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The Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy, A Rant

It drives me up the wall whenever people refer to Star Wars as Sci-Fi.

Yes, it has all the trappings of good space opera (advanced weaponry, spaceships and FTL to name a few). Yes, it is full of action and relies on the technology for the setting to work. And yes, there is a big blur instead of a line – in fact, it’s a full spectrum – between Sci-Fi and Fantasy.*

So what has got my goat?

It’s actually space fantasy. There’s magic [the force] (I will fight you on this), there’s a frankly unsustainable interstellar (just about pan-galactic, as it happens) empire [which somehow doesn’t preclude widely varying forms of planetary government?]***, and there’s a whole host of unlikely (and downright illogical) species, all of whom seem perfectly capable of interacting with one another despite all reason.*

Let’s make it clear: I love Star Wars. I just don’t confuse it with actual Sci-Fi, like Battlestar Galactica, the Honorverse or even Firefly.* **

{future rant: genre distinctions and the bastard child of proper fantasy}

*Yes, I like listing things in threes. Yes, it is repetitive. Yes, I will keep doing it.

**Also: yes, I like space opera. I like it much better than, say, near-future dystopia. Which seems to be everything I can find other than space opera. Please comment with exceptions.

***Finally; yes, I love parentheses and brackets. Can I name all three of them? No. No, I can’t.


shut up, it looks pretty.

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