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pseudanonymous
Aug 30, 2008

When you make the second entry and the debits and credits balance, and you blow them to hell.

BoldFrankensteinMir posted:

So I guess what I'm taking away from this discussion so far is, there are sci-fi concepts being explored in Star Wars, it's just hard to pinpoint them because the continuity is such a giant mess that any possible meaning you glean from the imagery has been contradicted or confused by now. So it is sci-fi, OP, it's just not very good sci-fi.

I would argue that not it's just space fantasy or science fantasy. It doesn't actually care about any of the technology or human developments or realities of living with other species (who all essentially act just like humans) or robots or anything. Some of these things sort of creep in because it's such a ludicrously large IP at this point, but in truth, it's not Sci-Fi.

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BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


pseudanonymous posted:

I would argue that not it's just space fantasy or science fantasy. It doesn't actually care about any of the technology or human developments or realities of living with other species (who all essentially act just like humans) or robots or anything. Some of these things sort of creep in because it's such a ludicrously large IP at this point, but in truth, it's not Sci-Fi.

I agree it flubs basically every objective of real sci-fi, it's not thoughtful or provocative or even smart. But we have to ask ourselves: are all science fiction stories successes? Is there not room for failed or attempted sci-fi, ones that consistently disappoint for like 50 straight years?

This is similar to the dadaist art argument, that "art" simply refers to anything created by a person who considers their work art- but, by the same token, there is such a thing as bad art. If we add the requirement that to be sci-fi something has to be competent, that actually winnows the field quite a bit.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.

A ton of sci-fi is garbage, to the point where a lot of people take it for granted that sci-fi is garbage, a lot of people in sci-fi unapologetically love that it's garbage, and people have tried to create extremely useless sci-fi/science fiction walls so that they can make it seem like they have a special genre that has no garbage.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


A definition of science fiction that excludes such significant and recognizable examples as Star Wars, many TOS episodes, Dune, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and many others is a poor definition of science fiction.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Definitions of science fiction that go out of their way to exclude Star Wars reduce "science fiction" from a genre to a relatively obscure and mostly dead small cluster of tropes.

Filthy Hans
Jun 27, 2008





Tulip posted:

A ton of sci-fi is garbage, to the point where a lot of people take it for granted that sci-fi is garbage, a lot of people in sci-fi unapologetically love that it's garbage, and people have tried to create extremely useless sci-fi/science fiction walls so that they can make it seem like they have a special genre that has no garbage.

I think the same can be said for every genre, except for the ones that are 100% garbage all the time, like anime for example

Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 21 hours!


Its a documentary, didn't you see the opening text?

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.

Filthy Hans posted:

I think the same can be said for every genre, except for the ones that are 100% garbage all the time, like anime for example

I'm generally of the opinion that the good/not good axis on a genre is like saying that it's only gold if you have more than a pound of it. Just completely beside the point of what the division is trying to make.

That said I don't think star wars is science fiction: star wars is a western.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Is it impossible to be two genres at once for some reason?

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



I think it's more like recessive genes, where you can have both but whichever one ends up seems more dominant ends up taking the label.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.

It's better than ending up like metal, where every single band is the bleeding edge of a 20 word long frankengenre.

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


100 percent agree with OP. Star Wars is space opera, certainly, and fantasy, arguably. It is not, however, sci-fi. It has more in common with Arthurian legend than Star Trek.

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


Genre arguments are pretty cringe

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Genre is supposed to be a vague descriptor of content, not some kind of impenetrable taxonomic structure written in stone, so it's largely pointless to try to police the definitions. Much like the conceptual identity parameters of a sandwich, it changes absolutely nothing.

Still, might as well argue about things that barely matter because that's what the internet was made for.

CarpenterWalrus posted:

100 percent agree with OP. Star Wars is space opera, certainly, and fantasy, arguably. It is not, however, sci-fi. It has more in common with Arthurian legend than Star Trek.

What is the key difference between Star Trek's unexplained fictional science and occasional psychic powers and Star Wars's unexplained fictional science and occasional psychic powers.

Daikloktos
Jan 1, 2020



Roth posted:

Genre arguments are pretty cringe
I think we're all learning a lot from each other though

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


Daikloktos posted:

I think we're all learning a lot from each other though

The real genre of Star Wars was the friends we made along the way

Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 21 hours!


CarpenterWalrus posted:

100 percent agree with OP. Star Wars is space opera, certainly, and fantasy, arguably. It is not, however, sci-fi. It has more in common with Arthurian legend than Star Trek.

Ya heard it here first folks, space operas are not sci-fi.


Daikloktos posted:

I think we're all learning a lot from each other though

Also this.

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


Is there like a specific person or governing body I need to write to to apologize for my wrong opinion or what

Roth
Jul 9, 2016


CarpenterWalrus posted:

Is there like a specific person or governing body I need to write to to apologize for my wrong opinion or what

I'll accept it.

Mooey Cow
Jan 27, 2018



Pillbug

Some Goon posted:

Its a documentary, didn't you see the opening text?

It's science but not fiction

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


Because i'm a turbonerd, i enjoy arguing pop-culture taxonomy, even though it's not particularly useful. In regards to Star Wars v. Trek, yes they are both have futuristic tech and have lasers, spaceships, and are in space, but Trek goes out of its way to justify those things in-universe, whereas Star Wars doesn't. Jedi can do cool stuff because of magic. Betazoids and Vulcans can do psychic stuff because of 1950s pseudoscience research conducted by the likes of JB Rhine. Figures like Q and Kevin Uxbridge are nigh-omnipotent gods because of loosely-defined "quantum mechanics" and whatnot. In Trek, space travel is generally possible because of specific fuels and warp drives, whereas Star Wars, it just is.

Inarguably, Star Wars has sci-fi trappings, but it is, at its core, a fantasy story akin to the medieval knights' tales and adheres closely to Campbell's "Hero's Journey." There's wizards, knights, princesses, castles, steeds, swords, and grails. Star Wars is about broad stories and archetypes; Star Trek is about individual people and institutions. I like them both, but for different reasons, because they serve different purposes.

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


IN CONCLUSION, even though I wouldn't call Star Wars sci-fi, the sci-fi elements in the films have had a profound influence on the genre as a whole. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Mooey Cow
Jan 27, 2018



Pillbug

Invoking made up quantum bullshit is no different from midichlorians, hyperfuel, or The Force being an "energy field that binds the galaxy together".

Like, the writers literally wrote "[TECH]" in the scripts and then had a separate guy fill it in with treknobabble later.

Mooey Cow fucked around with this message at 17:10 on May 20, 2020

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


Mooey Cow posted:

Invoking made up quantum bullshit is no different from midichlorians, hyperfuel, or The Force being an "energy field that binds the galaxy together".

I'd argue that it is different because Trek's quantum bullshit is at least based on actual scientific theory of what MIGHT be possible. Same for warp travel. Faster-than-light travel is, theoretically possible, but you need some fantastic element or technology to make it so based on our current understanding.

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


Of course, it really doesn't matter--though i agree with the OP, i also agree that splitting these hairs isn't super useful. Ultimately, I think what we're getting at here is whether or not "sci-fi" should be a separate genre from "fantasy," since sci-fi requires some fictional, speculative or fantastical tech or science-based element. An argument could be made that Trek is also fantasy as much as Star Wars is sci-fi.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Like I said before, the parameters you're defining sci-fi by seem mostly arbitrary and unrelated to what people generally mean by the term, and by trying to stringently maintain those limits, you reduce the genre to nothingness.

Campbell's Hero's Journey does not define fantasy, it's just the archetypical story that a lot of other stories tend to follow for various reasons. It also shows up in Spider-Man and Lion King. It does not contradict the story being about the individuals.

The ultimate nature of what a genre even means tends to be highly arbitrary, because in the case of Sci-fi, Fantasy, or Westerns, it's defined by whether the specific content contains or is meant to evoke certain trappings, while with Comedies or Thrillers, it's more about what type of feelings the content is trying to create in the audience. Horror is sometimes split between the former and latter, sometimes meant to actively scare audiences, sometimes meant to just carry the trappings of other horror movies. Action or Romance get more vague, since it's about whether the content is built around some certain thing that's often contained in the other genres. There's even some times when media formats are included as the genre, like anime or foreign film.

In conclusion, ya-huh.

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


SlothfulCobra posted:

In conclusion, ya-huh.

Well said. Perhaps the "fiction" part of the definition is too broad to omit anything at this point.

There's also the "science" part to consider. Science isn't just an industrial tool or a word on resumes, it's a philosophy, about seeking proof. Veritas! and so forth. And I think that's part of the intended feeling, as you pointed out is in any genre, for sci-fi. There's a reason science-inclined people are often science-fiction fans, and it's not just the trappings, there's an emotional quality to exploring the unknown and explaining it rationally that resonates with them especially.

Star Wars' understanding of science is "what if the bad guys had the BIGGEST LASER! LASER MOON!" and "the new space ships are EVEN COOLER!" Does that 1st grade, D+ research paper qualify as scientific? It's really hard to say. Yes lasers are an instrument of science, and yes making one big enough to destroy the world would be quite the feat, maybe possible some day. Space ships have indeed come a long way. That's science, kinda?

Of all the ways to break down Star Wars as a science fiction property, maybe this is the way to look at it:
Art A+
Math A+
English C+
Science D+ see me after school

But yes, it does move on to the next grade.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.

I think it's about what cons people go to and SW people would be much happier yee'in and haw'in at a cowboy conference.

Frankenstyle
Dec 3, 2005



BoldFrankensteinMir posted:

Well said. Perhaps the "fiction" part of the definition is too broad to omit anything at this point.

There's also the "science" part to consider. Science isn't just an industrial tool or a word on resumes, it's a philosophy, about seeking proof. Veritas! and so forth. And I think that's part of the intended feeling, as you pointed out is in any genre, for sci-fi. There's a reason science-inclined people are often science-fiction fans, and it's not just the trappings, there's an emotional quality to exploring the unknown and explaining it rationally that resonates with them especially.

Star Wars' understanding of science is "what if the bad guys had the BIGGEST LASER! LASER MOON!" and "the new space ships are EVEN COOLER!" Does that 1st grade, D+ research paper qualify as scientific? It's really hard to say. Yes lasers are an instrument of science, and yes making one big enough to destroy the world would be quite the feat, maybe possible some day. Space ships have indeed come a long way. That's science, kinda?

Of all the ways to break down Star Wars as a science fiction property, maybe this is the way to look at it:
Art A+
Math A+
English C+
Science D+ see me after school

But yes, it does move on to the next grade.

I like this explanation. I like it because if you follow it through you will see that there is no such genre as science fiction.

Seriously, name a science fiction film or show that doesn't get an F on the science bit. You can skip the typical go-to stuff like 2001, The Martian, The Expanse, and sometimes interstellar, that fans love to claim are "Hard Science" because hoo-boy all of those rely on as much magical thinking as Lord of the Rings. I mean yeah they're all sci-fi just like Star Wars and Amazon Women of Venus, but when you suggest "exploring the unknown and explaining it rationally" is a major part of defining the genre, you've pretty much eliminated all content from the genre.

Frankenstyle
Dec 3, 2005



Basically it's Fantasy = More horses, elves, swords, magic, and wizards.

Sci-Fi = More spaceships, aliens, lasers, magic science, and space wizards.

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


Frankenstyle posted:

I like this explanation. I like it because if you follow it through you will see that there is no such genre as science fiction.

FRANKENFIGHT!

No I see your point, I've stretched the definitions to the point of absurdity. That's the objective of this exercise, right?

Drunkboxer
Jun 30, 2007



star wars isnít even a movie

Drunkboxer
Jun 30, 2007



Itís a disease.

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


Drunkboxer posted:

It’s a disease.

Drunkboxer posted:

star wars isnít even a movie

I read these as your avvy saying it and it was probably the most SA moment I've ever experienced.

Sombrerotron
Aug 1, 2004

Release my children! My hat is truly great and mighty.



Drunkboxer posted:

Itís a disease.
I've got Star Wars fever and the only thing that can cure it is more Star Wars!

CarpenterWalrus
Mar 30, 2010


Well, yeah, all discussion of genre is arbitrary. I see what you're saying, though, and can get behind it

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.

Frankenstyle posted:

Basically it's Fantasy = More horses, elves, swords, magic, and wizards.

Sci-Fi = More spaceships, aliens, lasers, magic science, and space wizards.

R2D2 is effectively a shape-changing horse

C3PO is just an elf

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


Tulip posted:

R2D2 is effectively a shape-changing horse

C3PO is just an elf

R2D2 is the loving Sampo, just endless fuel and attachments pouring out of him like a magic windmill. And he's got full Strong AI and a sense of humor and can fly and shoot lightsabers and oil slicks. Why all armies AND fleets aren't just astromechs with warheads and hyperdrives in them is beyond me.

FunkyAl
Mar 28, 2010

Your vitals soar.


Tulip posted:

R2D2 is effectively a shape-changing horse

C3PO is just an elf

Artoo is Sancho Panza

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Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 21 hours!


FunkyAl posted:

Artoo is Sancho Panza

Artoo wouldn't put up with Don Quixote's bullshit.

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