In the lead up to the new Star Wars movie, there has been a lot of talk about canon. Disney made a big deal out of the fact that the six movies and The Clone Wars are the only pre-Disney cannon. Everything from the Expanded Universe (Novels, comic books, etc.), all of the TV specials and things like that are no longer canonical. The perceived need to define a canon isn’t unique to Disney or Star Wars. However, it does feel like it is getting talked about more now than in the past and it really bugs me.
One reason it bugs me is that I don’t see the point. I understand religious canon. If you are Catholic you follow rules based on the canon. It’s politically and structurally necessary. Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, Superman, The Avengers and all of these other things where canon is invoked are nothing like Catholicism, though. They are entertainment. There aren’t rules to follow in order to be a fan. The only thing that is required is that you enjoy the product. Having an official canon doesn’t help with that*.
The other reason it bugs me is because I really enjoy some non-canonical things and really don’t like some canon. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Christmas in the Stars, but it is spectacular (not really, but I do thoroughly enjoy it). The plot is that R2 D2 and C3PO visit a factory where droids are making presents for S. Claus. They sing a lot and then have an S. Claus sighting. I just want to enjoy it without Disney or anyone else telling me it isn’t canon. Is it a legitimate concern that I might think C3PO and S. Claus have a chat? Will it somehow change for the worse the way I watch The Force Awakens?
Ultimately, people should be free to enjoy their media however they’d like. If you really like The New Jedi Order, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not canon. Go right on enjoying it, just like I will continue believing with all of my heart that R2 D2, C3PO and a collection of droids helped make the presents under my Christmas tree.
*The only way official canon can help with enjoyment is by giving people something to be snobby about.