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collapse/expand topics ykttw archive back to Main/ContinuitySnarl

04:52:08 PM Jan 4th 2013
Shouldn't this page be a YMMV rather than a trope? It is not a narrative tool but a side effect, in most cases unintentional, and may change from person to person (a contradiction may seem a gross mistake for ones, and generate a "so what?" in others)
09:42:45 PM Apr 5th 2013
This is not for individual reactions to a bunch of continuity errors. This is for the fact that a series has them. So I say "nay."
09:05:14 AM Sep 5th 2012
Anybody else think that some of these entries are so long that they need their own article?
11:18:47 AM Nov 16th 2011
Every one of the Star Wars entries on this topic should be pulled, since none of them spring from the idea of a shared universe. Every one of these entries describes a retcon, but it's all from the movies so that's all George Lucas. Entries in this topic could spring from the extended universe works like the books and games, but not from inconsistencies among the movies.
11:05:55 PM Nov 11th 2011
Does the Post-Flashpoint DCU actually count as a continuity snarl? All the examples seem to be: "We don't yet know the full history of the New DCU, therefore it is screwed up."

With only 2 issues of most books out, it seems pretty bold to already call it a continuity snarl, when most of the continuity just hasn't been revealed.
04:59:17 PM Apr 9th 2011
Plucked my original, poetic YKTTW out of the Internet Archive (sadly, it coincided with The Great Crash, as the "YKTTW archive" link indicates).
This one's a very specific trope, mainly applying to the DC and Marvel universes. However, it can theoretically apply to a long-lived enough franchise with a large enough Expanded Universe, and as such it's started to creep into the worlds of Doctor Who and Star Trek, and to a lesser extent Star Wars (thanks mainly to George Lucas speeding it along with his alleged hatred of the EU in the prequels).

It's easy to create and guide a universe when one person creates it and makes the rules. Everything is established in that one creator's mind, and everything is consistent because that one person decides it is so. But once that original creator turns things loose to other hands, things can get... snarly.

People bring their own interpretations of the material. Perhaps that one piece of phlebotinum once worked by tearing open a hole in spacetime; now it just bends the fabric of the universe a little. They introduce their own tweaks, some of which contradict the original intent of the author. These pieces of canon can themselves be subject to a Retcon by later authors. Some people may decide to perform a deconstruction of the characters and their situation. Some may decide that Status Quo is no longer God and make a big, sweeping change that changes everything for everyone to come after. Sometimes they may decide to break the universe's internal rules and bring in something that shouldn't exist just because it would be really cool to have dragons in this hard sci-fi setting.

Some people may just completely innocently introduce something that contradicts some obscure line said by Guard #3 in Episode 20 about 13 minutes in ten years ago. Some people may decide that they shouldn't have to deal with all the mountains of continuity put up by the previous authors and may want to destroy the whole continuity and start over because continuity won't let them tell the story they want to tell. If they do get a story that works within continuity, they may ignore it at will. Some writers aren't even internally consistent within their own stories and introduce problems all on their own.

And that's just within the original medium. Throw in other mediums and Spin Offs, and things can really get messy. Many adaptations do not feel the need to hew to the continuity of the original at all, especially if they are adapting a lesser-known medium like comics. Sometimes, they do hew to the original, but even then they aren't always consistent with it, or with each other. And if there are multiple concurrent series set within the same Verse, don't be surprised if they start to contradict each other even if they're internally consistent with each other. Meanwhile, the fans create their own theories and write their own Fan Fic, and the Fanon created by this process is just one more thread of continuity to throw onto the fire.

The potential result, currently being seen in the DC and Marvel universes, might serve as a warning sign to some Wholigans and Trekkies. So many Ret Cons pile up that the universe can no longer withstand the weight. There are so many strands of continuity that the fans no longer really know what's canon. (*cough*Hawkman*cough*) Years of carefully-arranged rules and facts are destroyed when someone new decides they don't like it, so that they can set up their own rules that get destroyed when the next writer comes in. "Continuity" becomes simultaneously meaningless and all-ruling, meaningless in the sense that it is ignored at will yet all-ruling because it can't be ignored yet is so comprehensive, and has a legion of guardians posted all over the internet. In advanced cases, a universe may suffer Cosmic Retcon after Cosmic Retcon in a vain attempt to clear the clutter accrued over many years, which only make the problem worse because creators then want to make their own visions canon, which sometimes contradict those of the other creators, and sometimes "some" of what came before remains canon, which results in mass confusion in terms of exactly what those are. All the Cosmic Retcon has achieved is speeding the process of self-destruction and accelerating the pace at which the involved creators argue. The universe, at this point, has practically become a living being; its creators do not rule it, it rules its creators.

Named for the reality-destroying, god-killing [Eldrich Abomination]* in The Order of the Stick.

(*Sadly, the original contributed to the horrible misuse of Cosmic Horror that wound up getting it renamed Cosmic Horror Story even though it's technically a genre and not a type of story.)
05:40:27 PM Apr 9th 2011
It's Eldritch, for the record.
10:25:37 AM May 21st 2011
I don't really understand the main page of the topic, ironically enough, I had to read the laconic in order to stop myself from trying to keel meself reading the wall of text. Would someone please cut it down to size? I don't think we need a self-explanatory article here, that would be slightly horrifying and would just turn away people if it wasn't for the laconic page.
10:19:16 AM Oct 27th 2011
Yeah, the main page should be shorter.
05:54:54 AM Mar 27th 2011
Which dead Dragon Ball character was drinking?
12:48:40 PM Apr 4th 2010
Kalle: oh my god change the picture CHANGE THE PICTURE ;___;
01:30:09 AM Jul 20th 2010
Arromdee: Deleted for not being a snarl:
  • Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck, was writing two crossovers at the same time: one with Spider-Man and Howard for Marvel Comics, and one with The Savage Dragon and Destroyer Duck for Image Comics. He got the idea of having the two parties meeting briefly in the shadows of a warehouse. Then he saw that Howard was scheduled to make appearances in some of Marvel's other comics, so he had the Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck side of the meeting changed in that Howard gets himself cloned by a villain. In the confusion, one of the clones left the warehouse with Spidey (as seen in the Spider-Man side of the story, under the pretense that no cloning incident ever happened), while the real Howard is rescued by Savage Dragon and Destroyer Duck. The real Howard adopts the identiy of "Leonard the Duck" (with his girlfriend Beverly Switzler likewise becoming "Rhonda Martini") and makes appearances in Image Comics and Vertigo Comics thereafter.
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