Monday, July 04, 2011

Canon Tricks

Now that I've discussed my feelings on canon in RPGs, I thought I'd discuss a specific case in a bit more detail: Star Wars canon. As I mentioned before, my personal Star Wars canon is the original trilogy. One thing I'd consider doing when running a Star Wars campaign is establishing beforehand that one or all three of those movies were canon, but that nothing else was.

There are an amazing amount of things you can do when you only accept what appears on the screen as canon. For example, what if I say that only Star Wars is canon? Suddenly Vader may really have killed Anakin, and Luke and Leia might not be brother and sister

One of my earliest Star Wars RPG scenarios that I created had my players as the ones that delivered the Death Star plans to Princess Leia. This was back when West End Games had the license, and the only thing we knew officially about the Bothans was that a lot of them died. That's all that the movies tell us, and even that could have been misinformation, or misdirection. After all, in a Galactic Rebellion chances are the lines of communication aren't perfect. Mon Mothma could have been wrong about all the Bothans dying, or maybe all those Bothans died as part of a distraction to allow someone else to actually deliver the information. That someone being the PCs.

Let's go back to that first idea though, that only the first movie is canon. Now, let's rewind the timeline back to the prequels. Now we can tell stories of Anakin and Ben that are wide open. Either as a PC or NPC, the players can never be sure if Anakin is going to become Vader, or if Vader is going to kill him. We can play with Ben Kenobi as well. There's an old fan theory that predates the prequels that says that Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually OB-1 Kenobi, a clone of Ben Kenobi. This suddenly puts the fate of Ben Kenobi up for grabs. Was Obi-Wan Ben, or a clone? Play the game and find out!

These are the kinds of things that you can't do if you slavishly follow canon, and I think they're incredibly interesting stories to explore.


Fulminata said...

Just thought I'd point out that this was written at the same time as my previous post, and prior to any comments made on that post.

Jabbott said...

All those possible scenarios just scream "Not interested" to me for some reason.

librarian said...

Not related to this post, but glad you are posting many posts. Keep it up!

Fulminata said...

Thanks, I have a backlog of posts that I'm going through, editing, and finally putting up here, so there should be a continued flow for at least a little while longer.

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