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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old May 5 2012, 10:12 AM   #856
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I thought Star Wars was inspired more by Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. The Last Starfighter was more derivative of The Seven Samurai, but then so was A Bug's life as were probably several dozen other films.
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Old May 5 2012, 04:11 PM   #857
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^Indeed: http://remakechronicles.wordpress.co...ts-and-amigos/

There's also The Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond the Stars, the Enterprise episode "Marauders," and countless other TV episodes.
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Old May 5 2012, 04:22 PM   #858
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Revolution - the space war series, that is - had its pilot episode aired on Sky years ago. I recorded it and got through... midway I think before I stopped watching from boredom. Maybe it might have become a great series if it went to series, but as-is it's Revolutionary War analogies and depictions of family life were as wholesome and as flat as Falling Skies.

Also, something can be more than one genre. Genres are not zero sum games.

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I thought Star Wars was inspired more by Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.
Partly, although this is more true of earlier drafts of the film than later ones.

Kurosawa was a big fan of Westerns and John Ford, actually, and he made one samurai film that consciously echoed the genre: Yojimbo... which was then remade as a Western called A Fistful of Dollars.
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Old May 5 2012, 07:07 PM   #859
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I'd rather watch a mediocre space opera than most of the twaddle on TV, if only in the hopes that it might develop into something better. Of course, this applies only if it's merely mediocre and not actively awful.
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Old May 5 2012, 11:38 PM   #860
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Kegg wrote: View Post
Revolution - the space war series, that is - had its pilot episode aired on Sky years ago.
Years ago? The hell?

Why did I not hear about this...did it not air in the US at all? I would have liked to see it...
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Old May 5 2012, 11:51 PM   #861
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1127893/

2009.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1127893/

2012.

2009 is revolutionary war in space.

2012 is all energy going missing.
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Old May 6 2012, 08:28 AM   #862
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I'm not familiar with Four Brothers, but Outland and Star Wars are not Westerns. There may be thematic echoes or homages, but the definition of Western includes a certain spectrum of time and place.
Would your definition exclude The Proposition and Quigley Down Under, then, since they're set in the Australian outback?

Star Wars is also an homage to The Seven Samurai, but that doesn't make it Japanese. Similarly, Firefly, which is called a "sci-fi Western," isn't a Western at all; it just borrows themes and imagery from that genre to inform its own identity.
An approach to genre that doesn't take usage into account and totally disregards iconography as a generic marker doesn't strike me as very useful.
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Old May 6 2012, 10:15 AM   #863
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I thought Star Wars was inspired more by Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. The Last Starfighter was more derivative of The Seven Samurai, but then so was A Bug's life as were probably several dozen other films.
I had always heard Seven Samurai, but either way the point remains intact.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Also, something can be more than one genre. Genres are not zero sum games.
Exactly. It makes more sense to apply multiple adjectives to something than one generic descriptor.

Harvey wrote: View Post
Would your definition exclude The Proposition and Quigley Down Under, then, since they're set in the Australian outback?
Yes.

An approach to genre that doesn't take usage into account and totally disregards iconography as a generic marker doesn't strike me as very useful.
Each genre is defined in different ways, with emphasis on different aspects. The definition of Romance weighs heavily toward character relationship, the definition of Mystery weighs heavily toward a very specific situational aspect-- the definition of Western happens to rely heavily on time and place.
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Old May 6 2012, 01:45 PM   #864
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I don't know why someone would tell you that Star Wars was an homage to The Seven Samurai. Their stories are very different. SS is about a village being terrorized by bandits and recruiting a motley group of defenders who teach them how to defend themselves.

As for the definition of "Western," it's true that nominally it refers to a story taking place in the American West during the frontier era, but I think that's taking it too literally. After all, the version of the American West seen in movies and TV never really existed; it's a mythology created by the makers of motion pictures. So in a way that makes it timeless, a set of storytelling symbols and tropes that don't literally correspond to a specific place or time and thus can be mapped onto other settings.
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Old May 6 2012, 05:25 PM   #865
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Seven Samurai begat The Magnificent Seven, which begat Battle Beyond the Stars with Star Wars. Therefore, conceptually they're in-laws of a kind.
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Old May 6 2012, 05:56 PM   #866
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Scrawny71 wrote: View Post
Seven Samurai begat The Magnificent Seven, which begat Battle Beyond the Stars with Star Wars. Therefore, conceptually they're in-laws of a kind.
Err... Star Wars came out three years before Battle Beyond the Stars, and the latter was obviously a knockoff of the former as much as of The Seven Samurai. So that doesn't prove a damn thing.
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Old May 6 2012, 06:23 PM   #867
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^ The fact that BBTS came out after Star Wars was already referenced in my post. BBTS is Star Wars meets The Magnificent Seven and so the connection of Seven Samurai to Star Wars is that both influenced Battle Beyond The Stars, which was my point.
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Old May 6 2012, 07:02 PM   #868
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Scrawny71 wrote: View Post
^ The fact that BBTS came out after Star Wars was already referenced in my post.
Well, you said "which begat Battle Beyond the Stars with Star Wars." In retrospect, I suppose you meant that The Magnificent Seven, along with Star Wars, begat BBtS. However, that isn't immediately evident because of the awkward word order you chose, which implies that you're saying that TMS began both BBtS and SW simultaneously.


BBTS is Star Wars meets The Magnificent Seven and so the connection of Seven Samurai to Star Wars is that both influenced Battle Beyond The Stars, which was my point.
And I don't think that point is valid. Yes, obviously BBtS is a ripoff of both A and B, but that doesn't prove that B is in turn inspired by A. One work can borrow from two otherwise completely unrelated works. For instance, Total Recall was based on a Philip K. Dick story and its director was influenced by the style of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, but that doesn't mean that Hitchcock was inspired by Dick or vice versa.
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Old May 6 2012, 09:11 PM   #869
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't know why someone would tell you that Star Wars was an homage to The Seven Samurai. Their stories are very different. SS is about a village being terrorized by bandits and recruiting a motley group of defenders who teach them how to defend themselves.
Beats me, since I've never seen Seven Samurai. But I've been hearing and reading it for decades. A quick Google search came up with a bunch of references, including this one.

As for the definition of "Western," it's true that nominally it refers to a story taking place in the American West during the frontier era, but I think that's taking it too literally. After all, the version of the American West seen in movies and TV never really existed; it's a mythology created by the makers of motion pictures. So in a way that makes it timeless, a set of storytelling symbols and tropes that don't literally correspond to a specific place or time and thus can be mapped onto other settings.
Like anything else, a Western can be stylized, mythologized or realistic. You can map the tropes onto another genre, but it doesn't take the genre with it. You could tell the same basic story as High Noon in ancient Herculaneum, but it would be silly to call that a Western.
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Old May 6 2012, 10:11 PM   #870
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^What you're overlooking is that there are at least a couple of levels of defining genre, the semantics and the syntax. Semantics are the vocabulary, the surface content, the pieces used to assemble the story; syntax is the underlying structure and set of ideas underlying the story. It's possible for a story to combine the syntax of one genre with the semantics of a different genre. For instance, Star Wars uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of sword-and-sorcery high fantasy. Outland uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of High Noon. So is it a Western? Semantically, no, but syntactically, hell yes, blatantly so. It's not a simple yes/no question, because one story can fit in more than one genre.
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