(with apologies to James White)
Yesterday I ran across an article [Link] entitled “10 Space Operas to Read Before You See Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” This article is a list of books – supposed “Space Operas” that one should read before viewing the latest “Star Wars” oater film.
Let me start by reminding folks that I consider the whole “Star Wars” shtick to be unadulterated, odoriferous, nauseating CRAP. I have stated this previously but it is necessary to keep repeating it because the shtick glorifies slavery. Yes, the central theme is supposedly a conflict between totalitarianism and democracy but the actuality of democracy is never demonstrated. And the cancer of slavery is continually demonstrated.
The only merit of this shtick is that it provides a teaching case of Sturgeon’s Rule: 90% of everything is crap. In this instance it is the ensemble of “Science Fiction” cinema.
I should comment that it was physically nauseating to key those last three words. Real Science Fiction and cinema are almost orthogonal. Cinema that may be considered actual Science Fiction is a rarity on the scale of chicken teeth. So to avoid having to halt periodically and sanitize my screen and keyboard, I adopt the convention of pSFcinema where the “p” stands for “pseudo”.
There is some good pSFcinema. Forbidden Planet is the epitome, mostly because of a story line plagiarized (?) from Billy Rattlelance and good acting – expected from Walter Pigeon, surprisingly from Leslie Neilson, and consistently from the supporting cast, especially the robot.
Sadly, most contemporary pSFcinema is cartoon-like. The acting is abysmal to non-existent and the visual effects are imitations of Coyote (Road Runner?) cartoons – the old ones, not the contemporary ones which are single layered.
This is the nature of Star Wars cinema. The cartoon effects are coyote quality but the acting pretty well died in the first reel when Sir Alec Guiness shuffled off. Not that there weren’t good genes and efforts but the scripts were basically counteracting.
That dogs lunch, however, does not really address the CRAP issue. It is a component but there are so many components to the CRAP that an enumeration would be diverting as well as annoying.
The teaching aspect is that the Star Wars cinema balance out the good stuff. In this they have value. Because the Star Wars cinemas are so bad, there is actually room created in the universe for good pSFcinema. A couple of the Star Trek movies were fair, mostly because of Leonard Nimoy and Deforrest Kelley. Sadly they never rose to the excellence of the television versions, but then a large budget can spoil the milk.
And Star Trek actively combats slavery and tyranny and injustice and Capitalism and Nazism and …. Grail quest. Occasionally a bit preachy and evangelical. But better. Marginally.
So, as with most crap, even Star Wars has some redeeming value by making it possible for good pSFcinema to be made.
Getting back to the article. It consists of a list of books. This gets into the realm of actual Science Fiction. And it fails. The books are almost all Star Wars genre. Which is 100% CRAP as Science Fiction. Useful for delivering babies – the ink is antiseptic even if the pages are small – but not real Science Fiction. About on the par of elected politicians being honest and honorable.
What should have been recommended was actual Science Fiction space opera: the Smiths – George O. – Venus Equilateral; and Edward Elmer – Skylark and Lensman series; Asimov; Anderson; ….;. But NOT Star Wars CRAP.
This omission is crucial to these bounders. If the people who worship the Star Wars CRAP were exposed to actual Science Fiction, the religion would collapse. And that would damage the cash flow.