Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Aug 23, 2018.
I'm watching right now. I'm so glad they got rid of Seldom's wheelchair.
After watching the second episode, I feel confused again. I know the whole thing of wait till next week, but still, that's an ending I didn't expect so soon.
The episodes are visible on Apple TV+ on my PC but not on Apple TV+ accessed via Amazon Prime. I suspect there is a web-page caching problem on Prime.
Just finished the first episode. After all the trailers and interviews I was surprised that I found it more faithful to the source material than I thought! A couple of the dialogues were virtually identical to the book!
One point that remained a bit difficult for me to believe (but which was also in the book).
What is the point of broadcasting the show trial? They just had the effect of terrifying people!
Incidentally, before the advent of streaming platforms it would have been literally impossible to make a television series like this one and I'm not talking about special effects.
A lot of water has passed under the bridges from Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica ...
Because, you know, people can't get "cerebral" sci-fi.
Indeed, we should be thankful. I've just watched the first two episodes and I'm very impressed. There are some deviations from the books but the adaptation retains the vital essence of them. The first revelation about
Spoiler: a main character
came much earlier than I expected. I expect there are more revelations to follow about em. The filling in of the details about the start of the fall make sense - the books were very sketchy.
Yep, the prequels tried to fill some gaps but they didn't a very good job.
I admit that I don't remember the books well. But were there nations independent of the empire? I did not understand the relationship between the empire and the diplomatic representatives seen in the first episode. Are they some kind of vassal states? I do not think. The Empire intervened in their skirmishes only because imperial soldiers had died.
(I've watched only the first episode).
Dictionary definition of an empire: "an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state". Queen Victoria was Empress of India from 1876 and her descendants were Emperors of India until George VI. India gained independence in 1947, of course. There were many Indian princely states that were ruled over by their own monarchs and they were all part of British India but not under British administration. The Roman Empire also subsumed various kingdoms - for example, the client kingdom of Judea ruled by the Herods.
But usually these vassal states don't go to war with each other. It would also be a problem for the Emperor. And they made it clear that he only decided to arbitrate just because imperial soldier died.
The problem in the Galactic Empire of Foundation is a centralised autocracy that has devolved power to its periphery and which cannot maintain control over the countries on that periphery given the vast distances involved. Regional difficulties play out and the centre struggles to maintain order.
Britain lost control of India and Pakistan and those countries went to war several times after independence. There were tensions between Hindus and Moslems before the partition and these boiled over when the British left. Perhaps a couple of million people died as a result.
The Second Coming - W B Yeats
Thank you! It makes sense
Oh, I'm sure they did, or tried to. Subject states often sign onto an empire voluntarily because they get something out of it in return, and smart imperialists encourage this because it lowers the chance of rebellion, allowing the subject peoples to continue pursuing their normal lives and agendas with minimal disruption as long as they provide the necessary tribute, taxes, and resources to the empire. But that means their rivalries with their neighbors might survive as well, and occasionally lead to conflict that the empire has to try to quash.
The Hindu/Muslim tensions in South Asia were at least somewhat exacerbated by British rule. It was in the Raj's interests to keep their subjects divided and to blame each other for their problems, just like the powerful elites always encourage their subjects to hate each other instead of uniting against the elites. And to some extent, the Indians got into the habit of opposition against the Raj, and when the Raj left, that habit found a new focus. It's a common pattern in decolonized territories. The colonizers themselves bear a share of the blame.
Also, Britain didn't "lose" control, it ceded control. In the wake of WWII, the UK was tired of conflict and decided to cut its losses in the subcontinent and grant the Indians the independence they'd been agitating for. And arguably it was Lord Mountbatten's haste to get it over with and careless drawing of the Partition line that exacerbated tensions; as was typical of borders that Europe imposed on colonized peoples, it neglected local history and identity and created artificial divisions in the wrong places (in this case, splitting Sikh territory down the middle and provoking violent retaliation).
I just reviewed a paper I wrote for Indian History class, trying to make sense of the mass violence between neighbors of different faiths who'd lived together in peace for most of their lives. I postulated that the problem was the choice of the leaders (including Jinnah, who wanted a separate Muslim homeland) to define national identity on the basis of the majority religious community in that nation, thereby defining religious minorities as outsiders when previously they'd been (mostly) accepted as neighbors. So it wasn't religion alone that created the tension, it was the choice to codify political identity and self/other boundaries in terms of religious identity. It's an easy habit to blame religion for war and hatred, but my studies of world history led me to believe that nationalism is far more to blame, whether it's based on religion, ethnicity, or anything else.
Bringing it back to the thread topic, yes, it's entirely possible for an empire's subject states to fight with each other, and often the empire itself is responsible for creating or exacerbating those tensions, sometimes on purpose. It's a handy excuse to justify the empire's dominance by insisting the locals are too warlike and primitive to be trusted with autonomy and need to be governed with a firm hand.
Well, that's cleared that up then.
Spoiler: Warning - very spoilerish observations
Gaal Dornick mentions the Mule so I'm guessing she might be instrumental in creating the Second Foundation. During the apparent assassination, Raych does something to Hari Seldon's left ear but I couldn't quite see what. I'm guessing it's a Snape and Dumbledore moment that will be explained later. Some people have complained that Raych isn't in the books. He isn't in the original trilogy but he is in the prequels IIRC.
Just saw the first episode and it is very cool and sets up the show very well. It has been ages since i read the books so i only remember the "biggest" events and themes but so far i really like it.
Side note: After the meeting with the Emperor Hari wears an outfit that seems quite close to a current priest outfit though with a differently colored jacket but the white collar is still there. Coincidence? I think not.. to the Emperor it seems like Hari has founded his own church with his own followers. A nice little touch.
Many of the themes in the show seem to be very relevant to our current predicaments, which is what good SF should be.
I wonder if and when someone on the show is going to mention that they have no idea about the whereabouts of the mythical planet Earth where humanity originated.
Did they even remember the name "Earth" in that era of the Galactic Empire? I forget.
From what I recall from when I last read Foundation, Earth features in one of several origin myths for mankind in the Galactic Empire. Some believe that this planet (now lost) was the original home of all humans. Other believe that humans instead evolved on many planets simultaneously.
One of the sequel books, Foundation and Earth, reveals what happened to the Earth. Its fate is tied in with Asimov's Robot series of novels.
I just saw the first two episodes:
Demerzel is a robot so it would seem that she's a female Daneel. Plus she sort of implied that she was immortal. Daneel was 20, 000 years old by then.
Raych murders Seldon!!! That's a definite departure from the books!!
There's a lot in these two episodes that is different from the books... In fact, I find very little in common with the book. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
I don't think Asimov would have approved of this series as an adequate adaptation of his books but that doesn't mean that I am gonna stop watching.
It's not bad but it doesn't measure up to my expectations. There's too much that is just... bizarre.
Right before Hardin's take over of the Foundation an imperial diplomat visited the Foundation and he was particularly interested in the question of Origins. They didn't know where Earth was. Later in the sequel, we learn that the position of Earth has been deleted in all documents in the entire galaxy!! (by Daneel or someone who acted on his behalf).
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