Author Topic: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi  (Read 738 times)

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Offline Machiavelli

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How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« on: May 04, 2014, 05:42:23 PM »
Lewis Beale
CNN
May 2, 2014

Quote
Now that the cast of the seventh "Star Wars" movie has been announced, you can imagine the anticipation among the millions of fans of the film franchise. And why not? The six "Star Wars" films have been enormous successes: they have grossed over $2 billion domestically at the box office, spawned scores of books, comic books and merchandise (how many kids have their own light saber?) and made household names of characters like Darth Vader, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.

They've also been the worst thing ever for the science fiction genre.

More, with reader comments

Hasn't the author overlooked a few science fiction movies made since Star Wars that are not in the mold of Star Wars?
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Offline AbaraXas

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 06:19:51 PM »
IMHO, it did just the opposite. It set a higher expectation for quality and detail. Sure, there are many out there who pick apart the story line, characters, and science, but one can't argue with results.
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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 06:27:31 PM »
I might argue that 2001 and Solaris really set the tone for "good" sci-fi movies, but Star Wars made it popular by melding the usual sci-fi aspects with classical story telling. It's basically a Western/medieval drama in space - and it benefits from it.
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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 07:17:30 PM »
This is such a hipster article.

What George Lucas did with Star Wars is make science fiction marketable. The author's contention seems to be that because Lucas made a sci-fi film franchise that was a hit, and because later, "purer" sci-fi films weren't, that Lucas spoiled the genre. Balderdash. Were there any great sci-fi film productions before that? He cites books. Of course, and especially to a hipster, a book is going to be better than a movie. You don't have to actually make it look realistic in a book, just write it down.

This guy is comparing apples to oranges. Of course Lucas sold out and created lousy characters that were meant as merchandising gimmicks (Jar Jar Binks, I'm looking at you). It comes with the territory; sci-fi is expensive, and no matter what the story is, you have to make your money back somehow if you want to make a realistic looking film. It's not as if before Star Wars was some golden age of sci-fi film. You had a few TV shows that dabbled in sci-fi, but of course TV has lower budgets.
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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 11:48:10 PM »
Lewis Beale
CNN
May 2, 2014
More, with reader comments

Hasn't the author overlooked a few science fiction movies made since Star Wars that are not in the mold of Star Wars?


Compared to the critically acclaimed "2001: A Space Odyssey", where te film was praised for its scientific accuracy, and the only excitement consisted of monkies bashing animal skulls, I'll take STAR WARS Episodes IV, V, and III anytime.
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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 11:51:04 PM »
Compared to the critically acclaimed "2001: A Space Odyssey", where te film was praised for its scientific accuracy, and the only excitement consisted of monkies bashing animal skulls, I'll take STAR WARS Episodes IV, V, and III anytime.

I note you scrupulously avoid mentioning I, II and III  :whistle:

Though I always loved the podracer scene.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 07:52:24 AM »
Star Wars is nothing more than Kurosawa meets Flash Gordon.
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Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 08:47:59 AM »
Compared to the critically acclaimed "2001: A Space Odyssey", where te film was praised for its scientific accuracy, and the only excitement consisted of monkies bashing animal skulls, I'll take STAR WARS Episodes IV, V, and III anytime.

Ditto!   

2001: A Space Odyssey bored me to tears. If I had to pick one Sci-Fi movie that stands out as the best Sci-Fi prior to the Star Wars movies, it would have to be The Forbidden Planet from 1956, and coming in second Planet of the Apes from 1968.  Star Wars didn’t kill Science Fiction it brought it to a whole new level, because the film makers not only need to capture people’s imagination, but Star Wars set the bar for special effects real high. 

I also prefer the original Star Wars trilogy over the newer films. The first three had the perfect blend of thrills, swashbuckling excitement and humor in the style of Indiana Jones. Things the newer films lacked.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 09:03:53 AM »
What brought SciFi to a new level are the improvements in special effects technology.

SciFi wasn't very good when you could see the strings holding up the flying saucers.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline PzLdr

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 11:54:59 PM »
What brought SciFi to a new level are the improvements in special effects technology.

SciFi wasn't very good when you could see the strings holding up the flying saucers.

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 12:12:13 AM »
I dunno. Advances in special effects are important for the suspension of disbelief, but the more they are used, the worse the story seems to suffer. Writers and directors now seem to think that cramming in another explosion or CGI set piece makes up for crappy dialogue. I present Star Wars Episode IV and Episode I as evidence, your honors.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 12:17:15 AM »
I see you know your Ed Woods!


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“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Machiavelli

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 06:06:07 PM »
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools

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Online kevindavis

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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 07:47:40 PM »
I think it made scifi better and of course made it attractive for movie audiences and quite frankly brought it back..


Heck if it wasn't for Star Wars there could have been no Star Trek movies, no Battlestar Galactica, or even Moonracker. I did think that 2001 was a good movie.
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Re: How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2014, 07:59:37 PM »
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