fact-checks and approves dozens of sources with "more powerful" or "most powerful" claims. The issue at hand (the many different variables potentially dictating "power" aside) is not that Chee does not recognize "more powerful" or even "most powerful" statements, but per the very statement he agreed with does not believe in "such absolutes" that "by definition any others that you create in the EU must be inferior."

Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations Steve_10

Chee's aversion to past statements binding future characters can be remedied, however, with a methodology that I've been considering since 2016. A remedy is essential, too, as "more powerful" and "most powerful" statements anchor Star Wars versus debating to some semblance of an 'objective' reality that we can all take as given. The core premise of "Shedding Limitations" is simple: statements apply only to the knowledge known as of publication. Previously, I have appealed that it follows that out-of-universe sources would generally write in consideration of the out-of-universe timeline, not the in-universe timeline. Although many agreed, it failed to account for countless in-universe sources—including in-universe omniscient sources like The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. However, given Chee's ruling that past statements do not bind future characters, the case for the bolded no longer needs any other appeal than LFL policy in and of itself, and Steve Sansweet has specifically confirmed that this policy extends to in-universe omniscient statements, too. (Recall that, even Chee aside, Sansweet also has the authority to debunk the baseless 'future characters are bound by past statements' narrative alone.) Consequently, if a 2002 out-of-universe source states, "Darth Evil wields more dark side power than any other Sith of the Old Republic era," or if an in-universe omniscient being from a 2005-dated sources writes, "Lord Badguy's powers are second only to Darth Evil's in the Old Republic era," an Old Republic era Sith Lord created in 2008 would exist outside of the domain of those statements and could still be the most powerful of them all.

III. SHEDDING LIMITATIONS: DEFINING SCALING

A necessary distinction—and one that all debaters already intuitively recognize and apply with the phrase "feats take precedence over directly contradicted statements"—is that between event-based scaling and accolade-based scaling. And, again, remember that all of this is speaking purely on a C-Canon level. 

Event-based scaling, as the name suggests, references scaling derived from events that dictate the material in-universe lore. This scaling is inviolable unless the event itself is retconned out of continuity, which is very rare and generally involves an explicit LFL directive. Examples of event-based scaling:

• Dooku is forever bound by the material in-universe event and mechanics of his defeat to Anakin in 2005's Revenge of the Sith, regardless of what he does in post-2005 sources—regardless if he telekinetically shatters a planet or defeats an unchained Abeloth under explicitly normal conditions. Anakin would simply become the beneficiary of such feats to the extent they are correlated to combat applicable power and the other factors relevant to his victory as shown and described in Revenge of the Sith sources. Further, if a novelization later had or has Set Harth stride on-page and beat down Anakin during Order 66, Dooku is similarly forever bound by such. 

• Given even in-universe omniscient beings are blinded by the out-of-universe timeline, in-universe limited being statements (e.g. anything spoken, written, or thought-of by a character, such as New Republic historians writing Yoda and Mace Windu are the most powerful Jedi to ever walk the Jedi Temple in 2002) must likewise be subject to the out-of-universe timeline. However, if a character creates a new material in-universe event through a statement, future out-of-universe content must nevertheless be beholden to it. For example, if Obi-Wan says him and Anakin fought on Suspectron in a novel, all other LFL works must respect that as a part of the cohesive LFL universe canon. Consequently, Ajunta Pall is forever bound by 2003's Knights of the Old Republic's revelation that the Korriban Star Map "was where our power came from," had "so much power, it is blinding," why the Exiles "had more power than those before us," "our oldest secret," etc. Regardless of what Pall does in post-2003 sources—regardless if he lays waste to worlds or Force drains armies of Jedi—the physical in-universe lore event that the Exiles basked in the power of the Star Map still exists. 

Accolade-based scaling, as the name suggests, references scaling derived from... accolades. This scaling is subject to the out-of-universe timeline. For example:

• Consider Exar Kun's accolade in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia—"Once the most powerful and dangerous of the Dark Lords of the Sith, he was responsible for the deaths of millions" (and assume, for the sake of the example, that it definitively applies to all prior Dark Lords and concerns applicable Force power). Although Kun is the beneficiary of all feats and scaling from the past Dark Lords as of 2008 (to the extent they are correlated with applicable Force power), if Tulak Hord receives new feats or scaling after 2008, then they would exist outside of the domain of the statement and Hord could still be more powerful than Kun.

To summarize, event-based scaling is forever binding regardless of future feats and scaling a character may receive, but accolade-based scaling is only binding up to the knowledge known at the time of publication. This creates a continuously evolving power-level dynamic while adhering to what came before as-it-was-intended. 

IV. SHEDDING LIMITATIONS: AN EXAMPLE THROUGH THE AGES

Consider Exar Kun's position prior to 1999. Among other things, he has a vast respiratory of impressive feats and scaling across Tales of the Jedi and supplementary works, including freezing thousands of senators in the Galactic Senate and being "far more powerful than any one other Jedi of the time" (The Jedi Academy Sourcebook). 

> Now make way for 1999's The Phantom Menace and Darth Maul. I don't want this blog to get entangled with ongoing controversial debates, so rather than use an actual accolade, I will create one for the sake of the demonstration. (To stress, this blog is not making any actual declarations on Maul versus Kun.) So, suppose an official 1999 source writes, "Darth Maul wields greater dark side power than the ancient Sith who came before him, including Exar Kun, to perform astonishing Force feats." Simple enough. Consequently, Maul becomes the beneficiary of all of Kun's feats and scaling as of 1999 (to the extent they are correlated with applicable Force power). 

> Now (x2) make way for 2003's Knight of the Old Republic and Darth Malak. Although Malak is an "ancient Sith who came before" Maul, he is not subject to the statement for reasons outlined in sections II and III. Malak may be more powerful than Maul, Maul may be more powerful than Malak. The answer cannot be determined by binding statements like these and need to be decided through a more subjective analysis with other metrics. Again, Maul still retains all of Kun's feats and scaling as of 1999, so such an analysis would question whether Malak has what it takes to be beyond both everything Maul himself has and everything Maul is the beneficiary of. 

> Now (x3) suppose Exar Kun appears in a new video game in 2010 set during the Great Sith War. In this game, Kun telekinetically lifts fifty Jedi in the air and crushes them to bits. Although Kun is an "ancient Sith who came before" Maul—although Kun even already existed and had and still has all his feats and scaling as of 1999 bound to Maul—these new feats exist outside of the domain of the statement. Accordingly, it is possible that these new feats elevate Kun above Maul. Determining such would, in effect, be done by comparing everything Maul himself has and everything Maul is the beneficiary of with everything Kun has after 1999. At least as far as applicable Force power comparisons go, Kun's feats and scaling prior to 1999 are irrelevant as Maul, again, still scales above them all. A visual representation is provided below. Maul 'absorbs' all of Kun's pre-1999 feats and scaling (in red) but has no absolute claim over Kun's new post-1999 feats or post-1999 Kun himself (in orange).
Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations Sheddi10

IV. SHEDDING LIMITATIONS: CONTRADICTIONS

Leland Chee, Wizards of the Coast (2003) wrote:Wizards of the Coast: "Let's say that you come across two or more contradictory sources while chasing down a reference. How do you decide which one to accept as canon?"

Leland Chee: "Everything is looked at on a case-by-case basis. Among the factors we consider: In how many sources does this particular fact appear? Which source has the largest audience? Which explanation is the coolest? Have we been told by George Lucas to avoid this topic? If, after weighing all those variables, the answer isn't yet clear, the issue is presented to an internal group that makes the final determination as to which source is ”correct."

In a Wizards of the Coast interview, Chee explained how LFL wrangles with contradictory sources. We don't have LFL officials on Suspect Insight to reconcile statements for us, so the best we can do is imitate their processes to ensure that we are as objective as possible. Chee listed three generally considered factors: source count, audience count, and coolness. There's also an underlying implicit factor here. If one adheres to LFL policy, then it follows that one should prioritize sources with greater LFL involvement over those with lesser LFL involvement. The former are more likely to be supported by LFL when push comes to shove because they themselves wrote it. Obviously we cannot judge "coolness" objectively so, when claims conflict, (1) source count, (2) audience count, and (3) LFL involvement level all must be assessed. It is difficult to define the extent level of LFL involvement needed to overrule everything else, but such a threshold clearly exists as a LFL policy statement is quite literally as binding to LFL as it gets. Ergo, a statement repeated three times in popular children's books may still be overruled by a single high-quality source with many LFL editors, so being cognizant of source quality is essential. However, when LFL involvement level is equal, a claim will need to prevail in both factors 1 and 2 to be 'objectively' binding. If claim A appears in more sources but claim B has a greater audience, perhaps then an appeal to the most recent source is needed. 

However, in a case where hypothetical characters Anaken and Duku have contradicting claims over who is more powerful, and new material in-universe events featuring Duku are created after the last "more powerful" claim for Anaken but before the next "more powerful claim" for Duku (e.g. Anaken is stated to be "more powerful than Duku" in 2005, then Duku appears in another source in 2006, then Duku is stated to be "more powerful than Anaken" in 2007), source recency must become a fourth factor. That is, the claim would need to prevail across (1) source count, (2) audience count, (3) LFL involvement, and (4) source recency to hold. Let's break down why.

Suppose Anaken has twenty high-quality, high-audience statements that he is "more powerful than Duku" and that Duku has five low-quality, low-audience statements that he is "more powerful than Anaken" as of 2010. It would seem Anaken is clearly more powerful, right? Well, suppose that Duku then appears in a new "Jedi Battles" comic series in 2011. Then, suppose Duku gets a sixth "more powerful than Anaken" statement in 2012. Although Anaken is the benefiacry of all of Duku's feats and scaling as of 2010, he has no claim over any of Duku's feats or scaling in "Jedi Battles." Consequently, given both Duku's "more powerful than Anaken" statement in 2012 coupled with simply existing in "Jedi Battles," one might argue that although Anaken 'scales' above all of Duku's other feats and scaling, this 2011 showing (whatever it may be) nevertheless makes Duku more powerful than Anaken. However, that is rather nonsensical and fails to account for the reconciling factors provided by LFL. Fortunately, the issue is easily remedied by, as stated earlier, demanding all four factors to hold. In this case, Duku fails to pass factors 1, 2, and 3, so neither can claim superiority by binding statements like these. Although this creates a higher standard of acceptance for some scaling, it is nevertheless necessary for Shedding Limitations to work mechanically and perfectly consistent with LFL, not to mention higher standards for 'debate-ending' constraints should always be welcomed.

IV. SHEDDING LIMITATIONS: NARRATIVES

Debaters have become increasingly weary of opposing statements and scaling with arguments assessing a broader 'narrative' of fact patterns (or even appeals to 'logic' more generally). However, LFL policy does not preclude narrative-based arguments, and Suspect Insight's rules explicitly allow them. Of course, no debater can be 'bound' to a narrative-based argument in the same way as statements and scaling, but debaters should nevertheless be able and even encouraged to present narrative-based arguments that potentially persuade other debaters to personally reject certain statements and scaling. For example:

Star Wars Hasbro: Jedi vs Sith action figure set wrote:The battle rages on! The Jedi and light side of the Force clash against the Sith and the dark side of the Force in this awesome battlepack. Yoda and Anakin face the dark fury of Asajj Ventress, while Obi-Wan confronts the menacing General Grievous. The heroic Jedi are all expert fighters who possess supreme skill with their lightsabers, but their foes have also been trained in lightsaber combat, making them formidable opponents who will not be easily defeated. Yoda, Anakin, and Obi-Wan will be tested to their limit by these two deadly enemies. Who will win? The fate of the galaxy is in your hands!

The above action figure set—dated during 2003's Clone Wars TV show—claims Asajj Ventress "will not be easily defeated" by Yoda and, in fact, test Yoda to his limits. Although Dooku easily defeats Ventress in the show itself (link) , although Obi-Wan is at least loosely comparable to her across all their Republic comic fights, and although Yoda "easily stops" (StarWars.com) Ventress "with just a flick of his wrist" (link)  mere months later in 2008's The Clone Wars TV show, this does not necessarily preclude the possibility that Ventress grew radically in power since her fight with Dooku to nearly defeat Yoda, and that Yoda then grew radically in power since this action figure set to easily defeat Ventress. Although that viewpoint works logically and is obviously permissible, again, what grounds prohibit debaters from rejecting such an extraordinary claim neither reflected nor accounted for by the narrative? There is neither reason for Yoda or the others to have an extraordinary jump in power in such a short span of time nor explicit reference to it. Adopting such a stance generates abrupt and immense volatility in the otherwise largely consistent, narrative-relevant power-relationship between these characters. It follows that rejecting such a statement out of adherence to LFL's greater narrative is perfectly acceptable.

Further, it follows that if a character accumulates many "most powerful" statements—over another character, over an era, over all of history—that in and of itself begins to form a LFL narrative. Although a Sith from The Old Republic's latest 2021 update would not be bound to Palpatine, consider whether it follows that this new character does, in fact, pierce through and shatter Palpatine's well-established—across many years, many sources, many authors—position as the supreme Sith. A character like Darth Malgus—a powerful Sith champion with scaling that could put him above Palpatine (as of Revenge of the Sith) but is otherwise of the same mold as most other Sith—would probably not be such a revolutionary character. Meanwhile, perhaps some godlike avatar of the dark side that consumes planets, studies the dark side for a thousand years, and defeats strike teams of the era's strongest dozen would. Acting in good faith and respecting the previous lore should always be a top priority.

V. CONCLUSION

As stated in the preface, the purpose of this blog series is liven up and enrich Star Wars versus debating. The methodology outlined throughout will definitely disrupt many significant scaling chains—hurting, helping, but ultimately respecting every in-universe era. I hope to see more creative uses of quotes and scaling chains, more attention made to the nature of sources and narratives, and ultimately more debates that approach analysis from more original angles and do not simply concern themselves with 'my character forever scales above your character per this quote, goodnight' arguments that have unfortunately become commonplace. MTFBWY.

(I may make edits and amendments to this blog over time.)


Last edited by DarthAnt66 on January 15th 2021, 4:25 am; edited 7 times in total
LadyKulvax
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on January 13th 2021, 8:53 am
Very well put, narrative-based debating is likely the purest and most good-faith way of going about the dirty that you'll get. Extra brownie points because now you've got a hard and fast way of establishing a character beyond hard counters by using things established post-facto.
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on January 13th 2021, 9:28 am
Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations 1289255181

POWER post.
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on January 13th 2021, 9:35 am
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So another attempt at establishing a non official and irrelevant classification system that will favor your favorite characters, eh?
S_W_LeGenD
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on January 13th 2021, 10:11 am
Welcome post and nicely put - critical thinking emphasized in short.

@DarthAnt66 wrote:
Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations Steve_10

What Steve Sansweet pointed out in that conversation, I pointed out much the same in my post (on Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:39 pm) in the following thread: https://www.suspectinsightforums.com/t822p75-exar-kun-respect-thread-last-update-dec-2020

For record.
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on January 13th 2021, 10:41 am
@DarthAnt66 Per Point IV wouldn't the Malak Quote be the contradiction? And per LFL policy wouldn't the "Did it provide him with powers far greater than even Freedon Nadd or Exar Kun or was cybernetic enhancement too simple an explanation?" line become N-Canon while the rest of the article remains C-Canon? Now, I can foresee your argument that the feature is a favourite of Leland Chee's and he fact checked it (twice), but according to LFL policy there is no hierarchy within the canon levels, so that would not be a distinction The Holocron makes.

"Are there different layers within the N, S, C and G levels?

The Holocron makes no such distinction."(06-29-04)

Leland Chee, LLP continuity database admin, Jan. - Dec. 2004, several StarWars.com forum posts in the "Holocron continuity database questions" thread
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on January 13th 2021, 1:12 pm
a tanzanian wedding is more interesting than this
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on January 13th 2021, 1:41 pm
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Sick roast
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on January 13th 2021, 1:52 pm
TLoH ragdolling Ant
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on January 13th 2021, 3:45 pm
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Very good post. I loved how you were exceedingly explicit with the way you communicated it (via examples and quotes), which makes it rather easy for both veterans and newcomers to acknowledge and accept.

I will be definitely using this in the future. Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations 1289255181
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on January 13th 2021, 4:02 pm
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Does anyone know who Captain Yossarian was?
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on January 13th 2021, 4:04 pm
Captain of DN
DarthAnt66
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on January 13th 2021, 4:40 pm
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@Tybalt: Whether any quote is in contradiction of something like 'narrative' would be up to the discretion of the debater and the strength of their argument. Personally, looking at all of Kun's and Malak's feats, scaling, and overall narrative cases, I certainly wouldn't view the quote to be some great outlier in some otherwise consistent narrative like the Yoda-Ventress comparison. LFL's heavy involvement must also be considered. Chee himself fact-checked the article twice and praised it as one of his favorite works ever. If such a quote broke from the narrative, it's a hard sell Chee wouldn't have tweaked it. The next paragraph about C-Canon distinctions under LFL policy even aside, a narrative argument most especially should consider source quality. A 'narrative' constructed across bottom-barrel sources is generally no narrative at all.

As for the Holocron, although Chee does not record distinctions within levels, that does not mean they do not exist. We already know that they do--Sue Rostoni has stated that the film adult novelizations and radio dramas "come first" over other C-Canon sources. Sansweet has said the same and included the film comics in that group, too. Even more generally, content absent from the Holocron does not mean it is absent from continuity. Notably, Chee admits that Lucas' and Gillard's tiers are not chronicled in the Holocron, but obviously that is not to say they are not G-Canon and referenced in many C-Canon sources. As mentioned in the blog, if one adheres to LFL policy, then it follows that one should prioritize sources with greater LFL involvement than lesser LFL involvement. The former is more likely to be supported by LFL when push comes to shove because they themselves wrote it. Moreover, sources with extreme LFL involvement may be indicative of an absolute LFL directive in and of itself.
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on January 13th 2021, 5:07 pm
@DarthAnt66 Interesting. You've given me some details that I didn't know about. The Malak Quote was something I wasn't sure on. I'll need to think on this some more but for now your argument certainly seems reasonable. Star Wars VS Debating in 2021 - Part I - Shedding Limitations 1289255181
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on January 13th 2021, 5:52 pm
Incredible analysis
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on January 14th 2021, 12:36 am
Tantalizing and testicle tickling. What a refined and elegant analysis of continuity. The ability for a single weeaboo to say something that isn't complete cringe is quite impressive. Bravo 👏
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on January 15th 2021, 12:33 am
Thank you for the comments. I've also expanded a bit on section one, paragraph two, covering the LFL hierarchy system.
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on January 15th 2021, 2:58 am
Excellent work and really interresting
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Today at 1:34 am
Steve Sansweet—LFL's "ambassador" and "official representative." <-- He was also Director of Content Management.

Quick question, Sue Rostini was replaced by Jennifer Heddle before Disney. Do you think that what she says these days about what is canon would be considered official?
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