we all run around all our lives trying to figure out what’s what. From cradle to barge.
You can youse all sorts of access, religion, spirituality, hardcore science, and so on. Of course colorful mixtures of this as well.
You can find the answers you seek in holy scriptures, books, scrolls, or pseudo wise tidbits spewn out be a blogging author of not that well written stories.

Or in SciFi.
Yeah, that’s where the Stars come from. Not some of my weird minded stuff flung in your face. But Science Fiction!

Science Fiction has the unique opportunity to play around. It can’t only tell you what’s what, but also what’s not. It opens unique looks on the world, as SciFi is and always had been, and for the most part always will be, a mirror for the society it originated in.

Take Star Trek for example. Black people, asians, a russian, an obvious american and a scottsman working together!
This is breaking up the restrictions that the 60s had, it took a mirror and distorted the image. Mankind, all of mankind, was united! Facing the wonders of space. That the romulans were a metaphor for the Japanese (and/or Chinese) is and was obvious, but it projected that which the western world didn’t understand outwards into space, keeping mankind united. Klingons replaced soviet russians, projected and maintained the integrity.
Although Kirk didn’t always use the fine art of diplomacy at its full potential, he still avoided all out war with the klingons, and the romulans. Even the gorn.
Star Trek even taught us to expect life where we wouldn’t, and to treat it with respect. (Horta)
All in all, the original series was a mirror, and a reminder that although we might have differences we can still work it out.
In the next generation stakes were even higher, but it was almost always brought to a conclusion with diplomacy. There wasn’t as much punching, jumpkicking and shirtripping involved.
Coming from a time in which more and more nations had a button at their desks for nukes, this message was important to us. There was sacrifice, loss, and also gain. NEw threats emerged on the horizon and were dealt with. The rise of the borg foreshadowed the technological craze we experience these days. If apple came up with a chip that connects you to the “iCollective” – the hipsters out there would run and get assimiliated.
On the other hand it builds up a trust to technology, a hopeful trust that we will find ways to integrate technology into our lives in ameaningful and productive way. People living in the big city, with close to no green areas around them would murder for a holodec.
I know I would. Grab your gear and go skiing in mid July, far away from any mountains.
No problem!
The rest of the Star Trek series is also building up on societal issues. Deep Space Nine is one big culture clash in the beginning and also resolving a great conflict with the largely unknown out there. You can see the changelings als metaphor for these brown nosed weasels out there who turn their allegiance with the wind. Whilst Voyage continues the battle with the technocrazed fools, and needs to find their way home, from a place we didn’t want to got – and at times we all feel amiss in the times we’re finding ourselves in. Back to the good ol’ days? In a way, I see Voayger as the most true to the original as possible.
Plus I’d serve under Janeway every day. πŸ˜‰

The same goes for other scifi shows. Babylon 5 is trying to coarse us all into a peaceful together, rather than a powerful but conflicted “we rule them all” way. The spiritual component of the show might sometimes be distracting, or for some people out right crap, but it is again an attempt to sho us different views on our own life, our own world. The transformations of the characters, especially Londo and G’Kar, are outstanding, but yet feel natural, they take you along and uplift you along with them. The underlying tone is that you have to prevail in the face of difficulty. And that no matter how important you think you are to the greater good, there is always someone filling the gap should you fall. Takes some pressure off ones chest. πŸ˜‰

Battlestar Galactica (the new SciFi Channel Version) is a great warning about the dangers of over technologizing our society, while it has its merrits, it has its dangers. This show has everything you might want or look for in ANY TV Show. A story arch, politics, action, threat, love, sex, violence, a baby, spirituality and in the end even a monotheistic victory, great hope and chance. The characters are likeable, and understandable. There is trouble, and no hero is the shining piece of gold you think s/he is, we all have a bright, and a dark side. This show more than any other before shine the cold and unforgiving light into the face of society reflected in the mirror. We might differ in our religious beliefs, but at the core, no one is just a hero, but a troubled human being, even if you aren’t a human being. So stop over diefying your war heroes and see them for what they are – heroic, yes, but still just human. That aside it teaches us that racial, xenophobic hatred is a sure path to destruction as even humans and cylons need to learn to get along, and even mingle.
With all the layers and sub layers in this show it is hard to explain, just watch the show in awareness of real world events (of the time it was written and produced), and you see the reflection of reality, and how you, I and everyone else, have to overcome certain problems we as a people and society have.

Although Stargate is the least inspiring one in my list, it is still a wonderful, wonderful mirror of the world we live in! Mirroring the rightousness a certain global superpower displays when dealing with threats and how it slowly but definitely drifts off into an international think-tank, how we can overcome threats on global scales with ways other than total war, as displayed by many nations currewntly. It even dares to touch down on holy wars, trying to combat that particular threat with science, rather than all out war, eventhough the religous nuts in the series try to drag everyone into such an all out war.
Mirroring the petty politics that are going on – despite of greater things at risk. For small, unimportant in the grand scheme, political or financial advantages, some people risk the fate of the world.

Sure, this list lacked Star Wars so far, but only because you’d have to make the distinction between the old trilogy (Episode 4-6) and the new one (1-3). in the old you see ancient beliefs that carefully introduce you to a different world view than what is given at the beginning of the trilogy, the fight between Obiwan and Darth Vader is slower paced and in many ways more epic than the one in the new trilogy, for the simple fact that it should display the ancient weight of the Jedi belief, and both men have aged. Yoda never uses a lightsaber, but educates Luke to use his mind and the force, rather than actual violence and weaponry. Comradery and Friendship overcome obstacles.
The new triology falls short of this. But together with the new Star Trek Films it is a perfect mirror of our times. Sloppy written, fast paced, action packed and perfect for everyone with ADHD. But the badly written films are still a perfect mirror, not only does it serve the need of people who have attentionspans shorter than the duration of subliminal advertising, it also showcases the general confusion we as a society suffer. The fast paced action does as well.
All the time we are bombarded with information, images, sounds, smells, we take our work mentally home with us, bills in the mail, more advertising in the mail, flickering screens in our pockets, on our desks and then theres TV and the movies. Bombarded, distracted and confused – just as these movies. For the sake of the informational clusterfuck I’ll even add Transfoermers here. Bad dialogue, bad plot, bad movie, fast paced, one dimensional characters…thats reality in the mirror, folks!

I’m not firm with Dr. Who, as the episode I saw were bugging me more than they satisfied. But on a certain level they resonated, but I haven’t found the time to get into it.

So all in all, I only can say – give Stars a chance. Watch some series, movies, with the word “Star” in the title. Or other SciFi shows. My explanations on why these things matter so much, at least in my opinion, are by far not complete. But it would exceed my time, blog-space and my will to extend them further. By watching these shows, at least a few episodes, you’ll catch my drift. Sometimes you need an entertaining mirror to see the current condition of the world. Which is partly why I am immensely sad that true SciFi is dead these days.
Remember Blood & Chrome the Battlestar prequel? Cancelled before it hit the air, because SciFi is dead. The SciFi channel even renamed itself into SyFy in demonstration of that fact. But SciFi isn’t pure escapism, since, after all, it is a mirror of the world as it is/was at the time it was created.

Until the next time: may the force be with you, live long and prosper, the corps is mother – the corps is father, so say we all!

A.

Advertisements