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Forums > Consensus track > CT:Switching to ASW4/BSW4 and a clear conversion system

While discussing Jyn Erso's birthdate according to Pablo Hidalgo's Visual Guide (22 BR1) vs. her supposed age in the film (about 21 years and 4 months according to Pablo Hidalgo's internal worksheet, which uses BBY and BR1 interchangeably), it turned out there is no universal agreement on how such years should be counted or the meaning of the year 0 (ABY/BBY). Nevertheless, Wookieepedia returned to ABY/BBY as soon as the system resurfaced in the canon, with year-articles mapping to those in the Legends section, even though we have no way of knowing if the canon year changes occur at the same exact places in relation to a more detailed calendar (such as that putting Yavin at 35:3:7). I see there is even the interpretation that this year 35 was renumbered 0, and that ABY/BBY are chosen based on whether it's before or on/after :3:7, but I couldn't find that in official sources so far, and of course, there is no reason to believe this would still apply to the canon.

I think it's important that dates on Wookieepedia be unambiguous, user-friendly, and consistent in meaning regardless of the continuity. I therefore propose the following improvement:

1) ABY/BBY should be globally renamed ASW4/BSW4, in accordance with Leland Chee's Twitter comments that a system named thus is acceptable out-of-universe, whereas in the actual canon, the ABY/BBY system is only one of many. Therefore, it is also being given unnecessary prominence on Wookieepedia, while merely renaming it would remedy that.

2) Going out-of-universe will allow us to settle on an internal, clear definition across the board. The easiest approach would be to decide that a page for Year N ASW4 or BSW4 covers that same number followed by a fraction of whatever precision (similar to usage in the New Essential Chronology), eg. 0 BSW4 would contain all events from 0.00... to 0.99... BSW4, 1 BSW4 would carry on from 1.00... to 1.99..., and the same in the direction ASW4. It's easy to remember, and knowing what each page applies to, we would definitely know where a particular event must be documented, be it from the canon or Legends. The calendar conversion will either be exact or approximate, depending on how much we know about the timespan.

Note: in order to keep this intuitive, it should also be recognized that BSW4 would be definitely before the movie, while ASW4 would be definitely after the movie. Events that take place during the movie could be documented on a separate page, eg. DSW4 ("during SW4").

I'm fairly sure I'm not the first person to think about this, but it's a solution that came to mind after looking at a number of problems with current usage. --PreviouslyOn24 (talk) 15:51, May 17, 2017 (UTC)

  • Honestly I'd recommend taking this up in the Senate Hall first, as it's quite a major change and I'd love to see the opinion of other people who are familiar with the situation before voting on anything. 1358 (Talk) 15:57, May 17, 2017 (UTC)
    • This is just making extra problems for ourselves where none need exist. Yes, we don't know if the canon year changes occur at the same exact places in relation to a more detailed calendar, but equally, why shouldn't they?--The All-knowing Sith'ari (talk) 16:00, May 17, 2017 (UTC)
      • Because there is no longer a year 35 to be renumbered 0 (if that's how the era was changed by the New Republic of Legends), with Yavin at 35:3:7, then supposedly 0:3:7. For all we know, the Story Group could officially decide to keep it simple and say that canonically, 0 BBY means 0 to 0.499... or 0 to 0.999... years before the battle, with no relation to any previous calendars. I just think it's important for the reader to know exactly what is meant, but unfortunately, there is no single, precisely-documented, canon in-universe calendar. The other problem is that we're giving too much prominence to ABY/BBY, despite the fact that licensed canon sources continue to use a variety of relative-dating systems such as BR1 or Lothal Years. A way around that is to use an out-of-universe system. --PreviouslyOn24 (talk) 16:32, May 17, 2017 (UTC)
        • Without attempting to get sucked too far into the small details of this discussion, I'm just going to say now outright that the fundamental basis of our article naming and writing is grounded entirely in what we call the "in-universe perspective," meaning we write and name articles according to how subjects are identified in-universe. Simply put, as Leland Chee says himself, BBY/ABY is an in-universe system (it doesn't matter if it's one of many; that's the one we're given to work with), and BSW4/ASW4 is not. I will oppose any measure that seeks to deviate from this model. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 22:33, May 17, 2017 (UTC)
          • The problem is that only the Galactic Atlas has used it canonically so far, which means that the correct solution anyway is to avoid stating absolute dates, and instead come up with context-dependent references like "Jyn was born eight months into the Clone Wars", "Five years later, …". ABY/BBY is merely a crutch, a workable solution to make life easier in-universe, taking away from the canon spirit (and even Legends spirit) of an article. Seeing ASW4/BSW4 would actually force the writer to think in terms of relative dates, and use absolute dates only for sidebars or specialized timeline pages. -- PreviouslyOn24 (talk) 05:03, May 18, 2017 (UTC)

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