Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Star Wars Television

Penny Arcade has some very sage observations about science fiction on television.

First, George Lucas is bringing Star Wars to TV again. In two different ways. There will be a 3D animated series similar to the current Cartoon Network Clone Wars vignettes and also live action show. Maybe the live action show won't suck, but no promises.

Now what make Clone Wars great is Genndy Tartakovsky, the same guy behind Dexter's Lab and Samurai Jack. If he isn't a part of the new show, I expect it to be about as interesting as, say, Droids was.

But that isn't what really caught my eye. What caught my eye was:
It's not that those people don't like sci-fi, it's that sci-fi as it manifests itself in television programs is people talking about grand shit in the future equivalent of a cafe. I don't know if it's television budgets or what, but I'd imagine that people sitting at a space table is pretty cheap. There is a lot of room for an action-oriented war serial with characters who aren't immortal and more occasional intrusions of the supernatural elements of the Star Wars universe.
Exactly. People don't want to see the same story told over and over again. It gets tired. His suggestion of a gritty trench-side view of the Clone Wars is a good one. Show us something new and different in the same fictional universe.

Incidentally, this is why very few people are actually giving a damn about Star Trek. We've seen this before. Stop putting people on a Federation starship and sending them out to explore the universe. You're telling the same story with different set dressing. Take us on an excursion into what somebody not encumbered by the Prime Directive does. Maybe they're a freight hauler or a bounty hunter or a smuggler. Show us how the other half of the Star Trek or Star Wars universe lives already.

UPDATE: Messy Christian is opining on the death of Star Trek. For the record I liked the Vulcans in Enterprise. The fact that they were mean and logically ruthless was wonderful. The problem was the rest of the show which was two dimensional crap that was retreaded from better series.

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