How Star Wars Broke Cinema

There’s a scene in The Empire Strikes Back that epitomizes what’s wrong with cinema (and comics) today.

Han Solo and company have fled in the Millennium Falcon, and they head into an asteroid field. It’s a conventional sci-fi asteroid field, with the asteroids so close together that they’re an obstacle to navigation. In real life, asteroids packed this densely would have collided long ago, but that’s not the problem I want to discuss. Han and crew hide the ship inside a cavern on an asteroid. Later, Han realizes something, and they flee. “This is no cave,” says Han, and they fly out past two rows of teeth just before they can chomp down. As the Falcon flies away, the worm’s head reaches out from the hole in the asteroid, but misses the fleeing ship.

Empire Strikes Back -- space slug stillIt’s supposed to be an exciting moment, founded on a mildly cool, childlike idea: “Ha ha, they thought they were in a cave, but they were inside this exotic animal!”

Riiiight. And how is this worm living on this asteroid again?

That’s what you’d ask, unless the person proposing this worm wasn’t a young child, whom you might want to encourage… and whom you’d trust would figure out how to be more disciplined in his or her ideas before he or she started writing professionally.

The asteroid doesn’t seem to have any air or heat. And there’s no other life on the asteroid that we can see, which means the worm has no food source.

You could pretty much stop there, but my particular brain can’t help but wonder about other stuff. Like how this worm evolved on a lifeless asteroid, or how it got there if it didn’t. We even see Han and others with little masks on, suggesting there’s little or no atmosphere on the asteroid / inside the worm. But they’re no decompression, nor do they suffer from the cold of outer space. Also, the worm must have had its mouth open the entire time — which might make sense if it evolved to trap its prey this way. But why does it keep its mouth open, even after being shot and showing signs of pain, until the Millennium Falcon is streaking away, and only then shut its mouth too slowly to prevent its prey from leaving? The answer is obviously that this provides the maximum melodrama, and that’s the worm’s only real function. You’re not supposed to think about it. Obviously, no one working on the movie did.

But like I said, you could pretty much stop at “it’s a giant space worm.”

Empire Strikes Back -- space slug still

The space worm might as well be a fire-breathing dragon. Or a squid. Or a giant human being made of ice. It could be anything. None of these creatures would have any less reason to be there than the space worm.

In fact, the Star Wars movies are filled with this kind of thing. The monsters of Return of the Jedi work the same way. What is the Rancor Monster? It’s just a giant monster Jabba the Hut keeps for his own amusement. Nothing further is given, nor required. That same movie also has the Sarlacc Pit, a giant beast of unknown anatomy whose mouth is a toothed and tentacled pit in the desert. How in the world did it get there? Or evolve? Doesn’t matter. It’s cool.

(All three of these monsters also threaten to eat and digest the main characters, and Luke has to hide inside a creature for warmth, early in The Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps it’s no wonder some kids raised on this material grew up to download vore. But I digress.)

The same preference for cool visuals and melodrama goes back to the first Star Wars movie, in which the Death Star can destroy planets because that’s cool. No physics need apply. It’s said to be the size of a moon, yet in practice it’s remarkably small. Despite that it’s under construction, its trash compactor is inexplicably filled with water (an expensive resource in space) and somehow has a monster in it (because it, like the space worm, is another way of adding melodrama). And of course, the Death Star was built with a “fire here to blow everything up” shaft.

This same disregard for logic, in favor of wild entertainment, is epitomized in the lightsaber. Yes, a sword made out of light is a cool idea, and it looks cool in the movies. But how does it work? What stops the light from extending outward from the hilt forever? The lightsaber doesn’t make sense, and it’s not actually important to the story, but it’s included because it looks cool. The lightsaber is to visuals what the space worm is to plot.

There certainly should be a cultural place for melodrama that looks cool. Star Wars owes a lot to sci-fi serials, which were all about adventure and certainly didn’t bother to think about physics or evolution or alien societies. Everything was subordinated to melodramatic entertainment, to cool but disposable ideas and visuals. The original Star Wars trilogy does an excellent job of distilling these values into a new and epic whole, and that’s really all it sets out to do. And that’s fine.

But as the distillation of the spirit of the sci-fi serial, we shouldn’t ignore that Star Wars also distills its inspirations’ faults. There can be a thin line between ignoring logic to tell an entertaining story and codifying this into a narrative that’s actually hostile to thinking. A lot of those old serials had muscle-bound protagonists who triumphed over vastly superior technology almost by sheer force of will, while scientists were depicted as ineffectual or morally weak. Some stories simply implied that knowledge and goodness were two different things, while others implied a more anti-intellectual message: that those with scientific knowledge were not to be trusted and that all you needed was a kind of idealized version of middle-class American values, which would invariably win out as if by magic. This tension runs through much of Star Wars’s inspirations. And this too Star Wars distilled… into the Force.

The Force isn’t about the mind. It’s about shutting the mind off. It’s the mystical embodiment of the pulp adventurer’s force of will, now given a sort of metaphysical reality. The movie’s hero is a country bumpkin, thrust by destiny into the high-stakes, technological international-as-interplanetary milieu of the Empire and its rebellion. His strength comes not from any real talent, nor any real skill, but rather his belief in himself. He’s the embodiment of what would become America’s cult of self-esteem, in which belief in yourself is all-important, you can be anything you want to be regardless of hard work or training, and visualizing the life you want somehow causes the universe to fulfill your wishes. With our comparatively primitive planes, thousands of hours can be required for flight certification, but Luke Skywalker skips this step. He achieves victory when he compounds his lack of training with shutting off his instruments and trusting his instincts instead. (You know, precisely what they tell real pilots never to do, because it gets them killed.) Sure, Luke trains with Yoda in the sequel, but it’s more like zen meditation than anything resembling actual knowledge or education. The ancestors of Star Wars might have flirted with anti-intellectualism, but Star Wars codifies this into an anti-intellectual manifesto.

Star Wars still -- use the force luke

And this can’t be ignored, when we’re talking about space worms and lightsabers. The movies don’t simply place melodrama and cool visuals over logic. They aren’t simply unconcerned, in a childlike way, with whether an idea makes any sense. They are hostile to asking such questions, which they position as the kind of big-city, snooty attitude of those who look down on young Skywalker — and, we may guess, on George Lucas. Only an elitist would bother to think about a space worm’s evolution, the movie suggests, and the only acceptable response the movie leaves to us is to talk about how cool the worm is, or in what was. If Star Wars has any message at all, it’s that thinking is a self-destructive endeavor. The movie, space worm included, demonstrates the same approach that caused its Luke Skywalker to succeed. You certainly can’t say the film doesn’t have the confidence of its convictions.

Speaking personally, I love those old sci-fi serials, and I delighted to the Star Wars movies as a kid. I still remember my Empire Strikes Back blanket. My brother and I liked the toys. My brother’s favorite was Chewbacca, and whenever our dog got mad, he’d go into my brother’s room, root for his Chewbacca figure, and chew it up. He’d leave all the other figures alone. My brother would be terribly upset, and my parents replaced so many Chewbacca figures that they kept extras on hand. Because my father worked for the American Film Institute, I even got to see the L.A. premiere of Return of the Jedi as a kid. I wouldn’t call myself a Star Wars fan today, but Star Wars fans are great — my own goddaughter is one. So I’m no Star Wars hater. Heck, I’m an American male; Star Wars is in my DNA.

But stuff like the space worm is what made parents roll their eyes at the Star Wars movies, back in the day. As a kid, you tell your parents they don’t understand, but that usually means they just don’t appreciate how cool or fun you find something. Usually, there’s not really anything to understand, except another aesthetic mode or style, which is rarely superior or inferior to previous ones. But you know what? You grow up. And when you grow up, it becomes okay to say you enjoy something, or that it’s got cool visuals or characters, or even that it changed your life, but that it’s also imperfect… or even that it’s actually pretty dumb, when you think about it.

Many film historians regard the 1970s as a kind of Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. The big-budget spectacles and musicals of the 1960s had failed to sustain box-office revenues, in the wake of television, and Hollywood contracted. Hollywood’s 1970s output is often characterized by a willingness to confront viewers and their values, stemming from late 1960s movies such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Easy Rider, and Midnight Cowboy. Detective stories got grittier and more realistic in movies like The French Connection, Dirty Harry, and Chinatown. The quality of Hollywood’s writing arguably reached a peak never seen before or since, with excellently written movies with a social conscience, like Dog Day Afternoon and Network. American cinema seemed to be merging, or at least growing closer to, European cinema.

And then came Star Wars.

Hits generate imitators. It’s amazing to think of how many sci-fi franchises were either created or revived in the wake of Star Wars, including Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and even the 1978 Superman. Star Wars also changed how we think about merchandising, which has since become such an important part of franchises. Indeed, the dominance of franchises — in which every Hollywood movie seems to be a sequel or a remake — owes something to Star Wars.

But perhaps the most severe influence of Star Wars was that it demonstrated good writing wasn’t important. Star Wars eschewed everything that was thoughtful and challenging about 1970s cinema. You could say that Star Wars brought back something of the spectacle, a loose genre that hadn’t really thrived since the 1960s. Those older spectacles, often historical epics, certainly weren’t up to the par of the well-written 1970s movies, but they weren’t contemptuous of good writing either. Star Wars didn’t so much bring back the spectacle so much as it solidified the anti-intellectual spectacle, in which cool visuals like lightsabers could make not only for good movie posters but for action figures and bubble-gum cards and backpacks and blankets… and in which melodramatic excitement, wrapped in a mildly interesting idea, no longer had to courtesy to logic or plot.

When we talk about how movies seem to be nothing but big-budget spectacles, focused on franchises, that’s a trajectory that goes back to Star Wars. But the same can be said about the fact that these big-budget Hollywood spectacles are typically remarkably dumb, to the point that simply having a mildly different setting or character or visual style is praised. Special effects have improved to the extent that the glitzy perfection of movie after movie staggers the eyes, yet their scripts rarely show many signs of having been adequately rewritten, much less the kind of thorough examination of narrative options and philosophical implications that tends to characterize good writing.

True, the preferred genres have changed — these glitzy cinematic offerings are now more likely to be super-hero stories than sci-fi. But wasn’t Luke Skywalker a super-hero, who discovered his super-powers and defeated the super-villain’s inexplicable device? And if we’re honest, how many of our cinematic super-heroes are anti-intellectual know-nothings, who triumph despite tremendous odds (and often the laws of physics) due primarily not to planning or training but to a belief in themselves?

Of course, it’s not only movies. These same trends have filtered down to comic books, as they ape their cinematic adaptations by striving for glitzy melodrama, for publicity-stirring events, for tentpole crossovers, and for licensing rights, at the expense of storytelling or even internal logic.

Nor are the movies in question only super-heroes. The Transformers movies also fit the bill. So too do the rebooted Star Trek movies, which feel as if every turn of the plot has been infused with the maximal melodrama, whether it makes sense or advances the plot or not, in order to create a sense of a breakneck pace. When Kirk and Scotty teleport onto the Enterprise in the first reboot film, Scotty’s stuck inside tubes of goo, and Kirk must rush to save him. These tubes have never been seen before, and they serve no obvious function. Logically, it’s more likely that someone teleporting blindly onto a ship would wind up inside a solid object than encased in a fluid. The rush to save Scotty doesn’t advance the plot in any way, but it’s one more sugar rush in a movie determined to deliver as many as possible as quickly as possible.

Star Trek (2009) still

It’s a space worm. It doesn’t need to justify itself, nor make sense. It only needs to excite. And we’re so habituated to this worm that almost no one — not even the so-called adults — points it out anymore. And when someone dares to do so, too often they’re seen as elitist for insisting that a giant worm shouldn’t be floating around in outer space without a reason. The day will soon come when characters in a skyscraper will realize the skyscraper is alive and trying to eat them, all with almost no explanation — and when some objects that this doesn’t make sense, they’ll be accused of ignoring the fact that someone mentioned in passing that the building was an alien, or was hungry, and that only a killjoy would demand more.

It’s apt, then, that J. J. Abrams, who directed the first two Trek reboot films, has been tapped to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Abrams admits he preferred Star Wars to Star Trek, and his Trek shows it. I suspect he’ll do a great job on Star Wars. As someone who fondly remembers his childhood Empire Strikes Back blanket, I’m not immune to the joy of seeing the original trilogy’s cast back together. I’ll not only go see Episode VII, but I’m looking forward to it.

There’s a place for Star Wars. There’s a place for glitzy science fantasy, as there is for emotionally satisfying parables about the power of believing in yourself. The fact that I’m old enough and wise enough to realize the troubling implications of such a story doesn’t mean such stories shouldn’t exist. If there’s one franchise that deserves to a pass for being glitzy melodrama, it’s the franchise that started the trend.

But as anything gains influence, that influence distorts the original, echoing certain aspects but not others, until the original’s energetic novelty becomes a dim cultural echo, dissolved into ubiquity like a signal dissipating into space.

The problem, you see, isn’t really Star Wars. It’s not lightsabers. It’s not even that space worm. The problem is that, as the dominant culture embraces glitzy melodrama and becomes increasingly hostile to it requiring examination, those space worms have reproduced. They’re in everything now.

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 1996, while still an undergraduate, Dr. Julian Darius founded what would become Sequart Organization. After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), he obtained his M.A. in English, authoring a thesis on John Milton and utopianism. In 2002, he moved to Waikiki, teaching college while obtaining an M.A. in French (high honors) and a Ph.D. in English. In 2011, he founded Martian Lit, which publishes creative work, including his comic book Martian Comics. He currently lives in Illinois.

See more, including free online content, on .

Also by Julian Darius:

This Lightning, This Madness: Understanding Alan Moore\'s Miracleman, Book One

author

The Cyberpunk Nexus: Exploring the Blade Runner Universe

contributor

producer

A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe

contributor

Classics on Infinite Earths: The Justice League and DC Crossover Canon

author

executive producer

New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics

contributor

producer

executive producer

When Manga Came to America: Super-Hero Revisionism in Mai, the Psychic Girl

author

a short documentary on Chris Claremont's historic run and its influence

executive producer

Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews

introduction

Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization

co-author

Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan

contributor

The Weirdest Sci-Fi Comic Ever Made: Understanding Jack Kirby\'s 2001: A Space Odyssey

author

The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil

contributor

Everything and a Mini-Series for the Kitchen Sink: Understanding Infinite Crisis

author

Revisionism, Radical Experimentation, and Dystopia in Keith Giffen\'s Legion of Super-Heroes

author

And the Universe so Big: Understanding Batman: The Killing Joke

author

a feature-length documentary film on celebrated comics writer Warren Ellis

executive producer

Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide

contributor

Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen

contributor

a documentary on the life and work of celebrated comics writer Grant Morrison

executive producer

Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen

author

Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes

contributor

Not pictured:

6 Comments

  1. Like you, I loved Star Wars as a kid and can’t really care for it anymore.

    But… I do have a soft spot for the wild impossibility. Kirby being an obvious exemple. Sure, most of the things he created make no sense whatsoever, but there is joy in such creativity. Absurd as it is. I like magic. Like Harry, I love insane movies such as House. Light sabers can’t exist, but they should! Because it would be awesome.

    You know what? A hungry building would be awesome too. Have you seen Death Bed – The Bed That Eats? It will change your life.

    I like the balls, the attitude of presenting the absurd as a possibility. Of presenting something new that makes no sense but that works in its own way. Hell, some right-wingers make no sense, and I’d rather have the ultimate nullifier.

    My problem is the lack of imagination. I don’t think filmmakers (or comic book writers and artists) trust themselves anymore to give us something ridiculously absurd and yet new and beautiful. It becomes ridiculous and absurd because they’re not trying anymore (thirty minutes of explosions, and they all look the same). Welles once said (yes, I mention both Welles and Death Bed) that the problem was not that everything had been done already, but that everything had already been seen. The feeling that nothing new can be done. And that’s what’s killing cinema. References, homages, remakes, sequels, parodies… And wimpy characters that must pass through the same process over and over again because that’s how they think it’s done. Hesitation, fear, and finally finding his inner strength. It’s so dull.

    And the audience, the critics and the artists are all together in their low expectations. No one believes anymore. There are constant winks to remind us that no, we shouldn’t really believe that, we’re too smart, but we just have to pretend that we do in order to have fun. If only they believed in what they’re selling!

    Obviously we agree in a number of points, I often agree with you, but while you ask for logic, I ask for imagination, for beauty and sensuality and panache. You’re Apollonian, I’m Dionysian. Unfortunately, my friend, we’re both bored.

    • I haven’t seen Death Bed, Mario. But I dig what you’re saying. I’m all for ridiculous and absurd. Personally, I’d prefer if these things were a little more over-the-top than they are in Star Wars, just to underline the absurdity. I think some of the Adult Swim shows do this well — there’s so much absurdity, and it’s clear many of those over-the-top shows aren’t meant to be taken seriously as regular narratives, in which rules like continuity and logic hold. I’m all for that. And again, I’m fine with Star Wars. Like I said, there’s a place to it.

      But I’m with you on how it’s mostly boring today, with most stories following the same patterns. And by all means, I’d prefer Star Wars to a by-the-numbers imitator.

      I dug Scott Pilgrim, because it was at least different, and it was often fun and mind-bending, and it communicated clearly that it wasn’t to be judged based on the regular rules of narrative.

      I like imagination, beauty, sensuality, and panache too. I’m for all those things. I do tend to be Apollonian, but I’ve got a very strong Dionysian streak. Anyway, I think that, like you, I’ll take beauty and imagination and sensuality or smart narrative. We can debate those things. But I agree that it’s the absence of almost any of those things that I find the most perplexing… and yes, boring.

      Thanks for your comment, Mario!

  2. Brent Holmes says:

    Thank you for the article Julian.

    Emotionally I react to Star Wars (or Episode IV: A New Hope as its now been branded) very favourably. A young man hoping for something more and finding it; along with the wins and losses along the way is a near universal theme. And the Mynocks and general biology of the space worm in Empire feels similar to Warren Ellis’ swansong on Planetary so I have trouble faulting it.

    But when you talk about the broad narrative of Hollywood eschewing the complex for the simple to produce box office and merchandising, you are only telling the truth. We need and deserve better.

    • Thanks for your comment, Brent! I hope I was clear that the problem isn’t so much Star Wars as that broader Hollywood dumbing down. I don’t react emotionally to Star Wars anymore, but I certainly did as a kid, and there’s nothing wrong with finding it emotionally resonant. I do react positively to its cool ideas (floating cities and the like), even if I think it’s kind of dumbly put together. But again, the enemy isn’t Star Wars… it’s the effect Star Wars has had, in terms of giving carte blanche to creators to just ignore logic and throw shit at the wall to see what sticks, while themes and larger messages become at best grace notes. It’s kind of like how people imitated Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns so long that comics just became these violent things. When inspiration becomes an excuse to lower the bar, something’s really wrong.

      Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Well, this explains that GotG article.

    Personally, I see the divide as soft sci-fi and hard sci-fi. Kirby/Morrison and Alan Moore/Warren Ellis comics. Imagination vs science and deconstruction. Has there ever been an instruction manual for how the Boom Tube works, or the Gamma Gong, or the Invisible Plane? No. There’s no pretense at trying to describe exactly how an actual teleporter would operate, but I think its all the more interesting for it. The mystery of that. We create an imaginary diegetic throughline in order to understand the characters in a comic book. We fill in the blanks. We do this all the time. Soft SF doesn’t care about boring, stuffy analysis. Its an ultimately optimistic force, about believing a man could fly, the weird and impossible ARE possible, that you really could save the day if you believed hard enough.

    I don’t see this as anti-intellectual, unless you want to argue guys like Grant Morrison and Jack Kirby were idiots.

    • You’re right, of course, Jeremy. I know the soft / hard sci-fi split, although I find the science fiction / science fantasy split more informative. Star Wars isn’t science fiction; it’s actually science fantasy. It’s far beyond most soft sci-fi, in which devices aren’t explained; it’s firmly in the realm of a mystical, no-explanations world that bears a visual similarity to science fiction but really isn’t.

      Having said that, although science fantasy isn’t my favorite, I don’t see the divide the way you do. I love Morrison comics. I don’t need to know how the Boom Tube works. There’s a kind of frenetic sense of ideas to a lot of Morrison comics, and to some Silver Age comics, which I really dig. I’m not opposed to that.

      However, the Boom Tube is totally different from the space worm. With the Boom Tube, there’s no explanation, and you know none is forthcoming. But it’s theoretically the product of advanced technology, and this technology is used more or less logically. For example, you don’t often see characters flying in spaceships where a Boom Tube would be quicker. So the Boom Tube isn’t really logical, or isn’t explained, but its application is. It’s part of this universe, characters use it, and you don’t often get scenes where you scratch your head, thinking, “Wait… they have Boom Tube technology, so why are they doing this?” In other words, even in a soft sci-fi or science fantasy universe, logic does apply.

      And what makes Grant Morrison’s stories so awesome is that he’ll tend to follow through on this. No, he has no interest in explaining the Boom Tube. It’s a cool idea, and Morrison does everything to underline that, so that you enjoy it and just go with it. However, the real genius of his stories is how, even in this unexplained or quasi-absurd universe, he follows through logically. For example, he might introduce the idea that miniature Boom Tubes could be used in microprocessors to make super-fast computers, or they might be used to send signals faster than light. Those are actually logical extrapolations of the Boom Tube, even though the Boom Tube isn’t itself logical. So what you get there is an absurd or illogical element, but the universe in which it functions is actually highly logical and consistent.

      Note that this is totally different from me trying to enforce a “everything must be hard sci-fi” mandate. Even in a soft sci-fi universe, where things don’t need to be explained, the best stories are internally logical and consistent.

      This is parallel to how magic works. Sure, someone can summon a demon. Okay. That’s not realistic, but it’s a kind of Boom Tube. You accept it, going in. But let’s say someone has the magical ability to teleport, yet becomes someone’s prisoner. Why not teleport away? To ask that question is to expect the universe or the narrative to be logical, even if magic really isn’t. And that’s a good thing. It’s not reasonable to say “Dude, why ask why he doesn’t teleport away? It’s a story with magic in it. It doesn’t have to make sense.”

      That is what’s anti-intellectual. Not the Boom Tubes or magic powers. Rather, it’s the mistaken belief that these aspects excuse a narrative from making sense in the most rudimentary of ways.

      Believe me, I’m not against Boom Tubes or fantastical elements. Most of the stories I like best have them!

      So again, having unexplained or soft sci-fi elements doesn’t mean that the universe doesn’t need to be consistent or follow logical rules. In fact, it’s the implications of a universe with things like Boom Tubes in it that’s often the basis of the best stories. And it’s being careful with these rules and the internal consistency of the universe that helps these magical or unexplained devices feel meaningful, because they’re not just used as deus ex machina justifications for convenient plots twists and situations.

      Now, the space worm is totally different than the Boom Tube. Because the Boom Tube is just a case of superior technology that’s unexplained — and doesn’t have to be. It’s a teleporter, a wombhole, an instant warp drive. Maybe this violates the laws of physics; maybe it doesn’t. But we get what it is, and it’s just choosing not to explain itself. This is totally different from a worm living on an apparently airless asteroid, where the writers clearly forgot space wasn’t only airless but also cold, and that characters were subject to decompression when they get out of the ship. There’s a big difference between “this device is a teleporter” and “space is suddenly warm when you want it to be, and you can just put anything at all into your stories without explanation.”

      So again, I’m all for fun ideas, and I’d never argue everything had to be totally realistic, or that the only good sci-fi was hard sci-fi. I don’t believe that. But surely, the existence of unexplained or absurd elements cannot justify picking and choosing whether anything in the story makes sense. One absurdity doesn’t justify every other one. In other words, the presence of a Boom Tube doesn’t mean that Orion can be Superman in the next panel, then Batman in the next, then change race in the next, and that the villain he’s fighting who’s always been impervious to punches suddenly collapses after a single punch, and then Orion moves the Earth just because it’s a cool idea. Those are simply errors, unless the story is a total farce. And saying there’s a Boom Tube, or that the story is soft sci-fi, isn’t a defense.

      I really do think we’re mostly on the same page here. I’m all for smart, fun stories of exactly the way you describe. But there’s a world of difference between a Boom Tube and the space worm, and the presence of these themes that you — and I! — like shouldn’t excuse sloppy, stupid writing.

      “It’s fantasy” isn’t a defense, because fantasy has rules too. Fantasy doesn’t mean you can do anything, and no logic need apply. It can’t.

      But again, I love a lot of these same fantastical elements. I love Grant Morrison’s work. And I’d argue his work succeeds largely because his stories show an understanding of exactly what I’m saying here.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment! I’m sure your view is far more popular than my own.

Leave a Reply