>> Monday, August 16, 2010
Not ready for anything serious and I've been busy with work and rewriting the novel I'm writing right now, so keeping it light and reusing. I'd noted before that I'm a character person, but also a pick-a-parter. Here's an example of my pick-a-parting talent.
I was surprised at my reaction when I saw a discussion where Star Wars was described as “pure science fiction.” Hard science fiction is fiction that is firmly grounded in science, where the science is as much a part of the story as the characters. Despite my science background, I don’t write hard science fiction because I’m much more into characters than science.
However, Star Wars does not count as pure or hard science fiction. Why do you say that? Haven’t you seen the “Science of Star Wars” type shows? Yep. Not impressed. In reality, what did they do in Star Wars that made scientific sense?
They shot out of open portholes and landed crafts in bays open to space. They wander about on asteroids wearing only gas masks as opposed to full pressure suits. The ships are cool-looking, but impractical. Center of gravity on most are so out of whack as to make them challenging to fly realistically with or without atmosphere.
Actually, I guess I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. The story, of course, is old and proven, the kind of feel good story that’s been used over and over because it’s successful. Some of the characters are appealing (more so after the “first” one when someone besides Lucas did the dialog). Above, all, though, it had tons of glitz in a movie industry that had never seen anything like it.
But, even without the science, did the stories and details make sense? The weapons are highly impractical (explain, for instance, the advantage to being able to destroy a planet into dust - what have you really accomplished? Space dust is somewhat less than useful.). Hand to hand skills under such circumstances are, uh, superfluous. Why the stress on that? Exactly how many droids wander the deserts of Tatooine for the Jawas to be able to make a living off stealing them? And how come it took 13 minutes to fly at “full throttle” down the trench on the Death Star, but the whole Death Star is kilometers in the background seconds later.
What does the Empire achieve by “taking over” that they didn’t have working behind the Republic? Given the success of the robot fighters, what was the benefit of the clones? It’s not like they were encouraged to think independently since disobedience was punished by death. Why clone a bounty hunter for a flood of soldiers? Why would a space port, like that on Tatooine, not take off-world money or have a way of converting it? Why have a port then? Why in the world would anyone of conscience buy the freedom of a boy and leave the mother he adored?
Star Wars is an excellent example what happens when I’m not in love with the characters enough: everything that doesn’t make much sense leaps out and grabs me by the throat (including why Luke could be all but unaffected by the brutal and probably torturous death of the people that raised him, but devastated for three movies about the death of a man he’d known three days or so). I like Hans Solo and Leia else I might have a list for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but I guess you get the idea.