Black Panther is already revolutionary

Marvel's new film is the result of massive cultural collaboration in the Black artistic community

<i>Black Panther</i> is already revolutionary

Kendrick Lamar said it best on the opening track of the soundtrack to Black Panther: “Sisters and brothers in unison, not because of me / Because we don’t glue with the opposition.”

The sticking point across the entire production of Black Panther is unity. The making of the film, comics, and music represent a mass confluence of mainstream artistic participation.

The soundtrack, curated by Lamar and released on February 9, mixes hip hop, rap, and R&B. It features SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Khalid, The Weeknd, Future, and Lamar himself, among many others. According to Complex, Lamar decided to produce the soundtrack upon watching scenes from the movie.

At first glance, the reason for the total cultural push behind Black Panther seems obvious. It’s the first mainstream superhero movie with a Black protagonist, taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been meticulously crafted with numerous blockbuster hits. The film’s namesake, the supremely cool T’Challa, the Black Panther — played by the previously relatively unknown Chadwick Boseman — is a warrior and leader unlike any other.

The production became something of a star-scape of world-class Black talent. Aside from Lamar and the soundtrack artists, the film stars Michael B. Jordan and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o alongside Boseman, and it is directed by Ryan Coogler, the director of 2015’s incredible Creed, which also starred Jordan.

Preliminary reviews are glowing. The film has a 97 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its direction, performances, and screenplay for delivering a charismatic and powerful movie. The soundtrack has been described as “beautiful, propulsive, and spacious” by Rolling Stone, which noted the significance of many of the lyrics: they allude to “age-old African diasporic dreams and 21st Century politics.”

The film is a symbol of empowerment for a marginalized group. Hopefully, the movie will succeed in provoking a thoughtful discussion of racism and racial identity in our collective cultural conversation.

The top 10 films of 2017

In the midst of awards season, we compiled a run down of the year's best films

The top 10 films of 2017

Last year saw many great film releases, with an increasingly diverse crop of filmmakers competing for a wide berth of awards. Here are 2017’s top 10 films, and how they stack up.

COURTESY OF TIFF

10. Mudbound

The story of two families who share an intertwined existence — white landowners in rural 1946 Mississippi and the Black tenant farmers who live on their land — Mudbound isn’t a film containing neat messages about racism, classism, or post-World War II post-traumatic stress disorder, though the film does ably tackle all of these. Instead, it’s a sprawling, timely, and compassionate tragedy, one in the vein of epics that Hollywood seems to make no longer, like Reds and The Killing Fields. Mudbound asks what can truly be ours within a life of servitude caused by systems that imprison us — and what happens when those systems reach a breaking point. 

Mudbound has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige. It deserves more, especially in categories such as production and costume design, but being recognized at the Oscars at all is a big step for a Netflix-released film, and it signals changing times in cinema.

COURTESY OF TIFF

9. Foxtrot

Using a non-linear narrative that centres on the parents of a deceased Israeli soldier, Foxtrot is a fascinatingly unpredictable movie. It ingeniously frames how grief makes everything around you seem alien and unappealing. It also contains a long sequence of a soldier dancing with his rifle, and even stretches of animation.

In Foxtrot, director and writer Samuel Maoz doesn’t ignore the complications of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, has slammed the film — but he also doesn’t allow them to consume the film. Rather than offering tidy messages about hope, Foxtrot shows the surreal absurdity of finding hope and levity while living within the despair of constant war, and in doing so, it becomes a unique, brilliant movie. 

Foxtrot was Israel’s entry in the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category, and it made the December shortlist. While it had promising chances of being one of the five eventual nominees, in the end it didn’t make the cut.

8. Faces Places

The premise of Faces Places, one of the best documentaries in years, might seem like it can’t support a whole film. It depicts a road trip taken by famed French New Wave director Agnès Varda, 89, and renowned French street artist JR, 34. The pair travel throughout rural France and create portraits of the people they encounter — and that’s it.

At under 90 minutes, Faces Places is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s hard to explain what makes it such a magical experience to see. Part of it is seeing the spirit of Varda, whose sight is failing, refuse to waiver in her work, and seeing how both Varda and JR, who make a frequently hilarious odd couple, delight in the details of every story they hear. 

Faces Places is nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars, and it has a good chance at the golden statuette. 

7. Columbus

Columbus concerns Jin (John Cho), a Korean-American translator working in Korea, who returns to his hometown of Columbus, Indiana after his father falls into a coma. Columbus is a haven of architectural modernism, and much of the movie consists of beautiful, slow shots of buildings from Jin’s past, as he visits them with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young woman who has chosen to stay in Columbus to take care of her mother.

It’s difficult to articulate the serenity of Columbus. It’s a movie that is at turns passionate and calming, statuesque and hypnotic, yet messy and creative, like the buildings of Columbus itself.

Columbus has gone largely unnoticed during awards season, though it is nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards. Even so, this doesn’t rule out future hits for debut filmmaker Kogonada, whose previous experience consisted solely of making video essays posted to YouTube.

6. Get Out

Following its release last February, Get Out became one of the year’s most acclaimed films, totally unique in its examination of subjects like the wilful ignorance and racism of upper-class, mostly white liberals. It’s one of the best, smartest horror films in recent memory, frequently breaking out into starkly funny moments of absurdity, where you can see writer-director Jordan Peele’s cutting sense of humour shining through. 

Not only is Get Out nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards, it has received four Oscar nominations. Peele has become the third person, after Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks, to receive simultaneous nominations for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Director for a debut film. Lead actor Daniel Kaluuya also became the 14th ever Black person to receive the nomination for Best Actor — all are huge achievements for a social thriller such as Get Out, the likes of which which usually go ignored by the academy.

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

5. Okja

Bong Joon-ho, the Korean director of Snowpiercer, continues his run of bitingly effective satires with Okja. The titular Okja is a superpig, a genetically modified organism bred for meat by the Mirando Corporation. Okja’s friendship with a young girl and subsequent interventions by militant animal rights groups and celebrity zoologists cause havoc. Although Okja has all the chases and inspiring motifs of a classic Steven Spielberg movie, it’s a corporate satire at heart, in the vein of Network, cutting deep into the parts of society that prioritize profit above all else.

Okja has largely been ignored by awards organizations thus far, perhaps because of its release on Netflix during the summer — but it’s a thrilling, moving film that deserves your attention nonetheless.

PHOTO BY KERRY HAYES, COURTESY OF REBECCA SHAOLTS

4. The Shape of Water

“This time, the monster’s going to fuck the girl.” This is what director Guillermo del Toro is reported to have told Doug Jones, his collaborator and monster model in previous movies such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, when preparing for The Shape of Water.

The movie is about the mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who discovers an “asset,” an amphibious man (Doug Jones), being held in the Baltimore government lab she cleans, and falls in love with him. The Shape of Water is one of the best monster movies made in years, but it’s also so much more than that.

It’s a movie that has a palpable, gleeful distaste for the institutions that deny us personal freedoms, a love letter to movie monsters, and a triumph of artistic expression. There are so many recurring nods to the film’s contempt for oppression that it becomes hard to count, but it never feels overwhelming; del Toro’s love for the movie, and of monsters, always shines through.

After being personally shut out of nominations for his previously acclaimed films, Guillermo del Toro has earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, alongside 11 other Oscar nominations. Hawkins and Richard Jenkins are nominated for their roles, and the film has also dominated the creative nominations.

COURTESY OF TIFF

3. Lady Bird

In Lady Bird, writer-director Greta Gerwig has created a movie where everything seems real. In a tight 93 minutes, she deftly balances the kind of zany humour and sudden heartbreak between which we all pivot while growing up. Despite its deceptively simple plot, about a girl (Saoirse Ronan) about to graduate high school and her relationship with her parents (Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts), Lady Bird reveals itself to be incredibly deep because of its refreshing approach to vulnerability.

Lady Bird’s problems with friends, her mother’s fear of losing her, her father’s depression — none of it ever seems fake or constructed. Lady Bird is the funniest movie of last year, but it might also be the saddest, too.

At only 23, this is Saoirse Ronan’s third time being nominated for an Oscar, and Gerwig has also become the fifth woman ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Lady Bird is also nominated for Best Picture, a category in which it’s a formidable opponent.

2. Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name is another movie that is seemingly simple in narrative. It’s about 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) during the summer of 1983 in Italy, where his academic father (Michael Stuhlbarg) hires Oliver, a graduate student (Armie Hammer), to work on a summer project; Elio and Oliver fall in love.

Aside from the sumptuous, rich atmosphere that director Luca Guadagnino and writer James Ivory create, what most stands out about Call Me by Your Name is that it’s an incredibly compassionate film. Its depiction of love isn’t innocent, but it’s not jaded, either — it’s genuine and uninhibited. The film perfectly captures the idyll and tenderness of falling in love for the first time and the pain of watching it slip away.

“Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spots,” Elio’s father says to him in a heartbreakingly powerful ending monologue. Indeed, Call Me by Your Name never feels anything less than natural. 

Since the Sundance Film Festival last January, Call Me by Your Name has been acclaimed by almost every awards association. It’s earned four Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. At 22, breakout star Chalamet is also the youngest actor since 1939 to be nominated for Best Actor, and he’s the third youngest ever.

1. Blade Runner 2049

Many films last year defined themselves by a contempt for institutional oppression, and that message is at its most powerful in Blade Runner 2049. Denis Villeneuve and his collaborators — chiefly Roger Deakins, his cinematographer, who does the best work of his career here — have done the impossible: they have created a brilliant sequel that can just as easily stand on its own.

Taking place 30 years after the original Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 is about Officer K, a replicant, or manufactured human, and an LAPD “blade runner,” made to hunt down and kill other replicants who have outlived their predetermined lifetimes.

More than anything, the visually marvellous dystopia that Blade Runner 2049 presents is a institutionally tired one. It’s a future where climate change has won and the air is toxic, a future where we have given in to the pressures of capitalism and continued to treat women’s bodies as commodities. In a time where we are on the cusp of the widespread usage of industrial AI, this dystopia raises important questions.

Despite all of this, Blade Runner 2049 manages to be a fundamentally hopeful movie, using poignant motifs about individuality and the uniqueness of memory to inspire hope. One scene in particular, involving visually designing a dream, is one of the most heartbreaking and magical scenes put on screen in 2017. Unconcerned with neat answers and much more focused on providing emotional responses to existential questions, Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning achievement. 

The film has chiefly been ignored by many awards associations, including the Oscars, outside of technical categories like cinematography and production design. That said, producing a brilliant sequel to an original as iconic as Blade Runner is an achievement in and of itself. It will be recognized more in years to come.

Science on screen can be creative, but it should also be realistic

Why science in movies should be accurate

Science on screen can be creative, but it should also be realistic

Filmmakers often consult scientists while scriptwriting. A film too grounded in science can turn viewers away, while a film that does not abide by scientific principles and laws can compromise its legitimacy. Those making science-based films thus consult experts to make a creative yet plausible plot.

The 2014 film Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan, follows NASA pilot Joseph Cooper and his team as they leave Earth, which is becoming uninhabitable. Their journey to fictional black hole Gargantua takes them through a wormhole, where they explore new planets.

Because of the complicated nature of the physics in this film, like black holes and wormholes, Nolan consulted Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist and now a Nobel Prize laureate for his work on gravitational waves. Thorne provided scientific basis. In fact, he partly inspired the film.

Generally, a consultant brought to a film project will provide factual or scientific basis for a director’s vision. While the process relies on scientific expertise, filmmakers typically have the final say in how they portray a scientific phenomenon. Because of this, scientists who consult on films can only offer a general understanding of scientific principles.

While writing the film, Nolan would propose a situation he would want to take place in the story, and Thorne would provide necessary equations and current theory that could make the situation a reality.

Interstellar was immensely successful at the box office and in demonstrating black holes and time dilation. Thanks to the collaborative effort between filmmakers and experts, it didn’t compromise the film’s scientific basis or Nolan’s creative vision.

In fact, Nolan said the film could serve as potential teaching material for students understanding that realm of physics. While Interstellar is not perfect, it still inspires many to look toward the stars in search of habitable planets and extraterrestrial lifeforms.

Looking further back in time, Stanley Kubrick, the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, consulted astrophysicist Carl Sagan to create a story that speaks of the transformation of man and man’s destiny through artificial intelligence, space travel, and extraterrestrial lifeforms. Kubrick is a master in the world of filmmaking, but to truly understand space — something that had not been visually witnessed at the time — he needed expertise.

The 2016 film Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, takes audiences on a journey through language and communication with extraterrestrial lifeforms who land on Earth. Villeneuve consulted linguistics professor Jessica Coon at McGill University on the deciphering and creation of languages.

Filmmakers want to send their messages to the world, and in order to effectively accomplish this, their projects must be as accurate as possible. The US National Academy of Sciences saw the need for legitimacy in science-based films and developed the Science and Entertainment Exchange to foster relationships between film directors and scientists.

Films like Arrival and Interstellar are grounded in science, but the guarantee of accuracy cannot come from filmmakers alone. Only through conscientious collaboration with scientists can movies truly become masterpieces on the big screens.

Overlooked: Youth

The Chinese drama is an introspective look at the lives of youth during the Cultural Revolution

Overlooked: Youth

It was the ’70s: teenagers embraced bell bottoms, sunglasses, and love songs — all behind closed doors. In the newly established People’s Republic of China, the decade was not a period marked by hippie movements and music festivals but by tumultuous social reform and impending war.

The Chinese film Youth, directed by Feng Xiaogang, who is dubbed the ‘Steven Spielberg of China,’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. It debuted at North American theatres in mid-December, and while it found tremendous success with domestic Chinese audiences, it may have been perceived as too foreign for other viewers.

Youth follows the lives of two young dancers in the People’s Liberation Army dance troupe. Liu Feng, whose name mimics the Communist party martyr Lei Feng, performs acts of unhindered and naïve kindness in the hopes of fulfilling the prophecy of his name. He Xiaoping is an outcast who wishes to abandon her background and start anew by contributing to the army.

Despite their occasional and hidden experimentation with counterrevolutionary fashion and music, the dance team remains optimistic about the revolution and expresses their patriotism through dance. Their morale is short-lived, however, after the protagonists are sent to the frontlines of the Sino-Vietnamese War.

Without overemphasizing politically sensitive topics, Feng is able to portray the ups and downs of young adulthood in a devastating period for China. Accompanied by washes of sepia, each dance scene evokes feelings of nostalgia and romanticism. The protagonists have dedicated the peak of their life to their profession, and only through the fantasy of performance can they live out the hopeful dreams of their youth.

There is a change of tone toward the end of the film. Liu Feng, now a jobless veteran, finds himself standing in front of a red Coca-Cola billboard in the wake of China expanding its economy. The protagonists’ former teammates are now successful business owners abroad while they, the most dedicated of them all, struggle to make a living. Cold reality sets into the scene while Liu Feng and He Xiaoping reminisce — they have finally achieved martyrdom by sacrificing their idealism and youth to the revolution.

Youth is a melancholy story about the fragility of youth and the failures of a revolution meant to eliminate the elite. Though its execution does sometimes fall short with respect to its overly sentimental acting, it offers a different perspective on the coming-of-age genre. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air in Chinese cinema.

While the movie is strictly in Mandarin with English subtitles, the experience of youth is universal, and Youth should be seen by everyone.

Overlooked is a recurring feature in the Arts & Culture section where writers make the case for pieces of culture that don’t get the attention they deserve. To contribute, email arts@thevarsity.ca.

I’m not ashamed to love The Room

The Disaster Artist’s source material has its own merits

I’m not ashamed to love <i>The Room</i>

“Imagine a movie so incomprehensible that you find yourself compelled to watch it over and over again.”

So writes Greg Sestero in the author’s note of The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The RoomThe Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, co-written with Tom Bissell. Published in 2013, the book details the production of what is widely reputed to be the worst movie ever made — and now, it’s been adapted into a feature film by none other than James Franco.

I am not ashamed to admit that I love The Room. I have seen it more times than I can count, and I have strong-armed all of my friends into watching it. And I would happily spend my hard-earned dollars to attend one of its legendary midnight screenings, where audience members engage in the ritualistic practice of collectively yelling phrases at the screen during certain scenes.

Obviously, I am not alone in my fanaticism. In the 14 years since its original release, The Room has achieved near-mythical status in the canon of the so-called ‘trash film,’ a genre defined by low budgets and amateurish production. So great is the fervour of The Room’s fan base that it has been the subject of actual empirical research.

Given the film’s notoriety, I was not altogether surprised when I first heard that The Disaster Artist — which, yes, I have read through multiple times — was on its way to the big screen. I was torn: excited on the one hand, nervous on the other.

I was excited because I will gleefully consume any Room-related media without hesitation — did you know that some wonderful soul made an entire tribute game on Newgrounds? Because I sure did! — and I was nervous because the very concept of a Disaster Artist movie seemed too contradictory a project to be successful.

A study published in the journal Poetics, which examined audiences’ consumption of trash films, found that people who watch movies like The Room do so largely because they appreciate their marked deviance from the norms of mainstream cinema. The appeal of these films lies in their transgressive nature. This is as true for The Room as for any other ‘trash’ movie — films such as The Black Gestapo (1975), Roadhouse (1989), or Ben & Arthur (2003). To quote Disaster Artist co-author Bissell, “[The Room] is like a movie made by an alien who has never seen a movie, but has had movies thoroughly explained to him.”

The Room is fun to watch because, despite the veneer of legitimacy afforded it by a $6 million budget, it is conspicuously missing every single element that makes for a ‘good’ movie. It is full of plot holes and abandoned subplots; its characters’ motivations are inscrutable, illogical, or both; its writing is nonsensical at best, syntactically splintered at worst.

In sharp contrast to The RoomThe Disaster Artist is beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and it possesses a coherent narrative structure. It bears all the markers of your typical mainstream movie.

And yet The Disaster Artist does not feel typical. This is especially thanks to Franco’s masterful portrayal of Tommy Wiseau, the maverick who wrote, directed, produced, and starred in The Room. Franco’s Wiseau is so uncannily familiar it verges on the surreal, down to his singularly ambiguous accent, described by Sestero and Bissell as “an Eastern European accent that had been hit by a Parisian bus.”

At the same time, The Disaster Artist’s treatment of Wiseau is never cruel, though it easily could have been. It does an exceedingly good job of humanizing a figure that has captivated the public through his eccentricity. The Disaster Artist embraces the niche-ness of its source material, but it does so in a way that makes it compatible with a big-budget, big-name production.

Yes, there are pitfalls to wrestling a movie like The Room into the framework of a Hollywood feature. To a great extent, enjoyment of The Disaster Artist requires familiarity with The Room — I suspect that, for the uninitiated, the film may be more confusing than hilarious.

That said, when you look past its esoteric exterior, the core themes of The Disaster Artist, I think, hold a broader appeal. At the end of the day, the movie is asking its viewers an important question: what is art, and what makes it ‘good?’

“The Room, to me, shatters the distinction between good and bad,” Bissell told Vox in an interview earlier this year. “Do I think it’s a good movie? No. Do I think it’s a strong movie that moves me on the level that art usually moves me? Absolutely not. But I can’t say it’s bad because … it’s brought me so much joy.”

Call Me By Your Name is a luminous story in all respects

The summery, heartfelt film is the perfect antidote to winter blues

<i>Call Me By Your Name</i> is a luminous story in all respects

When I left the theatre after seeing Call Me Your Name, I was stunned. The film plays like a dream — and aren’t the best dreams set during summer in the Italian countryside? I had become so fully immersed in the world of Luca Guadagnino’s creation that stepping back outside into the harshness of Canadian winter was even more jarring than usual.

Call Me By Your Name is the story of Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), son to a pair of Jewish, cosmopolitan intellectuals. His father, an academic, hosts graduate students in their Italian home each summer, and one such summer proves transformative when it brings the American Oliver (Armie Hammer), to whom Elio is immediately drawn.

Chalamet’s performance, one worthy of the acclaim and awards it has received thus far, is all the more impressive considering his demeanour offscreen. In person, he is self-deprecating and physically restless, opening his Tonight Show appearance by saying, “I feel so bad for you guys.” He can’t quite sit still, and he will defer to costar Hammer to relay anecdotes about filming and Guadagnino’s hands-on approach.

As Elio, his restlessness turns inward in a somewhat brooding but utterly magnetic performance. The novel upon which the movie is based relies heavily on Elio’s internal monologue, which might have been difficult to convey in film without the use of voiceover. Yet Chalamet is able to disappear into the role, easily maneuvering between precocious confidence and complete uncertainty when it comes to “the things that matter.”

As Oliver, Hammer is somewhat opaque. He can be prickly, but Elio’s longing for him is still transparently reciprocated. The rare moments when both Elio and the viewer get a glimpse into Oliver’s inner life are surprising precisely because of the confidence with which Hammer imbues him.

The joy of Call Me By Your Name is there because it actually gives you what you want. The ecstasy of Elio and Oliver’s love affair playing out is complemented by the film’s attention to unearthing the past — examining the small details that led up to the affair and revealing what they meant all along. These details are often conversations between the two that are utterly recognizable for anyone who has ever experienced, at the very least, mutual infatuation.

Guadagnino’s sense of aesthetic of light and shadow, noise and silence is impeccable throughout. Albeit without the same scatalogical fascination as André Aciman’s original novel, his direction lingers on the body and images of muscles stretching, or fingers intertwined.

Sufjan Stevens’ soundtrack is perfectly complementary, whether with Hammer’s now-iconic dance scene set to “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs, or with Stevens’ own two original songs, including “Mystery of Love,” which I now cannot hear without picturing Hammer and Chalamet on bicycles, in dark alleys, or circling town squares.

Call Me By Your Name is a luminous story in all respects — I cannot recommend it, or Aciman’s work, enough.

Star Wars: sci-fi or fantasy?

The Star Wars franchise could be either genre, and here’s why

Star Wars: sci-fi or fantasy?

How much Force is in The Force Awakens? The latest Star Wars flick — a film cluttered with nostalgia and doused in childhood memories — is nothing if not scientifically flawed. BB-8, the droid featured and sub for the beloved R2D2, glides smoothly along sand dunes on remote planets. Meanwhile, TIE-fighters make suspiciously similar zapping sounds during intraplanetary combat as they do while in the remote vacuum of space. These are but a few scientific flaws, all of which were meticulously uncovered by science’s higher-authority Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Evidently, scientific accuracy may not have been the creators’ main focus when assembling the franchise’s latest episode; however, when categorizing the Star Wars films as either sci-fi or fantasy, one must account for the illusion of scientific truth that the film actually contains.

Star Wars can go either way; but the film falls somewhere on the fantasy side of the spectrum. It’s more preoccupied with the battle between good and evil — and whose son has joined the dark side this time — than it is with the expansion of our scientific frontier. The classic sci-fi films, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek, or more recently The Martian, all hint at the potential that humankind has for furthering our exploration of space. The evolution of human technology is a cornerstone of the sci-fi genre, whereas fantasy disregards this concept entirely.

That said, certain aspects of Star Wars, although somewhat inadvertently, indicate a movie that is more of the sci-fi persuasion than one might expect. Ever since the franchise’s inception, Star Wars has contained various motifs that give the series its distinctive originality. These motifs come in the form of light-sabers, jedi mind control, and the use of the Force. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that none of these motifs exist in our everyday reality; light-saber crime is at a steady low across the globe, and as far as we can tell, you weren’t drawn to this article by a certain news publication’s jedi mind-tricks. But sci-fi movies are often catalysts to future technological advancements. In order for Star Wars to be a sci-fi movie, some of its themes would have to allude to humans’ progress in technological advancements. This makes Star Wars both fantasy and sci-fi. Currently, Star Wars is fantasy — a genre where the science is based upon nothing, and where the focus lies strictly on the narrative. Now, it’s up to our own technological advancements to discover — will Star Wars change from fantasy into sci-fi?