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In Rebels Season Two's finale, Twilight of the Apprentice, it was revealed that Vader has eyebrows, which are missing in RotS & RotJ.

In the old days of the Holocron system, G-canon would override T-canon as in the aforementioned instance. In the present Disney system, however, I'm unconvinced the same approach applies. Further elaboration in the spoiler tag below because it's slightly off-topic, but it explains how I arrived at that belief. You can skip the elaboration if you want.

The override approach allowed tolerance of any contradiction introduced, which is extremely confusing and unfriendly to newcomers to the universe. At one point, George Lucas decided to abandon his prior vision of Star Wars and overwrite it with a new vision. That was how the second, still-canon Clone Wars came into being. This was eventually formalised in Disney's official canon revamp. The new system worked on creating a singular, consistent world with content planned for commercial release decades into the future. That implies no override, and as such "all content are created equal". However, these material in George's and subsequently Disney's new vision have significant differences from even the movies before this vision change by George. One notable disconnect I felt when rewatching RotS recently is that the encounter between Grievous, Obi-Wan & Anakin feels too strongly like a first encounter as opposed to a meeting between familiar foes. Vader's eyebrows is just another difference. If we continue with the movie-over-TV approach to determining canonicity, most if not all Grievous-Kenobi-Skywalker scenes would have to be non-canon for the scene in RotS to make sense, so much so that the Clone Wars can hardly be worth calling.

As explained in the elaboration, I find it difficult to accept that the movies can still be considered to override everything else, such as TV shows, even if they are all Disney canon. My current headcanon, therefore, is that instead of "movies are more canon than television", it's now "the more recent work is canon". I can't prove this to be true, however, but it seems to be the more appropriate policy that doesn't contradict with what Disney retained as canon imo.

Considering that Rebels (which is canon) is produced more recently than RotS & RotJ (which are also canon), can we say that Vader's eyebrows are retconned into existence?

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    You're at the point where you need to know about dark vador's eyebrows? you should take a break :3 – RiddlerNewComer Apr 15 '16 at 10:24
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    This is the silliest serious question I've seen in a while and I love it. +1 and hope the answer is just as silly. – Ixrec Apr 15 '16 at 10:24
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    Hey, you know what they said growing up: never stop asking questions ;) – thegreatjedi Apr 15 '16 at 10:30
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    I'm not sure if this really makes a difference or not, but are you specifically asking whether we should consider that Vader's eyebrows now canonically exist; or whether we can term their reappearance a retcon? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 15 '16 at 11:12
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    "I find it difficult to accept that the movies can still be considered to override everything else, such as TV shows" -- Placing movies higher may cause some difficulties in understanding pieces of other things, but I would say it still should be done. Star Wars has always had the movies be the central aspect that the series revolves around. I never felt like the Clone Wars TV series was ever intended to usurp the importance of the movies. If movies are what most people are familiar with, it makes sense for them to be what is treated as most canon. – TOOGAM Apr 15 '16 at 12:49
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Interestingly, Vader's eyebrows have apparently been a bone of contention at LucasFilm for decades. They were originally present in the theatrical release of RotJ

enter image description here

but were then digitally removed for the 2004 DVD release, presumably to line up with the injuries that we then saw in RotS

enter image description here

Since his eyebrows are present in Star Wars: Rebels but missing in Return of the Jedi (both of which are fully Disney canon), we can presume that they're not entirely missing and that he probably just removes them because they aren't as comfortable in his new helmet, bearing in mind that we just saw Ahsoka breaking the original one.


Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo weighed in on this discussion with a series of tweets. Suffice to say, his responses are as helpful as ever.

"To grow back eyebrows is a power only one has achieved. But if we work together I know we can discover the secret." - Darth Sidious

and

According to the doctrine of Darth Bane, Vader's eyebrows follow the rule of two. #CANON.

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    “Broke the original” is probably the oddest sentence I've ever heard applied to eyebrows. Hidalgo’s tweets seem fairly unambiguous to me, though: they are definitely retconned back (or were, when he wrote the tweets). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 15 '16 at 11:08
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    @TOOGAM That just made me realise that it's the original helmet that Ahsoka broke, not his original eyebrows. Dammit! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 15 '16 at 12:45
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    When it comes to the power of Force Eyebrows, Darth Vader has succeeded where Sidious had failed. This is proof enough - Darth Vader has indeed become more powerful than Sidious or Yoda, and he is now the master of the two Sith Lords. That is why he sought out his son as the next apprentice. That is why Sidious sought to destroy Vader in counter to Vader's challenge for the title for Master of the Sith. – thegreatjedi Apr 15 '16 at 13:45
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    Peace is a lie, there are only eyebrows. Through passion, I gain eyebrows. Through strength, I gain eyebrows. Through power, I gain eyebrows. Through eyebrows, my chains are broken. The eyebrows shall free me. – Rogue Jedi Apr 15 '16 at 16:20
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    I don't buy that Lucas removed Vader's brows for consistency reasons considering Anakin's injuries. Seems to me singed eyebrows would grow back. Also seems to me Lucas isn't terribly concerned with things making sense. My guess is they were removed due to an urge to meddle/tweak/perfect, and simple aesthetic feelings (modern reactions to body hair norms have changed), and/or a possible desire to make the man in the helmet look "lighter" and/or more similar to Hayden (i.e. having seen Hayden as young Anakin, Vader's original eyebrows might be thought to look unlike the same person). – Dronz Apr 15 '16 at 18:17

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