This Is Not The Droid You’re Looking For
I’m amused at the seriousness with which fans of genre fiction and film take up the defense of their fantasias.
Mind you, I’m a science fiction geek, although the genre has been infiltrated with those of Fantasy and Horror to a degree that it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. They’re quite distinct flavors, those three, and while they can overlap, each genre has its own peculiar flavor. I’m not into horror, though I am a fan of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, which is a fusion of both SF and Horror. The monster by itself would not do it for me. I need the space ships, the android, the space tech and the suspending animation cradles, etc. I also enjoy the different eras of “Star Trek” even though it freely mixes in equal parts of Fantasy, a genre that I am not that hot on either.
But that’s another story.
My biggest complaints, however, are often over the seemingly small things that lazy world builders think negligible. Nerd SF world builders need to get out a little more often, take a good look at the world around them.
Like “Star Trek”. I mean, what’s up with those stupid bowl haircuts that every — and I mean, every — Vulcan sports? A whole planet, mind you, a whole world of men, women and children who have a Moe Howard (you know, the bossy stooge from “The Three Stooges”) haircut? Really? That’s a writer’s idea of alieness? (Well: it is strange.) But please. Our world alone, has multiple continents, numerous races and genetic types and diverse cultures, not to mention a long, illustrious history. Perhaps it’s true that certain groups of people often have a preponderance for similar hair composition, but no, not everyone has the same goddamned haircut. What a profound failure of imagination on behalf of the writers.
And what’s up with those transporter rooms? In the original TV “Star Trek” with Kirk and Spock and Bones, people would light up when they were being broken down into individual atoms, dematerialized and moved from one location to another, like Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly”. They would remain static — that is, unmoving — during the process. Admittedly, this was probably due more to a low shooting monetary budget and inferior special effects. But it was nonetheless consistent with the laws of physics and it made cognitive common sense. I mean, how can you move when your entire body has been broken down into tiny bits of light? The light might waver or flicker, sure, but for crying out loud, you got not muscles! You got no body! How can you move? Your can’t turn to see what’s behind you. I mean, you got no eyes!
My favorite is the Voice on “Dune”. Now what hell is that about? How can practice alone in modulating the tone and timbre of your voice turn it into a weapon? How well does that work when your mom gets mad and yells, you jump. When your boss yells at you, you cringe. But that’s not THE VOICE. The “Dune” trick is kinda like the Star Wars Jedi “mind trick” where you can make somebody do something or believe something just by either waving your hand while, well, just talking. Modulating her tone and pitch, thank you. Really? How? (Let me try that at Burger King. “You will give me a Double-Double with cheese, fries and a Coke, and not charge me, bitch! Wait a minute there. Whadda you mean I gotta pay? Didn’t you hear what I said?”) On “Dune”, does the Bene Gesserit have a medical plan that gives discount on some sort of Sci Fi surgery to implant some sort of chip to modulate your voice and create over-powering Mento-Rays to hijack people’s wills, minds and muscle control? Well, that’s all you had to say, vato loco.
Oh well. That’s fantasy for you. Science fiction needs a reason; fantasy doesn’t.
It just is.
And by the way. This really isn’t the droid you are looking for.