This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was: No vote held. Toprawa and Ralltiir 21:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Warning: Minor Crosscurrent spoilers may be revealed.
I think that time has come for us, as a community, to decide exactly how we are going to use author blogs as references within our articles. Recently, a blog post by Paul S. Kemp revealed the species of Jaden Korr, the principal character in the forthcoming Crosscurrent novel. This information was subsequently added to the character article, fully referenced to the blog post. However, that post was then undone, and an author's note was added stating that, since the book has not been released yet and could still be cancelled, its contents or the author's intent should not to be considered canon.
Now, I can see both sides of this. Firstly, the author has decided the species of the character, and would have presumably received authorisation from LFL for this considering the flexible nature of the characters gender and appearance in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. He is also writing the story under the assumption that the character is of the designated species, so adding the reference to the article is valid. On the other hand, QuiGonJinn, who reverted the edits is right to point out that information can change, and that we need to be cautious and stick to verifiable source material. Complicating the problem is the fact that the Jaden Korr article also uses a draft extract from Kemp's blog in the bio proper, fully referenced to the post.
So the question is this: do we consider author statements on their official blogs to be allowed as references within our articles? Should we allow comments from posts regarding future products to be put into the article proper or should they be relegated to the BTS sections until the product has been released? Do we allow comments on works that have been previously published into our articles as long as they are fully referenced?
The thing to consider is that we already, to some degree, allow comments on future works into our articles. The Essential Atlas is full of comments made by the authors as to exactly what is going to be included in the book. All well and good—until you consider that, if we only allow author intent to be in a BTS section until the book's release, then we may have to reorganise the article or even strip information from it altogether if we decide that blog posts and comments should not be considered as references. Another problem is that several articles related to the KotOR comics draw on the blog of John Jackson Miller for information, such as Celeste Morne (in the Personality and traits section) and Toki Tollivar (in the behind the scenes section). Removing these references may be to the detriment of the articles, the former of which is under FA review, while the latter is a current FA.
On another note, we currently have the article Monitor (carrier), claiming to be sourced to Before the Storm. However, the only source I can find for this is from the author, Michael P. Kube-McDowell's official website's FAQ section. Can this be considered as a source as it was part of the backstory the author developed, or should it be relegated to the BTS and deleted as an article? The same may apply to the comments made by Aaron Allston concerning the composition of the Solo Fleet from his Wraith Squadron books.
I therefore open this up to the community to discuss how to proceed, and what "status" we give to author blogs, comments and intent, prior to any type of formal vote. - Cavalier One(Squadron channel) 12:04, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I'd say it's always good to use author blogs/comments/whatever in BTS when properly sourced. For OOU articles, particularly those that haven't been released, I think it's perfectly fine to discuss the subject by using author's comments, as long as any statement not made on an official source is written in such a way as to denote the fact that it is a comment by an author and not set in stone. I'm rather leery of using author comments in the bio of IU characters, though. Atarumaster88(Talk page) 14:33, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Author comments not in a licensed source are always OOU. There should not be independent articles based on nothing other than author comments, except in extremely notable instances, in which case the article should not be placed in any IU category and should be literally slathered with indications that it is not canon in any way whatsoever. Articles like that for the Monitor are CSD material as fanon, and any author comment-drawn information in the main body of articles should be moved to the BtS. To be honest, I don't see this as a gray area whatsoever. Canon is canon, and non-canon is non-canon, and non-canon being indicated as canon is fanon. Graestan(Talk) 15:14, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
An author doesn't carry around a perpetually-existent stamp of canon verifiability in his back pocket. His work does, if and when it goes through the screening process at LFL. If an author makes a comment about something, it cannot be considered full, verified canon unless it's corroborated by an official source, i.e. Leland Chee. Unless these comments are explicitly verified as full canon by an official source, they can only be used in the BTS of articles. Toprawa and Ralltiir 16:57, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is this:
IU articles should not contain information based on author comments outside of the Bts unless said comments have been verified to be canon by Lucasfilm. Non-canon comments in the Bts should be explicitly labeled as non-canon.
OOU articles may contain information based on author comments throughout, provided that—if said comments have not been verified to be canon—they are explicitly labeled as non-canon.
Articles should not exist based solely on author comments unless said comments are corroborated by other reliable sources (this does not necessarily mean verified to be canon, just backed up by other sources). The article should explicitly state that the comments are non-canon until verified by Lucasfilm and #1 still applies here on IU articles.
Author comments regarding their own released material that do not affect canon—such as a blog entry explaining how the author came up with the name for a character—are not subject to the above points. Such material is always OOU and would still be limited to the Bts on IU articles, but it would not have to be labeled non-canon or backed up by other sources.
My two cents: OOU author inventions are non-canon and shouldn't be the basis of an article; they should be kept to the BtS at best, or on the respective authors page, etc. OOU author clarifications should be largely considered canon. If JJM tells us that a character in his story is Vrook Lamar, even if he's not identified in the comic, that's perfectly fine. -- AdmirableAckbar(Talk) 18:15, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the other side of this discussion is the fact that the authors, editors and other VIPs have access to the Holocron database and sometimes mention in throwaway lines new info, present in the Holocron, but not yet published in any source. Take Blixus for example - the creature is not named in the comic, but is identified in the script (which readers can't see) and therefore is named as such in the Holocron. The author reveals the name on the forum --> that name is in canon. Darth Karnage is another example - he's only ever mentioned in Chee's blog, but we trust this guy in the matters of canon, right? Or, take the issue with Jaden Korr. The author stated that he's species is [spoiler], we removed that based on the fact that prior to the release the subject can change or the book can be cancelled altogether. But the fact the book is being written means that the info is already approved by Lucasfilm and therefore is present in the Holocron database. Even though the Plagueis novel was never published, Darth Plagueis turned out to be Muun after all. Also note, that our respected authors know LFL policies and understand when they're talking about canon and when not. When Ostrander guesses about the age of Shon Kon Ray - it's his speculation, since it's not written in Holocron, and he acknowledges it as such. But when an author is revealing some background info, that wasn't printed, but somehow made it's way into Chee's database - it's canon. So, I have no problem with taking author's blog and forum posts as canon. Their OOU references only get included in BTS, their IU references should be treated as canonical if they refer to them as such. MauserComlink 19:31, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, since I usually keep my responses short, I'll do the same here: per Acky. I'm a man of few words in many ways. Chack Jadson(Talk) 22:58, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think Acky covers it pretty well for IU articles, and author-provided information has always been perfectly legit in Bts sections and OOU articles, and that shouldn't change. I'd like to add one other place where author-created unofficial information is useful: naming articles for subjects with Template:Conjecture. Jarnollen was a far better title for that world than "Unidentified Imperial World near Ord Mantell" would have been, and, as can be seen, that name eventually became official anyway. jSarek 00:19, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
"Authorial intent" material often ends up in canon one way or another. Monitor, for example, has an entry in the CSWE that mirrors the entry that we and the CUSWE had based on the author's FAQ, so even if one would argue that it was a CSD, it can't be one any more. The question isn't whether we should exclude author's comments, but how we should integrate them. Cut content items have a header template for standalone pages and a start and end template for sections on larger pages. I think we should have similar templates and categories for material released by an author independently from licensed publications. -- Darth Culator(Talk) 05:02, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I think there's a substantial difference between yet-to be published works and previously published works. In the latter case, it's not canon, since it is not in a valid source and will never be in a valid source. For example, someone once asked Karen Traviss if Lik Ankkit survived the end of Hard Contact. Traviss said, "Well yeah, I imagine he did, but it's not canon since it's not in the book." If an author says, "this is how it is in my personal notes" than it's not canon, and worthy of no more than a Bts note. (Unless Chee says it's in the Holocron.) But if it's a yet-to-be published work, the claim of canon is not based on the author's personal worldview. The claim of canon is from the future work, which is a legitimate source. Crosscurrent is not yet canon, but it will be canon, unless things change. We have always been willing to go off previews, cover art, synopses and so forth, even though the sources themselves do not yet exist. We have also been willing to go off reliable third party sources, like that issue of Game Informer – which in that case, came out 18 months before the game itself. Authors should be in the same boat; they are going to know what's in their own novels and comics. In my view, they are a valid source for what will be in future canonical sources, as valid as any of the publicity and journalistic sources we already use. Kemp's personal views aren't canon, but he's not talking about his personal views. He's talking about the officially licensed source that he happens to be intimately familiar with. an officially licensed, canon source. So, in a nutshell: if Allston talks about what will be in Fate of the Jedi: Backlash, that's valid. If he talks about what he wanted to be in Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, that's Bts.-LtNOWIS 06:14, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Since this CT will affect a number of present and possibly future KotOR articles, I was unsure as to how I felt that this should be handled. I have previously done as Acky has stated by adding author clarification to Celeste Morne's P/T. However, I think that Culator came up with a great idea in creating templates to be added to articles. Cylka-talk- 14:41, 6 June 2009 (UTC)