[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Dinosaur Revolution Review



"I hate to do this, but I have quite the reverse opinion: Star Trek is
less accurate in its depiction of space flight than Jurassic Park is
in its depiction of dinosaurs."

Apples and oranges. The comparison was between Star Trek, which does
try to at least sound science-y, and Star Wars, which has
planet-destroying energy weapons and the Force, and makes no attempt
to justify its portrayed technologies/phenomena as rooted in real,
defined scientific principles. That general analogy is correct, I'd
say.

Of course, Star Trek is also enormously pretentious and actively
*misleading* science-wise because it partakes of an extraordinary and
inordinate amount of insultingly pseudorealistic technobabble, upon
which it all but perpetually relies for plot devices, whereas Star
Wars is honest about the technology being simply a backdrop for a more
archetypal sort of plot, rather than a constant front-and-center
aspect thereof.

I think a more appropriate dinosaur-based comparison would be between
Jurassic Park, which portrays itself as realistic science but in fact
is rife with error, and movies like anything from Gwangi to (not an
endorsement!) the recent "Land of the Lost" movie - which, despite
being grossly inaccurate, have no pretense of presenting fair and
accurate extrapolations of science.

"Venomous dinosaurs? That's nothing compared to gravity carpet and
casual faster than light travel, and windows on a starship are just as
bad as a raptors without feathers."

Since no one has ever built a faster-than-light starship, I think it
may be just a tad premature to say that they couldn't possibly feature
windows of some sort. ;b

"'Dinosaur Revolution' wasn't just a documentary, it was a fictional
narrative as well, and when writing fiction, you often have to follow
the 'rule of cool' to make a good story. Star Trek and Star Wars are
perfect examples of this. On the other hand, I do prefer Hard Science
Fiction over Hollywood's ummm.... science fiction.. if you can call it
that... which is why I read science fiction novels when I want a good
space opera."

While I generally agree with the Rule of Cool (say "Yes!" to sound in
space!), I have to point out that space operas virtually *by
definition* are soft sci-fi, not hard. They're close to the opposite
end of the continuum from hard sci-fi. The whole point of a space
opera is that the story comes before any notion of realism, whereas in
hard sci-fi the story is *about* the realism of the technology and/or
phenomena it portrays.

Despite its flaws, Jurassic Park *is* relatively hard science fiction,
as was Revolution. This is exactly why we hold them to a higher
expectation of accuracy, and are correspondingly more disappointed by
the lack thereof than we are with, say, "The Land Before Time."

I totally agree about the contrast between sci-fi literature and
Hollywood blockbusters. 'Course I still wish they'd push for a *few*
more shreds of realism here and there . . .