The Exchange’s Mr. Loverd acknowledges getting the minutiae correct services “that small percentage of the population that can understand this stuff.” But writers face fans who have turned the Web into an accountability tool. And shows like “MythBusters” have popularized movie-science debunking. There are also academic critiques. The 2013 space drama “Gravity” was a hit, but astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson publicly raised questions: Why did satellite debris orbit east to west, and why didn’t Sandra Bullock’s hair float in zero-G? The movie makers, Dr. Tyson says in an email, “needed that twist of reality to intensify the story.”
Science fiction seems to have science become non-fiction, and if the science thereof doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, sci-fi writers may find themselves in hot water. It’s a topic that’s near and dear, given I’m writing a manuscript that has a decent sci-fi element.
I’m trying to ensure accuracy where possible, but I’m afraid when it comes to faster than light travel, I’ll be dropping the ball.
It’s fair to say that US scientist and science fiction author David Brin takes a reasonably dim view of the Star Wars films, especially the first six movies. It’s series creator George Lucas’ “sneering contempt for democracy and the common man”, that particularly gets on Brin’s goat, to say nothing of that “nasty little green oven mit” Yoda:
Yoda is pretty much, inarguably, the most evil figure ever in the history of any human mythology. I have defied folks to name one time when he says or does anything that is indisputably wise. The trail of destruction that follows him and every decision that he makes is inarguable and overwhelming.
Evil, and not much of a strategist either. Or was he?
I do hope folks will notice, for example, that Yoda, in Attack of the Clones, orders the Jedi into a suicide charge that kills most of them, then conveniently shows up with the new clone army that he ordered. An act of treachery and betrayal so stunning that I had to watch the movie twice. Perhaps that was Lucas’ evil plan.
Brin has written a book, Star Wars on Trial, that examines the good and bad aspects of the saga in court case fashion, where he, unsurprisingly, acts as the prosecuting attorney.
A new book by Sir Christopher Frayling presents the largely unpublished archive of art director Harry Lange’s designs, concepts, roughs and photographs for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The result is a veritable feast for design and film geeks.
Today’s obligatory Star Wars related post – I think have one ready to go for tomorrow as well – asks the question, should there be a Han Solo anthology, or “spin off” film made? As I said a few months ago, Solo’s the sort of person who’d have a couple of stories to tell. Thing is, would it be a good idea to make movies out of them?
Why do audiences need to see the events that made Han Solo who he is? He’s a complete package the second he’s introduced – rebellious, charming, with just enough bravado to disguise that he’s making it up as he goes along – and so much of that is down to Ford’s performance. Any new actor in the role will be saddled with the choice between trying to imitate Ford or creating their own take on the character, and both will be a tough sell.
I think he missed the mark however in regards to the current crop of villains who are intent on galactic domination. They have no presence. Darth Vadar was terrifying. Kylo Ren is not. Ditto Supreme Leader Snoke, who completely lacks the enigma and menace of Palpatine, the Emperor.
Palpatine went virtually unseen for the first two original Star Wars films, and that, I thought, played a big part in building up his character. An over size hologram of Snoke is the only fear instilling mechanism this time around, and that’s not saying much. It’s also something we’ve seen before anyway, in The Empire Strikes Back.
So, what to expect in episode eight then? Another “I am your father” sort of moment? Might be brother, or sister, of course. Time will tell.
The hoverboards in question are not the least bit like the devices from the Back to the Future films, but maybe they’re close enough for some people. I’ve seen a few of these around now, and while they look fun, it appears some models have an unfortunate tendency to burst into flames. That’s not much use if Biff Tannen happens to be in hot pursuit.
An exploding two-wheeler burned down a house in Louisiana a few weeks ago; another scooter combusted in the same state in the past week. A gyroboard caused significant damage to a home in New York a few days ago. At a mall in Washington this week, a scooterboard caught fire and shoppers were forced to evacuate. The perceived danger is significant enough that major airlines have banned the little vehicles altogether.
I guess some of us will be waiting to hear what whispers emanate from Los Angeles, following the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday – I’m going to try and block out any chatter for now – but let’s not forget that a new installment of the rebooted Star Trek films, Star Trek Beyond, is out next year.
If this first trailer is anything to go by, they’re definitely ramping up the action aspect, and possibly the slapstick. Is that because Justin Lin, who directed the Fast & Furious films, is at the helm, or is that the way the producers want to take the series? Time will tell. Also, it seems the USS Enterprise has been lost/destroyed.
Didn’t that happen in the third film that featured the original Star Trek cast?
General relativity is a treasure trove of ideas that have enriched science fiction for decades. Take wormholes – a popular form of transportation for fictional space explorers and a consequence of general relativity’s stretchy space-time. “That kind of flexibility allows you in theory to kind of bend space so much that you actually get really a shortcut between different parts of the universe, potentially even opposite parts of the universe,” Pope said.