“May the force be with you”. This statement alone is enough to tell you how popular and impactful space operas are. Whether it’s Star Trek or Star Wars ( yes they’re both different) or Battlestar Galactica franchise and Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 novel Starship Troopers, sci fi has always fascinated people.
Space operas, considered as sub genre of science fiction emphasizes fictional space warfare driven by technology and science fictional devices.
What’s even more fascinating , is that these fictional tales are no longer just part of the books or movies but have started to interlink with the present and probably the future.
Ronald Reagan proposed the a plan of strategic defense initiative – a system of lasers and missiles and the critics and newspapers named it as Stars Wars. This gained further resonance when Reagan described the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”.
Star trek , was etched with liberal themes that were dominating American society in the 1960’s like racism, the nuclear arms race, the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism -all part of Star Trek.
This all mirrored the post Second world war scenario in the world.
.Kingpins , in these sci fi , in quest of more power, battle for higher political ground , which is a reflection of the current conflicts in the world.
Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is set in a dystopian future, wherein women are forced to live as concubine under a fundamentalist and theocratic dictatorship. Wherein the women , are not even called out by their own names, but are named after their ” masters”. Women being forced to be subservient to men …Sounds familiar right ? This book is not exactly a space opera, but for sure classifies as sci fi and a thriller with jarring similarities to the past, present and a possible future.
Whether it’s shows like Black Mirror, West World, or movies like The Walking Dead, World War Z- they all hold testament to the horrifying yet reality we all are living in.
Increasing political distress in the world, racial stratification and on top of that the armed powerful countries; this sounds like a plot of a space opera , sadly , we are all living it today .Launch of Space force by the Donald Trump; China and Russia also preparing to enter the competition; Business moguls having the access to space , this all is the beginning of something, – maybe of a new space opera- but this time it’s for real.