This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. 1358(Talk) 14:52, November 7, 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure that this is the right place to ask this, but is the best I could find after looking over the Consensus details in Help.
Like many multi-author projects, the canon Star Wars universe is full of homages to things in the real world. I also understand that if such an homage is oblique or brief, then we would want a source stating that the homage was intended, and not just coincidence.
But there are also obvious homages with multiple details making said homage clear beyond any reasonable doubt. In such cases, a consensus of editors about the homage should be enough to mention it in the behind the scenes section.
To whit, I believe that the ARK-II series Landmaster is a great example. The vehicles description in the Saga Rulebook is in large part a rewording of the Popular Science article about the real Landmaster. I summarized the main details on Talk:ARK-II series Landmaster, but another editor watching the page has blanked each of my contributions despite the list of corroborating details on the talk page.
Any help, even if just to direct me to the proper procedure for requesting third party input would be appreciated.
These are always frustrating, because "clear beyond any reasonable doubt" is still original research, even when it's obvious. I've had to strip these sorts of references out of articles before, and it always hurts, because it's pretty obvious that they represent authorial intent even if we don't have a source for it; but if we don't have a source for it, it's just not allowed on Wookieepedia, plain and simple. One method of dealing with this that sometimes works is to mention the real-world reference in the Behind the scenes section without stating any direct connection (e.g. the Behind the scenes in the PU-36 modulator chip article), but even this is a gray area that some would see as original research. jSarek 10:20, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
I find that example of PU-36 modulator chip as unsourced trivia. Indeed, these are tricky, I find it better keep them away unless sourced. (: –Tm_T(Talk) 10:48, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
What I am suggesting is that there should be a way for us to get editorial consensus for at least mentioning the namesake where the homage is as obvious as these. Where there is confirmation we would also mention that with the source.
I.E. when there are multiple points of overlap between the Star Wars people/place/thing, and the non Star Wars people/place/thing we should be able to, as a group, decide if at least mentioning the possible connection is warranted. This would function just like reaching consensus on article deletion etc. —MJBurrage(T•C) 13:26, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
There are ways to word a "Behind the scenes" section so as to point to similarities without speculating. Wording like "They share a similar name and many similar characteristics, although there has been no official confirmation that X was inspired by Y" or something. Menkooroo 13:33, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
I agree that that should be allowed in some cases (hence editorial consensus), but currently, even mention of the non Star Wars people/place/thing is being removed from behind the scenes sections. (as happened at PU-36 modulator chip during this discussion) —MJBurrage(T•C) 13:53, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
What I am suggesting is that brief mentions of such homages should be allowed (i.e. a change in policy) even without a source. Something like "A Fistful of Credsticks may be an homage to A Fistful of Dollars. If another editor finds such a claim to be spurious, then we would need consensus on the matter. —MJBurrage(T•C) 15:05, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
No no no, "may" is a weasel word. Wording like "Don Wan-Kihotay has a similar name to Don Quixote and shares a similar story arc to him..." you could get away with, as long as you could source Don Quixote's stuff. No speculation as to authorial intent, just pointing out similarities that are, let's face it, obvious as hell. Menkooroo 15:12, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
At the same time, when the parallels are so obvious that they practically beat you over the head with them (eg Don-Wan Kihotay), you really can't not mention them. All it takes is a little creativity to stay out of speculative and Original Research territory. Menkooroo 16:09, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately that's not what this wook is for. Unless you can canonically state the connect, its similarity is speculation/original research/irrelevant/superfluous/trival. For example, a user was adding that the ARC-170 bared a resemblance to the WWII P-61. I don't see it, but I removed it because it was speculation. For these reasons, I believe it's easier to just remove information like this from the BTS rather than have a long discussion of why its relevant to be in the BTS. The layout guide has a pretty clear list of what should be in the BTS. <-Omicron(Leave a message at the BEEP!) 17:23, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
Behind the scenes is not a section about canon, it is a section about background. There is a reason that wikis have the idea of consensus, and I believe that we should use that to decide as a group what homages are clear enough to be mentioned in the BtS section. —MJBurrage(T•C) 20:01, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
If we're to start a SH thread everytime that a BTS section has some question in it, we'll be working on SH until we die of old age. Even the BTS section has to be verified though. Otherwise, it will turn into a pulsing mass of confusion, because every user will put his own ideas in it. What Menk says is true, though. It probably wouldn't take too much work to find a source for something that "beat you over the head". If this can't be resolved here, I'll start a Consensus Track thread to make a firm rule for this. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 20:46, August 8, 2011 (UTC)
If current policy does not allow us to even mention the conection for things as obvious as PU-36 modulator chip, A Fistful of Credsticks, or ARK-II series Landmaster then something is wrong with current policy. If it just a problem with explicitly saying it is an homage, then we should at least be able to mention the non Star Wars item, and let the reader decide for themselves if it is homage or coincidence. —MJBurrage(T•C) 00:29, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
What about a separate page for these supposed homages, like Homages in Star Wars media, so at least we have a record of these occurrences? I understand the page itself could be considered OR, unless we explicitly state that these are supposed or possible references. -- Riffsyphon1024 01:51, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
Despite Omicron's point of view, calling attention to obvious similarities without making original research, such as in the case of Don-Wan Kihotay or Solanus, is easily possible and generally accepted. Additionally, our attribution policy has a clause related to it: "Editors may make straightforward mathematical calculations or logical deductions based on fully attributed data that neither change the significance of the data nor require additional assumptions beyond what is in the source. It should be possible for any reader without specialist knowledge to understand the deductions." It's neither necessary nor helpful to unimaginatively lump every BTS statement that doesn't reference an authorial statment as "speculation/original research/irrelevant/superfluous/trival." Think outside of the box and show a little creativity, and it will become apparent that it's not that difficult to point out similarities without performing OR or speculating. Mentioning that Don-Wan Kihotay is similar to Don Quixote isn't superfluous or trivial --- it's common sense. Menkooroo 02:40, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
I just want to clarify this point a little (and apologize if I came off a bit too harshly). Such a BTS statement, about Don-Wan, for example, would need to be fully sourced in order to fall under the attribution clause I quoted above. That is, Don Quixote or a scholarly essay on it or something would need to be sourced in order to draw comparisons between the two characters. There are very, very few articles that, in my opinion, this sort of thing would be OK for --- articles where the similarities are beat-you-over-the-head obvious. Don-Wan is one of them.
With that said, such a method of sourcing should only be used as an absolute last resort. There are plenty of ways to lend credence to the comparison: If an author has commented on the similarities, you can say something like "Star Wars author Dan Wallace has suggested that Don-Wan is based on Don Quixote..." I did this with Guania. Similarly, if there's widespread fan belief about it, you could source a number of message board posts or book reviews and say "Many fans believe that..." Trayus did something similar here. If all else fails, mention the similarities, source everything you say, and be very, very careful to avoid making original research. Our policies allow you to make logical deductions based on fully attributed data. Menkooroo 03:27, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
So where does that leave us on the PU-36 and the Landmaster, etc? I'm concerned that the present conclusion seems to be there is no viable means of introducing a connection to the inspiration material in the article, which is hardly satisfactory. DD97Which bear is best? 14:00, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps it could be worded something like this "There are many similarities between this landmaster and the real-world landmaster, like [whatever], [whatever], and [whatever]." That way, it's not saying that the creator of the Star Wars landmaster got the idea from the real-world landmaster, but it still notes the similarities. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 14:22, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
Call me a strict interpretation-ist, but I believe the BTS is for things related to the topic of the article. Stating things like the BTS for PU-36 have no bearing on the topic at hand, could lead to speculation, or just generally be trivial or coincidental. For instance, I often remove BTS stuff like this for Sturm:Sturm means "Storm" in German. How is that applicable or needed for the topic? Personally, I believe BTS sections should be contained to what is in the Layout Guide or things that can be properly source (IE: Staff of Ra). Just my 2 credits. <-Omicron(Leave a message at the BEEP!) 14:59, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
I personally agree with you, but if so many people want to do this, I want to find some sort of a compromise without changing Wookieepedia policies. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 17:30, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, all of these things ARE related to the topic of the article. In the very least, they show what inspired the topic, be it in name or in content. In some cases, it illustrates more; for example, the removal of a behind the scenes for Sturm and Drang is particularly unfortunate, as without an understanding that Sturm und Drang is an actual term, the two vornskrs appear to violate Karrde's penchant for naming things with puns, when have names just as punny as the Wild Karrde, the Starry Ice, and his and Tapper's aliases "Hart and Seoul." jSarek 22:46, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
But that's my point, we don't know if Zahn intended for the vornskrs' names to be based on the real word Sturm and Drang. If the term was in-universe, I could see the correlation, but we have no proof of it and therefore, in my mind, means it's speculation. <-Omicron(Leave a message at the BEEP!) 00:24, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
I have to say overall that it has to be verified to be true. Like Omicron said, we can't say for sure that any of these things were meant to be homages. It could all just be coincidence and we're just making too much about it. Unless the author or something of the like verifies it, I think that it should be left out. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 00:39, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
That approach runs contrary to Occam's Razor, as it requires a greater number of assumptions (in particular, that the creator, through chance, happened to utilize a term that has a real world antecedant but did not intend to invoke the significance of that real-world term) to come to that conclusion. Using the Landmaster as an example, it is acctually more speculative to state or imply that two (Actually three) sci-fi ATVs from separate franchises came to share names and features by happenstance. DD97Which bear is best? 13:14, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
I don't care how well you color it over, it still stinks of OR if the creator didn't say that he meant it that way. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 15:51, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
There should be a way to mention the previously existing namesake in the Behind the Scenes section. Such mention does not mean that it was a deliberate homage, it could be coincidence, or subconscious use by the Star Wars author. Regardless the thing with the same name does exist, and there should not be anything wrong with mentioning its existence. Let the reader than draw their own conclusions. In those cases where authors have confirmed that such usage was an homage, or where they have said it was just a coincidence we can say that also. To me—absent comments from the author/editor—leaving out such links is just as much "OR" as definitively stating that it is an homage. —MJBurrage(T•C) 18:59, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
Sincere thanks for recapitulating my "colorful" rant in much more practical terms. DD97Which bear is best? 19:13, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
Then why don't we say something to the effect of "[article name] has the same name <and/or> similarities with the out-of-universe [whatever]". But, let's not get ridiculous about it. The fact still remains that the author could have done any of these things by coincidence and it was discovered later. We are toeing the line with "OR" and speculation with all of this, which is strongly prohibited on Wookieepedia. We must be careful with what we do here, or else Wookieepedia could turn into a mass of speculation. That's what the Star Wars Fanon wiki was made for. Even the BTS sections is supposed to give the reader facts, not speculation no matter how convincing. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 20:00, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
It would only be original research to claim that their was a deliberate homage without a source. Simply mentioning the non Star Wars item that has a remarkably similar name is not OR, it is just presenting its existence which is factual.
It of course possible that an editor might add a link that the majority of us find highly dubious, but that is true for any section of any article. So just like for those other sections, we would need consensus to keep a detail that some find dubious. This would end up being no different than selecting External Links on Wikipedia. —MJBurrage(T•C) 22:32, August 10, 2011 (UTC)
Wookieepedia:Trivia, and please not try turn Bts sections to some random trivia sections. If something share a name with some stuff in our world, or happen to have some other "trivia" tie-in that has no relevance to our subject, there's simply no reason to include them. I don't mean meaningful connections to our world from star wars universe cannot be documented, but not every little (irrelevant) detail without sourcing that would make it relevant. And all this with great care to avoid OR. –Tm_T(Talk) 14:40, August 11, 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to put in my 2 cents and say that I agree with Menkooroo and anyone else who thinks we should mention blatantly obvious connections in the BTS. We have brains for a reason, and where a clear logical deduction can be made, I feel it should be put in the BTS. Examples include articles like Scott or the Meatlump Lump. As long as you don't write with absolute certainty that there is a connection, I see nothing wrong with making mention of it in a behind the scenes section. StarsiderSWG 16:05, August 22, 2011 (UTC)
I honestly don't see why people are so worried about OR. If there is an obvious similarity, then stating that similarity is only factual, not speculative. However, to state that a similarity is intentional may be OR. Of course, it's common sense that sourcing policy still applies. MasterFred(Whatever) 02:51, August 23, 2011 (UTC)
My only problem with it is that while it might be obvious, is it trivial? Sure there might be real world things named the same as In-Universe things (ie: Parang) or there might be coincidental relations (ie: Scott), I just don't think they need to be mentioned in the BTS section. There seems to be a wide range of opinion on this, and I am thinking of making a CT to see if we can get a clearer definition of what should go into the BTS section. I am just trying to figure out a good way to phrase it. <-Omicron(Leave a message at the BEEP!) 03:53, August 23, 2011 (UTC)
I think some people take this project way too seriously. We aren't writing a scientific paper here. Wookieepedia is "just" a Star Wars fansite, written by the fans for the fans. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, it shouldn't contain original research or fanon and should be written from a neutral point of view. And of course we should strive for a high level of quality. But not by removing information that the fans (our readers) might be interested in. Come on, there's still quite a difference between a project like Wikipedia and a fan project like ours. We don't have the same target audience as Wikipedia, for example. Only Star Wars fans will read most of our articles, and those certainly don't complain if we present them with additional information about the article's subject, including obvious real-world similarities, likely connections with other SW stuff, etc. Quite the contrary. --Craven 15:20, August 23, 2011 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, Wookieepedia has turned into more than just a fansite. The writers of The Essential Atlas used the info on Wookieepedia to help them write the book. Although it may be pretty much run by fans, it is a big job keeping the articles in line and I think that we should take it seriously. I'm not trying to say that we are the supreme authority on Star Wars or anything, but if we just run Wookieepedia with not enough thought, than it will turn into a jumbled mess fit for the Uncyclopedia. I said it before, the things that are being discussed here is much OR. We don't know that these authors intentionally meant to have these similarities. People that want to run a more easy Wookieepedia and be able to do this should consider the Star Wars Fanon wiki. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 17:13, August 23, 2011 (UTC)
We're not talking about the article main body here, but about information in the BtS section, and those are two different things. Stuff in the main section should of course always be well sourced and fanon-free. Readers should be able to rely on us to only include canon facts (though Jason and Dan surely didn't just rely on Wookieepedia articles but checked the original sources to verify everything). But including information about obvious resemblences and connections in the out-of-universe BtS section (which clearly doesn't consist of pure canon information) isn't fanon and doesn't influence other canon works in any way. Saying that a certain thing in the SW galaxy closely resembles or looks exactly like a real-life thing, or mentioning tuckerizations and similar information isn't necessarily bad original research or fanon, it's often just an observation of simple facts. Do we really need a source to verify that Jorg Sacul is based on the flanneled one? Or that Mystic Corellia was based on the nearly identical real-life poster? Or that the Flux capacitor connector is an obvious reference to the device from Back to the Future? Or that Kyoopid's name is based on Cupid. Or that F8-GN from The Paradise Snare is a reference to Fagin in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist? Or Aurebesh soup might be a reference to Alphabet soup? There are hundreds of similar cases. It's not made-up fanon, it's useful additional information for the interested reader. Sure, in many cases we don't have confirmation that the author indeed intended it to be a reference. But that doesn't mean that we should remove obvious references. Or that we can't say that it _could_ be a reference to something else. Readers aren't dumb. If we say "could be", the readers know that there's no proof at the moment and a chance, that the author didn't do it on purpose. Shouldn't be a problem as long as the important part of the article, the main section, is well sourced and NPOV.--Craven 18:50, August 23, 2011 (UTC)
I see your point, and I even can see part of your side, but I suggest that we say something to the effect of "[such and such] resembles [real-life such and such]" and leave out any part about the author doing it on purpose unless it is specifically stated. Some would say that this is toeing the line of OR, but I'm trying to find a good compromise. This would leave out anything about the author and still include the in-life instances. But, in reference to the readers not being stupid, then they could see teh resemblance to other things. Let's see if we can find some compromise such as the one I suggested. That way, we could keep it from CT. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 02:39, August 24, 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with saying "SW thing" resembles "real life thing" or using similar vague wording. Though I think in some clear cases like Jorg Sacul we don't really need to be that cautious when there's little to no doubt about the author's intent. But it's important to me that users don't start indiscriminately removing all mentions of resemblances and possible references where the author's explicit intention isn't verified. --Craven 18:54, August 25, 2011 (UTC)
And the resemblances in general are in anyway noteworthy because of... yup, I'm against the very idea of adding any trivia there is possible just because it exists, there has to be something that makes it worth mentioning, which usually means it needs to be sourced. -Tm_T(Talk) 19:20, August 25, 2011 (UTC)
Resemblances are noteworthy because they are relevant information (not trivia) that our readers are interested in it. We don't write articles just for ourselves, we write them for all the SW fans interested in this stuff. For example: the fact that there are various familiar figures from other SciFi franchises in an image of the Droidfest is relevant information, not trivia, even if there's no source to verify that it was done intentionally. --Craven 20:12, August 25, 2011 (UTC)
Then it shouldn't be said with any more detail. Wookieepedia is all about sourcing so people can know that it's fact. Cal Jedi(Personal Comm Channel) 00:48, August 26, 2011 (UTC)
If something in Star Wars universe shares some feature (or name or whatever) with something in our world, it isn't automatically worth to be mentioned. Just, no. You can basicly find some likeness with _anything_ in Star Wars universe, that has nothing to do with Star Wars or the subject of the article. –Tm_T(Talk) 10:11, August 26, 2011 (UTC)