Robotech continuity refers to the "official" history of the series. It consists of the core canon, including the animated series, and secondary continuity.
This idea seems to work in the same way that the BBC's policy of Doctor Who canon ("There is no canon") does. Like the BBC, Harmony Gold has a strong belief that any fan can hold his own interpretations of the Robotech universe. However, both Harmony Gold and the BBC do not stay limited to what previous media has done, and they think of what happened in visual media to be the highest regard to them. Because of the drastically different wording of the simplest forms of each explanation ("There is no canon" vs "Nothing is canon"), Harmony Gold's rule tends to be more controversial than the BBC's.
Other example is the continuity direction of the Star Wars franchise in which they classified all the content outside of the six movies and the Clone Wars TV series as part of a separate (Non-Canon) timeline and that moving forward all the content released, be videogames, novels or comics will be considered part of the main timeline.
The Jack McKinney books, for instance, covered the time that the creators of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles wanted to illustrate. Thus, they had to remove the book from the universe of the show to create new media. Most other spin-off media (books, comics) have not had such a direct contradiction. Thus, most other media has stayed in a "grey zone," where the story can be seen as canon to some of the fans, but not necessarily to the creators of any Harmony Gold work.
For the sake of consistency, we here at Robotech Saga wiki have decided to sort all media into three categories and groups for organization, in addition to non-narrative references.
Primary Canon sources
The original TV stories, considered sources above all else. On this wiki, these stories include:
- The original 85 episode anime, including The Macross Saga, The Robotech Masters, and the New Generation
- The three episodes produced of Robotech II: The Sentinels, either in the form of the 1986 home movie release or the three separate episodes released on the remastered DVDs.
- Robotech: The Movie
- Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
- Robotech: Love Live Alive
- If made, Robotech: Academy
- The post-reboot comic series, including Robotech: From the Stars, Robotech: Invasion, Robotech: Love & War, Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles, and Robotech/Voltron.
Secondary Canon sources
Secondary sources are all other sources not overwritten by Primary Sources. These sources can be viewed as canon by certain fans, but Harmony Gold themselves can choose to ignore, and thus overwrite them, at any time. Because of the many years Robotech has been around, many of these stories show slight inconsistencies with other media, and thus should be considered carefully. Some of them, despite this fact, have mecha, characters, and story elements that have been acknowledged in Primary Canon sources.
- This includes the comic series Robotech II: The Sentinels, those's canonicity was both embraced and partially rejected in its short sequel Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. It is still possible to see it as "possibly canon," despite the many inconsistencies between it and its sequel. Until another Sentinels Project is made or the series is explained, this comic series will continue to be valid on this wiki.
- The Robotech video games, including Robotech: Battlecry and Robotech: Invasion. This is due to gameplay variations.
- Several comic book series that were published before the reboot of the expanded storyline but do not overtly contradict the primary canon publications. These comics include Robotech: Rolling Thunder, Robotech: Megastorm, Robotech: Macross Missions and many others from Eternity Comics, Antarctic Press and Academy Comics.
On the edge
The separation between a story being secondary canon and non-canon is certainly foggy, and thus on this site we often try to allow the reader to justify the validity of each narrative point of confusion. There is, however, a justification for disallowing some stories compared to others. This basically comes down to when stories that are otherwise "secondary" are over written or "retold" by primary sources. One instance of this is Robotech: Return To Macross, which told the story of Roy Fokker and the other Macross cast members in the early days of the SDF-1. This series meets all other qualifications to be in this category of media, except that a primary series (Robotech: From the Stars) also tells this story in the same time-frame. Because of this, the former series is seen as non-canon on this site.
There are many, many comics which would become non-canon on this site if they were to be revisited as primary sources. Notable examples are Robotech Genesis: The Legend of Zor and Robotech II: The Sentinels -- both which would have been totally over written in the Robotech canon if Robotech: Academy had been fully produced. The same would be true if a comic were produced that would change universal vision of these events. Key examples of this include most stories that are set after the end of the New Generation saga, which are contradicted by Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles, and Robotech: Love Live Alive.
There are exceptions made to this policy. For instance, basic confusion of minor dates do not disqualify a story entirely. For instance, many stories set during the era between the Macross Saga and the Masters Saga will feature child versions of New Generation characters with small cameos, such as Scott Bernard and Rook Bartley. This is due to the shift of the official Robotech timeline that occurred around 2001, which brought the New Generation ten years into the future (to account for many aspects of the third saga). Rather than remove these stories from secondary canon due to these small discrepancies, the stories are currently allowed. To note discrepancies on pages is encouraged, as we should not try to speculate on or ignore issues in question.
Non-canon sources are those which have been removed completely from the Robotech universe. These include:
- Robotech Wars, which was never meant to be canon
- All books by the writing duo Jack McKinney, particularly The End of the Circle. It is suggested in both the books and the comics that the books are an in-universe look at the events of the story, so it is possible to see some inconsistencies in that light, although the books are certainly not valid as actual events.
- The Robotech RPG books, which contradict the later portions of the animated series and set up more of the basis for a story than an actual tale.
- The few original comics which contradict the events of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and Love Live Alive's timeline.
- Any comic adaptation which contradicts what it is adapting. The Robotech: The Movie comic adaptation, for instance.
- Comic stories which have been replaced by Primary sources. These include all stories connected to Return to Macross.
- Stories retconned out of the universe by other stories. This includes Robotech: Aftermath.
A Tertiary source is an index and/or textual consolidation of primary and secondary sources. We at Robotech Saga Wiki are against using these sources in the place of actual information, and the practice should be avoided as much as possible. These sources may be used to flesh out technical infobox information (such as size), but otherwise has only a place in the behind-the-scenes section. We consider any product that doesn't have a narrative to be one of these sources.
These sources include: