This page is a StarCraft Wiki Policy.
The shortcut link for this page is POL:CANON.
Blizzard Entertainment rarely used words such as canon and has no official policy on many aspects. Blizzard has discussed canon as of 2007 when StarCraft II was announced, using the term unambiguously in a several interviews and even developing an internal policy for their games. In 2012 Brian Kindregan stated that everything that Blizzard releases except RPGs and mods are canon and that cut content is not canon.
This policy is developed for the StarCraft Wiki and is not official Blizzard Entertainment policy.
The wiki has a separate policy for fan-made content.
In general, the StarCraft games released by Blizzard are canon.
The bonus campaigns and missions, StarCraft: Enslavers, Dark Origin, the StarCraft 64 bonus map, Resurrection IV, and StarCraft: Enslavers II have been referred to as canon by Chris Metzen (he chose the ending where Alan Schezar and Ulrezaj use the powerful EMP generator as the "canonical" branch). Metzen later referred to the Enslavers campaigns as "quasi-canonical".
Material from the game manuals are canon.
Some of the Blizzard Entertainment authorized fiction is actually published by Blizzard Entertainment employees. These include StarCraft: Uprising and StarCraft: Hybrid (authored by Blizzard employee Micky Neilson) and StarCraft: Revelations (authored by Blizzard employee Chris Metzen). Blizzard Entertainment employees have access to material other authors will never see, so their material is considered more reliable. Note that StarCraft map series available on the classic.battle.net site fall into this category (namely StarCraft: Precursor, Deception and Mercenaries II).
Blizzard Comments on LoreEdit
Chris Metzen said that Blizzard is "essentially intending to novelize the first three campaigns in the core game. We're going to novelize Brood War at some point just so we have the definitive take on those stories."
|BlizzCon 2007 Lore Panel|
Chris Metzen also had this to say:
|BlizzCon 2007 Lore Panel|
by Chris Metzen
Metzen also spoke about how some parts of novels might not be considered canon, when discussing the World of Warcraft comic series at San Diego Comic Con in 2007.
|San Diego Comic Con 2007|
by Chris Metzen
The Dark Templar SagaEdit
Christie Golden: "Considering the nature of some of the events that are portrayed, I can safely say that yes, Starcraft: The Dark Templar series is going to be considered canon." In addition, the Dark Templar Saga was written concurrently with the StarCraft II storyline.
Blizzard had this to say about its canonical status:
|BlizzCon 2007 Lore Panel|
Eyonix, a former community manager for the World of Warcraft forums, responded to assertions that literature not directly produced by Blizzard were not valid sources of lore:
|Could you please stop with the RPG books?|
In a more recent statement, a community developer said the Warcraft RPG products are not canon, although Blizzard generates some of their content and some ideas from the RPGs make their way into the game.
Blizzard Employee StatementsEdit
Statements by Blizzard Entertainment employees are viewed as official when they do not conflict with other published sources. They may also trump information older than the quote.
For instance, information on the United Earth Directorate after the Brood War was revealed in an interview with Blizzard Entertainment employees. This information does not contradict any previous material.
However, given the off-the-cuff nature of and contradictions between some of these statements, they do not necessarily rank higher than information from published sources.
For instance, on the topic of infested protoss, Chris Metzen has said in June of 2009 that "there are no infested protoss, period" and Dustin Browder has said "based on the lore, the Protoss do not become infested." However, Blizzard has also contradicted this statement in July 2009.
The end result is the wiki has no official policy on the existence of infested protoss.
There is material owned or licensed by Blizzard that may be notably StarCraft-related. Whether they are canon or not may be determined on a case-to-case basis, and it may be necessary for the material to be marked by appropriate templates and categorization.
Blizzard hasn't made a final decision, but suggested they are not canon.
Cut material is a form of material owned by Blizzard but may not be considered part of the universe as depicted in final products. This may come from a variety of sources:
- Items removed from final products during development (eg. material from alpha and beta releases or from missions cut from StarCraft).
- Products canceled or never released (eg. StarCraft: Ghost).
If this material does not contradict more up-to-date material, it may be permissible to use it as if it were canon. Where such material is contradicted, they should be added in distinct sections or articles clearly marked by appropriate templates (if format permits).
Blizzard specifically declared StarCraft: Ghost to not be canon.
"Easter eggs" are material present in released products but not meant to be taken seriously. They are frequently of an amusing nature. They are not considered canon and have no relevance in lore articles.
Since the first release of StarCraft, Blizzard has steadily added to and revised the universe's background with new products. While Blizzard may have a coherent picture of the universe internally, this material may not be released to the public in an equally coherent fashion. To outside parties, this manifests as contradictions between products/releases.
The wiki constant attempts to detect superseded and/or obsolescent material and revise accordingly. The following discusses some of the challenges involved.
Blizzard Entertainment sometimes applies "retcons" to their universe. As these retcons are rarely announced as such, this wiki uses guidelines to determine what counts as a retcon. If changed information is consistently repeated, it may be considered the subject of a retcon. For instance, the population of Korhal when it was attacked by the Terran Confederacy was 4 million in the manual but has been consistently described as 25 million in multiple later sources.
More recent information is more likely to be accurate. For instance, Artanis and Zeratul both underwent eye color changes in Queen of Blades. Artanis' eye color was confirmed in StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Twilight and Zeratul's eye color was confirmed in numerous places, including videos from StarCraft II itself.
Clearer information is preferable. Information from just one source should be considered "clearer" than information pieced together from more than one source.
Dealing with ContradictionsEdit
In the event of a conflict between otherwise valid resources, the preferred approach is that the conflict should be noted in a notes or reference notes section. But to the greatest extent possible valid resources should be construed so as not to be in conflict. The presumption should be that a conflict does not exist unless no other explanation is reasonable under the circumstances.
In the event that two valid resources (for example, two spoken lines of dialogue; a spoken line and a graphic) conflict, either can be referenced as a valid resource, provided the other is also included in some manner in the article and the conflict noted. Explanations of the conflict (for example, suggestions for reconciliation) and the reason for the selection of one resource over another can appear on a discussion page.
In writing articles contributors should be guided by the principle that a valid resource with a higher precedence can (but does not have to) be given slightly greater evidentiary weight for purposes of writing the article from a StarCraft universe standpoint than the valid resource with a lower precedence. The conflict still needs to be noted in the article, though.
For instance, Liberty's Crusade and StarCraft: Precursor conflict on the matter of Edmund Duke's movements shortly before the destruction of Chau Sara. Liberty's Crusade has him aboard the Norad II, roaming around the Terran Confederacy for three months before warping to Chau Sara as a result of the protoss attack. In contrast, Precursor has Duke personally directing troops on Chau Sara in November 2499 (only one month before the attack on Chau Sara). The latter example is clearly timestamped, so should hold more evidentiary weight. Even so, lore conflicts should be noted in the relevant articles.
When two equally valid "highest weight" sources conflict, whichever position has the most supporting evidence from "lower weight" sources should be used.
There are two ways of establishing dates in the StarCraft universe.
The first involves information plainly and clearly presented with timestamps. For instance, Rebel Yell plainly starts in December 2499 (this is clearly stated in pre-mission splash screens for Boot Camp and Wasteland), and the StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils timeline plainly presents The Dark Templar Saga as taking place in 2503. Timestamps from published material takes precedence over timestamps from unpublished material (such as dates plainly stated in Biting the Bullet).
The second method involves derived or conjectural dates which are approximated, for example through inference. Timeline information from such sources should have reference notes labeled with "[time/date] based on [fill in the blank]." For instance, the Battle of Backwater Station can be determined have taken place on December 16, 2499, as it's possible to measure the time between the destruction of Chau Sara and the battle in the novel Liberty's Crusade.
Less clear information can still be used if it doesn't conflict with other clearer sources of information, especially if it corroborates a clearer source of information. For instance, the time between the Fall of Mar Sara and the activation of the psi emitter on Antiga Prime can be considered six months, due to an interplay of various sources:
- StarCraft: Ghost: Nova has the Fall of Mar Sara and the beginning of the Battle of Antiga Prime in Part 1. Part 3 takes place six months later, and has the Confederacy reporting on the defeat of its forces there.
- Most of StarCraft: Issue 1 takes place in June 2500, which is clearly timestamped. According to an interview with the author, this takes place during or slightly after the use of the psi emitter on Antiga Prime.
Such information includes at least some timestamping, and so is valid provided it does not conflict with clearer information sources.
Dates derived from "relative timing" should still use an approximate timestamp as a starting point, such as an important event in the StarCraft universe. An extremely vague approximate timestamp, such as Arcturus Mengsk's statement that "I saw Zerg within Confederate holding pens myself, and that was over a year ago." in The Jacobs Installation should not be regarded as sufficient.
- This wiki made a mistake on that very topic. The events Mengsk described took place in StarCraft: Uprising, and the wiki used to time Uprising as taking place in 2498 as a result of that comment. Dates of other events in the same novel, such as the Destruction of Korhal, were based on this inference. However, StarCraft: I, Mengsk made it fairly clear that the Destruction of Korhal occurred in 2491, a whole seven years earlier. The Heaven's Devils timeline very clearly timestamped the event as taking place in 2491.
The clear timestamp method takes precedence over the second "relative timing" method when sources present conflicting information. For instance, using information derived from the original manual, the timing of the settlement of the Koprulu Sector by terrans was estimated at 2298 (based on approximate measurements of Earth technological development, and the age of the Terran Confederacy, listed as about two centuries). The Heaven's Devils timeline clearly timestamps this event as taking place in 2259 (thirty-nine years earlier). One clear timestamp outweighs several vague inferences.
Storyline branching occurs when a player may choose which campaign missions to play. The choices made may influence plot progression; events arising from one set of choices may conflict with those portrayed arising from yet another set of choices.
In such situations, information may be divided into two categories:
Blizzard Entertainment has claimed to ignore branch paths when it comes to canon. However, this statement has been contradicted numerous times by specification (see below).
Variant information derived from storyline branches should be split into two categories: storyline information (eg what has happened) and lore information (eg "facts").
"Storyline" information should only be considered valid if it's from the a "main", non-branched mission. Whatever Jim Raynor does in Zero-Hour is fine, since it's a mission you have to play. However, saying he attacked Castanar's space platform without designation is not fine, since that's a choice made by the player, not by Blizzard Entertainment. For these situations, an appropriate template should be used.
Invariant information is information that may come from any branch but can be reasonably expected to apply to all branches.
Using "factual" variant information taken from branch missions is okay. For instance, information regarding events that happen before the campaign but may only be revealed in certain branches. As an example, we learn that Dr. Ariel Hanson is a scientist from Agria in the mission The Evacuation. It's okay to add that information to articles.
Storyline information which is identical in both branches can be added to articles. For instance, regardless of which version of Emperor's Fall is played, the United Earth Directorate defeats the Terran Dominion, and the same dialog occurs, so all that information can be used in an unrestricted way in any article.
Making a Branch CanonEdit
Blizzard Entertainment can choose to make one branch canonical. For instance, one branch of the StarCraft: Enslavers campaign was made canon in introductory material for its sequel, StarCraft: Enslavers II.
StarCraft: Enslavers II itself had two branches, and years after its publication Chris Metzen chose one branch to be canonical. Similarly, if supporting evidence, such as from a novel or later mission, supports only one branch, then that branch has "higher evidentiary weight". In this situation, the branches should be distinguished through using template: PlotBranchBrack. Put the canon branch first, and include a brief note stating why that particular branch is canon, then put the second branch on the same page.
The Behind the Scenes DVD suggests the choices made by Jim Raynor in some instances (sides with Gabriel Tosh and Ariel Hanson over Nova and Selendis respectively, meaning Breakout is considered higher canon than Ghost of a Chance and Safe Haven is considered higher canon than Haven's Fall). Another DVD adaptation of these events is being planned by Activision.
In regards to Wings of Liberty, Blizzard said it would not discuss choices made by the player and these choices will not carry on into Heart of the Swarm, revealed in an interview released almost two months after the release of Wings of Liberty. Blizzard decided not to branch the story based off player choices.
However, later on they chose Raynor siding with Tosh and Ariel Hanson as "canon" choices. When deciding between Belly of the Beast and Shatter the Sky, they initially chose Shatter the Sky, but later made Belly of the Beast the "A" canon choice.
Blizzard has clarified their position on canon, stating that while the "A" choice is canon, they wrote things later so a player's choice is never invalidated.
|Blizzcon: Interview with StarCraft 2 Lead Writer Brian Kindregan|
Blizzard will use the A canon storyline in Heart of the Swarm, unless they can devise software to detect which choice a player made in Wings of Liberty. In the latter case, if the player did not make a choice in Wings of Liberty, A canon will be used.
Variant information from these optional missions should be denoted with the appropriate template: template: Colonist Missions for Colonist Missions, template: Covert Missions for Covert Missions and template: Rebellion Missions for Rebellion Missions.
The Colonist Missions and Covert Missions ended with branch points, meaning such information should be first marked with the appropriate template, then template: PlotBranchBrack used to divide the choices.
An example follows:
They got along really well. Raynor helped Tosh free his comrades.
Raynor didn't trust Tosh. He sided with Nova instead.
Always put the "A" choice first, if possible.