A friend on FB mentioned that he discounted statements made by authors and writers “after the fact.” For example, today David Chase said that he still considers Tony Soprano to be alive. My friend decided to ignore this because it didn’t happen “in-universe.” He asked me what I thought, and here’s my response. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts, Tumblr friends.
My half-baked thoughts go something like this: What makes something part of the larger canon? Like you, I tend to discount statements made by authors outside of the medium - for example, this revelation about Tony Soprano or J.K. Rowling’s wishing that she had made Harry marry Hermione. But then I ask myself why I do that - is it because they’re adding something to a story I already considered complete, or one whose shape or conclusion I liked as it was last presented?
What would it take for me to accept something like the above examples? If J.K. Rowling wrote another HP book, or if David Chase et al. created a Sopranos film, that would certainly establish the new facts. But what if Rowling wrote a novella instead? Would that suffice? Or just a short story? Or a paragraph? Why not just a verbal statement, then? It’s a slippery slope, but one end of the spectrum is acceptable to me while the other still isn’t.
Finally, does the voice that guides the story always have to be that of the creator? Knee-jerk reaction says ‘yes,’ but consider that Gene Roddenberry died in 1991. Does that mean seasons 4-7 of TNG aren’t canon? Or any of Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise, films VII-X and the new Abrams movies?
I dunno. And I wish I weren’t the kind of person that was kept up at night by this crud. :)