Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer

What is Star Wars?

Sarfux's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 04:36 AM | #21
Quote: Originally Posted by Vecke View Post
While I definitely respect the thought and effort you put into this post, I'm afraid I disagree. Star Wars is fantasy. Sure, it's skinned with a futuristic style and look, but every single aspect of the original Star Wars story is fantasy. The best way I can illustrate this is by describing the plot of Episode IV (the first Star Wars movie). I've done this once before, so my apologies to anyone that's read me say this already.

Star Wars:

A farm boy finds a message in a bottle. The message is from a princess, asking an old wizard for help because she has been attacked by an evil wizard.

The farm boy ends up meeting the good wizard (who was once a knight) and shows him the message. The wizard explains to the boy that he, too, is a wizard. Together, they hire a pirate to take them to the evil wizard's fortress. There, they rescue the princess, but during the rescue, the evil wizard kills the good wizard in a sword fight.

After the rescue, they decide to go back to the fortress to destroy it, but their weapons can't do it. The farm boy then summons up the magic that was in him and uses that to destroy the evil wizard's fortress.

That's the plot of Star Wars. Knights, monsters, wizards, pirates, and even a princess in distress.

Even George Lucas has stated numerous times that the entire reason he wanted to make Star Wars was to make myths and heroes accessible to a younger audience, so he decided to set his fantasy in a futuristic setting.

Truly, this puts star wars in its own genre (I've always called it space fantasy). But if you put Star Wars into an existing genre, it fits fantasy better than any other.

You just put the whole movie into what YOU wanted to make it into...that's exactly how you spun it and called it fantasy when in fact it is not fantasy in reality. You can spin anything the way you want it to call it w/e you want...the fact falls under sci fi..
Always be who you are, not what the galaxy wants you to be

Mentor System

SWTOR: Out On the Horizon

Honest Assessment of the Game

So Long, Forums

Foxfirega's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 05:05 AM | #22
It's 'science fantasy'. What's the difference?

"A definition, offered by Rod Serling, is that "science fiction the improbable made possible; fantasy, the impossible made probable".[1] The meaning is that science fiction describes unlikely things that could possibly take place in the real world under certain conditions, while science fantasy gives a scientific veneer of realism to things that simply could not happen in the real world under any circumstances. Another interpretation is that science fiction does not permit the existence of fantasy or supernatural elements; science fantasy does."


The Force isn't something that's remotely probable in any setting but Star Wars. It has more involved with 'magic' then even standard psionics do (which the above article does highlight can be the stickiest of wickets insofar as where the line is) by even being explained in terms generally used in fantasy to describe magic (willing things to happen).

I don't see why it's so hard to accept that any writing genre in the fictional category is not a hard/fast rule, and that there can be significant blending between individual genres to create mutant flipper baby genres that we can still love and enjoy.

Get over it, ese.

EDIT: I'd also like to point out Stargate has a significant number of 'mystical' elements that not only can be easily mistaken for magic, but it's canon that they were for an incredibly long time before 'debunked' as super-science. The setting itself has some significant elements of science fantasy baked into it, and I'd be willing to grant that it could be easily labelled as such.

If Gamma World can be labelled as 'Science Fantasy' (and correctly - while being developed by TSR, there was literally no mention anywhere, at all, of 'magic' other then psionics and mutations occasionally being mistaken for it and otherwise explicitly stating it was not magic by that strict definition), then a lot of settings can be open game, or have shades of it.

I'd question Star Trek being labelled 'science fantasy', though I will grant that it does tend to get more then a little crazy with the super-science (especially in the Original Series) that it has enough fantasy elements to be considered 'mostly science fiction with a small helping of fantasy'.

Babylon 5 does, too. The only series I can think of off the top of my head that don't play hard/loose with these definitions are the reboot of Battlestar Galactica (the original got pretty sci-fantasy) and Firefly.
'Your name is in the mouth of others - be sure it has teeth.' - Maxim 16, The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

MilesTeg_cy's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 06:15 AM | #23
Star Wars is a 12 Knights and the Round Table story with futuristic touches. The Jedi(Knights) are after the Holy Grail(The Force-"religious power here") in the name of righteousness(Republic) with (light)sabers in their hands and some family issues in it. SW is a derivative of an other well known story as you see and this new story has "some" science, "more" fiction in it, that's all.
All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted. - Frank Herbert

Vecke's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 06:38 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by Sarfux View Post

You just put the whole movie into what YOU wanted to make it into...that's exactly how you spun it and called it fantasy when in fact it is not fantasy in reality. You can spin anything the way you want it to call it w/e you want...the fact falls under sci fi..
That was the plot of the movie. I just removed the aesthetics.

And I'm just relaying what the creator of the movie established. He called Star Wars a "Modern Myth." He has actually stated that it was largely inspired by Joseph Campbell's writings about heroism and myth. George Lucas stated, time and again, that he created Star Wars so the classic themes of myths can be accessible to modern audiences.

That's not my opinion. It's the opinion of the person that created it. Take that with a grain of salt if you like, but the bottom line is, Star Wars (thematically) has much more in common with myth and fantasy than it has in common with sci fi.
"I know."

MustrumRidcully's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 06:43 AM | #25
Any attempt to classify novels, movies and TV shows tends to give some "leeway". The categories are broad.

I think Star Wars is leaning more into fantasy, as the "science fiction" part of it doesn't really affect the plot that much.

It's not that it's important to have "technobabble" to have Sci Fi. That's more a trap that particularly Star Trek often fell. But it is that you actually explore what it means to live in a world where this fictional science exists. What does it mean to deal with an alien culture that kills off everyone at the age of 50 so they don't put a strain on society? How do we deal with a new sapient species being formed more or less accidentally in the lab? How to deal with time travel?
But, staying with Star Trek for a moment - Star Trek is not just yet. The Dominion Wars in DS9 do not really focus much on the scientific fiction behind it- many are simply war stories. In that regard, they are more or less "dramatic" stories (don't know if there's a better term for it, dramatic sounds a little to general).
The particular Star Wars - at least the original trilogy - told was a heroic journy - a farmboy grows to become a powerful hero that changes the fate of the world. This is more something found in fantasy.

Vecke's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 06:58 AM | #26
"When I did Star Wars, I consciously set about to recreate myth and the classic mythological motif." -- George Lucas, from the documtary "The Mythology of Star Wars."

"I'm not much of a math and science guy. I spent most of my time in school daydreaming and managed to turn it into a living. When I was making "Star Wars," I wasn't restrained by any kind of science." - George Lucas

"The original film was designed to allow young people to think outside the box. It was designed for 12-year-olds, adolescents, kids who were starting to think outside the box anyway, as a way of saying, 'Let your fantasies run free, because this is the time to do it.' That was one of the original purposes of Star Wars."

Lucas has stated that Star Wars is based on myth and fantasy for decades.
"I know."

Listerman's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 07:04 AM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by Sarfux View Post

Remember, forums are for OPINIONS hehehe

While I'm in agreement that Star Wars is Sci-Fi Fantasy (the two can be combined), I got to this point when I realized that the OP is just poking at a bear with a stick. Which bear, I'm not sure, but he's poking it.

Anyone who makes a statement like above is just saying "**** you everybody else! I say what I want!"
"Never touch a Kel Dor's sammich."
"We're on a message board together. I'm already inclined to think you're a schmuck."

Aitix's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 07:06 AM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by Sarfux View Post

The force. This is exactly what people have been pouting about. It is science fiction here, not mythology or fantasy. Why? Midichlorians. This is how it is. The "force" is a background energy in the universe. Midichlorians just happen to be present to tap into that certain ..field..of the energy to give them the power. Hence, the more midichlorians your body has the more energy you feed off of, energy in this sense being "the force". That is pure science fiction right there. Also, lasers, starships, energy generators, repulsor lifts, moisture evaporators, a lot of things that are science fiction.

No matter if you agree with midichlorians or the story of star wars at all, it is how it was written.
The midi-chloriens are NOT the Force. Midi-chloriens are more like transistors; stuff that helps the Jedi and the Sith communicate with the Force.

TheLastWolfman's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 09:10 AM | #29
Hi All,

Dropping my size 8 boots into this, I would like to point out that whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, that does mean an opinion is valid if it contradicts fact.

Star Wars is clearly and undeniably Science Fiction!

It's an easy litmus test.

Does it have any of the following?

Ray Guns
Space Stations
Starship Battles
Advanced technology

If so then it's science fiction.

If many of the elements are left unexplained in terms of current real world understanding of physics, then it is a sun genre of sci-fi known as Space Opera.

Star Wars, Star Trek etc. are clearly Space Opera.

These are facts not opinions.


ErikModi's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 03:24 PM | #30
The debate between what is science fiction and what is fantasy is very heated, and there really is no solid definition. I can tell you the idea that "fantasy is elves and orcs and dragons" and "science fiction is rayguns and spaceships and aliens" is COMPLETELY 100% FALSE.

The two "best" definitions I've heard, from writer who specialize in both sci-fi and fantasy, are as follows:

1) If a plot requires its science to be told, then it is science fiction.

I find this definition lacking, since as Arthur C. Clarke so brilliantly stated, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," leading to the corollaries of "any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced" and, important for this definition, "any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology." Most science fiction uses technology so far beyond what is even theoretically possibly with our scientific knowledge that it may as well be magic (see "Applied Phlebotinum.")

2) Science fiction is about a society, fantasy is about an individual.

This definition I find more appealing, as it draws a thematic line rather than a technical one. Science Fiction stories are about the ability of the society, the group, the whole to come together, overcome their differences, and achieve something together. Star Trek, Babylon 5 (as much as Sheridan becomes an almost fantasy-like figure eventually), Battlestar Galactica (remake), and Eureka are all excellent examples of the idea of the group working together to overcome adversity. The corollary of this, of course, is that the individual cannot overcome without the support of the group. The individual does not matter, though this idea is frequently dropped in most "pop" sci-fi. In a fantasy story, on the other hand, not only can the individual make a difference, but it is often ONLY ONE SPECIFIC individual who can make a difference. Only Frodo can carry the Ring to Mordor. Only King Arthur can wield Excalibur. Only Harry Potter can destroy Voldemort. Only Luke Skywalker can defeat Darth Vader and the Emperor. Only Neo can save our city.

In this case, Star Wars is totally fantasy, since it revolves around not only the power of the individual, but the idea that only those specific individuals can achieve true change. Yoda could never defeat Sidious because he simply wasn't the Chosen One.

Space Opera isn't even a genre, it's a convenient label for stories with a sci-fi veneer over a fantasy theme, like Star Wars.
Jedi vs. Sith, Page 97, column 2, paragraph 4, line 1:

Prior to the Battle of Ruusan, the Jedi used crystals from many different sources, and ignited lightsabers in every known hue, including purple, orange, and gold.