What should Sci-Fi series or movies focus on?
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Sci-Fi fantasy has one edge over other genres like drama, action, romedy, comedy and horror – it is very imaginative. Who could have thought the force, light sabres, star destroyers from star wars existed, the replicator, from Star Trek, is almost real.
The premise of the imagination from Sci-Fi is a distinct possibility for becoming real – though not all. (Cough, cough – the force).
As a hardcore sci-fi fan, not all series or movies focus on the core storyline. Some series like The Expanse is better off as a series. Star Gate culminated in three different series and a few movies to plug the plot holes and avoid cliffhangers. This approach cannot accommodate all series. There are exceptions.
What is better? It depends on what the series is trying to convey. Star Wars, for example, as the name implies, is about wars between the good and evil. Star Trek is more like a sci-fi adventure taking you through various English-speaking-fluent aliens.
I’ve said it before I am more of star wars person. The series should not divert from the main storyline. Star Wars focuses on wars, conflicts, negotiations, politics and everything else related to the wars. Space-battles are a bonus.
I don’t care about the realism of space battles as they look good on-screen. In a series, the focus is always the story and how it unfolds.
The common premise of Sci-Fi movies and series:
The underlying fact of all sci-fi series falls on the premise of good vs evil. There are good people and bad people.
I am yet to come across a series in which there are no good, no evil and no neutral. My idea is as such – one species is forced to do evil because it has to survive and feed its vast subjects in the empire. Evil out of compulsion? Sounds new! This perspective is good vs evil of Star Wars.
The Sith are considered evil because of their inward thinking and their craving for power. Jedi are considered more outward thinking and caring for others. A broader explanation is the Jedi are the light side of the force while the Sith are the dark side. Both must be in balance. It is this imbalance that creates the war – according to me.
A fairly novel concept I would say. What about the Cardassians, the Borg, the Romulans in Star Trek? Do you think they are evil? I don’t. Borg can be an exception here – though I would not call them the evil of sorts, there is a fault in their ‘original programming’. Borg origins are still a mystery and there may be many theories on their evolution into an expansionist species.
Let’s face it – their goal is to see all organics as them. In other words – assimilation of all sentient life into the collective.
Something similar is about the Goa’uld from the Star Gate series. Babylon 5 did not explore any good vs evil concept but rather an opposing idealogy of two ancient species – the Shadow and the Vorlons.
Series and movies with excellent stories:
Two sci-fi series in which the stories for the core are: Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5. If you are a sci-fi fan and not seen these two series then seriously shame on you. Go and watch them. If you are not a sci-fi fan you still ought to watch them for a simple reason the series does not focus on any technobabble. The story forms the core with a focus on character development.
Movies with an excellent concept:
The Matrix franchise – although they drew a lot of inspiration from Indian and Eastern philosophies the franchise did exceptionally well. Humans were grown to power the machines.
The Terminator series is as good as dead. Star Trek movies may follow a similar fate. Star Wars movies are surviving.
The Arrival – adapted from a novel. The classic – Close encounters of the third kind. Independence Day 1 – was the best. Oblivion, Edge of tomorrow and A Quiet Place are all excellent movies.
The concept and the stories do not necessarily go hand in hand. The Matrix series is an excellent example where the premise was to a fight for freedom against the sentient machines.
The story is built around the concept most of the time. That is a good idea for carrying forward.