See the full post if for some reason you want to read a brief rant about pop culture. I kinda diss Star Wars, so that’s something.
Fantasy and sci-fi makes me sad. More specifically, how those genres are handled by a vast majority of artists working in them does. Fantasy and sci-fi are uniquely suited to presenting entirely new visuals and ideas. They’re allowed to disregard all of Earth, its history, cultures, climate, geography and/or biology, and make new ones up from scratch.
We should be regularly exploring things like, say, the cultural and political conflicts of a race of creatures that live in a gas giant, subsisting on atmospheric debris which they absorb with their large porous skin-sails and who, instead of developing tools, have evolved an orifice in which they cultivate and store specialized microorganisms to do their bidding. Instead, we keep getting ham-handed allegories and a recurring set of (remarkably Terran-looking) stock races. And pretty much nobody calls artists out on it! Avatar slapped together a couple Earth animals, painted them blue and stuck them on some floating rocks, and people acted like it was goddamned visionary.
I mean, I get that humans need some kind of reference point to write and understand fiction, and that there’s a place for easily digested escapism. I’m not saying we need to go completely otherworldly with everything. But you should at least have a handful of genuinely original ideas, because what’s the point of writing in the genre otherwise? We need more things like The Neverending Story (the book) and the first half of Interstellar, and less like… Uh, Skyrim and Star Wars. Yeah, I said it. Come at me bro.