"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold."
When Yeats wrote that, I bet he was trying to make sense of some fandom's canon so he could write some fic.
I've been fanwanking all weekend -- I won't even get into what and why -- and every thread I tie up looses two more, like Herakles and the Hydra, if the Hydra were made of thread, which I have on good authority it was not.
Is there any watertight canon? Even BtVS/AtS has its weak points. Even Tolkien kept changing his bloody mind.
I've wondered this since my X-Files days and I still don't know the answer: Is my responsibility to the canon greater than the creator(s)'s? Especially if the creator(s) don't seem to have taken much care to make it consistent.
When do I get to say, "That makes no sense -- I'm just going to make some shit up"? When do I get to say, "Character X would never do that, I don't care if I saw it on the bloody screen"?
If I do make shit up, will my readers demand some detailed notes on what and why or will they Just Not Care?
Maybe I'm the only one who cares. Or will even notice. Or gets drawn into an ever-expanding web of research for what started out as a fairly simple story idea.
Maybe it's time for a drink.
But before I do, let me take this opportunity to say: Han Solo shot first and there's not a goddamn thing Lucas can do to change that.