STAR WARS: The Force Awakens

If we’re going to talk space opera franchises, remember that there’s more than just Star Trek and Star Wars in the mix.

There is simply no point in writing about anything other than Star Wars this weekend.

And there is simply no point in my re-treading the entire internet on that subject (not even looking for the unexpected angle):  everything has already been well covered, from the Leia slave costume controversy (with quotes from Carrie Fisher herself no less) to JJ Abram’s angst over the 1.5 BILLION the film needs to earn to be considered profitable by Hollywood standards (it’s well on its way, having taken in a reported 57 million from Thursday sneak peaks alone (somewhere around four and a half million tickets sold by my estimate:  at that rate of earnings, it needs to see screen time for less than a month to meet the mark).

Fortunately for my personal Saturday plans (and your Star Wars’ jones) both File 770 and SF Signal have chosen to devote their link round-ups to this very subject today. Remarkably, there is little if any overlap and at least two coffee cups worth of relaxed reading to be found between the two of them.

Me?  I’ve already cancelled and gotten refunds for my tickets (the wife has decided “not to bother“* and I’ve already seen it).  I think I’ll use the refund to buy tickets for the up-coming Jungle Book re-do (it looks pretty good and it has been nearly FIFTY years since the original feature length cartoon, which I watched in original release and I think it will be fun to revisit old friends Baloo, Bagheera, King Louie, Shere Kahn, Kaa…wonder if that one was based on Joseph Campbell’s book too).  Later, I’ll be sorting the ‘S’ section of the library, which will bring me inevitably to E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and his Skylark and Lensman series, both of which represent the kind of galaxy-shattering space operas that are the antecedents to SW, a fact that Somtow Suchartikul reminded me of in an excellent post on Facebook when he particularly reminded me of fan discussions regarding the original Star Wars and the fact that –

science fiction film had caught up with 1930s space opera (this became even more explicit after Leigh Brackett was brought in as a writer) … and the hope that perhaps one day science fiction film would manage to reach the 1950s and even 1960s … which now, with series like The Man in the High Castle, is happening right on that same 50-year-delay schedule

I’d forgotten all about those discussions from 40 years ago until yesterday.  It bears repeating and reminding.  And not just in light of PKD’s title.  I’ll remind everyone of a short novel by John W. Campbell Jr. titled The Moon Is Hell, and then suggest you go and watch The Martian once again.  Campbell’s novel was published in 1950.  The Man in the High Castle in 1962….

Happily, this means that if Somtow’s fifty-year-cycle theory is correct, we should be watching Norman Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron in 2019, Disch’s Camp Concentration in 2018, The Iron Dream in 2022.  It also means that we won’t be seeing Niven & Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye until 2024.  (But that does give Hollywood plenty of time to get crackin.  Just sayin….)

After I get the Ss sorted through, I think I’ll sit down and re-watch Guardians of the Galaxy just one more time…and while doing so I’ll ponder why, when internet pundits discuss The Best popularized Space Opera franchises, they always compare Star Wars with Star Trek and somehow forget to include at least Firefly and Guardians…

*reserve the charges of heresy for me as I’m the one whose review was responsible for her decision

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.