Star Wars on Trial Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers

Star Wars on Trial Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers

Star Wars on Trial Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time Smart Pop series [Epub] ❥ Star Wars on Trial Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time Smart Pop series By David Brin – Order in the CourtStar Wars the most significant powerful myth of the twenty first century or morally bankrupt military fantasySix films Countless books 20 billion in revenue No one can uestion the fi Order in the CourtStar Wars on Trial PDF ´ the most significant powerful myth of the twenty first century or morally bankrupt military fantasySix films Countless books billion in revenue No one can uestion the financial value or cultural impact of the Star Wars film franchise But has the impact been for the goodIn Star Wars on Trial’s courtroom—Droid Judge presiding—Star Wars stands accused of elitist politics and sexism Star Wars PDF/EPUB or religious and ethical lapses the destruction of literary science fiction and science fiction film and numerous plot holes and logical gapsSupported by a witness list of bestselling science fiction authors David Brin for the prosecution and Matthew Woodring Stover for the defense debate these charges and before delivering their closing statementsThe verdict That’s up to youCovering the films from A New Hope to The Force Awakens Brin Wars on Trial Kindle Ø and Stover provide new forewords that explore the newest generation of Star Wars films and what JJ Abrams must do to live up to—or redeem—the franchise.

10 thoughts on “Star Wars on Trial Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time Smart Pop series

  1. Bradley Bradley says:

    Thanks to NetgalleyI'm not normally a reader of non fiction unless I'm in a hardcore research mode but I wanted this solely because I'm a fan of both David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover It really had nothing at all to do with the arguments one can fling at the SW universe whether to attack or defendTo do so is a very deep rabbit hole indeedFortunately it turned out to be rather amusing to hear Stover intimate that Brin was a Sith Lord in disguise and to show that Stover is an unabashed apologist because he got paid for the novelization of Ep 6 As well as a number of EU novelsBut that isn't all I genuinely enjoyed most of the coherent arguments and definitely enjoyed the incoherent ones I think I'll always enjoy the reading of the movies as the revelation that we live in a real holographic universe and Lucas is just trying to show us the path and that the Jedi are just exploiting the bugs in the software universe to hack and exploit it Bingo I can't enjoy the movies than THAT interpretation But really seeing the movies as a comedy in the old sense that we enjoy them because it evokes a real sense of JOY? That resonates with me too I couldn't care less that the movies are monsters of science inaccuracy Even if I understand science and I do it doesn't always make for stories that resonate and often put too much burden on any tale to make anyone want to read it let alone watch a movie about it Did anyone see Gravity? Did anyone see anything other than a bunch of action seuences and silence? Yeah that's because it was scientifically accurate and to bring anyone's attention to that fact would kill the tension But when it comes to the argument that women are consistently stripped of agency through the story arcs I have to agree Simply Easily Leia was treated poorly as a character but Amadala's treatment was deplorable Fortunately for the rest of us who have actually seen the new movie I rejoice in the new direction and pray that Rey continues to be badass throughout the next two movies Prove that the valid complaint had taken root and will grow into something truly marvellous This book came out right after Ep 6 and was given only a minor update before the release of Ep 7 so don't expect an cogent and relevant arguments either way that includes the new movieI would have LOVED that but timing is everything and this was aimed primarily at the fanboys and fangirls who love to think about the franchise and the best time to capitalize on that is in the tension before the filmOf course now that the new movie is such a success I hope to see

  2. Janet Janet says:

    I've really been enjoying SmartPop's anthologies and this is one of the most entertaining I am certainly part of the target audience a life long passionate Star Wars fan whose love is tempered by feelings of frustration and even betrayal by Lucas's handling of the preuels and my favorite characterIt was great to read essays by smart talented people taking the saga so passionately seriously and yet with a sense of fun Whether testifying for the prosecution or the defense virtually all of them could clearly recall what it was like to see Star Wars for the first time and how it impacted them They agreed to participate in this project not just for the money but because they care about the movies and the strengths and flaws they see in themMy favorite section was Charge #7 Women in Star Wars are Portrayed as Fundamentally Weak I've written at length about the deterioration of the status and strength of both Princess Leia and Amidala but prosecution witness Janne Cavelos went further than I ever have with the same sense of having been betrayed She too had been a young teenage girl excited to see a female action hero in a science fiction advture only to see that character systematically undermined in the seuels My other favorite essay was by defense witness Karen Traviss who addressed Charge #3 Star Wars Novels Are Poor Substitutes for Real Science Fiction and are Driving Real SF Off The Shelves She described her experience of being recruited to write a Clone Wars novel and how despite being set in someone else's creative landscape the experience engaged her at a deep level and helped her produce some of her best SF writing ever Okay she has a direct personal interest in defending Star Wars novels but the essay was terrific and I've ordered the first of her books from the library because I became intrigued by an aspect of the Star Wars universe that had never interested me beforeKudos to the editors for keeping the tone light For all the passion in the writing the entire book is liberally laced with humor and both Brin and Stover remind themselves each other the witnesses and the reader that this is all in good fun Ultimately everyone is united in their love for Star Wars and respect for its impact even if some wish that George Lucas had made some different choices along the way

  3. Christine Christine says:

    So this little volume debates Star Wars and whether or not it has harmed Sci Fi writing or viewing I brought pretty much because it has essays by Tanya Huff who is on the prosecution and Kristine Kathryn Rusch who is on the defense Largely I have to say the prosecution came after better Many of the defense essays seem to take good natured pot shots at the opposition and while I don’t think Stover really believes Brin is an idiotic corrupt Sith Lord it does wear thin after a while and really don’t you have anything else? The both sides are largely made up of writers from Sci Fi and Fantasy genres The prosecution that brings the charges is led by David Brin The defense is led by Matthew Woodring Stover who wrote among other things the best novel adaption of the preuels Of the defense essays the best are the three by writers including Rusch taking about the impact of Star Wars on the book selling marketplace They are the most supported and while they do focus on the uestion mostly from an authorseller perspective as opposed to the reader an important factor they are the most reasoned and factual The responsible from the defense to the sexism charge is rather strange because the prosecution focused on the films and the defense on the novels seemingly to indicate that both Leia and Padme are problematic in the films Still several of the issues are funny Stand out essays are the ones by John C Wright Lou Anders Kristine Kathryn Rusch and John G Hemry

  4. Sharon Sharon says:

    BenBella Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewStar Wars on Trial The Force Awakens Edition is a critical examination of this huge science fiction universe dramatized and set in a mock courtroom I chose not to take this book too seriously; after all who can when the judge is a droid? I can surmise that I enjoyed it than those who took these arguments to heart The idea that Star Wars is really pure fantasy in a science fiction setting was ridiculous to me as anyone who went to the theater in 1977 to see the epic blockbuster Star Wars A New Hope can attest As the first mainstream science fiction movie the ideas and concepts were brought down to a reasonable level so that all viewers could enjoy the genre When it comes down to it the passionate debate that the franchise has sparked in this book proves that Star Wars in total has made a lasting impact Although some characters are beloved than others the entirety of the Star Wars universe has changed the way that most people view science fiction I recommend Star Wars on Trial with the understanding that readers will not take this as a strictly serious debate and enjoy the insider tidbits and passionate discourse

  5. Shan Shan says:

    Entertaining Definitely worth reading maybe not cover to cover One of the best essays is the very last one a smart and funny defense of the movies' plot problems that gives a long list of plot holes but concludes that they don't matter to take the story seriously is to miss the point All the essays are from SF writers editors etc David Brin turns out to be a pretty funny guyI discovered I don't know Star Wars nearly as well as I thought I did I saw the first movie many times in the theatre in 1977 saw the next two opening weekend and several times but the preuel trilogy I think I've only seen once each This is a Smart Pop book and there are a whole bunch of others that look intriguing

  6. Margaret Sankey Margaret Sankey says:

    Brin lined up pairs of science fiction authors and fans to debate the important uestions of the Star Wars universe is it democratic and optimistic than Star Trek? How does the technology actually work ie if there are land speeders why have big heavy things on spindly legs? did Lucas have any idea what the endgame is supposed to be? The tone is light but imbued with the love of people who actually have thought about these things at great length

  7. Jesse Whitehead Jesse Whitehead says:

    Star Wars on Trial is based on an article for saloncom that David Brin wrote a number of years ago The premise of which was basically a forum for him to rant about how popular Star Wars is and how unworthy it is of that popularity David Brin is by all accounts a brilliant author and an incredibly intelligent man — as far as I can tell form listening to his interviews which really only means that he is confident and well versed in the subjects he talks about Matthew Woodring Stover is an author of Star Wars tie in fiction as well as some other things In this book he sets out to defraud David Brin — in a mostly light hearted way — of his delusions about Star WarsThe ‘trial’ is presented as a series of accusations that must be expounded upon and defended against by each side David Brin presents the accusations and then each of the authors calls on other well known authors writers and artist to provide essays in the defense or prosecution of said terms The format works pretty well for that Each of the authors present well written and mostly well thought pieces Many of the arguments make sense for both sides though some of the accusations are just plain stupid to begin with and some of them are indefensible from the start1 The Politics of Star Wars are Anti Democratic and Elitist This first charge is indicative of the style of nearly all of the succeeding charges If the first three movies are taken without the newer ones then this accusation has little to nothing to stand on With Lucas’s addition of Episodes I III he retroactively gave Star Wars a message that was wrong and decidedly uncomfortable on so many levels that it becomes almost shudder inducing This accusation is almost inarguably true with the consideration of the new movies This is why I try with all my might to ignore the existence of those new movies2 While Claiming Mythic Significance Star Wars Portrays No Admirable Religious or Ethical Beliefs This seems like a silly argument to be having I am not aware except perhaps in George Lucas’s own mind of any claims of mythic significance for Star Wars It most certainly has cultural significance but nothing can really claim to have that until it already does and the argument is moot That Star Wars is based on myth and heavily leans upon the Campbellian mythos is also understood but I do not see any kind of disconnect between leaning on myth for story material and not having a message or moral to engenderThe problem here is one that much of children’s literature contained for many years Until the advent of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland almost all the children’s books were intended to teach some moral or cultural value to their readers Then Alice took her dream induced trip down the rabbit hole and readers and writers alike discovered that not all stories need have a message Star Wars I think again speaking of the original three movies is a story without a message other than good guys win It’s unmistakable also that there are definitely unintended messages hidden in there Luke is a good guy but he wantonly slices his way through anybody that gets in his way Yoda tells people not to bother trying if they don’t think they can do it Darth Vader murderer of millions can be redeemed and forgiven because These are no intentional than the anti government antiestablishment slavery loving overtones of the newer films — they’re just slightly less insidious3 Star Wars Novels are Poor Substitutes for Real Science Fiction and are Driving Real SF Off the Shelves It’s statements like this that make Brin sound like an overstuffed shirt What is ‘real SF’ anyway? The claim that it is driving this so called ‘real’ stuff off the shelves is also the most ludicrous claim that I have ever heard If not for Star Wars there probably wouldn’t be a Science Fiction shelf for ‘real SF’ to be driven off of Unsurprisingly the defense had three authors contribute to debunking this obvious fallacyI understand and agree with much of the criticism leveled at Star Wars — especially as I’ve gotten older Lucas’s callous treatment of life ethics and logic is almost insulting on many levels I can get behind most of those arguments about the shortcomings that are inherent in the stories characters and scenes One thing that is completely inarguable though is that Star Wars made modern movies television and books into a market Without Star Wars we would have none of those things in the same scale that we have them today The same argument can be used for Harry Potter and Twilight Despite the flaws it is inarguable that the number of people that read and enjoy reading books today would not be the same scale had those books not existed Society loves mediocrity and as a whole we love turning our brains off and having fun Star Wars Harry Potter etc have provided that for a significant number of the world’s population4 Science Fiction Filmmaking has been Reduced by Star Wars to Poorly Written Special Effects Extravaganzas No argument here though my cynical nature tells me that Hollywood would have gotten there anyway one way or another Movies like Transformers can’t be wholly blamed on Star Wars — Michael Bay and the American public need to shoulder some of that burden5 Star Wars has Dumbed Down the Perception of Science Fiction in the Popular Imagination I’m not really sure what this is saying except that David Brin is embarrassed that the important books that he writes are associated with Star Wars through genre titlesMost of the world has a mistaken view of science fiction that is not entirely the fault of Star Wars though I think the argument could go either way Star Wars when it first came out was an attempt by George Lucas to build something that harked back to the old days when he was a child and the pulp magazines put out stories by Leigh Brackett and Jack Williamson about swashbuckling sword fighters that roamed among the stars seeking justice The Empire Strikes Back was even written in part by Leigh Brackett The argument is that as a result of it’s success the film and television industry has been stuck in that same era as inspiration for their source materialAgain I think Hollywood would have made the bad choices anyway it is Hollywood after all that’s what they do there The new science fiction released in film each year is consistently about forty or fifty years behind the curve In other words the fresh new movies that people get so excited about are based on stories that were written in the mid sixties This means that the popular perception of science fiction is at least forty years old — probably fifty Again I don’t think I would argue with you either way if you wanted to claim it was Star Wars’ influence that caused this6 Star Wars pretends to be Science Fiction but is Really Fantasy I don’t actually see why this is a problem It also strikes me as a little bit elitist and hypocritical to accuse something of not being good because it doesn’t follow genre conventions Raise your hands if you’re surprised to hear Star Wars is fantasy7 Women in Star Wars are Portrayed as Fundamentally Weak There’s actually little to argue here Leia is smart and amazing in the first movie She resists torture at the hands of Darth Vader she mouths off at Han and Luke when they come to rescue her ‘Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?’ and fights off stormtroopers while they are boarding the Falcon That’s not to say she don’ts have flaws As an administrator and politician she never once administrates or politicizes but that’s not her fault as much as it is Lucas’s By the time the new movies came out Amidala is portrayed as a simpering miluetoast politician who can’t really do anything without a man to help her — even if the man is only eight years old It gets worse from thereThere is a general trend in Hollywood over the last couple of decades where women are given less and less to do and are being shoved into slots that fill cultural stereotypes than ever Star Wars is no exception to this backward trend unfortunately8 The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make it Ill Suited for an Intelligent Viewer MaybeStar Wars has plot holes Some of them so big that you could literally drive the Death Star though them Stover claims that according to George Lucas that’s the point Star Wars is supposed to be inconsistent logically scientifically thematically I’m not sure what it gained by this except that it has allowed fans to spend countless hours devising explanations for the logical fallacies in the universe If George Lucas created all the gaping holes in his story in order for the authors of the dozens of novels to have room to explore the universe then he is a genius I suspect rather that they are just plot holes He threw the whole thing together on a whim didn’t think too hard about it and was surprised when it became popular He doesn’t have answers Fans are much better at that anywayMy biggest complaint about this book is that the two authors who edit the essays and provide the opening and closing statements seem to have strikingly different agendas Brin comes off as a pompous fool who thinks Star Wars would have been better if only George Lucas had called him up and taken his advice Stover treats the whole thing like a farce referring to Brin as a Sith Lord at every turn and cracking terrible Star Wars themed puns whenever the opportunity arisesThe essays themselves are mostly well written and well thought pieces Each author giving some good arguments Many times I would read the prosecution essay and be convinced that yes that is all true Then I would read the opposing view and find myself swayed In the end I had to come to my own conclusions which is the point so in that I would say that this book is a successThis probably won’t be a popular book most people just won’t care People like what they like If you are interested in examining Star Wars critically both good and bad aspects of it then this is one of the better sources to turn toI learned a few things I wanted to headbutt Nick Mamatas which I think is what he was going for so good for him I rolled my eyes at some of the arguments I laughed at others It also made me think which is never a bad thing

  8. Donna Parker Donna Parker says:

    RegretsI've had a fewthen againtoo fewto mentionSo what ifmy life is riddledwith plot holesand logical gaps?I have flaws and uirks I say adorable some may beg to differI’m thoughtful and thoughtlessBrilliant and oh so dumb sometimes astonishingly at the same timeI’m a gloriously human jumbleSo why do we expect our entertainment to be perfect when we aren't? As humans we get caught up in things even now computers are galactically buzzing about the new Star Wars loving it trashing it or both and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet I admit my unease intensifies as The Force AwakensThere were times I'm sure you knew when I bit off than I could chew ie and I didn't want to become blaster fodder And Disney buying Star Wars made my complicated relationship go full Death Star explosion scared of it I am But Star Wars On Trial looked interesting so I let the tractor beam pull me in that's no moon that's a blog postI consider myself an intelligent viewer is that an oxymoron? so I selected the 8th charge against the accused iconic franchise The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make It Ill Suited for An Intelligent ViewerI agree sometimes watching these movies I just want to say go home Star Wars you're drunk but I believe those who consume the story are culpable not the storytellerUpon first review of the charges perhaps it does seem like only morons would enjoy movies like Star Wars I’m paraphrasing the witnesses for prosecution Nick Mamatas and defense Don DeBrandt were actually uite witty and elouent Star Wars certainly did it all and not in a shy way oh no let the record show George Lucas took the blows and did it his wayI'll state my case of which I'm sorta certain the details of the story aren't nearly as important as the story itself Why? Because we are the storyWe are Yoda who trained Luke or less but once said Anakin was too old to train back in the days of surplus JediWe are Obi Wan Kenobi I mean Ben Kenobi hiding Luke Skywalker in plain sight on a barren planet where most everything wants to kill him guess we know who the favoured child wasWe are Darth Vader really you didn’t recognize your own kids? Han Solo Amidala Picard The Avengers The Doctor Sherlock Buffy Leia Luke ewww dude you kissed your sister The Lorax Bugs Bunny Scarlett O’Hara Rick Grimes You think it’s a plot hole but it ain’t Rocky Capt Jack Batman Frodo C 3PO Scully Mulder Scrooge Kirk James Bond Edward Scissorhands Simpsons Reddington The Blacklist is a logical gap who cares watching James Spader read menus would be entertaining Chewie Daryl Dixon Darcy Katniss Joker Boo Radley having a moment The Griffins Keyser Söze Willy Wonka Don Draper Bridget Jones Charlie Brown Harry Potter Walter White Spock R2 D2 the real hero of SW and No spoilers I enjoyed all the sci fi and fantasy authors including but not limited to David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover who diligently prosecuted and defended the idolized intriguing yet infuriating series while the Droid Judge This isn't the Droid Judge you're looking for attempted to keep order Star Wars innocent guilty or just in the wrong place at the right time you decide vote at or wwwBenBellaBookscomAnd enter to win a free copy of Star Wars on Trial from BenBella Books Canada or US only In the comment box below tell me your most hated or loved plot hole or logical gap any book movie TV show or life Notification via droid or me November 15 2015 all contact will be confidentialI would say life isn’t logical How could it be when we live it on a baffling blue ball twirling in space like a tattered ballerina in a vintage music box?Stories are told by humans and therefore delightfully flawedThink of it like extra cheese on lasagna yes it's irrelevant but does that mean it shouldn't have happened? Life is messy Take a biteAnd Star Wars has Muppetsisn't that enough?Your true destiny? To alwaysdo it your wayMay The Force Be With Youhttpyadadarcyyadacom20151105g

  9. Stephanie "Jedigal" Stephanie "Jedigal" says:

    My two cents Book Good; Website Disappointing Hidden benefit introduction through these essays to the writing of around 20 authors I'm one of those people who both love Star Wars and hate it too Okay I don't hate Star Wars itself but there are some things about it that just drive me batty It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one This book is not a weighty philosophical treatise on the merits of Star Wars as art form cultural phenomenon etc Instead it is a light but thoughtful exploration into some of the ideas floating through the SW fan community I enjoyed it but I think that like the movies if you take it too seriously you are going to miss out This book is in the form of essays written on behalf of the prosecution and the defense with some cross examinations of witnesses in the courtroom conducted by Brin and Stover Some of the essays are rather serious and some entertaining There is at least one that is just wacky I read the table of contents at the bookstore and had to buy it and am glad I did Charge #1 The politics of Star Wars are anti democratic and elitist Charge #2 While claiming mythic significance Star Wars portrays no admirable religious or ethical beliefs Charge #3 Star Wars novels are poor substitutes for real science fiction and are driving real SF off the shelves Charge #4 Science fiction filmmaking has been reduced by Star Wars to poorly written special effects extravaganzas Charge #5 Star Wars has dumbed down the perception of science fiction in the popular imagination Charge #6 Star Wars pretends to be science fiction but is really fantasy Charge #7 Women in Star Wars are portrayed as fundamentally weak Charge #8 The plot holes and logical gaps in Star Wars make it ill suited for an intelligent viewer I enjoyed it thoroughly I found myself reading the prosecution argument and saying yeah that's right Then I'd read the defense argument and say yeah you tell him And of course I also disagreed at times And as I mentioned this is NOT weighty philosophy so at times you'll find some logic holes in the arguments on either side reminiscent of the logic and plot holes being pointed out in the subject matter Why it works for me is that there is room for debate Even though I ended up mostly agreeing with the Defense there was a case to be made for both sides which is what makes these uestions worth asking And this is what I have truly loved about SW fans They ask these uestions They don't just sit back and accept whatever cockamamy junk is thrown at them For instance what percentage of SW fans accept the idea of Greedo shooting first? Okay what percentage born before 1997? The only big beef I have is with the website After you read the book you are asked to perform the duty of the jury and weigh in with your opinion at a website The website is really a bit lame There's an introductory page and then an online forum For those familiar wforums a section has been set up with an opening thread for each of the nine charges For a couple charges forum registrants have created a voting poll but not for most which just have discussion I personally think a no registration reuired poll should have been set up on a main page separately from the forum to track an overall reader consensus While I once had time to devote to my love of SW currently it's all the time I can muster to read SW expanded universe novels and maybe some supplemental material like Star Wars on Trial I do not have time to have a discussion about each charge I do think that the small additional investment in the website I suggest is not too much to ask for those of us who can't benefit from a time consuming forum interaction

  10. Jason Schneeberger Jason Schneeberger says:

    Thanks to BenBalla Book and NetGalley or the review copy of this book This was a fun read that playfully yet thoughtfully examines many different aspects of the Star Wars mythos From the use or lack thereof of religion in the series to the argument that Yoda is actually evil to the relevancy of movie tie books to a look into the sexism that prevails throughout the saga there is a little bit of everything that is debatable here in the Star Wars Universe The way this books works is several authors writers etc contributed in a fashion of one being for the subject at hand and one being against it and both or multiple parties lay out their case a the court roomAt first I didn't really care for the layout of the debates in this book being like a court room battle I know I know the book is called STAR WARS ON TRIAL for crying out loud but it just felt like the layout got in the wayat first As the debates got interesting I warmed up to the prosecution and defense state of the book which was over seen by Droid Judge Like I said it was done in a playful manner but the debates and subseuent cross examinations in this book were uite interesting and bring to light a lot of valid points like just how worthless all of the Jedi leaders are in the preuel trilogy and how Luke actually did the right thing in the long run by disobeying Yoda There are many fascinating aspects to the franchise discussed within this book that I never considered or even thought of before Just about any Star Wars fan that is interested in dissecting the franchise and taking a deeper look into the mechanics of what makes this universe work or not work for that matter is going to find uite a lot of interesting opinions and thought provoking ideas in this book I give this one 45

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