Case in point: Episode VII: Revenge of the Writers
In the article, the SF writers complain that Lucas's saga isn't really SF, at least certainly not representative of the science-fiction being turned out in print today.
And, as I note, maybe that's the problem. I stopped reading modern SF when it became clear to me that nobody writing in the genre has a hopeful outlook for the future any longer. Everything's dark and distopian. Nobody's writing about the joys of spaceflight and exploration, about the ways in which technology can make our world better not worse.
"That's the past of science fiction you're talking about," said Richard K. Morgan, the British cyberpunk-noir writer whose most recent novel is "Market Forces."
That kind of cute, sunny woodsiness [eg, Ewoks] seems particularly out of place in current science fiction. For as sci-fi has turned inward, it has also turned darker. "It's a rather quieter and more disturbing kind of science fiction," Mr. Morgan said.
"Star Wars" can hardly be called quiet or disturbing. But there is a film, made around the same time as "The Empire Strikes Back," that does fit that description: "Blade Runner." Many people, including Mr. Morgan, consider the film, directed by Ridley Scott, to be one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, because it was as much about what's inside as what's outside. It, not "Star Wars," was truly ahead of its time.
"You've got the gun battles and all that stuff," Mr. Morgan said, "but the movie is very much about internal factors, like robots yearning to be humans."
"And even now, 20 years later, it still looks like the future," he added. "That's a neat trick."
I once complained that it was mistake when DC Comics assigned Keith Giffen, a self-proclaimed technophobe who didn't even own a computer, to write and draw the previously sunny future of The Legion of Super-Heroes. He promptly turned the United Planets of the 30th Century into a political and ecological disaster zone. No surprise.
Over the past quarter-century, prose SF writers have done the same with the once attractive futures envisioned by Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and others. And they wonder why the general public prefers George Lucas's vision?