RSA Debate

Round 5, Part 2a (EU Inclusion)

(posted Saturday, October 12, 2002)

Robert, since you decided to take 5 days instead of 4 to post the full 2-part answer to the previous post, I decided to start the 4-day clock ticking from the day you uploaded the second part. And please, don't pretend you posted on the fourth day; I was ALREADY AT WORK THE NEXT DAY by the time you finished uploading your full reply.

<snip red-herring nitpicks, long-winded justifications of your own behaviour, brick-wall denials, strawman distortions of my arguments, various "you too" attacks, and repetitions of earlier, invalid points>

Whoops! Nothing left! OK, we'll have to go back and waste time looking at your repetitive arguments again:

Further, you continue to argue that Sansweet's use of the term "mind" ...

Strawman. This is not about semantics; it is about the fact that Sansweet cannot testify about that which he does not know, and he does not know how George Lucas thinks when he writes Star Wars. He is merely speculating, hence the term "hearsay" (which you agreed to be an appropriate description).

Regarding Lucas's TV Guide and Cinescape quotes, you continue to attempt to dismiss them by claiming that verbal interviews are not as carefully composed as articles written for publication.

Strawman. I do not dismiss them; I merely dismiss your semantic interpretations thereof.

It is not a false dilemma to employ the same dilemma placed on us by the facts. In other words, when we are given only two choices, you cannot claim a false dilemma because you'd prefer a third.

This is a beautiful example of your habit of justifying logical fallacies. Sorry, but if a third option can be shown to be viable, then you must include it. And no reasonable person on Earth can possibly believe your ridiculous mantra that ultra-literal semantic interpretation of sentence fragments such as "parallel universe" (out of context, no less!) is such a precise and reliable technique that one and ONLY one interpretation is possible.

Any individual is at liberty to accept the LB/LL dictates regarding what they consider to be the facts of Star Wars. However, strict adherence to fact requires that we accept the Lucas/LFL statements that the EU is outside the canon universe, and that the only real story of Star Wars is the canon.

Your deliberately narrow semantic INTERPRETATION of their statements. Nothing more.

More or less true. Cerasi referred to the in-house continuity of LucasBooks, and the diligent work to keep the Expanded Universe 'cohesive and uniform' (in spite of the amount of interpretation and speculation that comes the further one branches from the movies), and his *analogy* regarding that is that every piece of EU fiction is a window into the 'real' Star Wars universe . . . some foggy, some abstract, but each with a nugget of truth.

Before this debate, you flatly stated that the EU is "NOT part of the story of Star Wars", and now you admit that it is a window, albeit imperfect, into the real Star Wars universe. Concession accepted.

Cerasi's 'nuggets of truth' in the EU can only be those elements derived from the canon (which is the only source for the real story of Star Wars), unless (in keeping with one of your efforts with the Lucas quote) we should take one part and override the rest, instead of understanding the statement as a cohesive, non-contradictory whole.

Your opinion. Nothing more.

As per Cerasi and the logical exclusivity of his statement.

Your deliberately narrow semantic INTERPRETATION of his statement. Nothing more.

I'm not the one contradicting Cerasi, nor have I suggested that the EU doesn't represent any kind of view into the real SW universe. It just happens to be a useless view, except for those nuggets of truth from the canon that are not butchered by interpretation and speculation.

Your opinion. Nothing more.

2. You cite Sansweet, who says that EU does not exist in Lucas' mind when he makes the films but who also said that the EU is "quasi-canon".

And both of these can be given low weight . . . the first is hearsay, the second is overridden by Lucas, later Sansweet, etc.

Overriden only by your deliberately narrow semantic INTERPRETATION of their statements (or in the case of Lucas, a sentence FRAGMENT from his statement).

I understand the fact that you desperately need the quote from the foreward of the Star Wars Encyclopedia to be approved by LucasFilm and presently valid, in order for your claims of positional validity to have any weight.

My need for that quote is no greater than your need to ignore it. However, since the quote is in a Lucasfilm-sanctioned publication while your OPINIONS on that quote are worthless, I win. You lose. All of your long-winded excuses for ignoring an OFFICIAL PUBLICATION are just that: excuses.

Grossly inaccurate . . . the EU being a parallel universe does not equal 'Lucas doesn't study the EU before making canon'. Further, to claim that when he tells the fans that the EU is a parallel universe it should have absolutely no bearing on their view of the reality of that universe is absurd.

Strawman. Of course I agree that the "parallel universe" quote means something; I just have a different interpretation than you do. You see, unlike you, I don't silently change "parallel" to "parallel AND EXCLUSIVE", nor do I make the even more absurd leap to believe he MUST have been describing a quantum-physics "many worlds" interpretation of the word "universe". When most people say "parallel", they simply mean two things which coexist simultaneously.

I assume your proof of this claim is still your assertion that the Original Edition has merit, and that, by creating the Special Edition, Lucas has contradicted canon. As previously pointed out, he *changed* the canon. That is not a contradiction, it is a completely truthful revision that must be accepted if we're going to talk about canon.

No, it's historical revisionism. Greedo did NOT shoot first, and the shot IS quite obviously doctored. An original is always better than a modified version. At the very least, we have two different Star Wars canons.

3. Your argument is a non sequitur. The continuity need not "control" the canon in order to include it.

The in-house Continuity is left to accept the facts of the Canon wholesale, and as per Rostoni attempts to avoid conflict with the canon or undermining of its meaning. This is not inclusion into an overall realm inclusive of the canon . . . this is subservience to that canon.

Yadda yadda yadda. Repeating your bizarre assumption that subservience = exclusion. You completely ignored the rebuttal. Concession accepted.

I understand the concept you are arguing for just fine. Your position is that of an EU fan . . . your "overall continuity" would be the belief about Star Wars in the mind of a fan. However, this fan belief has no basis in the Canon Policy, and is actually opposed to it.

Your opinion. Nothing more (apart from an obvious appeal to motive fallacy, of course).

The Pacific War in WW2 was separate from and parallel to the European War in WW2 with very little overlap, yet both theatres of war were part of the same timeline.

Another horrendous analogy. We are not talking about parallel events in one universe . . . we are talking about parallel universes, with the events of the parallel universe being explicitly outside the 'real' universe. Nothing of consequence to the real universe can occur in the parallel universe.

Circular logic. Assuming the truth of your "separate and exclusive" conclusion in order to attack my analogy ... in order to support your conclusion. I'm sure you will invent some long-winded justification for this latest fallacy, but no one's buying any of your tedious, long-winded excuses.

Challenge #1

1. Justify your belief that anything which is not guaranteed true should be discarded completely.

We've already been over this territory, and I'm not going to repeat myself, since that will merely bring us right back to your analogy regarding history and science, the false and specious nature of that analogy having already been demonstrated.

In other words, you cannot justify it and you will pretend that you've already dealt with it, even though you haven't. Instead, you present the following completely irrelevant and rather bizarre thought experiment:

Since we're talking about canon anyway, I will employ a religious analogy:

You want to know pi to the fifth digit. You have several views of pi available . . .
One is someone's confusion with e, thereby arguing pi to the fifth digit is 2.71828.
One is a very rough estimate, exactly three. So, pi to the fifth digit is 3.00000.
One is a very rough estimate, about three and a half. So, we'd end up with 3.50000.
One is a fraction of 22/7, therefore some say that pi to the fifth digit is 3.14285.
One is a confusion of the fraction, 27/2. And so, pi to the fifth digit is 13.50000.
Another was handed down to you by God himself. He said that it is actually 3.14159, and went on to give you more: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795

So, what to do to figure out pi?

Derive it from geometry. Only an idiot looks to heavenly authorities to tell him that which he can figure out for himself. Suppose God said that pi is 5? Would you conclude that pi is 5 even though direct observation tells you that pi is much closer to 3.14?

Besides, how does any of this justify your false dilemma? You still insist that a piece of information is either 100% guaranteed true by God or totally worthless; no matter how many evasions you throw up in the air, this is STILL a false dilemma.

Explain why you feel it is NOT a false dilemma fallacy to force us to choose between "guaranteed true" and "totally worthless", with no permissible middle ground.

Because that is the choice given to us by the canon policy. The truth is logically exclusive. It is not a false dilemma to employ the same dilemma placed on us by the facts.

Circular logic. Defending your conclusion ("the truth is logically exclusive") by simply stating it as a fact. So far, you're 0/1.

Challenge #2

2. Explain why you flatly insist on interpreting the phrase "real story" as "100% comprehensive; nothing else exists" rather than "known to be true" (as per the dictionary).

"When it comes to absolute canon, the real story of Star Wars, you must turn to the films themselves - and *only* the films." The Absolute Canon is the real story of Star Wars, and the only source of that is the films.

Completely ignoring the challenge. You cannot defend your incorrect definition of "real story" by simply repeating that the films are the "real story". So far, you're 0/2.

Challenge #3

3. Explain why you feel that the LFL "in-house continuity" should be ignored,

Because it is not the LFL in-house Continuity, it is the in-house Continuity of LB/LL.

Red-herring nitpick, used as an excuse to ignore the challenge. So far, you're 0/3.

Challenge #4

4. Explain why you feel that the preface to the SWE should be either ignored or painted as irreconcilably opposed to the other statements, rather than trying to interpret them in a manner consistent with it (which IS possible, as I have demonstrated).

You have demonstrated nothing of the sort.

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you assume that "Real Story of Star Wars /= *Only* the Films", though this is contrary to Sansweet and Cerasi.

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you accept the dictates of Specialty Marketing and LucasBooks over Lucas and LFL without any effort to weigh statements (this is just in general, whether or not they agree).

If you accept the Encyclopedia foreward as perfectly factual, you must assume that Lucas was wrong when he placed the EU outside his universe, and part of a parallel one.

. . . Et cetera. I have detailed these and other reasons to you previously.

In other words, you continue to insist that the unequivocal, official preface to the SWE should be ignored, simply because it contradicts your deliberately narrow INTERPRETATIONS of various other (equivocal) quotes. Sorry, but unequivocal statements always trump deliberately narrow interpretations of equivocal statements. You lose. So far, you're 0/4.

Challenge #5

5. Explain why George Lucas' comment about the EU intruding on the world of Star Wars should be ignored.

Contrary to your straw man efforts, I do not think it should be ignored. I do, however, think it should be understood in context, and not used to override and ignore the rest of his statements about the content of the parallel universe.

Don't lie. By insisting that not one shred of EU should be taken seriously despite Lucas' statement that the EU intrudes on his timeline, you DO think it should be ignored.

Explain what else he could have possibly meant by that statement, in a manner consistent with the other quotes.

Perhaps he meant what he said . . . that the EU is part of a parallel universe, the content of which is outside his universe, though the EU has occasionally attempted to insert things between his time periods of the films (albeit, logically, in the EU universe).

And how does the EU "insert things" into Star Wars if it is not part of the story of Star Wars, as per your claim?

In other words, Lucas "owns" the movie time period blocks in both universes (whether this should be understood as one fat one, two smaller ones, or six slender ones is unclear). Your notion is that, because temporal intrusion occurs in the EU universe, it is actually the same universe . . . but this is absurd. We already know the EU is outside the universe (as per TV Guide), and part of another world and a parallel universe.

"Temporal inclusions?" Oooh, you've been watching Voyager again, haven't you? Pssst ... I'll let you in on a secret; George Lucas was probably not thinking like a Star Trek character when he used the phrase "parallel universe". Your inability to think like a normal person instead of a Star Trek character is at the heart of your bizarre interpretation of his quote.

Temporal intrusion in one universe does not equal a crossing of the boundary between universes.

What's that, Ensign Kim? You have a multiple phase-variance in the quantum resonance field from the left subspace field generator coil behind the primary annular confinement beam inducer assembly? Quick, go get George Lucas! After all, we know he uses pseudoscientific terminology the same way we do! Robert Scott Anderson says so! There's no way he could use words like "parallel universe" in, oh, say, a colloquial fashion, like NORMAL people ...

By the way, a "temporal intrusion" WOULD be a crossing of the boundary; the very concept of "intrusion" is ENTER something, ie- cross a boundary! Your ridiculous attempt to assign a quasi-physics interpretation to George Lucas' statement (which STILL fails to support you!) merely underscores the flimsy nature of your argument. So far, you're 0/5.

Challenge #6

6. In your last post, you claimed that "You cannot "rationalize a fictional universe" (as you stated in your opening statement) with evidence obtained from a parallel, separate, different universe." Justify this axiomatic statement (which relies upon an ultra-literal interpretation of the word "universe") in light of the fact that both have been stated by official LFL representatives to occupy the SAME timeline, ie- continuity.

What? LFL representatives have not placed the EU in the same timeline. Rostoni of *LucasBooks* has said that they hope to present a continuous and unified history, but her goal and the statements of LFL in regards to the EU are not compatible.

I love the way you present a quote that damages your position and then insist that your overly narrow interpretation of OTHER quotes should be used to disregard it.

You need to be more careful about confusing who (and what company) says what. Because the EU universe is separate from Lucas's canon universe, it is not a valid source of information regarding the canon universe.

For the umpteenth time, it is possible to be separate while remaining part of a larger whole. Your failure to address this simple point speaks volumes about the profound weakness of your argument. 0/6.

Challenge #7

7. Explain why you feel that George Lucas' power to override or ignore the EU (or even the canon in some cases) should extend to YOU, even though he reserves it for himself and does not extend it to his own official authors.

Absurdly stated. First, I do not think that I, personally, have the power to override the EU or canon, objectively speaking, and my position does not imply or require such a notion.

Wow, that's an amazing lie. You honestly thought you could say that you don't give yourself the power to override "the EU or canon"? Most of your arguments rely upon overriding the EU, and this whole debate is about your insistence that you can do so at will! (I await your semantic nitpicks and self-justifications).

Second, you're coloring the issue in a most peculiar and improper way by claiming that I am appropriating Lucas's power to ignore the EU. Lucas stated that the EU is part of a parallel universe . . . why should we not accept that?

You mean: why should we not accept your particular INTERPRETATION of that, even though it contradicts many other quotes, including his own?

Third, your question belies an ignorance of the nature of the in-house Continuity of LucasBooks. The entire point of EU authors is to contribute to the EU, and it was decided by Wilson and Rostoni that a continuity should be maintained within EU materials, to avoid contradiction. Lucas has nothing to do with it.

Actually, Lucas has had quite a bit of input into the books. He has even dictated specific plot points, such as Chewie's death etc. Stop lying. You are now 0/7.

Challenge #8

8. Try to defend all of these points without resorting to your ridiculous strawman distortion that by including the EU in the continuity, I am making it canon.

I have never argued that you are making it canon. I have argued that you are giving it canonicity. It's a subtle distinction you seem to have missed (thereby leading to yet another of your false fallacy accusations).

It is such a subtle distinction that it does not exist. 0/8.

Summary

1. Lucas says the EU is a parallel universe and outside his little universe. (This you hope to override with the "intrude" nonsense)

Not override; harmonize, since the "intrude" comment is HARDLY nonsense; it is George Lucas' own words!

I can interpret his ENTIRE quote in a consistent fashion, but you cannot. In fact, by trying to dismiss it as "nonsense", you have effectively ADMITTED as much. You lose. Not only do you lose on direct evidence, but you obviously haven't though to ask yourself why George Lucas would WANT to tell fans that all of the EU products (which bring him an enormous amount of personal income) are illegitimate.

2. 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, and has been heard to say in public that only the canon is relevant to Lucas. (The first of these you ignore the meaning of, and the second you dismiss)

Sansweet of Lucasfilm says the EU is "quasi-canon". This is the most unequivocal statement on the subject available. The rest is nothing but your overly narrow semantic INTERPRETATIONS of quotes which have MANY possible interpretations.

3. 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. (This forms the bedrock of your position that there's an overall continuity, in spite of #4.)

And you have not even tried to address this in any way, other than arguing that this continuity is "in-house" and then making a towering leap in logic to conclude that therefore, the fans should ignore it.

4. Rostoni and Cerasi both speak of this in-house continuity of LucasBooks/LL, which Wilson and Rostoni decided to create and maintain in the publishing department. (These facts you simply ignore, choosing not to relate them to the continuity which Rostoni and Kausch spoke of, for no apparent reason.)

How sad. You honestly believe that this "in-house = invalid" logic of yours is a real point, don't you?

In my last post, I issued 8 challenges. You failed them all, usually by evading the point. I also issued a challenge for you to debate PROPERLY, without resorting to your usual tricks of shredding arguments into sentence fragments and then attacking the fragments piecemeal. You failed that one too. I reiterated my demand that you respect your OWN debate stipulation about keeping it short, rather than consistently sending posts which are at LEAST twice the size of mine. Amazingly, you insisted that it was IMPOSSIBLE for you to do so!

At the end of this debate, I can only conclude that you are either unable or unwilling to debate in a clear, straightforward fashion, without attacking sentence fragments out of context, harping on red-herrings at every opportunity, relentlessly stating your conclusions as facts, or drowning the audience in your long-winded pseudo-academic smokescreen of superfluous detail. My rebuttals seem almost pointless; your posts have become so asinine, with so many painfully transparent rhetorical tricks and logical fallacies, that they virtually refute themselves.

PS. Just for fun, check out http://theforce.net/jedicouncil/interview/saxton.shtml to see Curtis talking about how decisions on his official book had to be cleared through the Lucasfilm people who talked directly with Lucas, and how input from their side filtered into the film. The "boundary" between EU and canon is quite a bit more porous than you would like it to be.


Continue to Part 2

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