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Dorek

Moratorium on Canonization?

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(forgive the overly dramatic title, the point of which is perhaps further on than I meant for it to be)

 

Canonization has always been one of the more contentious points of the BIONICLE fanbase. While we've had plenty of legitimate examples of fans contributing to the story, through official (LEGO-hosted) contests, a fair chunk of the story has resulted from the adaptation of fan suggestions, ostensibly through the one person who interacts with the (Gen 1) story and the fans the most: Greg Farshtey.

 

Opinions on these fan-made canon (not fanon, which is a different term entirely) bits vary wildly; some like them, some hate them, some refuse to acknowledge them at all until they've appeared in the official story, and some don't care at all because they have their own, fanon, storyline (or "headcanon"), which exists irrespective of what happens in the "official" story.

 

However, with the conclusion of the Gen 1 story, many felt that with the departure of GregF from BZP and the lack of continuing story serials, that what we are now calling "Gen 1" should be finalized. Obviously there are unresolved plot arcs and lingering story mysteries. That's a given. And certain bits of information revealed since the conclusion (such as the purpose of the Red Star, and the mystery Great Being's identity) have been indispensable for people who follow the story. But without an avenue to directly involve Greg, several story contests and the like had to be put on hold, or shelved indefinitely, and it seemed the Gen 1 story had ended.

 

(In the interim, we also had the BIONICLE Story Squad (BSS), an group of BZPites dedicated to vetting fan suggestions before passing them on to Greg, to ensure that there were no canon conflicts or other issues. A good idea, in theory, even if we were a bit awkward and unfocused =P. While a few suggestions were ultimately canonized, GregF's departure meant that there wasn't much to do with the group, and then BZP's crash killed most of it.)

 

The situation changed when Greg began answering fan questions on LEGO's dedicated forums, the LEGO Message Boards (LMB). While these questions started off innocuous, it has evolved to be essentially what happened in the latter years on BZP: people asking for Greg to canonize their theory, or piece of unrelated information, etc. A seeming key difference is that, more or less, anything suggested gets accepted. Again, your mileage may vary; some people don't care, some people take issue, and some people actually enjoy it.

 

And certainly, Greg is no fool. He stresses that if his answer conflicts with any sort of pre-established canon, then that should take precedent over his new answer (which brings up an interesting double-negative dilemma that I will discuss later). Much like always, it is his prerogative to answer these questions in a manner fitting to him. If he doesn't want to answer questions, or approve fan suggestions, he won't.

 

The more recent canonization of the Toa Cordak have stirred up some of these feelings. As mentioned in that topic, former BZP resident Tolkien wrote a blog entry, articulating some of the "stop canonizing" camp's feelings. While there are some good points in there, there's also the flip-side where it comes off as curmudgeonly. The BIONICLE story, for better or worse, belongs to all fans, not just one particular group; articulating why one side of the debate gets more of a say than others is something that neither side has been able to do.

 

Which brings me to the main point of this topic: is there a solution to the divide? I know this seems almost aggressively non-committal, but it's a topic worth discussing. Would it be possible, as my provocative topic title suggests, to decide as an entity to prevent any canon suggestions from automatically going through? BZP may not be the the most representative fanbase in terms of of numbers, but the members are certainly the most passionate and dedicated, and in a certain sense have "earned" the right to influence the story (as they already have!).

 

There are positives and negatives to each side, but my frustration with the debate is that there's rarely ever actually a "debate". Without people stepping up and speaking for what they think, all we have are blog entries, passive-aggressive asides (guilty!), and the continued influx of canonized things. So I want to know: what do people think? Why do you think this? Have your opinions changed from what they once were? What are your solutions to this controversial issue?

 

(tl;dr: canonizations is weird what are your opinions)

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I can't think of a single canonization that Greg has ever made that has somehow deepened or improved the Gen 1 story. They've only made things more confusing and complicated.
 
The worst part is that these aren't things that were in the story bible that Greg has decided to share with the long-time fans—rather, they're fan theories that are accepted into the canon by a nonchalant wave of his hand.
 
Basically, I don't get the sense that Greg cares about the Gen 1 story enough to bother with making sure that possible canonizations logically fit into the story—see my comment on the "Toa Cordak" canonization.

 

If there's a petition to keep Greg from further corrupting what became a bloated storyline, put my name on the top of that list. I've gone from not caring to being staunchly against it because each one just makes things worse. Let bygones be bygones.

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Things like the naming of the Toa Cordak are bound to happen, because he no longer has a list of approved names from TLG, so the only way he can name things in the old universe is by using old names. I don't mind this, because it's always nice to see at least one person at TLG taking care of the old universe, in this case, naming a team that previously had no name. If that didn't happen, we would have just kept on calling them "Toa Team #1" or "Lesovikk's gang" forever, and that would have been lame. Unlike many fans who want NO questions answered whatsoever in order to maintain a fading sense of mystery or their own personal nostalgia, I'd rather have questions that have been on my mind answered, and questions answered now are better than questions answered never, IMO.

 

As long as Greg doesn't start retconning things, we'll be fine (and he doesn't want us to let him do that, anyway).  :P


For me, BIONICLE was an epic science fantasy saga with a deep and complex lore, and was best when it was exactly that in its later years. I'm not sorry if that offended you.

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Canonization is great. Fikou-Nui is the boss. Any one who disagrees can die..jk


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^Exactly why we need random canonization to stop. :P

 

Right now, that LMB topic is just one big loose canon (pun not intended) for insane fan suggestions and forgetcons. I'd sleep easier at night if that topic were shut down. It has outlived its usefulness I think. 

 

In the absence of that solution being done, I don't want to stop something from being canonized if it is actually a good idea. At the moment, I can't think of any, but in the slim chance I'm wrong, I think we should do this: 

 

1) Official story sources (like the books, comics, and other official media) take precedence over any Greg answers given. If Greg contradicts one of those, the story source wins. (This avoids the story being mangled.)

 

2) People should be encouraged to post their questions on BZPower or BS01 before sending them to Greg. 

 

3) If Greg contradicts an old answer he has given...I want to say priority goes to the new answer. But if people follow guideline #2, I don't think we should have problems with #3. 

 

And that's the 700th reason why the Categorical GregF Refrence needs to happen (my bad :( ) to avoid problems with #3. Cause right now the Compendium is a pain to search through, so nobody does it, they just ask Greg. And then we get forgetconnish messes. 

 

Lastly, rule #1 should be enforced by BS01. That's all that really needs to be done IMO. 

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By that logic Anonna is male.


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My take on a possible solution:

 

One: Stop suggesting stupid things for canonization. Greg Farshtey's willingness to keep communicating with BZPower and canonize good ideas has been great. Unfortunately, it seems as if we've bore him down to the point where anything goes. Ideas like the "Toa Cordak" should not be allowed to reach him.

 

Two: Simplify it some. Perhaps we should propose to Greg that some, maybe a lot of canon concepts (looking at "Toa Cordak" again, and the fan masks too) be decanonized. Go back to basics (official story sources) on a few things.

 

Three: In the future, only use canonization to fix plot holes, fill in (important) gaps, and keep the story going. Tren Krom's been scattered over Bota Magna for... what, three years now?

Edited by Uhmbra
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It's really just supplementary material. It didn't exactly influence the main story in any way other than add terms and ideas that were rarely brought up. So while I thought some were cool, I've never really cared about Greg's fan canonizations. But I have to admit, towards the end it just seemed like he'd canonize anything. Plus, sticking random ammo names onto Toa teams is just lazy. How many times are we gonna have characters share names with launchers and machines and geographical landscapes?

 

-NotS

Edited by Nidhiki of the Shadows
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My thoughts are:

 

1) Good things that resolve real problems should still be canonized. However it works, it should be possible.

 

2) Mistakes will always be made... but...

 

3) Greg could do with some more caution and hesitation to say "yes" to things. ESPECIALLY "simple questions."

 

If somebody takes the time to hash out an idea on BZP with people who actually follow the story in-depth, with multiple perspectives we can usually catch any problems, and then a good solution can be sent to Greg and he can accept it. That's kinda like what we did with the Story Squad, just more informal, but it has worked several times now.

 

But if somebody asks Greg something on their own, out of context, without consideration of previously established canon, then it's probably a bad idea. Nothing wrong with their asking, but Greg himself should still make it a rule to be hesitant with them.

 

 

Aaaand...

 

4) As much as we love worldbuilding, the whole thing doesn't have to be complete. It's okay to keep some things unresolved.

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If you don't like something Greg has canonized, ignore it. Nothing that has been canonized recently has had a major effect on the story that was told. Just read it like you did before and let the rest of us enjoy our tidbits.

 

The old story is over and there are no plans to continue it, so getting little bits from Greg is all we have. Why would you want to snuff out the last ember?

Edited by Takhamavahu
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If you don't like something Greg has canonized, ignore it. Nothing that has been canonized recently has had a major effect on the story that was told. Just read it like you did before and let the rest of us enjoy our tidbits.

 

The old story is over and there are no plans to continue it, so getting little bits from Greg is all we have. Why would you want to snuff out the last ember?

They're not little bits from Greg though, they're little bits from just a handful of fans that Greg has decided to say "sure why not" on. It's really not adding anything meaningful, and it has no real effect on the story, and it's not from Greg, so....it's....not really something that really helps anyone. Like, I understand that some people are happy that we're still getting some sort of "story information," but those people also point out that it's not like it matters anymore, but then...what's the point?

 

Plus other people have already discussed at length why the fact that a nonrepresentative number of fans get to have their random ideas canonized is not a good thing.

Edited by farmstink buttlass

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My thoughts on this:

 

1) Some things like this are nice to have (i.e. "Toa Cordak" sounding a bit better than "Lesovikk's Gang"), but if it's gonna be some completely useless information that doesn't do anything but satisfy someone's need for having their idea canonized, then no. Just, no. If it's backed up by official storyline, and makes sense in the context of it, then that's great.

 

2) Regulation. Some sort of filter comprised of people like bonesii and myself who have most (if not all) of the official storyline filed away in our own Core Processors to keep track of what gets run past the GregMan, that'd be great.

 

If somebody takes the time to hash out an idea on BZP with people who actually follow the story in-depth, with multiple perspectives we can usually catch any problems, and then a good solution can be sent to Greg and he can accept it. That's kinda like what we did with the Story Squad, just more informal, but it has worked several times now.

 

^^Yeah, like that.

 

3) While I do wish we could have some things resolved (Two of my favorite Toa trapped on the RS, GB/Po-Matoran about to blow some people to smithereens, for example), I do agree that we should leave others alone, mostly because there's little to no chance of that ever being addressed again.

 

So, yeah.

Edited by ~The 1st Shadow~
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I can't help but feel that Greg is just doing what he thinks is best for the fans. He disappeared for a few years after leaving two of the serials incomplete, let some information fall through the cracks through Erebus, and finally just opened the floodgates on the LMB. I guess that's his way of letting the fans control the story now, since Gen. 2 is starting up in a few months and he won't be writing anything himself anymore.

 

And it's not like EVERYTHING being suggested to him is being canonized. Just recently someone asked Greg to make Hydraxon's helmet a powerless Kanohi. Greg's response? "I don't want it to be a mask."

 

Honestly, I wouldn't mind if we, as a community, decided to unofficially "close the doors" to Gen. 1 at some point, and just say that anything canonized after that is no better than fan fiction. There has to be a limit somewhere.

 

And for what it's worth - I actually sort of like the idea behind the Toa Cordak.

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I agree with several who have posted above: running ideas by Greg is a helpful tool only for the purposes of resolving plot holes, filling in gaps of the story, and settling queries in BZP topics (such as whether or not Bohrok-Kal can use regular Krana).

 

When asking to resolve a disputed matter, It's also important to give Greg both sides of the story. Boidoh, for all his enthusiasm, failed to do that when trying to settle the whole planets vs. moons fiasco, and again when trying to settle the Turaga Lhikan set debate. For example, see question #3 below. I plan to ask that question because there's now some confusion over the creation of the Skakdi Fusion, and I want BS01 to be as accurate as possible, but I want to make sure I refresh Greg's memory so he can consider all aspects of the incident.

 

Here are some examples of the kinds of questions I think should be asked:

 

1. Is the Kanohi Jutlin made from Weaken disks? After all, their powers are nearly identical. (As suggested by a member on BZP.)

 

This is a trivia question hoping to add an extra detail to a worldbuilding system that was never fully expanded on in story: the Kanoka composition of certain Kanohi. I saw someone suggest this in a BZP thread and thought it was worth asking. Whether it's canonized or not, it won't do anyone any harm.

 

 

2. In Tales of the Masks, the first book you ever wrote for BIONICLE, Onua Nuva and Turaga Whenua encounter a large, pale, tentacled worm Rahi in the depths of Onu-Wahi. In Challenge of the Hordika, Krahka assumes the form of a large, pale, tentacled worm Rahi to fight Roodaka. Was Krahka imitating a member of the species encountered by Onua and Whenua?

 

This one is trying to simplify the story and its vast universe. We don't need two different breeds of Rahi that appear exactly the same, so I hope to get these two incarnations confirmed as members of the same species. If confirmed, it'll give Subterranean Worm another appearance for the record books, again without doing any real harm; it's just a point of trivia.

 

3. In Reign of Shadows, when the Toa Mahri witnessed the Skakdi creating the golden fusion, they assumed that Teridax had put the idea in the Skakdi’s minds, because only he, the Great Spirit, would know that all those beings were destined to transform. However, in an answer in this topic some weeks ago, you implied that Teridax was not responsible for giving the Skakdi that idea. If you wouldn’t mind clarifying: did Teridax manipulate the Skakdi into creating the fusion, or did he not? And if he did not, who knew, and how, that all those beings were destined to fuse?

 

This one has much more gravity than the others, because it pertains directly to main story. We all assumed the Toa Mahri's suspicions about the creature to be accurate, because we were given no implication of anything else. However, when a LMB poster recently asked Greg a flat, "Did Teridax give the Skakdi the idea to make the fusion?", he said no, Teridax did not. I'm not sure if Greg "forgetconned" it or has actually reconsidered it and decided Teridax wasn't responsible. If Greg's answer had directly contradicted established canon, I would have gone with canon > recent answer, but since Teridax's culpability was only a theory, the truth is up for debate. Thus, I intend to ask this question, giving him the requisite background information so he can consider all angles of the incident and clear up the contention.

 

And that's how the LMB thread should be handled.

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I like the itty bits and pieces that expand the canon a little more. A fikou nui? Why not. Toa Cordak? Sounds cool.

 

The problem is is that these are ideas that are being canonized by someone who doesn't particularly care about this canon anymore and that is now canonizing anything suggested. 

 

Some interesting ideas have gotten through this way, true, but I feel that we've reached a day and age where canonizing fan ideas is dangerous, because almost anything is going to get accepted from what we've seen. Greg is a busy guy and I understand him wanting to rather spend his time one themes actually still getting developed and that he's getting paid for doing, so I can see why he's doing this and why the old canon isn't such a concern to him anymore. It's the fans who are making this problem. I don't blame us for wanting new canon on an old story, but I think we should just wait patiently, make our own stories and headcanons with the old canon, and wait for 2015 when we'll get more Bionicle which we can explore (but hopefully not directly impact as much as we can now...).

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Honestly, I wouldn't mind if we, as a community, decided to unofficially "close the doors" to Gen. 1 at some point, and just say that anything canonized after that is no better than fan fiction. There has to be a limit somewhere.

 

Greg is the writer of this series. What he says goes. No fan group can just come along and say "Everything Greg says after October 20th, 2014, is not canon." If Greg DIDN'T want these things canonized, he had the right to say no. Just like with Hydraxon's helmet, he said no. Several things I asked Greg, mostly Fikou stuff, Greg didn't want to answer because he thought they made the story too complex. Or when I was telling him about how a Toa of Water could control the liquids in SM inhabitants, and I compared it with bloodbending from Avatar, he still refused, because he didn't like the idea.. When I gave an idea on how Toa of Earth could control magma, and Toa of Stone lava, he said no, because he didn't like it. 

 

Besides, does having 20-something colors of Fikou affect anyone....

Without LMB, we wouldn't know for sure that Lehvak-Kal is in orbit.  (Oh, and I just found out how awful BIONICLE Wikia is. They still don't have the current status for him. :P)

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Honestly, I wouldn't mind if we, as a community, decided to unofficially "close the doors" to Gen. 1 at some point, and just say that anything canonized after that is no better than fan fiction. There has to be a limit somewhere.

 

Greg is the writer of this series. What he says goes. No fan group can just come along and say "Everything Greg says after October 20th, 2014, is not canon." 

 

Yes, well... there lies the paradox. It's not the best analogy, but let's assume that Star Wars fans all decided that the Special Edition of A New Hope was the undisputed, totally canon edition. What happens when Lucas releases the Blu-ray, with its own changes and alterations? Does it supplant the Special Edition? Which is better? None of the changes alter the meaning or core story of the film, but nevertheless they're there. Lucas made the changes and he thinks the Blu-ray is the best and most definitive version of his film (until he comes out with the next edition, of course). Is Lucas' word more valid than the fans', or is he on the same level as they are?

 

That's the way it is with Bionicle. Nothing Greg canonizes is very important; they are trivial and don't alter the story at all. Is it still, then, all right to sort of close off what is truly canon and what is not? Is Greg's word more powerful than the fans' in this matter? I have no idea; on the one hand it's cool to read these little tidbits; on the other, they're tiring and annoying to some.

Edited by TheSkeletonMan939
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Yes, Greg's word is more powerful. LEGO gave him the rights to canonize stuff for BIONICLE, not us.


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Agreed. Greg's word is certainly more powerful than ours ("Word of God") and what he says goes, but there are others who disregard what has been said entirely.

 

It's very interesting to think about. As a consumer, can you make the story whatever you want it to be with "headcanons" or simply ignoring what has happened in the story, as Heir of the Chronicler did? Absolutely.

 

But Greg's seeming passiveness about canonizing things adds a whole new layer: it is now possible, to an extent, to make your fanon into canon, through that headache of a thread on the LMB. It's really not Greg's personal word anymore; more of a "yes" or "no" on his part. Not really so much a "I like this idea. But this is part of it canon and that part isn't, and I'll change this around".

 

And since fans are essentially compiling the new canon now, can we cut off that source by just saying none of the stuff past a certain canonization is canon anymore? I wouldn't care either way, but it's something to consider and think about. I like the new trivial bits of canonization, but I fear at some point it will get very out of hand.

Edited by TheSkeletonMan939

 

 

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It got out of hand when I found out about LMB. :P

 

Those who disregard it completely simply isn't following the canon. I don't care who follows it, point is, whatever Greg says is canon. That is the final point. It is ridiculous how fans can think that they are on the same level as Greg that they would think they could just "cut-off canon".  


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Honestly, I wouldn't mind if we, as a community, decided to unofficially "close the doors" to Gen. 1 at some point, and just say that anything canonized after that is no better than fan fiction. There has to be a limit somewhere.

 

Greg is the writer of this series. What he says goes. No fan group can just come along and say "Everything Greg says after October 20th, 2014, is not canon." If Greg DIDN'T want these things canonized, he had the right to say no. Just like with Hydraxon's helmet, he said no. Several things I asked Greg, mostly Fikou stuff, Greg didn't want to answer because he thought they made the story too complex. Or when I was telling him about how a Toa of Water could control the liquids in SM inhabitants, and I compared it with bloodbending from Avatar, he still refused, because he didn't like the idea.. When I gave an idea on how Toa of Earth could control magma, and Toa of Stone lava, he said no, because he didn't like it. 

 

Besides, does having 20-something colors of Fikou affect anyone....

Without LMB, we wouldn't know for sure that Lehvak-Kal is in orbit.  (Oh, and I just found out how awful BIONICLE Wikia is. They still don't have the current status for him. :P)

 

 

Boidoh, I can't help but notice that most of your examples given start with "I asked Greg...", "I gave an idea...", or "I was telling him...", etc. It does you no credit to exclusively cite examples of your own personal involvement and canonization theories.  Obviously, they are of great merit and great value to you, but other fans don't have the same interests. Arguments are most persuasive when they (appear to) judge subjects based on objective value and merit.

 

That said, I do agree with Boidoh. We can't just shut down canonization entirely, because that removes all pretense of the canon being a neutral, shared continuity, and would reduce the definition of "canon" to "everything that TheSkeletonMan939 (or some other minority of fans) thought was acceptable". So that's out. However, what we can do is strongly suggest that those of us who ask Greg questions restrain themselves, and try not to ask questions that will cause this sort of consternation. Does that sound agreeable to everyone?

Edited by Yaldabaoth
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Personally, I'm conflicted about the whole fan-created canon thing. While I don't like most of the stuff Greg is just accepting from suggestions on the LEGO Message Boards, some earlier fan-created canon (even outside contests) were great additions.

 

That's not to say I approved of everything suggested to Greg on BZP, like how Tahu's design was based on Ackar. I know many others who disagreed with that suggestion. Like Dorek said, I feel BZP is more worthy of official suggestions going through the canonization process than the LEGO Message Boards, but since Greg isn't allowed on here any more, the only way to ask him these questions is through the LMB. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have the time to really consider the questions in depth, so he's accepting most of them.

 

I'm personally fine with contests though, since they usually have rules that prohibit changing previously-established canon.

 

So, short answer: I'd rather not have any fan suggestions than have fans just filling in anything not explained.

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1) Official story sources (like the books, comics, and other official media) take precedence over any Greg answers given. If Greg contradicts one of those, the story source wins. (This avoids the story being mangled.)

 

2) People should be encouraged to post their questions on BZPower or BS01 before sending them to Greg. 

 

3) If Greg contradicts an old answer he has given...I want to say priority goes to the new answer. But if people follow guideline #2, I don't think we should have problems with #3. 

 

And that's the 700th reason why the Categorical GregF Refrence needs to happen (my bad :( ) to avoid problems with #3. Cause right now the Compendium is a pain to search through, so nobody does it, they just ask Greg. And then we get forgetconnish messes. 

 

Lastly, rule #1 should be enforced by BS01. That's all that really needs to be done IMO.

He's said that pre-established canon should take precedence over new canon, so we try our best with that!

 

 

My thoughts are:

 

1) Good things that resolve real problems should still be canonized. However it works, it should be possible.

 

2) Mistakes will always be made... but...

 

3) Greg could do with some more caution and hesitation to say "yes" to things. ESPECIALLY "simple questions."

 

If somebody takes the time to hash out an idea on BZP with people who actually follow the story in-depth, with multiple perspectives we can usually catch any problems, and then a good solution can be sent to Greg and he can accept it. That's kinda like what we did with the Story Squad, just more informal, but it has worked several times now.

 

But if somebody asks Greg something on their own, out of context, without consideration of previously established canon, then it's probably a bad idea. Nothing wrong with their asking, but Greg himself should still make it a rule to be hesitant with them.

 

 

Aaaand...

 

4) As much as we love worldbuilding, the whole thing doesn't have to be complete. It's okay to keep some things unresolved.

Especially on the latter, there will be some things that won't be completed. There are bits and pieces that won't get answered (none the least of which is because the story ended on multiple cliff hangers =P), so at some point people do need to be accepting of that.

 

But at the same time, a lot of the things being canonized aren't necessarily incomplete worldbuilding aspects. Toa Cordak is debatable (I really liked calling them First Toa Team, personally =P), but many of these new things are "additions", brand new aspects.

 

 

Plus other people have already discussed at length why the fact that a nonrepresentative number of fans get to have their random ideas canonized is not a good thing.

Which is sort of the point I was getting at; obviously single fans, even with the best intentions, do not constitute a "representative" portion of the fans. BZP, as a whole or at least as a majority (with many strong voices in it), likely would, if they decided to step up and do something.

 

However, that also doesn't take away from the fact that they are all still fans. Saying "you can't do what you want because we have more people who disagree with you" has some... interesting implications on speech.

 

 

And it's not like EVERYTHING being suggested to him is being canonized. Just recently someone asked Greg to make Hydraxon's helmet a powerless Kanohi. Greg's response? "I don't want it to be a mask."

Therein lies part of the issue. As I said, Greg is no dummy. He has his limits on what goes through (although the fact that those limits can actually be reached is somewhat ridiculous). Given that, do we as a fanbase have a right to ask him to stop? If somebody wants to actually draft some kind of letter to him, or try and establish some kind of regulatory body, at the very least it could be said that we did something.

 

Not that it will necessarily be approved (I'm sure there's plenty of LMB members who aren't BZPites), but it wouldn't hurt to talk to him.

 

Boidoh, I can't help but notice that most of your examples given start with "I asked Greg...", "I gave an idea...", or "I was telling him...", etc. It does you no credit to exclusively cite examples of your own personal involvement and canonization theories.  Obviously, they are of great merit and great value to you, but other fans don't have the same interests. Arguments are most persuasive when they (appear to) judge subjects based on objective value and merit.

Well, you've highlighted the flip-side; while it seems preposterous for a small minority of fans to control the canon, it leaves the door open for an even smaller minority (i.e. individuals) to direct things in a manner befitting to them, with no regulation.

 

However, what we can do is strongly suggest that those of us who ask Greg questions restrain themselves, and try not to ask questions that will cause this sort of consternation. Does that sound agreeable to everyone?

I've always been okay with that =P. Edited by Dorek
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There's one point I've seen in several posts that needs cleared up... While it's important for restraint and all of that that we all seem to be agreeing on, it's also important that we don't try to support a good conclusion with bad arguments.

 

One such bad argument is the idea that the number of fans who are involved in a suggestion has anything at all to do with whether it's a good suggestion or not (although that can get complicated based on "good is in the eye of the beholder" but that's a whole 'nother tangent and not my point here). The problem with that is that most canon always comes to us from a small number of people, or even just one author. And if an author or multiple people in charge of a canon decide that a suggestion that comes in from a single fan is good, that really isn't different in a substantial way* from the alternative; either way most fans had no hand in it.

 

So why do we prefer multiple people to be involved? Simple -- even the best author of such an incredibly complex story will forget things and that can create contradictions. (Sure there's more to it but the point is, it's not about making sure that the fanbase as a whole gets to make canon, as normally that isn't how canon works anyways.)

 

Of course, it also helps to poll things before they're done to make sure a lot of people will enjoy what is done, which is why we did that with the Story Squad when that was around. That isn't essential, though, because normal canon things often can't be polled (such as plot twists; that would spoil the surprise), so prior polling cannot be essential -- it's just a bonus that we do prefer as it keeps things less messy.

 

And in that light, let's all remember that polls can still be made on here. Even though the Story Squad isn't around, we can still involve polling in that "hashing out" I was talking about, before we actually ask Greg. It will be informal, but still helpful.

 

That to me is the problem with the Toa Cordak thing. Yeah, the linguistic logic makes some sense, and there was arguably a good reason for it (convenience of knowing names) but it's so out there, it seems like an unwise gamble for Greg to have just accepted it. He had another option there which was to request that somebody make a poll about it before saying yes to see if people like it, and that's something I'd like to see happen more often. :)

 

Now I don't really blame him -- maybe he didn't think of it (I had to learn that the hard way myself with the Sayger masks; the idea of polling such things hadn't really come up yet at the time, but in hindsight it's definitely wise to use in the future), but those of us on here can still take the initiative and make polls ourselves before sending in suggestions, so he doesn't have to think about it. (Someone also might want to suggest it, emphasizing that it would just be informal now probably.)

 

 

*Of course, there's a danger that when a small number, or one, fan gets something canonized they could be tempted to be prideful about it over others. Just another reason why running things past many fans first is wise. But even if they do, that doesn't, and shouldn't, affect that their idea was a good one as far as the author(s) decided/knew; that would be 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'. And it's a mistake they can learn to grow past too if it happens. ^_^

Edited by bonesiii

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... It's really not adding anything meaningful, and it has no real effect on the story,...

 

Exactly, so why should it bother anyone. If it has no meaning or effect to you, then it shouldn't bother you. let the people who are excited for little bits have their fun and it doesn't need to effect you.

 

 

Even if it was important things, Greg isn't some absent-minded nitwit saying "meh okay" to whatever. He is asked a question, he thinks about it and he answers it. He may not be getting paid to write Bionicle stories any more, but he still cares about it. People might be asking questions illy-milly, but Greg doesn't answer carelessly.

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Glad 2015 is a reboot and Greg can't do anything. Am I right guys?

 

Good thing it's the first year for the new storyline!

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Canon is basically the established events and rules of a fictional universe. Canon exists for consistency's sake, and helps with suspension of disbelief. Now that Gen1 is ended, things like "Toa Cordak" being canon are pretty much mute points and it doesn't matter if you accept them or not. There will be no new Gen1 stories, and so canonizing something is no long setting a rule to follow for future stories. Whether you accept "Toa Cordak" as canon or not makes no difference to any old stories, and cannot effect the new stories as they are none. So even if Greg can "canonize" it, whether you accept it has no more bearing on the Bionicle universe than whether you would accept it If Greg were to announce that Tahu nicknamed his favorite Mask of Protection "Bob".

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The problem here is that, as it stands, the Gen1 story is static. What Greg considers canon only matters if there is some sort of ongoing story set in the fictional universe to which said canon pertains. And given the reboot of BIONICLE, I'd say the only way for that to happen is through story contests.
So, it seems to me, the first issue should be the future of BIONICLE Gen1 story contests.

 

EDIT: Ah, semi-ninja'd by Seaborgium!

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I used to really like the canonization of minor, trivial things, and I still feel like they can flesh things out if done well. But now I realize something- too much worldbuilding that distracts from the main story is frustrating because it robs creative fans from the opportunity of forming their own headcanons and extracanonical stories, or at least makes it feel more restricted.

Edited by Tangaroa

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But now I realize something- too much worldbuilding that distracts from the main story is frustrating because it robs creative fans from the opportunity of forming their own headcanons and extracanonical stories, or at least makes it feel more restricted.

Actually Bionicle itself is a testament to the opposite. Less established canon in previous LEGO stories should have inspired more fanfics and more alternate versions by that reasoning, but it didn't. The more there is in a canon (albeit probably with a limit you described well as "if done well", with a note that "well" is somewhat subjective), apparently the more it inspires headcanons and extracanonical stories. :)

 

I do think there's a balance somewhere where what you say becomes true, but finding exactly what goes in that category has never been simple. I think it's things that logically would want to be known that are related to previously established canon (like metallic bones for Agori, which cleared up an apparent contradiction in already stated facts by affirming what was implied already) are mainly in the "good worldbuilding" category (or can be), while things that are mostly new additions are more of a tossup (like the Rahi or DH contests; LEGO didn't necessarily have to do those, but they weren't necessarily, or all, bad either).

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Canon is basically the established events and rules of a fictional universe. Canon exists for consistency's sake, and helps with suspension of disbelief. Now that Gen1 is ended, things like "Toa Cordak" being canon are pretty much mute points and it doesn't matter if you accept them or not. There will be no new Gen1 stories, and so canonizing something is no long setting a rule to follow for future stories. Whether you accept "Toa Cordak" as canon or not makes no difference to any old stories, and cannot effect the new stories as they are none. So even if Greg can "canonize" it, whether you accept it has no more bearing on the Bionicle universe than whether you would accept it If Greg were to announce that Tahu nicknamed his favorite Mask of Protection "Bob".

You meant moot, not mute.

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I don't mind any of the things Greg has canonized. Toa Cordak is cool, and Turaga Lhikan = Gold Good Guy makes perfect sense in my opinion. You can't tell me that polybag set was made with no inspiration from that existing character. (Maybe I'm biased on Gold Good Guy because I'm the one who suggested it, but yeah.) Greg only seems to canonize stuff that makes sense. He wouldn't canonize something silly like 7217 Duracell Bad Guy = Baby Piraka or something. So I'm ok with all the canonizations for now. And besides, it's his decision to canonize something, not ours.


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But now I realize something- too much worldbuilding that distracts from the main story is frustrating because it robs creative fans from the opportunity of forming their own headcanons and extracanonical stories, or at least makes it feel more restricted.

Actually Bionicle itself is a testament to the opposite. Less established canon in previous LEGO stories should have inspired more fanfics and more alternate versions by that reasoning, but it didn't. The more there is in a canon (albeit probably with a limit you described well as "if done well", with a note that "well" is somewhat subjective), apparently the more it inspires headcanons and extracanonical stories. :)

I remember seeing quite a lot of Johnny Thunder comics, fanfics, etc.--probably not as many because it didn't last for ten years, but still a lot. I still agree that worldbuilding is good until it becomes too restrictive (which is what the original poster seemed to be saying), but a less thoroughly built world doesn't mean that people will be less creative.

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I still agree that worldbuilding is good until it becomes too restrictive (which is what the original poster seemed to be saying), but a less thoroughly built world doesn't mean that people will be less creative.

Well, apparently it does mean that; that's my whole point. Less thoroughly built worlds have corresponded to less fan creativity. It's not an absolute rule, of course, but the point is that more imagination getting into the canon seems to inspire more imagination among fans, so it acts something like fuel.

 

The real issue is what makes something restrictive, and I'm not sure anybody really has a good handle on that that isn't just a matter of taste. I think we all agree there's some nebulous boundary where that starts happening, but setting down a clear definition of it seems to be elusive so far. (And considering we've been talking about it for at least ten years, that's saying something.)

 

Not sure what you mean about Johnny Thunder; I may be putting words in your mouth here, but your wording seemed to imply that longer time with comics being involved equals more worldbuilding. But most worldbuilding happens in reference resources and author statements outside of actual story, and I don't think anybody ever took the Johnny Thunder comics as meant seriously like Bionicle anyway. Just a half a year in 2001 established way more worldbuilding than anything I recall from JT. And JT never really seemed to define settings anyways; I'm not really sure a world was ever even built for it in that sense. All I recall is passing scenes here and there, but how those fit into a world, I don't recall ever being made clear.

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Sorry for the lack of clarity--I meant that I saw lots of fan-made Johnny Thunder/Adventurers comics and stories, so a world that's less fully defined doesn't necessarily limit fan involvement or imagination (again, these weren't as prolific as Bionicle, but there have been quite a few). The theme wasn't continuous, and it didn't last for as long as Bionicle did--and indeed, it was less story-focused and worldbuilding-focused-- but there was enough character information and enough basic information to inspire fans to create.

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I think it's more a matter on how things are being put into the worldbuilding than the fact that there's worldbuilding, bones.

 

like, for instance, the toa cordak thing, Lesovikk is still alive and kicking, and heck, he even had a cordak blaster mounted on his sea sled, don't you think. if it was a canon thing, all these people hearing/saying "cordak" without acknowledging that have been a little... odd?

 

but because it was a post-story afterthought kinda deal, of course it has no effect, and that's the problem.

 

worldbuilding is supposed to happen with consequence and reason, not just because greg said this thing could be canon. otherwise we get a buncha stuff that contradicts other stuff we heard about earlier, or even outright defies previous canon. :0

 

(also, i'm not quite comfortable with how much this is just "here's an idea, do you think it can be canon?" instead of actually asking worldbuilding questions. s: )

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So, let's take an example; asking Greg "Was Toa Dume's team called the Toa Kanoka?" is not a good idea, because it adds nothing substantial to canon. But, if we took a theory like mine over at the Protodermis thread and got that canonized, it would be a good idea, because it clarifies the creation of the Matoran Universe and establishes a relationship between Krana and Matoran. Is that what we're saying?

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:r: :e: :g: :i: :t: :n: :u: :i:

Elemental Rahi in Gen2, anyone? A write-up for an initial video for a G2 plot

 

I really wish everyone would stop trying to play join the dots with Gen 1 and Gen 2 though,it seems there's a couple new threads everyday and often they're duplicates of already existing conversations! Or simply parallel them with a slightly new 'twist'! Gen 2 is NEW, it is NOT Gen 1 and it is NOT a continuation. Outside of the characters we already have I personally don't want to see ANY old characters return. I think it will cheapen the whole experience to those of us familiar with the original line...

 

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So, let's take an example; asking Greg "Was Toa Dume's team called the Toa Kanoka?" is not a good idea, because it adds nothing substantial to canon. But, if we took a theory like mine over at the Protodermis thread and got that canonized, it would be a good idea, because it clarifies the creation of the Matoran Universe and establishes a relationship between Krana and Matoran. Is that what we're saying?

 

something like that, yeah. 'cause by simply aiding in the explanation of creation events, it in no way obstructs other actual plot events, and instead builds onto the world. without hindering an important term or location.

...

or something. :0


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