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Star Wars has different levels of canon and explanations for each level (movies, books, games and so on).

From what I've seen in Star Trek, there seems to be one level of canon: If it was on screen (other than the animated series), it's canon (although some people claim the 2009 movie and Star Trek: The Final Frontier don't really count). If it's not on screen, it's not canon.

Is that it? Or are there some games that are a second level of canon, or some books or other material considered to be a higher level than other media? Or is there just one level of canon in Star Trek?

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Per my answer to this question, yes there are levels of canonicity. These are set by the studio as well as there being broad agreement across the more (ahem) avid fan base.

Canon Sources;

1) The TV episodes (TOS, TNG, Voy, DS9, ENT) and the 12 films are the highest canon (as well as transcripts, deleted scenes, Animated Series and the various IDW (ongoing) Comics, where they don't conflict with what happened on screen)

2) Original scripts (which may or may not mirror what actually happened on the show)

3) Interviews with the writers and producers, cast and crew (AKA "Voice of God")

4) Canon reference books such as the "TNG Technical Manual", "DS9 Technical Manual", and "Voyager Technical manual". These were originally written as reference manuals for potential script writers.

5) Non-canon reference books such as "Mr Scott's Guide To The Enterprise" and the "Starfleet Technical Manual". These were written by people closely associated with the show but may have been contradicted later. They're usually considered 'canon unless otherwise contradicted'.

6) Official novelisations of various episodes except where contradicted.

Non-canon Sources;

7) Deleted scenes where they do conflict with established canon

8) Officially licensed properties such as the Star Trek Games, RPGs, Crossover-comics and Trek comics produced prior to 2012.

9) Expanded-Universe Star Trek books. Those written by those involved in the show (such as Bill Shatner, Jeri Taylor and Armin Shimerman) are generally considered more worthwhile than those written by people with no involvement in the show.

10) Fan-made properties such as Star Trek: Phase II and fanfiction

  • I did not see this answer when it was posted. I have no idea why, since I do check notifications. It was just brought to my attention in chat, so I've changed my selection to this answer. – Tango Aug 19 '16 at 17:05
  • "Canon sources [...] Non-canon reference books" - looks a bit odd. What's the difference between canon and non-canon reference books? – Rand al'Thor Aug 19 '16 at 17:12
  • @RandAl'Thor - Star Trek is relatively unique in that in addition to a bunch of Paramount 'authorised' reference texts (like the Encyclopedia, Writers Guides, Technical manuals and Medical books) they turned a blind eye to the sale of a bunch of completely fan-written works like the Starfleet Academy Training Books, fact books, RPG guides and endless ship guides; cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/REF.php. Fandom books are usually considered non-canon. – Valorum Aug 19 '16 at 17:31
  • @Valorum There's no such thing as "relatively unique" </pedant> :-) – Rand al'Thor Aug 19 '16 at 17:32
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Memory Alpha, though only a fan wiki, has an excellent page about what they consider canon. You can find it at http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Memory_Alpha:Content_policy_FAQ

  • I'm glad to see that the animated series is now considered canon. – Keith Thompson Mar 1 '12 at 3:30
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    @KeithThompson Small note, the animated series isn't 100% canon. Specifically, it's canon as long as it's not later contradicted by something on one of the live-action series/movies (there's apparently many instances of this, but I haven't seen TAS) – Izkata Mar 1 '12 at 4:16

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