Space & Science Fiction Forums

forum Star Wars Cultural References (13 posts)
joined June 29, 2007
24 forum posts
hippokrates - june 29, 2007

Cultural References

Just like to say regarding the more recent trilogy, didn't like the excessive and obvious lending of earth culture (especially filming in Italian Cultural sites)and the overtly imperial china-esque look of Queen Amidala. Found episodes IV to VI far more original in cultural thought even if the Jedi religion is somewhat Buddhist, and water pipes (Jabba smoked one) etc. were a little too familiar.Lucas clearly borrowed slightly too heavily from North Africa sometimes. Hope this site won't end up populated by too much culture reminiscent of planet earth.

My solar Systems: Tooma (NJJ246)
joined June 29, 2007
1 forum posts
devlincarnate - june 29, 2007

forced to agree

But so much fictional work is derived from what people know & feel comfortable with, & of course, it does keep the SFX budget manageable.

My solar Systems: none
joined June 27, 2007
1 forum posts
vulpalasar - june 29, 2007

Another view

I agree that the more recent Star Wars films had problems, but I don't think the Earthesque cultural references were among them. It is the challenge of any science fiction writer to create an alien culture that seems foreign but still is familiar enough to be understood and relate themes of relevance. Any realistic alien culture would be completely incomprehensible, with habits and rituals and even senses and thought patterns humans could never begin to grasp. And while that may be nifty to create, it makes for a boring story.

I hope the site builds a number of stories in both directions, stories that are derivative and stories that are inconceivable. What I expect, though, is a lot of what we've seen before. As Shakespeare said, there's nothing new under the sun ... no matter which sun you're talking about.

My solar Systems: none
joined June 29, 2007
24 forum posts
hippokrates - july 2, 2007

I knew someone would quote Shakespeare!

A good point Vulpalasar (you aren't Stephen Baker are you?), I know that ultimately all our thoughts derive from an earthly frame of reference but I think bland trotting out of obvious earthly references makes it fantasy rather than science fiction (this might as well be a dungeons and dragons site), from what I read on New Scientist and also on this site it is hoped that a lot of the input, whilst imaginative, should attempt to be reasonably scientific, this can be a challenge, and people will make mistakes, but it could make for some intersting creations (I don't agree that it leads to an inevitably boring creation, quantum theory is so bizarre its fascinating - and has of course spawned some science fiction).
My star system (when I can manage to buy it!) will attempt to have no cultural frames of reference to earth, though some of the geology may be similar (scientifically), and the dominant life forms carbon based, the mindset of the 'people' will be strictly alien, even if their style of government is reminiscent of the unworkable philosophies of Aristotle and More. It will be a challenge to make such a peace loving species intersting I admit but I am prepared for the criticism.

My solar Systems: Tooma (NJJ246)
joined June 22, 2007
3 forum posts
kadams - july 2, 2007

I must disagree with the following statement...

Any realistic alien culture would be completely incomprehensible, with habits and rituals and even senses and thought patterns humans could never begin to grasp.



It stands to reason that, because we exist in the way that we do, it is very probable that other life forms we encounter would not be so different. Cultural differences not withstanding (aka, I'm from Western Civilization and am frequently ignorant or thought patterns of other cultures), we probably have more in common with alien life than we do differences.

For example, we became intelligent as a matter of need. Our only other strengths before that were our incredible stamina, and our ability to survive most environments. The opposable thumb allowed us to manipulate objects and tools (we're not the only creatures that do) and allowed us to become bipedal because our hands were freed for other uses. Our survivability was partially because of fur, but also because a well developed cooling system (our ability to sweat is beyond all others). One on one with any other apex predator would have caused our downfall, yet it did not. Still, we have other basis to compare, so it is all speculation.

My solar Systems: none
joined June 29, 2007
24 forum posts
hippokrates - july 2, 2007

Intelligence evolution

Shouldn't that be, that our chaotic acquisition of intelligence (or rather of various species prior to us) and our development of that ballooning genetic potential, (largely through breaking open skulls and eating the raw material other species couldn't easily get at, mainly owing to our opposable thumb and its usefulness in handling heavy sharp things), left us in an advantageous position over other species in the realm of problem solving to acquire food, warmth etc.

My solar Systems: Tooma (NJJ246)
joined June 22, 2007
3 forum posts
kadams - july 3, 2007

Exactly

You're exactly correct hippokrates, but without our stamina and ability to endure a wide range of climates (necessary for our earlier hunter-gatherer cousins) allowed us the time to get that far.

My solar Systems: none
joined August 25, 2007
11 forum posts
arcuriandelta4 - august 25, 2007

Cliched

It has many cultural references in alien races because its so cliched and unimaginitive. It is not even science fiction. There is no way that story line could happen. Humans evolving independantly on different planets. Humanoid aliens. Magical powers.

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joined August 25, 2007
11 forum posts
arcuriandelta4 - august 25, 2007

Also...

An alien culture would be completely unimaginable. I mean, see all the varieties of life on Earth. Would they even be carbon-based? Why would they have opposable thumbs? They may simply change shape like amoebas. An alen would probably make ostriches and mushrooms look simillar. And, even if they are logical, why would it be the same logic. Human logic is very changeable and based very much on our instincts. Its based on our needs, eat, survive... What needs would a silicon-based or even gas-based lifeform have...

And, according to the Drake Equation. By calculating the number of Earth-like planets, how often life arises, how long an advanced civillisation lasts etc, it says that there are about 10,000 advanced civillisations in this galaxy simultaneously. The Milky way is 100,000 light years across, so we'll have to make some real advances in space travel before we should probably worry about that... strange situation.

But in a bit of fun-fiction (not serious science-fiction) like this I think its fine and interesting, I enjoy it. Bit in a series of major films it is a bit off-key. Most are good and are not hampered by this (Star Trek,Close Encoun ters of the 3rd Kind). But Star Wars is so cliched and unrealistic and unitellectual in the first place this fact makes the Star Wars death sentence worse. I used to appreciate its entertainment value but not now. And I am only 14.

-Star Wars-1/5

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joined June 01, 2008
2601 forum posts
thegreatpl - august 17, 2008

have to disagree arcuriandelta4 about your above statement, about the magical powers especialy. magical powers could be scientificaly explained, for instance, the force could just be the use of mental powers.

as for cultural things, i havent been as active watching the newer starwars films, havent even watched episode 3. however, it is my belief that there are a multitude of worlds out there, and several of these races are human. so why wouldnt they create similar cultures to ours, or at least, some of them? we humans have had a multitude of cultures in our history, and so some of these are likely to be like what we see.

as to the humans evolving independantly over several different planets, who is to say that some ancient race didnt engineer them to evolve that way?

My solar Systems: none
forum Star Wars Cultural References (13 posts)



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