I’m going to answer the question of whether Star Wars is science fiction or fantasy definitively.
Star Wars is a fantasy set in space.
“The Force” is clearly and obviously magic. Sure, you could argue that it’s the power of the mind and Jedis use telekinesis, and telepathy, and so on, which is science fiction, but they also forecast the future, talk to the dead, visit evil caves, and feel each other… that’s fantasy.
I could point to the fact that, in the Star Wars movies, there is never any attempt to explain how anything works, at all.
Why is there sound in space? Fantasy.
How do lightsabers work? Fantasy.
How does Yoda go from being crippled to doing back-flips? Fantasy.
How do you stop a blaster bolt in mid-air? Fantasy.
How do bombs drop in space? Fantasy.
How does the baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy get foiled accidentally by a blind man? Well, being completely oblivious that the character you created had become a much bigger deal to fans than you realize, and — Fantasy.
Science is completely absent from the Star Wars universe. Everything that happens in Star Wars happens because it’s cool. And that’s fantasy.
Oh sure, there’s one exception to that rule, and it’s midi-chlorians, which goes against everything that Lucas himself established in order to affect social change. Introducing midi-chlorians was a mistake because Star Wars is a fantasy.
I’ll be glad to explain why midi-chlorians broke the no-explanation rule in another article soon.
All the Elements Scream Fantasy
We could also look at Star Wars from a dispassionate distance. There are knights, and princesses, and wizards. A farm boy leaves to save the princess from the evil Lord’s castle. Along the way, there are sword-fights, and rope-swings across chasms, and weird creatures, and adventure.
Is basically this guy!
I’m sure there are still plenty of people who are skeptical, but I’m going to defer to no less than Star Wars creator George Lucas to put this whole silly thing to bed FOREVER.
Here, speaking about Star Wars, in his own words, is George Lucas talking to “Rolling Stone” magazine in 1977,
“Well, I had a real problem because I was afraid that science-fiction buffs and everybody would say things like, “You know there’s no sound in outer space”. I just wanted to forget science. That would take care of itself. Stanley Kubrick made the ultimate science-fiction movie and it is going to be very hard for somebody to come along and make a better movie, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t want to make a 2001, I wanted to make a space fantasy that was more in the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs; that whole other end of space fantasy that was there before science took it over in the Fifties. Once the atomic bomb came, everybody got into monsters and science and what would happen with this and what would happen with that. I think speculative fiction is very valid but they forgot the fairy tales and the dragons and Tolkien and all the real heroes.”
Cue the John Williams music.
Star Wars is, and always has been, a fantasy tale.
Hello, my name is Dirk Hooper. I have a deep passion for writing that has led me to win a few awards. I’ve had work published at Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, Business Insider, Quartz, The Sporting News, and much more.
In addition to writing, I’m a professional photographer and artist, a consultant for adult marketing and branding, and an audio talent.
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