SF has cycled back to the “Star Wars” era. Again.


space battleScience fiction, like many other things, enjoys cycles.  In SF’s case, those cycles usually involve the relative popularity of science itself: Exploring physics and extrapolating on reality, to discover or speculate more about ourselves and the universe we live in.  When the science part of SF is up, we get novels by scientist-authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov; we get movies like 2001: A Space Obyssey, The Andromeda Strain and Soylent Green; we get TV series like Star Trek.

When science is down, we get space battles.  We see an abandonment of concepts like science and physics, in exchange for showy action and eye-candy.  We get movies like Star Wars and TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, and we see video games that are devoted to first-person shooters.  More cerebral content, like the movie Solaris or the TV series Caprica, quickly get dumped in favor of The Fifth Element, Aliens or Warehouse 13.

We even see science-embracing shows, like Star Trek, rebooted as science-ignorant shows. Continue reading