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.