Head Canons Are Trouble & We Need to Stop Pandering to Them

Today we’re going to talk about head canons and why they can be a horrible thing. You’re probably scoffing to yourself right now and wondering “How can I thinking something happened in a fictional work that is unknown a bad thing when it fills in the hole of a discrepancy or plot contrivance the creators or powers that be made? It’s not hurting anyone!” Well, little do you know is that you answered your own question with your question. What’s worse is that when they are pandered too and played with they can often end with troublesome circumstances that not just impact you, but everything external because we all do not live in a vacuum of isolation when it comes to broadcasting our feelings and thoughts. Let’s look at this analytically for a moment and explain why they are a terrible thing.

Expectation versus Reality:
So let’s say you assume something because of whatever reason. We all do this and some these assumptions and inferences pan out to be correct or accurate to the situation. The fact is that you, as a fan, instantly have made an expectation to the studio to explain it at some point. There’s problems with that ranging from how important or unimportant that detail was and is in the grand scheme of things all the way to if it is addressed and if matches that expectation you made. If is inconsequential if it does and doesn’t match because one’s emotions could very well lead to embittered feelings and turn off to future additions to series as far as officially things are concerned. This also does eventually lead to toxic fandom if one is not careful.

Claiming Ownership:
So you’re adamant about making things fit so you can make sense of it in your head and that’s fine and all, but making head canons are a lot like adding to the story yourself.  Sometimes it’s innocuous or not harmful – other times not so much. With something like Jurassic Park we haven’t gotten a really nice tapestry like we have with say the Star Wars Universe or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s been attempts in recent years to bridge the inconsistent nature of the Jurassic franchise, but they’ve all amounted in fans either ultimately not considering it canon or relevant because there’s no official word or source that is acceptable. Confirmation comes from the creators of the franchise and ultimately not the fans. When fans claim ownership they feel their word is law when it otherwise really isn’t. Going back to our first point about expectation versus reality is when that issue is ultimately address and doesn’t sync up with what the person thought it’s going to get ugly. At least that’s where harmful head canons are concerned. Feeling like you can control the franchise or continuity with where it is going is unfortunately delusional and betrayal itself. What’s worse? The claim of ownership can lead to other feelings that once one has considered they can’t control the thing they love that they need to destroy it altogether because they can’t control it! An all-too common theme that is permeating the Star Wars fandom at this point due to the fallout from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I would source this, but it’s virtually everywhere. You don’t have to look very hard at all.

Toxic Fandom:
In short, this is ultimately what the main point of this discussion is addressing here. While some head canons are innocuous and silly a lot of people love believing in these elaborate fixtures created by themselves (and sometimes others) and use it as a means to not only segregate people that don’t believe as they do, but to also push back to the notion of claiming ownership of the franchise and running with that. Some of us are more guilty of it others, some of us acknowledge it though and snap out of the funk with it. In the end, toxic fandom is disastrous to not just the person in the fandom, but also everybody else external to the fandom as well. It hurts new members coming in as well as everybody else. What ramifications it can hold is even going back to the creators themselves, especially if they partake in the fandom, facing harassment for not things the way the fandom (or a vocal portion rather) have insisted. There have been many an issue with creatives and their fans on social media nowadays actually. While there’s nothing wrong with asking questions or looking for an explanation from the creatives themselves, it is important to be thankful they answered and not harass or even try to upstage.

The implications to why head canons is pretty much self-explanatory in a lot of cases, and again a lot of people may not go that far with them or even be aware of the fact they are eroding the foundation of the fandom they take part in while some, not so much. So what can be done? There’s few things that can be done, discouraging verbally is a continual and an insanely infinitely repetitive task that doesn’t feel like one can make head way with. It’s frustrating because if you’re rational minded or okay with unknowns you have to cope with a sea of ignorance and self-importance that can even undermine your own feelings the media property you have a fandom in. A shorter way of explaining this “it kills your soul” basically.

Why? It often feels like there’s an unlimited amount of insisting and antagonizing over an unknown or possible discrepancy with people looking for a way to explain it instead of just accepting. There’s no fault in asking why and wanting to find out exactly, the problem is when the truth is sometimes there is no explanation! Sometimes things don’t need to be explained, but simultaneously one needs not to take that out of context altogether either. So when someone says the Raptors were responsible for the Venture boat that lead to the San Diego Incident, the Rex in JP3 is the juvenile with the broken leg from the second film, or even the Spinosaurus is a hybrid are all cases of explaining a discrepancy or perceived one. There’s really no explanation needed for any of these because it’s either not needed or blanketed into the plot of the film itself. We need to see these as they are here and they are really distractions that undermine what the creators are eventually going to work on for their end game or the pay off once the series eventually concludes. Sometimes with focusing on these things we miss the big stuff that is coming. Once again I’d like to point out that we can’t know everything and a lot of that journey is learning. A lot of things in the JP series can be taken as they are given to us. Simultaneously we have to also to learn to accept when there’s a simple explanation, no explanation, or we can’t know something as well because it either was poorly planned or just simply poorly executed. With Jurassic Park there’s plenty of flaws, but there’s plenty of positives as well and what matters is we all work to help keep the fandom an inclusive, welcoming, and wide accepting place.