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your sex life when the environment itself is hostile and your very existence is
Science fiction uses aliens instead of monsters. However, these aliens are al-
most always intelligent and often technologically as advanced as us (if not
more so), and communication/negotiation/integration is part and parcel of
the story's main conflict. These aliens are often symbols or metaphors for as-
pects of the human psyche (Spock of Star Trek is a well-known example of this
technique), and this allows the author to use the “alien” to help him exam-
ine our human foibles. In addition to this kind of use, aliens often become
metaphors for our own human failures and successes in the area of race re-
lations. Our own historical integration of foreign nationals is played out in
the pages of the best science fiction. Again, Star Trek is a perfect example as
in the series Deep Space Nine , where the Bajorans and their religious beliefs
were not only deep, complex, and mysterious but related to the very nature
of time and space. The Bajorans used the wormhole near the space station as
a means of travel as well as a religious entity. This interweaving of science,
philosophy, and human societal problems is very much the territory of science
While perhaps the root difference between sci-fi and fantasy is the left brian/right
brain or male/female dichotomies, as you can see by examining the list above, the
stories are very different. One could probably make an argument that while a similar
story could be told in either genre, the angle of attack (the way you would tell that
story) should be different depending on whether it is sci-fi or fantasy.
12.3 The Pivotal Role of Star Wars in This History
In May of 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars . According to Lucas, when he
was planning the script, he had become familiar with Joseph Campbell's work and
his hero's journey structure. Lucas wanted to tell a mythic tale, so he adapted the
structure for Star Wars . It has been argued that this use of a classic fairy-tale structure
is the very element of that story that made is resonate with the audience. I'm not
capable of authenticating that argument, certainly, but I do believe that this relatively
unique approach, marrying fantasy structure with a sci-fi setting, made Star Wars feel
familiar yetnewat the same time. “Alongtime agoinagalaxyfar, faraway...” is
a fantasy-style introduction. I don't believe that Lucas fully expected to get quite the
bang for his buck with this choice that he did, but I do believe he knew what he was
doing to try and evoke that feeling in his audience. How far it would go, no one had
any idea.
If you take the structure of the hero's journey and map it to Star Wars ,yougetan
amazing one-to-one comparison. Let's take a look:
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