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(CNN)   How 'Star Wars' ruined sci-fi   (cnn.com) divider line 176
    More: Obvious, Star Wars, MacArthur Foundation, Forever War, Francois Truffaut, Episode VII, The Big Book of  
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6024 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 May 2014 at 2:07 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-03 09:36:12 AM  
ruined sci-fi literature too, most new "hard" sci-fi has lots of battles and one on one fights, drawn out to blow by blow tedium.  It feels like they are writing screenplays for the marching morons, not novels.  I'm looking at you, James Corey.
 
2014-05-03 09:47:17 AM  
Sci fi has been dead since Frank Herbert died.

There i said it
 
2014-05-03 09:56:05 AM  
Is there a term for hipster nerds?
 
2014-05-03 10:18:46 AM  
No one likes a bitter nerd
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-05-03 11:23:25 AM  
I think there was space opera before Star Wars.  There is more hard SF now than in the 70's, I think.
 
2014-05-03 11:48:16 AM  

vpb: I think there was space opera before Star Wars.  There is more hard SF now than in the 70's, I think.


He appears to be mad that some movies which are difficult to translate into movies haven't been translated into movies.
 
2014-05-03 11:56:03 AM  

Relatively Obscure: vpb: I think there was space opera before Star Wars.  There is more hard SF now than in the 70's, I think.

He appears to be mad that some movies which are difficult to translate into movies haven't been translated into movies.


I don't think that's it.
 
2014-05-03 11:57:12 AM  
About goddamn time somebody said it. Lucas is a crap writer, crap director.  He's basically a special effects wizard who somehow got a director's chair.  Call me elitist if you want, but I don't consider star wars to be sci-fi at all, and i have little respect for fans of the novels who think they are.  And i say that even though I am a huge fan if space opera generally
 
2014-05-03 12:00:17 PM  

Magorn: About goddamn time somebody said it. Lucas is a crap writer, crap director.  He's basically a special effects wizard who somehow got a director's chair.  Call me elitist if you want, but I don't consider star wars to be sci-fi at all, and i have little respect for fans of the novels who think they are.  And i say that even though I am a huge fan if space opera generally


Repeat to yourself it's just a show; you should really just relax.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-05-03 12:40:45 PM  

Relatively Obscure: vpb: I think there was space opera before Star Wars.  There is more hard SF now than in the 70's, I think.

He appears to be mad that some movies which are difficult to translate into movies haven't been translated into movies.


I wonder if he ever saw Plan 9 from Outer Space?
 
2014-05-03 12:56:14 PM  
I dunno. I liked Star Wars.
 
2014-05-03 12:56:42 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Magorn: About goddamn time somebody said it. Lucas is a crap writer, crap director.  He's basically a special effects wizard who somehow got a director's chair.  Call me elitist if you want, but I don't consider star wars to be sci-fi at all, and i have little respect for fans of the novels who think they are.  And i say that even though I am a huge fan if space opera generally

Repeat to yourself it's just a show; you should really just relax.


Hehe.
 
2014-05-03 01:04:38 PM  
Star Wars gave us Carrie Fisher in that golden bikini.  It can ruin whatever it wants.
 
2014-05-03 01:18:04 PM  
Any story that uses Fate to shape itself is fantasy, not Science Fiction.
 
2014-05-03 01:23:13 PM  
FTFA: Instead, I'll queue up "The Matrix," and enjoy the most original sci-fi movie of the past 25 years.

Okay, this guy is just trolling ...
 
2014-05-03 01:25:55 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Is there a term for hipster nerds?


I call em nerdsters
 
2014-05-03 02:06:26 PM  
Alan Steele, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Richard K Morgan, Steven Barnes, and Neal Stephenson aren't enough about ideas?

There isn't a great market for science fiction in film for more cerebral exercises, but Lucas WAS going for that serial pulp feel, and he delivered it. You might as well blame Fkash Gordon and radio serials while you're at it.
 
2014-05-03 02:12:00 PM  
If Star Wars actually were science fiction it would be a lot worse.
 
2014-05-03 02:13:04 PM  
This thread could have been a lot more fun if it was on the main page ...
 
2014-05-03 02:16:34 PM  

2wolves: Any story that uses Fate to shape itself is fantasy, not Science Fiction.


Babylon 5 managed to pull of the prophecy thing well, by having a main chapter travel back in time to become Valen, the one who wrote the prophecies.
 
2014-05-03 02:18:05 PM  

Mad_Radhu: 2wolves: Any story that uses Fate to shape itself is fantasy, not Science Fiction.

Babylon 5 managed to pull of the prophecy thing well, by having a main chapter travel back in time to become Valen, the one who wrote the prophecies.


Also, in Foundation, psychohistory was a sort of a hand of fate that moved the story forward. Especially when it was subverted by the Mule.
 
2014-05-03 02:18:58 PM  
Stupid premise is stupid. Star Wars is not "sci" anything.
 
2014-05-03 02:21:03 PM  
Meh, whatever.  SW didn't ruin SF.  Might have made it harder to produce good (however you define good) SF films in Hollywood, but hard SF has more to do with ideas than action and has never been easy to translate into a two hour movie. Heck, most literary fiction doesn't distill neatly into film without losing something in the process.
 
2014-05-03 02:22:57 PM  
Star Wars is crappy SF, it's really more of a fantasy, and I'm a huge SW fan.... but leaving that aside,  the article's headline premise; that it "ruined" SF (movies), is wrong.

Pre-1977, was a very dry, desolate time for SF movies.  Apart from occasional b-movies, the studios were not spending huge bucks on it, and SF on the television was also fairly dead after Star Trek TOS folded up shop and went into re-runs.

The huge financial success of Star Wars jump-stared a bandwagon effect at the big Hollywood studios, and money follows money.  A shiat-ton of bad SF followed in movies and TV, but   in that rising tide, we also got better movies and shows made, programming that otherwise wouldn't have been developed in the first place.

That expanded market for more SF even bled into the book market, creating new opportunities for new authors.

So, I think the author's premise is 180 degrees from reality.  Like it or not,  Star Wars was like a big cow turd dropped in an empty prarie: it fertilized the soil for the the space operas and imitators that sprouted up after it, creating a pool of consumers you could commoditize and build a new SF market around.
 
2014-05-03 02:24:52 PM  
Star Wars is awesome.  It's the prequels that ruined sci-fi.
 
2014-05-03 02:24:59 PM  
I'm a huge Asimov fan, but Foundation is not a great choice to make a movie from.  It lends itself much better to episodic TV format.  The down side of committing to Foundation as a TV series is getting a guarantee that they make the entire plot arc before cancellation.
 
2014-05-03 02:30:54 PM  
I agree with everything this man said. Star Wars is a lot of fun, but ultimately it's just a big expensive comic book with nice visual effects. It's not very intellectually stimulating.
 
2014-05-03 02:32:12 PM  
I'd like to see them make a movie from Niven's "The Mote in God's Eye".
 
2014-05-03 02:37:46 PM  

Mike_1962: I'd like to see them make a movie from Niven's "The Mote in God's Eye".


Agreed.
 
2014-05-03 02:38:28 PM  
Star Wars was more of a Western than Sci-Fi.
 
2014-05-03 02:39:47 PM  

Mike_1962: I'd like to see them make a movie from Niven's "The Mote in God's Eye".


I'd like them to do any of Niven's books, except (for unknown reasons) the Ringworld novels.
 
2014-05-03 02:46:24 PM  

K3rmy: Star Wars gave us Carrie Fisher in that golden bikini.  It can ruin whatever it wants.


Five minutes of 34-year-old midget cheesecake does not great SF make. Star Wars is a deriative cartoon that consciously aped 1930s adventure serials, as did the Indiana Jones films, actually set in the 1930s...

And John Williams owes a certain dead musical proto-Nazi a virtual sack of Afterlife Bitcoins.
 
2014-05-03 02:51:56 PM  
There's definitely something to what Beale's saying.

I've been discussing it with a few different people these past couple of weeks, but in general, I'd argue that the safety-blanket approach to sf in general has been more harmful than anything else, and both Star Wars and "Star Trek" are standard-bearers for that. It's been forty years and we're still discussing this universe, with its color-coded morality, magic science, and simplistic approach to technology and culture. It's inhibiting the entire science-fiction genre because so many fans and would-be writers won't move past it.

I wouldn't argue in good faith that you're a bad person for liking Star Wars and its spin-off media, or anything similarly hyperbolic, but I do think that we owe it to ourselves to start moving onward and start supporting new things, instead of shelling out for the same plots and ideas in shiny wrappers: Star Wars, endless reboots and remakes, etc.
 
2014-05-03 02:52:04 PM  

K3rmy: Star Wars gave us Carrie Fisher in that golden bikini.  It can ruin whatever it wants.


It was a hot chick in some skimpy outfit, not the cure for polio. You must think Heavy Metal magazine is the greatest literary accomplishment humanity has ever produced. I mean, I've got nothing against Star Wars or T&A, but I find it odd that some people are willing to sit through hours of footage (in the case of TV shows) for a couple dozen frames of a pretty girl.
 
2014-05-03 02:52:15 PM  
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" is akin to "once upon a time in a land far, far away"

In other words it's a fairy take with space features.
 
2014-05-03 02:54:17 PM  
Sci fi used to be rocket ships, space babes, and cardboard aliens. piss on anything this guy might say or think.
 
2014-05-03 02:57:01 PM  
*Reads thread*

thenonsensecafe.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-05-03 03:06:02 PM  
Subby misspelled "Trek"
 
2014-05-03 03:06:33 PM  
One thing ruined science fiction.

Science.
 
2014-05-03 03:06:48 PM  

Valiente: K3rmy: Star Wars gave us Carrie Fisher in that golden bikini.  It can ruin whatever it wants.

Five minutes of 34-year-old midget cheesecake does not great SF make. Star Wars is a deriative cartoon that consciously aped 1930s adventure serials, as did the Indiana Jones films, actually set in the 1930s...

And John Williams owes a certain dead musical proto-Nazi a virtual sack of Afterlife Bitcoins.


it'sa baseless canard that Williams ripped off Wagner.  Now Mahler on the other hand?  Should have filed a police report.
 
2014-05-03 03:07:56 PM  
Mote in God's Eye and the sequel would make a great movie... The stuff Niven and Pournelle wrote as a team was always written in a cinematic form, like novelizations of a screenplay. They even list the cast in the book as if it was a film. Adapting those would be easy.

I do NOT want to see Hollywood's take on "Ringworld": they could get the *look* right with modern FX technology, but they would ruin the STORY.
 
2014-05-03 03:15:03 PM  
Don't care. Sci-fi movies still have to pander to the lowest common denominator of anti-intellectual audiences to be commercially successful, so it makes it hard to bring an intellectual genre to the big screen.

Star Wars is WIZARDS IN SPACE, and always has been. Star Trek - especially the new JJ Abrams incarnation - has always been MAKE shiat UP WITH TECHNOBABBLE. The farking Matrix was "let's throw in a bunch of smart sounding philosophy but let the studios dumb down the foundational premises of the movie so the dumb audiences can understand it to the point where very little actually makes sense." And that recent James Cameron atrocity - not even touching the problems with that one with a 10 foot pole.

What I'm saying is that the main body of sci-fi films has always been disappointing if you judge against the strict standards of "hard" sci-fi literature and not "its sci-fi because spaceships and blasters (but really just fantasy)."

There have been some standout exceptions in recent years that I can think of - the first couple of Aliens movies, District 9, Event Horizon, hell even the Last Starfighter - but honestly, this is what movie adaptations usually are: dumbed down versions that pander to the lowest common denominator with pretty explosions and other eye cady.

The short of it: if you want smart, cerebral scifi, read a damn book. If you want to get baked out of your gourd on your substance of choice and enjoy pretty pictures in front of your eyeballs, go see a movie.

It's the exact same way across every genre of literary-film adaptations, excluding indy films.
 
2014-05-03 03:16:33 PM  
People can dog on Star Wars because it has been deconstructed and commercialized. Guess what, Niven's Moties would fair just about the same. Instead of deep about trade agreements to rage over people would whine about planned social life cycles. Anything successful gets beaten like a dead horse.
 
2014-05-03 03:18:51 PM  

Any Pie Left: Mote in God's Eye and the sequel would make a great movie... The stuff Niven and Pournelle wrote as a team was always written in a cinematic form, like novelizations of a screenplay. They even list the cast in the book as if it was a film. Adapting those would be easy.

I do NOT want to see Hollywood's take on "Ringworld": they could get the *look* right with modern FX technology, but they would ruin the STORY.


Two things here:
Lucifer' hammer would make a GREAT film, if they kept all of the smart science stuff in there.

Niven himself ruined ringworld. Seriously, did you read the third book? It was "Louis Wu farks a lot of aliens and then the book ends."
 
2014-05-03 03:25:52 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Mad_Radhu: 2wolves: Any story that uses Fate to shape itself is fantasy, not Science Fiction.

Babylon 5 managed to pull of the prophecy thing well, by having a main chapter travel back in time to become Valen, the one who wrote the prophecies.

Also, in Foundation, psychohistory was a sort of a hand of fate that moved the story forward. Especially when it was subverted by the Mule.


Is foundation an episode of Deep space nine, a show, or a novel? Because the word's too vague to google without a qualifier.

Elegy: Any Pie Left: Mote in God's Eye and the sequel would make a great movie... The stuff Niven and Pournelle wrote as a team was always written in a cinematic form, like novelizations of a screenplay. They even list the cast in the book as if it was a film. Adapting those would be easy.

I do NOT want to see Hollywood's take on "Ringworld": they could get the *look* right with modern FX technology, but they would ruin the STORY.

Two things here:
Lucifer' hammer would make a GREAT film, if they kept all of the smart science stuff in there.

Niven himself ruined ringworld. Seriously, did you read the third book? It was "Louis Wu farks a lot of aliens and then the book ends."


I didn't even get through book 1, personally. I got to the actual landing. I generally enjoy my stories to be about plot, not empty rambling and socio-political plottings and 400 pages of 'they explored very carefully'.  Oddly enough I had a similar problem with 'Girl with the dragon tattoo'. If the novel had cut out some of the pointless navel gazing and introspection, and gotten on with the actual mystery/exploration it would have been more interesting.
 
2014-05-03 03:30:52 PM  

jaytkay: *Reads thread*

[thenonsensecafe.files.wordpress.com image 450x397]


*reads article*

l.wigflip.com
 
2014-05-03 03:36:47 PM  

kroonermanblack: Is foundation an episode of Deep space nine, a show, or a novel? Because the word's too vague to google without a qualifier.


Set of novels by Isaac Assimov. A very, very long set of novels that everyone hypes as one of the greatest series in sci-fi, but that I personally found trite and rather boring in aggregate.

There were interesting parts, but I felt like I had to wade through too much dross to get to them.

I didn't even get through book 1, personally. I got to the actual landing. I generally enjoy my stories to be about plot, not empty rambling and socio-political plottings and 400 pages of 'they explored very carefully'.  Oddly enough I had a similar problem with 'Girl with the dragon tattoo'. If the novel had cut out some of the pointless navel gazing and introspection, and gotten on with the actual mystery/exploration it would have been more interesting.

I also found them lacking based on the hype, but the fascination of Ringworld was always about exploring the physical idea of the ringworld itself and the engineering and physics surrounding it, not about the characters or the known-space universe. The puppeteers had some cool stuff going on as well. That stuff was utterly fascinating and worth the read.

Most of the characters and character plots were mildly interesting (in the first) to moderately uninteresting (in the second) to "for farks sake Niven stop farking writing about farking the farking aliens already and move this along" in the third.
 
2014-05-03 03:40:58 PM  
And in terms of movie adaptations:
FFS HOLLYWOOD CAN WE PLEASE GET A MOVIE ADAPTATION OF BUJOLD'S VOR SAGA WITH PETER DINKLAGE CAST AS MILES?
 
2014-05-03 03:41:24 PM  

kroonermanblack: Mad_Radhu: Mad_Radhu: 2wolves: Any story that uses Fate to shape itself is fantasy, not Science Fiction.

Babylon 5 managed to pull of the prophecy thing well, by having a main chapter travel back in time to become Valen, the one who wrote the prophecies.

Also, in Foundation, psychohistory was a sort of a hand of fate that moved the story forward. Especially when it was subverted by the Mule.

Is foundation an episode of Deep space nine, a show, or a novel? Because the word's too vague to google without a qualifier.



The Asimov Foundation novel series. It's based around a Seldon Plan that acts as a sort of hand of fate in the series because it predicts how the future of the galaxy will unfold after the collapse of the Galactic Empire based on a science of psychohistory which predicts how large groups of people will react to events. Of course it all falls apart when a mutant with powerful mental powers throws off the plan because psychohistory can't predict what a single person will do, only masses of people,
 
2014-05-03 03:44:27 PM  
What a whiny biatch. If you want better sci-fi, then either write it yourself, or enjoy what's already out there that you think is better, but don't complain about how one particular series is more popular and influential than others. The existence of Star Wars should in no way hinder your enjoyment of better sci-fi, and complaining about it makes you sound like a childish prick. In which case, STFU and spare us the diatribe.
 
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