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Lostpedia:Canon

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Canon is the noun used by Lostpedia to describe information that is known to be officially part of the Lost universe. Only canonical storyline information may be stated as fact on Lostpedia.

The primary purpose of this article is to note:

  1. What storyline information is or is not considered "canon" by Lostpedia
  2. Which source takes precedence in cases of conflict of information from various otherwise valid sources.

It is important to note that when no conflict of storyline information exists, and when the source of such information is other than the episode, Lostpedia's judgement in this Canon policy is ultimately an arbitrary one that has no other use than self-consistency within this website only.

In other words the purpose of this policy article is not to judge what information may be considered "real" in the fictional universe of the storyline of Lost.

Neither is the purpose of this article to exhaustively compare all potential and future sources of storyline information; as sources of information change and evolve, site policy may therefore also be subject to change.

Broadly speaking, canonical information is always approved by the creative staff of Lost (the creators, directors, and writers) and released through various official outlets. Information from other people and/or other outlets is considered "non-canon".

The primary official outlet is the television episode. Other official outlets include press releases, websites, podcasts, interviews, books, DVDs, and non-television episodes. If canonical information conflicts itself, information from the television episodes takes precedence. If two episodes contradict each other, the more recent broadcast takes precedence. If multiple contradict one other, the information in multiple episodes takes precedence (no matter the broadcast order). When citing canonical information on Lostpedia, always indicate the outlet it originated from (episode name, podcast number, etc.).

Other non-canonical or semi-canonical information can be included in Lostpedia when properly marked with sources cited.

Canon

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have stated on record that the following are canonical. The first four were cited in an interview with Entertainment Weekly [1], the fifth from a previous interview [2], and the sixth from a producer commentary on the Season 3 DVD entitled Access: Granted and an interview with Gadi Pollack [3].

Carlton Cuse goes into greater detail about the issue of Lost canon in the March 10, 2008 Podcast. Ancillary materials such as deleted scenes, the majority of the storytelling in the ARGs, and other sources of information are considered apocryphal to varying degrees of semi-canon, and depend solely on how involved the executive staff are in the development of each.

Semi-canon

The following contain varying degrees of canon, according to the writers. This list is considered comprehensive, but not final, and is subject to change.

  • Official outlets for business or commentary. The creative staff of Lost also directly comments in the public media or retail media. This information is not part of the story of Lost, but is still an official source of information.
  • Official "story-telling" outlets other than Lost episodes. This information is considered part of the story of Lost, even though it is revealed outside of the show itself. In these cases, canonical facts are revealed through a basis of non-canon storytelling; for example the information revealed in the Sri Lanka Video is canon, while Rachel Blake's ongoing story that revealed it is not.

Note: Often, minor conflicts occur between canonical information revealed through official outlets other than Lost episodes. A summary or warning should be included on pages containing conflicting information. Unless consensus requires otherwise, Lostpedia policy is to include all official information as part of the canon. It is important for editors to cite sources in such cases, because it allows the reader to make their own judgement as to the canonic quality of the information, rather than relying on the ultimately arbitrary judgement of the fan community of Lostpedia.

Non-canon

There are many unofficial websites and media related to Lost. Information from these outlets is not canonical. Information from these outlets must be clearly marked if included on Lostpedia, and should not be in the Facts section of any article.

The following outlets are examples of information Lostpedia considers to be unofficial, unreliable, or otherwise not part of the canon. This list is not comprehensive.

  • Lost Wiki or the The LOST Wikia
  • Bloopers - Bloopers are minor production errors. Although they are visible on screen, they were not intended to be visible.
  • Deleted scenes
  • Information given on Enhanced episodes. These are provided by a third-party company, and not created or monitored by the production team.(Official Lost Podcast/March 19, 2009)
  • Information on Wikipedia, IMDB.
  • "Leaked" information or unofficial spoilers
  • Private communications of Lost cast/crew
  • Interviews by cast/crew that are not released on official channels (website, DVDs, etc) except those made by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse.
  • Unused materials made by cast/crew
    • Outtakes
    • Unused parts of official screenplays
    • Draft materials, storyboards, and items that were never intended to be final
    • Episode promotional photos from ABC may contain inaccurate or deleted content
  • Theory or parody articles on Lostpedia
  • False information, such as from scam sources or unintentional errors by the media
  • (Fanon) - information created by fans
  • Lost: Via Domus - It has been confirmed by producers that the game's storyline is not "canon" to the show. However, the blast door map, the Incident Room, and the DHARMA Initiative stations are considered "canon" as per the producers commentary and what is seen on Lost. As such, while we will keep information on Via Domus on the site, interactions between the game and show characters should not be added to character articles, and information on the game will be kept in a seperate Via Domus area of the site. [6]
  • The Dharma booth video in the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project

Note: Some believe that deleted scenes should be considered canonical, if no other information conflicts them. Information on Lostpedia from deleted scenes must be clearly marked (sometimes called "apocrypha" or "deuterocanon").

Mixed articles

Where an article has content that is both part of canon and non-canon (or canon and semi-canon), then the canonical information should take precedent and be placed above any non-canonical (or semi-canonical) information on the page. The non-canon (or semi-canon) information should be placed under a separate heading, and clearly marked as such using {{Non-canon}} template. Which looks like this

Nuvola warning Non-Canon alert!
This article/section contains information that was shown or released via an official source such as ARGs or extended media (video games, books), however it has no canonical merit to the overall Lost mythos.
Nuvola warning

In addition, whenever possible, the introductory paragraph for an article should only contain information shared between the canonical and the non-canonical (or semi-canonical) sources. Contradictory details should be limited to separate sections for the different media depictions, and explicitly pointed out as contradictions either as a footnote, or, if there are multiple contradictions, in a separate section.

An example for how this is supposed to look like when the subject of the article itself is presented differently in media of different levels of canonicity can be found on the page for the Christiane I; an example for the subject of one or more sections of an article, but not the subject of the article as a whole, being portrayed differently in different media can be found in the "The search" and "Purported discovery of the wreckage" sections on the page for Oceanic Flight 815.

Examples

  • Bloopers: These are not part of the canon.
  • Rebroadcasts of episodes: When content in a rebroadcast conflicts with a prior airings, the recap information has canonical priority.
    • The phrase heard by Boone on the Beechcraft's radio in "Deus Ex Machina" "We're the survivors of Flight 815" was re-recorded for the recap show to make the phrase clearer.
  • Newer episodes: The information in a newer episode has priority when conflicting with a previous episode. However, if multiple contradict one other, the information in multiple episodes takes priority (no matter the broadcast order).

See also

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