38 Responses to The Godzilla Expanded Universe: How We Should Take It
The ridiculousness of the content of these supplementary outlets doesn't matter, their canonicity when it comes to the content doesn't matter, and their status as merchandise doesn't matter.
Then they don't have a point, if you're saying being cannon doesn't matter why don't we all go over to fanfiction.com and read fanfics for material to use on the debate.
they are an official part of the facts of the films
No toho put their name on it so they could get money and attract people to the products. The same things Legendary did oh extra products= extra money. So with that in mind people could do whatever they wanted with the monsters. Being endorsed by a company and being held relevant are two different things. The amount of toys that were endorsed by tristar when G98 came out showed a Godzilla that shot fireballs and destroyed buildings, but that didn't happen the movie totally went against it and we never saw either but now I guess if G98 is ever brought up we need to talk about the toys too since they're endorsed, meaning the toho Godzilla now has a rocket fist. Yep I mean it was never outright stated that Godzilla didn't have a rocket fist so now we just see the toho seal and accept Godzilla has a rocket fist. That now has to be brought up whenever discussing Godzilla with the idea he could always turn a fight with that rocket fist. Sure we never saw it, never was implied in the movie that he had it but there's a toy with a button on the back that shoots the fist forward so by god he has a rocket fist now, I personally could tell by looking at him that his wrist seemed different but now there's no question at all.
I hope that shows how ridiculous this notion is that just because a company has its name on a product that is now brought into debates. You have to get the company's permission to make products using the monster, that doesn't mean everything that is made with that is kept in continuity and should be brought up.
Things that aren't in the movie= not relevant, still waiting for 1 good reason why something important would be left out to the majority of the audience. The answer is that there isn't one. Anything that the creators truly agree with gets put in the main form of media for the world to see, the rest can get tossed to niche groups where ever you want while toho/legendary gets money for those who buy it.
I started all of this :(......
"...I hope they remember you."-Thanos
I guess I should've been more clear then, Durp004. When I say supplementary or expanded material, I mean things like books, comics, mangas, etc. Not things like toys or playsets. I admit I wasn't clear on that part. However, when we specifically look at those things, THEN the real meat of the discussion begins.
Literature of written and visual kinds are in a bit of a tricky situation here. They don't fall in the same stretch of category as toys and such. They can be inducted into the canon of the main media outlets, in this case films. However, when the creators outright state that such things are indeed relevant to the main outlets, we can't question that. We can't reason with that. We can only accept it or not on a personal level. When they don't, then we get into the situation that started over at GorillaGodzilla's thread (BTW, it isn't your fault), that I went into detail around here.
The problem you guys parade around is the fact that you think the main media outlet is the only relevant one, that it should be the only one covered. So, I'm gonna challenge that notion. Why are they relevant at all? Why, because you can only do so much with one media outlet. You can't fit everything into one form, be it movie, game, or book. You can't have every single story or plot thread covered in a single media type without overloading it with too much expositionary info and incoherent plot/character threads.
It's why many fictional universes are built as multi-meda projects, spanning different mediums so as to not over-concentrate on a single one and have it suffer as a result. It's what the Halo franchise does, it's what the Marvel Cinematic Universe does, it's what many do. You gusy keep detracting from the main argument at hand. If the creators themselves confirm or deny the validity of these supplementary/expanded products in the main mediums, why are we arguing? Because we don't/do like them? Because they do/don't make sense? None of that matters when they have something to say.
It's only when things are in question that it gets difficult, and even then, there's a simple formular: main medium takes priority, followed by supplementary/expanded material.
I am going to have to go back in time and stop this!
**Starts running** "If i can achieve desired speed i should be able to go straight through the time barrier, and if i keep my thoughts of the thread where this started i should be able to get there and lock it before it gets out of hand...."
I am an adult!! xD.
"...I hope they remember you."-Thanos
GorillaGodzilla, stop trying to be the Flash. You'll only hurt yourself :/
**Trips and falls** ....
"...I hope they remember you."-Thanos
I agree very much with THEGMAN123. We really should take the expanded universe for granted. Besides its the expanded universe. It is just the stuff that can't or hasn't been done yet in the films that Toho has endorsed and is okay with.
In my personal opinion: As long as it is endorsed by Toho, I'm good.
I mean shouldn't. We shouldn't take the expanded universe for granted. :)
THEGMAN123 - I greatly respect what you are attempting! It shows an immense amount of dedication to Godzilla - no mistake! I am of the mind that the expanded universe material is much like a massive, beautiful banquette; we can take what we like and look at the rest with appreciation. However, we need not take a bite from everything. ;)
I've never thought of the EU...
Forum signatures are always so hard to come up with...
With all due respect and all, how can there be an expanded universe if there isn't really a primary universe for the Godzilla franchise?
I mean, we're talking about a good 8-12 different storylines. Halo, Star Wars, Doctor Who, MCU, etc. all have a single storyline to follow, making any additional info on them worth confirming/disapproving to fit the overall story.
However, technically speaking, there is no set-in-stone storyline to the Godzilla. It's all a mess of reboots and retellings that sometimes even only last one or two films. Not saying that it's bad that we don't have a primary story, but that's just really how it is. Millennium series alone had what, 5 different timelines?
The point is, why dive so deeply into the movies and storylines when there isn't much to be so protective of? I mean, other than the monsters, there hasn't really even been a single character to have reappeared in different eras. Pretty much all the films go through a human character flush basically with each premiere. Not a single one is around for too long; maximum of three films, if lucky.
There's no real point in debating expanded universes when the current "universe" is already a mess of disorder and lacks a single-focused story.
I can see the confusion you got there, NateZilla10000. We're not talking about a single expanded universe for the Godzilla franchise.
We're talking about expanded material, and their validity as relevant to the main medium they supplement. Just in general. No big plans or anything. Just things like books, comics, mangas and whatnot playing a role in determining feats, facts, stats, etc. for the plot threads and characters present in the main medium, in this case being the Godzilla films.
Tie-ins and officially endorsed products and such is the name of the game here, understand? Things like the Awakening prequel comic, the Godzilla novelization, etc., when it comes to their relevance when it comes to official facts and the like.
"Why, because you can only do so much with one media outlet. You can't fit everything into one form, be it movie, game, or book. You can't have every single story or plot thread covered in a single media type without overloading it with too much expositionary info and incoherent plot/character threads."
This pretty much answers your own question. The primary and intended outlet, in this case, is film. If a film can't fit everything into it then it obviously doesn't matter and the filmmakers in question have decided to not pursue its canonicity. The rest is like third party material not intended for the film, but meant to sell merchandise. How seriously can we take "expanded" knowledge and material that's sole intent was to promote the movie it's based off of?
I think Star Wars and Star Trek have pretty much solidified how important the "expanded universe" material is. While Trek simply doesn't acknowledge anything unless it's on-screen, Star Wars has completely and easily thrown all of the post-Jedi expanded universe the side without a blink or apology. Why? Because it was superfluous. Fan fiction-level fluff from both franchises that provide something better on the big/small screens. Directors and producers will never take expanded universe material into account when writing sequels, or prequels, because they're beneath attention. So why bother with it?
I'll give you this much though. I think behind-the-scenes and artbooks pertaining to the making of the films are probably the most conclusive "supplement" material that can be considered outside the movie. At least in those cases we know the filmmakers and directors were looking at how everything worked and giving the idea their blessing with that basis in mind before shooting. That kind of info and art is literally signed off by directors and other crew.
Furthermore, I find it hilarious that fans around here are using all the "expanded" info from the 2014 film materials to further their views of how supreme the 2014 Godzilla is, when there's material out there that supports the Showa Godzilla being a creature that could punch a hole through his skull. Will that be considered? There's an older Japanese book, I don't recall the title, but it was from a few decades ago that claimed Godzilla's breath could potentially blow a hole straight through the Earth. If true that likely gives all the Showa monsters far stronger durability than any other era.
I call BS. But now that you know it's out there, I guess you'll have to factor it in, huh?
I concur with GMAN2887. This only seems to be an issue when Godzilla '14 comes up, and it's tiresome.
It's not an "Expanded Universe." Not yet. The Godzilla novelisation isn't a continuation, but an adaptation of the film with the author's own ideas and inventions, thus far never known to be included in the original material/script. Same as any adaptation.
In the Jurassic Park novel, the T-Rex could swim. In the film, we never saw him swim or sink, but by your logic we should connect the two and assume he could swim, nevermind any other disconnects in the story. Or should we just acknowledge that they're entirely disconnected, novel and film.
In the 'HULK' novelisation, it delves deeper into the father's psyche and the familial ties. But is that ever conveyed on screen in any way? No. So is it cannon with the film? No. Did it help make the film better? No.
On film, what you see is what you get. It's the medium of showing, not telling. With Godzilla '14, what you see on screen is exactly what you get. It's ambiguous, sure, but that doesn't mean you get to fill in the blanks with whatever you can grasp at, whether it's a mediocre novel or your own imagination.
The only thing that will really put this to rest is the next film.
And as others have stated, where do we draw the line on what materials we draw on? In the Dark Horse comics, Charles Barkley put on magic sneakers which helped him attain the size of Godzilla, which was based on Heisei Godzilla. And from what I remember of the comics (not the commercial), he held his own for a while. So should we pit Charles Barkley against Mothra and King Ghidorah?
^The Hulk angle is an excellent example. What about all of these comic book movies and their comic counterparts?
Clearly, the Thor in the Marvel Cinematic movies is less powerful than the one in the comics. But accepting a "retelling" as universal for every incarnation, I suppose we are to assume that the Thor in the movies and the Thor in the comics have identical powers; this is despite the fact one has shown them and the other has not.
Instead of "expanded universe" I think the 2014 novel would be better considered an "alternate universe". Its contradictions with the movie is proof that it is not canonical with the film itself. However, I'd buy that it is, like comic books, a "retelling" of the same material set in a different universe. A different 2014 Godzilla; like Thor and his movie counterpart vs. his current comic counterpart vs. a different era comic counterpart, etc. It's not intended to fill in the blanks of the film, but interpret the story in it's own way-- While doing what it's meant to and making more money for WB/Legendary...
I don't quite understand how you don't consider toys since literally every point you've made for why we should consider your books for debates and content could be used for toys. Toy companies have to get permission from the owning company to make the toys a lot are released for the same reason as books and that's to promote the main product of the movies. You seem to be splitting hairs what you want to consider rather than what should since you don't agree with discussing other things that fall under your blanket requirements of why we should consider others.
Literature is always in a different park than toys and such. I don't see how it's so difficult to understand. When you're marketing merchandise, it can fall into two camps. Consumer products, which are merely fun things to play around with, and literary products, which can and do often have significance to the main medium's marrative.
Did you know that some of the best things about things like the Halo-verse are its non-game stories, characters, etc.? Did you know that most of the games don't cover it at all, but it's universally agreed on that those aspects in books, comics, etc, are some of the best parts?
It's a very poor argument to say that not covering it in the main medium delegates it to a position of non-relevance, since modern-day multi-media projects prove otherwise. As well, another major problem is that you guys are looking at examples too broad and, at the same time, too specific. Adapting films from books is micro-managing its narrative into a different medium that is separate unless stated otherwise.
Novelizing a film is different, and basing additional stories on its narrative is different, because the point is to expand the narrative of the film where it couldn't be covered in its runtime, whilst not being any less relevant, since you can't keep putting in things into the main medium without it becoming over-cluttered. And, again, just because it isn't in the main medium doesn't mean it isn't important. It simply means the main medium can't cover it for whatever other reasons.
I'm not trying to justify 2014 Godzilla being extremely powerful. I'm simply quantifying known feats with additional info from other sources so that my observations have a more factual basis. GMan2887, if Toho says that is true of the Showa Godzilla, why should we argue it? It's their product, they choose what is and isn't.
"I don't see how it's so difficult to understand."
Says ye, who doesn't understand why the novel shouldn't be considered canonical.
"It's a very poor argument to say that not covering it in the main medium delegates it to a position of non-relevance, since modern-day multi-media projects prove otherwise."
Calling it a poor argument is a slap in the face to the artists of any franchise's leading medium. In this case the goal is to get everything they wanted to say into the film. If it's not in there, 9 times out of 10, they don't see it relavent enough to cover or it simply isn't something that the expanded material claims. There's no point in chasing red herring.
That's great and good for Halo and all, but it's also a vastly different medium. If Halo fans want to consider that stuff canon, that's their issue. Most movie franchises tend to look at expanded universe material as "just merchandise", not something that adds any real value to a product they've finished and are satisfied with. Why bother expanding it if they like the final product? What more do the filmmakers really want to tell? The answer is, unless a director's cut is pushed, they really don't.
This comment is blantantly false. This is so far from the truth it hurts. The point of novelizing a film is to help sell the film. Nothing more, nothing less. Any divergence or over-explaination in the novel does not reflect on the filmmaker's ideas, but rather the author's interpretation of it. It doesn't exist because the main medium can't cover something. It exists because "throwaway merchandise" is a thing.
For Toho, the problem is that they have every legal right to induce such retcons, and parade it around as official and factual. Nothing we say changes that matter, no matter how much it may or may not make sense. It's why I say we should be using it, because Toho says it matters, even if the films and their staff never intended such things. Because the final legal say is with them, then it shall be. It is official by decree of the law, and thus we can't argue it anymore because we can only pronounce it as non-canon in our personal eyes. But when it comes to a factual basis, legally, we have to consider these other sources.
As for the other stuff, well, let's just agree to disagree. I would like to point out that being merchandise doesn't necessarily mean it couldn't be important down the line, although I can see now that I was coming along as quite overzealous in trying to convince you guys of this. Besides, for the sake of future debats, how about we agree that, on a legal basis, these alternate sources can be used unless later pronounced as unusable in official facts? Obviously, unless stated otherwise, film canon takes priority.
Literature is always in a different park than toys and such. I don't see how it's so difficult to understand.
So books are in a different ball park than toys, but not than movies, got it.
it can fall into two camps. Consumer products, which are merely fun things to play around with, and literary products, which can and do often have significance to the main medium's marrative.
No when you're making products they all fall under 1 camp, to promote the main product that is the movie. Whether that's a fun thing to play around with, or a fun thing to read, both are the exact same they promote the movie, they don't add to it, they don't correct it, they just promote the movie in any way that person whether it be a toy manufacturer or publisher feels the need to. Since no one want buy a book that is literally the exact same as the movie they just watched things get changed, this does not mean the movie didn't include this, it means the publisher chose to to add to their product to differentiate it from the movie.
You keep reference Halo as though Halo makes the standard for things that are included cannon, when there are just as many franchises that don't include non main media source into their content. Halo doesn't make the rules for everything, if those creators want to add things based on books that's for them to decide, but that doesn't dictate what every other company has to do.
As for agreeing to let literature into debates, fully against it for reasons stated, above and before in other threads, most creators aren't going to go out of their way to decide what other media forms aren't cannon, they choose what is and isn't cannon by what they did and did not put into their movie, everything outside those is pretty much equivalent to the rocket punching godzilla toy; a fun thing to have and play with, but not relevant to the main story or the character it's using.
Okay, how about this then? Anything touted as relevant material to the main medium by the creators and/or advertising, we can use for debates, but otherwise it is left up to the thread creator's choice. The best of both worlds. Things like literature and whatnot will be used if stated to be applicable by the creators/advertising, no exceptions. Not even for me.
I'm willing to give in to your demands if you uphold your end of the bargain by not discrediting sources officially stated and/or advertised as officially relevant, understand?
With this in mind, I will forgo using the novelization if the thread creator says so, but the Awakening prequel comic, being specifically advertised as a prequel comic to the 2014 film, is therefore allowed, since its advertising touts it as part of the official canon, serving as a prelude to the film's events.
Only problem is that now every thread creator has to be specific and since GorillaGodzilla references both the Awakening comic and the novel when he lists feats chances are, knowing the thread creator that won't happen. Point is you can keep looking at the other sources all you want but to most people that actually debate your referencing of the other material won't be taken seriously. This is pretty much run by majority rather than a set rule if the majority that take part don't consider something cannon then the X% that does doesn't really have much to say.
There are so many holes in the Awakening storyline that discredit it to the movie that I could make a thread about it, like different back story to Godzilla, no referense of Shuromura, ect. Point is once again the "prequel" name was just to sell copies and advertise the movie, then the movie ignored pretty much everything in it. This is actually the perfect example of something being made advertise while not being in the main cannon. The funny thing is the writer wrote the script for G14 and he still didn't include any referense to the work.
I don't care if you guys don't take my referencing seriously. Legally speaking, if the alternate sources are confirmed or advertised as relevant, than they are. If I happen to use them but you don't, that's your problem. Doesn't matter your personal preferences. It's just fact. That means that if Toho or Legendary or whoever else says something outside the films matter, they matter. The believability or canonicity doesn't factor into the equation of the legitimate facts if the creators say otherwise, which they apparently have before.
I'm all in favour of supplementary material not being factored into debates if the creators don't have anything to say about it now, but in the case of them actually saying they're relevant, majority ruling simply cannot factor in, because then it's majority ruling against official word of God, and therefore official fact.
And since Legendary Pictures officially touts Awakening as a prequel, no matter the intent to sell, it doesn't matter. It's officially a prequel, which means all the facts presented in it are relevant to a debate revolving around its characters and settings. Even if just merchandise, because it's advertised as a prequel to the 2014 movie, that's Legendary Pictures saying that what happened in it matters to the movie.
You keep using the word legas as though there are laws that state how cannonicity and debates work, Fact is, because you add "legal" to your doesn't make it any more credible especially in this sense it just comes across as funny.
You also keep talking about toho/legendary saying things matter, what is this. Is simply getting the permission to use the character insinuating an implied consent that those products matter or do people actually have to come forward and say they support these things. If it's the latter then please show me quotes and interviews for legendary that say these extra offhand merchandise matter and connect to the real product, and are relevant.
There are official toys that get released with movies all the time but you're fine with not counting those and considering them one offs simply with the point of advertising, or for fun. That works both ways.
If cannonicity doesn't matter what's the point? basically any fanfiction that has a publisher behind it suddenly becomes credible sources at that point. The fact is most debates also look at cannonicty which was your whole Halo point that those books, comics ect, were cannon according to the creator, so if something isn't and logically can't be cannon there's no point bringing it up, as it doesn't relate to anything that matters in the series. The amount of mangas/ comics that have been released for these movies in Japan is staggering to the point that very few if anyone probably has a good knowledge of them all. To that extent you can't find a lot of the info online, so rather than just use sources everyone knows about or can easiliy access like the movies by including other content you bring lack of credibility. If I said a manga came out in the 70s that Godzilla grew planet sized and fought an earth destroying monster you couldn't say anything because as far as you know it might have happened, and there's no way to check it since wikizilla and other sites don't go in depth if talk about mangas and comics at all, by the same token I have no way to prove it does exist if you question it for all the same reasons.
So by trying to use these alternate universe sources you essentially make the stories and sources so convoluted and vast that there is no way to fact check. Whereas when you keep it simple and just look at movies, that you can find on the internet or at least see in depth synompsis there are things to say. The extra things don't add clarity they add clutter, and now rather than have base sources everyone knows we go into dark things where essentially who can call the best bluff or has the most random japanese comics from the 70s-90s wins. And please don't act like this doesn't happen to other series that have huge amounts of extra content from different media, before lucas retconned everything in star wars but the films the amount of BS that got pulled up in strongest sith/ jedi debates was ridiculous.
I'm not saying it's a good thing, or that I like it, Durp004. What GMan2887 brought up sounds like something extremely convoluted, stupid, and quite irrelevant in terms of the intent of the creators the films when compared to the intent of the supplementary materials.
The same is less true of Legendary Pictures' expanded materials, but the same principle applies regardless. What I'm saying is that if the official higher-ups say the thing matters, regardless if it's purely for advertising, narratively doesn't make sense in-canon, or whatever other reasons, we can't argue with that.
The way GMan2887 put it, it sounded as if Toho had actually gone out of their way to say that such supplementary material in the past was relevant. If they didn't, then fine, I won't even bat an eyelash over them. However, with Awakening, the comic is touted by Legendary Pictures as a prequel to their film, and they haven't gone out of their way to say otherwise. Now, even if this is for marketing purposes, it still paints the comic as a relevant supplement to the movie. Unlike their other merchandise like toys and whatnot, the advertising of the comic is specifically as a prequel comic to the film, plastered all over the place that it's always in your face about how much of a prequel comic it is.
"What I'm saying is that if the official higher-ups say the thing matters, regardless if it's purely for advertising, narratively doesn't make sense in-canon, or whatever other reasons, we can't argue with that."
But you have to hear them say it. Just because it's got an "official" stamp on it doesn't make it canonical and not taking in the contradictions regulate fans to obedient zombies. According to you we've gone from "respecting other people's supplementary garbage" to "respect whatever Toho or Legendary says."
That's nonsense. If the filmmakers have intended something that owners later contradict, we know exactly what's going on here. Until I find the interview where Ishiro Honda says his Godzilla had regenerative capabilities or Edwards says Godzilla fires plasma it is not relevant or true.
If the Foo Fighters write a song and say it means one thing and then their label claims it really means another, I'm now supposed to believe the label?
To go off of what Gman2887 said, the best example of the "official label " isn't true, that would be the official Godzilla compendium book. It's a good starters book, but a lot of "facts" are wrong.
http://hugeben.deviantart.com/ check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on [email protected]
"That's nonsense. If the filmmakers have intended something that owners later contradict, we know exactly what's going on here."
But that's just it, GMan2887. The owners have the final say on the matter. If what they say completely contradicts the intents of the creators, then it's tough luck on them. The owners of the licensing ultimately decide what matters where, with the creators' opinions and intents being secondary to theirs.
I don't like it anymore than you do, and would love for the creators themselves to have the last word. I mean, it's pretty clear even Godzilla had quite a bit of executive meddling. But the owners are the owners for a reason. They own the brand, the licensing, everything. They decide what is and isn't in their products.
Now, yes, Ben, having the official "stamp of approval" is different than outright saying something is or isn't relevant, but when they DO say something on the matter, we have to take THEIR word for it above the creators, since they officially own the product that they had the creators produce, and decide its ultimate fate in regards to matters like these.
Don't mistake me defending this point for liking it. I may personally be okay with Awakening and the novelization, but the practice itself is sketchy. I do agree that creators SHOULD have the last say on such matters, but they don't in actuality.
^The problem is that's not true and Star Wars and Star Trek proved how irrelevent the material is. A studio and owner can say one thing, but if it comes down to retconing it for the sake of material in the main medium then obviously their "stamp of approval" is irrelevant.
The legality regarding that does not take presidence over the creator's especially when that is just as well documented-- In many cases documented better and more thoroughly and the studio knows it. Notice on DVD commentaries when a movie is older and a historian/fan of the material is voicing it there's a disclaimer about how their views do not reflect the studio's. It's because they're an outside party. However, when it is a director or crew member, there is no such disclaimer. Meaning their words very well do reflect it and what they say goes.
Now, although neither Honda or Edwards did an audio commentary they were interviewed many times over the years and expressed their intention with their films without any disclaimer. Honda was a company man and constantly under contract with Toho, so we know his words were always under some sort of... "oath" if you will.
It can not be said that the views of the filmmakers are not in some way relevant, more relevant or even "legally" true, as you like to put it. I'll agree that studios can contradict, but not override.
I'm not saying the creators have no say at all. I'm just saying that because it isn't "their" product at the end of the day, the parent company's higher-ups will have most of the authority concerning matters of the relevance of supplementary materials in contrast to the main product, and sometimes vice versa.
For example, James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, once commented that the Guardians weren't going to show up in any Avengers films. Now, obviously, he wasn't being completely literal, but this stance was his own regardless. The higher-ups were quick to refute this.
I think we should conclude this matter, now. I'm tired of us not agreeing with each other, knowing that we'll never fully see each other's side of the argument. However, at the end of the day, I still expect you guys to respect and NOT discredit such additional sources in the future so viciously. I get it. The films are the most important things. But this anti-expanded materials campaign just isn't working for me. If you guys can't even accept me prioritizing film canon over expanded canon, I can't call this community a good place to debate with you guys.
I get that you guys work with only the main mediums, but I don't. I like to have extra context and be able to further quantify my arguments by any means possible, so that it isn't just my own opinonated observations, but educated guesses with extra sources to back me up. That means looking for any technicalities I can work with, such as Awakening being advertised as an official prequel, or things in the novelization that actually thoroughly explain things that can't be explained in the film.
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