Ghost Transmissions · Spectre-1 · Star Wars

Canon, Consistency, and Mythology

With the release of The Bad Batch the idea of canon and contradictions has come back. Going through the idea of Star Wars storytelling and how different forms of media connect is something I’m going to talk a bit about here.

So the idea of the story group and the big canon reset back in 2015 was a huge deal. It was also meant to align every Star Wars story from then on. Obviously this is something much easier to say rather than do but for the most part many Star Wars stories have successfully connected, refenced, and interwoven with each other wonderfully.

So I guess I’ll go through a few of the inconsistencies I’ve seen people talking about and troubled by and give my thoughts. (Thanks Johnamarie for helping through this latest one!)

Star Wars: Ahsoka and The Clone Wars

Specifically the final episodes of Season 7 tell The Siege of Mandalore and Ahsoka’s escape from Order 66. These events are also touched on in the Ahsoka book released a few years before. In my opinion, the differences are minimal and don’t change the story at all. For example, in the book, Ahsoka’s sabers are described as green. In the show, Ahsoka gets blue sabers. A detail directly changed but has no effect on the story. Also, both versions have different dialogue. Once again, a small detail that doesn’t change anything in the overall story. Also, most of the movie adaptations have different dialogue. Maybe some things work better off the page than in a film. Maybe things are written off script drafts that become updated or outdated. Once again these details that people get hung up on don’t seem to change the fundamental mythology of the story. The story remains Ahsoka goes to Mandalore with Rex, Ahsoka captures Maul, Maul escapes, Ahsoka survives and leaves her lightsabers behind.

Star Wars Aftermath and The Mandalorian

Some have even said that Cobb Vanth’s story differs in these two versions. In Aftermath, Cobb Vanth is on a sandcrawler ready to buy the Fett armor when one of the Red Key raiders arrives and wants to buy it. Vanth kills the raider, claims the armor, and appoints himself Marshal of Freetown. In The Mandalorian, Vanth never mentions the raider. This one doesn’t even seem like a contradiction, more a narrative choice of Vanth telling his own story. There’s nothing saying Vanth doesn’t see the armor, head over to buy it, where the raider also heads over and the rest of the story happens. The end story is the same. Vanth buys the Fett armor from jawas, appoints himself Marshal of his little town, and tries to protect his people.

Kanan: The Last Padawan and The Bad Batch

So far, this story has the biggest difference of details of any of these stories. In Kanan: The Last Padawan, Caleb and Depa are talking around a campfire in the night when the call for Order 66 is initiated. Caleb and Depa take out a few clones before Depa orders Caleb to run and gives her life for his escape. In The Bad Batch, Order 66 happens just after Clone Force 99 arrives and takes out a droid battalion. Depa tells Caleb to run and gives her life to hold off the clones. Hunter and Crosshair follow Caleb and Hunter lets Caleb escape, as the inhibitor chip in these defective clones doesn’t work as it should. Small details are changed. Depa’s saber is blue, the clones armor is different, and the time of day Order 66 happens is different. In this case there are some bigger differences. The Bad Batch are never mentioned in the comic being the big one. In the comic, Caleb runs off and spends time hiding from the clones. In the show, Caleb runs off and the Bad Batch are left questioning their orders. The stories can work together if you ignore irrelevant details. Depa and Caleb connect with their clones in a last campfire evening. Order 66 doesn’t happen until the next day after The Bad Batch arrives. After The Bad Batch leaves, Grey and Styles continue to hunt for the escaped Padawan. The only detail that is a direct contradiction would be the time of day Order 66 happens and The Bad Batch’s presence.

It all comes down to storytelling and mythology.

Star Wars has always been a mythology.

It was meant to be retold and evolve in different ways. Even George Lucas himself would change details in his story. Small details that never changed what the story was meant to be. Han shot first. Greedo shoots first. The story was always, Greedo pulls a gun on Han, Han shoots him at a table and leaves. Sometimes we, as fans, can get too hung up on details and what they mean to us and not the stories and characters that tell them. It doesn’t matter that Ahsoka’s sabers were blue. What matters is that after Order 66, she left them behind. It doesn’t matter if Cobb Vanth shot a dude on a sandcrawler, What matters is he claimed the Fett armor and appointed himself Marshall. It doesn’t matter that Order 66 happened on Kaller in daytime. What matters is Caleb survived and was scarred by losing his entire life and everyone he knew after Order 66.

Pablo Hidalgo once said that the way canon worked was in broad storytelling strokes. Details like dialogue, weapons, or interpretations might always depend on points of view. But the broad strokes of a story would always remain, Depa died during Order 66. Caleb survived. Ahsoka and Rex survived. Maul escaped. As Star Wars continues to grow and change things like this might happen.

Kenobi said it best:

“Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

  • Sal P.

How do you deal with canon storytelling?

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