Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This is an old video clip which has Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert defending Star Wars.  I was a Star Wars fan along with the rest of the millions of fans.  Whether you want to call it science fiction or just science fantasy doesn't matter to me.  Some people seem to get upset if you claim it's science fiction, as there's no science in it per se.  I find that notion hair splitting and a bit too snobby.   In fact, given the choice between something hard science or something a bit softer or something that's science fantasy or speculative fiction, I'm probably more apt to go with the latter.  My basic interest is that I prefer to be entertained and drawn into a story with some action and good characters, which contain a certain amount of drama, good scripts, and everything else one expects from good movies. 

I used to eat pizza with some buddies that claimed that, at the time Star Wars came out on the screen, it had many detractors or critics that panned or hated the film.  I don't remember it being that way, which is not to say that they are not correct.  I just don't have that great a memory, I'll admit that much.  Plus at the time, I didn't have much conscious awareness of what was going on in the pop culture at the time.  I had a job that kept me pretty busy,  so  whether or not critics liked or disliked the film back in the day flew under my radar.  I do remember seeing the film out at the mall, and loved it.  I didn't go back for multiple viewings either as I probably just was too busy and didn't have the time. 

I tried at one time to do a search on Google and the net on how critics at large perceived the film at the time the film was playing, but came up pretty empty.  I didn't fine much.  If anyone knows of such info I would appreciate a link to that insight just for grins.  I guess it's all water under the bridge anyway.  Like a lot of things, I enjoyed the films (although the first prequel with Jar Jar Binks--not so great),  so that's good enough for me. 


At 8:00 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

You know I understand what folks mean when they say Star Wars isn't science fiction. I agree, it really is more of a fantasy film with sci-fi trappings. All the key elements of the series of mythic and mystical. There is very little focus on technology or science and how humans interact with it.

Compared to the Star Trek film series (pre- Abrams), those tend to use science as a jumping off point or as key plot points: AI, time travel, terraforming, etc. But Star Trek even slides more toward the adventure scale especially with films like "The Final Frontier" and "The Search for Spock".

That said, I agree with you. A good story is a good story. How we categorize it doesn't really matter. Star Wars (the original trilogy especially) is just a good story. So if you want to look at it as a fantasy series or a sci-fi series doesn't really matter.

One thing no one can deny is that Star Wars did influence countless sci-fi films. And for that reason alone, it is hard to declare it "not science fiction".

At 7:30 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Good insight Roman. I guess it's hard for me to say it's not science fiction when you've got aliens and space ships in it, and I just never thought to split hairs that finely. I guess you could call it space opera too.

I've even read recently that even Star Trek isn't science fiction, which took me aback a bit, as isn't that the show where people point to and say, look they were the first to use a flip phone, flat screen monitors, and so forth?

So if someone wants to stick a movie in this category or that, is fine with me. Whatever label one wants to call them I can live with, but I tend to prefer something that engages the imagination. :)

To add to the discussion, I found this today, which says that the original films were fairly well received by the critics, I'm still looking though.


At 7:17 AM, Blogger SFF said...

Loved your post El Vox and loved your additional insights here Gentlemen.

If you look up the definition for science fiction there is no reason Star Wars can't qualify. But it's whatever to me. To me, its sci-fi and fantasy and adventure and, as you both submit, just a damn fine film.

For me the original trilogy is where it's at. It's hard for me to really stomach the new films. Passable entertainment but none of the nostalgia or character depth or grit is there for me.

Love that original film and Empire as well. Just amazing.

Thanks for the clip too. I'll check it out.


At 5:34 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

SFF--well whatever one wants to call Star Wars, it was gold at the box office and merchandise, and made a kazillion fans so I guess that speaks for itself. :) If I was Lucas I'd be crying all the way to the bank. Thanks for dropping by.


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