Saga Other interesting universes

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Ezekial, Dec 27, 2013.

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  1. Ezekial Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 3
    So I've been thinking recently about what makes sci-fi and fantasy compelling. Sci-fi's power is based on extrapolation. Take what we have today and extrapolate what we might have like 400 years from now. So part of the appeal of R2D2 is that his various little lights and whirring things are reminiscent of like the computer I'm typing this post on, and so there's a connection.

    Fantasy's appeal is more elemental in that it culls something primal in each person. So things like...deep dark mirrors, endless staircases, paintings which talk, they call forth like when you're a kid and you discover a mirror for the first time, or how magical just figures on a page can be.

    The worst aspects of the genre is when they become soap operas. So for instance, Star Wars IMO is at its worst in the NJO series.

    Anyways, other interesting universes, with creative ideas? A good example of course is Harry Potter and JK Rowling's energetic description of magic. And of course, those books became progressively worse as the weight of the universe meant that they were more a wait for the conclusion of the soap opera aspects (best books IMO were 1, 2 and 3). Another good example of creativity is how...in Star Wars, the astromech droids give personality to the starfighters, making them kinda like horses.
  2. Han Burgundy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    The unique thing about Star Wars, what makes it in my mind the most compelling fictional universe that has yet been created, is the way successfully melds the best aspects of both science fiction and fantasy. The visuals are recognizably futuristic, exaggerated versions of existing technology, including icons of the genre like lasers and spaceships. But the storytelling is decidedly primal, or more properly described as fable-esque. It relies more on the observation of human behavior than scientific concepts, and underneath it all is a beating heart of spirituality. The placement of wizards and warlocks amongst space stations and interplanetary conflict is endlessly compelling to behold.

    As for other universes, I've been a huge fan of Mass Effect. It has the same sense of scale and endless variety that has attracted many people to Star Wars and Star Trek, but it's much more straight scifi than Star Wars, where everything has an explanation and an intrinsic "reason" for existence. It's also pleasantly more raw and emotional in its presentation than Star Trek, featuring less pretension and borderline-arrogant idealism found in that series.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Dec 27, 2013
  3. Ezekial Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 3
    I didn't find Mass Effect that compelling.

    For starters, I don't much care for...what's it called...the horror influenced by...the creepy new england dude who looked like adam lanza and was a horrible racist on top of all of that...lovecraft. Anyways, Lovecraftian horror elements seem to be at odds with the fundamental purpose of storytelling...which throughout history has been almost instructional on how to survive in this world, get along with others, through stories told. So there was that.

    Besides that, I simply didn't like the universe that much. It was way too clean and perfect. The militarism was stupid as well. I got the impression that they meant to make basically a Halo game, for consumption in the militaristic culture of the USA...and why in every game did they have to put in some stupid night club? Star Wars cantinas are charming in both 1) how much they actually resemble real working class bars (esp. EpIV) and 2) how cheesy they are with the stupid bands. Mass Effect was overly sexualized, too many serious colors in the bars...more Vegas stripper pole than Detroit grit... in so many ways Mass Effect simply lacked a lot of what made KOTOR great. seeing Mass Effect really made me appreciate how George in ROTJ wanted to depict a primitive people defeating a technological empire. Really, that was IMO the saving grace of ROTJ and the best aspect of that movie. That was like an affirmation of the primal over the technological empire (which basically is what Mass Effect advocates for).

    But then, I only played the Mass Effect games. Some of the artwork I've seen for the game, as well as the artists' explanations of the influences behind them, are actually more compelling than what I saw in the games.
    Last edited by Ezekial, Dec 27, 2013
  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Good topic, but might eventually have to move it over to SWC, depending on the direction the discussion takes. Fine here for now.
  5. Han Burgundy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    Come on. The lovecraftian influence found in the reapers is such a small, small part of the experience. And the reapers are great Villians regardless of that influence. They represent the terrifying totality of genocidal annihilation.

    Did we play the same game? Unlike Halo (or, for that matter much of the original 3 Star Wars films) in which the galactic conflict is viewed almost entirely through a military lense/through the fighters of the conflict, in Mass effect you are constantly interacting with people of all walks of life, seeing how the wars and battles are effecting everyone from Joe the Plumber to the CEO of a major corporation. You are always being shown the "other side" of every situation you are in, and very little is presented in a simplistic "Ooh Rah" fashion. Not to mention, you spend the entirety of the second game working for a private organization, and there isn't even an actual war happening until the last game in the trilogy.

    They are different universes, they have different goals, thematically and visually. And walking into a bar is a staple of the RPG genre, so of course there is one in each game.

    Not sure how you got that from playing the games. If anything, the central theme is about finding harmony between the technological and the natural. But ultimately, the games present a grand variety of themes, and you are simply asked to react to them, as an interactive participant in the universe. So you could say that the main theme of the games is actually choice.

    It's fine that you don't like Mass Effect, I just think many of your reasons come from a misinterpretation of the material.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Dec 27, 2013
  6. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
  7. Ezekial Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 3
    The Reapers were impersonal, unreasonable, illogical. That is why I disliked them. On a whole, I"m not a fan of "dark fantasy" where you're up against the inevitable...

    Mass Effect seemed to have much time spent talking to important people, doing the dumb military thing about sacrifice, blah blah. Sheperd is a super-soldier who is pretty much...perfect. How is that interesting? He never seems to have any human moments...which in a way is quite monstrous when in the game he's in stressful combat situations, slaughtering hundreds of combatants. He's more Darth Vader than Luke Skywalker. The 3 OT star wars films were hardly militaristic. The Rebels are rag tag...heck, most of them are sporting beards and mustaches, and they're flying around oddball rickety spacecraft that break down all the time. The Ewoks win the day in ROTJ, not the regimented empire...

    The Bar kinda defines them. Star Wars is beer. Mass Effect is Absolut vodka.

    Which is why I really liked the Ewoks in ROTJ. Because, too many sci-fi fans *want* the evil empire.
    Iron_lord and darklordoftech like this.
  8. Darth Raiden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2013
    star 3
    He seems pretty bummed when he had to choose between saving Ashley or Kayden.
  9. Pakkpekatt Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2013
    You cannot expect the character you play to have lot of character growth because it cannot be done in an RPG. The members on you party can do that and ME did it well.
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