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What do the terms canon, screen accuracy, and prop accuracy mean?

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Canon as it relates to the STAR WARS Universe as a whole is used to define which set of stories are considered true and part of the official continuity (official history/documentation of in-universe events).  The canon universe consists of the STAR WARS live-action films, The Clone Wars and Rebels TV series, and any other stories (novels, shorts, comics, games, etc.) that were produced AFTER Disney acquired LucasFilms in 2012.  Anything prior to then release in any of those media are now considered non-canon/unofficial and are collectively under the Legends brand - previously the Legends was known as the Expanded Universe which was actually canon as LucasFilms had different tiers/levels of canon; therefore, it was simply not on the same level of continuity as the live-action films or TV series, but still regarded as "official."  Again, this is no longer the case, but merely a bit of the history.

Canon can also have an additional meaning with respect to costuming and the 501st Legion: keeping true to the original costume/character as it was presented and portrayed in the media it was originally released (regardless of whether the media is considered canon or not). Essentially, adding your own personal touch and customizations to a Legion approved costume/character would make it non-canon.

Screen accuracy

The Legion's definition:
the term "Screen Accurate" is tossed about very loosely these days. There are two sides of the field on this topic. One side will tell you that Screen Accurate can only be from Screen used items, or Lineage. The other will tell you it is in the details and craftsmanship, or build.

For the 501st your costume must look professional which requires a good build, fit, and function. Remember, the real costumes were built for a movie, not really to stand the test of time. To mimic every detail may be within your realm, but it may not wear well or be ideal for costuming several hours at a time or numerous times throughout a year.

Remember, the 501st is a costume organization that has its standards set at a reachable level. To take your costume to the next level is purely choice. The Costume Reference Library (CRL) is built around the basis that anyone with the desire and the dedication can make and wear a Sith Lord or Dark Side costume of his or her choice.

The terms Screen accuracy vs Prop accuracy as they relate specifically to the Sith Lord Detachment:

You will find that on many other forums the terms screen accurate and prop accurate are one in the same and used interchangeably. This is NOT the case on this forum; We make a distinction between the two.

We define a costume or costume component as being screen accurate if it replicates the look the viewer sees on the big screen down to the minute detail.

We define a costume or costume component as being prop accurate if it shares lineage to the original prop used on set during filming, or if it is made from the exact same material as the original prop, or was sewn/manufactured in the same manner as the original prop, or if it is the same real world part that the costuming department found in order to make the original prop (hence the term "found part"), etc.

The Sith Lord Detachment as a whole is focused more on screen accuracy than it is prop accuracy. We try to bring what we see on the screen and how we see it on screen to life - in real life, we are not on a movie set where one can yell "Cut! Take 2!", there are no camera angles or movie magic tricks to make something look different than how it actually is, there is no movie lighting to hide this or highlight that, etc.

That means that we are not really striving to have all of the parts on our costumes exactly like the original movie prop, but when people see our costumes in person, they look exactly how the original prop APPEARED to look under movie setting conditions.

Here are four examples to better illustrate the differences and why we focus more on screen accuracy:

1) Colors and set lighting: the gunmetal grey paint on Vader's mask was very light when viewed on set, but due to set lighting, it appeared much darker in the final film. Therefore, painting helmets with a much darker gunmetal grey (than was used on the original) in order to replicate the look the original had in the final film, by our definitions, is screen accurate, but not prop accurate.

2) Lineage: If you found extraordinary reference photos for the Emperor's cane, and you sculpted a cane from scratch such that when you were finished, the cane matched the reference photos and de facto the original cane in every aspect, it would be screen accurate but would not have any lineage to the original prop. Conversely, if you were to cast a cane from the mold they used to create the original cane or a mold made from by casting the original cane, it would have lineage to the original cane and would be prop accurate (and in all likelihood screen accurate as well).

3) Materials used: If you found some type of cotton or synthetic blend material for the Pre-Armor Vader hooded robe and by the time you finished constructing it, it matched the original wool prop in every detail (color, texture, sheen, weight, etc.) it would not be prop accurate, but it most certainly would be screen accurate. This is a very important aspect for our costuming purposes - the actual material does not matter; we do not care what is actually is, as long as it looks exactly like it should given the material the part was originally constructed with/in.

4) Found parts: If you felt that the Frank Thomas Titan Touring Boot 101's were out of your price range for Darth Maul footwear, and you took some reference photos down to a cobbler and he/she matched every detail of the Titan (regardless if he/she constructed it with leather or not - see #3), you would have a screen accurate Darth Maul boot, but it, of course, would not be prop accurate.

Screen accuracy is what this community is oriented towards and strives for in its costuming endeavors. This is the methodology that went into constructing the baseline standards within the Sith Lord Detachment CRL.  This is not meant to come off as looking down on other communities or people who have different definitions of the two, or those who are oriented towards a different standard of accuracy; nor is it meant that our definition is correct and all others are wrong.  It is simply our viewpoint and how we crafted our approach to costuming in this community; thus, knowing that could save you some confusion during your time spent researching on our forum.  :y:

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