Star Wars And The Forgotten Meaning Of Science Fiction

Star Wars And The Forgotten Meaning Of Science Fiction

Science fiction isn't really about space ships and aliens.
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With Rogue One coming up, I thought now was a good time to write a bit about Star Wars, and specifically. This week, I'm focusing on the confusion surrounding its genre. Star Wars is widely regarded as science fiction, but some fans have rejected this classification in recent years.

Star Wars is about a farm boy getting a sword and learning mystical powers from a mysterious hermit and going on a journey to rescue a princess. It takes place "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," which might as well be "once upon a time." Replace "galaxy" with "kingdom" or "land," and everyone would recognize it as the beginning of a fantasy story.

Some have taken a middle ground by calling Star Wars science fantasy, drawing on elements of both genres. Narratively, it has more in common with Lord of the Rings than 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the involvement of space ships and aliens makes people think more of science fiction. However, this shows a huge misunderstanding of science fiction.

Fantasy and science fiction are often lumped together, but the two are total opposites in most respects. Science fiction explores the potential impact of scientific concepts and technology on the real world. It's not so much about other worlds, but about how our world could change. A science fiction story does not necessarily have to be possible, and many are not, but it has to make an effort to plausibly connect its fictional elements to potential scientific advancements.

Take Jurassic Park, for instance. Cloning dinosaurs is impossible because DNA has a half life of 521 years. Even if we discovered dinosaur blood in amber-preserved mosquitos today, any genetic information would have deteriorated long ago. However, the story draws upon then-recent theories about dinosaurs and comments on scientific ethics and the dangers of interfering with nature. It uses an impossible premise to explore the ramifications of technology on our world.

There's nothing wrong with combining science fiction with other genres. After all, Blade Runner is one of the best science fiction movies ever, and it's also a detective story. However, Blade Runner fulfills the goals of both genres successfully, while many stories do not. Too often, science fiction is reduced to a window dressing to spice up an action movie.

On a more positive note, science fiction movies are going through something of a renaissance right now. Interstellar and The Martian have told stories about exploration and experimentation in the name of human survival, as a species and an individual, respectively. Mad Max: Fury Road may be a 2-hour car chase, but it explored the commodification of human beings in a post-apocalyptic environment. We've also gotten twisted little gems like Looper, Snowpiercer, and Under the Skin. Most recently, Arrival gave us a fascinating depiction of contact with alien life, and the mind-bending impact it could have on our reality.

I love Star Wars as much as the next person (considerably more, if I'm being honest). There's nothing wrong about a fun adventure story with aliens and robots. However, I don't like seeing that kind of story conflated with science fiction. Science fiction and fantasy have completely different storytelling goals, and conflating the two prevents both from succeeding narratively.

Cover Image Credit: Disney

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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