I reconciled long ago to the fact that Star Wars is not science-fiction by the standards of the '50s and '60s anthologies I devoured from the local library, but this is not to say the absence of requisite themes are ubiquitous in Star Wars literature. Yes, for science-fiction authors and authoresses the writers of our dear franchise create things more often akin to the '30s and '40s space fantasy, which is acceptable considering this is precisely the lovely pulp-fiction sludge that ultimately begot Star Wars in 1977. However, for a collection of men and women whose literary credentials are supposed to be science-fiction, should we not expect more themes to carry over into their Star Wars stories? Honestly, the story which slapped me in the face with the most overtly "classic" sci-fi themes remains the stone that started the avalanche, Zahn's trilogy. 1. First contact. Zahn practically wallows in this theme. I would hazard to say it is characteristic of his non-Star Wars stories too. Noghri provide the traditional interaction of established civilization and a newly found species. It is icing to the cake that they are somewhat made out to be noble savages. 2. Newly discovered technology. Cloaking devices and the complexities that arise around their usage are in a long line of science-fiction plot points going back to Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. I am reminded of the Nautilus, for example. Consider also Delta Source being radio transmitting trees. 3. Survival and alien environments. For all intents and purposes, Myrkr is the theme of man against nature. Not only is it wild and untamed, but the conventional knowledge of the universe is therein challenged by the existence of ysalamiri. Admittedly, this is stock fodder for much fiction, science- and otherwise. Consider, for example, Robinson Crusoe. Nonetheless, it is also ubiquitous to the point of characterization for sci-fi. 4. Playing god. What can I say about cloning that should not already leap out and punch us in the face? Zahn incorporated as an essential plot device the manipulation of the natural order with the corresponding questioning of whether the natural order exists. To be fair, Zahn is not the only one to use these themes. Others have used them too, sometimes well and sometimes not so well. Whether it is the Ssi-ruuk and entechment or Waru and his alternate dimension, science-fiction is littered throughout Star Wars. Even IG-88's droid revolution which, probably for the best, we all seem to be in tacit agreement to never mention is characteristic of science-fiction. Of course, suspension of disbelief can work only so far, and expecting us to believe the pinnacle of robotics is a fifth-grade art project cobbled-together out of toaster parts that comparatively makes the Tin Woodsman look like a T-1000... Yeah...I needed to say that for years. Anyway, in Star Wars these themes or tropes seem to often be relegated to minor roles or placed so far in the back as to possibly invalidate their claim to being science-fiction. Focus is different for different writers, yes, but I cannot help feeling science-fiction in Star Wars has been on the decline since its very inception. Maybe its last gasp was parts of the Yuuzhan Vong. Is this good or bad? Or am I completely wrong, merely being too unobservant to see what is before my very eyes?