RSA Debate

Round 4, Part 1a (EU Inclusion)

(posted Thursday, October 3, 2002)

Since most of your post is focused on attempts at attacking me, grandstanding, and other such silliness, I shall first reply to the small on-topic portion of your reply.

Tell me, does your debating technique extend even slightly beyond the childish "you too!" technique? Because so far, that's all you do. I point out red herrings in your argument, you say "no, YOU'RE using red herrings!" I point out your ad hominem fallacies, you say "no, YOU'RE using personal attacks!" I point out grandstanding and sophistry on your part, you say "no, YOU'RE grandstanding!" In many cases, you even use the exact same words and phrases. This is beginning to border on low comedy.

I grow weary of the way you reflexively defend every single one of your red herrings. You refused to admit that preferred methods of EU analysis (or even quotes from other peoples' arguments regarding those methods) have no bearing on the question of whether the EU is admissible at all. You refused to admit that comparisons of EU users to shifty lawbreakers are an obvious "prejudicial language" attack. You refused to admit that there is a distinction between hearsay and direct testimony, or that Sansweet is not qualified to say what enters George Lucas' mind during his writing process. You refused to admit the fallacy of your basic philosophical approach, which would nullify both science and history if applied to real life (indeed, you actually had the temerity to dismiss it as a false analogy because your methods contradict scientific methods so violently, thereby CONCEDING that you use unscientific methods despite your shameless quoting of scientific terms and principles when convenient). You refused to admit that verbal interviews are not as carefully composed as articles being written expressly for publication. You denied each and every characterization of fallacious behaviour even when it was as plain as the nose on your face, and everyone but you could see it (eg- you say the EU is either guaranteed true or completely worthless with no conceivable middle ground, yet you refuse to admit that this is a false dilemma fallacy!).

You stubbornly refused to budge on even the smallest, most obvious point (you even deny that the term "quasi-canon" was ever approved by Lucasfilm even though it was printed in the officially sanctioned SWE!). Half of your denials simply say "completely untrue" or "utterly false" without even bothering to explain why, and when you DO deign to explain why, the explanation invariably treats "canon" and "continuity as interchangeable concepts (using your conclusion as a premise; that's circular logic, whether you admit it or not). You even attacked the inclusion of logic fallacy DEFINITIONS as somehow being "shameful". And ultimately, by fighting tooth and nail on every single insignificant point, and splitting paragraphs into individual sentences to attack them piecemeal, you have created the "ballooning post" syndrome in which every post gets longer and longer, because you can't let a single sentence go by without pontificating upon it at length.

Frankly, I am convinced that all rational observers can easily see through these tactics by now, and your brick-wall denials will not change that fact. I will summarize, and I challenge you to defend on the key ON-TOPIC points, without your voluminous theatrics:

1. You cite Cerasi who said that only the films constitute the "real story" of Star Wars, while the EU represents a somewhat distorted window into that story.
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".
3. In your last post, you claimed that the LFL continuity is "subservient to the Canon, not inclusive of it and in control of it."
4. You cite many, many sources (including Lucas) which indicate that the EU is separate from the canon (although in Lucas' case, he also said that the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars).

My rebuttals on those key points:

1. Cerasi agrees with me, not you. I have been saying that the canon represents direct observation (ie- the "real story") while the EU represents historical data (ie- distorted retellings, ie- "windows" onto events), and both should be interpreted accordingly. You, on the other hand, insist that the canon represents the entirety of the story, and that the EU does NOT represent any kind of view into the Star Wars story, thus directly contradicting the Cerasi quote. Justify your backtracking on the "foggy windows" quote as well as your misuse of the English language: "real" and "complete" are not synonyms.

2. First of all, Sansweet obviously agrees with me, not you, given his statement in the SWE. Moreover, Sansweet is not qualified to testify as to what exists in Lucas' mind. And finally, your interpretation is over-arching; even if Lucas composes the prequels without studying the EU first, that HARDLY means that he thinks the fans should ignore it! He is George Lucas, and he can violate lesser parts of the continuity at will (he has even contradicted canon on occasion!), but that doesn't mean WE can do the same. Justify your claim that we, the fans, have the same power to violate the EU that George Lucas reserves for himself.

3. Your argument is a non sequitur. The continuity need not "control" the canon in order to include it. An occupied car includes its driver; does that mean the car MUST control the driver, and not the other way around?

4. It is possible for the EU to be separate from the canon but still be part of the overall continuity (picture attached for clarity, since you seem incapable of understanding this simple concept). 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. If we had direct video footage of the Pacific War and nothing but written reports from the European War, we would have a fairly analogous situation to the canon and the EU. I have noted this glaring hole in your logic in every single post since this debate started. Stop ignoring it.


You have already acknowledged that an overall continuity exists, and that it includes both the canon and the EU, yet you refuse to acknowledge it. My challenge to you is:

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

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).

3. Explain why you feel that the LFL "in-house continuity" should be ignored, without resorting to word substitutions such as "inclusion = control" or worse yet, your circular logic of arguing that the canon is the only thing that counts because the EU doesn't "control" the canon ... which is the only thing that counts.

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).

5. Explain why George Lucas' comment about the EU intruding on the world of Star Wars should be ignored. Explain what else he could have possibly meant by that statement, in a manner consistent with the other quotes.

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.

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.

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. You cannot use your conclusion as a premise in order to attack your opponent (ie- "you think the EU is canon because you say it's part of the continuity, and we all know that continuity is the canon"). In the same vein, stop using "rebuttals" such as "The EU is not canon". You cannot perform a "continuiy = canon" word substitution in your replies without being guilty of circular logic (using your conclusion to prove itself and/or attack criticism thereof).

I would answer all of your little points, nitpicks, desperate attempts to evade or ignore accusations of logical fallacies, strawman distortions, and countless childish "you too!" retorts, but frankly, I have discovered that this would only give you an excuse to continue dissipating this debate into endless time-wasting arguments over minutae, rather than focusing on the major points in a straightforward manner (besides, you'll ignore most of them out with your cute little "snipes snipped" trick anyway).

You have already succeeded in boring the audience to tears with your immense monologues; no one on my own BBS, ASVS, or anywhere else seems to be interested in reading or commenting on this any more (is that your plan? To drive the audience away so no one will pay attention to your mistakes and fallacies?). Please stop violating your own debate stipulations and make an HONEST effort to A) keep it short and B) avoid logical fallacies. Address the relevant points and ONLY those points, as summarized above.

I really don't understand why the disagreement continues.

That is why you fail.

This is really very simple, Robert: LFL tells us that the EU is official, or "quasi-canon", according to the SWE. Lucas tells us that the EU "intrudes" on the world of Star Wars wherever his films don't. Cerasi tells us that the EU gives us a "window" into the world of Star Wars, albeit an imperfect one. Ergo, the EU counts. You may insist that it's somehow wrong to include the EU as per the wishes of LFL and Lucas himself, but whatever your agenda is, you can't change the fact that every source you bring up to support your position (Cerasi, Sansweet, Lucas) actually DAMAGES it when you look at the big picture, and all of your brick-wall denials won't change that fact.

Continue to Part 2

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