1. Science Fiction Genre in Movies and
• I. Introduction
II. History of Science Fiction Genre
III. Analysis of The Star Wars,
VI. Mad Scientists theme in Back to the Future,
V. Analysis of The Matrix, and Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind
2. • Thesis Statement: Science fiction movies,
since it first came out in 1902, contained
the zeitgeist of every decade and until
now, were used as a tool of metaphor
that reflects the society’s and individuals’
desires and fears, and ultimately became
the indispensible part of the popular
3. History of Science Fiction
• Science fiction film history almost starts with
the motion picture industry but it was not
until 1960s that the genre was taken seriously.
4. • The first example of
science fiction movie is
A Trip to the Moon by
George Meiles in 1902.
It was based on Jules
Verne’s novel From the
Earth to the Moon.
It is a 14 minutes long,
• Science fiction literature
continued to influence
early films. Jules Verne's
classic 20,000 Leagues
Under the Sea was
adapted into the film in
1916, one of the first
First World War and the
German Undersea boats
made this movie popular.
• In that era of Roaring Twenties, people were
interested in material things, wealth, physical
funs of the world. As a result, there was no
interest to science fiction at all.
• With the Great Depression that began in
1929. Audiences began to pursue films with more
escapist themes, leading to a decline in serious
• The decade saw the rise of film serials: low-
budget, quickly-produced, futuristic, heroic
adventures. Action and melodramatic plots.
Echoes of this style can still be seen in science
fiction and action films today
• They continued to use science fiction
elements like space travel, high-tech gadgets,
plots for world domination, and mad
• Two events at the end of World War II had major
impacts on the science fiction genre. The
development of the atomic bomb increased
interest in science, as well as anxiety about the
possible apocalyptic effects of a nuclear war. The
period also saw the beginning of the Cold War,
and wide-spread Communist paranoia in the
United States. These created a Golden Age of
Science Fiction along with the one taking place in
10. • Alien films saw gained popularity during the
1950s. Many featured political commentary
being mixed with the concept of UFOs, which
was into the public consciousness after
the Kenneth Arnold and Roswell incidents of
1947. (who first claimed to see UFOs)
11. • The first of this kind was
The Day the Earth Stood
Still (1958), directed
by Robert Wise
12. • However, in the second half of the decade, the
steady success of the genre led to some
studios attempting serious films with large
budgets, including the coldly realistic
depiction of a post-nuclear war world.
13. • Forbidden Planet,
(1956) a sci-fi re-
Tempest”, had an
impact on the genre for
years to come; it
included the first all-
electronic music score,
character Robby the
Robot, and served as
the inspiration for Star
• Several other important science fiction films
were released in the 1960s. Planet of the
Apes (1968) was extremely popular, spawning
four sequels and a television series.
Earlier in the 1960s, Fahrenheit 451 was a
social commentary on freedom of speech and
• The era of manned trips to the Moon saw a
resurgence of interest in the science fiction film in
the 1970s. The space discoveries created a
growing sense of marvel about the universe that
was reflected in this era’s films, such as Star Wars.
• However, the early 1970s also saw the continued
theme of paranoia, with humanity under threat
from ecological or technological threats of its
16. • Notable films of this period included:
Silent Running (ecology),
the sequels to Planet of the Apes (man vs.
Westworld (man vs. robot)
THX 1138 (man vs. the state)
Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (man vs.
• Following the huge success of Star Wars,
(1977) science fiction became profitable and
each major studio rushed into production
their available projects. As a direct result, Star
Trek was reborn as a film franchise that
continued through the 1980s and 1990s.
Scott's Blade Runner; far from presenting a
sleek, ordered universe, presented the future
as dark, dirty and chaotic.
18. • The strongest contributors to the genre during
the second half of the decade were James
Cameron and Paul Verhoeven with The
Terminator and RoboCop.
Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-
Terrestrial became one of the most successful
films of the 1980s.
• The emergence of the world wide web and
the cyberpunk genre during the 1990s
spawned several Internet-themed films.
and The Matrix (1999) created a machine-run
virtual prison for humanity.
• In the first decade of the 21st Century, Sci-fi
films turned away from space travel, and
fantasy dominated, such as the Matrix
Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.
21. • Science fiction has returned to being a tool for
political commentary in recent times with
films like Artificial Intelligence and Minority
Report with the former questioning the
increasing materialism of today's world and
the latter questioning the political and crime
situations surrounding the world post 9/11.
22. • An unique movie was released in 2004, the
first science fiction romance Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind.
In 2009, the most known and instantly famous
science fiction movie was Avatar by James
Cameron. It was also controversial for not
having an unique plot, being like the space
version for Captain John Smith’s “Pocahontas”
story in “A Description of New England” (1606)
23. • In 2010, Inception by
Christopher Rolan was a
big hit, questioning
reality like The Matrix,
by its subject of
• “All that we see or seem
is but a dream within a
Edgar Allan Poe
24. China Bans Time Travel in TV and
• In March 2011, Chinese State Adminsitration of TV and
Film, accused time-travel shows, and mythical stories of
having bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating,
feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous
moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking."
The government said TV dramas should not have characters
that travel back in time and rewrite history. They say this
goes against Chinese heritage.
As a result, the most knows and beloved series like Back to
the Future, “Fringe” and “Doctor Who” are now banned in
26. • Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense -- the starkest Madness –
'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail –
Assent -- and you are sane –
Demur -- you're straightway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain –
“Poem 435” by Emily Dickinson
27. • “I became insane, with long intervals of
Edgar Allan Poe
-Deals with the science issues that we could
never imagine possible.
- Concept of parallel universe is the main theme.
- By the parallel universe, it questions whether
fate or free will, dominate our lives.
- Fringe Division of FBI solves crimes. The
common features for crime shows are also in
“Fringe”. All people in the division become like
30. • In the allegory, Plato describes prisoners
chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads.
All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind
them burns a fire, while puppeteers, behind
the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast
shadows on the wall of the cave. The
prisoners are only able to see and hear the
shadows and echoes cast by objects that they
32. • The Matrix is in the same case, mankind is
only aware of its existence through machines.
As Neo says while he goes to see the Oracle: “I
have these memories from my life and none
of them happened”. However, the machines,
like the puppeteers, also share that false
33. • The prisoner who lives the cave, comes into
the sun and their eyes are blinded by the light.
The same can be seen when Neo first came
out of The Matrix and Neo said “My eyes. I
can't see.. was told that's because you have
never used them before”.
In the Cave the prisoners never used their
eyes truly, they were always in the darkness
where they could not see behind themselves
to see what was the source of the shadows
34. Neo - One
Having realized he has “been living in a dream
world”, Neo has to “free his mind”. Plato also
imposes a mission on the “One” who discovers
the dual worlds; he has to free the other
prisoners. That is Neo's mission, he will save
humanity by showing everybody the truth.
• In that way, Matrix appears to be a philosophical
metaphor of self-consciousness setting itself free,
with the paths you choose in your life, which is
symbolled by the red pill and the blue pill.
35. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
• It is the first
It reflects people’s
desire to forget
gives pain in their