[Since what is left from Astocenter can span for another ten parts or more, I am taking a prolonged break until further notice.]
I’ve been watching several science-fiction series and films recently, namely Star Trek Voyager and the Star Wars trilogy. I have been thinking of my renewed interest and attraction to what I like from both. It’s quite rare, even for science fiction aficionados, to develop an equal attraction in these two alternate universe franchises. In most cases, people tend to favor one over the other, and I am no exception.
I think Star Wars archetype stories are more universal, and the adventure has more action. It’s probably because there are only five movies about it (it will become six soon), although novels regarding backstories and alternate characters are enough to make the Star Wars universe as expansive, if not more, than Tolkien’s LOTR. It resembles LOTR in many ways by replacing characters and universe to be somewhere far, far, away, distant from our reality, perhaps purely imaginative (who knows, there might be a Wookie somewhere there). Star Wars (like LOTR) universe is too distant from us that we immediately realize its fantasy. Most of the main characters are humanoid and human-like, but we know that they are not us, nor can we ever become them, even in hundred years. They are alien, and it is clear that they never have contact with Earth and probably never will. But that’s where the appeal lies. We can indulge in our imagination completely and be them imaginatively. Star Trek limits us in that department.
I consider myself a Trekkie, so I identify more with the Star Trek universe. Star Trek has the advantage of having continuous TV series (well, it started from TV before expanding to the silver screen), so it has more developed characters that more people recognize (admit it, it’s far easier and memorable to watch something than to read it, or maybe that’s just me). Though, novel-wise, the Trek franchise has published as many novels if not more than Star Wars. Yes, people can devise backstories and alternate characters for Star Trek – in effect, expanding its universe – but the TV series becomes its undoing since they can’t deviate too far from what is presented on TV (it is the de facto“reality,” if you may say so, of the Star Trek universe). The stories should have been more closely identifiable because Star Trek reality can very well be an actuality someday. Characters are born on Earth, not pseudo-human born in other galaxies, or other Earth. Perhaps, maybe because it is somewhat too “real” that it does not have quite the mass appeal that Star Wars (and LOTR) enjoys.