I read this thread and the first thing I think of is Star Wars. (And then I'm reminded that Episode I gave us a "tech" answer to the mystical Force.)
No, it gave a biological answer, rather than a technological one. But I understand your point - some people were happier with no explanation at all. There had to be a biological component, though, just to explain the inheritance of strength in the force.
At any rate, "space-based scifi" isn't doing anything wrong. Vampires and zombies and fantasies have been popular lately; in twenty years, space opera may be the top of the heap on TV and in films again.