RSA Debate

Round 3, Part 1a (EU inclusion)

(posted Wednesday, September 25, 2002)

Robert, your increasingly lengthy posts contain a steadily decreasing ratio of on-topic material to off-topic red herrings and "to quoque" fallacies in defense of previous logical errors. You replied to every identification of a logical fallacy by simply denying it (indeed, at one point you denied committing a logical fallacy anywhere in this debate; an unreasonable and pointlessly obstinate claim since even the best debaters may carelessly commit a fallacy now and then). Your responses make it clear that I must not only identify your fallacies but also explain the definitions of said fallacies, thus making it more difficult for you to simply dismiss logic-based criticism by saying "incorrect" and deny it. From http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html:

Red Herring

This fallacy is committed when someone introduces irrelevant material to the issue being discussed, so that everyone's attention is diverted away from the points made, towards a different conclusion.

"You may claim that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent against crime -- but what about the victims of crime? How do you think surviving family members feel when they see the man who murdered their son kept in prison at their expense? Is it right that they should pay for their son's murderer to be fed and housed?"

You attempt to deflect accusations of red herring fallacies by arguing that the subjects you introduce are related in some tangential way to the subject under discussion. However, that is NOT ENOUGH to avoid being guilty of the red herring fallacy. The red herring fallacy applies whenever anyone brings up subject B in a debate over subject A. It DOESN'T MATTER whether subject B is related in some tangential way to subject A (as it is in the above example); the red herring fallacy applies as long as it is a different subject.

By demanding that I make the first post, you allowed me to choose the exact subject, and that subject was the simple question: IS THE EU MATERIAL ADMISSIBLE? It was NOT "does the EU material introduce error", or "can scientific conclusions be drawn from EU sources" or "can you generate valid upper and lower limits from EU-based sources," or any of the other myriad red herrings you have attempted to drag into this debate. All of the "related" questions you raise are completely moot points if the EU material is not admissible in the first place; you introduce them in a transparent attempt to "appeal to consequence" rather than discussing the original subject.

Your refusal to recognize the proper definition of the red herring fallacy notwithstanding, you are indeed guilty of that fallacy on many occasions, made all the more flagrant for your refusal to recognize the fallacy even when confronted. A couple of examples follow:

This third accusation of a red herring is also inaccurate. In this case, I was explaining my position on intra-canonical relationships for the sake of clarity, lest my position be misunderstood or open to misrepresentation. Stating my position on the Canon Policy issue is not a red herring.
...
We are not debating in a vacuum. The present beliefs on the EU are valid segues toward understanding the Canon Policy as it should be understood, if only as negative examples. It is not an argument on the manner of analysis, but on the treatment of the data in regards to its perceived truth-value.

In the first example, you defend your red herring of the novel's positioning relative to the movie EVEN THOUGH NEITHER IS EU. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of whether EU material is admissible; it is related only in the sense that it has something to do with continuity and you happen to discuss the subject in the same portion of your website. In the second example, you defend your discussion of EU analysis methods as a "treatment of the data in regards to its perceived truth-value", which is a long-winded way of saying that you think it's relevant because it relates to how seriously the EU should be taken. In both cases, the subject is different from the simple question: is the EU admissible? Not "good enough for scientific analysis" or "potentially analyzed in a really bad way as shown by these examples" or any of your other red herrings, but simply: is it admissible?

In order to avoid the red herring fallacy, your rebuttals must deal with the subject of my post and only the subject of my post, or they are red herrings by definition. If you want to discuss other related subjects such as the proper method of analyzing EU material, the validity of firepower estimation from said sources, or more details of your personal "policy on intra-canonical relationships", you must first either win or concede on the original subject and then request a new discussion on these other subjects (for example, if we agree that the EU is admissible, THEN we can argue over the question of whether it can be analyzed in a scientific manner).

I am running out of patience for your endless space-wasting red herrings. I could identify every single example of the red herring fallacy again, but you would undoubtedly repeat your defensive reaction. Instead, I will try to respond only to points made which are directly relevant to the question of whether the EU is admissible, not whether I am using your preferred terminology and not whether you agree with the methods I use for analyzing the EU on my website and not any of your other myriad red herrings.

Argumentum ad hominem

Argumentum ad hominem literally means "argument directed at the man"; there are two varieties.

The first is the abusive form. If you refuse to accept a statement, and justify your refusal by criticizing the person who made the statement, then you are guilty of abusive argumentum ad hominem. For example:

"You claim that atheists can be moral -- yet I happen to know that you abandoned your wife and children."

This is a fallacy because the truth of an assertion doesn't depend on the virtues of the person asserting it. A less blatant argumentum ad hominem is to reject a proposition based on the fact that it was also asserted by some other easily criticized person. For example:

"Therefore we should close down the church? Hitler and Stalin would have agreed with you."

<second form snipped>

You attempted to defend your repeated use of ad hominems such as your ubiquitous "<snipes snipped>" rhetorical trick (subtle accusation of misbehaviour without having to bother actually identifying or explaining the offense) and your insistence on repeatedly mentioning my behaviour outside the debate with comments such as the following:

That means that I did not attempt to claim that your behavior had a bearing on the truth value of your arguments (the definition of ad hominem).

However, one need not explicitly declare that you impugn the validity of someone's argument by discussing his behaviour outside the debate (just as no such explicit declarations are made in the examples given above). I have refrained from commenting on your history during this debate for the same reasons that you SHOULD refrain from commenting on mine. Your refusal to cease and desist (and, indeed, your unapologetic introduction of even MORE comments about my behaviour outside the debate) when confronted belies your claim to be conducting an exclusively rational debate.

<red herrings snipped>

Actually, this is not readily apparent from the Cerasi quote, hence my brief exposition. Remember, he said that "the real story of Star Wars" is the Absolute Canon films, "and *only* the films".

Once again, real-life historical records are not the "real story" either; they are imperfect descriptions of it, and they might even be wrong. This does not mean they are inadmissible if we want to know what happened at a particular time or place and we lack direct observations.

Sansweet may have cleared this issue up a bit for Australian fans during a convention there:

"Steven Sansweet said this at a convention in Australia: "In the canon debate, it is important to notice that LucasFilm and Lucas are different entities. The only canon source of Star Wars are the radio plays, the movie novels and the movies themselves - in Lucas' mind, nothing else exists, and no authorized LucasFilm novel will restrict his creativity in any way."" http://www.peak.org/peak_info/mlists/info/prequels.html

Hearsay. Even if we were to assume that Sansweet was choosing his verbal statements at this convention as carefully as if they were published articles (an assumption you CONSISTENTLY make about such comments), and even if we assume that he is speaking about the entire continuity rather than just the canon, Steven Sansweet is not qualified to testify about the state of "Lucas' mind". The fact that Lucas chose to let an EU author (Timothy Zahn) name the capital world Coruscant (not to mention inserting some EU-based vehicles into the Special Editions of the original trilogy) nullifies your hearsay-based claim that the EU does not exist in his mind.

Steven Sansweet is not qualified to testify about Lucas' thoughts. He is, however, qualified to testify on the status of what he HIMSELF works on, and he did so in the preface to the Star Wars Encyclopedia:

"Which brings us to the often-asked question: Just what is Star Wars canon, and what is not? The one sure answer: the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition- the three films themselves ... in a close second we have the authorized adaptations of the films: the novels, radio dramas, and comics. After that, almost everything falls into a category of "quasi-canon"."

You mocked my use of the term "quasi-canon" in your first reply and I did not deign to respond immediately, but your attempt to introduce Sansweet as evidence for your position is simply too egregious to ignore. The term "quasi-canon" is published in the SWE, which was approved by Lucasfilm. Deal with it.

A. "Historical literature and narrative" is not generally considered a valid primary source for such things as firepower estimates, materials strength, and so on.

While this is a red herring, I would deign to address it anyway: historical literature CAN be used for such things as firepower estimates; we have no direct observation of a Roman-era catapult in action, yet we can use historical sources to determine what their capabilities were. Historical sources are not as good as direct observations, but in lieu of direct observations, they are still worthy of analysis. Nevertheless, this subject is a moot point if the EU is not admissible, so it is still a red herring. If you wish to continue asserting your odd beliefs on the uselessness of historical sources, you can debate it elsewhere.

B. You may consider the following an ad hominem, and it is your right to do so . . . I am about to point out that what is preached is not practiced. You just mentioned your website . . . it contains the claim that the EU materials are historical literature and are to be treated as such (including considering them "highly suspect" works "written from the point of view of the New Republic", possibly capable of being "coloured by the author's bias, competence, and data-gathering limitations"(as stated here), and that it cannot be analyzed as scientific data). http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Misc/Canon.html#Analyze

However, it cannot be left unsaid that this is not the observed approach on your pages, or in Vs. Debates in general. For instance, in spite of canon ANH novel quotes of the Empire having a million systems, you give them twelve million inhabited systems, as per Dark Empire's non-canon figures http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Tech/Industry/Industry2.html).

This is not only an ad hominem fallacy, it is also a strawman fallacy. On that page, I describe the entire SW civilization as being 12 million systems based on the DE quote, and the Empire as having nominal control over 1 million of those systems, based on the ANH novelization. There is no contradiction and this is hardly a surprise, given the fact that "there are so many uncharted settlements" (Admiral Ozzel). By the way, this is ALSO a red herring fallacy, since it has nothing to do with the question of whether the EU is admissible, despite your irrational assertion that "it cannot be left unsaid".

You have efficiently combined THREE fallacies into a single argument (one of which you actually ADMIT to), yet you eventually go on to insist that you have committed no logical fallacies whatsoever. This obstinate refusal to admit ANY kind of error is hardly the sort of "rational debate" you claimed to want.

<snip more red herrings, attempts to bait me with ADMITTEDLY fallacious ad hominem attacks against my website, repetitions of previous points, etc>

By this "reasoning", all of real-life science and history are ALSO useless,

Incorrect anyway, but even if it were it would be irrelevant: "slippery slope fallacy".

SLIPPERY SLOPE fallacy? From http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html:

The slippery slope argument

This argument states that should one event occur, so will other harmful events. There is no proof made that the harmful events are caused by the first event. For example:

"If we legalize marijuana, then more people would start to take crack and heroin, and we'd have to legalize those too. Before long we'd have a nation full of drug-addicts on welfare. Therefore we cannot legalize marijuana."

Please explain how it is a "slippery slope fallacy" to argue that the elimination of all data without guaranteed certainty would eliminate science and history. The logical connection is clearly demarcated: science and history both rely on data which is not guaranteed true (in fact, nothing is guaranteed true; reality does not have a "canon"). Therefore, if we were to use your policy of discarding all data which is not guaranteed true, then science and history would both disappear. In order to classify this as a "slippery slope", you would have to show that my argument depicts a SERIES of harmful events (it only mentions one, so you lose automatically; at worst, it can only be a non sequitur, not a slippery slope), and you would also have to show that the causal connection is invalid (you didn't even try). And why do you say it would be irrelevant due to the slippery slope fallacy? The slippery slope fallacy has nothing to do with relevance; it has to do with unestablished causality. Please stop misusing the definitions of logical fallacies.

False analogy: Science involves gathering the best, most reliable data possible and formulating or testing hypotheses from that evidence. There is no such thing as canon evidence to work with . . . there are no numbers, figures, or formulas dropped into a scientist's lap from on high, except those discovered by an objective, empirical analysis of nature.

Exactly. Thank you for agreeing with me that science depends entirely on non-canon data, ie- data which is NOT dropped from "on high", which is NOT guaranteed true, and which requires interpretation and speculation. Therefore, you admit that your philosophy of ignoring all which is not guaranteed true would nullify science in real life. Concession accepted.

<snip more repetitions of basic argument that anything deemed imperfect should be discarded>

Moreover, on a fundamental philosophical level, the lack of absolute certainty does NOT preclude investigation or analysis.

True. However, evidence which is known to be certain by definition is a superior source than a historical document known to be riddled with error.

Yes, the canon is superior to the EU. However, this is yet another red herring fallacy on your part. We are debating the question of whether EU material is admissible AT ALL, not whether it should be elevated all the way up to canon status. You are employing the "false dilemma" fallacy to force us to choose between making the EU equal to the movies or ignoring it completely.

<snip more red herrings and repetitions>

Further, science is not self-referential in the way the EU is. The only real story of Star Wars is the films . . . it is the best, most reliable data from which to draw conclusions. The "historical literature" of the EU does not limit itself to these facts, but instead creates its own and references them frequently.

Wrong. Science is HIGHLY self-referential. It creates its own principles based on the evidence, and then it develops other theories based on those principles. Virtually all observations rely upon technological apparatus whose validity is based upon more scientific principles, and these observations are used in order to generate yet more scientific principles and theories. As for the EU, if George Lucas says that it is part of the saga of Star Wars, then it is part of the saga of Star Wars. You seek to define the EU as worthless speculation, but you have no evidence to back up this characterization; you have only hearsay from Sansweet and your assumption that "EU is separate" = "EU is invalid".

With the films constituting the "real story of Star Wars", I argue that the nuggets of truth contained in the EU can only be what is borrowed straight from the Canon. Why? We're trying to arrive at a method to determine the accuracy of data points in a data set where inaccuracies, some grotesque, are known to exist and have been stated as existing. Unlike uncertainties in science, where, for example, a carbon-14 dating effort might have an uncertainty (+/- X-thousand years) attached, there is absolutely no way to determine the level of possible error of a non-canon statement, except by referencing the Canon.

Non sequitur. [adding back the rest of the paragraph which you quietly snipped] If one determines the accuracy of an EU statement by "referencing" the canon, it does NOT follow that everything in the EU is invalid except for that which is "borrowed straight from the canon". If canon is "observation" and EU is "history" as I have long maintained, then any EU material which is in direct contradiction with canon is obviously wrong, just as any historical document which describes events that are scientifically impossible is obviously wrong. However, it does NOT follow that everything in every historical document which is not drawn directly from scientific observation is useless.

Incorrect: your claim of a non sequitur is based on misunderstanding, caused by slicing through the argument in the middle of it.

Robert, I grow tired of the way you simply make statements of fact without justifying them. If you believe my accusation of a non sequitur is invalid, then you must show HOW I have misinterpreted your argument, rather than simply casting vague aspersions upon my methods (particularly when you attack on the basis of incomplete quoting even though I quote whole paragraphs in my rebuttal while you quote individual sentences or even FRAGMENTS of sentences in your reply).

Quasi-religious mentality. [adding back the rest of the paragraph which you quietly snipped] You seem to think it is possible to analyze something without "interpretation and speculation", hence their use invalidates any analysis. This is simply absurd; it is IMPOSSIBLE to analyze ANYTHING without a certain amount of "interpretation and speculation". Did it occur to you that ALL of science is an interpretive and speculative exercise? We take observations, interpret them into numbers and units, construct hypotheses (ie- speculate), etc. We can then verify those hypotheses via more interpretation of new observations. For the THIRD time, I must point out that you have effectively denied the validity of all science and history.

Prejudicial language is irrelevant, and given our opinions on religious mentality, that's a thinly-veiled ad hominem.

A negative term is not fallacious prejudicial language if it is the only accurate term. Again, you accuse me of various fallacies without explaining how and where I have committed the fallacy in question. Is it "prejudicial language" to say that you are employing a religious rather than scientific method by insisting that "interpretation and speculation" invalidates an analysis? Who but the religious fundamentalist believes in a form of evidence which speaks truth from "on high" without the need for interpretation? What ELSE would I call this bizarre mentality, if not "quasi-religious?"

"Appeal to prejudice" fallacy. You are attempting to link those who would analyze the EU to shifty lawbreakers, <snipe snipped> [adding back the part you removed] in an obvious attempt to generate prejudicial feeling against them. This might be somewhat excusable if you could actually show that A leads to B, but you don't even TRY; how on Earth does "interpretation and speculation" lead to "everything is legal, so long as you don't get caught?" Instead of explaining this HIGHLY dubious connection, you merely present some grandstanding.
No, I used an analogy in reference to the "questionable intellectual honesty" sentence, where I discussed the practice of allowing the EU to guide one's thinking. I expected the reader to have comprehended the previous point that allowing the EU was to engage in the practice of considering EU materials canon unless contradicted.

Your excuses will fool no one. You tried to equate EU analysis to those who think anything is OK unless they get caught by the authorities, without even bothering to show how one was equivalent to the other. That is a PERFECT example of the "appeal to prejudice" fallacy, and your obstinate refusal to admit that fact will avail you nothing. Your flimsy excuse (to assume that it would be interpreted dishonestly and then equate EU analysis to "intellectual dishonesty" on that basis) is even WORSE.

Moreover, I grow weary of your "snipes snipped" rhetorical trick. You deleted the part of my paragraph where I pointed out your failure to establish a connection between A and B; hardly an insignificant part of the criticism. In fact, you CONSISTENTLY delete the strongest parts of my criticisms in your replies. Why bother replying to any given paragraph AT ALL if you're only going to address one sentence in it?

<more repetition snipped>

The term "overall continuity" is not important for my argument;

Then why use it in all-caps and assert that I deny its existence?

What part of "it would still exist by any other name" did you fail to read? It is the idea, not the name, which is important.

And here we arrive at the peculiar notion that I have previously labelled the "Continuity Whiplash Theory".

You say that the Infinities label does not imply EU non-canonicity, yet then choose to assume the reverse, that the EU moves closer to canonicity because it places some of its own works outside its own Continuity. This makes no sense.

If A is A and X is X, then just because some former X is turned into not-X does not make X A or closer to being A.

Strawman fallacy. I said nothing whatsoever about the EU being canon or moving closer to canon. I was speaking about the EU being part of the larger continuity which includes both the canon AND the EU, and the fact that special labelling for non-continuity EU obviously implies that the REST of the EU is part of the continuity, as publicly stated by Lucasfilm representatives and in official Lucasfilm publications.

<snip more repetition>

The fact that the full quote is buried somewhere else on your website [restoring the paragraph to a contiguous block] does not excuse this fallacious method. You employed the "quote taken out of context" fallacy and ignored Lucas' statement that the EU intrudes on his continuity despite its obvious relevance.

Prejudicial language: the quote is directly linked from that page in the references section, and the references section is referred to in the introduction. You can't miss it.

Hardly. If anything, the language was not harsh ENOUGH; you extensively analyzed the semantics of the sentence fragment "parallel universe" while IGNORING the part of his quote in which he stated that the EU intrudes on his timeline. That is the "quote taken out of context" fallacy, and it was clearly DELIBERATE. The fact that you chose to IGNORE that part of his quote in your article is not mitigated in any way by the fact that you hyperlink to the full quote in your end-notes.

You are ignoring the point. I already explained that the EU can be separate without necessarily being excluded from the continuity.
<snipe snipped>

That makes no sense whatsoever. If the EU is a parallel universe, it is not only separate . . . it is different. This is demonstrated by the in-house Continuity which the EU is expected to maintain.

Irrelevant. We are discussing the question of whether the EU is admissible. Not whether it is parallel, not whether it is separate, not whether it is different, not whether it is equal, and not any of the other red herrings you insist on dragging into this debate. All questions regarding its relative placement in the continuity can be dealt with if and ONLY if we can agree that it is admissible. Until then, those concerns are irrelevant. You have already conceded on the main point, even if you won't admit it; you agreed that Lucasfim Licensing maintains a continuity, and that both the canon and EU are in it.

However, you contend that this larger continuity is worthless, by consistently implying that Lucasfilm Licensing's in-house continuity should be given no weight whatsoever by the fans. Please justify this claim.

<snip more repetitions and excuses for fallacies>

Strawman. No one is saying that one comment "overrides" another.

Incorrect: you yourself are claiming that the "intrude" comment makes the EU have a measure of canonicity, in spite of the fact that Lucas has referred to the licensing world (EU included) as an "other world" and "parallel universe".

Yet another strawman fallacy. Nowhere have I ever claimed that the EU material is canon; it is part of the larger continuity, not the canon. Your insistence on defining "canon" and "continuity" as synonymous is a circular logic fallacy; you are presuming the truth of that which you are attempting to prove.

George Lucas is a human being, not a set of legal documents with varying precedence. The act of analyzing any SENTENCE FRAGMENT is inherently fallacious,
In which case your attempt to analyze the "intrude" fragment to override the "other world" and "parallel universe" comment is inherently fallacious. My
argument is that the entire sentence is a cohesive whole. Since he has used the "universe" comment on more than one occasion (TV Guide and Cinescape), the logical implication is that he means it. Even if your claim that we cannot analyze his comments is correct, it could only apply to the new, ad-libbed parts . . . such as the "intrude" comment.

Are you even TRYING to watch out for self-contradictions in your argument? First, you say that you treat the sentence as a "cohesive whole". Then you IMMEDIATELY turn around and dismiss the second half of the sentence as "ad-libbed parts" and recommend that we ignore it. Worse yet, you claim that we should apply an uneven standard, ie- interpret the sentence word-for-word literally when he says "parallel universe", but NOT when he says "intrude"!

You still fail to understand my point: George Lucas is a human being, and you cannot carefully analyze his choice of words. He may have an entirely different interpretation of "parallel universe" than you do, so your literalist method of interpretation is entirely fallacious. The harsh reality is that you cannot reconcile the two halves of his sentence together, and you quietly ADMIT this fact when you recommend that we treat the second half of the sentence differently!

Face it: George Lucas said that the EU is separate from his canon, but it still intrudes on his world. You have painted yourself into a corner with this ridiculous literalist style of semantic analysis; you are now claiming that the first half of his sentence should be interpreted literally while the second half is completely ignored as "ad-libbed" nonsense! Tell me, what part of a VERBAL interview is NOT "ad-libbed"? Are you suggesting that he normally reads from a teleprompter in verbal interviews, and then went out on a limb by giving the EU validity so you can freely ignore it?

Sorry, but my explanation can explain both halves of his statement. Your explanation clings to a semantic analysis of the first half and completely ignores the second half. An explanation which handles the entire statement is vastly preferable to one that forces you to ignore part of it.

Your interpretation contradicts the quote. A "parallel universe" is, by definition, not part of the same timeline.

My interpretation contradicts your INTERPRETATION of the FIRST HALF of the quote. It does not contradict the quote itself; it is merely an alternate interpretation thereof, which has the added benefit of interpreting the ENTIRE quote rather than dismissing part of it as "ad-libbed".

<snip many more denials, repetitions, and excuses for fallacies>
2. No logical fallacies have been employed by me, despite claims to the contrary.

Not one logical fallacy in the whole debate, eh? Frankly, this argument is devolving into unconstructive and time-wasting "Did not! Did too!" childishness. You can continue to stubbornly deny ever making a single mistake if you like; I will let the audience decide the truth or falsehood of your denials for themselves.

SUMMARY

1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little universe.
2. Sansweet of LucasFilm correctly points out that nothing else but the canon exists for Lucas.
3. Sansweet of LucasFilm directly quotes Chris Cerasi of LucasBooks in regards to the fact that the only source for the real story of Star Wars is Lucas's canon.
4. Rostoni of LucasBooks and Kausch of Lucas Licensing correctly identified the canon, but commented that between them, much of the EU material is part of a continuity.
5. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of the in-house continuity of LucasBooks.

You have done a fine job of making a simple issue complex (not to mention long-winded), but here are the only fact which really matters:

Exhibit A: the Lucas quote:

"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."- George Lucas

Exhibit B: the Sansweet quote:

"Which brings us to the often-asked question: Just what is Star Wars canon, and what is not? The one sure answer: the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition- the three films themselves ... in a close second we have the authorized adaptations of the films: the novels, radio dramas, and comics. After that, almost everything falls into a category of "quasi-canon"."

In both cases, you have shamelessly misrepresented the words of these men to mean the opposite of what they obviously intend, once you look at the larger picture. Moreover, you consistently base your argument upon verbal interviews, while I base my argument largely upon officially sanctioned publications such as Star Wars Insider and the Star Wars Encyclopedia. It is no secret that a published statement is invariably composed with more care than a phrase in a verbal interview.

Salient points:

1. You have no explanation WHATSOEVER for George Lucas' statement that the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars. Your flimsy excuse is to call it "ad-libbing" and dismiss it on that basis. You insist that it irreconcilably "contradicts" his statement that the canon and EU are separate even though I have an alternate interpretation which easily ties both comments together.

2. You have no explanation WHATSOEVER for observed intrusions of EU material into the canon movies, particularly in the case of Coruscant's name, not to mention EU-based spaceships appearing in the special editions of the original trilogy.

3. You use the fact that Lucas is willing to contradict the EU as proof that all of the EU is invalid. By that "reasoning", since we have no guarantees that the real-life universe will obey the laws of physics or even mathematics, all of that is invalid too. Moreover, George Lucas has even contradicted CANON on occasion (the infamous Greedo first shot, for example), but that doesn't mean we ignore it.

4. You employ an array of proofs that the EU is not canon, in order to prove that it is not part of continuity either. This is highly fallacious; you cannot use proof of A as proof of B. You could find a THOUSAND statements that the EU is not canon, and none of them would disprove my assertion that the EU and canon are both separate parts of a larger continuity.

5. You quote Steven Sansweet out of context; the fact that George does not worry about contradicting the EU does not mean that the fans can do the same thing. George is in a special position with respect to Star Wars; he is its creator. We, on the other hand, should abide by what he tells us, rather than acting as though HIS freedom of action should somehow translate to us.

6. Your attempts to contradict my comparison between real-life science/history and sci-fi analysis merely undermine your own position. By pointing out that there's no such thing as "canon" for real-life scientists, you inadvertently conceded that real-life scientists ALWAYS work with data which would fail your requirements for admissibility when studying sci-fi.

You have conceded that there is a Lucasfilm continuity which includes both the canon and EU. You have conceded that Lucas' quote about the EU intruding on his world contradicts your interpretion of his position, hence your amusing recommendation that we ignore it. You have been reduced to the use of hearsay as evidence. Your only remaining passable argument is your claim that we should IGNORE the Lucasfilm continuity because it is "in-house" (no one ever said "EXCLUSIVELY in-house", but you apparently felt free to consider it a silent implication). However, you have no public statements telling us to ignore the continuity, and I have produced Sansweet's published description of the EU as "quasi-canon". Your refusal to accept defeat prolongs this debate with no conceivable benefit to you, as you will apparently continue to dig yourself deeper into the ground with your obstinate refusal to admit any of your mistakes.

Debate summary in three sentences

1. You say that the EU is not part of the story of Star Wars.
2. I say that the EU is not canon, but it is still part of the larger continuity.
3. You retort that the EU is not part of the canon.

What part of this do you not understand, Robert?


Continue to Part 2

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