Battlestar Wiki talk:Fanwanking

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Bad example

The first example of a fanwank given at the bottom of the page is not a fanwank (though the second one certainly is); it is precisely what is described immediately above those examples: Derived content in the form of very basic deductive reasoning "glue". Esepecially in this series, where the writers quite consciously leave large gaps between many episodes, yet in which significant changes have occurred, and simply leave it to the viewer to fill in the obvious elided details. SMcCandlish 16:57, 26 September 2007 (CDT)

It might not be the best example, but I wouldn't call this derived content. It's really just speculation. And IMO implausible. Noone left in the Colonial star system knew that the rag tag fleet would make a jump to the Prolmar Sector. Space is huge. For random other ships meeting up with the Fleet is pretty unlikely. It happens with Pegasus, but that is actually explained in the episode. --Serenity 17:02, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
(Edit conflict; it's funny that you bring up precisely what I wrote below as a fanwank!) PS: A genuinely fanwanking variant would be something like positing that various other ships, escaping from some planet other than Caprica, fought their way past a Cylon base ship, and happened by chance to jump into the same sector as the original fleet of Galactica-led refugees (i.e. lots of imagined, unsupported details, in contrast to a very simple, unadorned explanation of the obvious, "more ships came later", that does not have to be explained as a retcon, a feature that isn't particularly common in modern SF to begin with, especially in comparison to things like comics, and appears to be being studiously avoided for the most part by BSG's creators.) Another example of a fankwank version might be something like that the original census of ships was incorrect, because the transmitter beacons of many of the smaller vessels were damaged, and several of them are multi-part ships that for one reason or another later separated into individual smaller craft. Again, wild speculation with unsupported details, vs. plausibly deductible simple assumption that we can be fairly certain that we were intended to make. The reason I go on about this is because the consensquences of labeling any simple deduction a fanwank would be pretty serious with this show. For example, in Season 2, the survivor count dropped pretty radically from episode to episode, yet were were not shown ever single death or disappearance, with the result that an overly persnicketty fanwank/retcon policy would leave us no choice but to label every single Season 2 episode retconned. SMcCandlish 17:18, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
To respond to your response: What you've said there would certainly be a fanwank. What I'm getting at is that "more ships joined later" without elaborate theorizing as to the whys and wherefores is not. I.e., do not posit anything about how they did join, only that they obviously did. It could be any number of reasons. They picked up a distress signal from some damaged ships. They visited a nearby moon or space station, ravaged by Cylons but not a major target, and found survivors. They destroyed a convoy of Cylons that had captured a bunch of human vessels, and recovered those ships, etc., etc., etc. Any such specific reasoning would be a fanwank. "It used to be X number, and now it is X+Y number, and X+Y is larger than X, ergo there are more ships" is isn't even really deductive reasoning per se, it is simply taking what the creators of the series told us at face value instead of treating them like they can't get their core details straight in their own heads right off the bat. To me, it is more of a fanwank to yell "retcon! retcon!" (because this asserts that the fan has insight - namely that a mistake has been made - that is not supported by any canonical evidence) than to simply believe what the story tells us about itself. I'm not arguing for giving this as an inverse example of a non-fanwank, nor do I intend to edit the relevant article to state that more ships joined (I'd rather leave that to editor consensus, but it's clear in my mind that viewers who respect the show and its creators have no choice but to assume, as clearly intended to assume, that more ships did in fact join; but that's just my opinion, and I can be opinionated about such matters). What I do argue for is replacement of that disputed example with one that is more obviously actually fanwanking, that anyone would agree is fanwanking. SMcCandlish 17:18, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
PPS: On a careful read of BW:CJ#Derived Content, I believe that the unadorned conclusion that more ships joined the fleet is in fact precisely what is covered at BW:CJ#Derived Content. Either the example should be replaced, or it has to be recognized that BW:CJ and BW:FANW are in direct conflict with each other and one or both of them has to be changed to resolve the conflict. To be more clear: Citing both relevant episodes (official sources that provide ship counts) satisfies the "Special considerations" section of BW:CJ that the "Logical deductions" section is being used appropriately (and the "Plausible speculation" one doesn't even have to come into play). User:SMcCandlish|SMcCandlish]] 17:29, 26 September 2007 (CDT)