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Greg's Rule That Makes G1 Retcons Impossible

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Preface: I felt the need to create this thread because of the number of "canonisation polls" that involve retcons popping up recently (changing element genders, resizing the GSR etc.), and I didn't want to end up posting the same response on every single one of them :). So let this act as my response here:

 

 

How many people here know that not only does Greg not do retcons of G1 story details, but he actually has a rule that makes it impossible for him to ever retcon anything?

First stated a few years ago, it basically says "If an answer to a question contradicts an older answer, the older answer is the correct one."

I believe Greg originally intended it to stop himself accidentally "forgetconning" details, but it applies more generally, stopping deliberate retcons too.

 

Here is a recent mention of this rule (‎10-22-2014 08:57 AM), with my own emphasis added:

 

3) There are things I do not want to do. I am not going to add new Toa elements, and I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence. The kind of things I have been canonizing -- an extra Rahi for Mata Nui, a name for a Toa team -- are minor and do not ruin or retcon anything from past story. I think the hue and cry over them is a little overblown.

 

As you can see, this makes it impossible to change any detail that is already part of the canon.

For example, if Greg want mad tomorrow and said "It is now canon that Teridax is a good guy," that would not actually become canon because older canon says that Teridax is evil, so Greg would be blocked by his own rule.

 

Meaning that G1 retcons are banned (forever*).

 

No matter how much you may want Greg to change a certain story detail, or how many people support a retcon on a poll, Greg simply cannot change that detail because of his own rule. (I like to call it Greg's No Retcon Rule, or GNRR. :P)

 

Discuss!(?)

 

 

*I would argue that Greg also cannot make exceptions to this rule, because that rule is in itself a form of "pre-established canon". (I have a feeling that he has sometimes phrased the rule as "older answers take precendence", which would definitely include the rule itself, but I don't have a quote to hand...)

 

 

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Nothing will deter the Macku/Hewkii shippers. Not even Greg.

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This rule only exists to prevent him from accidentally contradicting himself.  Since the rule was first stated, he DID make two changes.  They are:

  1. Tahu loses his Rahkshi powers when he removes the golden armor.  (Greg decided that he wanted to ad this weakness to make Tahu less overpowered.)
  2. The Great Being who sneaked into the Matoran Universe was NOT originally named Velika.  (Greg had previously said that the Great Being kept his original name when he became a Matoran but decided that it would make more sense for Velika to be an assumed name.)

In both cases, fans on the Lego Message Boards reminded him that he was contradicting an older answer, but he said that in these two cases he was making an intentional retcon.  

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See "pre-established canon."

 

As you may have noticed in the Plasma gender topic, no actual canon dictates that Plasma is a male element. He wouldn't be contradicting much of anything in that case. Just one of his answers in a previous discussion in which he said he thought of both Gravity and Plasma as "male." That is the only instance that could be used in favor of leaving that element male, and even than his words weren't as solid. Also, notice how he repeatedly changed the gender of the mind-creature Annona, saying that he thought of it as female, but writing it as mostly male. 

 

It was brought up that the French translation of BA#4 mentions a Plasma Toa as male, but we must bear in mind that Greg himself did not write that--he wrote that part with no gender-specific pronouns. The person who did the translation would have assumed a gender to be able to make the text work using the syntax of the language--translating the Toa into a basic male pronoun in the absence of any such items in the original transcript. So, translations are a second-hand source, not the actual writing of the GregMan.

 

So, naming Plasma as female would not contradict any of the canon that he wrote. Rule doesn't apply there.

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SO by this rule, does that mean Makuta's name isn't Teridax?

I wouldn't think so since the Term Makuta was changed from that of a name to that of a species prior I would think to him making that rule. Basically anything prior to him making that rule for himself was fair game to be Retconned, however became locked once the rule came out. If that made any sense at all. Edited by Prowl Nightwolf

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In the case of Plasma, it was never assigned a gender in official media.

Using a French translation as proof is really stretching it.

 

I mean come on guys. Would more girl bonkles really be that icky?

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Didn't Greg say he considered Plasma to be male?


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Using a French translation as proof is really stretching it.

No. Really, no. That's just saying "your media aren't worth anything" to the french community - and I don't think I have to explain why that's wrong.

 

And translations also have to be approved before being published. So yes, maybe Greg didn't approve that - LEGO, as a company, did.

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Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

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Using a French translation as proof is really stretching it.

No. Really, no. That's just saying "your media aren't worth anything" to the french community - and I don't think I have to explain why that's wrong.

 

And translations also have to be approved before being published. So yes, maybe Greg didn't approve that - LEGO, as a company, did.

 

You missed the point. The French text wasn't the original, and therefore, does not necessarily carry the original author's intent. Translations are not always exact, and since Greg originally wrote it in English, we have to use that transcript as the more official material. 

 

Greg-->Original book-->translator-->account for variations in syntax and such-->French version.

 

Know how some people were criticizing Greg's habit of defaulting background characters to male? BA#4 never used a gender-specific pronoun for the Toa, so is it not possible that the translator made a minor change to do just that--default the character to male to make the translation fit?

 

Just outta curiosity, have you checked other translations?

 

Point is, the author wrote it in English. A translation says something different. Do we take the second-hand source over the first-hand original?


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You missed the point. The French text wasn't the original, and therefore, does not necessarily carry the original author's intent. Translations are not always exact, and since Greg originally wrote it in English, we have to use that transcript as the more official material.

It seemed you missed my point too. Greg's intent doesn't matter that much - what LEGO intend does. And here we have a media, approven by LEGO. Maybe not by Greg, but the authority above Greg approved it. I acknowledge it might be a random choice, or an error - there are some even in the english versions - but I'm not okay with calling their use in a debate a stretch: both the french and the english version have their legitimacy from the same source, LEGO - not Greg.

 

 

 

Just outta curiosity, have you checked other translations?

I'm not aware of any other translations for BL1. The only translations I know of for the BL are the french one (BL1 to BL6) and the german one (BL6 and BL7). There might be a russian translation too.

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Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

-- Greg Farshtey

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I believe Greg originally intended it to stop himself accidentally "forgetconning" details, but it applies more generally, stopping deliberate retcons too.

 

...

 

Greg simply cannot change that detail because of his own rule.

 

No it doesn't. You're taking his message totally out of context and twisting it to fit your interpretation of what you think Greg should be doing.

 

The way it works is that if he accidentally retcons something because he forgot that tiny detail already, that's when the GNRR takes place. For example:

 

"Can you canonize that Naho had a Super Water Spear as a Toa?"

"Sure, okay. [uh-oh! Greg confirmed in 2009 that she had a Explosive Water Torpedo, whatever that is! I guess the GNRR means that the Explosive Water Torpedo stays!]"

 

If he said that Teridax was the good guy all along, that is not an example of the GNRR coming into effect. That's a major story plot point. Greg knows what he's doing when he talks about those.


 

 

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This is why the Element gender discussions are kind of meaningless in my opinion.

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You missed the point. The French text wasn't the original, and therefore, does not necessarily carry the original author's intent. Translations are not always exact, and since Greg originally wrote it in English, we have to use that transcript as the more official material.

It seemed you missed my point too. Greg's intent doesn't matter that much - what LEGO intend does. And here we have a media, approven by LEGO. Maybe not by Greg, but the authority above Greg approved it. I acknowledge it might be a random choice, or an error - there are some even in the english versions - but I'm not okay with calling their use in a debate a stretch: both the french and the english version have their legitimacy from the same source, LEGO - not Greg.

Just outta curiosity, have you checked other translations?

I'm not aware of any other translations for BL1. The only translations I know of for the BL are the french one (BL1 to BL6) and the german one (BL6 and BL7). There might be a russian translation too.

Languages like French have gendered nouns.

 

This means that even inanimate objects are masculine or feminine.

In these kinds of languages, when talking about a person of unknown gender, the masculine verb is used by default.

But this does not and should not mean an unknown gender person is always male.

 

In fact, English is comparatively gender-neutral language compared to most other major ones.

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In these kinds of languages, when talking about a person of unknown gender, the masculine verb is used by default.

But this does not and should not mean an unknown gender person is always male.

No. In french, when you speak about a specific singular person, the masculine doesn't have a value of unknown gender. It's only if you speak about someone unspecified - for example, in a phrase like "A man needs to eat", masculine can be used with an unknown gender value - pretty much the same as in english. (in case of plural, it's a little bit more complex, but no need to explain since the passage in BL1 is about a singular Toa).

 

If such a rule existed, I think I would know it - I'm a native speaker.


Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

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You missed the point. The French text wasn't the original, and therefore, does not necessarily carry the original author's intent. Translations are not always exact, and since Greg originally wrote it in English, we have to use that transcript as the more official material.

It seemed you missed my point too. Greg's intent doesn't matter that much - what LEGO intend does. And here we have a media, approven by LEGO. Maybe not by Greg, but the authority above Greg approved it. I acknowledge it might be a random choice, or an error - there are some even in the english versions - but I'm not okay with calling their use in a debate a stretch: both the french and the english version have their legitimacy from the same source, LEGO - not Greg.

 

 

 

Do you really not know how the books worked? The Story Team gave Greg parameters to follow, and he did that. However, they gave him a ton of creative space to fill in the gaps, make it more alive. Did LEGO ever make a Toa of Plasma set? No. That was Greg's creation. Greg's original intent matters more than anything in cases like that!

 

You know that with Time Trap and (I think) Legacy of Evil, he was given free reign to write whatever he wanted. So long as he told the basic story that LEGO had planned for the year, they didn't care too much what Greg wrote. 

Edited by The~1st~Shadow

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Do you really not know how the books worked? The Story Team gave Greg parameters to follow, and he did that. However, they gave him a ton of creative space to fill in the gaps, make it more alive. Did LEGO ever make a Toa of Plasma set? No. That was Greg's creation. Greg's original intent matters more than anything in cases like that!

 

You know that with Time Trap and (I think) Legacy of Evil, he was given free reign to write whatever he wanted. So long as he told the basic story that LEGO had planned for the year, they didn't care too much what Greg wrote.

I know how the books worked. And I maintain what I said. The translator was just as much employed by LEGO than the author - and her work also had to be approved by LEGO, just like Greg's.

 

Plus, it seems it does follow the author's intent since Greg stated about plasma being male in 2006.

 

Furthermore, if the author original intent is the most important matter for the translation... Well, why does it suddenly become of no importance to retcon it?


Keep in mind that if Star Trek fans had, as a group, said, "No point in talking about this anymore, it's never going to come back," it never WOULD have come back.

-- Greg Farshtey

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maxim, as I understood it, the proposal was not based on the idea that "we don't know the canon gender of that element" but rather "the canon published works did not specify it, so retconning it avoids messes that others wouldn't." Still less than ideal from that translation, but you need to keep in mind that the translator could have been aware that it was currently canon. The translation still is not canon, though, because the canon work as originally produced didn't mention it (or so I'm being told :P).

 

This "approved by LEGO" thing doesn't work here, because the people approving it weren't likely looking for details like this (and who knows if/how-many actually could read the translation anyways?), and LEGO produced many clearly non canon things anyways. (And semi-canon ones.)

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Haha, it seems a lot of people interpret that rule differently to how I do! :D

 

There are things I do not want to do. I am not going to add new Toa elements, and I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence.

Greg says that he made the rule to stop retcons, but his wording doesn't specifically restrict that to just "accidental" retcons. In fact, he is bringing up GNRR in the context of people asking for "deliberate" retcons, so it wouldn't have made much sense for him to mention the rule if it doesn't affect the retcons in question at all.

(Unless he is just illustrating a hatred for "deliberate" retcons by reference to "accidental" retcons being banned, which is perhaps similarly damning for retcon polls...)

 

Many people are saying "that rule doesn't apply". But why shouldn't it? To the majority of people reading that post, who don't know all Greg's old answers, they would assume that what he says applies in all cases. Surely Greg knows this, and intended this as his meaning?

 

Re: Plasma being male - if a Greg answer refers to Plasma as male, I would regard that as establishing canon. (It seems to be good enough for BS01!) There are plenty of ways to avoid saying "he" when you don't want to imply a gender, such as saying "they".

Re: bonesiii - Maybe I will ask Greg, as you've got to admit his wording is at least ambiguous. ;)


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Greg says that he made the rule to stop retcons, but his wording doesn't specifically restrict that to just "accidental" retcons. In fact, he is bringing up GNRR in the context of people asking for "deliberate" retcons, so it wouldn't have made much sense for him to mention the rule if it doesn't affect the retcons in question at all.

 

 

What's a deliberate retcon? Is it something a scheming fan asks in order to dethrone established canon, or is it something Greg wants decanonized himself?


 

 

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You missed the point. The French text wasn't the original, and therefore, does not necessarily carry the original author's intent. Translations are not always exact, and since Greg originally wrote it in English, we have to use that transcript as the more official material.

It seemed you missed my point too. Greg's intent doesn't matter that much - what LEGO intend does. And here we have a media, approven by LEGO. Maybe not by Greg, but the authority above Greg approved it. I acknowledge it might be a random choice, or an error - there are some even in the english versions - but I'm not okay with calling their use in a debate a stretch: both the french and the english version have their legitimacy from the same source, LEGO - not Greg.

Just outta curiosity, have you checked other translations?

I'm not aware of any other translations for BL1. The only translations I know of for the BL are the french one (BL1 to BL6) and the german one (BL6 and BL7). There might be a russian translation too.

Languages like French have gendered nouns.

 

This means that even inanimate objects are masculine or feminine.

In these kinds of languages, when talking about a person of unknown gender, the masculine verb is used by default.

But this does not and should not mean an unknown gender person is always male.

 

In fact, English is comparatively gender-neutral language compared to most other major ones.

 

That's not true in German. It's not the literal gender of a nouns, it's the grammatical usage that determines if it's Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter. However, Masculine is the default for a very specific (non-sexist, as opposed to what many would like to think) reason. Feminine article (die) forms of masculine or neutral nouns are typically plural (for example, das Kind become die Kinder). Neutral forms of nouns are a little tricky, especially in dative case. In other words, if that piece of media were German, Toa would be masculine no matter what (unless it definitely was a female Toa) because the feminine article is the same as the plural article and the neutral article is tricky to deal with. Seriously, there's like six words for "the" and a million adjective endings. Masculine is the easiest one to deal with, so it might not be a stretch to assume the same for French.


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Quote

There are things I do not want to do. I am not going to add new Toa elements, and I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence.

Greg says that he made the rule to stop retcons,

Whoa there. Read it again and bold a different part. Actually two parts, the second being the key.

 

I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence.

 

Avoiding forgetcons does exactly that -- it keeps the amount of retcons small by avoiding accidental retcons.

 

It's really very simple -- if Greg is clearly aware of previous canon when he retcons something and especially points out why it's being changed (such as to fix a contradiction that was noticed), the retcon stands. If instead it looks like he just forget something said before, this rule applies. :)

 

To take it universally is to ignore that obvious difference between the two possibilities. Why would Greg want to ban the ability to fix logical errors or glaring omissions that are later found in the earlier story and the like?

 

And how can a rule designed to limit the amount of retcons be an absolute rule against all of them?

 

 

But yes, that depends on his word choice and our understanding of him based on the past -- if by some strange chance he did mean he thinks the time to cut off all changes has come, the way to prove it is to ask him if he meant that. (It's also seriously questionable to try to use a rule established by a person to say that same person can't do what the rule would allegedly ban -- couldn't he just change the rule later?)

 

To be clear, that doesn't mean Greg will suddenly want to retcon things, even when the retcon would be popular. Retconning is generally avoided anyways. My point is to take this as a universal is not warranted. :)

 

Edit: I thought of a way to possibly resolve this simply -- search "retcon" in that topic. The search feature is clunky... but I did find this:

 

The simple fact is, I wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000 - 900,000 words between 2001 and 2010, and I can't remember all of it. And I do  not want to be retconning left and right because of that. So if an answer already exists on something, that answer should stand except in really rare cases that I cannot even conceive of right now.

So the conventional understanding of the rule is right -- it's in the context of forgetcons, and it isn't absolute. (And not wanting to retcon left and right is normal to stories BTW and is nothing new here for Greg! What's new is Bionicle's been over for a while and he's forgetting more.)

Edited by bonesiii

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I can definitely see where you are coming from, bonesiii. But:

 

The simple fact is, I wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000 - 900,000 words between 2001 and 2010, and I can't remember all of it. And I do not want to be retconning left and right because of that. So if an answer already exists on something, that answer should stand except in really rare cases that I cannot even conceive of right now.

Does Greg being "clearly aware of previous canon when he retcons something and especially points out why it's being changed (such as to fix a contradiction that was noticed)" count as something that he "cannot even conceive of right now"?

I guess you'd say yes, but I don't think that really seems likely. Again, that quote seems to support my view unless you bring in some earlier insight where Greg clarifies that the rule is not absolute.

 

(I admit that popular consensus suggests this insight exists, but I have been unable to find it using LEGO's poor search feature...)


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What else would he mean? (With the caution that my wording isn't meant to cover all cases there. :P)

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What else would he mean? (With the caution that my wording isn't meant to cover all cases there. :P)

Well, something that would actually be difficult to conceive of, I guess. :P Like he found out that a character name means something obscene in another language and he is forced to retcon it, or something along those lines.

 

The reason that you describe for Greg changing a bit of canon surely has occurred to him at some point, and would count as something that he could conceive of, therefore he is ruling it out in that quote.

(I think Greg realises that even if someone persuades him that a retcon is good, he may have forgotten some other canon detail that makes the retcon not work with the rest of the story. So the rule is partly to remind himself not to risk making a mess of things even if he's pretty sure that he isn't going to. :))

 

That quote is good though. Think of it this way: If the rule isn't supposed to apply in all cases, then why does Greg have to give that one qualifying "except in..." phrase? If the rule only applies in the case of forgetcons, the whole "except for rare cases" bit is completely obsolete because he could just say "I haven't forgotten" and the rule would no longer hold.

...For that matter, why would Greg ever want a forgetcon to hold? ;) See what I mean?

Edited by Votuko

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Well, something that would actually be difficult to conceive of, I guess.

Catching inconsistencies (for example) is difficult to think of on the fly -- you have to review things usually to catch them. Keep in mind nobody's trying to retcon 99.99somethingblahblahblah % of the story -- we're talking about the rare instances like GSR size where some issues have been recently brought up that hadn't been spotted before, and proposals have been brought up that hadn't been before like Sailor's idea. (I'm not saying his agreeing to those changes is or is not likely... but we also already have cases where he did retcon a tiny amount of things after establishing the rule, so we know he didn't mean it absolutely, and the quote I edited in up there clearly states there could be exceptions.)

 

And if he had yet thought of something that needed a retcon, he probably would have already retconned it. :P

 

Like he found out that a character name means something obscene in another language and he is forced to retcon it, or something along those lines.

Right. Point is, that's something, so "retcons are impossible" isn't what he meant. :)

 

I think the giant robot's size is the best example here right now -- I've followed many topics about it, and the issue about ocean size was never brought up. Before then, it looked like the giant's size worked (just barely, but that was a good thing as it was meant to be virtually unimaginable). We'd all failed to imagine it before that point, but now that it's been brought up, the pro-shrinking side is gaining support, including mine. We don't yet know if Greg cares about issues like that (I'd be very cautious there), but point is, one of the two examples you mentioned near the start of your first post here very much has a 'can't imagine at this point' feature about it, yanno?

 

 

 

If the rule isn't supposed to apply in all cases, then why does Greg have to give that one qualifying "except in..." phrase?

 

There's nothing inconsistent about these two things. :P Including an "except" is how you tell people that your rule isn't absolute.

 

 

 

If the rule only applies in the case of forgetcons

 

Not exactly only in the case of forgetting -- keep in mind that a retcon is going to have to have a much stronger reason to be done than filling in a gap, and this rule helps reinforce that. But usually when something is changed, the problem that's being fixed is the fault of forgetting in the first place! (An inconsistency happens because the author forgot something else, right?)

 

 

For that matter, why would Greg ever want a forgetcon to hold? ;) See what I mean?

 

We're not talking about forgetcons holding but things like changing the giant's official size after careful analysis and review. :)

 

Keep in mind that allowing exceptions gives a way to fix mistakes even with retconning. If he thinks he's got a handle on all the related canon and tries to fix a mistake with a retcon, but later somebody points out something that was still missed, the retcon can be changed too. (Cue endless retcon of retcon of retcon jokes lol.) Obviously it becomes astronomically more difficult the more is established (part of why it should be exremely rare, and "outsourcing" the analysis to some extent to fans who can provide more perspectives is wise), but the point is that it makes sense to allow for exceptions.

Edited by bonesiii
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That "rule" only means that if he has forgotten the old answer, and gives you a new one, then if you find out they contradict, then he was wrong and keep the old one. He still has the power to change things if he wants.

 

In the case that something has appeared in a part of the story like a book or a comic, then I can't imagine he'd want to change anything. That would create an inconsistency in the story.

 

But if a tiny detail that was only ever talked about in out-of-universe conversations like his PMs or Ask Greg, then he could easily change his mind as long as he knows he is and wants to.

 

So for something like the size of the robot, as much as we may want to change it, it's in the novels, it's in the comics, and it would be very difficult to retcon without creating different continuity errors.

 

But for things like Velika's name, nobody in a story ever actually said anything about it, so he can change his mind easily and it's not a problem.

Edited by Takhamavahu
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maxim, as I understood it, the proposal was not based on the idea that "we don't know the canon gender of that element" but rather "the canon published works did not specify it, so retconning it avoids messes that others wouldn't." Still less than ideal from that translation, but you need to keep in mind that the translator could have been aware that it was currently canon. The translation still is not canon, though, because the canon work as originally produced didn't mention it (or so I'm being told :P).

First, saying a book is canon is an abuse of language; the facts contained in it are, not the book. The language they're expressed in doesn't matter; facts can be expressed in every language. What make facts canon is that a member of the story team stated them to be.

 

In this case, Plasma was specified to be male by a story team member (Greg), and that was used in an official translation (because the language needed it). It's not even a little bit less official than if it was used in an english text. As an official use of a canon fact, it doesn't have any less importance because it's in french.

 

This proposal isn't based on the idea that "the canon published works did not specify it, so retconning it avoids messes that others wouldn't" but that "the english canon published works did not specify it, and it doesn't matter retconning works in other languages since it doesn't affect us". And I find that's a very bad message to send to foreign communities.

 

I think that's basically the same thing as when gravity's gender was proposed for being retconned because it was stated in No One Gets Left Behing and that was just a fan work. All officially approven canon fact is equal, no matter who wrote it, and no matter in which language.


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I think that's basically the same thing as when gravity's gender was proposed for being retconned because it was stated in No One Gets Left Behing and that was just a fan work. All officially approven canon fact is equal, no matter who wrote it, and no matter in which language.

 

Read Time Trap. Lariska and TSO discuss a mission she was on, which involved a Toa of Gravity. That book clearly specified the Toa as male. So, a canon source dictated the gender of that particular element.


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If its that important to both increase equality among minor background characters and not retcon a single pronoun, then just ask him to make the main six and psionics the only mono-gendered elements, they were the only ones explicitly stated to be. Gravity, Iron, Plantlife, Plasma, Sonics, Magnetism and Lightning were only implied to be mono-gendered, outright stated to be only in Greg answers. Maybe say the Great beings realized mono-gender tribes were a bad idea entirely after the Orde incident. That would make the male female ratio about 4:3 which is not bad at all, especially since even real life does not have a one to one ratio.

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That would make the male female ratio about 4:3 which is not bad at all, especially since even real life does not have a one to one ratio. 

 

The Bionicle ratio is 1:4. The real life ratio is very close to 1:1. 

Edited by 000
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Kathok

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That would make the male female ratio about 4:3 which is not bad at all, especially since even real life does not have a one to one ratio.

 

The Bionicle ratio is 1:4. The real life ratio is very close to 1:1.
Adding to this, there are slightly more women than men worldwide.

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That would make the male female ratio about 4:3 which is not bad at all, especially since even real life does not have a one to one ratio.

The Bionicle ratio is 1:4. The real life ratio is very close to 1:1.
Adding to this, there are slightly more women than men worldwide.

 

(Whoops)

Edited by Marvel Nui

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@bonesiii

I'm not against Greg fixing things that are actual inconsistencies in the canon. But if there is a contradiction that you can point to (such as there may be with the GSR size), then surely the more recent piece of "canon" that is inconsistent actually isn't canon anyway, due to Greg's Rule.

So it isn't really a retcon in that case; more like realising that something was never canon in the first place, then canonising a fact to fill the gap in canon that you have only just realised existed. ;)

 

So from my point of view, "retconning" inconsistencies isn't breaking Greg's Rule; it is actually a necessary consequence of Greg's Rule (and isn't strictly a retcon in terms of the canon).

However, I would say that Greg's Rule stops (eg.) Plasma's gender being retconned because there isn't anything inconsistent about the current gender (so Greg's Rule doesn't stop it being canon) and the retcon isn't for sufficiently extreme reasons (eg. if there were a legal challenge to LEGO over gender equality, then maybe it would count as one of these "not conceivable" events in which Greg would allow a retcon).

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So from my point of view, "retconning" inconsistencies isn't breaking Greg's Rule; it is actually a necessary consequence of Greg's Rule (and isn't strictly a retcon in terms of the canon).

However, I would say that Greg's Rule stops (eg.) Plasma's gender being retconned because there isn't anything inconsistent about the current gender (so Greg's Rule doesn't stop it being canon) and the retcon isn't for sufficiently extreme reasons (eg. if there were a legal challenge to LEGO over gender equality, then maybe it would count as one of these "not conceivable" events in which Greg would allow a retcon).

 

well, I mean, there is an inconsistency there, it's inconsistent with reality and just doesn't make sense. :t


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First, saying a book is canon is an abuse of language; the facts contained in it are, not the book. The language they're expressed in doesn't matter; facts can be expressed in every language.

 

First of all, I'm an English major, I know a thing or two about what is and isn't an "abuse of language." :P English allows for describing a container of things by the same traits as the things inside. Now, I don't know why you say that, though you give this as the apparent reason:

 

 

facts can be expressed in every language.

 

This is true, but doesn't change what I said -- that that fact wasn't stated in the original version.

 

Language isn't really the point here -- technically somebody else could make a rephrasing in English of the original canon story, and LEGO could "approve" it, and it wouldn't be canon either (or "as canon"). And in a sense that did happen; there were multiple English sources for some things, and usually one over the other was canon when there was a disagreement.

 

Currently, the translation is canon on this (remember we ARE asking for a retcon, but one that minimizes changes in actual published works). If it's retconned, the translation will be retconned on that detail, but the original won't.

 

 

In this case, Plasma was specified to be male by a story team member (Greg)

 

Nobody disputes that, maxim. Keep in mind what the proposal is -- that the change minimizes published contradictions. Repeating things that aren't relevant to that doesn't make a case against it.

 

I'm guessing your concern is some may be minimizing the importance of non-English languages. If so, that's a fair concern and people need to be careful not to. But the same principles would apply in any work translated from any language. If a translation adds information, that is not the canon wording of the original, because the original didn't include that information -- even if the information IS canon in the "background" at the time. :)

 

*reads on to see that IS your concern*

 

 

This proposal isn't based on the idea that "the canon published works did not specify it, so retconning it avoids messes that others wouldn't" but that "the english canon published works did not specify it, and it doesn't matter retconning works in other languages since it doesn't affect us". And I find that's a very bad message to send to foreign communities.

 

The problem with this is, again, the translation adds information. Your wording of this forgets that the original in this case happened to be in English. And I already pointed out to you that it IS about the canon published works and NOT the English ones for the sake of being English -- notice that it's you who disagreed with that, not us. By wording this this way, you're forcing your idea into our mouths, the strawman fallacy. Not a good thing to be doing...

 

But again, it IS less than ideal. I'm not asking you to say there's no issue here -- but you should acknowledge IMO that there's less of an issue than if an original source had said it, regardless of the language of that source.

 

 

 

If its that important to both increase equality among minor background characters and not retcon a single pronoun, then just ask him to make the main six and psionics the only mono-gendered elements, they were the only ones explicitly stated to be.

That might work...

 

(Your math after this sounds wrong, and we don't know the percent of minor elements to major, do we? But it would help. I'd also like it selfishly since my retelling has a male Matoran of Plasma, heh. Personally I would support changing them all, but that's very unlikely.)

 

 

 

 

I'm not against Greg fixing things that are actual inconsistencies in the canon. But if there is a contradiction that you can point to (such as there may be with the GSR size), then surely the more recent piece of "canon" that is inconsistent actually isn't canon anyway, due to Greg's Rule.

 

I had a feeling this misconception was behind this. No -- "more recent = less canon" has not been extended indefinitely into the past. While Bionicle was still going, many things were retconned later on further thought. The rule is for answers given after Bionicle was over.

 

In some cases the earlier will stand, yes, but that isn't absolute, and normally before it was the later that stood.

 

And contradictions aren't always as simple as one source saying X and another saying not-X. Sometimes there's premises in one source that you have to think about a bit to get to the not-X. If those are more "built-in" to Bionicle, even if later, the later will probably stand.

Edited by bonesiii
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