Monday, July 3, 2017

Is Star Wars Science- fiction or Fantasy?

 It's the age old debate among nerds- What exactly is Star Wars? Science fiction or fantasy?

It's set in the past, so it's fantasy! But it has space ships and laser swords and pistols- it's science fiction!

For the record, STAR WARS definitely IS fantasy- here's why.

Being a fan of both "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" the differences are fairly easy to sort out. In Trek when the Enterprise hits light speed, there is a reason for it- explanation for why the dilithium crystals can be used as fuel, why the Genesis Device can create life from lifelessness and why V'ger is seeking out it's creator in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture;" (the first and only hard core science- fiction Trek film to date) a science, heavy on the fiction, explanation is given with some usual moralizing to make it go down tasty. Techo-babble explains it.

 In "Star Wars" the Millennium Falcon goes to light speed because it can. How it goes to light speed is totally irrelevant in a story concerned with fairy tale themes.
Edgar Rice Burrows never fully explains how John Carter gets from Earth to Barsoom (Mars) with nothing more than a magic Amulet.
 Science fiction is often referred to these days as speculative fiction. In some cases, predictor of what might happen in the future- 100 years or more, sometimes less in the case of "Star Trek". Jules Verne was big innovator, anticipating nuclear submarines, U-boats from his perch in late 19th century. Arthur C. Clarke with space travel, George Orwell's "1984," is prescient, now more than ever with the government's vigorous surveillance and constantly increasing and creative abilities to spy on the populace.

 Those authors often wrote about how technology changes humanity- sometimes for the better, but often for the worse. Star Wars has no interest in discussing technology as its philosophical themes are more generally known through age old truths and moral acceptance.

 One of the more popular themes in Science-fiction is what it means to be human. Trek constantly mined this through out the film series and the many spin-offs. Android Data was taken into question about his ability to work next to humans and think like them despite being an android. Data slowly became part of the "family" of Star Trek and was accepted for who and what he was- Pinocchio complex and all becoming their equal. Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, "A.I." explores these same themes as David, a manufactured little boy, is bought by a couple with a sickly real son. A beautiful film that shows the organic creations were far more colder and cruel than the artificial one. Again, technology used to explore what it means to be human, what makes a family and love is not solely a human creation. 

 In Star Wars, droids are often seen as property- sold off in the SW version of "slave auctions" as seen in ANH with the Jawas offering up R2-D2 and C-3P0 to Owen Lars and nephew Luke. Artificial Intelligence of a droid is never taken beyond it being a droid. R2 is a rare exception as he's never had his memories erased and has become quite intelligent, resourceful and independent. Despite R2 being attached to his "Master" Luke, he is there to serve the organic life forms- nothing more.

 Science fiction almost never has a place for GOD or the concept of Divine beings- its always an Alien being taking advantage of the gullible masses. "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" a shady, religious nut takes the Enterprise hostage and demands to be taken to the planet of Sha-ka-rey. The Planet of GOD. Of course Kirk and crew discover him to be a phony alien deity who is too interested in a Starship and his scam is eventually revealed.

Battlestar Galactica- the sequel series, is an exception of sorts as it straddled the fence with it's humans very much believing in the GODS- the Lords of Kobol. As did the Cylons. The series did lean towards the anti-God however, or at least anti-religion, as it showed the fanatics of killing innocents in the name of religion and the cult of extremism in a post 911 world. The original Battlestar was very much heavy on fantasy as its religion overtones were slightly more positive and the Cylons were strictly robots attempting to kill off humanity as they felt they were a superior being.

 Fantasy embraces the concept of God as it fits with the intangible divine purpose. A "Force" driving the characters motivations- Adama searching for Earth, Luke for his adventures and the kids of Narnia searching for Aslan. All seeking to overcome evil either in an outside force or within oneself.

 Science-fiction is always in the future tense; some in a positive future, others in dystopia. Issac Asimov's "I, Robot," Robert Heinlein's "Starship Troopers," Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 541" 2001, Star Trek, Space: 1999, Babylon 5, Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion and even "Lost in Space."

 Nearly all fantasies take place in the past- Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars and Narnia Chronicles, Princess of Mars. "Harry Potter" being the rare exception as it's time is usually the present. 

 At it best, fantasy serves to ponder the deep spiritual themes. Philosophical themes and moral quandaries present in our culture for centuries. Characters presented with good vs evil, loyalty, sacrifice, duty, honor, friendship are all played out in the theater of orcs, droids, ewoks, Jedi, talking Lions and light sabers. Also the genre is full of stark, sometimes dark warnings. Both the book and the film,"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Willy Wonka" reminding kids to listen to their parents. "Time Bandits" tells parents to listen to their kids, ("It's eee-vill! Don't touch it!") 

Star Wars is NOT science fiction!

Friday, April 8, 2016


Death Star
It is TIME for expanding EXPOSÉ into what we've had a vision to do since last fall! WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS AND WANT YOU ALL INVOLVED!!

1) GUEST CO-HOSTS for "The Star Wars Exposé Show" #podcast

2) BLOGGERS (writers) for the NEW www.StarWarsExposé.com website
3) SPECIAL SEGMENT APPEARANCES on the "Exposé UPDATE Show" #podcast
4) ADMINS for the LEADERSHIP TEAM of this Exposé #Facebook group
5) ADMINS for the Star Wars Exposé TWITTER account
6) PROFESSIONALS who want to PARTNER with US for the BIGGEST ENTITY of STAR WARS PROFESSIONALS joining together to BE THE VOICE in the Star Wars Community 

-Jeremy Jmiah Williamson