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Fanon

From Academic Kids

Fanon is a fact or ongoing situation in fan fiction stories related to a television program, book, movie, or video game that has been used so much by fan writers or among the fandom that it has been more or less established as having happened in the fictional world, but it has not actually been established as having happened on the show, book or movie itself. Fanon is a portmanteau word of fan and canon.

The term is sometimes used pejoratively by purists to refer to such explanations as faulty or illogical given the nature of a story, or "common lore" copied amongst fans, especially in webpage proliferation, that actually contradicts a simpler explanation that was even alluded to in canon. This is especially common for foreign works which are sometimes mistranslated or to when backstory and exposition elsewhere in a work has not been ported over (for example, manga that was associated with a commercial anime, but of which only one has been translated.)

Fanon is sometimes well known by creators and may even be accepted as true (or at least as reasonable an explanation as any) to something they have not explicitly explained. On the other hand, some creators of serial works specifically introduce facts in subsequent installments of their work which invalidate fanon.

In a series with a substantial Expanded Universe (official, but not necessarily canon, additions to the series proper), such as Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who, elements of fanon will sometimes become established as part of the expanded canon; this is particularly common when fans become contributors to the Expanded Universe.

A variation of fanon is "personal canon", which is a set of "fanon"-like facts that are accepted as canon by an individual fan or a group of fans. Proponents of "fanon" or "personal canon" have been known to be offended when these terms are used, as "fanon" facts have often become better accepted than canon. This is widespread among Star Trek fans; for example, the prequel TV series Star Trek: Enterprise is rejected by many Trek fans on the basis that it violates "fanon" regarding the history of the Federation (rather than canon facts seen on earlier series). Similarly, some Trek fans have also seen fit to reject and "decanonize" individual episodes or films that don't fit with their vision of the Star Trek universe (or, alternately, the perceived vision of the late Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry). Some consider such a selective view elitism, or simply an egotistical way to label stories one simply didn't like very much. Most recently, many Star Trek fans have indicated that they choose to not accept the finale episode of Enterprise as canon, for reasons ranging from anger over the fate of a major ongoing character to the fact that it was written by the series' unpopular creators to the perception of the episode as being insulting to fans of Enterprise (a perception shared by at least some of the Enterprise cast members).

Fanon can also be true for one version of the story, but not in another. For instance, fanon for a Japanese anime and manga series may be true in a manga version of a series, but not an anime version of a series, or vice versa.

Contents

A list of fanon facts

Andromeda

Battlestar Galactica (original ABC TV series)

  • The Battlestar Pegasus definitely survived the battle against Baltar's basestars and is now assisting the Galactica by continuing its campaign against the Cylons. This diverts Cylon resources that could otherwise have been deployed to hunt the refugee fleet.
  • Starbuck later managed to escape the desert planet he was marooned on by salvaging the Cylon wreckage to create a working ship that allowed him to reach the Galactica.

Doctor Who

  • The Doctor Who universe has its own version of the Doctor Who television series, known as Professor X. (This is canon in some spin-off novels.)
  • The real reason that Davros survived the betrayal by the Daleks was that he prepared defenses in his life support chair after learning about the treacherous nature of his creations from the Doctor.
  • The reason that the Time Lords never showed disapproval of the Doctor failing to prevent the creation of the Daleks in Genesis of the Daleks was that that they were aware that the Doctor's intervention inadvertently allowed Davros to survive when his creations turned on him. When he was revived, his presence created profound schisms in the Daleks which crippled their threat to the universe. Thus they considered the Doctor's mission accomplished.
  • The Daleks have two timelines. One that existed prior to the Doctor's invention in Genesis of the Daleks and the other, after it, in which Davros survives because of the Doctor's inadvertant intervention. Davros causes a schism in the Dalek Empire which will later cause the Empire to collapse and the Daleks to fail.
  • The Colin Baker era story, The Two Doctors, depicts the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and Jamie on a mission for the Time Lords. The Doctor's origins and the Time Lords were not introduced until the final Troughton serial (The War Games) where he calls them for help. This resulted in his trial, forced regeneration, and exile to Earth, while Jamie and Zoe are returned to their respective eras with no memory of the Doctor past their first adventure. Fans have theorized that the Doctor's exile didn't occur immediately: the Doctor and Jamie were on secret missions for a period prior to exile with this period possibly erased from both of their memories before the beginning of the Doctor's exile period and eventual regeneration. This is supported by the fact that contrary to most regeneration episodes, the change-over from Troughton to the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) occurred off-screen between the end of The War Games and the beginning of the next story, Spearhead from Space. It also provides an in-story explanation for the change in appearance of the Second Doctor and Jamie due to the actors being twenty years older. Because season 6 was Troughton's final season, fans often call this theoretical period Season 6B. (This is canon in some spin-off novels.)
  • Ace has the last name McShane. (This is canon in some spin-off novels.)
  • The unproduced second serial The Masters of Luxor may have a place in continuity.
  • Fans have chosen for the most part to ignore or rationalize away a scene in The War Machines in which a character refers to the Doctor as "Doctor Who".
  • Fan speculation has it that the story Inferno portrays a fascist parallel England ruled over by a parallel version of the Doctor, versus a fascist parallel England ruled by an un-named and unknown Big Brother figure. (This is canon in some spin-off novels.)
  • The Jon Pertwee era of the series, featuring the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, takes place in the 1980s. (This is actually a case of fanon supporting facts that were initially established but later ignored by canon - see UNIT dating controversy.)

Digimon Adventure

  • The anime ends with the death of Oikawa after Belial Vamdemon's defeat, anything occurring afterwards didn't actually happen and is not admissible for evidence in shipper wars, though it has made for some good fanfics. (The epilogue, which was created later, was controversial amongst fans)

Dragon Ball Z

Gargoyles

  • The English gargoyles were close allies of King Arthur during his reign.

Halo

  • Events in the Halo series are ambiguously tied to the earlier Marathon series. Dates Halo takes place in match a strangely blank section in the Marathon timeline, for example. This example is considerably unique, as the connections between the game series are offical canon, but are left open-ended enough to be judged by the player, not by them.

Harry Potter

Hellsing

  • It is widely misconcieved that Integral Hellsing's father is called Arthur. In fact, his name is never mentioned. Arthur is actually the name of Integral's grandfather/great grandfather in the Hellsing: Dawn prequel
  • It is similiarly widely thought that Integral is half asian. This is based on nothing more than her skin-tone.

Highlander

  • The events of the movie Highlander 2: The Quickening never happened (sometimes phrased in parody of the series' tagline as "There Should Have Been Only One"). Some fans extend this to also remove the events of Highlander: The Final Dimension, the Highlander TV series, and/or Highlander: Endgame. The apparent incompatibility between the events of Highlander 2 and the rest of the series could well be considered to retcon those events out of existance.

James Bond

  • There are only nine 00 agents (001-009). In fact, Ian Fleming mentions an 0010 in his novel, Moonraker and a later book by Raymond Benson mentions an 0012. On a related note, some fanon states that M is in fact the original 001, the first 00-agent; nothing in Fleming supports this.

Knight Rider

  • KITT, the car on Knight Rider, is actually built around a Cylon brain that crash-landed on earth at the end of Galactica 1980.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

  • The full name of the evil organization THRUSH is the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity. In fact the meaning of THRUSH was never revealed in the TV series; however, one of the many original novels based upon the series suggested the above meaning.

Marathon

  • The main character is the 10th Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg covertly brought aboard the colony ship Marathon.

Mario video games

  • Wario and Waluigi are brothers (or at least half-brothers).
  • The Mario Brothers were born in the Mushroom Kingdom, but transported to our world and raised in New York (TV shows, movies, and games, are all contradictory on this matter). Furthermore, the ending to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island shows both Mario and Luigi held by parents in a Mushroom Kingdom style house, suggesting they never came from Earth.
  • Mario and Luigi's last name is Mario, providing a better explanation for their title of "The Mario Bros." They were first given this last name in the controversial Super Mario Bros. movie.

Mobile Suit Gundam

  • The demise of the Zeon officer Colonel Makube (or M'Quve) is depicted in the TV series but, like many other scenes, was cut out for the movie compilations. Many fans have specualted that the battle resulting in Makube's death never happened in the movies. Thus he survived the entire war and took Dozle's (Dozuru) widow and infant daughter Mineva, the last surviving members of the Zabi family into hiding (Mineva would play a small part later in Zeta Gundam), though there are no lines in the movie that clearly state this as the sequel series Zeta Gundam still had yet to be conceived. Hiroyuki Kitakubo's work, Char's Deleted Affair: A Portrait of A Young Comet, in Gundam Ace, an official magazine publiciation, attempts to rectify the matter by having M'Quve killed during the Zeon withdrawal to Axis. It is, however, still generally unclear whether events from the original TV series that were not shown in the movie compilations but were also not replaced by contradictory scenes remain canon. For example, the mobile armor Zakrello does not appear in the movie compilations, but is later briefly seen when characters in Zeta Gundam view a database of known mobile armors.

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

  • The first episode of the series strongly implies that the parents and sister of main protagonist Shinn Asuka were killed by errant shot fired by Kira Yamato, the protagonist of Gundam SEED. It was widely assumed that Shinn blamed Kira (not knowing his actual identity, merely the mobile suit he piloted) for their deaths. However, there was never any direct indication Shinn was aware of who fired the shot, or even of the presence of Kira's Freedom Gundam. When Shinn later encountered Kira's mobile suit in combat, he expressed no anger toward it (or even a sign of recongizing the machine at all), confirming that he was indeed unaware that it might have caused the deaths of his family. Despite this, some fans still insist that Shinn blames Kira, and a few have even claimed it was a continuity error that he was not enraged upon seeing the mobile suit.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, onwards

  • Billy Cranston of Earth and Cestria of Aquitar get married and have two heirs to the Aquitian throne named James and Cera. Upon marriage, they become the king and queen of Aquitar, respectively. This idea came about from the fact that Billy has proven himself to be a capable leader of the Power Rangers, thereby giving enough evidence that Billy should be king.
  • Billy's last name is technically unknown, but generally assumed to be "Cranston". His last name was never revealed in the show; it comes from unused Saban materials.

The Prisoner

  • Number 6 is John Drake, the hero of Patrick McGoohan's previous series Danger Man aka Secret Agent. McGoohan has publicly denied it, although series co-creator and script editor George Markstein always maintained it was true. The established canon contains some minor hints that Drake and Number Six might be the same person, in particular "Potter", a character who appears in the Danger Man episode "Koroshi" and in the Prisoner episode "The Girl Who Was Death" (which was based on an unused Danger Man script). Potter only appears in Prisoner, however, in a story within a story whose relation to actual events in Six's life is rendered very questionable by the end of the episode. Certain officially licensed novels based on The Prisoner state definitely that Number Six is John Drake (but they also state facts that most Prisoner fans would be hesitant to see as canon, such as the entire Village being an experiment by extraterrestrials.)
  • In "The Chimes of Big Ben" Nadia "strangely has no number". This claim is even repeated on the back of some video boxes, but it is based on a misreading of the episode; Nadia is clearly and openly assigned the number 8, and even though she later angrily declares "I'm no Number Eight, or Number anything else!" it's a statement with no more actual force than Six's declaration "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

Ranma 1/2

  • Akane is the only one to use mallets.
  • Cologne is always coming up with schemes to hook Ranma into coming back to China. By the same token, Shampoo is always putting a magical spice into Ranma's food to lead to the same goal.
  • The Joketsuzoku (Amazons only in the English translation) are male haters, only use them for breeding stock, and other anti-male associations.
  • Kodachi is as dense as her brother in that she can't tell that Ranma and "The Pig-Tailed Girl" are the same person.

Robotech

  • The Jack Mckinney Robotech novelizations, especially The End of The Circle are widely panned by Robotech fans and many choose to ignore some of the events depicted in them. Series creator Carl Macek has stated that The End of The Circle bears little resemblance to what were to be his plans for Robotech III: The Odyssey, except that his notes did involve a causal loop via time travel which explains why Admiral Hunter and the Robotech Expeditionary Force failed to return to Earth in the final Robotech TV Episode: Symphony of Light. Something involving Hunter and the REF was to happen in the past that that would give rise to the events in the first Robotech Episode. Thus, fans mostly assume that Scott Bernard's search for Rick Hunter and the SDF3 (which was presumably supposed to be the premise of The Odyssey) is either a one way trip for Scott (if he finds them) or a total failure.

The Simpsons

  • The 48 short-length Simpsons cartoons aired as "bumper" material on The Tracey Ullman Show, where the Simpson family, some other characters, and a few catchphrases originated, are not part of the show's canon. This is widely assumed by Simpsons fans for several reasons: Continuity established in the shorts was routinely ignored on the half-hour show, even from the very first season (for example, Maggie speaks intelligibly a few times in the shorts); Lisa's characterization is completely changed (on the full-length program she is normally intelligent, mature, and reserved, while in the "Ullman shorts" she is as much a rambunctious troublemaker as Bart); and while many episodes of the half-hour show make direct reference to the plots of previous episodes going back to the first season, there are no clear allusions to the stories of the early shorts. In the entire lengthy run of the half-hour program, the only direct references to the Ullman shorts occur in episodes which fall outside regular continuity (including a Halloween episode and a retrospective about the show).

Star Blazers: The Quest for Iscandar.

  • The first Gamilons (Gamilus) seen during the battles in the Solar System (including Major Bane and Colonel Ganz) had the skin color of ordinary Earth humans, in this case Caucasian skintone. Also, in the first appearances of leader Desslok, he had a more mauve skin tone. Like the Klingon issue on Star Trek, this has never been explained but a widespread postulation (found on some fan web sites) jokingly suggests that the Gamilons were originally filmed under bad lighting and that Desslok had that film crew shot.

Space Battleship Yamato movies (Star Blazers)

  • The 1983 movie Final Yamato is set in the Year 2203. According to publications about the 1980-81 TV series Yamato III (aka Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars), Yamato III is set in the Year 2205. Many fans believe that because Yamato III did not measure up to the standards set by the previous two TV series (it was cut from a planned 52 episodes to a 25 episode series and it shows in the choppy animation and pacing), producers intended to remove the Bolar Wars from the continuity by setting Final Yamato two years earlier. In the opening narraration for Final Yamato, however, references are made to the Bolar Federation and to Garuman, thus establishing their importance in events between Be Forever Yamato and Final Yamato. As a result, many fans have also taken it upon themselves to switch the dates for the Bolar Wars and Final Yamato.

Star Trek

  • Ensign Pavel Chekov served on the USS Enterprise in the period depicted in the first season of Star Trek before being promoted to the bridge crew in the second season and encountered Khan Noonien Singh during that time.
  • The reason why Mr. Spock was so emotional during his time with Captain Christopher Pike was that he was briefly dabbling with emotion in his youth.
  • The Klingon homeworld is also known as Klinzhai.
  • The ridged-forehead Klingons that debuted in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are sometimes unofficially referred to as Imperial Klingons thus denoting a difference between them and the more human-looking Klingons of TOS. A related piece of fanon is that the human-looking Klingons were discommoded as a race (origin: the DC Comics graphic novel, Debt of Honor). Various episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine have contradicted all of this, while an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise aired in 2005 has indicated that the smooth-headed Klingons were the product of genetic tampering using human DNA.
  • Fleet Captain is a rank between Captain and Commodore.
  • The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture were followed by a new five-year mission. (The movie was based upon a script for a never-produced second Trek series, and the new five-year mission is referenced in the Star Trek Expanded Universe, but has yet to be acknowledged in canon.)
  • Uhura's first name is Nyota. (Although some novels have chosen Nyota and some reference guides give this as her first name, no first name for the character has ever been mentioned on screen, and Gene Roddenberry said that Uhura had only one name, which meant "Freedom" in Swahili.) In the early 1980s, a fan-produced book series, The Best of Trek suggested that Uhura's first name is Penda but this was not widely adopted by the fan community. On the other hand, Sulu's first name, Hikaru, which was considered fanon for years, became part of official canon when it was mentioned in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The fact the writers didn't take the opportunity in that film to officially give Uhura a first name, too, is seen as confirmation she doesn't have one. (In the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, it seems that Kirk may murmer "Nyota" when speaking to Uhura at one point.)
  • Mr. Spock was the first Vulcan in Starfleet. This has been suggested by non-canon novels and comic books, but has never been established in any television series or movies. To the contrary, Star Trek: Enterprise has established that the first Vulcan in Starfleet is Commander T'Pol.
  • Dr. McCoy is divorced, and has a grown daughter named Joanna. A script introducing Joanna was nearly produced, and several non-canon novels refer to her.
  • The new Enterprise NCC-1701-A given to Kirk at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was formerly the U.S.S. Yorktown. This has been suggested by non-canon sources but was never stated on screen.
  • Lt. Saavik is half-Vulcan and half-Romulan and stays behind on Vulcan at the start of Star Trek IV because she is pregnant with Spock's child as a result of helping him through the pon farr mating drive in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Both these major plot points were included in the early scripts of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV, respectively, but were dropped from the final versions and thus are not considered canonical. A scene in which Spock and Kirk discuss Saavik's mixed heritage was actually filmed for Star Trek II but was cut from the film.
  • Willard Decker of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the son of Commodore Matthew Decker of the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine." Although widely accepted by fans, this relationship has never been established in on-screen canon.
  • The mechanics of the Vulcan nerve pinch have been the subject of much fanon speculation over the years. See the article for a couple of examples.
  • Trelane, a powerful being encountered in the TOS episode "The Squire of Gothos" is a member of the Q Continuum. This speculation has been widespread since The Q was introduced in 1987, however it has never been confirmed in canon. An officially licenced novel, Q-Squared by Peter David suggests Trelane is a Q, however novels are not considered canon.
  • Kirk's exact rank in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and later films is the subject of much speculation. Officially, on screen, he is never referred to as anything other than Admiral, but fanon speculation has suggested that his full rank at the time of TMP was Rear Admiral (or another form of Admiral).
  • Some fans prefer to ignore the existence of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, directed by William Shatner, which is widely regarded as the weakest of the Star Trek films. Gene Roddenberry commented that he considered some elements of the film to be "apocryphal at best," but the film was never officially ejected from canon.

Star Trek: The Animated Series

  • The 22 episodes of this animated series are not considered part of the Star Trek canon by Paramount Pictures (reportedly due to a request by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry). As a result, TAS provides a rare occasion in which officially licenced story developments shown on screen, which normally would fit the definition of canon, are instead rendered fanon. This is very controversial among Trek fans, as TAS established several major elements of the Trek universe, including details about Spock's childhood, and the introduction of the Enterprise's first captain, Robert April, which are not considered official and therefore may be contradicted by future movies or TV series. References to TAS occasionally sneak into scripts for recent Trek series, most recently the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "The Catwalk" and "The Forge" which included direct references to concepts from the TAS episode "Yesteryear". TAS references are widespread in the Expanded Universe of novels and comic books.

Star Trek: Enterprise

  • Fanon clashes with canon on many aspects of this prequel series, with many fans alleging the series violates continuity with the rest of the Star Trek universe, even though many of these facts are based upon fanon, and not accepted canon (see the show's main entry for a list of alleged violations). An example is the treatment of Vulcans on this series, which goes against the culture developed for the race by fans over the years which has never been actually confirmed in canon.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • The insignia for Fleet Admiral is five gold pips within a gold collar rectangle.

Star Wars

  • Han Solo was formerly a Lieutenant Imperial Navy officer who left the service after deciding to free Chewbacca from slavery. In the Expanded Universe, this was confirmed, with Han, a Lieutenant leaving through dishonorable discharge.
  • Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is featured in the major follow-on novels to Star Wars, was an active Vice Admiral in the Imperial Fleet during the time frame of the Star Wars movies.
  • Anakin Skywalker's penultimate duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi ended with him falling into a volcano which traumatically aggravated his wounds received from his former teacher, necessitating the massive medical protheses that would be part of his signature identity of Darth Vader. This comes from a brief paragraph in the Return of the Jedi novelization which describes this event. Has been proven in Revenge of the Sith.
  • The title Darth is a contraction of DARk lord of the siTH.

The Supermarionation TV series of Gerry Anderson

Tintin

  • Tintin is always known under his sole name, which implies that "Tintin" is a nickname. Apparently, after several spin-off comics from Belgium, it seems that Tintin's real name is "Augustin van Kuifkje". Still, it is doubtful since it was not made by Hergé and the "real name" is composed by Tintin's name in Wallish ("Kuifkje") and a typical French first name ending by "tin" (resolving in the syllabe-repetition nickname "Tintin").

Yu-Gi-Oh! (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters)

  • Yugi Moto (Yugi Mutou in the English-language manga and Japanese versions) has a crush on Rebecca Hawkins (Rebecca Hopkins in the Japanese versions).
  • Seto Kaiba's mother died while giving birth to Mokuba. (note: The English anime states that both parents died in an accident, while the manga states that their mother died "shortly after Mokuba was born". The use of "shortly" is intrepreted by fans as anywhere between a few minutes, days, or even months.) The mother actually dying as a result of childbirth complications is also fanon.
  • Seto Kaiba was a victim of physical child abuse ( This assumption came about when a panel in the early yugioh manga depicted a younger Seto wearing a dog collar, being forced to study under piles of books with a riding crop held at his neck by his father [who is sneering, while Seto is frantically huddled over his work]. The young Seto had indications of either beads of sweat, or tears. The intrepretation of the latter would cause some fans to imply that Seto was being physically abused)

Zoids

  • The Organoids bonded to the Liger Zero and Berserk Fury in the New Century Zero anime are Zeke and Shadow respectively from Chaotic Century and Guardian Force.
  • Bit Cloud is descended from Van Freiheit and Fiona from Chaotic Century and Guardian Force. Similarly, Vega Obscura is descended from Raven. Similarly, Sarah, who bears more then just a passing resemblance to Reise from Guardian Force is his mother.
  • Chris Tasker and Kirkland have a relationship.
  • Fuzors is set in the future of New Century Zero
  • In Fuzors, the Energy Liger is actually the Alpha Zoid, and is piloted by RD’s Father (This assumption was often mistaken for fact, even after it was proven otherwise)
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