Storytime: Chee 2005 vs. 2017

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Storytime: Chee 2005 vs. 2017

Post by 2046 » Wed Jan 26, 2022 5:07 am

I was recently having one of those familiar-feeling discussions on canon with some folks, where most of them disagreed and some did so with angry vigor. You know the drill . . . I have to have what I say in corporate letterhead handwritten and signed in the owner's own lifeblood while the other side doesn't even have to acknowledge quotes about operative canon policy, until they eventually just try to smear me and silence me by insult.

In response to the latter, I remarked how very familiar that was, and how it doesn't work on me, and even relayed a little nugget I apparently never referenced here, per a search.

As you might recall, on some occasions when something they found particularly troubling would appear (like the 2005 Starlog quote where Lucas spoke of two universes, parallel), the SDN EU-is-canon folks ran to Leland Chee on the forum with a colorized version to try to get him to assuage their fears and provide ammo against me. He'd reply with something usually carefully worded, protective of his EU, and they'd try to crow about it, claiming I had once again been destroyed, vanquished, et cetera. Broadly speaking, he tended to take personally the suggestion that the EU was a separate universe since, after all, part of his job was retconning it to try to make it fit whenever Lucas ignored it. (Chee wouldn't or couldn't grasp that a self-referential EU was a line going in its own direction, one that remained separate even if course-corrected from time to time so as not to stray too far from the master line, and even if he grasped it he sure as hell wasn't predisposed to advertise it.)

Anyway, they'd get him saying things like:

"”Parallel universe” suggests that each universe can go in separate directions which really isn't the case with regard to the EU. The EU is bound by what is seen in the most current version of the films and by directives from George Lucas."

"On the other hand, the quote you provide makes it sound like the EU is separate from George's vision of the Star Wars universe. It is not."

"There is one overall continuity."

"Everything outside of the films was collectively known as the Expanded Universe serving as an extension of the same universe as the films."

Now, occasionally this backfired on them. For instance, at one point he acknowledged the possibility of a movies-only continuity, albeit begrudgingly. I'm pretty sure that's when they stopped asking.

Then came the publishing reset of the EU. Later, in November 2017, I was following Pablo Hidalgo on Twitter and he posted some interview with Chee (SyFyWire maybe), and, as I replied to Pablo at the time, it was an astonishing read. He was just blurting out the sort of stuff I was saying in 2005 like it was common knowledge, things I'd have to fight tooth and nail to get folks to stop arguing, much less accepting. Had Chee been standing before me in that moment I'd have wanted to hug him and smack him all at the same time. ... 0538059776

"Before we had a Story Group, what George did with the films and The Clone Wars was pretty much his universe,” Chee said. “He didn’t really have that much concern for what we were doing in the books and games. So the Expanded Universe was very much separate. What we had to do in the Expanded Universe was, if George did something in the films that contradicted something we had done in the Expanded Universe, then we'd have to change the EU to match what he did in the films."

He even acknowledged "separate" and "his universe" along with all the operational details! The EU-philes would've shat solid bricks, back in the day.

It was just one of those moments where you have to laugh bitterly.

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