What's your Sci-Fi unpopular opinion?

It's a slightly click-baity title, but as we're still generating more content for our magazines, this one included, why not?

My Sci-fi unpopular opinion is that 2001: A Space Odyssey is nothing but pretentious, LSD fueled nonsense. I've tried watching it multiple times and each time I have absolutely no patience for the pointless little scenes which contain little to no depth or meaningful plot, all coalescing towards that 15 minute "journey" through space and series of hallucinations or whatever that are supposed to be deep, shake you to your foundations, and make you re-think the whole human condition.

But it doesn't. Because it's just pretentious, LSD fueled nonsense. Planet of the Apes was released in the same year and is, on every level, a better Sci-fi movie. It offers mystery, a consistent and engaging plot, relatable characters you actually care about, and asks a lot more questions about the world and our place in it.

It insists upon itself, Lois.

Ni,
Ni avatar

I think this might be a truly unpopular opinion, but I could not get into the expanse at all. Just never got invested in the characters enough to stick with it. I've retried watching it 4 times due to everyone recommending it, kind of given up now!

Also the latest star wars films killed any interest I had in star wars.

neus,
neus avatar

If you are least made it past s1e4 CQB then you gave it a solid shot. That episode imo is where you either pick it up and like it or move on. The first 3 episodes can be a bit slow and introduce so many characters.

Ni,
Ni avatar

I heard this, and so I think I get to episode 4 or 5 drop it and then I leave it too long, try and watch it all again but I've seen the first 4 episodes too many times.

Maybe I'm due trying to watch it again!

neus,
neus avatar

Maybe on re watch just read the synopsis of episodes 1-3 if you've now seen the "boring" ones a few times now as a reminder, then start at 4.

Ni,
Ni avatar

I think I might try this, starting to feel the guilt of not liking it so time to try again!

Adama,

Don’t feel guilty but as an example I love the BSG remake. But when I introduce somebody to it I suggest they watch 33 if they can’t get through the mini series.

Yes it presumes a lot but it gets you into what’s going on without hours of setup in the mininseries.

asteroidrainfall,
asteroidrainfall avatar

With out the “miniseries” you go in without any context as to what’s happened to humanity, no? Like, doesn’t the miniseries set up Roslin as president and explain her cancer? Without details like that I would just be confused going into “33”.

Adama,

Absolutely. So I suggest the mini series first. But if they came back with “it was so slow… I couldn’t get through it” then I suggest 33 as a “taste” of things to come.

Ni,
Ni avatar

33 is an exceptional episode, I still feel uneasy watching it after all this time. Really great Sci fi.

I need another battlestar-equsr series in my life!

asteroidrainfall, (edited )
asteroidrainfall avatar

Come on over to /m/bsg when you do! We’re planning on having a BSG rewatch discussion sometime soon!

Ni,
Ni avatar

Already joined! But a rewatched discussion would be fantastic!

Adama,

For me that’s where the expanse is so good.

Moral ambiguity, a man who wants to do right encounters so many things that make it hard to know what that is.

The importance of those closest to you.

Leapst,

Do you know where you can find the mini series to watch? I've been wanting to start into bsg finally but haven't found those to start with.

Adama,

I think peacock (nbc’s streaming service) has it.

Ni,
Ni avatar

No sure about outside the UK, but in the uk the full battlestar series including miniseries is on bbc I player. Worth taking a look to see if you can access!

asteroidrainfall,
asteroidrainfall avatar

Usually it’s included alongside the bluray editions. I’m not sure if it’s included on Peacock (the only streaming platform that has BSG). Also, it’s not really “miniseries”. It’s more like an extended episode zero that sets up all the characters going into main series. Honestly, IMO, it’s critical for maximum enjoyment of the early series.

I wrote up a watch guide for the series over on /m/bsg:

Kaldo,
Kaldo avatar

How far do you usually get before giving up on it? Not saying you should force it more, just curious.

Ni,
Ni avatar

I'd heard it was a bit hard going until episode 5 so I always try and get to that point but I don't think I've got past. At this point I've rewatched the first episodes too many times

kernelpanic,

Unpopular? Yes. Wrong? I don't think so. I finished The Expanse and at the end I didn't feel like it added anything to my life but I didn't hate it either. There was definitely some standout moments but I would not rewatch it.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Interesting! I've only ever heard people sing it's praises, so I've definitely felt in the wrong for not loving it. Someone else suggested the books so I might try reading them instead of going for the 6th rewatch

Anomandaris,
Anomandaris avatar

I imagine you've probably heard this a few times as well, but give the books a try instead, I read them first and now I can't watch the show.

StillPaisleyCat,
@StillPaisleyCat@startrek.website avatar

Opposite experience actually. I found the books really derivative.

My spouse and I read the first one and DNFd the second. It seemed really derivative, covering the same ground as Cj Cherryh’s Company Wars but not so nearly well done. We were late getting into the show because of that, and couldn’t believe how much better it was onscreen.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Oh, thanks I'd actually never heard this before. I will try the books!

sgibson5150,
sgibson5150 avatar

You're valid. It took us a couple tries before we really got into The Expanse.

As for Star Wars, we stick with the Dave Filoni shows now. If I may suggest, try a Clone Wars rewatch with a viewing order that emphasizes the story arcs. That's what brought me back to Star Wars, and I hated the sequels and the prequels.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Thank you, I appreciate the star wars watching suggestions! I'm more of a trekkie but there are elements of star wars I love, they just became less and less with the latest films!

solidstate,

I have had the same experience with Star Wars. I really liked the older movies (even though they are objectively bad) but after watching ep. 7 and reading about eps. 8 and 9 my interest just vanished. It just went sour for me somehow.

KeavesSharpi,

I would say that while the show does a fantastic job of bringing the books to the screen, it misses the interpersonal intimacy that makes the book series so fantastic. The plots are cool, but at its core, The Expanse is really about its characters. If you like to read or listen to audio books, I HIGHLY recommend them. A big part of where the show fails, is it was impossible for them to tell the story and also deal with the internal dialogues of each character. In the books, every chapter is told from the point of view of a specific character, so you get to know their inner thoughts and feelings on an extremely personal level.

This is one of those series where I will tell someone that if they read the books and enjoyed them, they would enjoy the show - and vice-versa. That said, if you didn’t enjoy the show for the reasons you stated, and you’re willing to give it a go, I think you’ll probably enjoy the books.

comedy,
comedy avatar

well, I love The Expanse, but I applaud you for posting an actual unpopular opinion!

NeoSniper,

Avasarala would be proud.

Adama, (edited )

The books are great. Show does a good job moving the intrigue and conflicts to a screen but man if Avasarala and Amos aren’t the absolute best portrayal of those characters.

Avasarala has a heart of gold and a fist of iron in equal measures.

This means she’ll do horrible things (even at her own expense) for what she believes is right and she doesn’t put up with any kind of nonsense.

And yet she plays the political game so well all while pretending she’s above it.

And the Shohreh Aghdashloo knocks the character out of the park. Every move and word both foul and sweet personifies the character in the book that it’s impossible to convey how absolutely masterful the performance is.

And Wes Chatham as Amos is a close second. A man whose moral code is simple because he’s broken, knows it, and so he defaults to “who is the most likely good person I can use as a guide.” Chatham portrays the violence is necessary like doing the laundry.

Turns it on, does the job, goes back as if nothing happened. Oh, I should do this instead? You got it boss.

Or how he conveys in the simple things how Amos feels there is a moral right but having grown up as he did it’s hard to know what that is and who has the authority to enforce it it just chefs kiss

What? Stop beating this guy? Ok. Sorry fella, buy you a drink?

TIN,

And the Shohreh Aghdashloo knocks the character out of the park. Every move and word both foul and sweet personifies the character in the book that it’s impossible to convey how absolutely masterful the performance is.

I loved every moment she was on screen, totally captivating. Great costume design, script writing and acting all together.

Ni,
Ni avatar

All I can do is apologise, I really tried, so I'm going to chalk it up to a me problem. Desperate for a good Sci fi series as well, that's the most annoying part!

Literati,

I just started Silo last night, really enjoying it so far.

Ni,
Ni avatar

I'll have to check it out, looks like it has an amazing cast

Ksanoj,

Well, have you tried Another Life? Dark?
Battlestar Galactica?

get_the_reference_,

Loved Battlestar, Dark was great, too. Another Life Season 1 is just so, so bad, so if that is an unpopular opinion (I don't think it was) then it's one I share. Season 2 was a little better.

If you want to know the reasons I hated Another Life S1, this very long breakdown of everything that was wrong about it gets it right: https://youtube.com/v/UauWDakHQo0

asteroidrainfall,
asteroidrainfall avatar

My cliche unpopular opinion is that Battlestar Galactica is a more interesting and well thought out story/universe than Star Wars.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Battlestar is one of my fav Sci fi series, loved dark, another life was ok

Adama,

My name is Adama and I approve of this message

asteroidrainfall,
asteroidrainfall avatar

So say we all.

Ni,
Ni avatar

So say we all!

RheingoldRiver,

So say we all

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

Oh, oh, I have an unpopular one right here.

Battlestar Galactica's ending is worse than Game of Thrones, by quite some margin, and it absolutely ruins everything that came before.

asteroidrainfall,
asteroidrainfall avatar

Spicy one right here. Hits me right in the artificial heart.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Honestly bsg's ending wasn't amazing, it didn't end anywhere near as strongly as it started. But I didn't hate it and I was invested enough in the characters that I wanted to see what happened to them all. I also found the overall series, world building, characters etc. far out weighed the ending itself for me.

I often find endings to series, like got, are lacklustre. Finding a beautifully crafted series from beginning to end is so rare.

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

I guess that depends a lot on your perspective on narrative and the world in general

[SPOILERS], I guess, I don't see a content warning tool in this editor, but someone let me know if I'm missing something and I'll edit this.

I happen to be an atheist. Non-beligerent, definitely not an "internet atheist" type, but I just don't believe in a supreme power, so it's always jarring when a narrative thing ends on a note where they assume that of course in this years-long debate between mysticism and reason the figure matching the Christian deity is the right answer.

It's not even annoyance at there being religious people or anything like that. It's just in my world when somebody raises "well, it could be God intervening in our lives", that is obviously the wrong answer unless you're in a show where Christian mythos is explicitly established as a fantasy trope (say, Supernatural or Buffy or whatever). If you just spring that stuff on me in the finale you're already losing me, even before you use it as a plot device to deus ex machina all the garbage and loose ends you couldn't figure out during the show's run.

So yeah, I'll take "we'll make the omniscient hemiplegic kid kid and the cool dragon lady a nazi because the outline says so and we have better stuff to do than wrap this up" over "God hates robots and that's why all this happened, I dunno".

joonazan,

I am an atheist as well and I liked the ending. It isn’t supernatural, it just matches old cylon legends.

I’m currently rewatching and what actually bothers me is how the tomb of Athena works and all the plot holes and poor episodes. For example there is an episode where is a lack of metal just after they disable hundreds of cylon raiders. Also, the heavy raider taken back from Caprica is never used again.

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

Wait, how is it not supernatural? The show literally ends on a debate between two supernatural beings about whether the do-over current-Earth version will avoid repeating the cycle when their technology gets advanced enough. There is zero question that they're supernatural. The text says it outright. And it's not a hallucination or a fakeout or a technological artifact, we get an omniscient POV showing us this, it's not filtered by the views of a character.

Hey, I also wanted it not to suck, but the text is what it is.

joonazan,

I’ll have to keep an eye open for that when I get to that point. I mostly remembered the explosion before that which was entertaining, though unlikely.

I’m actually surprised how well it holds up on the rewatch. It is very good moment-to-moment but the plot is weak and badly paced and Baltar is not nearly as entertaining as the first time around.

cerebrate,

@MudMan The thing that really pissed me off about the ending was that by throwing away their tech, history, and basically all knowledge they ensured that all the hard-earned lessons of their history and the course of the series were lost.

"All this has happened before and all of it will happen again"? Well, congrats, dumbasses, you just guaranteed that it will and the cycle will continue by ensuring that humanity won't have any opportunity at all to learn anything from all the shit it's just been through.

(The only way I can rewatch it is to pretend it ended just before Lee "Fuck Your Descendants" Adama breaks the future.)

@Anomandaris @comedy @Ksanoj @Ni @joonazan

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

@cerebrate

But also, no, there is no guarantee that it will all happen again. Why would it happen again? Beyond the entire thing being the whim of a heartless omnipotent deity there is no reason why a whole sentient technoorganic species going full paleo would then rebuild themselves into two factions of mostly organic and mostly artificial lifeforms and trigger a galactic war.

That's extremely specific. They could also all die fromt he plague because they never stumble upon antibiotics instead. Unless more angels come to tell them to lick the heal fungus, of course, which is now a thing that could absolutely happen.

You really think I'd be over it at this point, and yet...

funnyletter,

I dunno that I'd rank it worse than GoT myself but I did really hate that ending.

Honestly between Lost, BSG, and GoT I'm kinda burned on endings generally. I can't really think of a show that isn't a super short limited series that I'm like, that ending was great!

AbouBenAdhem,

The series ending is one thing I think Expanse did do better than Lost, BSG, or GoT—even though it wasn’t the end of the book series.

dcheesi,

I honestly never watched the last season of the show, because I liked the book ending so much, and I knew the show was going in a different direction. But I haven't heard bad things about it like for these other shows, so I assume they did a good job?

AbouBenAdhem,

Yeah the way they developed Drummer’s character in the show makes the book/season 6 conclusion a lot more satisfying than it is in the book.

Ni,
Ni avatar

It's so tricky isn't it, so I watched bsg and lost way past their initial airing and the hype and I found I didn't love either of the endings but I didn't mind them either. And overall I still loved the series and the characters.

I think in terms of long series endings maybe breaking bad?

dcheesi,

Yeah, part of the problem for fans was that part of the slogan for BSG was "...and they have a plan". So when it became clear that no one had a "plan" for the plot arc, including the showrunners ...it was quite a disappointment.

RheingoldRiver,

Does The Good Place count? 4 seasons isn't that long I guess, but idk 4 years is quite a bit of time. And god damn did they stick the landing.

loobkoob,
loobkoob avatar

That means you've missed out on Andor, which I think is better than any live action Star Wars (including, perhaps controversially, Empire Strikes Back)!

It's mature, deep, detailed, grounded, and very political. The characters and world are built up phenomenally, and it's much more contemplative in its pacing, and it definitely treats its audience as intelligent rather than beating them around the head with obvious exposition. It feels more like an HBO show than your standard Star Wars affair, frankly. And it works as a standalone, too - it's not just yet more Skywalker family drama.

adastra,
@adastra@beehaw.org avatar

Yes, this!! 100% The writing is SO tight, the characters are well developed, acting and music are on point. Perhaps most surprisingly, Stormtroopers actually feel like the they're supposed to be.

Ni,
Ni avatar

You ads selling that to me! I don't have Disney + so that might be an issue. I loved rogue one, but that was the last star wars thing I enjoyed.

DuckCake,
DuckCake avatar

Oh my sibling in Xenu, Andor is mandatory viewing if you have any love for Star Wars at all, but ESPECIALLY if you love Rogue One. It is absolutely incredible.

Ni,
Ni avatar

Well this has very much sold it to me!

dcheesi,

"Andor" refers to Cassian Andor, the team leader in Rogue One. It's his origin story, basically

Ni,
Ni avatar

Thank you! I've not kept up with star wars stuff at all so I had no idea. Seems like I'll have to watch it now!

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

You know how OP said 2001 was pretentious nonsense? That's how I felt about Andor. It was actively bad, and I struggle to see all the praise it gets as anything other than Morbius level trolling! It was badly written, badly plotted, was trying to be about three things at once and didn't do any of them well, and was about six episodes too long. It's what really turned me off Starwars!

Piecemakers3Dprints,
@Piecemakers3Dprints@lemmy.world avatar

Talk about trolling. Jaysus. Is there a way to tag users here yet, or do we wait for Sync? 😶

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

I take it you liked Andor then? Why?

Piecemakers3Dprints,
@Piecemakers3Dprints@lemmy.world avatar

I don't feed trolls, especially when they can't be bothered to put any effort into their nonsense.

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

I'm not trolling. I honestly thought it was utterly awful on pretty much every level people seem to praise it for and cannot understand why anyone liked it! The first three episodes should have been one, the next three should have been two (and I would have started with them and had the first arc as a flashback), iirc literally nothing happened in the 7th episode except for the last two minuites when he was arrested for arbitrary and stupid reasons, then next two episodes were just messy, and then I gave up because I had been told "oh it all comes together at this point" too many times and it was just making me angry.

I mean okay accusing it of being Morbius levels of bad might have been a troll, it wasn't as bad as Morbius (but few things are) but it was nowhere near good, let alone deserving of the praise lauded upon it!

acedelgado,
acedelgado avatar

I've always loved anything Star Wars that didn't really involve Jedi. The universe is incredibly diverse and interesting, and cutting out the light side vs dark side trope most star wars content is centered on lets writers make really interesting characters and situations. Like in Mandandolrian the scene with Bill Burr confronting the Imperial officer that spearheaded the Burning Khan massacre was just fantastic, regardless of it being star wars.

DuckCake,
DuckCake avatar

Like in Mandandolrian the scene with Bill Burr confronting the Imperial officer that spearheaded the Burning Khan massacre was just fantastic, regardless of it being star wars.

Bill Burr crushed that entire episode. He showed acting chops he's rarely had the chance to flex before, honestly. The guy is so self-deprecating in his humor, almost aggressively so, that it's easy to miss his talent. Heck, I did, and for a damned long time.

ScrumblesPAbernathy,

My unpopular opinion is that I don't like space operas. I'd rather read pages of explanation of technology and world building. I don't care that the star princess in exile has to assemble a rag tag bunch of fringe worlders to take back the throne from the cruel council of the galactic core. How dat engine work tho?

Siethron,

In that case I highly recommend the bobiverse

Addv4,

Yeah, I initially thought it was a kinda silly premise of a guy being hit by a bus and turned into an ai to explore the universe, but Dennis Taylor really hit it out of the park.

jango1985,

Seriously most of these stories might as well be written by AI for how original they are. I am trying to read scifi and fantasy for the originality that just doesn't exist. Authors will even accidentally add great ideas to the books on background characters or in random world details and do absolutely nothing with them. They instead will repeat the most generic trope driven story every. They might aswell be plagiarizing for how little their stories add to the genre at least then I could just throw their book away without trying to read it.

Favor,

Seconding Three Body Problem for interesting setting/plot/actual fictional science.

It will subvert your expectations more often than not if you've gotten tired of modern scifi tropes. It takes a lot of time to chew on what the ramifications of certain events would be to society, and it manages to include one of my favorite mystery plots in all of literature.

Some people dislike the really hypothetical scifi elements but imho they serve an important and interesting narrative role. They're responsible for creating the unique technological climate in the books.

It's not for everyone, but if that sounds good then by all means I recommend it. It's a totally unique setting and style compared to western scifi that asks and tries to answer some very compelling questions.

nuttydepressor,
nuttydepressor avatar

Have you read the Three Body Problem or Children of Time?

Those are the most imaginative Sci Fi works that I can think of.

I think the Expanse also does a really good job of bridging the gap between space opera and hard Sci Fi.

joonazan,

Controversial opinion: I don’t like the Three Body Problem. The history of China part was good. Then it promised a lot but didn’t pay off.

Oursunisdying,
Oursunisdying avatar

Also, Blindsight by Peter Watts is amazing as well!

ScrumblesPAbernathy,

Children of Time is a must read. I also like Children of Ruin even though it was dangerously close to a rehash. Children of Memory was good too but really stretched the premise. I liked it in spite of getting very close to space opera with the built up cast.

I'd also recommend Diaspora. It's about post humanism where humans have split into a few factions: fleshers genetically manipulate the human form, gleisners are human consciousness uploaded into robots, and citizens who are uploaded (or generated) consciousness without a physical form.

JerkyIsSuperior,

Popular-unpopular opinion - Space opera hits a lot of tropes that have been constanly re-told since ancient Babylonia and Greece, and people like when a story hits familiar beats.

Unpopular-unpopular opinion - Worldbuilding is important for the story to be grounded and coherent, but if there is no story to be told atop of it you end up with a catalogue of author's personal anthropological and technological obsessions.

ScrumblesPAbernathy,

I definitely agree. I just end up dropping off of series after the second book because I'm off to other worlds. I don't begrudge people who want more of what they like. To each their own.

Also, I'm a hypocrite because I find a lot of Kim Stanley Robinson's stuff too dry because there's not enough character building for me.

techno156,

A lot of sci-fi (at least where TV/Films are concerned) keeps getting too bogged down in what it thinks that it should be, and doesn't actually try to explore new possibilities or expand much, which generally means that the quality of sequels progressively gets worse, and the show ends up being a sort of even mush vaguely resembling the original.

The main example I could think of is probably Star Trek. It's too fixated on everything as it is, so even things that are supposed to be radical changes just re-establish the status quo with a new coat of paint. A radical show with radical viewpoints would never take off, as newer iterations would try to emulate the success of the show, and keep to the old.

It's part of why later Star Trek shows seem to be a bit more conservative, by comparison. Sure, values have changed since the original show, but the level of radical progressiveness has also gradually wound down too. Compared to the original show, which tried to push things from all angles, something like Star Trek: Discovery would seem almost conservative. Most of its more progressive elements are fairly standard for the time period it is set in, rather than pushing the envelope like the original did.

Similarly, all the shows end up trying to emulate the same formula, and even the same rough starship design. The Enterprise was originally specially designed and built to seem future-y, but many other of their starships since them seem to just be iterative designs on the original. Even one of them set 900 in the years in the future seems to have almost identical technologies, polities, and culture as one set in the 24th century. The visuals are different, but everything seems to be effectively the same under the coat of paint.

Not having that baggage is probably why up-and-coming shows, like The Orville, tend to be able to get away with more, since there isn't a previous Orville that it keeps trying to recapture, just yet, which should mean that it gets more leeway.

From a non Star Trek standpoint, it's also rather happened to Star Wars. The newer films are just trying to recapture the older films, rather than expand into their own thing, to the detriment of the films as a whole. The latest trilogy seems like a rehash of the old ones, down to having what is basically another death star, Rebellions, Vader-ish Masked Sith Lord, and Friendpatines.

I don't really have much of a solution, besides wanting the shows to just branch out more. I think Star Trek in the 32nd century should have gone with a brand new slate, where everything was different (from both an ideological, political, and technological standpoint), and the 23rd century ship that ended up there would be woefully outdated, not just on paper, but with the technology it was fitted with.

Star Wars has a bunch of interesting things that it could run with, such as the aftermath of the major wars, where the Rebellion is now having to deal with multiple smaller wars from various factions under the splintering empire, or have to secure its place in the resulting power vacuum.


One show that hasn't succumbed to this as much is Doctor Who, but that had a major revamp in its 2005 revival which drastically changed the nature of the show itself. Still, it doesn't seem to be particularly immune to it either. Behind-the-scenes, they're suddenly going back to the old composer and old showrunners, and the main character doesn't seem to evolve too much beyond "conflicted, but brilliant and eccentric hero". It also seems to be slowly settling into its own ruts, as well, with the most recent run rather resetting a redeemed villain's character development suddenly.

As a slight tangent, I also feel like that considering the messaging of the show itself, there could be quite a bit of interesting mileage that could be achieved by having a companion who is a species that is normally an enemy. Maybe something like a Dalek.

frogfriend,

I would be so happy with The Orville if it weren't for Seth MacFarlane using the show's casting as his own personal creepy Tinder.

It's really hard to watch the show knowing how predatory and gross the creator and main character are.

julianh,

Arguably the only reason doctor who has lasted this long is because it does change so much. Regeneration, keeping the third doctor on earth, making the 6th doctor an asshole, all the things that changed with the new show, the fairy tale feel of the Matt Smith era, etc. Some are more successful than others ofc but I think if doctor who ever ends (again) it will be what you said - settling into one thing for too long.

I really hope this new run does something unique instead of trying to replicate the original RTD run.

STUNT_GRANNY,

As a slight tangent, I also feel like that considering the messaging of the show itself, there could be quite a bit of interesting mileage that could be achieved by having a companion who is a species that is normally an enemy. Maybe something like a Dalek.

Funny that you mention this; there was a short time during Matt Smith's run where he was friendly with a Sontaran.

techno156,

The paternoster gang were pretty fun as a concept, and it's a shame that they weren't used more.

Although I also wouldn't qualify them quite as companions, any more than the Lethbridges-Stewart would be.

sgibson5150,
sgibson5150 avatar

I've got one. I thought John Carter was a fun movie and I have no idea why everyone was so pissed off about it.

DuckCake,
DuckCake avatar

I'm with you! I thought it was fine! I mean, we weren't redefining cinema here, but it was fun.

NotTheOnlyGamer,
NotTheOnlyGamer avatar

As someone who'd read the books before the movie ever came near existing, I wasn't pissed off at all. I loved their representation of Barsoom, the tharks, and Woola. So I'm with you on this one.

sgibson5150,
sgibson5150 avatar

I appreciate the support. There aren't many of us!

falsem,

It was great. I don't know anyone who's seen it that actually disliked it. It bombed really badly due to marketing failures though.

infinityto1,

John Carter is such a fun romp, I think it really captured the spirit of old scifi, where things were a little silly compared to today bc they were really just flying by the seat of their pants imagining space travel and other planets. It was a real melding of scifi/fantasy. Today, we've seen pictures of the surfaces of those planets, and now current scifi is more like reading a thesis (nothing wrong with that), where the author really delves into the science, so the old stuff does seem corny. But it's great. It's like Jupiter ascending but good

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

I always thought the biggest problem was the marketing - John Carter is not a name that tells you anything at all about the film's setting and I don't recall anything much promoting it suggesting it might be that John Carter even if you did know the source material at all!

But i am with you, it was a fun popcorn movie, and sometimes that's what you really want

Jon-H558,

Yep John Carter to me sounded like another action movie in the John Wick style, I didn't even realise it was sci fi

someguy3,

I don't care for Deep Space 9.

Characters were mostly bad and uninteresting - they had to bring back worf. Limited plots stuck on a station - they had to add a ship. Then start a war just to have something to do.

Cyzaine,
Cyzaine avatar

I disagree with you completely, but I boost your opinion and am glad you can voice it!

redpanda,
redpanda avatar

Now THIS is a bold claim. DS9 is the only consistently beloved Star Trek series I've seen online. I personally enjoyed it more than most of the series.

frogfriend,

DS:9 is notorious for being the least Trekky of all the shows.

Not to mention it's a blatant B-tier rip-off of Babylon 5.

dcheesi,

Also, upon re-watching, the depiction of the Ferengi (especially the Grand Nagus and the ruling council) runs uncomfortably close to anti-semitic tropes. I'm honestly surprised that in a franchise & fanbase as "progressive" as Trek, this was allowed to slide past largely uncommented-upon.

someguy3,

I think TNG is much more loved.

julianh,

I think this the only other truly unpopular opinion here lmao.

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

Hey. Hey? Hey.

I see you.

Honestly, the entire gaggle of nerds complaining online that modern Trek isn't Trek should take another look at DS9, because even at the time I thought it was a different show reskinned as Trek and missed the spirit of the thing. I'm assuming the other show is Babylon 5, but I never got into that, either.

funnyletter,

A lot of nerds seem super pissed at Star Trek: Picard because it's "not Trek" and "too dark" but I actually like it because it's like "ummm this is colonialism actually???" and I have a tough time watching most older Trek because it is in fact colonialism actually.

SFaulken,
SFaulken avatar

I liked Picard just fine. It was uneven, and didn't feel super "Star Trek"-y, but was an alright show.

Discovery is the one I gave up on. I just don't like it.

MudMan,
MudMan avatar

It's both. I don't love it when the Federation stands in for the US specifically, but since the pushback against that notion comes and goes, if it is the US then it is colonialism, actually.

But that cuts both ways, I dislike it when Picard does it, but also when TNG does it. Picard has bigger issues than that, though.

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

I liked DS9 over all, but it;s 9 series could have been 5 and lost nothing, and could have been 3 and lost little! so... much... filler!

Crazytrixsta,

2001 book was great. Arthur C Clarke has always been my favorite author. I think Rendevous with Rama would’ve been a more approachable story to adapt into a movie. Full of mystery and curiosity. Creative direction could go wild on art without changing bay of the books story. Starts with a mystery, reveals bits and bobs in the middle, ends with mystery. Leaves you questioning. Chefs kiss.

Haven’t really kept up with modern sci-fi opinion. So maybe my opinions are popular maybe not.

I believe Ilium and Olympos are part of the greatest sci-fi story ever written. Far better than Dan Simmons Hyperion Cantos. It presents wild and imaginative futuristic ideas with insane scientific basis for them.

benignintervention,

I tried Ilium and took a break after the many pages long exposition on a naked teenager at the beginning and then never had the energy to go back. Should I try again?

Hyperion is my number one sci fi of all time and I need to know if I'm missing out

Xeelee,
Xeelee avatar

I read Ilium and Olympos a few years ago and all i remember us that i thought they're a bunch of pretentious crap. So no, don't bother.

Crazytrixsta,

I may have blocked out all of the unnecessary sexual descriptions in older sci-fi. I read so much of it that it just sort of doesn’t register anymore. It’s writing of its time.

I have a deep fondness for Greek mythology so maybe that resonates with me since the story pulls heavily from a bunch of myths. I also like the idea that science evolves so much that it’s imperceptible from magic in a way.

loobkoob,
loobkoob avatar

Denis Villeneuve is planning to do Rendezvous With Rama after he's done with Dune!

kestrel7,
kestrel7 avatar

Oh nice, I always wondered why no one ever made that into a movie. He'll probably do a good job.

pemboification,

Morgan Freeman had the rights (?) or at least the intent to make a Rama film for many years, with David Fincher attached to direct. Shame it never happened yet, but Villeneuve is clearly a great choice to make it a reality!

Crazytrixsta,

Feel like I read that somewhere too. His vision with Dune would work so well for Rama.

ShaunaTheDead,
ShaunaTheDead avatar

My sci-fi unpopular opinion is probably that I don't consider Star Wars to be sci-fi. It shares more with fantasy in that it's more character and story driven and less about philosophy and the way technology changes the human experience which imo is what defines sci-fi.

FrankTheHealer,

Its more of a space opera rather than sci-fi

metaStatic,

so brave

fsniper,

I agree so no upvote for you.

drifty,
drifty avatar

I agree with this so much, I have just been afraid to say it online ahah

AmidFuror,

Plus it isn't futuristic. It happened a long time ago.

MxM111,
MxM111 avatar

I think it is sci-fi, but “old sci-fi” and “for the masses”. Because if that, it is just not so good as sci fi.

lowdownfool,
lowdownfool avatar

Is that unpopular? It's usually considered sci-fantasy.

lamentforicarus,

I honestly consider it more of a space western, but I also find them boring so have not delved too deeply into them.

albinanigans,
albinanigans avatar

Wow, never thought of it from that angle!

JerkyIsSuperior,

Star Wars was a reboot of a semi-forgotten genre called sword and planet, which is basically fantasy with technological trappings. It is its own thing, but sci-fi has become so diluted nowadays that it can pass itself as legitimite part of it.

1bluepixel,
1bluepixel avatar

Unpopular opinion: Star Wars is in space and has spaceships and aliens. Good enough, it's sci-fi.

People attribute these silly, gatekeepy characteristics to sci-fi, but sci-fi doesn't need to be about anything. Sci-fi is allowed to be shitty or irrelevant.

StarManta,

Sci-fi is allowed to be shitty or irrelevant, but that is absolutely unrelated to Star Wars not being sci-fi. Star Wars isn’t shitty, and it is relevant.

The reason it isn’t sci-fi is because it a) makes no attempt whatsoever to explore the implications of the differences between its world and ours, and b) it makes no attempt to scientifically explain those differences.

There has been exactly one time when SW has attempted to explain its universe, and midichlorians have been a meme for decades because it was trying to introduce scientific explanations into the wrong genre.

To be clear: this is fine. Saying Star Wars isn’t sci-fi is not an insult. It’s just a genre, and genres aren’t better or worse than each other. If Star Wars did try to be sci-fi, it wouldn’t be able to tell the grand good and evil story it’s trying to tell - that’s the advantage of fantasy.

jonkeevy,

Agreed. With Star Wars the longer you think about the sci-fi elements, the less sense they make. The force was great as just space magic, it didn't need midichlorians. Droids are another, are they sentient? Are they slaves? Why do they feel pain? Spaceships, hyperspace, distance... how did the Death Star get to Aldoran and Yavin? GAAAAAAH!

Space Opera is a good genre name. Let's stick with that.

Egavans,

Sci-fi and fantasy are genres that naturally bleed into one another, and everyone will draw the lines differently. I'd personally agree that Star Wars is more fantasy than sci-fi, but I wouldn't want to gatekeep anyone who called it their favorite sci-fi franchise.

StaggersAndJags,

A thought I've been having that might be more controversial: Star Trek isn't sci-fi.

It's basically a series of morality fables with magical premises. There's always a paper-thin sci-fi explanation, but for all that these matter to the story, they might as well just say "fairies did it."

(And many of Gene Roddenberry's "godlike being" characters, like Q, are almost literally fairies).

There's also its treatment of space. Just as Star Wars' combat was an excuse to do WWII fighter combat in space, Star Trek is an excuse to do WWII submarine combat in space. They're equally unrealistic in that regard.

joonazan,

I agree on the fable argument but not on having to have a scientific explanation. Scifi is about sense of wonder, societal impact etc. Realism is optional as long as things don’t work in arbitrary ways.

techno156,

Isn't it not sci-fi? It's usually more classed as sci-fantasy, if memory serves.

plactagonic,

True sci-fi is rare most of it is sci-fantasy. Great recent sci-fi is Expanse - author was pissed about these warp nonsense so he grounded it in physics and only added few technologies which could be made in future.

ShaunaTheDead,
ShaunaTheDead avatar

Yeah, usually sci-fi has a point to make about the human condition or some underlying philosophy that guides all of it, or at least a philosophical idea that guides each episode. I find if you ask yourself to finish the phrase "What would society/humanity look like if we had to access to _______?" if the answer to the blank is clear then it's sci-fi. Some sci-fi goes the opposite route though "What if we did NOT have access to ______?"

Usernameblankface,
Usernameblankface avatar

I think sci-fi writers constantly make their stakes far too high, stack the odds far to heavily against the protagonists, and go for a scope far to broad. I don't need 3 people to save the entire intergalactic population from a super mega back hole bomb with .002 seconds to spare. I've seen it and read it a thousand times.

Give me the guy who thinks maybe his spaceship could take on exploring one planet, tell me what he finds and why it was wise for him to run home and call for extra resources to be redirected to that planet. Tell me how the technology of your imaginary world brought 2 characters together and allowed them to build a beautiful life together.

That's why I adore The Martian and can't get excited about Star Wars.

RheingoldRiver,

Have you read Murderbot by Martha Wells? Because that's exactly this.

Usernameblankface,
Usernameblankface avatar

I started listening to it long enough ago that I forgot why I didn't get very far with it. Maybe should pick it up again, it's one of those that is always in my recommendations.

a_random_fox,
@a_random_fox@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

Becky Chambers books tend to be pretty low stakes, so you might want to check those out.

wjrii,
wjrii avatar

Was going to recommend them, and also point out that they go pretty far in the other direction. Once I digested Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and kind of actively decided I was cool with her approach, I really enjoyed her stuff. That first one felt like a bait & switch in the moment, though.

ReCursing,
ReCursing avatar

Not read any of her others (yet) but that book is lovely

funnyletter,

My other unpopular scifi opinion is I hate Becky Chambers books with the fire of a thousand suns. Like I don't just not like them, they actually make me angry with how twee they are.

In general I feel that way about any "cozy" books, I also ragequit The House in the Cerulean Sea.

lamentforicarus,

The House in the Cerulean Sea was written as a way to okay the taking of Native American children from their parents, so you didn't miss out on liking it.

I hate-read it for some reason and couldn't get over how Hallmark sanguine everything was and how much of a bumbling idiot the mc was. Plus, he was gay and I resented his inclusion into queer lit.

RheingoldRiver,

ME TOO!!!!!!!!! I HATE BECKY CHAMBERS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

I've ranted on /r/fantasy a few times but her books are NOT HAPPY. I don't know how to post spoilers here yet so I will not say everything I have to say about Becky Chambers, but in particular when you really examine A Long Way To a Small Angry Planet, she advocates for some pretty horrific things, and the ending either is pretty damn tragic or you are a huge giant hypocrite.

Revan343,

If you haven’t seen it, you might like Prospect

Sinister_Crayon,

This is exactly the problem I also have with Marvel movies. Once you've raised the stakes so far it's impossible to go back without seeming less than your predecessors. It's why Iron Man worked so damned well as it was a pretty small, personal story... same for most of the early Avengers movies. Ever since Endgame it seems like everyone wants to either make it even bigger still (?!??) or challenge these people who have saved literally the entire universe with.. emotional trauma? I don't know... I've seriously lost interest.

Usernameblankface,
Usernameblankface avatar

Yes! This helped me put it together why I like origin stories better than team-ups and other sequels. The quickly switch from one person finding their place to suddenly saving the entire world (of new York City)

00,
00 avatar

And the earth apparently is to the Marvel Universe what New York is to aliens.

DrChickenbeer,
DrChickenbeer avatar

@Anomandaris

I went to film school, and had to watch 2001 like five times in classes, breaking down every little element of it. And you know what? I also think it's boring and pretentious AF. The fx and production design are incredible, and parts of it are good enough, but other than that it's just Kubrick demonstrating how much smarter he thought he was than everyone else (I am not a fan of his films, if that wasn't clear enough).

I did enjoy the book a lot, though! If you haven't read it I think you'll be surprised how it tells the same story, just better.

DuckCake,
DuckCake avatar

Another film school refugee! My brother/sister/other in arms!

It truly was like being on another planet. Not only did I obtain a functionally worthless degree (I'm grateful for the media literacy I learned, but holy crap), but I also got to spend three years feeling like a stranger in a strange land, because almost any time something popular came out in the theaters my peers immediately labeled it Absolute Garbage and moved on.

Yeah? Well screw you, Mike! I liked The Matrix! I saw it in theaters twice!

DrChickenbeer,
DrChickenbeer avatar

@DuckCake

It was fighting words to say Kubrick was overrated in film school-- people would get really mad about it! (I admit, I do really like the Killing, but that's about it).

And I saw the Matrix multiple times as well! It's okay to like action movies, and sometimes they even have real value too!

@Anomandaris

DuckCake,
DuckCake avatar

My dude, you and I would have gotten along well in film school.

For you it was 2001. While I never had to watch that one, I somehow found myself watching Citizen Kane in class something like 5 times during my undergrad and grad school years.

It was 4 times too many.

Haily,

Not sure if this is a hot take or not, but modern Star Trek sucks arse. The magic died with voyager, everything after that has been trite and forgettable. And I’m not even talking about those god awful movies.

ThrowawayPermanente,

Have you seen Lower Decks?

Haily,

Good point, I forgot about that one. That's perhaps the one exception I'll make.

CaptThax,

Strange New Worlds has also captured the magic that was Old Trek. And I am talking about the magic of the TOS! Definitely worth a check out. But I can agree that Disco and Picard are not for everyone.

Disco - New Trek for a New Audience.
Picard - Love letter for people who wanted an endcap to TNG and their favorite captain.
Lowerdecks - Pure Nostalgic fun!
New Worlds - Back to the original formula but this time with a VFX Budget.

Haily,

Nice summary, though I should probably mention that I’m 19, so probably in the age bracket that ought to be enjoying new Trek, and yet I just can’t. It’s such an obvious downgrade in my opinion, and I know plenty of people my age who agree with me. Doctor Who has also endured a similar decline due to a succession of incompetent show runners, which is truly unfortunate.

CileTheSane,
CileTheSane avatar

Do the Janeway maneuver!

techno156,

It depends a lot on who you ask.

Although I'm rather of the opinion that the "magic" died sometime before Voyager. It was already on the way out when the network executives tried to recapture The Next Generation with it, and also launch a new television network with it at the same time.

It just ended up trying to be both its own show, and a copy of another, not succeeding particularly well at both.

Haily,

Voyager is definitely hit and miss, although I do like a lot of the stuff they did with the Borg, with the exception of the incredibly weird Borg queen. Also, Q’s dynamic with the Voyager crew is something truly special.

I love TNG though. It took awhile to truly get off the ground, but my god it was great once Gene Roddenberry finally left.

falsem,

I love TNG though. It took awhile to truly get off the ground, but my god it was great once Gene Roddenberry finally left.

That's a hot take.

Haily,

Really? I thought that was basically the universally held opinion at this point. Gene Roddenberry had all sorts of sentimental ideas about what he wanted to do with the show, and it wasn’t until he left that the story really started to ramp up. I can think of so many episodes in season one and two that just shouldn’t have been there at all.

falsem,

Well, new to me at least

Haily,

Here’s a Quora thread I found which explains things quite nicely. Unfortunately I was unable to find a proper article.

https://www.quora.com/Beyond-writing-why-did-Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-improve-so-much-after-season-2-The-extras-acting-music-and-everything-about-The-Royale-is-just-so-ridiculous-but-then-things-improve-so-much-Why

Roddenberry was definitely a genius, but he made his fair share of stupid decisions, particularly towards the end of his life.

CauldronCat,
CauldronCat avatar

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is highly overrated!

The main characters were obnoxious, I didn't end up caring about any of them, and quite frankly, I wished the towel guy had died at the beginning along with everyone else on Earth (except the dolphins). I wasted hours of my life over those 3 books!

BasicWhiteGirl,
BasicWhiteGirl avatar

Upvoting cause I hate this.

Jarmer,
Jarmer avatar

Ouch my avatar! But it’s okay. Don’t panic.

Usernameblankface,
Usernameblankface avatar

I've only read the first one. So. Many. Quotes.

Like half the book was "oh, that's where that comes from."

I wouldn't call it excellent literature, but I did find it hilarious and they managed to keep it surprising.

CaptThax,

I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say.

Wkwarren3,
Wkwarren3 avatar

Rookie numbers. I've wasted weeks of my life over them.

GrayBackgroundMusic,

The movie is far, far better than the books.

funnyletter,

Upvoting because I viscerally hate this 😂

JerkyIsSuperior,

The whole affair started as an obscure comedy radio drama, and was propelled to popularity by servere nerd obsessions with it.

SFaulken,
SFaulken avatar

Well, that's certainly an unpopular opinion.

I just can't go with you on it =P

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

Well, I would agree that the later books went downhill quite quickly and so the series as a whole is overrated.

I still rather liked the first one, though, and I've also enjoyed its many diverse adaptations.

SustainedChaos,

I'm a great admirer of Isaac Asimov, but Foundation - the book - hasn't aged well at all.

benignintervention,

The Foundation series is honestly some of the greatest high concept science fiction to be written. But you're not wrong. That shit is hard to read now