I just posted a question about Star Wars (1977) and inferred at one point near the end of that question that Rogue One (2016) was not the first attempt to give some depth to the backstory of how Rebels acquired the Death Star plans.

In my comments I provided links to two online sources of details on past attempts to flesh out the backstory of Star Wars (1977): Information on the 1981 NPR radio drama as well as more info on various books/media that touch on the backstory of the Death Star plans.

So that said, is there any proper way of presenting these disparate sources into something interesting, more fleshed out than the Wikia pages that would be able to latch onto the interest in Rogue One as well as providing the Internet with some depth to the topic?

I mean, it is interesting to dive into this stuff. But creating a “list request” is a known no-no here, right?

  • 2
    I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Do you want to ask a question, write an answer, or both?
    – Adamant
    Jan 10, 2017 at 1:55
  • If there are only a few different versions of how the Death Star plans were stolen, the question “How many different versions of the theft of the Death Star plans are there?” would probably be fine.
    – Adamant
    Jan 10, 2017 at 1:57
  • That question already exists.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Jan 22, 2017 at 23:58

1 Answer 1



Not all list questions are disallowed. As noted here, the main issue is with open-ended lists, which tend to be too broad and to accumulate single-item "me too" answers:

It’s not reasonable to ask a question on a Q&A site that requires knowledge of all works that ever existed, and then request a massive list of the works that contain one specific element. This sort of question lacks a single, finite answer. In practice these questions accumulate a steady flow of “me, too” answers where people add a few examples in a new answer.

And similarly, as noted in the consensus answer to a newer question:

By themselves, “long” list questions from a specific small domain aren’t necessarily a problem; unless a specific question attracts 1-item answers instead of a comprehensive list.

A list with a short, finite scope, such as the list of all (Legends and canon) Star Wars backstories for the theft of the Death Star plans, could be on-topic. But it depends on how it’s asked, and what sort of answers it’s seeking. A question that asks for a full summary of even a single account of how the Death Star plans were stolen (e.g. Rogue One) could be too broad, and it seems like you might be suggesting that sort of question, based on wanting something “more fleshed out than the wiki pages.”

On the other hand, a question like “How many different versions are there of the theft of the Death Star plans?” would probably be perfectly fine. There shouldn’t be more than a handful, so it would be a nice, finite list. But a good answer to this question wouldn’t necessarily contain a full summary of each novel, radio drama, and movie that detailed the theft of the Death Star plans.

If you really want to write a point-by-point summary and comparison of the various stories of how the Rebels acquired the plans, on the other hand, there might be a place for that on the blog, which allows for long-form writing free of many of the restrictions of the Q&A format.


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