The Big Picture: Continuity Wars

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I'm primarily an EU fan, and I'm actually optimistic about this move. I've always thought Lucas' inflexible, unyielding, conservative Christian-inspired, and frankly idiotic ideas about absolute good (except for how it really isn't) vs. absolute evil (except for how it sometimes isn't) and that you can only be Light or Dark have unfairly hamstrung the EU. Every time some writer has managed to sneak some complexity in there, it gets retconned out later. (I will never, NEVER forgive the "Vergere was really a Sith" retcon. EVER.)

Take one of my favorite bits of the EU, the NJO. I loved the NJO because it created an enemy that wasn't, for once, the Sith, because it forced alliances of the most unlikely people, for everything about "Traitor" and its marvelous Force-philosophy complexity, for letting some of the non-Force using characters shine, for actually showing Princess Leia as a kickass diplomat, for the way Jacen found to win without killing (something you'd think the Jedi would be better at than they generally are), for showing a war as a nasty, gritty, awful mess instead of a few seconds of cheering and medal-winning (something KOTOR also excelled at), for painting many of the enemy as sympathetic while *still having them be part of the enemy* (in the '90s it seemed like every time you'd get an Imperial protagonist, they'd defect), and for showing how you can have epic action without the kindergarten morality. None of that list is about the Vong specifically, or the specific events of the NJO. If they found a way to give me some of the same kinds of things in a completely different plot, I'd be all over that. I honestly can't wait to see what the franchise can accomplish without Lucas clipping its wings.

Man, franchises, right? I know you're not going to let talking about Star Wars become a bad habit... because you already have one:
Avengers Count: 4

Grenge Di Origin, 1/29/13:
Also, from now on I'm going to count how many times you reference the Avengers... from this point onward.

So this whole episode could be summarized as

Hey guys, I know you like Expanded Universe and stuff, and I know you guys are all invested in it and all and I see where you're coming from, but just shut up and deal with it already.

Also, did you know I'm a Mario fan? No? Here, let me prove for the umpteenth time that I am!

(and your "SM2 was real" theory is also bullshit because
1. dreams can reflect things, events, and themes that happen IRL so the enemies that gamers first saw in Subcon could've existed in the Marioverse before and he's just dreaming about them.
AND
2. It's never explained when SMB2 takes place, chronologically)

Gordon_4:

Mr_Terrific:

Wonder Woman's origin has changed to make sense and she might be stronger than Superman now thanks to her god powers.
Superman no longer works for the Planet and is no longer obsessed with Lois Lane and is no longer a boy scout
Supergirl doesn't seem to give a damn about the people on a planet she just got to...and it works.
Superboy is less Superman-like and slightly less awful than before.
Justice League replaced Martian Manhunter with Cyborg and it's better off for it.
JLA has a new cast
Red Lanterns can now think and speak properly.
Hawkman's armor is reactive now and awakens when he calls it...which is awesome.
Aquaman is badass and retained some of what made him awesome in Flashpoint
The JSA are no longer overshadowed by the JL, as Bman,Superman,and WW are all dead on Earth 2.
The Huntress of Earth 2 is now the only Huntress.
Powergirl has a new suit and it's terrible...just like her character now.
Some of the Teen Titans have changed. Wonder Girl is no longer a WW clone and has a better back story.

The ones in bold are really the only two I haven't liked. Wonder Woman's ongoing has been a good read, but I still feel some fundamental point of her existence was missed when her origin was changed from being carved of clay by her mother and then empowered by Athena, Hera, Aphrodite and Artemis (among others) for all her abilities. I mean change is good and all but you cannot GET any more cliche in Greek myth than 'Fathered by Zues's famously busy Penis' if you tried.

As for Cyborg, well, I just like Martian Manhunter more, so that's a petty gripe :p

As for the rest, I'm pretty on board, especially Supergirl: her book has been one of my favorites of the New52.

I really doubt she is stronger than Mr.I can bench press the earth for 5 days and have only a single drop of sweat.

Sotanaht:
Mario does not have canon. It was never intended to have canon. Any apparent relationship between separate Mario games or other properties is purely coincidental.

It has some degree of canon

kburns10:
Mario is great and all, but the Sega kid in me made me zone out at the end there..

I would think the sega kid in you should weep for the shell of a company sega is now.

Mario and Luigi are obviously the Mushroom Kingdom equivalent to Hercules, with divinely powerful strength and jumping capabilities. Now if only we could get a black comedy mini-series or game spoofing that.

As for the Star Wars EU, people got invested in some of the more interesting characters in that setting. Mara Jade is a popular one (along with Thrawn), but then there's stuff like Wedge, Corran Horn, the Solo Children, and so forth. It was inevitable that people would be upset to see that all get turfed, since (god knows) people get emotionally invested in this stuff (any Harry Potter shipper could tell you that).

Personally, I'm just hoping that they don't show Luke as married. That seems wrong to me - post-Return of the Jedi Luke is an Obi-Wan-esque wanderer, traveling the galaxy and training students when the Force brings them to him. Moreover, he's "got it figured out", having become a true Jedi. I don't think any of the inevitable tie-in fiction for the new continuity should have Luke POVs, as opposed to POVs of people around him.

But of course, the real winner in this video was Bob's excellent one-line descriptions of stuff. Like how fanboyism is taking stuff seriously to the inverse degree that it's actually something you should be taking seriously. Or that hilarious description of the EU as "for-profit fanfiction".

4:10-Well, Bob you were talking about continuity of Mario. Please go on!

Later I will explain you the physiology of Argonians and prove that they aren't really sentient, so killing them for leather to make boots, isn't such a big deal.

I'm expecting them to use the universe and start telling stories about different characters, to me that makes the most sense. Kind of like you can have the next generation enterprise, deep space nine and voyager sort of next to each other, except now we are talking star wars and movies.

As far the Star Wars gig goes, I agree with Movie Bob 100%.

As far as "DC vs Marvel" goes, I agree 50% I prefer DC, but that's not the point, that's just subjectivism. What didn't sit well with me is saying that marvel has a good continuity... I mean, I used to read a LOT of Marvel stuff, then I stopped, then I picked it up again and stopped again, and all this while, YES it had amazing continuity. Recently I bought the omnibus for Avengers Vs X-Men, which was the worst comic book saga I've EVER read, it looked like a childish "if Thor and Wolverine went to battle, who'd win???" discussion, and all of a sudden we get thrown into Marvel Now (stupid me, WILL give it a third strike, I really like X-Men and really want to get myself to enjoy the damn thing), which seemed to me to make no sense whatsoever, the "continuity" is there, but it's all messed up to the level of being unrecognizable. AND SO WAS DC, but the New 52 is doing a goddamn fine job in keeping up a brand new continuity, the whole solution was, to me, wonderful, they rebooted with a hiatus of 5 years wher many important events remain valid (such as The Joker killing Jason), the most amazing of all in the New 52, is, ironically, the very hero I used to hate the most: Superman, it's the first time I enjoy the character, he's still the ultra-nice-guy, but he's no longer a sucker, and his comics are making complete sense as they interact with one another.
BUUUUUUUUUUT, there's something much more important than what I enjoy the most or what has more or less continuity: the fact that I couldn't give a fuck. The new 52 allowed me to get into better touch with many heroes I wasn't quite acquainted with before, but if the continuity SUCKED I'd still love the comics (provided the story was as good as they are, grifter for instance used to be my favorite Wildstorm character, and I think he's the worst shit to have ever happen in the New 52...). Obviously, this means I don't care about Marvel's continuity either, it's just that their Marvel Now comics have a very bad storytelling, like that time traveling bullshit with the X-Men, and Xavier getting killed so many times in such a small period...

There i was , blissfully ignorant of Mario's continuity problems... but i like knowing this anyway.

I don't particularly care for most of the Star Wars EU. From what I've seen, a lot of it is badly handled trash fanfiction.

What I am upset about is that the few gems in the EU seem to be the stories that will be most affected if Disney retcon the EU out of canon.

Yes, I'm talking about the Thrawn trilogy.

Look, as far as I'm concerned, the Thrawn trilogy is the sequel I always wanted to the original film trilogy. It's a legitimately great, well written trilogy of books, and handles events, ideas and characters from the original films with maturity and intelligence. Heck, in some ways, it's better than the original films. The remnants of the Empire are depicted as an actually effective military organisation, not Saturday cartoon villains, and Thrawn is by far one of the most entertaining and effective villain I've ever seen in a Star Wars story, next to Darth Traya. The Emperor was a villain because everyone always said he was a villain, and he cackled and shit. Vader was a villain because he strangled people. Thrawn was a villain because he legitimately outmanoeuvred his opponents, used incredibly clever tactics, and all in all was a fiendish, sneaky bastard. You look at Thrawn, and you can understand why the Empire became the all-encompassing force it did. This is a guy who managed to convince his enemies that he had unheard of planetary destroying weaponry, through nothing more than clever spaceship parking.

Star Wars or not, Thrawn is hands down a great villain, in a great set of stories. As it stands, the Thrawn books already give me everything I could want in a direct sequel to the films. Great storytelling, great characterisation, just great everything. These new sequels aren't just going to have to live up to the original films, they're also going to have to prove that they're worthy of replacing Thrawn. And no matter how hard they try, I don't think it's going to be artfully done.

Huh.

This was kinda enlightening on why I can rage out on geek stuff. I didn't really think about that, until now.
Nice vid Bob!

Why did you only use scenes from the new "Star Wars"? (quotation marks intentional)

Oh, god, I died laughing at the Mario stuff. It was so spot-on that belly-jiggling hilarity was the only possible response to it.

Mr. Chipman, I say with absolute sincerity that you are a delight.

I also would like separate big picture episodes about New 52 and the whole super mario theory.

faefrost:

Arslan Aladeen:
Mario 1, he's tripping on some mushrooms. Mario 2, it's a dream. Mario 3, the game starts with a curtain rising. Conclusion, Mario makes a play based on all his trippy visions. Super Mario World, every area is named after a food, ergo Mario has the munchies.

Scars Unseen:
Do I want the Sequel Trilogy to be an adaptation of EU stories? No, that's silly. I want a new story, not a rehash of one I could buy from Del Rey. On the other hand, I also believe it would be pretty bad to ride roughshod over the entire existence of the EU. Sure, it isn't all award winning literature, but there is some good stuff in there, and I would hate for the new trilogy to pretty much say that none of the characters in those stories exist at all.

Incidentally, the timing of these movies is eerily in sync with the current progression of the post-RotJ EU fiction. The Fate of the Jedi series ends up at about 40 years after the Emperor takes his swan dive into a reactor core(or whatever that was), and by the time Ep VII comes out it will have been about 32 years since RotJ hit theaters. If Ep VII took place a couple years after that storyline you would have a Skywalker just coming out his teens, a Solo on the Jedi Council, and another Solo preteen on whom the balance of the Force may turn. Not to mention the Empire has just had its first general election, there are at least two different sects of Sith out there somewhere, and the Galactic Alliance(formerly the New Republic) is reeling from a catastrophe on Coruscant.

I could think of several possible stories one could tell with that cast and setting.

They have to ride rough shod over pretty much the entirety of the post RotJ EU stories. It's pure math and accounting and aging. There is NO other option. It all gets thrown in the scrap heap.

Here is the problem

Fans of the Star Wars Movies = 2+ BILLION Human beings. These people are familiar with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, etc etc etc.

Fans of secondary animated materials, ie The Clone Wars = 10+ Million. These are people (and young primary desired consumers) Who are well versed with the stories of Captain Rex, Asoka Tano, the 501st during the Clone Wars etc. Not a bad fan base as a starting point for anything new. Plus the entirety of this story takes place between movies 2 and 3, so does not require any knowlege past the third prequel. Solid still usable backstory and characters, to a point.

Now comes the 800lb Gorilla in the room that no one is talking about. Fans of the EU novels and printed stories. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 (at best, and even then only trending that high for the older stories like the Zahn stuff). (OK OK Maybe a bit more for the three Thrawn books only). At best estimate, maybe, just maybe some of these might peak close to a million. But the typical production run for the novels is 1 or 2 hundred thousand, if that. Heck Dark Horse would be thrilled to get anywhere near those numbers for the comics.

Now add to that the shear volume of material in those EU books that would occur in the 30 years between when we last saw our primary cast, and what the current age of your primary character actors now is. There is no possible way to compress any of that information to make it viable for use on screen. Certainly not without pissing off the 2 billion movie fans. Three words to illustrate the problem. "Death of Chewbacca". "Oh by the way fans, we callously killed off one of your favorite characters 10 years ago as a publicity stunt in a book that less than 1% of you even knew the existence of." And if you think that's bad, try explaining something like the stupidity that is the Yuuzhan Vong to your Uncle Louie who waited in line for 6 hours the summer of '77.

So when faced with the choice between pissing off maybe a hundred thousand fanatic nerds, or pissing off over a billion fans who wish not to be betrayed or confused, well Disney's gonna hold themselves a good old fashioned book burning. They simply cannot base any of the story around needed background knowledge and backstory that only 10's of thousands of fans actually know.

The best the EU fans can hope for is to maybe get some cameo's of some well liked characters. Much as they did in the Prequels. I would not rule out seeing or having some reference to Thrawn. I would not rule out some cameo of Coran Horn or Red Squadron. Mara Jade will not be seen. As much as a cool hot redhead would work well on screen, the whole "Married to Luke Skywalker and mother of his kids" thing pretty much stops that cold.

Other than Chewbacca's death(and even then that's a maybe), everything you just listed can more or less be ignored.

Ignored != invalidated.

The Vong thing is past. So is Thrawn and even Mara Jade. Assuming that the OT cast are not going to be the primary focus of the script(and if they are, you can count on the movies sucking as much as a modern Rolling Stones concert), the EU can remain as it stands without the movies even mentioning them, and everything would be fine. The only thing that would truly screw the EU pooch would be if the new trilogy focused on the Skywalker/Solo legacy and replaced Ben and Jaina as the characters.

As things stand in the EU, both the Galactic Alliance and the Empire are in a state of change if not outright chaos. The last big galaxy spanning story arc is over and done with, leaving things open for practically any sort of story. There are 2 potential groups of Bads that could be used, but the Fate of the Jedi story left things uncertain enough that both or neither of them could be relevant in the near future.

The slate is about as blank as one could ask for, short of Disney saying "Nope. Ben is a stupid name. Make new characters." It could not be easier to retain creative freedom without giving the big finger to the EU fans.

People assume that a story is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like aaaaaaaaaaaaa..............MULITIVERSES!!! YEAH! let's go with that.
one thing happened in one universe and another universe that is almost the some something entirely different happened.

Split thoughts.

I find that the post-film EU is a messy battleground of different narratives that don't make much sense. As MovieBob mentions a lot of it feels like fanfiction, though there are some gems lying around.

The pre-film EU, however, seems to be better, on average. Perhaps because they had to deal with entirely original concepts and characters, rather than using characters from the films and established scenarious.

In this new continuity I'd like to see references to the better parts of the old one, such as Admiral Thrawn and the Solo children, and I'd certainly like the older stuff to become more cemented in canon, but I could do without the endless parade of super-weapons, the Yuuzhan Vong and the myriad godlike force creatures that pop up occasionally.

There needs to be a Mara Jade - otherwise, I'm cool with Disney tossing the EU.

chickenhound:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Haha, loved it. When you think about it, Super Mario Bros. continuity is a heck of a lot more interesting than Zelda continuity.

I will only agree ot that seeing as mario's is still debatable where as wiht LoZ we have the Hyrule Historia

Which has a timeline that contains the sentence "The resurrection of Ganon" WAAAYYY too many times.

I certainly understand why they would want to avoid the EU stuff. However, I think overwriting it is the wrong approach.

Imo, they should have just jumped a few centuries to get past the bulk of the currently established lore. That does a few of things:

1) It preserves any current canon that fans may be attached to so they don't have to feel slighted when their favorite story gets invalidated.
2) Allows you to reference characters and events people care about without all the baggage of portraying them "incorrectly". People respond much better to the occassional easter egg than they do to messing up something they already have a clear personal view of.
3) Gives you new available elements of backstory to add depth to your tale. That's one of the reasons (granted, among many) that the original trilogy worked so much better: The characters, the factions, the entire galaxy, all had a history that shaped it. And by leaving it relatively vague, we had to fill the gaps with our own imaginations and, as a result, become more invested.
4) Makes the transition to a new vision much more palatable since fans can justify the changes as part of the tech evolution over time. This holds for any CGI and special effects enhancements as well (another thing the prequels did wrong).

Yeah, we probably shouldn't hold to continuity as much as we do, but we do. And, imo, with Lucas out of the way, there is really no reason to continue to shit on the fans love of that continuity.

craddoke:
There needs to be a Mara Jade - otherwise, I'm cool with Disney tossing the EU.

There needs to be a Kyle Katarn as well.

There has to be a Universe out there somewhere, in which Mario cosplays as Moviebob, not the other way round...

The unfortunate thing about Super Mario continuity is that my favorite installment Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars would probably have to be in a parallel universe at this point :(

Is Mario continuity a thing?

Why have I never heard the arguments for it? Against it? Why does no one debate it? Can we start doing that? Zelda timeline arguments are fun enough, in that pedantic way that cataloging every minute detail of a large series can be, but the Mario games have enough breadth that we should be having a field day with this.

And ooh, Star Wars extended universe, I'm so enthralled and eager and hey, how about we talk about all this Mario Cannon?

Hey Bob? I seem to remember you suggesting an early game overthinker video about Mario continuity. Perhaps now is the time, and now is the series.

Alright, this is how you solve the continuity problem. You remember the last twilght movie right? The one with the big fight scene in the end where important characters died and it was nearly the end of the world, blah, blah... the one that the psychic vampire had a vision of?

That's Luke in the new movie. Now he's either seen the future (the entire EU book line) or experienced it through some sort of extreme force meditation and he sets out to keep that future from happening. It may be a turd of an idea, but it's the best looking turd in this septic system that I can find.

At the risk of committing heresy, I believe Star Trek has the answer to Star Wars continuity:


Bam, there you go. Simply regard the EU material as an alternate reality, where different decisions led to different circumstances and outcomes than the films.

Do an episode on the Mario time line please. that was more interesting than the star wars things you said. but than again I am bigger fan of mario than of star wars

Neverhoodian:
At the risk of committing heresy, I believe Star Trek has the answer to Star Wars continuity:


Bam, there you go. Simply regard the EU material as an alternate reality, where different decisions led to different circumstances and outcomes than the films.

I, in fact, tend to do this with all KINDS of different fandoms.

It let me enjoy the new Star Trek movie as refreshing while not eventually pooping on them. Many people seem to think this over-writes the old canon, but it's simply telling you where it lies. This is a new reality, but the old one didn't happen, it happened in an alternate timeline that Spock never died in, he simply vanished into the Aether.(Which is soooo cool.:D)

It lets me enjoy things like M2 that Marvel ran with a while back. I loved Spider Girl, but she will never be canon.

I think you really have to pay attention to continuity when they ask us to, otherwise it's kind of an unneeded hassle.
Of course I'm also one of those weird guys who liked all the old dmc games and also really enjoyed the new one too.

It's almost as if you did the whole SMB thing ironica, wait I see what you did there.

Continuity can be fun when it's something like surprise Beast Wars ties into Transformers G1 continuity or when Batman Beyond would bring up something from Batman the Animated series.

But I'm just not a fan of being a slave to continuity. Personally I'd rather just forget the Star Wars prequel films ever happened. It's also nice to say the Transformers movies happen in some weird alternate reality so Decepticons can be cool in other realities. And occasionally it's fun to just bust continuity all to hell like when Battlestar Galactica said hey lets mess with expectations and make Starbuck a woman.

Wow Bob. You are the geekest.

My everlasting respect for that mario stuff. I honestly didnt even know it HAD a story besides that fucking princess getting repeatedly abducted. How about some self-defense lessons, eh?!

William Greeson:

Neverhoodian:
At the risk of committing heresy, I believe Star Trek has the answer to Star Wars continuity:


Bam, there you go. Simply regard the EU material as an alternate reality, where different decisions led to different circumstances and outcomes than the films.

I, in fact, tend to do this with all KINDS of different fandoms.

It let me enjoy the new Star Trek movie as refreshing while not eventually pooping on them. Many people seem to think this over-writes the old canon, but it's simply telling you where it lies. This is a new reality, but the old one didn't happen, it happened in an alternate timeline that Spock never died in, he simply vanished into the Aether.(Which is soooo cool.:D)

It lets me enjoy things like M2 that Marvel ran with a while back. I loved Spider Girl, but she will never be canon.

I think you really have to pay attention to continuity when they ask us to, otherwise it's kind of an unneeded hassle.
Of course I'm also one of those weird guys who liked all the old dmc games and also really enjoyed the new one too.

star trek handled the issue well i dislike the new movie reboot but its an alternate timeline you can ignore if you want. plus you have the whole evil mirror universe that they use as well with links now and then.

basicalyy if you dont like the fact they have made all your stuff non cannon just wave your hands in the general direction of disney corporation and the evil mouse demi god that requires the souls and tears of children and say "not in my head"

blackrave:
4:10-Well, Bob you were talking about continuity of Mario. Please go on!

Later I will explain you the physiology of Argonians and prove that they aren't really sentient, so killing them for leather to make boots, isn't such a big deal.

they also apparently taste like chicken too

Here's a brilliant idea.

How about we just do two Star Wars Movies based on KOTOR 1 and 2? (Disregard TOR though as non-cannon, because they pretty much ruined the first two games with that abomination.)

It's by far the best Star Wars story with great characters, dialogue and plot you could have for any Star Wars movie. Just don't change the dialogue and have Bioware and Obsidian take part in the making of the film.

We will then, for the first time in over two decades, receive a great Star Wars movie again! Huzzah!

This brings to mind two words. Two very fearsome words.

Robocop reboot.

Bob must do an episode about it...or at least mention it in a junk drawer ep.

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