Support the news

'Star Wars' And The Evolution Of Space Fiction48:08
Download

Play

Everyone is going crazy over "Star Wars." We’ll talk about its place in  the pantheon of space movies, space fiction.

Space fiction has changed in the last eighty years, from 1936's "Flash Gordon" (L-R, Beatrice Roberts, Buster Crabbe, and Charles Middleton) to 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (L-R Daisy Ridley and John Boyega). (Courtesy Universal Pictures / Lucasfilm)
Space fiction has changed in the last eighty years, from 1936's "Flash Gordon" (L-R, Beatrice Roberts, Buster Crabbe, and Charles Middleton) to 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (L-R Daisy Ridley and John Boyega). (Courtesy Universal Pictures / Lucasfilm)

All right, Jedi knights. You all know that Star Wars fever is back. The force is awakened and all over movie theaters as of last night - with wookie and light sabre, the old gang and new. We’re going to dive in to what’s come back this time, and where Star Wars sits in the potent genre of space fiction, on and off screen. In space, almost anything can happen. Star Wars has been called space opera, fairy tale, hero journey.  What about Alien, Avatar, Star Trek, 2001, WALL-E, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov? This hour On Point, Star Wars, and its place in the pantheon of space fiction.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post. (@AnnHornaday)

Gerry Canavan, assistant professor of 20th and 21st Century Literature, specializing in science fiction and popular culture at Marquette University. (@gerrycanavan)

Forrest Wickman, senior editor at Slate. (@ForrestW)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ gets the nostalgia-novelty mix just right — "That giant wheezing sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief, heaved by now-legion generations of 'Star Wars' fans, from toddlers to their grandparents, who can rest assured that the Force is still with the franchise they grew up on or grew old with."

SlateStar Wars Is a Postmodern Masterpiece — "It’s undoubtedly the case that Star Wars changed the movie industry. But it also changed the cinema arts, in ways that are now as forgotten as old Ben Kenobi at the outset of Episode IV. You probably no longer think to ask why a Jedi is called a Jedi, why they dress in samurai robes, or why the preamble that opens each movie scrolls the way it does, receding slowly into the distance."

Salon: How “Star Wars” changed the world: “It feels real in a way the stuff on ‘Star Trek’ probably doesn’t” — "As media properties go, this is a really interesting moment. We’re coming back to a story that seemed over, that seemed to have had a happy ending. It seems to speak to our times a little bit: Oh, the next 30 years of our lives seem like they’ve been pretty unhappy. The end of 'Return of the Jedi' didn’t solve all the problems in their world – the story continued."

Watch A Trailer For "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

This program aired on December 18, 2015.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news