Space: The Questionable Frontier

Look into why movie goers can actively disregard "scientific problems" in films such as Star Trek and Star Wars, but grow exceedingly less forgiving during films like "Gravity", "Interstellar", and most recently "The Martian".

  • "Star Wars" is gritty and more honest with it's depiction of an "aged" and "well-used" future, or past, compared to other earlier depictions of space. However, at its heart, it is entirely a fantasy set in a technological environment. "Star Trek," on the other hand, wants to be more believable with it's well-researched details based in scientific fact (or at least it used to be), nevertheless it has always been too far beyond our modern limitations to really bother taking issue with anything it gets wrong. It's too perfect, too streamlined, too clean. Barely anyone ever has to wear a space suit, and only if they need to do outside repairs, which isn't often. All of the other films try to handle space in a more gut-wrenching, tension-filled, anxious, terrifying, and life-changing way. Their space craft are based directly on current designs and understandings with regards to cost and efficiency. And artificial gravity in space still requires rotational inertia to work (eg. The Hermes from "The Martian, and The Endurance from "Interstellar"). The stakes are high. Death is a very real possibility. If you aren't smart and clever enough you could lose all your air, fly out the hull and into the void, burn your skin off, lose a limb. And there are no warp cores, phasers, or photon torpedoes to save you. So if the script for these films takes a short-cut, or doesn't portray something accurately, then it looks like a cheat. Whereas "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" can get away with such a cheat, because their narrative drama does not hinge on the scientific accuracy of the details and numbers, and whether or not somebody can patch up a breach in the hull with duct-tape, or find out how to swing around a planet just right to get back to Earth faster while conserving the most fuel. – Jonathan Leiter 9 years ago
  • I love this idea. I think as we drift closer to becoming more technologically advanced, as we discover more about space, society is becoming more fearful of the future therefore films like Gravity and Interstellar are less favored by the audience. I am interested to see where someone takes this! – emilyinmannyc 9 years ago

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