Six Degrees of Star Wars Canon

Do you have the burning desire to argue whether Darth Vader, Revan, or Emperor Palpatine is the most powerful? Have you ever wondered if Revan would pwn Darth Maul’s butt?  (Yes) If you have, you’re a geek. If you’ve ever debated these life-altering issues on a Star Wars forum and brought up ‘canon’ (or ‘cannon‘, for those who prefer the artillery version), you are a complete and utter geek. If you’ve moderated a motley bunch of geeks, well, you’re so geeky, your geekiness has reached a level of nerd nirvana normally reserved for people like Bill Gates, except with a whole lot less money.

If you chuckle at this, you just might be a geek. (1)

If you chuckle at this, you just might be a geek. (1)

As a super-moderator on LucasForums, I’ve done two things. First, I’ve escaped being made an administrator, because the Geek Factor just might make the universe explode. Second, I’ve moderated people who are fighting about Star Wars canon. Yes, I said fighting. I’m not sure why discussion of Star Wars canon can inflame the level of hatred normally reserved for baby killers and tax collectors, but it happens. If you ever see a “Revan vs. X” thread on any forum, I guarantee you that the “it’s not canon!!!11!!11!eleventy-one!!11!!” argument will appear even faster than a mention of Hitler in a political/religious thread.

After moderating a number of these threads, and surely not influenced by the level of 151 rum in my cup that night, I decided to chime in on the canon argument. This is my updated version.

This cannon is not canon. (2)

This cannon is not canon. (2)

Statement on the New Six degrees of Star Wars Canon

We, at WookieWikiWarrickWicketpedia, wish to clear up the confusion of ‘Canon’ in Star Wars by instituting a new classification system on how to rank the different Star Wars and Star Wars EU (Extended Universe, aka ‘Extremis Uniflammitorio’) materials. This will replace the Canon-a, b, c & g system, along with other associated letters and symbols, up to and including the ampersand. This was becoming just too confusing, resulting in many emails and tweets from forum administrators and moderators who were ‘having to deal with too damn many threads on arguments over Canon’.

As a result, we now establish forthwith the Six Degrees of Star Wars Canon. This shall supersede, override, and otherwise be totally more awesome than any previous versions of Canon, which are now no longer Canon, because We Said So. Not even Leland Chee can change this.

First Degree Canon shall be The Movies. Radio adaptations, so long as they include voices from the Original Actors (and Actresses) shall also be First Degree Canon. The Screenplays are also First Degree Canon, but only if George Lucas put a ‘GL’ on every page. The official soundtracks are First Degree Canon, because John Williams has included the use of both the bassoon and the triangle in his music, and quite possibly the krummhorn. Anything spoken by George Lucas is First Degree Canon, including those more mundane statements like ‘I want to order a pizza’ and ‘I need to take a dump.’

Second Degree Canon shall include those radio adaptations that deviate from the script slightly but still maintain the ‘True Spirit’ of the movies. ‘True Spirit’ shall be determined by us, unless George Lucas says otherwise. Those radio adaptations that include the voices of Harrison Ford or Liam Neeson shall automatically be changed to First Degree Canon, because their voices are really sexy. Those adaptations that include excess amounts of Jar-Jar Binks or Ewok cuteness shall automatically be reduced to Sixth Degree Canon or less.

Third degree Canon shall include any books that George Lucas decides shall be Third Degree, which is pretty much everything else not in the First and Second Degrees. It’s his world—if he wants to say a book is First Degree or Sixth Degree, we shall bow to his greater Star Wars wisdom. The exception are the Vong books, which shall be reduced to the Degree of Hell normally reserved for those who continually talk through movies. All Star Wars games are Third Degree Canon. The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, along with Star Wars: The Old Republic, are Second Degree Canon because they are Really Righteous. The SWTOR Encyclopedia and all Gree speak shall likewise be Second Degree, because the SWTOR writers are made of win and Hall Hood achieves ultramarine apogee.  We hereby declare all permutations of Revan and Exile to be Canon, because trying to pick just one was really pissing off the fans. The Star Wars Lego games normally would be Fourth Degree Canon because of the ‘cutesy factor’. However, since my kids love them, and I can play a Yoda Lego figure, they may remain at Third Degree.

Fourth Degree Canon includes any comic books. Graphic novels remain at Third Degree because ‘graphic novel’ just sounds more cool than ‘comic book.’ The exception is the Knights of the Old Republic comic book series, which is destined to become a Graphic Novel when bound together, and because they’ve drawn Zayne Carrick really cute. It’s at least Third Degree, and we might even make that series Second Degree if sales continue to be good.

Fifth Degree Canon includes all fan-fiction, unless they are “Really Good,” which, by our definition, is anything with over 1,000 views on LucasForums and/or FanFiction.net. Any stories with 15 thumbs-ups or greater on kotorfanmedia.com shall also achieve this rare distinction. If they’re “Really Good”, then they can, at the option of the administrators, moderators, and/or the author, move to Fourth Degree. The exception is if the spam-per-view ratio approaches 1:82, in which case the fanfic shall be declared ‘spammy’. That fic drops to Sixth Degree. Action figures are Fifth Degree Canon, unless they involve Yoda, Han Solo, or Luke Skywalker. These are First Degree Canon because I like them and because Frank Oz rules.

Sixth Degree Canon includes any speculative posts on any forums. It also includes any non-speculative posts, comments, jokes, pictures, and other written, visual, aural, or tactile media. Anything else not already specified shall be Sixth Degree Canon, unless the author finds something she really likes, in which case the Degree of Canon may be altered accordingly. Forum posts that are written by administrators, moderators, LucasArts, or BioWare employees shall be whatever Degree of Canon they desire, because the author feels the need to suck up, unless George Lucas declares otherwise, because his First Degree is more equal than everyone else’s First Degree.

We hope this clears up any confusion about Canon. If you have any further questions, please send an email to our help center at ‘we won’t answer it anyway.idiot’. We will do our best to make sure that the answer to your questions are answered with as much obfuscation as possible, preferably by someone who does not even speak your language.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Image sources: (1) theChive.com (2) HQWallpapers4Free.com

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Unboxing the Razer Blackshark Headset

After babying my old Plantronics headset along for months with liberal applications of electrical and duct tape, it finally gave out a few weeks ago. Headsets don’t work well with one earphone hanging off the side. Plus, the duct tape kept sticking to my hair. Ripping out strands of hair every time I took off my headset was not my idea of a good time. I loved that headset. It was comfortable and had great sound.

Need a new gaming headset? Check out the Razer Blackshark!

Need a new gaming headset? Check out the Razer Blackshark! (image: razerzone.com)

So, I grabbed the Turtle Xbox headset back from the kids and plugged it in to chat with Trusty TorWars friends. This worked for speaking just fine. When I turned on the Christmas music, which includes everything from Michael W. Smith to Mariah Carey to Mannheim Steamroller to The Three Tenors to Messiah, I heard The Dreaded Hiss.

I loathe, despise, and otherwise bear negative sentiments towards hiss in music. I don’t cringe at the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Hiss makes me not only cringe, but also makes me want to rip my eardrums out with a pickle fork. This made the Christmas gift decision very easy for me. I suggested to the family that getting a new headset might even be an emergency in order to salvage my ear anatomy. Trusty Hubby smiled and nodded but decided no one was actively dying, so it would have to wait til Christmas when we got paid.

On Christmas Eve, we opened our gifts. I was delighted to see that there was a Razer Blackshark headset for me.

I love my family!

I love my family!

Pros

Razer products rock. I have an Orochi mouse (which replaced the Lachesis I wore out) and a Lycosa keyboard. I’m waiting, admittedly impatiently, for a lefty version of the Naga mouse. When hubby and I meandered around the Best Buy doing some Christmas shopping, we stopped by the headsets so I could drool. We both noticed that the Blackshark was made of metal, which would theoretically survive far better than the plastic on my Plantronics. Mind you, this requires that my daughter not do things like rip it off her head and drop it in frustration when losing an online match.

The headset is great. It’s heavy duty, the metal parts are sturdy, and the entire thing is very customizable. Even the mic has multiple adjustment points. Each side is adjustable to individual ear heights (mine are slightly different, being the asymmetrical person that I am). The earpieces swivel in several directions to make each one fit just right. It’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time, despite being a bit heavier than the Turtle. I’ll take the weight for the sound improvement any day.

Most importantly, the vast majority of the hiss is GONE! My music sounds a bazillion times better. The true audiophiles are going to want to spend the extra bucks for a very high end headset, but that’s not what this headset is designed for. It’s designed for gamers. When Razer says this headset is noise-cancelling, they aren’t kidding, either. I can hardly hear any external sound with the headset on and the music playing. Now, mind you, I don’t play Skillet, Kamelot, or Lacuna Coil at low volumes, so that might be contributing, but I’ve noticed that the family has to come tap me on the shoulder now to get my attention. However, this is still a significant advantage when my kids decide to have a debate on the plot points and art style of My Little Pony and I wish to listen to ANYTHING else that won’t liquify my brain. I’ll have to play Star Wars: The Old Republic with Mumble on so that I can hear hubby’s comments, despite the fact that we’re in the same room.

Cons

The biggest disadvantage to the Blackshark design is a lack of a control switch for the volume and the mic. I mute my mic a lot when I’m doing raids and operations. My mute button is now ‘unplug the mic from the back of the tower’. Since my tower sits on a table where I can reach the back easily, this is a simple thing for me, but it won’t be for others. I also wish it had a volume control. I didn’t realize how much I adjust my volume until I couldn’t. This is not a negative for me, but it might be for some others: it does not come with a USB connector. I prefer to use the jacks, anyway.

Unboxing

Setup is an absolute breeze. You plug it into the proper jack on your computer, and that’s it. It comes with an additional splitter cable if you want to use the microphone, too. In fact, the only setup difficulty I encountered was actually opening the package to get the headset out. This is not unique to the Blackshark. EVERY Razer product comes packaged in such a way that you need 18 five-year olds and a table saw (not together) to open it.

Like the Orochi, the packaging says ‘if you’re even thinking of shoplifting me, you’re never going to get this open in time before store security catches you’. This means it will take approximately an hour longer to open than to plug in and use. I have hand arthritis, which did not help one bit.

Just remove the tape, then rip the tabs off to get the top open, because the tabs are stubborn.

Just remove the tape, then rip the tabs off to get the top open, because the tabs are stubborn.

Inside the main box are a series of other partial boxes and lots of plastic. Think Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls, except not as cute. Razer helpfully labeled a tab ‘Open’ for me, but it was sealed too tightly for me to actually pull the tab ‘open’.

A helpful tab labeled 'open', which I had to rip off to open.

A helpful tab labeled ‘open’, which I had to rip off to open.

Once I’d performed a bit of rough surgery on the box, I found, yes, EVEN MORE PLASTIC.

Once you've removed the helpful 'open' tab, and open the box, there's more to open!

Once you’ve removed the helpful ‘open’ tab and open the box, there’s more to unlock!

This is what the inner box looks like when you finally get it off.

This is what the inner box looks like when you finally get it off.

The headphones were packaged in yet more plastic, and it’s that rigid, form-fitting stuff that locks the item in place so that it cannot move. It works so well that if a nuclear explosion hits, this headset would survive far better than Indiana Jones did in the lead-lined refrigerator. Steven Spielberg should definitely consider this for future movies.

But wait! There's more!

But wait! There’s more!

Having had the experience of the top popping off my Orochi mouse when I tried to remove it from this same kind of plastic packaging, I had nightmares of one of the earpieces popping off as I tried to extricate it from the plastic. Fortunately, I was prepared for Razer this time and had a Jaws of Life on call in case I had an emergency. The pièce de résistance was the twisty tie holding the cord in at the bottom of the plastic package-and/or-safe. When all else fails, and you absolutely, positively, MUST secure it, use either duct tape or a black twisty tie.

Because we just had to have a twisty tie in there somewhere.

Because we just had to have a twisty tie in there somewhere.

The pile of packaging

The pile of packaging

Razer was so careful about security that they put plastic around their quick start guide. It had to be sealed for our protection, you know.

Even the user guide has to be removed from its packaging

Even the user guide has to be removed from its packaging

Once everything was unwrapped, I plugged it in, fired up iTunes, and put on music. It sounded great. Razer even included a handy registration card and a cute Razer logo sticker.

The Razer registration card, with the handy logo on the back.

The Razerzone information card, with the nifty logo on the back.

The registration card also serves as a handy coaster.

The Razerzone signup card also serves as a handy coaster.

The sign up process is so easy, even a cat can do it.

Good thing I don't have a touch screen monitor.

Good thing I don’t have a touch screen monitor.

Packaging issues aside, I enjoy my new headset very much. If Razer comes out with a mute switch/volume control add-on for the Blackshark, I’ll be first in line to buy it.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter! My handle is @JaeOnasi.

For Those Who Like Their Patch Notes a Bit Sassy

I admit it. I was overtired. And kind of silly. So when one of my partners-in-crime over at TORWars.com tweeted the patch notes for the Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 1.5 on the public test server, something just hit me funny. I started tweeting back ‘revisionist’ versions that were quite sassy. He laughed. I laughed. We had fun, and I ended up turning it into a TORWars.com article.

These patch notes are not meant to be catty.

Here are some of the ‘updated’ patch notes. BioWare’s version is in bold, mine follows.

  • Dread Guard relics are now available on the Daily vendor for 300 Daily Commendations.

–”Merely Semi-Scary” Guard relics are available for half off.

 

  • A new set of droid armor is now available from the Daily vendor.

–Monthly and Yearly vendors are still standing around doing nothing.

 

  • More robes have been adjusted so that their backsides are not inappropriately large when worn.

–BioWare has also removed the neon flashing arrows that were pointed at all Force users’ butts.

 

  • Several typos and instances of incorrect text have been corrected in all languages.

–Except, of course, if it’s in Gree. Hall Hood was on vacation, and so that text is still somewhat aureate aspherically convex.

 

  • The Imperial Medcenter in the vicinity of the wreck of the Ambria’s Fury has been moved Northeast.

–All other cardinal compass points were already reserved for cantinas.

 

  • HK-51 currently joins players without gear.

–And if you look anywhere in the vicinity of ‘that’ region, he will blast you, Meatbag.

 

Enjoy the article!

Image source: icanhascheezburger.com