Science Fiction has always been my favorite genre in films. Robots. Aliens. Spaceships. Monsters. Superhuman ability. Science fiction provides the most imaginative genre, especially in visually appealing films. Why I love science fiction? It serves complex themes that behold our reality and somewhat an escapist of fantasy and nonfiction genre.
Science fiction engages in the what-ifs that are far-out or close to home, which challenge unexamined assumptions. It shows a realistic persona of what happened to society or what causes it to obliviate from existence in films, television, or literature. It brings premier storytelling that compels us to hook on it by providing a futuristic and modern outlook to reality.
Many people can relate to science fiction; hence we got new science and technology that profoundly give us the feel of a home. Science fiction gives us a unique thrill and excitement that we can only get in the thriller genre. In general, science fiction has three broad categories that explore the genre: the creation story, the fantastic voyage, and the domestic science fiction. But naturally, the themes overlap in each storyline.
Ex Machina, 2014 (image source)
The creation story revolves around putting together a chimera-type quasi-human or robots with artificial intelligence like Frankenstein and Ex Machina. The fantastic voyage gives us an adventure of a brave scientist or explorers who wanders to where humans aren't alive. Films like Journey to the Center of the Earth, Start Strek, and Interstellar are examples of this category. On the other hand, the domestic story gives us the typical science fiction storyline on how humans encounter new science and technology in our daily lives. Shows like The Matrix, Terminator, and Jupiter Ascending are examples.
I love how science fiction explores controversial topics and conspiracies by projecting them to the future or go back to the past. Science fiction films showcased dehumanization and environmental issues due to nuclear war. It gives us a different perspective of the war aftermath in a futuristic sense, like mutation and superhuman abilities. Science fiction examines controversial topics in a way that we don't feel threatened. It either used a 300-year into the future perspective or a time machine to the past. We can also get sentient machines or people with abilities as a ramification of extraterrestrials. The marvel cinematic universe is an example of these themes.
Geostorm, 2017 (image source)
In science fiction films, filmmakers examine societal and political issues by creating an idealistic society or dystopian state. It always a common thread in science fiction to have a government or corporations that speeds up environmental, economic, and political problems. For example, the science fiction film, Geostorm, has a climate-controlling satellite called Dutch Boy, which shows how technology that enables us to fight climate changes causes a catastrophic event after malfunctioning.
In contrast, Star Trek shows what we can look forward to when humanity gets together to end societal problems like poverty, famine, disease, and war. The films show an idealistic society where everything becomes perfect or worst. It is one of the reasons why I love science fiction. It shows us different events or scenarios that we can look forward to in the future but has very low odds.
Star Trek, 1965. (image source)
Science fiction inspired some of the technology we used today. The submarine is a concept taken out from science fiction, Jules Verne's Leagues Under the Sea. Star Trek's communicator may be the basis of Martin Cooper's design for Motorola phones, while our gesture-activated user interface may come from Minority Report. Many concepts from science fiction became real-world technology or a subject for researches like Androids and Holograms. Robert H. Goddard invented the rocket that launched man to space after fascinated by reading spaceflight in H.G. Well's The War of Worlds. NASA Physicist Jack Cover invented the taser, paying tribute to Swift's fictional inventions, the Thomas Swift's Electric Rifle. Science fiction allows us to imagine the world from a different perspective, which leads to future technology.
We can often watch science fiction films that reflect on the present societal problems by providing new context without getting filtered out. Science fiction films take a fresh look at controversial subjects like racism, genocide, slavery, and public health. We can learn about the effects of war, tyranny, and climate change in science fiction films. Besides, science fiction films handle taboo topics very well. The beauty of science fiction is filmmakers can talk about censored and sensitive subjects indirectly. However, there are some science fiction films banned across the world due to talking about controversial ideas.
War of the Worlds, 2005. (image source)
I like how science fiction films discuss our role from a micro to a cosmic level. Scientist fiction points out some of our deepest fears, like the invasion of aliens and natural disasters. It is not similar to the horror genre; hence an invasion of aliens is possible to occur. The War of the World shows us how disturbing and frightening alien invasion though it is science fiction, it is still possible. Films depict mutated insects or sharks may be possible if the right circumstances occur. I love science fiction because it offers the thrills of the horror and thriller genre but reflects an event that may happen with a low chance to occur.
Furthermore, science fiction contemplates things that we don't understand. It makes me more interested in it. It talks about big questions that do not have answers yet. Science fiction can tell stories about things we don't understand and speculate a scene to reflect what would happen. Science fiction is home to unanswered philosophical conundrums. The Matrix revolves around reality and perception while Player Ready One contemplates living the real and virtual world. The Terminator focuses on the fate and free will while Start Wars on good and evil.
What science fiction differs from the other genre is it presents new metaphors that depict contemporary sciences. Again, Why I love science fiction? Science fiction explores controversial topics and conspiracies by projecting them to the future or go back to the past. It inspired some of the technology we used today. Lastly, it contemplates things that we don't understand.