Starwars - Fantasy or Sci-Fi? Round 2

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Overread, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    We did this before, but it got long and mess and stuff so here we go again!

    Stance - that Starwars is a fantasy story and not a Sci-fi story put forward by Anakin

    My counter is that starwars has all the elements of a Sci-fi story. Space ships; planets; hyperdrives; blasters; lasers; robots; laser swords; aliens etc.. Thus as a story it is not a fantasy tale, but a science fiction.
     
  2. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    So a story is not defined by the characters or plot, but by the elements in it, the setting.
    Actually I think Skyanide perfectly desribed SW. It's a fantasy with sci-fi elements.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    A story in itself is made up of both the content of the story and the setting in which it takes place. Sure if you take out the lasers and the robots and such and replace them with fantasy content then yes you can get a fantasy story. But the same is true if we take a good old fantasy story and swap the content and world setting for space, lasers and the like.

    Also I question what parts of the story are "fantasy". Does fantasy actually have any claim to story components? Sure there are themes and general patterns that we can see, but in itself the genre of fantasy holds no unique claim to story contents.
     
  4. padraigmarron

    padraigmarron Member

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    yeah i have to agree i think it's more fantasy than sci-fi love fantasy books but with the exception of maybe dune wouldn't read any sci-fi
     
  5. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Well why is fantasy immediately defined by elements like a setting of the middle-ages. Are we not talking of a long time ago, the typical line to start any fairytale, which sw is suppose to be. The Force itself basically is magic, the jedi are a hybrid of warrors and sorcerers with magic swords, so are their evil conterparts the sith, typical fantasy. Let's not forget that the first film is heavily based on the hidden fortress set in the 17th century. The story almost is the same, but it was modernised to make it more interesting.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Well yes, but simply using the time setting as fantasy or sci-fi is daft - yeah its a long time ago in a galaxy far far away - but its still got robots and the rest. It is still a futuristic setting with strong science fiction content - the fact that its a long time ago from our current perspective is mostly irrelevant.

    As for the force and the concept of magic that also works in reverse. One can take any sci-fi story and swap most of the technology for magical talents and artifacts - swap planets for continents (or heck do what they do in Raymond E Fiests work and have interplanetary fantasy) and that would suddenly make it a fantasy story no a sci fi.

    Remember the Q from startrek are basically gods yet that is still Sci-Fi (heck Deep Space 9 has Wormhole gods).

    It seems more that you're trying to make it fantasy because the root story that it was based upon is more akin to a fantasy story than a scifi - but you can't igore the science fiction content of starwars because it is chosen to be part of the story. C3PO is a robot - the swords are made of laser light - the ships fly around in space - the guns fire light etc.... That is what Sci-fi is. If we follow your argument then technically all science fiction is just fantasy.
     
  7. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Yes, but your comparisson is off. Star Trek is about exploring space, thus you need space ships for the story, otherwise there wouldn't be. Now if you swap the elements in Star Wars it would remain the same. It would be less interesting, but it would basically be the same. Same with a film like Terminator, it's about A.I. technology and time travel. Star Wars is the classic good vs. evil where you have the Force instead of magic, you have rebel fighters fighting against an empire mostly based on empires in history such as the Roman Empire.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Anakin the whole Good vs Evil appears a lot in both sci-fi and fantasy its not something that binds itself only to the world of fantasy alone - even though its been a major component of many stories (at least certainly since the time of Tolkien's influence).

    Also you say that if I change space to (say) the sea it would change the nature of Star Trek and that is true - but the same can be said for Star Wars. It's about intergalactic empires - moons that are space stations - whole worlds being blasted away and such. Are those things not massive science fiction elements?


    In truth both Sci-fi and fantasy are very close in many respects are to story content and there are some who view sci-fi as being a subgroup of fantasy itself. That of being a fantasy story based in a science driven world set. Myself I think that whilst linked its not a case of one being over the other but the two being side by side.
     
  9. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Strip away Star Trek from it's sci-fi elements and the story would be impossible to continue. It would not remain the same. Strip SW from it's setting and sci-fi elements the story remains the same, only the setting changes and other elements. This is proven by the first film after all it is a remake of a film set in the 17th century. The Death Star was a large fortress attack it with ships, instead of spaceship, you'll lose the dynamic flying and action, but again the story remains the same. Change the galatic empire to an empire as you know it, what's the difference, planets to continents.... How does that changes the story of a princess that needs to be rescued from a large fortress.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    But you can do the very same for Star Wars - just change the space ship to a regular wooden ship - change planets into continents on some giant water island world and there you go - massive scope for exploration of strange and unknown lands - with all the varied fantasy beasts and cultures you could wish for.

    As I said earlier with magic you can pretty much do that for any sci-fi story - heck even robots can be retained to a certain degree if you bring in the concept of artificial life (golems - necromancy). Again its not the story that is the key part of telling a fantasy from a sci-fi - its the deliberate use of the world set and the setting in itself that is the key defining point.
     
  11. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    That's why the story is a fantasy with sci-fi elements. Couldn't have said it better myself...
    A story is determined by its plot, the characters... not setting or other elements.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Yes but the point is all Sci-fi contains a fantasy element to it - hence why some consider it simply a sub-genre of fantasy in itself. Thus its not Star Wars that is a fantasy story it is every Sci-fi from Star Wars and Star Trek through to Isaac Asimov's works and even Space operas like Nights Dawn Trillogy.

    Since in itself each element can be faithfully reproduced (with regard to story influence) in the fantasy world - space ships to wooden ships or even dragon ships (Temerair) - robots to golems -- even complex science jargen can be replaced with just as complex fantasy magic jargen.

    Thus we have to divide things and that line is the sci-fi line - which is why Star Wars is a Sci-fi and not Pure fantasy.
     
  13. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I just don't agree that the genre is depended on the elements in the story which are of no importance if you would strip them, yet the story would not change, this is not the case however in films like Star Trek and Terminator, where if you were to change these elements you would defeat the purpose. Like you said change the robots to Golums or something, what would that change? Nothing, cause it does follow the typic mythological motif of the hero's journey.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I'm confused now - you're both saying that if I change the Terminator to a golem nothing will change - but that also if I did that it would defeat the purpose of the story in itself and thus would break the story?

    I don't think you can have that argument working both ways ;)
     
  15. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    No I said that was the case for Star Wars, because the droids are only comedy sidekicks. Them being a droid serves barely a purpose, while for the terminator again it's not the same. Well the terminator is a cyborg but you get my point.
     
  16. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    But there is no functional difference between a cyborg and a golem with reference to the Terminator - time travel as well is well used and easily done within fantasy. The whole story of Terminator can be done both with magic or machine and still get the same net end effect.

    BUT it was done with machines - so this fictional tale is science based - thus its roots are in science fiction.
    HAD it been done with magic and golems its base would have been fantasy based and thus it would have been a fantasy tale (ok fantasy action horror)
     
  17. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    It's Sci-Fi. Shut up.
     
  18. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    No, I won't, Overread, the reason it's done with sci-fi elements is because it's suppose to be about how machines try to kill mankind, and that with timetravel they try to prevent it. that's the basic story. If you are going to strip machines away from the story, there's almost nothing left. So again I'll repeat that's not the case with SW.
     
  19. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I bet you anything if you strip away the Death Star and the concept of Dark Vader being half machine half man that Star Wars would change in a similar manner to if you change the Terminator from machine to golem (or any other kind of artificial life).
     
  20. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    That the Death Star is a space station is not of importance. It's based on an invincible fortress, which you also saw in the hidden fortress, which serves as proof that you can strip the story away from its sci-fi elements. The point of Vader's armor is that it's not natural, it's the natural vs. unnatural. If he was kept alive by anything supernatural, it would still remain the same. Once again your comparisson speaks only of details irrelivent to the story.