I used to swear I hated science fiction. And I had good reason to – every sci-fi forced on me in school was invariably depressing (I’ve never been a fan of depressing stories, I usually read to escape to a happier place). What do people see in The Chrysalids other than a somewhat unique (and bleak) view of a post-apocalyptic future? The other memorable short story I recall involved astronauts landing on a distant planet and discovering the aliens had put them in a zoo to watch.
So I never watched Star Wars as a kid. I’m pretty sure some hard-core sci-fi fans out there would quibble with me here and say Star Wars is more like fantasy, but it looked sci-fi enough for me not to watch it (space ships and aliens, anyone?) Except this left me so out of the cultural loop that I had to give in eventually. I couldn’t hear endless repetitions of “Han Solo” for the rest of my life without finding out who he was.
So I watched it. And loved the unabashed cheesiness of it. The adventure and romance and imagination of it all. (And it was not exactly depressing).
This happened again when I watched the newest Star Trek movie. I didn’t LOVE it, but I didn’t hate it (or feel hopelessly lost) either. Now, Star Trek is worse than Star Wars for random jargon and devoted fans, as far as my (uneducated) eyes can see. (What’s Klingon, anyway?) But maybe it’s a somewhat interesting fandom – and the character of Spock is intriguing.
And, um, yeah, I haven’t mentioned that I was a huge fan of Doctor Who while it was available on Canadian television (mostly tenth Doctor stuff). Again, cheesy, but sometimes a show that’s not embarrassed by its cheesiness can be good.