Sunday, April 30, 2017

Don't Skimp on the Action!

This video from one of the Star Wars fan channels at YouTube, Eckhart's Ladder, gets into something that's a bit of a pet peeve with me: fleet actions with a decided lack of actual capital ship combat for no good reason.

He's not wrong to find the lack of ship-on-ship action bothersome, and it's not hard to see the real reasons behind why this lack exists: (a) that's not where Our Heroes are, so it's dramatically secondary in importance; (b) they blew most of the budget on the dogfighting, so that's what gets screentime. It's that way in all of the films, and in Rebels, with (to date) only Clone Wars really offering any relief for Star Wars fans craving hot space fleet action.

It's not just a Star Wars thing. SF in film and television tend to focus on one or the other for those very same reasons: they put the budget where the cast is, and the cast is where the important action in the story goes. Even the ones that seem to satisfy this itch do so by spreading out the important characters; this is what Legend of the Galactic Heroes does, as well as the Gundam and Macross franchises do.

Look, for all the folks who on about "big ideas", what actually sells science fiction in film, television and comics to the audience is the action and adventure. It's no accident that dogfighting, fleet actions, firefights, chases, duels, etc. are commonly associated with science fiction and have been for generations. That's as old as the pulps, and you're a fool to skimp on it, even if you're doing Men With Screwdrivers. (Or do you need to watch Wrath of Khan again?)

So, Rian, while you're in the editing booth: deliver on that hot fleet action.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the way Rebels showed the light cruisers and transports (the type of ships that a space navy would need to put down a rag tag bunch of angst ridden heroes.) Still when capital ships going into action IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL and I fail to see how anyone making a Star Wars film would forget to put the WAR into it. Hell the dramatic build up to an inevitable capital ship duel could be treaded throughout the entire movie... as we got to know opposing CO's and their key officers and of course the heroes would have to turn the tide and decide the balance in a very even match.


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