Okay, so, there’s really no excuse for you reading a science fiction literature blog the week that the Once and Future Trilogy releases a movie. I get that. Totally not going to take it personally that no one is going to read this one. Instead, I’m going to bend to the festivities and make this post tangentially about Star Wars, in the hopes that maybe someone will take time to read it. Here’s my responses to the the top three comments I see circulating around the tubes of the internet this week.
- Spoilers or No Spoilers: Most of the internet is awash with people screaming “ZOMG I can’t see the movie for at least two days don’t spoiler it!!! #worldending #nerdrage.” My response is “how does one spoil a scifi fairy tale story?” I mean, is there any question that the goodies will be white hats, and the baddies will be black hats? More than likely one of the “middle management baddies” won’t survive the film, making way for a more popular baddie to rise to power in the sequel. More than likely one or both of the new goodies will have a personal past which isn’t fully disclosed and will be used as a turning-the-corner scene in the sequel. Also, the goodies will win the first film, because formula. Really, you already know the movie, or at least you should, and you’re only going to see the performance of the actors and work of the cinematographers and set directors anyway. None of that is spoiled by finding out Luke doesn’t survive. (Not that I’ve seen it, just a prediction based on formula.)
- Nice try Star Trek: Okay, I understand Promoters gotta promote, but really… dropping a trailer for “the other scifi franchise” during release week? First off, way to stoke the “franchise rivalry” angle, which is about the only smart play in this. Even “shared fandom” fans simply aren’t going to care. Also, dropping the trailer for your new direction the week a major scifi blockbuster for your former director comes out really just seems like the jilted ex showing up to ruin the wedding to me. That being said… yeah, as an #AllFandomsMatter kinda guy, color me interested. I want to see where they decide to go with it. Also, I’m a huge fan of Karl Urban, and think he’s doing a masterful performance of DeForest Kelley.
- Strip out the lightsabers/phasers and the stormtroopers/fleet uniforms, and it’s just generic scifi: I’ve seen this complaint around a bit this week, aimed at one or both franchises (which is why I worded it the weird way I did). I’m not saying this argument doesn’t have merit… I’m just saying that you can make that argument about nearly any work in any genre. I mean, in effect, your argument is “If you take out the things that make something unique, it’s now just a generic product of its genre.” Well… yes? I mean, if you take out all of the characterful performances of Law and Order (and variety), all you have left is a bland crime drama, right? You can play this out anywhere. As a writer, your job is to do the impossible: try to invent scenes that have never been done before. Spoiler alert: that incredibly awesome new thing you just wrote? Yeah, someone’s already done it somewhere. So, what makes your world different from anyone else’s? Your characters and their development. The reality of fiction is found in the people to whom it is real, the characters. If their reactions are genuine, the audience comes along for the ride- in literature or cinema. If not, then it feels bland or cliche, because it likely is.
That’s all for this week, folks! Please feel free to comment, also check out my Vlog on Saturday where I will be announcing my inclusion in an anthology! Also, if you haven’t picked up Corrogatio yet, it’s still free, so give it a look. It’s a post-apoc anthology, featuring two of my shorts.