For A Good Time Writing, Try Science Fiction
The one writing genre that shouldn't make people think about our petty human problems.
Earth is a great distance from the advancements in most science fiction movies. The stories told by science fiction writers are happening in distant galaxies, far, far, away. Thus, it’s reasonable to expect they serve a purpose to help the viewer escape their lives and introduce us to a fantasy land. Yet, many science fiction writers include today's ideas in their sci-fi works.
There are reasons that subjects we deal with today shouldn’t be included in the movies, or used to write manuscripts and screenplays for science fiction. Only science fiction nerds seem to understand this. Yet, it’s not just the sci-fi nerds enjoying the books and movies of sci-fi writers.
I’m reminded of a question an inmate at the detention center where I worked asked when Star Wars fans anxiously were awaiting the day they could see The Force Awakens. The commercials were on television daily, and everybody was interested in the new Star Wars movies.
“Hey, what do you think about a ‘black guy’ being in Star Wars? There ain’t no black guy been in Star Wars.”
There it was, Star Wars, being politicized. People, not all, but a vocal minority seemed to care. Why didn’t it matter to many people?
A Galaxy Far Far Away
When it comes to science fiction writing, and portraying science fiction, the idea that there is something special about this or that person being of a specific color is a head-scratcher. It is, after all, in space.
Perhaps it was a mistake for writers to put a “same-sex” kiss in Star Wars. Frankly, had I just survived a battle and helped save the universe from Emperor Palpatine, I’m running around and kissing everybody. Yet again, it was an issue for people to attack.
When you see things in science fiction movies, if you’re immersed in the movie, then you’d realize that what goes on in scenes on other worlds are just that, on other worlds. And, on other worlds, how do you know what gender anybody is, or if they’re a robot or clone? It’s science fiction.
When asked about the character of Finn (John Boyega), I had to stop and remind the thirty-ish-year-old prisoner that there was a reason what he asked me was stupid. Billy Dee Williams, unless there’s a secret I don’t know about, was a black actor. The great James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader was a black actor. And in the hundreds of stormtroopers we’d seen over the years, how did he know none of them were black actors?
Sci-fi Can Bond Us
The one thing that science fiction can do, and that viewers and lovers of the genre should see, is how it could bond us together.
- Imagining the differences between our world’s inhabitants and that of otherworlds should make us realize how small ours really are.
- Sci-Fi stories often focus on a better future, one where things are hostile, violent, and rife with struggle. On the comedy sci-fi show Orville, the world has gotten over the need for money and wealth, and people are now measured by their deeds. And, by people, that’s anyone in their union, which is the equivalent of the United Federation of Planets on Star Trek.
- The world comes together in many science fiction adventures to solve a massive problem, tackle a global calamity, and make the world a better place. Look at stories like the 80s mini-series “V”, Independence Day, and Invasion.
If people remember, particularly when it comes to science fiction, the stories of beings from other worlds that can fly around the galaxy imply that these are more mature and advanced races. They aren’t going to be caught up in what people look like, what they believe, or what they think that’s different. It all comes down to a simple question of good versus evil.
That’s why science fiction should never remind you of Earth. Well, that and the fact that it is fiction.
About the Creator
Jason Ray Morton
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.
It does make a difference when we either do or don't see someone with whom we can identify in our movies & stories. If what we see always looks like us (except for those wearing masks), we begin to assume it's the norm. And when we don't see folks who look like us, we begin to wonder why. We feel different & like we don't fit. As a white male living in the United States of America, it didn't bother me growing up because most of the actors (especially the stars & heroes), looked like me. I've got a hunch that if my skin had been of a different hue, I might have wondered why the folks who looked like me were always the bad guys, never the heroes, or always the servants or minor characters. I don't believe it matters whether it's science fiction or anything else. When all the stars or heroes look like one segment of the population, especially when it tends to be the most privileged segment, it sends a message that people tend to pick up & internalize, whether intended or not. Other than completely disagreeing with your promise, I must say that you presented your thoughts on the matter very cogently & well, & I appreciate that even though I am not persuaded.