Discussion in 'Entertaining Diversions' started by Wader, Jan 7, 2013.
Brave New World comes to mind for me first.
It's been a long time since I read it, but I don't think Brave New World involves biometrics or genetic testing, or at least not in the sense that we use those terms today. So, if we're having a discussion about whether or not a national-ID card should include a genetic profile or whether children with poor genes should be aborted, BNW wouldn't really be relevant, while Gattaca is right on point.
This is very true. Consider that every single person in this thread knows what an Ewok is, yet the word Ewok isn't spoken anywhere in the entire length of Return of the Jedi.
If we are going by the 20 year rule, then Snow Crash (barely) and Neuromancer are out.
Another question is what do we define as "Science Fiction" anyway? Some people throw fantasy into the same pot, so the Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter movies, and Jurassic Park movies would all be fair game.
X Files? Aliens...Govt. conspiracy...the hopelessness of the individual pitted against a malevolent universe...The Truth is not in here.
Tangentially related, but I mainly just love this story.
That is awesome. I just became even more of a Lucas fan.
Wait, how do you do an entire college film studies class on Lucas? At the time he had directed like, what, four or five movies? I guess they filled it out with all the stuff he was EP on. Man, talk about an easy class.
Firefly you cucking funts.
*drops microphone, walks off stage*
The bomb guy from GI Joe? That's not exactly sci-fi.
Firefly got one more season than it deserved.
THIS IS U
Sorry, but I barely know anyone who isn't a geek that would recognize the name, let alone saw it. Hell, I haven't seen it. And from what little I know it perhaps was good storytelling, but with next to no impact on either other sci-fi works or society at large.
Regarding GATTACA - I like the movie a lot, although having repeatedly seen the name used in popular culture 'discussions' of science related to genomics in lieu of actual arguments has soured my admiration a bit. That being said, I do not agree on it being that influential. For one it is not extremely widely known, more limited to what I'd consider geek circles. Secondly, and more importantly, I have heard about genetic fingerprinting etc. well in advance of the movies existence, and was certainly part of the lay audience at the time. So, I would not b willing to attribute the the spreading of these ideas to this move. And if we go for the eugenics/designer kids angle, that has been present in debates outside sci-fi pretty much since WW2. Just look at the debates about abortions, at least here in Germany in the 70s/80s.
Edit: Please add an 'as other have pointed out' at the relevant places. Never post when tired and overworked ! Or at least read the thread before answering to a post other than the last. One day I will learn that, but it seems not today.
Sort of. It definitely included genetic engineering, though. Embryos were retarded (in the literal sense of the word) by adding varying amounts of chemicals in order to fill quotas for different genetic castes. Alphas, the leaders of the society, were allowed to develop fully. Epsilons, who did things like run the elevators, were deliberately stunted in their mental development.
So I'm gonna mention a (<30 years) universe that I feel like had an impact on popular culture's appreciation of machines: Terminator.
Yeah, the time travel business may as well be space wizards, but the idea of machines taking over is a scifi theme that got introduced to the public consciousness in a big way through that franchise. The Matrix looked at similar themes for the folks just now hitting their 20s.
ETA: Gah I meant <30, not <20.
I was thinking of Terminator too.
X-Files is actually a pretty good suggestion for "important" in the sense of shaping and/or reflecting the zeitgeist. As its run continued (coinciding with the rise of the nutty militias and OK City bombing and FEMA fear and UN paranoia) I was starting to worry that it was actually having a significant negative impact on US attitudes.
Fucking what? Firefly is just Star Wars with no magic. There's nothing influential about the Firefly universe whatsoever.
This. Firefly was fun, but not at all influential.
Terminator is going too far back IMO, I mean if we start trotting that out we might as well bring out Aliens too.
Oh, and it took place "a long time ago," and that's totally fantasy, right?
I'm puzzled as to the source of the interest in this "science fiction" versus "fantasy" debate. Where is it supposed to lead and/or what insights is it intended to convey? Is one inherently better than the other? Or are we just creating a system of entertainment taxonomy for its own sake?
I'm not sure how Star Wars was any more "influential," unless of course you're talking about the influence it has had on the size of George Lucas's mansion.
I loved Firefly, but I have to agree that by standards of influential, it's not really the most important one out there in the last ten or fifteen years. (Now trying not to think about the fact that it's that old.) And I think there are different axes of influential: there's the kind of influence where something seeps into the pop culture and becomes the vaguely assumed default for what that genre is--see Lord of the Rings and fantasy--and the kind of influence where something hits a lot of young proto-creators in the brain and inspires them to write things that are homages and reactions to that. And...a lot of the time these two things overlap, but not always.
I would be willing to accept, in another ten years, that Mass Effect could be the former; I think it's too soon to tell. I strongly doubt that it's the latter. I love the setting, with all its great space opera riffs, but it's not the kind of setting or story that's going to be pushing a lot of people to make something new in reaction to that in particular. But that may be a completely different sort of definition for "important" for another thread.
You mean aside from completely changing how people approached presenting fantastical or speculative worlds in film, television and nearly every other form of pop culture media, as well as creating the "summer blockbuster" phenomenon alongside Jaws?
It is pretty fucking hard to understate the influence of Star Wars. For better or worse, it changed entertainment completely.
Oh, I agree with you with respect to the influence of Star Wars as a franchise and entertainment phenomenon. But I thought the question underlying this thread was about science fiction "universes," and I don't see the Star Wars "universe" itself as being particularly influential, insofar as it's just a cobbled together collection of pulp cliches.
It definitely popularized the used future visual, with ships being dirty and potentially a bit broken down. Most sci-fi films prior had presented stuff in a very clean manner.
Sarah Connor Chronicles wasn't that long ago, and even though it was canceled it presented a pretty awesome universe. Most important? No idea. I can't parse what 'important' means to other people. I think it's a bit old now, but The Boat of a Million Years presented a really interesting take on science fiction as we see progression over such a long period of time (hint: immortals. Think The Man From Earth).
I want to correct this but it sort of works as is too.
Star Wars is not "our generation", you old farts. It's more than 40 yrs old. I think if someone opens with Mass Effect, the furthest back in time you can go is 20 years to consider a "generation". Therefore I nominate The Matrix.
Oh snap, good call. Well, the first movie anyway.
I would nominate Manga/Anime (whatevs) as an entire category or body of style. Robots, cyber culture stuff, strange pauses in fight scenes/bullet time. I am by no means an expert on Japanese animation, but their big, flagship series have had a very big impact in the West and popular culture in general I would argue.
Apparently I went to bed and woke up sometime after 2017.
I presume that you're being generous and allowing
chequers to pretend that the PT doesn't exist.
Jar Jar Binks and Emo Anakin is your generation, whippersnapper! (Also, mathfail, as
sinfony points out). :)
It appears we can't put counting down as a skill of this generation either.
Star Trek NG? Its kind of a cop-out, since Star Trek has always been very influential. Look at all the touch screens and ipad like devices that they used, the voice controlled computer, heck even the holodeck is on its way: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/..._living_room_for_video_games.php#.UO8GJG_oQy4
Just to be clear, I'm in no way arguing for Star Wars for this generation, just commenting on it in reference to its own time as others have brought it up.
Separate names with a comma.