Lewis Beale has posted a CNN.com piece about how the Star Wars franchise ruined the reputation of big-screen science fiction by dumbing it down and aiming at a younger, less thoughtful demographic. What he essentially means is that the huge popularity of Star Wars mde it easier for studio execs to nudge aside weightier, more thoughtful sci-fi projects.
“Science fiction is in fact one of the most creative literary genres around,” Beale reminds. “The best of sci-fi is filled with meditations on what’s out there, what makes us human, how technology is used and how it is changing us. It takes up issues of race, sexuality and quite literally everything else under the sun. It is essentially about ideas, not action, and that’s the problem, as far as Hollywood is concerned.
“Star Wars has corrupted people’s notion of a literary genre full of ideas, turning it into a Saturday afternoon serial — lots of whiz-bang, plenty of quirky alien characters, CGI to the max, plenty of explosions and little thought of any kind. And that’s more than a shame — it’s an obscenity.”
Beale also acknowledges that the less-than-blazing commercial performance of serious sci-fi films like David Lynch‘s Dune, Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence, Francois Truffaut‘s Farenheit 451 and the recent Ender’s Game has been a factor.