Opinions, Reviews, Scifi

Review: Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga

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For over 40 years, Star Wars has ruled the box office. What started off as an insane dream by George Lucas, a young filmmaker from Modesto, California turned into anything but “modest”. Spanning at first through three movies, the first trilogy which begun from the fourth episode, followed by an extensive toy industry with animated series, a bunch of TV movies in the ’80s, finally petered out somewhere in turn of the ’90s. By that time, everyone knew Luke, Leia, Han, and Darth Vader, we knew what a lightsaber would be, how it sounded like and knew exactly what color saber they all had.

Darth Vader (played by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones), probably the most iconic character of the whole saga, strangling an officer in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

The story was kept alive through the ’90s by a bunch of very successful games – both tabletop roleplaying ones and a good selection of PC game titles, such as X-Wing and TIE Fighter, Rebel Assault and Jedi Knight – while, unbeknownst to anyone, Lucas was writing his prequels.

When Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) hit the cinemas in the late ’90s., it was a major cinematic event. Followed by two more Episodes, the much-beloved franchise got its’ first serious fan backlash, too. While the cinema tickets sold like hotcakes, fans were not that in love with new elements, such as the Midi-chlorians, an attempt to explain the force through weird physics, and while some of the new characters were welcomed, like Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman), some were loathed: Jar-Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) soon became the most hated character of the series, and once Lucas let go of the franchise after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005), Jar-Jar (along with the Midi-chlorians) disappeared like fart in Sahara.

Young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) appearing in front of the Jedi Council in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Meance

After Episode III, it took quite a while for Star Wars to come back – ten years, to be exact. Again, during that time the story was kept alive by the toys and gaming industry, but the savior came from a surprising new place: Lego started to produce Star Wars toys, introducing the franchise to a third new generation. The Lego sets were followed by Lego Star Wars -games, which became hugely popular and the first stepping stone to the generation who had missed the first two trilogies. Simultaneously, animated Star Wars series, first Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005) and later Star Wars: Rebels (2014-2018) kept filling in the gaps between the trilogies.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) became the torch-bearer of the Jedi legacy in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

When Lucas finally sold his Star Wars empire to Disney, the third series was inevitable. J.J. Abrams, who had successfully rejuvenated Star Trek back in 2009,  was hired to produce the first of the upcoming trilogy. When Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) hit the theatres, it crushed all the previous records and brought the story back to life with full power. Introducing a set of new characters, of which all managed to strike the right chords among the fanbase and the new viewers, Star Wars was again the biggest and the best in the cinema.


Fans did notice, though, that Abrams’ Star Wars was doing a disservice to itself by over-serving the fans: to some, it felt like a best-of of the original trilogy, bringing very little new to the scenario. The same elements were still there – The Empire, only now known as The First Order versus the Rebels, planet-size weapons capable of destroying other planets and the new Emperor/Darth Vader -characters – Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) with his apprentice, the troubled young Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – ruling over the galaxy. Still, it was clear that the Star Wars universe was welcomed warmly, and yet another generation was able to jump onboard the fun.

The Force Awakens was followed by a spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016, directed by Gareth Edwards), which served as a film to tie one of the open ends of the original trilogy, telling where did the Rebels learn about the weakness in the Death Star. The film was grittier than Star Wars had been before, and after its’ success, a whole universe of Star Wars Stories was planned.

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2018, directed by Rian Johnson), the second part in the latest trilogy, was received with even more fan backlash. While the critics revered it, the fans were less enamored. The film was more ponderous than its’ predecessors, but the problems were more script-related: some of the timelines the film presented didn’t seem to make sense and it didn’t take seriously enough some of the rampant fan theories and some of the setups The Force Awakens had put in place. Still, the film was a big hit in box offices around the world, and people were attuned to wait for the final part of the trilogy.

The epic lightsabre battle of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2018) took place between Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Before that,  though, Star Wars experienced probably the biggest slap in the face of the franchise in decades, when they ventured in the history of the most beloved character of the series, Han Solo. Solo: A Star Wars Story (directed by Ron Howard), which came out in 2018, wasn’t loved by the critics, the fans or the box office. It technically killed the Star Wars Stories -spinoff-series, trashing the plans of a Boba Fett -movie that was rumored to follow. It showed that the fans are willing to watch Star Wars movies, as long as the films take themselves serious enough, don’t tamper with old characters, and give us the adventure we are looking for, the good versus evil -battle in its’ true, pure form. Solo went against the grain, being maybe a bit too self-aware, too cocky and – unfortunately – too general to find a proper place in Star Wars universe.

Meanwhile, the games and toys industry grew bigger and bigger. EA brought Star Wars: Battlefront -franchise back to life and served two greatly loved Star Wars games to the gamers, while selling Lego sets, plushies, helmets… you name it, they had it. They did, though, find out the unfortunate fact of the Star Wars series – the most beloved characters, events, and elements were still the ones from the original trilogy. Nothing the follow-ups had brought up – save maybe Darth Maul (played by Ray Park) – could ever rival Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) or Boba Fett (first played by Jeremy Bulloch) or Jabba The Hutt (voiced by Larry Ward) or Han Solo (Harrison Ford), not to mention Darth Vader (David Prowse and James Earl Jones).

Star Wars: Battlefront (2015, Electronic Arts)

Finally, as the second decade of the 2000s was about to wrap up and the world was about to step in the Cyberpunk era of the 2020s, the last and final episode of the Skywalker saga hit the theatres. Not before The Mandalorian (2019-, created by Jon Favreau), a TV-series set in the Star Wars universe, another spinoff patching up some of the blank holes in the backstory, would premiere at the newly-established Disney+ streaming service.

The Mandalorian brought in rave reviews. Suddenly, the whole Internet was going crazy over a character named Baby Yoda (who, of course, can’t be Yoda since, well, Yoda is dead Jedi ghost these days). One would think that such a great response would pave the way for the grand finale of the film series, but again, the fan backlash was waiting just around the corner.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) is about to find out the truth about her past in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019, directed by J.J. Abrams) was received with an extremely divided audience and critical response – the worst one in the series since the days of Lucas. To some, the fast pace J.J. Abrams, who returned to the helm after Rian Johnson’s previous “disaster” (as so many fans put it), was too much. To some, important characters were played in and out quickly, and the plot felt rushed and incoherent. Probably many just didn’t want the Skywalker saga to end, and had already chosen their side: this can not, should not, and will not be the end of it.

Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian has captured the hearts of the Star Wars fans.

Simultaneously, The Mandalorian was continuing the story. It was beloved by the fans, and it had the first new, greatly beloved character in it – the mysterious Yoda-like child, whom we know very little of as of now. In some way, The Mandalorian‘s success could’ve even turned against The Rise of Skywalker. It was the Star Wars the fans wanted, not the film that tried to end it all.

The biggest problem with Star Wars, from the very beginning on, has been the fact that it’s not really built to follow an arc. Each of the trilogies is written independently and even each film within the trilogy is written independently, often directed by different directors, each with a strong need to bring a new angle to the ages-old Star Wars franchise. All this while Disney, the new owner of the franchise, is trying to keep the fans happy and buying the toys, paying the tickets to the films and the theme park rides. But still, for over 40 years, the series has leaned on characters and events devised by George Lucas in the ’70s, and nothing any of the new installments have brought on has stuck as hard as the stories and characters of the original trilogy.

And boy, they have tried. There was Darth Maul and the Pod Race in the second trilogy, loaded with huge galactic plotting schemes and backstabbings, but all of that was too confusing to really fall in love with. Then, there was Kylo Ren and Snoke, both of whom were just too much like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader to really kick in hard. There was BB-8, the new robot – practically, a new R2-D2, and even bigger battles, none of which were able to outdo what Battle of Hoth did in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980, directed by Irvin Kershner). Now, we have Baby Yoda, while most of the characters of the original series are either dead or ghosts floating around in Jediversum.

AT-ATs of the Empire attacking the Rebel forces during the Battle of Hoth in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The whole Skywalker saga said what it had to say in its’ first three outings, and nothing that was added to it, later on, was really needed to make the already epic story any stronger. Still, I’m really happy Star Wars has always been there, all through my life, in different forms, shapes, and formats. And now, as I watch the excellent The Rise of Skywalker ending the whole saga, I do feel sad and nostalgic. It’s not necessarily an end of an era – Star Wars, if you ask from Disney, is just gettings started – but it’s an end of a set of beloved characters whom I’ve known nearly better than any other characters from any other franchises, save The Lord of the Rings.

Looking back, I think the biggest mistake the series did was that it kept Lucas on for as long as it did in the director’s seat. I think he should’ve been kept as a guardian of the storyline, one through whom all the scripts would pass, one who would give guidance and direction to where the story would go – more like a showrunner – while leaving directing to others. This way, Episodes I-III could have stood the test of time better, and the whole series would feel more together. Also, I don’t think the Star Wars Stories were necessary additions since while I did like Rogue One, Solo did show the fact that Star Wars just isn’t for every director, and not every character needs to have a carefully laid backstory that’s force-fed to the audience; we like to make up the untold histories ourselves.

But all in all, Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga is an important franchise that deserves the acknowledgment in the annals of great sagas of modern times. It’s may not be the Lord of the Rings, but it’s the about the second best thing from that.

There’s a lot of directions the series can go from here, but I do hope they first focus on creating a big story arc and finding a franchise runner who can carry it through a series of upcoming trilogies/TV-shows/whatever it is they have in mind. Maybe it’s worthwhile to consult George Lucas once more since it’s from him where the most valuable assets the series has have sprung from. I’m excitedly waiting for the future, and will definitely be coming back to the 12+ movies and TV-series Skywalker Saga has to offer.

Thank you, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, and others. You’ve given a lot to us.

Stars? Should I give a star rating to these 40+ years of Star Wars? How could I, even? It’s such a mixed bag… But it is a review, and I like giving stars, so here we go:

In short: A convoluted and mixed franchise, which relies heavily on the original trilogy, but manages to keep us entertained and grow and involve new viewers, generation after generation.

And here’s the film-by-film order:

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977, George Lucas)


The beginning of the most epic adventure we’ll see, possibly ever, Episode V is a stunning work of art and adventure. To think, one film brought us characters like Darth Vader, C3-PO, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca… Again, all in just one film. This was a momentous movie, like The Beatles coming together for the first time, which changed the whole film industry forever.




Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner)


Darker in the tone, and grander in the scale, The Empire Strikes Back nailed Star Wars into history, making it more than a one-hit-wonder, but a franchise to look out for. Introducing special effect techniques never seen before, even more unforgettable characters like Yoda, and continuing the adventures of the original heroes in such ease, the film is what every sequel should be.



Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand)

Star_Wars_Episode_VI_Return_of_the_Jedi-351307626-largeMaybe just a bit too childish with the lovely, furry Ewoks, Return of the Jedi manages to bring in even more intriguing characters and making this grand adventure feel not just a story, but mythology, to which one just simply can’t stop falling in love with. The new set pieces – this time, jungle – give it a fresh breath of air, and the ending of the first trilogy is pure magic.



Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999, George Lucas)


George Lucas couldn’t keep his hands off the Star Wars and returned 15 years later to his creation, only this time, unfortunately, the magic was lost. The film has some amazing set pieces like the Pod Race, and a wealth of new characters, but the script stumbles trying to get us interested in the birth of the Empire and the internal struggles of the Senate. Not only that, but it also ages terribly – the VFX are nowadays sub-par, but they must’ve been that already back then – Terminator 2 had come out in 1992, that’s seven years earlier, and first Lord of the Rings was already in the making.


Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002, George Lucas)

715aZ-gZP1L._SY679_Casting Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker was a mistake. While probably not a terrible actor, when he jumped onboard Star Wars franchise, he was way overshadowed by everyone else. He could not muster enough interest in the character, which, in its’ inner struggle would’ve needed a much stronger actor (luckily they did choose Adam Driver to play Kylo Ren to patch this up). The story itself introduces interesting concepts, like the Clones, but the film, while managing to rekindle some of the original Star Wars flame, was still too crappy to really have a character of its’ own.


Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005, George Lucas)

61nAp2cNlbL._SY741_While definitely the best of the second trilogy, not even the big space battles and the huge set pieces in the arena, or terrific Count Dooku (played by Christopher Lee) can save us from the mopy glances of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker, or such plot twists like “I have the high ground”. The visuals are better than in two earlier ones, but there’s way too much of everything for the film to look like anything but a mess.





Star Wars: Clone Wars (2008, Dave Filoni)


The Clone Wars is the first animated feature film of the Star Wars series, based on the popular and liked TV series, which maps the time between episodes I and II. The film has a strong, unique visual style and has some very likable characters, but ultimately, it doesn’t feel like it really belongs in the saga instrumentally.



Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015, J.J. Abrams)


Just like he did with Star Trek, J.J. Abrams managed to walk into Star Wars franchise and blow some fresh air into it, without ruining it. The Force Awakens is a really strong, new start which brings back old legends and introduces new, interesting characters. It looks amazing, sounds amazing and rolls on with a fast but never rushed pace – just like the original trilogy did. The film does succumb to a lot of fan service and finds itself playing the best-of of the original trilogy, but hey, that’s what we came in here for, right?


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016, Gareth Edwards)

MV5BMjEwMzMxODIzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzg3OTAzMDI@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_Darker than its’ predecessors, and the first of the Story -spinoffs, Rogue One manages to feel like a grittier version of the Star Wars saga, bleaker and more grown-up story which, firstly, doesn’t have a happy ending, and secondly, tells a story that’s not really part of the trilogies. The film goes to tell the backstory of the Death Star and introduces several quite dark set pieces, and while it does feel like it doesn’t belong really anywhere, it’s a great watch and a strong movie all in all.


Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017, Rian Johnson)


The Last Jedi is more ponderous and talky than its predecessors, with beautiful concept artwork sequences, but it’s a script that’s lacking: the story is incoherent, the timeline seems to be off and the film feels too serious in a wrong sense, too. We stay way too long with Luke in a forlorn island, while the Rebels are running away – quite boringly – from the New Order fleet. The story feels like a mashup of the new Battlestar Galactica and some weird Samurai movie of the 80’s. In addition to this, for some reason the visual effects seem more glowy and smooth compared to Abrams’ takes, and while the vistas are beautiful, they do feel like someone drew a beautiful concept art of a sequence which was then attempted to bring to life.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018, Ron Howard)


Solo was doomed to fail from the beginning: nobody can replace Harrison Ford, just like you can’t replace Arnold Schwarzenegger. He created possibly one of the most iconic characters of film history with Han Solo, and while Alden Ehrenreich does his best, he’s nowhere near the same ballpark as Ford is. In addition to this, the story feels like it’s not taking itself seriously enough; the film stumbles on as a gangster movie and a space opera, without being able to decide which one it actually is. Also, the backstory it gives to Solo is a pretty lame one.



Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (201, J.J. Abrams)


What a way to end the saga! The film, which was plagued by production problems with directors and writers going in an out of it, delivered a perfect ending for the Skywalkers! J. J. Abrams managed to run the story with such precision, pacing and scale that it felt constantly fresh and new, while never forgetting its’ roots. Daisy Ridley’s Rey grows from a pretty bland character into a proper hero, and Adam Driver’s sheer charisma makes the connection between the two characters feel natural and organic. It’s a huge film and knows its’ duty: to end the 40+ years of film history with dignity.


Six Scifi Potholes

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Photo by Juha Jormakka

Space, the final frontier. Every year, mankind gathers together in small, darkened rooms around the world, staring at the abyss, fantasizing what might there be – or not to be. That is the ultimate question. Is there intelligent life out there, or not. These darkened rooms serve as projection chambers to realize our wildest dreams, to answer our worst fears. This year, the projection they are showing is Ad Astra, a film about Brad Pitt in space, in search for his father, and ultimately, the answer to the question of whether there is intelligent life out there, ’cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth, as Monty Python sings.

Making a science fiction film is a hard job. I can tell you because I’ve made a bunch of them. There’s a selection of very common mistakes, problems and challenges each scifi filmmaker faces, ones they end up solving in many different ways. In this post I’ve listed the six most common challenges scifi stories encounter, and how they are being solved – or then, not. I’m going to be viewing them through the lense of my top-10 scifi movies, which are, in no particular order, Children of Men (2006), Alien (1979), Interstellar (2014), Solaris (1972), Moon (2009), Twelve Monkeys (1995), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars (1977), E.T. (1982)  and Blade Runner (1982).

Oh, and obviously, spoilers ahead!


Scifi is a sandbox of concepts, not of characters. Ever since sci-fi writers have started publishing the science fiction novels, they’ve started with an interesting setting, concept, theory or scientific improbability, which they’ve then started to solve, introduce further or write about. The characters, nearly always, come second. When facing the most complicated sci-fi setting we need the main character who, more often than not, is just a plain observer, someone who goes through the events and witnesses them – and eventually, solves them not through personality, but brawn, wits and the deeply imprinted need to save humanity.

This means that the characters area easily forgettable. In Interstellar, Solaris, Moon or 2001, the characters are nearly interchangeable; none of them are in any way characteristic, we can barely remember their names – what happens in the movie is more important than to who it happens.

But there are great examples of well-written and memorable characters. While the main character in Children of Men may not be remembered by his name, the devotion he shows to the mission to save humankind and leave everything else is so vigorous it becomes a characteristic trait. Who could forget Ripley from Alien or Luke from Star Wars, and when the movie’s name is the main character – Deckard from Blade Runner, or the extra-terrestrial creature from E.T. – without them, the films would have been completely different.

Each sci-fi film walks on a tightrope when trying to figure which is more important, the characters or the setting. The best ones manage to find a neat balance between these two worlds and deliver an amazing science fiction setting, added with characters we cherish for a long time. But still, I’m yet to see a scifi film which is built around such an interesting main character than it overshadows the scifi setting totally.


One of the most typical pitfalls of a scifi film is when the writers end up writing their characters in such an impossible-to-solve conundrum that the only way to get their asses out of the situation is to stretch the laws of film physics, the agreement between the viewer and the filmmaker on what’s possible in this world and what’s not, the suspension of disbelief. These issues are usually solved either through going completely abstract, like Interstellar or Solaris, or just bringing a well-timed deus ex machina to play – like in Blade Runner. Usually, these solutions are the most divisive elements of the movie – I mean, who hasn’t had that conversation about Solaris or Interstellar, where one claims to have loved the movie, but didn’t “get” the ending. Still, when crafted masterfully, like in these two movies, it can be artistically fulfilling, even though it may not be the strongest written plot ever seen.

When the writers brute force their characters out of the unsolvable conundrums, it usually becomes slightly awkward. Ad Astra sends the main character flying through Neptunus rings using a thin metal plate as a shield to block the oncoming meteors, while hitting a bulls-eye some 40-50 kilometers away with his body. In Gravity, the main character skips from orbit to another like they were changing lanes on a freeway. These solutions break the suspension of disbelief -effect and the audience becomes aware of the brutal force the writer is using in forcing the otherwise solid script through a loophole that’s just too tight to fit.

Great scifi films have this taken in consideration already when setting up the plot. Either the solution is rather simple and understandable, like in Alien – just kick the creature out of the airlock and be done with it. There, the solution doesn’t feel too alienated, pun intended, or forced, but follows a logic the film has drawn from the beginning.

The question is not how improbable the solution is, but does it fit into the general agreement the audience and the filmmaker have created. Either we follow physics down to the smallest decimal,  or we skip physics altogether.  Whatever it is, everything needs to circle  around that decision or the audience feels betrayed.


“Space… is huge, Margaret. Where do you recommend we go? Second star to the left and then straight on ’till the sunset?“, Udo Kier says in Iron Sky The Coming Race. I know, quoting my own film is kinda lame, but since we are talking about scale, it fits here. One thing the science fiction filmmakers tend to drop pretty quick is the sense of scale. We forget that everything in space is so far apart from each other than it takes several lifetimes to connect the dots. We humans are so infinitestimally tiny creatures in this infinite universe that writing stories that center around us and the limits of our feeble minds and the sacks of mostly water we call our bodies usually becomes the biggest challenge.

Distance between objects has been easily the biggest problem each writer needs to tackle at first. Einstein, the great party-pooper of science fiction, says we can’t travel faster than light and that’s a fact. Interstellar shows us wormholes which bend space and time; Star Wars introduces hyperspace and Alien introduces stasis, or hypersleep (but also features faster-than-light travel, only doesn’t really talk about it).

Another thing are the forces in space. When colliding with an asteroid, whatever size of the object, it travels with such an immense speed it will tear through the hull and destroy everything. One of the few films that really take this in consideration is Aniara, a beautiful swedish poetic film which introduces a particle that hits a spaceship on its’ way to Mars, and sends it off course.

Aniara does other things right as well. It reminds us that when adrift in space, we will remain so, and the probability of us ever reaching any target is immeasurably small. Thus, after being set off course, the next time they reach another planet is six million years later, long after all human life has perished onboard the ship. And even that is, if I’m not wrong with my assumption, quite a stretch.


Is there anyone out there?

Yeah, there is. And no, there isn’t. Both are true, at least for now.

The thing is, we know absolutely nothing even about the possibilities of life, let alone intelligent one, existing in other planets or other celestial bodies. Ever since we started serious space exploration, we have found absolutely zero evidence that there are any other living creatures out there – save predictions and probability calculations, which indeed suggest there should be something else out there, but just as possibly, we are the wacky misstep of nature and remain so until we either kill ourselves or our Sun scorches us to smithereens.

Still, in science fiction we usually predict the aliens being quite similar creatures than us, sharing similar feelings, physical features and even translatable language. We assume they have somehow heightened versions of us – either more hostile, or more intelligent, or more technologically advanced. We interpret them as creatures that have similar goals, wishes, and needs as humans.

In reality, if we were ever to meet an alien race, we would need to spend decades in just understanding what it might want or need. Their whole conceptual world would most likely be totally different from us, they might see the world using totally different senses than us – hell, we might not even know they are aliens, actual sentient beings, if we ever were to meet them.

Again, there are few approaches to aliens in science fiction: films like Alien introduce them as purely evil, hostile creatures we can’t negotiate with – or E.T., where the alien is friendly. Interstellar and Solaris, again, take a more abstract approach, where the aliens communicate with us on a whole different conceptual level.

One of the few interesting representations of aliens in recent years was Arrival, which focused mostly around just trying to find a similar conceptual drawing board to understand even the basic concepts of the aliens. It was a linguistic science fiction film, where the biggest challenge was not what the creature wanted, but how to communicate with it. Much earlier, this issue was presented in Solaris, even more strongly in Stanislaw Lem‘s original novel, where most of the film was mostly about trying to find a way to communicate with the creature – the Solaris planet – or even more so, to try to figure out if the creature even tries to communicate. If it actually was sentient at all.

Solaris’ approach to aliens is the most believable. While we can’t know until we know, after which everything will change, I’m putting my money on the fact that whatever we might encounter out there will be so different than us that we don’t even know if it is sentient.


While much of science fiction takes place in space, the more grounded stories happen on Earth, where the science fiction element is a human-made, sentient creature, a robot. These films usually fall into two categories: either the robot evolves out of control and tries to overtake mankind or the robot tries longs to be human. Rarely we see stories of robots actually doing what robots are supposed to do, which is, to assist humans. Artificial intelligence is seen as a threat that can any second go rampant and erase humans, where, in reality such outcome would be highly improbable. Mostly, we are talking of our own fears when we speak of artificial intelligencies becoming a threat to mankind: we see what humans do to this planet, we see the only solution being the one where we get rid of this pest, the humans. In many ways, films, where robots overtake mankind, are environmental statements. They may not be built as one, but the ultimate claim is: if an intelligence far more logical than us was to view our behavior on this planet, they would want to get rid of us because we are not worth saving.


Time is a harsh mistress. The issue with it is that it’s all bullshit, there is no such thing as time – not in the sense we like to think of it. We think of it as history, things that have happened, and future, things that might happen. So often we say: “next week I will do this” or “last week I did that” and consider them being elements on the same line, a railroad that one can travel back and forth, when in fact, neither next week or last week exists anywhere. They are mere memories and speculation.

Thus, in order to write a typical time travel story – think of Twelve Monkeys or Terminator – the writer needs to take the main scifi topic of their movie – time – and completely break the whole concept of time and introduce a completely new universe where there *is* a railroad called time, and then place us travel along it.

Somehow, though, and much of that has to do with the fact that our brains are capable of storing vivid memories and speculating the results of our actions before we actually do them, this is one of the most easily acceptable concepts of science fiction, one that people rarely challenge. Still, it’s bullshit.

Time exists, but it works in completely different terms than the time travel concept usually suggests. Interstellar was one of the few films that actually try to tackle time in film format.