Transformers Legends also refers to the K*Mart exclusives of Jazz, Grimlock, Bumblebee, and Starscream - effectively their Pretender versions without their shells. - Vanguard

So, I just re-read Fires in the Dark, the infamous 'Beast Wars in Amara's past' story.

...and I realised it's explicitly stated that the Natiltec tribe whose site they find somehow journeyed from one world to another, apparently literally crossing from one continuity to another.

That's cool.-Derik 06:16, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm. I had taken that as meaning they journeyed from one location on Earth to another, which to them would seem like going to a new world. --KilMichaelMcC 15:37, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Paddles and Geosensus

I replaced the "Paddles (Story)" link with one going straight to the character page. No need for redundancy. But could someone a little better at this than I am please make a redirect from "Parts" to "Geosensus"? Thanks.--Thylacine 2000 19:25, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Introduction canonicty snafu

TF:Legends did indeed include the notorious caveat you refer to- but at least one of the stories therein included a specific note from the author saying it took place in cartoon continuity prior to TF:TM. In that light wielding the collection's forward like a club to declare everything non-canon probably not the brightest thing to do-- or even what Scott Ciencen intended. Legends had like 8 different mutually-irresolvable stories from various versions of Armada continuity. Logic suggests that he was proposing we not break our brains trying to resolve them, not that the story by the writer of Beast Machines set during Beast Machines which doesn't conflict with the cartoon 'doesn't count'. -Derik 00:52, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Um... sorry? Am I high, or you you basically pick and choose the rules of continuity that you feel like following on any given day? Or do you just enjoy disagreeing with me on principle?
Look, to the point - I don't see that any brain breaking is remotely neccessary. It's simple:
The editor (that is, ahem, David Cian) says these stories are "What Ifs", not part of the respective continuities in which they are set, regardless of how well they may fit. Stating that one story positions itself at a specific place in a prexisting continuity doesn't change that overriding editorial caveat whatsoever, indeed, several of the stories can be easily located at specific points in specific continuities. Thus, applying the official Hasbro line that we also follow here that "everything's canon... somewhere", the only other designation these stories can have is that they are micro-continuities. I'm not saying that these stories "don't count", or that they are cosmically noncanon, merely that they should not be regarded as actually part of same exact continuity as the BM animation, but rather a sidestep removed. i.e. they exist in a microcontinuity that includes everything in the show plus the events of the prose story. Just like the IDW Beast Wars comics aren't actually part of the Beast Wars animated continuity, and just like Beast Wars itself wasn't in exactly the same continuity as any pre-existing version of G1.
You follow?
By all means please argue your case, but I don't see any way around this other than to declare that this wiki treats Cian's forward as null and void. And if so, on what basis would you claim that right? As an official work, doesn't any statement regarding its own canonicty become something we just have to accept?
User:PacifistPrimePP 01:28, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
"Just like the IDW Beast Wars comics aren't actually part of the Beast Wars animated continuity, and just like Beast Wars itself wasn't in exactly the same continuity as any pre-existing version of G1." Which is precisely why I find the paragraph saying "You don't have to put this with the show" pointless. It applies to every segment of canon and we don't note it. We put them in their own sections (which is the case with Singularity Ablyss) and expect readers to put two and two together. —Interrobang 03:15, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, except that, frankly, the Transformers Legends book is actually pretty obscure, and most casual readers won't automatically know that it has a particularly fraught canonical status. It would be usefully informative to many users and I hardly think a short footnote is going to cause the end of the world.User:PacifistPrimePP 03:36, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
And I'm saying I think that Cian's forward was boneheaded and said something he didn't mean to say (these are all non-canon) while attempting to say something he did mean to say "Many of these are never-never land continuities." (Which many, but not all were.) Some of the authors clearly wrote under the impression that their stories were canon, and set them in very specific continuities. I don't think Cian can arbitrarily override an author's note specifically placing his story in cartoon continuity. -Derik 01:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Seems like, boneheaded or not, Cian's foreword consigns everything in Legends to a pseudocanon status, with the POSSIBLE exception of the G1 Cartoon story. Saying that the author meant the exact opposite of what he said (these are all non-cnnon - these are NOT all non-canon) seems like a real reach to me. Maybe the article in question could include the pseudocanon info in italics or otherwise broken apart. As an aside, shouldn't this discussion really go there? We're not really talking about Derik. --Jimsorenson
I was discussing it on PP's user page.
(I really despise that Cian's forward, which I think was supposed to tell people not to get bent out of shape about how/where these stories fit-- instead explicitly declared that "None of these count at all." This bugs me msotly because I don't think it's what Cian actually meant to say. ) -Derik 02:37, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, well, that's your opinion, and to be frank I actually do agree with you: I think Cian's introduction is utter bollocks too. However, I don't see how our opinion of the introduction alters the fact that it's an official work containing an official statement about canon status of the material within. And yes, of course he can override the intent of the author (which, as we know, has no canonical bearing anyway)... he's their editor! His authority supersedes theirs. Furthermore, having just re-read his introduction, I'd point out to you that he implies he had informed the writers about their stories' noncanon status when commissioning them, i.e. before they wrote them... for whatever that's worth (again, author intent doesn't count).
And, just to jog your memory, regarding canonicity, his exact words are:
But remember, none of the stories in this volume are part of continuity. In other words, they do not count for futher "facts" in the Transformers universe...
I hardly think that could be any clearer. Indeed, it's so explicit that it's only by dint of the fact that our/Hasbro's policy declares "everything canon... somewhere" that these stories even qualify as micro-continuities, frankly. Which I admit sucks, but there it is.
So even in the unlikely event that you're right and Cian "didn't mean it" or expressed himself badly, we all know that his own editorial/authorial intent has, again, no actual bearing on canon - only what he actually said in the official published work. How we can disregard the canonicity of Cian's satement about noncanonicty (yes, I know how strange that sounds) without breaking our own rules about "everything's canon... somewhere"? I mean, obviously if people want to regard any of the stories as being part of their personal canon versions of the individual continuities that's fine, but officially... I just don't see that we're in any position to ignore it.
User:PacifistPrimePP 02:41, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
P.S. to Jimsorenson - I don't see any justification for the the stories to be regarded as Pseudocanon, since it's in an officially endorsed publication. That would render the stories as belonging to micro-continuities, at worst.
P.P.S. I vote we move this to the discussion page of Transformers Legends, and am copying all this over there if you want to continue the debate. Okay?User:PacifistPrimePP 02:51, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

...aaand here we are. Anyone?User:PacifistPrimePP 02:51, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

But the problem is "they do not count for futher "facts" in the Transformers universe..." is ridiculously stupid. The statement is they are not part of any continuity- and since TT1 doesn't recognize that statement as valid (everything is canon,) it's like we "bumped it down" to the next-most-extreme thing he could say that is something we recognize as valid. "They are all micro-continuities."
But that's not what he said. And I think we do a dis-service to the material to act like it is what he said.
Cian was writing from the perspective that- "Well, I guess there's like... six or 8 continuities, right? And everythign has to fit into one of these- which a bunch of these don't." The concept of the TF Multiverse with it's millions of continuities where everything happened wasn't properly established until after he wrote that forward. He was approaching it from the perspective of a Silver Age Comics fan. "If it's not Earth 1 and it's not Earth 2, then it must be an Imaginary Story."
The TF Multiverse exploded that entire... paradigm. Cian was talking uning terms we also use- but his entire mindset was 180 degrees of ours. The basic instrinsic stuff of how we view continuities-- the very concept of a micro-continuity... didn't exist at the time. And assuming that he was somehow talking in our terms seems really boneheaded. Why not just take his words in the context that they appeared- a Transformers "multiverse" composed of a very limited number of universes into which everything had to fit somewhere, and acknowledge he was saying "These aren't Earth 1 or Earth 2, so they must be imaginary stories." ("not part of [any established] continuity") Understand his worlds for what they were intended to be at the time, but acknowledge that we no longer consider that paradigm to have validity.
Basically I'm pleading for a saner interpetation of his words, which taken at face value are fundamentally at odds with both how we define canon, and how the Transformers Multiverse works. -Derik 03:04, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I want to agree with you because I'd like to include the stories, but I'm not sure if I'm letting wishful thinking get in the way of reason. I need to mull it over. (And I think this is the proper venue for this discussion.) --Jimsorenson 03:11, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Derik, you argue well, and add some useful context regarding Cian's introduction and the later establishment of "everything is canon... somewhere". Your DC analogy is also a good one. But I still don't see how we can just disregard his introduction (however asinine you/we may find it), other than to indeed view by in our own current terms i.e. if something isn't part of an established canon, then it's still canon... in a micro-continuity. It may not be what he meant (since the concept wasn't acknowledged at the time), but how else can we define these stories? They can't be flat-out canon (other than personal canon), and our policy doesn't allow for "imaginary stories" (which I agree was probably his thinking), but it would be way too harsh to render them pseudocanonical.
Essentially what I'm asking is: what's wrong with the micro-continuity designation? It seems to solve everything.
I just don't see what other workable solution you're really suggesting here.User:PacifistPrimePP 03:36, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
What's wrong is that is renders Collect and Save, which the author explicitly states takes place prior to TF:TM as a "micro-continuity that doesn't count towards anything else." while the Madman Transformers comic, set in the same period and also produces 20 years after-the-fact... is allowed to actually be part of Generation 1 cartoon continuity. And that does a dis-service to Collect and Save, as well as being stupid. -Derik 03:43, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I hear you, I really do. I agree it's stupid. But you're still not offering a workable alternative solution.
Also, I really don't see that Collect and Save's forenote stating where it should be positioned in an existing continuity ergo makes it an overriding statement of canonicity. Like I said earlier, by the terms of how we currently view wider canon and micro-continuity canon, shouldn't this simply be a case in which this story thus exists in a micro-continuity version of the the G1 animated series which, unlike the series in question, also includes this prose story?
At the risk of inviting a world of pain, I think all this bespeaks what may be a continuing mushiness in the way we treat retcons and micro-continuities as part of larger canon. Without sitting down and re-reading every word at this juncture, it's my understanding from the Canon, Continuity, Continuity family and Micro-continuity articles (the last one of which I originated) that our policy is basically this:
  • Hasbro (and therefore we) regard everything officially published as canonical... somewhere.
  • "Somewhere" means that in cases of irreconcilable contradiction, we employ a massively multiversal model which allows us to then treat these differing materials produced for the same franchise (toyline, really) as belonging to separate, divergent continuities within the same continuity family.
  • If some of these alternative works are considered substantially "lesser" in terms of prominence/length than the most prevalent fictions (usually a comic and/or a show) of the franchise in question, then although we still regard them as being equally canonical, they become related to yet another separate strand of "reality" which we term a micro-continuity. This does not mean it's less "real" or "valid" in canon terms, merely that it does not exist in the exact same universe as its parent continuity.
Now, here comes this sticky part, that you may disagree with:
  • If a much later retcon (which, by our own definition also includes merely adding new information as opposed to contradicting old info) is featured in a fiction produced after the original production of the franchise in question, that is also considered to have created a divergent continuity. Hence our designation of the IDW Beast Wars as a separate continuity to the original show. Despite everything in the original show being canon from the perspective of IDW, the reverse does not hold true. Ditto Japanese neo-G1 fictions like Binaltech and Kiss Players, which are most certainly not part of the western G1 canon(s).
So, by those definitions, aren't pretty much all retroactive stories effectively micro-or-otherwise-separate-continuities? Like that Madman comic you mentioned?
I realise you may disagree with this, but I think it's important that we apply consistent rules to how we manage these niggling little continuity blips.User:PacifistPrimePP 04:25, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Despite everything in the original show being canon from the perspective of IDW, the reverse does not hold true.
Just wanted to say that, in general, I agree with this POV, not least because it summarizes why I hate seeing the name "Darksyde" used in BW episode summaries (apart from it being a stupid name.) -- Repowers 04:54, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
In my view, every story in Legends is a micro-continuity of its own. I feel like there's just no other way to look at it. The fact that "Collect and Save" notes that it takes place before TF:TM is irrelevant. The book's foreword, awkwardly worded though it is, means that the story simply doesn't have standing to declare itself to fully be a part of any existing universe. --KilMichaelMcC 04:22, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
So Two for the Price of One isn't set in the same continuity as the Keepers Trilogy? But instead a separate, unrelated continuity with identical events? That's stupid. And it makes an unholy mess of any attempt to document it. You'd have to place it in its own section and say- "Yeah, this is it's own continuity, but..." -Derik 04:29, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
shrug* It may be stupid, but I don't see any way around it. They're all micro-continuities, even the ones based on other pre-existing universe. For example, I certainly don't think the events of Prime Spark should be included in the Unicron Trilogy cartoon timeline, even though they are explicitly set between episodes of the Armada cartoon. --KilMichaelMcC 04:34, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Stupid? yes. Annoying? Absolutely! But an "unholy mess"? C'mon, we're only talking about 13 stories here after all...
It seems like the only logical solution.
Unless you have a better idea, and one that doesn't involve us arbitrarily deciding which stories fit existing continuities and which don't. We can't just ignore Cian's introduction as though it's totally meaningless.User:PacifistPrimePP 04:39, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I see a way around it. How about viewing Cian's forward in the context in which he originally made it- "If it's not Earth 1 and not Earth 2, then it must be an imaginary story," and not artificially confining the stories within that anthology because of it?
Why are we treating Two for the Price of One any different than the Madman Transformers comic? Both are set in pre-existing continuities, yet the Madman comic gets to live under the 'Generation 1 cartoon continuity' header. Why can't "Two for the Price of One" receive the same treatment?
Because Dadid Cian said somethign stupid one time? I vote that we either;
  1. Throw it out as irrelevant Author Intent (and he's not even the author!) which isn't supposed to affect how we interpret stories, merely inform it-- and instead treat each story as is appropriate for it.
  2. Since David Cian apparently declared that Two For the Price of One isn't set in the same continuity as the Keepers Trilogy, but instead in an all-new continuity where... everything from the Keepers Trilogy still happened, exactly as portrayed... why dont' we just declare that we're documentign that second universe that doesn't draw a meaningless delineation between this one story and the rest of everything, ever? And it is meaningless, because the story is suppsoed to take place in a micro-continuity that is otherwise completely identical to the universe without it-- only it has this extra event in it. (Unless the original universe also has this event in it, which it might. But still- this story is its OWN CONTINUITY! WOOHOO! WHERE'S MAH BEER?)
Sanity. That's what I want. Why does the Madman comic get treatment that will apparently be denied Collect and Save and Two for the Price of One? -Derik 05:33, 3 September 2008 (UTC)-Derik 05:33, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but that's just what I was saying a couple of posts back: I think that the Madman comic probably should technically be considered a micro-continuity as well, on the same basis that IDW's BW is already considered a separate continuity from the BW show proper. It seems to me that all after-the-fact retcons should be considered to belong to (otherwise identical) micro-continuities. It sounds crazy, I know, but otherwise we'd be in an even BIGGER mess.
It seems to me we either accept the principle of a massivley multiversal TF metacontinuity and the existence of dozens of micro-continuities and agree on some fairly clearly-stated rules, or we're just going to keep having these quibbling arguments.
Did you read my bullet point list a couple of posts before? Do you actually disagree with my assessment of how our policy works? User:PacifistPrimePP 05:53, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Derik, in my view, considering all of the Legends stories to be micro-continuities IS sanity. It is the ONLY way of looking at it that makes any sense at all to me. --KilMichaelMcC 06:05, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I read it, and I don't think this rises tot he level of irreconcilable difference witht he original material. And "Two For the Price of One" certainly wasn't added ages after the fact either- it was puiblished about a year after the last Keepers Book, and while the Dreamwave comics were still running. There is absolutely no reason to separate it out any more than the Keepers Trilogy already is except that David Cian made a weeping statement that even he probably didn't mean to be applied as draconianly as we are now doing.
The Magman comic, as it now stands, is clearly marked as being in G1 'toon continuity, not of it. I think the delineation we currently have is sufficient. Trying to shove it off into it'w own section circa 2006 and say "Also there's this one universe that's exactly like this one 8 sections ago, except it also has this story in it," is phenomenally stupid, it takes the story out of its context for no good reason. I don't have a problem (I guess,) with clearly marking these additions as not-part-of-the-original-source-material, but I think they should be kept in their appropriate context whenever possible.
And really- the reason we give IDW's BW stuuff it's own section isn't that it was added after-the-fact, it's that it's mutually irreconcilable with the 3H stuff, which also claims that "the cartoon happened just as we saw." It is not possible to present the cartoon 'inline' with its expanded universe withotu creating more messes than you solve. In the case of the Madman comic (and Collect and Save,) I don't see why they shouldn't be included in the cartoon continuity section with a clear "The events in italic are not from the cartoon itself" note, just like we do for Animated's expended continuity from the comics. -Derik 06:31, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I only really object to the constant hand-wringing notations of "this doesn't really count." In that respect, I very much agree with Derik. Everything that gets Hasbro approval is canon. Maybe not canon that is compatible with anything else, but canon nonetheless. Author intent does not, in this case, override one of the fundamental assumptions of this wiki. We accept a lot of weird shit as canon, and I see no reason not to go balls-out with this either.--RosicrucianTalk 06:38, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

That's not really the question at issue here. We already treat these stories as "canon." If we didn't, they wouldn't have articles or be mentioned at all. The question is whether some of these stories should be considered part and parcel of existing continuities, or whether they should all be treated as universes unto themselves, micro-continuities. --KilMichaelMcC 06:46, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
And I think that David Cian didnt' actually intend to make such a sweepign statement (for the reasons I've stated above,) and if he'd kept his big mouth shut, left to our own devices, that would not be the way we'd choose to treat these stories. I also feel strongly that author intent doesn't override the actual story-as-it-happened, and David Cian's editorial intent shouldn't be able to override a natural reading of the stories either. -Derik 06:57, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I feel like a lot of this... I guess you can't call it an argument, we're all fairly civil and are stating our cases while citing examples we think represent paramount priorities... disagreement is brushing up against other issues, like how you handle information added long-after-the-fact, or the very issue of author intent--- which I know a lot of editors have strong feeling about.
What's really at hand here are (as I see it,) 3 things;
  1. What did David Cian say, what did he mean when he said it, and to what degree is that relevant to our own organizational schema?
  2. What is the best way to present information clearly without misrepresenting it?
  3. If David Cian hadn't made his statement in the forward, would we be treating these stories differently?
I think there's pre-existing tension about how we've been handling some material, like the Madman comic (which was shoved into cartoon sections with no real discussion- but AFAIK no real objection either,) that everyone has been putting off arguing about. So just saying "Well we treat the Madman comic this way" isn't a good 'proof,' because the other person might not feel that's the appropriate way to treat that material either, and simply because there hasn't been an argument over the existing treatment of similar 'secondary' sources within 'primary' continuities doesn't mean that there is a consensus on how they should be treated.
Does this seem about right to anyone else? -Derik 06:53, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Kind of. I mean, in part you're actually sort of just repeating/rephrasing what I've already said myself a couple of times here. This discussion all bespeaks a pre-existing lack of clarity about how we treat certain material. As I've been saying, the Madman comic isn't adequate proof of anything, because even though (as you pointed out) it's never been specifically debated, it too probably shouldn't be considered part of the existing G1 cartoon continuity.
At this point I actually think Cian's introduction is becoming increasingly irrelevant (which is not say I think it's actually irrelevant) in the face of the larger issue:
  • "Should all retcons published/produced outside the timeframe of the pertinent franchises be considered by their very nature to create divergent but otherwise largely identical continuities?"
Well, I think probably yes. I know it sounds completely insane, but I just don't see how we can avoid having some kind of clear rule about this, otherwise we're condemning ourselves to an endless series of arguments in order to arbitrarily decide which after-the-fact stories are inside the parent continuities and which are not.
I mean, seriously, it would never 'effin end...
We're dealing with a very unique metacontinuity here that allows everything but implies internal divisions as a method of explaining incongruity and decades-later retcons. I think in order to embrace that we need to agree on some logical rules about how to define things, and stick with them. Heaven knows, I've got in enough trouble in the past for not sticking to your rules, so forgive me for wanting to actually make them clearer.
P.S. Don't get me wrong - I'd be overjoyed if we could easily and neatly incorporate everything in Legends. For starters, it would finally canonise that damn bit about G1 Megatron's spark getting put back at the end of BWs3.
User:PacifistPrimePP 07:29, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Here's the problem I have here;
  1. You begin by saying "And I know that's completely insane," not a good sign.
  2. The Two of the Price of One story wasn't added ages after-the-fact, it was written and published contemporaneous to the continuity it takes place in. So simply saying "we treat everything in Legends like it was published ages after the fact" is a ham-fisted dis-service of this story.
  3. I cannot accept your thesis that everything published 'later' is a new continuity and somehow the original material has to remain inviolate. Sunstorm was named ages after the fact-- it doesn't conflict with anything, but that represents a new continuity, and the original cartoon should refer to him just as 'Yellow Seeker,' and note he's only called Sunstorm in this "new continuity"... which Takara and Hasbro both say is the G1 cartoon. Do all of the other retcons go intot he same new continuity, or do they go to different ones? Is Acid Storm the same new continuity as Sunstorm, or one of his own? Does no piece of new fiction relate to one another, or are there just hundreds of new micro-continuities that can't be said to count for one another?
And yeah- Sunstorm is an extreme example... but TF:TM retconned seasons 1 and 2 by introducing an all-pervading religion and magical McGuffin. Season 3 retconned the the movie by making the quints their creators. Yes, that is a valid statement... but it is also a fucking useless statement to make from an organizational standpoint. "Nothing counts! Every new episode retcons everything that came before and every subsequent addition takes place in its own universe!" is not a formula that lets you say anything useful about anything. It's akin to declaring "You can't say for sure that was Gears in this episode, he didn't talk so it might have just been an animation error." Yes, it's a view with some validity-- but it also renders the entire exercise so meaningless that there's no point in even bothering to have a conversation. "The last 5 minutes of The Six Sense retconned the first 110 minutes." is not a formula for meaningful discussion.
And I know you're not suggesting anything that extreme- but I don't think saying nothing can ever be added after-the-fact will ever work. Look at fucking Sparks! I hate them so much, but this was something introduced 12 years into TF, ages after the cartoon and comic both ended, that has unquestionably wormed its way into everything that came before. It's intrinsically tied to Unicron and Primus being Multiversal singularities etc etc etc.
I don't like it, I really wish that transformers had enough self-restraint to just stop mentioning sparks for 5 years until the stink wore off (but no, fun Pub goes on an extended riff about how Sparks are actually made of Energon, which is also what Transformer bodies are made of and... GAH.) But Sparks are unfortunately valid for the g1 'toon. It's confusing, it's counter-intuitive to the original intent... but there it lies. Just like the Matrix in seasons 1 and 2. It is not useful to pretend that nothing about Sparks can be valid for G1- when the toyline and subsequent stories are dropping reference after reference trying to resolve the 'toon with sparks via laser cores an write-arounds.
I just.... isn't it enough to clearly distinguish "This came from the cartoon," and "this came from other stuff," as presented without ghetotizing everything that came after to it's own sections or sections- as if nothing counted? "Okay, here's everything that's been added in since 1988, but we're taking it OUT of the cartoon section and presenting it with no cartoon context so that it no longer makes sense! FUCK YOU FANDOM-WANKS, SUNBOW-AS-SEEN 4EVAH!"
(Paraphrasing strawmen is never useful, but please tell me why I'm totally wrong here and what you're advocating isn't what I'm hearing... because I suspect it's not, which means I should just shut up and stop ranting until I can be debased of my preconcieved notions that are inhibiting open communication.) -Derik 09:40, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'll say one thing for ya Derik, we may rarely agree on anything, but you sure do wear it on your sleeve, so at least that means you care.
Nevertheless, I wish you'd stop harping on Two of the Price of One. Okay, fine, it doesn't easily fit the "later" criteria, but the point of the discussion was trying to determine what to do about the Legends anthology as a whole and until some kind of consensus is reached about completely throwing out Cian's introduction/canonicity declaration, I don't think we can treat the individual stories differently. BUT, as I've already said, I think we're kind of moving beyond that now and really need to try and settle a much wider issue about our canon policy.
So, yes, as you have the good grace to admit, you are getting rather carried away and yes, that's waaay more extreme than my actual argument. I think retcons that fall within an ongoing work of a franchise like your examples of the Matrix and the Quints in the G1 cartoon are fine, they're just like running changes in a comic book or TV show and are clearly all within the same continuity, however awkward. So your rant about each episode retconning the previous one is obviously nonsense, but I'm sure you know that, and I'm sure you know that's not what I'm saying. However, I really do think that retcons made after a fiction series is completed require special status and should be distinguished as such.
Take your example of Sunstorm. Sure, it's convenient to say that the yellow seeker in MTMTE is Sunstorm, and we might as well give him that name for lack of a better one, but that's not to say that the crazy evangelistic clone depicted in Dreamwave's continuity has any real bearing on that character. You can't seriously tell me that I'm supposed to accept that the yellow seeker we see for two seconds (who I'm perfectly happy to call Sunstorm, let's not forget how much names get reused in TF) in the animated pilot SHARES this whole backstory as a crazy clone zealot with superpowers? That's absurd. That's almost tantamount to saying that Energon's "Scrappy" version of Ironhide is in any way the same character as the character in the live action movie. Acid Storm? He exists, sure - in Fun Publication's Classics continuity. That one's easy.
I have exactly the same problem you do about sparks being shoehorned into the original G1, but unlike you I don't accept them. It's clearly horseshit. Of course the characters in the G1 cartoons don't have sparks. Neither do the characters in the Marvel comics, or G2 for that matter. Saying so a dozen years after the fact doesn't make it true. After all, that intrinsically flies in the face of the Hasbro policy that we follow of "Everything is canon...somewhere", because it's then invalidating the original comics and animation, making them no longer canon...anywhere. If we were to accept it, then the edict would have to now read "Everything is long as you ignore the first 12 years and pretend they always had sparks." Ridiculous!
But if we're talking about Beast Wars, DreamWave (inc. the Ultimate Guide) or IDW or Fun Publications' later versions of G1, then that's fine, because they're each clearly separate continuities anyway. But to say that Primus per se exists in the Sunbow-verse or that their version of Unicron was actually a dark god all along and wasn't created by by Primacron (utterly asinine as that story may have been) is absurd. That's why I really like the way our articles on Unicron, Primus and the Creation Matrix explicitly show the linear progression of the way the fictions have presented, developed and built upon the ideas, and treating them like what they are i.e. different pieces of writing done over decades for different franchises, rather than just jellyfishing to some latter-day retcon and ignoring what came before.
Because, frankly, that "universal singularity" stuff is horseshit too -- and we pretty much already say so in the pertinent articles. It's a nice little idea, and you can maybe say that it's valid for every continuity that's actually been shown to incorporate it since the idea was fielded, but you can't just overwrite the completely contradictory portrayals in the cartoon (even if the comic version IS better), and furthermore Furman has said that they don't exist in the current IDWverse either, which pretty much bookends the TF multiverse to date. To contradict those two would also invalidate Hasbro's own rule that "everything is canon...somewhere", and replace it with "everything is canon...unless it contradicts the multiversal singularities". Rubbish.
I keep returning to my example of the IDW BW comics, and I don't think the main reason for them being separate is their contradiction of 3H's work. Regardless of that, they are a big fat retcon of the original series, and even if every minute of the CG show is canon from IDW's point of view THE REVERSE IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. And I think we all agree on this, which I think is a significant precedent.
I think we just need some common sense - a rule we can agree on with this stuff. And I don't think it needs to be unduly complicated either. If something seeks to incorporates new or contradictory facts into a fiction that has long since concluded its original run, then it is part of a new variation of that continuity. Just like G2 comics and Classics are both divergent continuations of Marvel's comic, each existing in their own version which incorporates the full backstory of Marvel but are mutually incompabtible with each other. No big deal.
You do raise a valid point about ghettoizing, though. But I just can't see a way around it. I mean, unless we actually undo my micro-continuity article and abandon the whole idea that lesser, divergent or retconned fictions like Ladybird books, Kiss Players or IDW's BW comics are not as separate as they obviously are... then I just don't see what other practical alternative there is.
Look, this is... utterly exhausting. And I really can't afford to spend much more time on this for now. We're largely failing to convince each other here and I think we need to hear some new voices on this matter. One thing I think we both agree on is that we're ultimately discussing some pretty fundamental issues about how this wiki deals with continuity fragmentation, and I think that considerably more than the average "consensus" of 3 to 4 people is required, let alone just the two of us. Can we get some admins or mods or whatever to air their opinions? Or is everyone tied up with this impending exodus?
User:PacifistPrimePP 15:45, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
To answer your closing concerns... I think you guys need to:
1) Take it to the Community Portal talk page, since this really affects far more than just this page.
2) Re-state your positions very succinctly -- think "soundbyte" here. I figure a big reason for lack of response is the sheer, mind-numbing volume of words being discharged here.
3) Accept that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. Think about the range from the UK/US Marvel comics and the Animated cartoon and comics, to the 3H BW stuff, to trying to shoehorn the Cybertron cartoon in with previous series. We should do some picking and choosing. We should say "this material is more important and has more bearing". Fuck consistency. I hate consistency. Consistency leads to retarded things like an article about "Recordicon"s. -- Repowers 16:44, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not even sure what in the heck we're debating any more, but it's weirdly fascinating.
My own personal take on the matter revolves around original author intent. If one of the original writers retcons their own work, it counts. If a third party comes along and retcons it, it doesn't count. If people come along years later and write stories into the original work, they're nice little side stories, but don't really count, even if they don't contradict.
Way I see it, if you're going to worry about caring about what's consistent within a story and what isn't, then the only way to do it is to go by which elements the original writers were working with. Otherwise you're dealing with "mistakes" stemming from things the original writers never intended to be in their work in the first place. Jeysie 16:58, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Well put, Jeysie. I'm of a similar mind, though I wouldn't call the deciding factor "author intent," so much as "series integrity." To answer Derik's reductio ad absurdum of separating episode-by-episode retcons, I believe that each series is fundamentally one unit, no matter its internal wonkiness. For instance, from MTMTE to Rebirth, the G1 cartoon was overseen by the same companies, ostensibly had the same bible (even if characters were added and dropped as time went on), had basically the same creative team behind it, was presented in a continuous flow during a reasonably tight timeframe, etc. So it's allowed to retcon itself all it wants, but the flipside is that after it wrapped up, nothing could then truly add to or subtract from IT. The Madman comic was made over a decade later by different people to a different (or at least much, much smaller) audience. It counts, to my mind, as its own "series of one," and it should get its own sub-header after the G1 toon proper the same way that G2 and the Classics comics get their own sub-headers after Marvel G1. Maybe the solution to the Legends problem is to present its stories in exactly the same way, but with an added note of "This story was declared non-canon by its editor. Take that as you will."
I think the most pithy thing PP has written is, "Saying so a dozen years after the fact doesn't make it true. After all, that intrinsically flies in the face of the Hasbro policy that we follow of 'Everything is canon...somewhere', because it's then invalidating the original comics and animation, making them no longer canon...anywhere." That's the danger we run if we allow new fiction to be worked directly into our interpretation of the old, such as putting the Madman comic info right into the G1-toon summaries in italics like the UK comics. (Yes, the Madman comic is a benign example, but the point remains.)
By the way, PP, this isn't the first time you've asked the admins to chime in to an intractable debate, and I think you should know that our admins don't seem to wield that kind of decisive power here. Certainly Walky has noted many times when he hasn't gotten his way in policy discussions. Our staff has been traditionally laissez-faire about how policy is decided, allowing either consensus or inertia to win the day.
- Jackpot 17:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
In general, what he said -- truthfully it's not consistency per se that I'm opposed to, but rather a rigid and unthinking policy. And yeah, most of us admins are just here to ban the occassional troll. We only get one vote on content policy, far as I know. In fact this is the first time I've realized other Wikis might not work that way... -- Repowers 17:24, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
most of us admins are just here to ban the occassional troll
...and Derik, surely?  ;)
the point of the discussion was trying to determine what to do about the Legends anthology as a whole and until some kind of consensus is reached about completely throwing out Cian's introduction/canonicity declaration, I don't think we can treat the individual stories differently.
So let's reach a consensus to toss out Cian's stupidity! It might not affect how we treat anything-- we'd presumably still choose to cover things as we think "best documents without distorting," but I'd really rather we make our choice because it was the right thing to do, not because Cian made an arbitrary statement. The end result might actually be the same, but I feel like Cian's stupidity is "in the way" of actually reaching any consensus on the matter. Cian said that nothign counts- but he also said;
"The Transformers universe is big. Really big. Lots of stories, lots of characters, a whole library full of history. So, when I was asked to edit an anthology of original stories set in all these possible universes, I created some ground rules.
The rules, as the saying goes, were simple. write a
transformers story set in any of the various timelines and universes. Don't break things, but have fun. Optimus Prime cant' show a heretofore unknown short-range tactical nuke in his helmet, but he can have an adventure that no one has ever heard of before."

So which do we listen to? His weirdly-phrased 'nothing counts' statement or his original groundrules indicating the stories were to be set in existing universes? Cian seem to have retconned himself in mid-forward. Perhaps we should document them separately? -Derik 18:38, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, that depends on what is the practical purpose of this debate. Are we trying to determine where on various pages the stories should be placed? Is the debate over whether they should be used on various pages at all? Or if the book/stories should be listed at all?
I guess my answer to all of those would be, Jackpot already gave a good suggestion, yes (because of Hasbro's overriding policy), and yes (because it's an official product).
That goes for potentially related things like coloring books and whatnot, too... I don't have any particular problem with listing all officially-released info about a character/place/whatever somewhere on said pages, whether it's a "main" continuity tale or not. About the only truly quirky bit of fiction I can think of off-hand is "Hail and Farewell", since, if it's no longer canon, it technically shouldn't be treated differently than other Mosaics.
Or maybe I'm way off-base and it's something else that's the true contention? (Like I said, while it's an interesting academic debate, I really have no clue what we're actually debating here in terms of practical applications.) Jeysie 19:05, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Glad some others have entered the debate, thanks guys And yes, I know admins don't have special powers, I just want to invite the opinions of some of the most experienced & involved users in the community.
So, yeah, um, sorry if it's all getting a bit obscure and messy...! I'm not sure whether we should move this to the community portal or not... my hesitation is that if we simply start all over again (as opposed to copying over this whole discussion here so far and pasting it over there) then we'll just end up having to re-state and re-argue many of our more nuanced points and examples and frankly I really don't have the time or energy, no offence. If we could copy over the totality of this thread it would allow other users to read back over the argument and at least follow what we're saying... or try to! ;o)
But as to the question of succinctly re-satating what we're trying to argue, my position is basically this:
-1] We need to decide more consistently how we treat minor works of fiction, especially later retcons, as to whether they should be retroactively included in the original fictions OR be split off into micro-continuities. I respectfully disagree with Repowers' "fuck consistency" position and think that consistency is very important, otherwise we are just going to endlessly debate everything on a case-by-case basis, which will be a)maddeningly inefficient, and b)won't produce useful or cohesive results since different people with different misconceptions of our poorly-defined policy will be discussing them each time. It would simply never end.
-2] Personally, I would argue that the model for a consistent system should be as follows:
  • Everything is canon...somewhere. - "Somewhere" refers to the fact that we have a large number of alternate continuities within single franchises (or continuity families), with variations of G1 being far and above the most numerous and continually multiplying.
  • Contradictions or retcons that take place within a single work of ongoing fiction (e.g. the Quintessons invented the transformers in the G1 cartoon, or the Matrix is a physical object not a computer program in the Marvel G1 comic), this does not cause a divergeant continuity. It is contained within a unified work of continuity, however awkwardly (e.g. multiple Constructicon origins).
  • In cases where later retcons (which definitionally includes simply adding non-contradictory info) are enacted outside of the original run of a franchise's fiction (i.e. after the cartoon or comic has ended), this does create a new, divergent continuity. Even if this new continuity treats everything that was in the original fiction as canon, this is not the case in the reverse, i.e. we should not use DC/MarvelUniverse-style continuity in which an original story must be mentally amended by a years-later change/reveal. (e.g. The original Beast Wars cartoon is canon for the IDW BW comic, but the IDW comic is NOT canon for the original BW show. The Marvel G1 comic is canon for both the (mutually irreconcilable) G2 comic and Fun Publications' Classics comic, but neither of them are canon from the perspective of the G1 comic).
  • Therefore, a popular retcons such as that "G1 characters have sparks" is not true for the actual original G1 cartoon or Marvel G1 & G2 Comics. However, it is true for the later versions of G1 that are making these claims, such as Beast Wars, DreamWave (inc. the Ultimate Guide) or IDW or Fun Publications because they are (already) treated as separate continuities to the original ones. Otherwise this would violate our guiding overall policy from Hasbro that "everything's canon...somewhere".
  • By the same token the "multiversal singularity" retcon only applies to fictions published after that retcon was made, and even then only if the work refers to it (e.g.The IDWverse, published later, ignores it). It does not apply to earlier works but instead creates new, pertinent continuities (i.e. G1, BW, BM & RiD characters depicted in 3H & FunPub's Universe/Timelines material are not from the original versions of those continuities but from new, similar versions of such.) Othewise we would again be invalidating the principle of "everything's canon...somewhere" by overwriting preceeding canon, thus making it NOT CANON.
-3] As to the initial (but now far less important) issue of the short stories in the Legends anthology, it think any story that falls into the above definitions should likewise be considered to take place in divergeant (micro?)continuities, however well they might fit their intended "parent" continuities. The stories are definitely not pseudocanon, but nor should they be rincorporated into the mainstream animated series continuities of G1, Armada and Beast Machines any more than Kiss Players, Dreamwave's Armada comic or the 3H material should be, respectively.
....That's pretty much my position. Not exactly succinct, sorry, but the issues ARE complex.
Derik, you wanna sum up your position & state exactly what you think should be our policy/solution? And please make it a statement/proposition, not simply a rebuttal.
Thanks guys,
User:PacifistPrimePP 03:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with the forward-not-backward approach to continuity. When we're writing specifically about events of the G1 toon, we shouldn't ever use the term "spark." Series-integrity above all. So I also generally agree with everything else you said, but I want to clarify something: "In cases where later retcons (which definitionally includes simply adding non-contradictory info) are enacted outside of the original run of a franchise's fiction (i.e. after the cartoon or comic has ended), this does create a new, divergent continuity." The term "continuity" is a fuzzy one. In the section-structure of an article, I support having a "Generation 1 cartoon continuity" header that contains first the toon, then a subsection for the Japanese stuff, then a subsection for the Madman comic, then "Collect and Save," etc., etc. All one continuity, but a continuity with branches. (Unfortunately we're stuck with a linear format that will never fully adequately represent the branch-structure, but that's the best I think we can do.) Point being, the Madman comic can be presented separately from the 'toon without actually being in a different continuity. The IDW comic is a separate continuity. The Find Your Fate books are a separate micro-continuity. The Madman comic is a divergent branch of an existing continuity. Since it exists outside of the real-world boundaries of the original series, it should have its own header, but still under the umbrella of that original series. - Jackpot 03:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jackpot that we should separate the third and fourth seasons of the original cartoon from the first two and the animated movie. Damn those retcons implemented by new creators... --ItsWalky 04:05, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Do you think I'm Raksha? - Jackpot 04:09, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I just think we should be consistent! --ItsWalky 04:45, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Um, maybe that was just bitchy/ironic snark or whatever, Walky, but it's clearly not what Jackpot was saying.
Jackpot - I agree with you that there probably should be a distinction between continuity branches (like Madman or G2 vs Classics) and irreconcilable micro-continuities (Ladybird books, Dreamwave's single RiD story), but I'm just not sure that adding that additional distinction wouldn't just complicate things further. Do you have a proposed method?
At any rate, I think you've hit something pity with your phrase a "forward-not-backward approach to continuity", which nicely encapsulates a lot of what I'm trying to say here. You also make a good point regarding the section-structure of (most) articles, which largely makes it clear when we're discussing branches or divergent continuities... usually. If we can just all agree to be vigilent about not including backward retcons from outside the continuity sections being discussed at any given points (i.e. not mentioning sparks in the original comics or cartoon of G1), it should all be fairly straighforward and self-explanatory... and even pretty much handles the distinction between branches and micro-continuities. Don't get me wrong, I think the system works quite well on the whole.
It's just that the mere fact that we can get our collective knickers in such a twist over something like Legends or the retcon-or-not status of Magnaboss says to me that our "rules" still aren't widely enough understood or possibly even agreed upon. Which is why I think they need to be a bit more explict... hence my earlier point-form proposal for your collective consideration.
Cheers, User:PacifistPrimePP 05:14, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Jackpot didn't imply that sense... I did. To which I'll say, his idea of "series integrity" is more what I meant but didn't express properly. Season 3 & 4 are meant to be a part of the original G1 toon series, so if they contradict themselves we can pick it apart all we like. But if a guy comes along years later and retcons Primus into things, we can ignore whatever oddities come up because it wasn't part of the original run. I more wanted to allow for the idea of someone who did write for a series being able to add to their own work years later if they wanted to.
The idea of continuities actually makes life easier, since it means you can, for instance, posit that Beast Wars doesn't have to fit in with the G1 toon if its new info causes contradictions. (As opposed to something like Star Trek where it's all considered to be one continuous thing, come long-after-the-fact retcon or high incongruity.) Jeysie 04:54, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
My only problem with that (an original writer coming back after the series is ended) is that it's relying on Author intent, which we have a pretty clear policy to disregard. After all, it may clearly have been Simon Furman's intent for Alignment to count as part of Marvel's G1/2 comic continuity (and maybe, privately, even War Within, from his Personal canon point of view ala Frank Millers' "Dark Knight Universe" clusterfuck)... but thank goodness it doesn't!
Otherwise though, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about TF continuities as opposed to something like Star Trek. User:PacifistPrimePP 05:24, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
My philosophy is, if a writer wants to screw up their own work, let 'em. I'm only concerned with outside parties screwing up someone else's work after the fact. ;)
Plus I was more thinking along the lines of... for instance, what if Hasbro for some reason decided to create a series of some sort detailing what happened in between the Second Season and the '86 Movie? If it was made by completely different people, it'd be easy to slot as being its own thing that isn't really part of the original series, even if it fits well. But what if it was done by the same creative team as the original toon? Are they never allowed to add to their own stuff?
Other than that, I agree with you and Jackpot. Jeysie 05:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I hear you, and ideally I would like to agree (although it is at this stage ultimately speculative), except that I just don't think Transformers is a good fit for that kind of thinking. With properties that have a very clear, unified creative authority like JMS on Babylon 5 or Joss Whedon on the Buffyverse et al (or, perversely, even LucasFilm's policy of tiered, sefl-overwriting continuity, because at least that's done so with a clear system of absolute authority), I think it's totally kosher to accept that "the word of god" has spoken when creator-endorsed new works are retroactively attached to the originals' continuity. But with Transformers we're already dealing with such a massively multiversal model of continuity which has no real guiding creative edict other than "everything is canon...somewhere", utltimately it's just too frothy and Author intent-y to pick and choose on the basis of specific creators. I mean, even Simon Furman, the most prolific single creator of Transformers fictions quite happily goes along with writing for the various different continuities when hired to do so, and treats them as such. After all, we do treat even the Marvel U.S. and UK G1 comics as being branched, semi-incompatible continuities even during periods where he was writing both of them!  :-O
Interesting and genial chit-chat aside, though, I really think we need lots more voices & discussion about how do deal with these fundamental canon rules/policy issues. Who's in favour of copying this whole thread to the community portal...?
User:PacifistPrimePP 06:43, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
PP, my "proposed method" is basically what already exists. For instance, in many articles there's a section called "Marvel comic continuity," which contains the G1 comic and a subsection for G2 and a subsection for Classics. Whenever I see nested subsections, I assume that those series are in-continuity with the series at the head of the section, though the relationships may not be strictly linear or cohesive. As I read down, if a new section starts at a higher level in the section-tree, that indicates a break to a new continuity. I've always wondered if there were a way we could make that clearer to the casual reader, but I can't think of anything short of re-creating the articles as interactive Flash flowcharts.
Walky, are you trying to present an actual argument? I can't tell over the sound of bitch. I already explained above that I believe each series should be considered a fundamental unit that can stomp all over its own internal continuity without us having to subsection it out into seasons or episodes or whatever. I recognize the reductio ad absurdum of absolute forward-looking continuity, and I draw the line at "series." To use your example, I think the consistent framework of the G1 cartoon from start to finish in terms of companies in charge, timeframe, presentation, audience, medium, etc., etc. outweigh whatever changes in writing/editing staff might've precipitated season 3.
- Jackpot 11:02, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Yep, I'm totally on board with that. Like I said before, I actually think the current system we have of a "section tree" approach works fine. My concern is simply that some users seem to not properly understand (or simply may not agree with) the canon policy that underipns that system of presentation. Hence arguments about the backward-flowing (non-)canonicity of things like the Legends stories and the Madman comic, let alone whoppers like sparks and multiversal singularities. It seems to me that the broad system of dealing with our continuity families works absolutely fine, I just think it would be good if we could "all" agree on a slightly more explicit system of how to deal with post-series retcon works so that arguments like this one wouldn't arrive each and every time.
Which, again, is why I'm now seconding Repowers' suggestion that we move this whole thread to the community portal, and get some more people involved. Anyone else down with that?User:PacifistPrimePP 11:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I understand our presentation practices... but I disagree with your across-the-board assertion that new additions don't affect the past, and that Multiversal Singularities are dumb and shouldn't count. (paraphrasing.) The Unicron and Primus articles are formatted to reflect all the retcons as applying to old events (while acknowledging the way things used to be.) We try to limit that sort of thing (for aesthetic and practical reasons,) but we do treat the concept of Multiversal Singularities (which include Unicron, Primus, the First 13, Rarefied Energon and Axion Nexus,) as "legitimate," since there's only "1" of each of those in the entire multiverse all retcons do affect the past. (It's not relevant to this debate, but it is why I responded rather strongly to PP's assertion that "universal singularities are horseshit." He's welcome to that opinion... but it probably makes him the wrong person to pass judgement on whether or not retcons can affect the past without being a new continuity.) -Derik 20:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The idea of Unicron & Primus is a good example of why "series integrity" is a good practice if you're going to bother caring about continuity. The conflict between Unicron being a force of Chaos and Unicron being a giant robot created by a mortal being is a prime example of "mistakes stemming from things the original writers never intended to be in their work in the first place". The original works already have enough mistakes on their own without outside parties adding new ones to them.
So, I admit I consider it a dumb idea, too, seeing as how it tries to shoehorn the same origin onto series that already have their own separate origins, thus just causing even more logical snafus in continuity. Jeysie 20:33, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I think Multiversal singularities are dumb too. I believe the structure of the TF multiverse weds the worst of all possible multversal structures, in terms of both restricting storetelling and marginalizing the importance of any individual story being told.
But that is the shape of the Multiverse. Whether I like it or not is irrelevant. Just declaring "that's horseshit" doesn't mean you can argue that multiversal singularities dont' exist and Unicron's article should be rendered incoherent by treating each retcon (and there have been many) like it's a new continuity-- especialyl since they're not new continuities-- there is only one Unicron. Presenting it like there's many misrepresents this.
It's stupid, but just because I think it's stupid doesn't bean I get to ignore it. And thus- I take issue with PP's blanket statement that all retcons must be treated as new continuities. It's not true for Unicron and we don't treat him that way. I think it's not true in some other minor circumstances as well. None of that is particularly relevant to this debate- but since PP is on record as saying that "universal singularities are horseshit" and all retcons should be declared new micro-continuities even when TT1 has decided otherwise, as in Unicron's case... I think that undermines his ability to argue that Two for the Price of One should be declared a micro-continuity. He thinks everything should be a micro-continuity, including (demonstrably) some things TT1 has decided should not. -Derik
OK, so what do you do then when you end up with something like Furman's current IDW run, where he's expressly said that Primus and Unicron don't exist in it, and thus is presumably writing his stories with that fact in mind? If you insist on holding onto the "Well, they exist in all continuities no matter what" thought, at best it's completely irrelevant anyway because they'll have no bearing on the story... and at worst, well, I think I've already covered that. If even the guy who created Primus and Unicron is willing to ignore them and do something else... I think this kind of illustrates the pointlessness of it. Jeysie 21:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Well for one thing, that sounds an awful lot like author intent... ;)
I thought Furman said he was giving Unicron and Primus a break, did he actually say they don't exist in IDW-verse? Got a cite? (There are plenty of universes where TF's are ignorant of their origins.)
Tangentally- for all the talk about Cybertron being the "stable Axis of the multiverse"... I have trouble picturing it existing in whatever universe the GoBots came from. Since some fundamental questions about the 'nature' of their universe (or at least its demise) seem to be floating in the background of the Timelines stories, we might end up learning there are universes where Primus and Unicron do not exist. (Maybe.) -Derik 22:06, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, yeah, it does sound like Author Intent because Furman was the main writer of the IDWverse until AHM came along. I can't imagine who else would say how his storyline is going to go. But the same scenario would apply if the Animated writers made the same claim or what have you.
Anyhoo. Question 11 on this page states no Primus/Unicron and the bottom of this page reiterates no Unicron. In this comment after Primus was mentioned in Megatron: Origin he states that if Primus does show up it won't be G1 Primus. (Whether that still counts as Primus existing is a possible debate.) Jeysie 22:28, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I've been reluctant to move this to the Community Portal for a discussion of general policy about retroactive... stuff... in new timelines. In part because I think this argument is mostly fixed on things unique to Legends (Cian's non-continuity statement,) -- I think our existing approach to handling later-day additions to continuities would be sufficient if it wasn't for the Cian blocker. (They might even lead us to the same conclusions-- but with the block unresolved it's hard to tell for sure.)
I'm also reluctant to start a discussion-in-order-to-form-policy on the how we handle latter-day additions because I don't think we have enough of them. Right now there are relatively few such additions that can be said to be explicitly set in old continuities (the Madman comic and Legends are basically the only ones we cite in this discussion,) and I don't think the existing 'samples' are diverse enough for us to base a general policy on. I expect more such 'intrusions' over the next few years, and think we'd be better off muddling with them under existing policy until we get a better idea what they will "look like," overall. (Basically I'm wary of forming a policy too early based on a limited idea of what kinds of stories will be affected by it that won't be able to adapt if we get something stranger than we expect. For example, we recently had to revise our Disambiguation policy because Hasbro gave us something we never expected... when formulating the policy... a franchise containing multiple continuity families!)
I'd also like us to find a term other than 'retcon' for additions-that-do-not-change-continuity. They are retcons- I don't dispute that. But because retcon itself has two meanings it's be easier if we had a specific term to refer to such additions by that distinguished them from the massively-change-everything retcons featured in Japan's recent cartoon timeline. How about "retroactive addition?" (Still a retcon, but no longer ambiguous about which type.)
Basically- I have no problem notiing such additions are/may be/appear to be micro-continuities... but I don't think Cian's stupidity should be the basis for doing that. In almost all cases (24tPo1 being the one exception,) I think there's plenty of reason to classify them as micro-continuities under existing policy and practice without having depend on Cian. And even 24tPo1 is already a micro-continuity... the same sub-continuity of Dreamwave that includes the Keepers Trilogy. that clear enough in regards to my position? I dispute elevating Cian's words (which I think are both dubious on their face and misinterpreted and redundant to the way we already categorize the multiverse and author intent and disagreeing with the actually authors and don't fit with his own description of Legends ' "groundrules" 4 paragraphs earlier...) to the status of Law, I don't particularly oppose PP's (and others') position on how they should be treated-- I just think that treatment shouldn't be dependent on Cian Editorial Fiat. (That's the phrase I've been groping for!)
As for the actual treatment... I have some minor quibbles, I'd like to see additions documented inline if possible, but am not sure if it's practical without rendering things even more confusing. And-- I'm the one who pushed to have Energon split into two articles so we could have an article without all the crappy retcons... so clearly I'm not of one mind on the subject. *sigh* Basically- though I voice misgivings about a separate treatment, but my feelings on the matter aren't strong enough to actually oppose it. (Whereas on the Cian matter they are, obviously.)
Is that... helpful? Or just painfully un-helpful? -Derik 19:56, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Wow, this discussion has grown crazy-long... anyway, I want to get back to the specific matter of Legends, without discussing any of the other issues raised here, because I think it really is a unique thing. To my mind, this phrase from the foreward -- "none of the stories in this volume are part of continuity" -- simply has to mean SOMETHING. I can't just pretend it isn't there. And I can see only two options for what it means:

  • These stories are all utterly non-canon. They never actually "happened" at all.
  • These stories did "happen," but cannot be taken as part and parcel of any existing continuity. They are therefore universes unto themselves, what we here term "micro-continuities."

The first option I would reject on the grounds of it running counter to the general view that any officially licensed work is a part of the canon, and thus had to have happened somewhere within the multiverse. So, the second option is the one that makes sense to me. --KilMichaelMcC 20:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

In other words they don't count for future "facts" in the Transformers universe
I think he was saying "If something else published in the future contradicts these stories, these are what's supposed to give." That bizarre sentence about "future facts" is the crux here-- he was trying to cover his ass in case something in Legends didn't fit with something that came later. It fits with his original ground rules for the writers, (write something in an existing continuity, I quoted it earlier) as well as his sentiment that the stories are just supposed to be fun-- if a future Dreamwave story invalidated "Parts" or "Two for the Price of One," then the stories should gracefully be moved out of continuity. Future is the key word here-- he never intended to pre-emptively remove them to continuity.
Can you think of any other possible meaning the truly-awkward "future 'facts'" phrasing might be alluding to? -Derik 20:44, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Derik, I think you're probably quite right about the intent behind "future facts", but I'm not sure what you mean by "he never intended to pre-emptively remove them to continuity." Did you mean 'remove them FROM continuity'?
Also, although it rankles me immensely, since I already difinitively lost (i.e. finally gave up) that Magnaboss argument about the acceptability of using the correct definition of "retcon" (even though you actually all conceed that I'm technically correct)... I will grudgingly agree to use your proposed term "retroactive addition" to avoid confusion. However, if the term actually gets used in any articles I reserve the right to link it to the Retcon page.
Anyway, I'm really tiring of this discussion, but am loath to let it go the way most of my debates go and simply retire from it because I don't have the time or energy, because I think this one is actually pretty important. (Hence my repeated suggestions of moving to the community portal).
So, I did just want to say a couple of things:
Derik, I think you are once again somewhat exaggerating my argument, and I don't particularly appreciate you harping on "horseshit" as though it were some kind of incriminating utterance that reveals me as irreperably biased and, by implication, that my perspective should be taken less seriously. Please don't try to malign my argument in such a manner.
To clarify: I'm not saying that we should ignore the idea that Unicron and Primus are multiversal singularities (personally, I don't even mind the idea to a limited extent)... merely that we should apply common sense. It is patently obvious by the very nature of our massively multiversal model of Transformers that backwards retco- sorry, retroactive additions and, yes, retcons as well, are not of overwhelming significance because, unlike say Superman, we are not dealing with a single ongoing work of fiction with frequently revised details, not even for the endlessly-revisited G1. Until Hasbro actually hires someone to try and write a whole new series (ala Kiss Players) that is wholly set inside the original events of either the G1 Marvel comic or Sunbow cartoon which then explicitly tries to shoehorn in sparks and multiversal singularities... this is largely academic. And even if they DID, I'm still strongly on the opinion that that would count as a divergeant continuity anyway. There are already so many different versions of G1 other than the aforementioned Marvel/Sunbow "Original Big Two", like Ladybird books, Big Looker, The Beast Wars backstory, Dreamwave, IDW etc. etc. that I really don't see that it's any great problem to relegate cases of retcon and retroactive addition to more new divergent/micro-continuities.
I mean, what's the big problem with that?
Like I said before, it is already quite clear that this multiversal singularity stuff hasn't really caught on, and I disagree with Derik's assertion that it has, or that we truly do treat it as such here on this wiki. Sure, we talk about that in the article headings of Unicron and Primus as the most current, popular versions, but we go on to quite clearly show all the examples where it doesn't apply. Movie, IDW, Beast Era, basically anything before Armada or after Energon… IN FACT, you could pretty much say anything outside of the Unicron Trilogy and 3H/Fun Publication’s Universe/Timelines materials pretty much damn well ignores it. I mean, for goodness sake, they blew Cybertron the fuck up in Headmasters, so I hardly see how that doesn't throw out the window all retconning assertions of Primus' body being a fixed point in all multiverses...?
As you can see, backwards-altering retcons & retroactive additions just don't work unless you're using a model like DC comics, and I just don't see any evidence that we ever have, or logical reason why we ever should.
I think what we really need to consider here is that the multiversal model is, to paraphrase Master Kenobi, dependant on your point of view. And by that I don't mean YOUR/any individual person's point of view i.e. personal canon, no. What I mean is that the sheer number of intersecting continuities (as opposed to completely unrelated ones, like RiD...unless you live in Japan) and divergeant timelines means we have to treat the canonicity of different works of TF fiction from "their" own perspectives, rather than try to accomodate every shoehorned little retroactive addition that came decades later. In other words (as I keep saying!) in the example of 3H and IDW's Beast Wars/Machines comics, everything from the two CG-animated shows are canon from their own individual perspectives, but that does NOT mean that, ergo, 3H and IDW are also canon from the perspective of the original show. For starters, they're mutually irreconcilable, and you can't privilage one over the other as being "more canonical", so therefore neither are from the perspective of BW/M proper.
Therefore, if we accept that principle (and pretty much everything on this wiki seems to indicate to me that we already do), then the logical extension of this is that it applies to any example of a retroactive/external addition, no matter how well it fits. And I really don't see the beef. It's already how we lay out our articles anyway, clearly indicating that these things come from different, later sources.
From my perspective our policy already clearly implies "The Kenobi Principle", that events effecting other continuities/realities/timelines are only canonical from the perpsective of the specific continuities employing the concept in question - be it sparks, dimension-hopping Unicron, bodies made of Energon, Rattrap looking like Pikachu or whether his name is Brawl or Devestator. It's already a massively multiversal system... why quibble about designating a few more?
But most importantly, and I've said it before and I'll say it again: retroactive additions and especially backwards retcons such as shoehorning sparks and multiversal Unicron/Primus into The G1 Big Two violate the more important, overriding principle that "everything is canon...somewhere". If we accept these retcons as applying across the board, we chuck out our guiding principle. Then the Sky Bears really would be fleeing for the hills.
Look...If it helps anyone sleep at night, the easiest way to view it is that Unicron & Primus are multiversal singularities in a vast multiverse... which is itself a subset of an even vaster... uh... omniverse? überverse? Whatever you like, really. I'd go for "metaverse", myself, given the slightly metafictional qualities of TF's constant homagey reinvention. After all, a metaverse is really the only way we can accomodate the JapanVerse's all-inclusive retcons (and a lot of Japanese continuity in general) since they're pretty much wholly incompatible with our Western model anyway.
As it stands, I wouldn't change a single word in the Unicron or Primus articles. I think they're perfectly self-explanatory and nicely demonstrate that the actual wider TF metaverse (or whatever) does not truly conform to the circa-Armada multiversal singularity idea, only the few that mention it. Ditto the Spark article.
User:PacifistPrimePP 03:15, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

If Hasbro were to produce and sell a Transformer on which the painted deco spelled out the words "THIS IS NOT A TRANSFORMER," would we seriously debate if it was a Transformer?

I find Cian's introduction sufficiently dumb and redundant when it's in the actual book. I really do not see it as important enough to warrant sticking it right at the very top of this article with an 'it is important to note....' disclaimer that seems intended to "disprove" everything that was actually in the book. As written the article seems to delegitimize the work it covers. Scads of our articles dealing with multiple fiction sources have managed to survive apparent discontinuities by just adding one more bold-faced section and discussing them independently. It simply goes without saying that not everything meshes with everything else, especially across different story media. As currently written, I think for this wiki to spotlight Cian's ham-handed "warning" amounts to us very firmly taking a side on the issue of author intent, which usually here is just mentioned, described, and left to the readers themselves to decide how much to respect. It is most certainly NOT "important to note" that none of these stories necessarily agree with anything else and may or may not have been meant to. That just makes them TF stories. --Thylacine 2000 14:44, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

.......Sooo... it's been about a week without any new posts...
.....So, I'm pretty exhausted by the whole debate, and I guess you all are too, since (I'm somwhat surprised that) this hasn't continued in my absence.
Does this mean the consensus is... that there's no consensus?
Where do we go from here, either in terms of the specific problem of the Legends anthology, or the broader issues of multi/meta-versal continuity rules raised in the process...?
I'd like to know.
(If for no other reason than, if we're not going to classify these stories micro-continuities after all, then I want to use A Meeting of Minds to justify retro-canonising the return in G1 Megatron's spark in the Beast Wars finale and remove it from the pseudocanon article.)
User:PacifistPrime(PP 05:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
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