Star Wars fans on the internet have been complaining about “retcons” since before most of them knew what the term meant. The assumption that canon is law has never helped storytellers in mega-franchises like Star Wars create without the possibility of someone coming along to tell them all the ways their work doesn’t deserve to exist.
Ahsoka novel author E.K. Johnston posted on Twitter this weekend about how frustrating it is to consistently hear Star Wars fans dismiss her book (calling it “non-canon”) because of small differences between details revealed in the plot, written before publication in 2016, and the rest of Ahsoka’s story, revealed in the years after the book came out.
“There isn’t a big conspiracy behind the changes in Ahsoka’s story,” Johnston clarified. “Dave approved the book six years ago and then kept working on her journey. It’s frustrating to see people gleefully declare my book non-canon instead of just…using their imaginations. Like we did.”
Star Wars is too big for every small detail to always line up perfectly, especially when characters’ stories are told through different mediums at different points throughout their (fictional) lives. To expect perfect cohesion between every piece of Star Wars media ever released isn’t just unrealistic, it’s the fastest way to set yourself up for disappointment.
Storytellers are not at fault for small details changing from story to story. It’s rarely a matter of things being “overlooked.” Small details offered in A New Hope about Anakin Skywalker’s past don’t quite line up with what’s revealed in the prequels. That doesn’t make any of these details somehow less significant.
If you’re upset that Ahsoka’s lightsabers are described as two different colors or that Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke his father wanted him to have his lightsaber when no such conversation between master and apprentice ever occurred, try using your imagination to consider that maybe, in universe, people recount details of stories differently than they actually happened. We do it in real life every day. It’s not a “retcon.” It’s just how people tell and interact with stories.
And don’t attack an author for writing a story, parts of which were later adapted for an animated show. Find something better to do with your time.
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