Friday, December 18, 2015

Sci-Fi Week: Battle of the Franchises? No thanks, I'll pass!

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Unless you’re living under a very, VERY big rock, you’re aware that we’ve now got the first Star Wars movie we’ve had in decades in the theaters. To all initial reports, it even appears to be good. My wife and I are pretty amused at the number of early reviews we’ve seen along the lines of “everybody relax, it doesn’t suck!”

This post, however, is not going to be about the new movie, although it IS still going to be about Star Wars!

Because I’ve also seen quite a few posts and videos and such going around the net this past week, all along the theme of “this is why Star Wars is the best franchise ever”. In particular, I’ve seen a post that put Star Wars up against Lord of the Rings, and I’ve seen a video that puts it up against Star Trek. Both faceoffs are certainly clashes of titans, and the kind of post fodder guaranteed to get geeks defending the honor of whichever franchise is their favorite.

“What’s your take, then?” I might hear you asking.

Easy. I embrace the power of and. I love Star Wars and Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

Oh, sure, I have often different reasons for loving all of them. Those reasons may even be different on different days for the same franchise, because people are allowed to be complicated creatures and full of contradictions!

Allow me to elucidate with a small sampling of why I love all three of these franchises.

Why I love Star Wars:

  1. Two words: Harrison. Ford.
  2. John Williams’ soundtrack.
  3. To this day, I remember eight-year-old-ish me laying eyes on that gigantic Star Destroyer at the beginning of A New Hope. Formative movie influence on me, like so many other geeks my age.
  4. Han’s love for the Millennium Falcon led me right into instant affection for Mal’s love of Serenity in Firefly! Because I mean honestly, Mal really is Han 2.0, isn’t he?
  5. And did I mention Harrison Ford? Because he warrants mentioning twice. :D

Why I love Star Trek:

  1. Three words: James. Tiberius. Kirk.
  2. The way my heart lifts every time I hear “Space: the final frontier” and the horns kicking in under those iconic words.
  3. I adore the whole core concept of Trek, which for me is “space is AMAZING, let’s go look at it and discover new life forms and civilizations and make friends with them”. I love the inherent optimism of that, and I frequently feel that we could use more of that optimism in all of our lives.
  4. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, at least in the original series (the reboot movies aren’t doing it for me, not yet), are the threefold heart and soul of the cast. I regularly go back and rewatch that series, and the best parts for me are the parts that emphasize how these three characters all love and respect one another.
  5. Uhura! Our lady of communications! Who is also a musician! How can I not love her?

Why I love Lord of the Rings:

  1. Tolkien’s masterful works, as I’ve posted before, are a huge influence on me as both a reader and a writer.
  2. I can rewatch the Lord of the Rings movies yearly and feel like I’m coming home.
  3. Howard Shore’s masterful score.
  4. Every single time I hear Annie Lennox sing “Into the West”, tears start streaming down my face.
  5. Four words: Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

At the end of the day, though, what all of these franchises have in common for me is that they’ve all delivered me excellent storytelling, compelling characters, music that lifts my spirit, and worlds I believe in every time I visit them. To ask me to say that one is better than the other is like asking me to choose a one true flavor of ice cream. Dude, it’s ice cream. It’s all delicious!

All that said? That eight-year-old kid in me who went all wide-eyed in awe at the first sight of a Star Destroyer is now totally shrieking OMG OMG NEW STAR WARS OMG OMG OMG CAN WE GO SEE IT YET?

Hang in there, eight-year-old me. We’ll be going to see that movie soon enough. And Trek and Lord of the Rings will keep being there for us too!

So talk to me, everybody, and tell me what your favorite movie franchise is and why you love it so! (And if you’ve already seen The Force Awakens, this is a SPOILER-FREE ZONE, so please, no spoilers in the comments! I won’t be seeing the movie until Christmas Day! You wouldn't want to make Han cranky, would you?)

Angela is a hybrid author who writes as both Angela Korra'ti and Angela Highland, and she is also a gigantic geek. You can find her and everything you'd like to know about her books on, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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