This document is intended to be a definitive (but not comprehensive) rebuttal of one Mr. Robert Scott Anderson's website1. In debating the topic of Star Wars versus Star Trek, it is first important to understand what, exactly, is permissible as evidence for both sides. Mr. Anderson has long taken the position that, in Star Wars, only the canon films, scripts, novelizations, and radio dramatizations are admissible. That is, he refuses to acknowledge the so-called "Expanded Universe" (henceforth: EU) of Star Wars fiction2. Mr. Anderson's policy of disregarding the EU in favor of only canon material has recently been a point of contention with an unrelated debate between Mr. Anderson and Mr. Michael Wong3. By all accounts, the sub-debate on this particular topic did not accomplish anything and went around in circles for all five rounds of the debate, with neither side making significant gains beyond the first two rounds. Suffice it to say, it is the personal preference of Mr. Anderson to rely exclusively upon canonical information for the purposes of debating, and in the creation of the said website, despite the clear violation of the Star Wars (SW) canon statements, including the ones from Lucas that he incessantly invoked to support his claims. Whenever, on his website, EU information is required, it is so noted on the page. This document will attempt to honor Mr. Anderson's personal preference, as the site in question uses only such material, as Anderson's personal preference is legitimate in the sense that it is consistent, even if his arguments that it is the only possible interpretation are inaccurate. This document will make use of EU material to refute any pages of Mr. Anderson's site that do require the use of the EU themselves. In this manner, it is intended for both sides of the ensuing debate to be placed on completely even ground, on the basis of what is and is not considered to be applicable. Moreover, as this document is intended as a refutation, it would be improper to make use of additional information, of which the refuted work limits itself to excluding.

Readers expecting large volumes of flames, insults, and such will be disappointed. I have deliberately refrained from using such things whenever possible, to increase the difficulty that Mr. Anderson will have in responding to these points in a coherent manner, and to prevent him from using his famous "you're flaming, I win" lines as much as possible. I would also like to reiterate that the goal of this is not to force Anderson to admit defeat or force him from the internet—such is impossible. I will, however, make every effort short of insults to remove Anderson's credibility, and make it far more difficult for people to take his work at face value.

Please note: Due to Mr. Anderson's refusal to post dates on his website, I will use the date of the last update before I read the site when accrediting a work to him. Also, when rebutting a particular page, it is assumed that any marked, direct quotes are from that particular page of the site, unless otherwise noted.

Also note: I had originally intended this entire series of documents to accredit different sources in end-note notation. While going through it, I got lazy pretty quickly and decided not to bother with many of them. Thus, many of Anderson's pages are unaccredited, though I think I mentioned all of my other resources in preparing this.

[Editor's note: it should be noted that one of RSA's main platforms is his claim that the EU is "non-canon" and should be ignored. He likes this because the removal of evidence increases ambiguity, and quite frankly, increased ambiguity is a benefit to bullshitters.

He also uses his dismissal of the EU as an excuse to label anything using the EU for evidence as a "fallacy" or "falsehood". This is a frankly despicable tactic. It is one thing to simply say that you prefer a pure-canon approach; many people do that. But it is quite another to accuse everyone who uses the officially published policy of being a liar. The Star Wars Encyclopedia describes the EU as "quasi-canon"; this is quite unambiguous. And Lucas personally approves or rejects EU plot developments; an absurd waste of time if, as RSA claims, none of it counts anyway.

He tries to dismiss the unambigious SWE statement by wildly interpreting numerous George Lucas quotes about how the EU and canon are "separate" (as if this is a big deal; TOS and TNG are separate, but no one questions that they're both Star Trek) and he hopes that we won't emulate his tactics. We won't, but that's just because we're not as unreasonable as he is, not because we can't. Does he realize that if we wanted to be like him, we could simply take Gene Roddenberry's "it isn't Star Trek until I say it's Star Trek" quote and use it to dismiss anything he didn't produce? That means no more DS9. No more Voyager. No more STG, STFC, STI, STN. All gone. And then, if we wanted to act like him, we would scream "fallacy" and "falsehood" at anyone who dared use any of these sources in any way. After all, Roddenberry's quote is much more explicit than George Lucas's quote; it would actually be easier to make that case.

Ultimately, we generally agree to use Lucasfilm and Paramount's policies, rather than interpreting off-hand comments from George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry. If RSA wants to continue being unreasonable, he should realize that what's good for the goose is good for the gander; we could easily adopt a rule that whenever dealing with him, any evidence he cites from Voyager, DS9, or any of the movies made without Roddenberry at the helm should be treated as a justification to accuse him of "falsehoods".

Anyway, keep this in mind when you look at RSA's site; his unabashed use of double-standards is quite remarkable]


1 Robert Scott Anderson, Guardian 2000's Star Wars vs. Star Trek Technical Assessment (December 28, 2002).

2 Robert Scott Anderson, Star Trek vs. Star Wars: Preface and Canon Policies (December 28, 2002).

3 Michael Wong, RSA Debate (October 19, 2002).

Next page