Andalucia Steve

...living the dream

The preciousness of sci-fi 

I always hated Star Wars and here's why...

Toulouse Game Show - 501th legion Starwars - 2011-11-26- P1290162OK I'm going to upset a lot of people here, some of whom are friends who I really respect, but I HATE STAR WARS! There - I've said it!.

I spent most of the late sixties and early seventies reading PROPER science fiction, everything from Wells to Asimov. What distinguished those authors was that they were prescient, they looking into the future to warn us of forcoming problems. Even the first generation of Star Trek did a great job asking questions about what would happen to 'race' in the future or how the earth would go about the diplomatic issues of dealing with aliens.

Star Wars did none of this. There was no new science and no concept of the nature of the issues our 'afterbares' may have to deal with. Star Wars was just good guys versus bad guys, or as someone said, cowboys and indians in space.

So much was the publicity before Star Wars was released, that I formed much of this opinion before the movie even opened, and as such declined to part with a penny to go and see it or even even rent it on video. It was many years later before the film finally appeared on TV one christmas that I got a 'free' viewing. Perhaps because I had preconceptions but I found it as boring as watching the proverbial paint drying.

To this day I've not parted a penny watching any of the franchise, and I think perhaps franchise is the key to why. Looking back on it, Star Trek the original series was an important, seminal influence on me when I was growing up. Despite the cheesey sets and costumes, the message of the stories was always noble, constructive and kind - the science always asked questions, and you only have to google the science of star trek to determine how influencial Gene Rodenberry's notions were. But what happened to Star Trek later on is that it turned into a franchise, someone turned a wheel and out rolled films, spin-offs etc all of which had the look and feel of the original but not the spark of creativity. What we saw in American film and TV through the 70's and 80's is a devotion to the formula. Anything other than reproducing past success became a risk for the studios hence Rocky 24 etc, so the creativity was slowly ironed out of Sci-Fi as it was everything else.

In this environment , in order to get made Star Wars had to dumb down and stick to traditional Hollywood naratives and as such became very bland from the Sci-Fi point of view. I've nearly come to blows to people before about the relevance of Star Wars to Sci-Fi but I usually win the argument by asking what novel concept appeared in Star Wars that had not been seen before. I usually get a stream of well, robots, light sabres and hover bikes, but come on, we'ed seen it all before.

Addendum

I had to amend this page on 9 Jan 2015 because the original Wiki Commons picture of the Star Wars characters had been removed for copyright reason. I hate intellectual property and the way it is used as a hammer by big studios to quash an grassroots creativity (such as the crowd-funded Stark Trek movie 'Axanar'

Posted by Steve Gould Thursday, October 16, 2014 12:11:00 AM Categories: Sci-fi