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Serenity Trounces Star Wars

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  • I hate Star Wars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TodMinuit (1026042) <<todminuit> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:37AM (#18583869)
    But Serenity wasn't that great of a film. Firefly was an amazing TV show, but the film was without the same depth.
    • Re:I hate Star Wars (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hal_Porter (817932) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:50AM (#18583949)
      I think if they were operating systems Serenity would be Linux (small market share in general, but popularised in geek circles by very loyal fans/users). Star Wars would be Windows (huge market share, almost no loyalty). This being a nerd poll, Serenity will win by a huge margin.
      • by Jason Earl (1894) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:14AM (#18584081) Homepage Journal

        Are you saying that Star Wars doesn't have a loyal fan base? That's quite possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard. "Jedi" is an organized religion in many countries. Serenity can't touch that.

        Let's be realistic. Star Wars is popular to the point of becoming a cultural phenomenon, and there are more Star Wars fans that are completely obsessed with the franchise than there are people who even saw Serenity. Heck, more people dressed up as Wookies last Halloween than saw Serenity.

        What's even more hilarious is that Serenity even made the top ten. Ten years from now people will still be talking about Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and pretty much everything else on the list. Serenity won't even be a foot note.

        • by julesh (229690) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:43AM (#18584281)
          Let's be realistic. Star Wars is popular to the point of becoming a cultural phenomenon, and there are more Star Wars fans that are completely obsessed with the franchise than there are people who even saw Serenity. Heck, more people dressed up as Wookies last Halloween than saw Serenity.

          Yes, but what's the cross-section of those fans with SFX magazine's readers? My guess is that most of those fans are pretty-much exclusively star wars fans, and therefore likely wouldn't read a general scifi magazine like SFX.
          • by saboola (655522) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @08:55AM (#18586281)
            The honest and hard hitting question is.. Who would win in a fight, Firefly or Millenium Falcon On a serious note, my first time getting onto the net in the early 90s, the first usenet post I came across that had a massive depth count was a thread on The Enterprise vs The Death Star. Sometimes I miss those days.
        • by Bastard of Subhumani (827601) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:42AM (#18584643) Journal
          Look at it like this: if the Star Wars franchise is the Roman Catholic church, then who is Jar Jar Binks? The antichrist? Or just Martin Luther?
        • by HexRei (515117) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:49AM (#18584677)
          "Ten years from now people will still be talking about Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and pretty much everything else on the list. Serenity won't even be a foot note."

          Out of all the other hyperbole in your post, this stands out as the most inaccurate. Serenity was an important scifi film and will be talked about still in ten years, as will the Firefly series. Perhaps not as much as Star Wars, but it doesn't help your argument any to overstate your case and alienate fans of both properties.
        • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @05:00AM (#18584763) Homepage
          Star Wars *had* a loyal fan base.

          That is, until Lucas started to repeatedly rape the fan's memory, trying to squeeze the last penny he could get out of the franchise.
          I think the the new trilogy has done more harm to the fan base, than actually a concurrent franchise stealing fans.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter (624760)
          "Ten years from now people will still be talking about Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and pretty much everything else on the list. Serenity won't even be a foot note."

          I second that! I am a middle-aged geek who has enjoyed SF for the best part of five decades, my mental list of "favorites" is long, I estimate my "forgotten" list is at least an order or two of magnitude longer. "Serenity", vaugely I've heard of it but before RTFA I thought it was a phyco-drama, it's been available for what? -
          • I would say that Serenity is good, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was mediocre without seeing Firefly first, which is what's really about (it was made because they couldn't get a second series). While I guess the film stands on it's own, I can't imagine it has 1/10th of the impact without having seen the series.

            For the benfit of those who haven't seen both, the Serenity film ties up and explains what happens in the series.

            I would say *definitely* by the series on DVD and *don't* watch Serenity first!
            • by Se7enLC (714730) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @09:24AM (#18586605) Homepage Journal
              I agree 100%

              I had never seen Firefly, but I had a lot of friends who were fans of it. We all saw Serenity, and while it was a decent movie, if you asked me a week later what I thought of it, I wouldn't have even been able to recall what it was about.

              Recently, I was convinced to sit down and watch all of firefly. I really enjoyed it. Then I watched Serenity again. It was like I was watching a completely different movie!

              Seeing the movie by itself, you don't really get attached to the characters like you do in the TV show. [Spoiler] When Wash and Shepherd die, you don't really feel badly about that in the movie, because you didn't really know them. Shepherd especially, he wasn't much more than a background character.[/Spoiler]
        • by Cappy Red (576737) <miketoon@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @07:17AM (#18585529)
          "What's even more hilarious is that Serenity even made the top ten. Ten years from now people will still be talking about Star Wars, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, and pretty much everything else on the list. Serenity won't even be a foot note."

          I disagree. People will still be talking about Serenity because people will still be talking about Firefly. It isn't a question of Serenity's value by itself, in a similar way to Star Wars' appeal not being a question of the original film by itself.

          Without the latter two films in the original trilogy, Star Wars wouldn't have nearly the fanbase it does now.(Yes, including RotJ, Ewok haters) The three films of the original trilogy came out in a manner that allowed the series to span the childhoods of its first generation fanbase.(and as much as it pains me to say it, there's a good chance that the second trilogy will benefit from a similar effect) Anyway, none of the films by themselves would have inspired the fanatical devotion they enjoy now.

          Though Firefly and its associated stories won't have that childhood-spanning quality, with the revolutions and evolutions in media and entertainment, Firefly won't need it. Star Wars came out at the dawn of the VCR. Firefly was born into an era where the home entertainment industry is not just well established, but arguably as important as the theatre industry. Even more importantly, Firefly was born into an era where movies and television shows are traded on file-sharing networks. It isn't nearly so hard to stay in the public consciousness now as it was in 1977, 80, or 83. If you raved to a friend about this movie you saw then with lasers and swords and intensive breathing apparatuses, and it was out of theatres or on its way out, there wasn't much chance of your friend seeing it.(not that you would have been a particularly good friend had you waited that long to tell them about it) Now your friend can get the show off the net and be on their merry.

          And then, of course, there's also the penchant of the internet to foster geeky forums devoted to minutiae. If the internet can resurrect a forgotten Sega Mega Drive game [wikipedia.org] from 1989 and turn its horrible translation into a cultural phenomenon, then surely it can foster a fanbase for a well conceived but ill-fated sci-fi franchise from 2002.
      • by slarrg (931336) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:33AM (#18584221)
        Does that make Apple the Star Trek of the analogy?
    • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:50AM (#18583951)
      but the film was without the same depth

      That's what happens when you only have ~120 minutes (movie) instead of ~650 minutes (series)

      Few people will sit through a 600+ minute movie, no matter how deep it is.
      • Re:I hate Star Wars (Score:5, Interesting)

        by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1&hotmail,com> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:11AM (#18584057) Homepage Journal
        weeellll... I saw Starwars in a theatre in Bakerfield, CA when it first came out. I saw it 6 times on opening weekend. Whenever anyone says "Star Wars", it takes me a minute to realize that they aren't talking about Episode IV. So to me, Star Wars is Episode IV, and blows the airlocks off of Serenity without even trying. However, if you consider "Star Wars" as everything put on film as being Star Wars "canon", and Serenity also including Firefly as "Canon", then serenity/firefly wins.
        • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:52AM (#18584341) Homepage Journal
          Hadn't thought about it that way, and I have to say you've got my vote on that, and I'm a huge Firefly geek. And when you stop to think about the styles and skills of the involved auteurs, it makes a lot fo sense: George Lucas, able at times to bring out work that is simply stunning, but leave him running too long and he'll fuck it up, whereas Joss Whedon's always plan for the long haul (yes, I know that's par for the course when you work in TV, but his methodology is evident in most everything he does.

          One is a visionary, well-versed in the peaks and troughs associated with that status. The other is simply a master storyteller, laying his foundations like a brickie and keeping his eye on the finish line.

          Dang, it's 4AM, Hope any of that made sense, as I'm not gonna preview it!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That's the issue, isn't it? A friend and I went and saw Star Wars (ep 4 to the younger gen) when it was reissued (we'd originally seen it when we were 9, in our respective home states), and it's still a great adventure yarn (even if more than one you wish that Han had followed up on his threat to let Luke float home). Empire is a solid follow-up, with the beauty that the good guys don't always win (an important lesson), and if Lucas had stopped there, it might be a respected cultural phenomena, still disc
      • by master_p (608214) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @05:17AM (#18584853)
        But Lord of the Rings was a very successful 600+ minute movie, and many went out and bought the DVD with the extras, despite having watched the movie at the theaters. And I have been in a few Lord of the Rings whole-day-viewing marathons myself.
    • by Frogbert (589961)
      I think that is because they needed to compress about 8 hours of television into 2 hours.

      I liked the movie, Malcolm Reynolds shot first!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by C0rinthian (770164)
        "...but if your hand touches metal I swear on my pretty floral bonnet I will end you."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I'm confused as to where the sci-fi was in the movie? I mean, there wasn't any sci-fi in Star Wars either. Fantasy based in the future, sure. But sci-fi? Why, because there's space ships?

      And while I thought the movie was okay, I didn't care nearly as much for the television series. In fact, I would say that if the television series had tried a little less to be Brisco County Junior and had been a little more like the movie, it would have at least made it a full season or two.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)
        "I'm confused as to where the sci-fi was in the movie?"

        How about what happens when an oppressive government secretly uses drugs in an attempt to make its citizens docile, peaceful and obedient?
    • by AigariusDebian (721386) <aigarius@@@debian...org> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:34AM (#18584223) Homepage
      I wonder why animated sci-fi was not included in the same vote. For example anime series such as Cowboy Bebop and Trigun could very easily compete with Serenity and Star Wars in all departments, especially in story and characters.

      BTW: if you liked Firefly/Serenity, then watch Cowboy Bebop series - it gave a lot of inspiration to the Firefly. And Trigun is of very similar quality but with more humour and even more bitter end.
  • by evanbd (210358) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:45AM (#18583897)
    Excellent, even. I can see it beating Star Wars. But the likes of Blade Runner? I mean, nothing against Serenity, but I really don't think it's the Best Science Fiction Film Ever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Threni (635302)
      > I can see it beating Star Wars. But the likes of Blade Runner?

      I've never even heard of Serenity. Isn't this just an example of a film doing well in a poll because it's new? It's possible that in ten years time it won't even appear on the list.
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @09:46AM (#18586879)
      First of all, let me say that I was a HUGE Firefly fan (though not a fan of Whedon's other work). I thought the series was absolutely groundbreaking at its best. Episodes like "Ariel," "Out of Gas," and "Jaynestown" subverted the classic hero stereotypes and stock character expectations which had generally been the mainstay of sci-fi television. But, that said, I *HATED* "Serenity" the movie. No, that's not accurate. I HATED HATED HATED it (to paraphrase Roger Ebert's review of "North").

      The plot was pedestrian, the characters who were so rich and multi-dimensional on the show were reduced to almost comic simplicity in the movie (and, in the case of Simon, COMPLETELY altered). Malcolm Reynolds, for example, was presented on the show as a decent, but harsh and practical, mercenary who felt a strong loyalty to his crew but had completely rejected juvenile notions of "changing the world" from his younger days. In the movie, he's presented as a stock reluctant hero, just waiting to save the world and make bombastic speeches at the slightest provocation (it was as if the old Mal had been replaced by a retired James T. Kirk). It was the kind of implausible and simplistic "redemption" story that would be perfectly at home in fan fiction written by an 6th grader.

      The movie was also loaded with ridiculous "crowd pleaser" fight scenes and FX extravaganzas, with Whedon even ripping HIMSELF off with the cheeseball and ludicrous "River the Reaver Slayer" fight scene (at least Buffy's ability to defy all known physics could be explained by magic). This would have been bad enough had the FX in the movie looked even as good as the series. I don't know who they hired to do the special FX in this movie, but it's rare to see FX in a movie adaptation that look WORSE than in the TV series (was that landspeeder chase scene meant as some kind of JOKE, a la "Army of Darkness"?!?!?)

      I could go on and on. But, suffice it to say that I wish they had simply left the series alone. The movie failed on virtually every front.

      Firefly was really meant to be a series, and was ill-suited for the feature film form (even if they HAD done a better job of it).

      I just hope Ronald Moore learned a lesson from Whedon's mistake. Don't do it, Ron.

  • Rigging (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Serenity fans usually rig these sort of contests, they did this for a similar online survey as well. I have nothing against the movie, and I thought the series was great, but both weren't successful financially, which is why the series never went anywhere.
    • Re:Rigging (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:52AM (#18584345)
      That's always the problem when a poll is based on the will to participate (and knowledge of its exitence).
      In 1999, the city of Paris organized an online poll in which we were asked to vote for the most important person of those two millenia and someone in my electronic school put his name, so we all voted for him, then another scholl put up its own champion against ours. shortly before closing the poll, they had to eject both of them because their poll, supposed to be based on notoriety, had two totally unkown winners above 40% each, with Jesus being a good third around 3% and everyone else below 0.5%.
  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:46AM (#18583905)
    I wanted to like, "Serenity." I went to the theatre expecting to like it. But I was bored silly by a boring plot that was full of holes. The characters weren't especially compelling. I couldn't figure out what was so great about this. After finishing it, I couldn't even figure out what was tolerable about it. From what I've seen since then, it seems as though "Serenity" fans are fanatically loyal and vocal, but most people who weren't already fans didn't find the movie especially entertaining. Obviously, I haven't taken a poll, but the box office results must mean SOMETHING.

    As for "Star Wars," I don't agree that it necessarily ought to be classified as fantasy, but it's also silly to see it as representing all of science fiction, as so many people do. "Star Wars" was an example of one particular branch of sci-fi, but it came to be seen as what sci-fi really was because ignorant studio execs all tried to clone it after it made a lot of money. Good science fiction is easy to find it books, but very hard to find on screen, IMO. It's hard to see either "Serenity" OR "Star Wars" as the best sci-fi movie ever.

    David
    • by Bodrius (191265) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:10AM (#18584047) Homepage
      If you had not seen/followed Firefly before, I'd have to agree with you, even though I really liked Serenity (to be expected, being a fan of the series).

      I think the movie is pretty good, technically speaking, but it made some gigantic assumptions on the exposition of the characters, plot details, etc. It felt like a really good TV season finale, not a theatrical movie that stood by itself.
      I can see how watching the movie without following Firefly would feel like catching the last episode of a series you don't watch, with closures for plot points that were never opened, and characters that you have no reason to care about... fine for late night cable, but not the same entertainment bar for paying a ticket to watch a movie in the theater.

      Admittedly, I doubt adapting it to a stand-alone movie would work. A lot of what was great about Firefly as a series depended on having that span to explore the universe and the characters over an episodic show. The tempo would have to be very different.

      As part of the show, I think the "movie" was great and well worth it.
      As a movie per se, it was overrated, because the very vocal fans are Firefly fans, and saw it (and hyped it) as part of the show.

      It reminds me of the X-files movie in that sense, except Serenity was better made and had more of the grass-roots-hype, and less of the bovine and equine abuse.

    • by Lisandro (799651) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:11AM (#18584055)
      Serenity is a good movie, and i think their producers did a fine job of keeping the storyline as independent of the original series, Firefly, as possible. Having said that, yes, i felt the same as you did - it's too convoluted of a story. Sadly enough, a lot of things in the movie simply won't make much sense without having watched the series.

      Now, let me give you some advice. If you wanted to like Serenity but felt it was lacking character developement and plot, i suggest you give the Firefly DVD boxset a try. Hell, just buy it. The movie is OK, but the series were mindblowing, IMHO, and some of the finest blend of sci-fi and adventure i witnesed on TV in quite a while. I know a lot of people who didn't think much about the movie but fell in love with the series after watching a few episodes.
    • by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:24AM (#18584141)

      I wanted to like, "Serenity." I went to the theatre expecting to like it. But I was bored silly by a boring plot that was full of holes. The characters weren't especially compelling. I couldn't figure out what was so great about this. After finishing it, I couldn't even figure out what was tolerable about it. From what I've seen since then, it seems as though "Serenity" fans are fanatically loyal and vocal, but most people who weren't already fans didn't find the movie especially entertaining. Obviously, I haven't taken a poll, but the box office results must mean SOMETHING.
      I watched and really enjoyed firefly, when I heard about the movie I was very sceptical that it would translate onto the big screen, I found the movie enjoyable, maybe even good, but I'd stop far short of labelling it great.

      I find people have a tendency to ally themselves with a certain bit of media or subsection of culture, they'll then defend any show, movie, or book that falls into this subsection even though they realize that it isn't very good. Conversely they'll denigrate anything that falls into categories that they don't like, regardless of its quality. I know I've often found myself wrestling with these very tendencies.

      Simply put firefly fans were fanatical enough about firefly that they earned themselves a movie. When this movie came about, even though it wasn't as good as the series, they had so much personally invested that they continued to push it every chance they got. I'd suspect that a good portion of those firefly fans who voted for Serenity realize, and would even admit that Serenity isn't the greatest science fiction movie ever. But they perceive an attack on Serenity as an attack on their community, and therefore themselves, and thus feel the need to defend it.
  • by Socguy (933973) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:47AM (#18583911)
    Me and my mod points are going to maintain a distance of no less than 3 articles from this inevitable flame-fest.
  • by Coryoth (254751) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:47AM (#18583917) Homepage Journal
    These sorts of surveys are more about who has the more devoted and active fanbase at the moment. That doesn't make the result less significant, its just a matter of what the result is actually saying: Firefly has managed to develop and extremely devoted and extremely active fanbase. This isn't that surprising; I've loaned or recommended the DVD set to several people, only to have them become devout fans of the series. Still, interest in Firefly is obviously still going strong, which is, again, notable. The other side to this is that the Star Wars fanbase has apparently grown increasingly apathetic -- and the blame for that can be laid squarely upon the prequel trilogy which left many Star Wars fans (myself included) feeling flat, and has taken a little of the shine off the franchise. Oddly enough it still remains far more likely that we will see another Star Wars film than a sequel to Serenity (though neither is that likely). Star Wars fans may be apathetic about the films these days, but they still exist in vast numbers.
    • Not even most active (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:57AM (#18583987)
      Look at Star Wars - coming up is Star Wars Celebration IV [gencon.com], where around 30,000 people will attend. Having been to the last Star Wars Celebration in Indianapolis, I can easily believe those numbers.

      Now look at the last Serenity convention - the Flanvention. Even if it had not abruptly folded the day before it was to go off, it only had some 500 people attending - as did the one the year before that I attended. Now partly that was a limitation by choice of the event organizers, but I'm not sure they quite reached even 500 the first one.

      I really, really like Firefly and Serenity - but they have no-where near the fan base that Star Wars does, in either size or bredth or sheer fanatisim. This was just a case of Browncoats gaming the polls before the Star Wars Bantha could wake to smite them.
  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:49AM (#18583933)
    Let's see of the results hold after Serenity makes a sequel with Jar Jar Binks.

    I thought so.
  • Come on (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MemoryDragon (544441) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:51AM (#18583955)
    I loved the TV show, but I hated the movie, the plot was shallow, everything feeled pressed into the movie format there was no character development whatsoever (I especially hated how they cut out pretty much everything where Morena Baccarin hat part in it) The movie was mediocre, it felt like a mediocre episode of the TV show.
  • by Zapraki (737378) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:00AM (#18583997)

    I really enjoy both the Firefly and Star Wars universes. That being said, there's a LOT more material to be found for the latter, orders of magnitude more.

    In a way, I think this poll shows some disappointment with some of that vast collection of material for Star Wars. Some of it is very, very good (the original trilogy, KotOR, etc.), but some of it isn't quite so good... in fact, some of it's really quite ridiculously bad [wikipedia.org].

    Firefly/Serenity, on the other hand, is:
    a) relatively new and fresh in our minds
    b) excitingly dynamic, humorous, sexy, etc. in a way that Star Wars failed to be in Episodes I-III
    c) a fairly small collection of material. All of it quite good (imho).

    There's something to be said for having such a high overall level of quality in such a concentrated amount of material.

    However, I do agree that a similar poll 20 years from now might not have Firefly in the top 10. Then again, maybe Star Wars will decline over time?

  • by Hobbex (41473) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:01AM (#18583999)
    Where is "Brazil"? Where is "12 Monkeys"?

    "Serenity" was fun and all, but those are good films...
  • by svunt (916464) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:03AM (#18584015) Homepage Journal
    3,00 readers of one SF magazine...yeah, that's definitive. I can think of a handful of SF films better than either. I'm a huge Firefly fan, loved Star Wars, but this "trouncing" is only slightly more relevant than me and my homies declaring 'Jabba the Slut' best SF-porn of all time on our MySpace page.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:04AM (#18584021)
    Neither one is much of a scifi film they are both fantasy films. It's not a value judgement I enjoyed both they just aren't really scifi films. 2001 and Bladerunner are scifi films. Neither of the films, Star Wars or Serenity, gave more than a passing thought to science. Star Wars had little to do with science and Joss Wedon seemed to keep confusing solar systems and galaxies. Both films were fantasy space operas. Really entertaining but in no way predicting a future that will or could ever happen. Star Trek has faired remarkably well as has 2001 but Star Wars is still fantasy. There's nothing wrong with space operas, they actually go back to the Buck Rodgers era, it's just they aren't science fiction. There's so little real science fiction people seem to be forgetting there's a difference.
  • What ??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlueTrin (683373)

    Serenity named top sci-fi movie
    Star Wars (...) came second in the survey.
    Blade Runner was third, followed by Planet of the Apes, The Matrix, Alien and Forbidden Planet.

    I was wondering while reading the article if this was not one of these stupid polls where people would vote for movies with special effects but how can you put Blade Runner in the same category than Serenity and Serenity #1 while Blade Runner #3 ???

    For a fan, it would be like comparing The Untouchables with Terminator 3 or any of the latest action movies ...

    I wonder how they recruited those so-called sci-fi fans ? Did they poll people who subscribed to Sci-Fi cable channel or put a flyer in Serenit

  • 3000 people? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:08AM (#18584037) Homepage
    It's been voted best by a one magazine with a tiny poll of 3000 readers?

    Hardly conclusive evidence, given the fact that 99% of people who have seen Star Wars have never heard of the magazine in the first place ;)

    Serenity was excellent, but definately not ground breaking - that's the difference.
  • puh-lease (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:15AM (#18584085)
    Does anyone think there would even *be* a Mal Reynolds if there hadn't been a Han Solo first?(and yes, they both shot first!)

    Despite the depths of mediocrity that Lucas has since sunk to, give credit where credit is due. Star Wars and all the technology that ILM created during the making of the Star Wars films changed the industry forever. Blade Runner certainly changed the look of sci-fi films, but it still didn't have the impact that Star Wars did. I'm not sure that was the overriding criterion for making the list, though.

    Serenity was great (GREAT! "I am a leaf on the wind!"), but c'mon, let's not get stupid here. While you don't have to have watched Firefly before Serenity to enjoy it, it certainly helps immensely. The whole Mal/Inara history has much more comedic impact if you have the Firefly backstory. The Rev? A complete throwaway character if you haven't watched Firefly!

    The bigger surprise(s) of the list (for me) were what was included, that most fans have forgotten:

    Planet of the Apes (the original) and Forbidden Planet. Right on.

    Back to the Future? Uhm, I don't think so.

    The Star Wars film that most fans seem to think was the best (Empire Strikes Back) wasn't even on the list? That seems a little odd.
    • by oni (41625) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @10:32AM (#18587579) Homepage
      Does anyone think there would even *be* a Mal Reynolds if there hadn't been a Han Solo first?

      Well, there was a time when the hero in a story was always entirely good - I think the modern term would be "all american" (think Flash Gordon). The idea of a hero with flaws and conflicts was popularized by Lord Byron, oh about 200 years before Han Solo hit the big screen. Here's the wiki article for further research. [wikipedia.org]

      I realize that you didn't actually claim that Lucas had invented the Byronic hero. I just want to make it *painfully clear* that he didn't invent it. But you're right, Han Solo did make the archetype very popular.

      It bothers me a bit that Lucas gets any credit. Lucas is an idiot who stumbled clumsily into a great movie (ep. IV) that he really didn't deserve. Lucas himself has no clue what a Byronic hero is. Lucas doesn't appreciate it or value it at all. This is why he was willing to change episode IV so that Gredo shot first. Lucas is a drooling idiot staring at a movie that is accidentally good, and going "deeerrrrr, lets maik hand shot first, har har. deeeerrr."

      If Lucas understood Han Solo, he would have made it *more* obvious that Han shot first.

      Also, in the scene in Empire where Han is getting lowered into carbonite, Lea says, "I love you" and Han says, "I know." How cool is that guy, you know what I mean? Well, Lucas actually wrote the script so that Han says, "I love you too" but Harrison Ford changed it. What a moron Lucas is. He has no clue whatsoever.
  • It seems to have more to do with people's attention spans than the quality of either film. Ask most young people what their favorite song is and they'll likely mention something current. Ask them again in five years and they may hate the same song, try to find a disco lover alive today. Serenity is fresh in people's minds and Star Wars is 30 years old. Both have devoted followings but it's hard to compare the two. Serenity made a small profit and Star Wars was one of the biggest films in history. If people
  • Its about time a movie with worse cover art [dvdtown.com] beat out Kahn. [images-amazon.com]

  • by BrianRagle (1016523) <bragle@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:50AM (#18584691) Homepage
    This is one of the few topics I feel strongly compelled enough to comment on. For those who voted Serenity topping Star Wars, I understand completely. Let's be real here. Star Wars was a space opera, a caricature of science fiction. The SF genre, in my own opinion, is one that deals in honest ways with how science impacts our lives on a daily basis. Star Wars wasn't an original story to this genre. It was the same old good versus evil, take down the evil conglomerate story which could have easily been told in a Western. Serenity crossed boundaries in ways Star Wars did not. It relied on a political back story familiar to those of us not subject to "empires" even as it showed a human side to the struggle. What? Luke Skywalker lost his hand in a lightsaber battle to Darth Vader, only to have it replaced by seamless prosthetic? Malcolm Reynolds got the crap kicked out of him and LIMPED away from his LUCKY defeat of the bad guy. His crew fared no better. The story itself was more relevant to our society than Star Wars. The primary struggle in Star Wars was Luke not becoming his father and joining the monolithic religion his own version of which was opposed to. It was individualistic, properly suited for the coming 80s decade of similar attitudes of self-preservation. Serenity dealt with issues of survival of minority against a seemingly benevolent majority. It mirrored one man's issues of being on the losing side of a war and contrasted them to the why's and how's wars are won and lost. Given the 14 episodes of backstory from the single season it was on and one comes away with an even better understanding of this movie. In summary, Serenity trumps Star Wars as a sci-fi movie because it is actually more REAL and deals more specifically with real issues. It is not some fairytale fantasy story, able to be retold in any genre without losing anything.
  • Agreed... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @08:14AM (#18585885) Homepage
    I've seen a lot of "science fiction" movies, and I mean a *lot*. I put the quotes around the words "science fiction" because I'm being really generous about what SF is. It includes the Star Treks and the Star Wars, the Serenitys and the 2001s, and other stuff that's only SF because some studio executive saw "lasers" and "babes in leather" and thought that made it so (this is why execs show T'pol grunting around in panties and bra and shouting essentially, "F*ck me or I'll die" and thinking that it'll endure beyond the immediate tittilation of watching Jolene Blalock in panties and bra).

    Serenity passes my definition of SF because it does a couple things: explores what happens when technology is used properly and improperly; explores what it means to be human in light of technology showing that we're nothing much more than a chemical soup. The technology must be central somehow. It must be the sine qua non...

    But that alone would make a really dry movie. It would be like reading "The Pilgrim's Progress" or some Sunday school homily. IMHO, Serenity rocks because the characters are so believable. They're foils certainly. Mal is the typical anti-hero, Jayne the none-too-bright tough guy, Zoe the hardened warrior with a soft side... Heck, they're all warriors in some way.... But you end up liking them and being concerned about their well-being. I couldn't say that about Harry Potter, or hell, even Anakin.

    And perhaps lastly, Serenity didn't take itself too seriously. It was a Western shot in space by design. There was no pretense. It didn't preach about ideals and the Price of Humanity or The Dangers of War or We're Humans So We're Better. The Serenity crew were thieves and murderers by most laws moral and otherwise. But they were family. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

    So yeah, it would get my vote too.

  • Sci-Fi Movies... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thejynxed (831517) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @08:45AM (#18586159) Homepage
    Some of my favorites in no particular order:

    Brazil
    Blade Runner
    Altered States
    The Fly
    Solaris
    Red Planet
    Forbidden Planet
    Metropolis
    Alien/Aliens
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    Tron
    Dr. Strangelove
    The Last Starfighter (cheesy I know, but what is cooler than a kid who becomes the hero of the universe by getting top score in an arcade game)
    Logan's Run
    THX1138
    Alien Nation
    Amazing Stories
    The Black Hole
    Westworld
    Charly (film adaptation of Flowers for Algernon)
    War Games
    Colossus: The Forbin Project
    Dark City
    Dark Star

    And the list could go on and on and on..... (really, I have tons more I love to watch now and again)

    Notice, you don't see Serenity or Star Wars on there. Yes, I do like them, but do I consider them Sci-Fi? Maybe in the same way that I consider "The Terminator" or "The Transformers" to be Sci-Fi.

    Serenity was a spaghetti-western in space, only not as good as the real spaghetti westerns such as "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" or "Pale Rider". I didn't even think Firefly was that great either. Star Wars was entertaining, but I thought it just to be another action flick like Indiana Jones or whatnot, only set in space. Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, but I just didn't see it like I guess some other people see it. The Empire Strikes Back was excellent, and one of the few in the series that Lucas didn't get to screw up the first time around, hence why it was better than the rest. Space opera definitely. I felt like I was watching a fancier Flash Gordon with a better plot.

    BTW: Everyone needs to quit dwelling on the whole "Luke this" "Luke that" thing. The entire story arc of the movie series was about Darth Vader, not Luke. The whole Luke obsession thing is almost homo-erotic :P
  • by eck011219 (851729) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @08:59AM (#18586331)
    With the possible exception of Forbidden Planet, these are films that people roughly my age and younger (36) remember being released. While I know you can only vote on what you know, it's certainly a limited array. I immediately noticed the lack of A Trip to the Moon, the first (1902) sci-fi film ever made (and a quite entertaining one, at that). Metropolis isn't exactly pure sci-fi, but it has its own very prominent elements of sci-fi.

    And while I know I'll get myself modded down here, I would argue that The Matrix is more about the special effects than the story -- I think anyone who ever got high with friends from their honors physics class has had discussions that go along the Matrix plot path. It was a pretty and cool-looking movie, but was certainly not innovative as far as the story went.

    'Course, by that argument, the fact that Star Wars (IV) is just the hero myth revisited should get it taken off the list (though it clearly belongs there). So it could just be that I hate Keanu Reeves and that further colored my opinion.

    Either way, it seems like some older classics were missed. Not surprising considering the likely target demographic of a sci-fi magazine, but still. It's like my saying that I'm the strongest man in my house -- true, and my wife and daughter and female cat would agree. But there's not a sufficient data set present to make that mean anything.
  • To quote Mal... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theghost (156240) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @09:37AM (#18586771)
    "They won't see this comin'."

    As both a Star Wars and a Firefly fan, my first reaction to this news was disbelief, but as i read a bit and thought a bit, i realized that i agree - Serenity is better. Of course you have to realize that no matter what the poll actually said, both were judged on their entire series, not just on the individual movies. Star Wars includes episodes 1-6 and Serenity includes Firefly. Would you rather watch Episode 2 or any 4 episodes of Firefly? Star Wars was the phenomenon that it was because it was new and amazing. Serenity was better because the story and characters are better.

    Plus, be honest, when the Serenity and her 'escorts' come flying out of that nebula, don't shivers just run down your spine? No scene comes close to that "whoa" factor in all of Star Wars, imo. (Blasphemous as it may be to say, the light saber fight between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jin probably comes the closest.)

    Whether Serenity (+Firefly) is better than a lot of the others is a much tougher question.
  • 1977 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @12:16PM (#18589289) Homepage Journal

    Star Wars was released in 1977. If we're talking about the original Episode IV movie, we're talking about a movie that is 30 years old. Many movies have come and gone since then, and Star Wars still holds up remarkably well. I enjoyed Serenity, but I think its success in this particular popularity contest is primarily based on it being the best scifi movie to appear in recent years.

    Take another poll in 2037 and see where the two stack up. I suspect Serenity will hold up well, but I don't know that it will have the broad effect of Star Wars. Despite its faults, Star Wars embraced big themes and grabbed hold of the imagination in a way that few films have.

  • by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @02:26PM (#18591401)
    Star Wars isn't science fiction - It is a space opera fairy tale. While Serenity wasn't "hard" science fiction, Serenity actually deals with scientific and technological dillemas (such as the morality of using chemicals to modify human behavior). It is mostly an adventure story, but it at least makes some attempt at being science fiction.

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