Saturday, July 12, 2014

What is the Best Science Fiction Franchise of All Time?

Maybe it doesn't even include lightsabers!

There are way fewer franchises when it comes to science fiction than there are in, say, horror. But that doesn't mean there aren't some really good ones worth talking about. What are they? Make your case.

36 comments:

  1. I'm going to go with one of the obvious choices and say the alien franchise just because alien and aliens are real classics. Ripley is one of my favorite movie characters of all time and she's just a bad ass. The alien is a fantastic movie monster/villain and the design of it is so creepy and awesome. Alien 3 is ok, alien 4 is pretty bad but I actually kinda like the first half and Prometheus is a pretentious mess but there's a few things I like in it. Overall I'd say just for the horrific atmosphere of alien and the kick ass action flick aliens is that the alien franchise is my favorite. Just thinking about the battle between ripley and the alien queen gives me chills. I'm putting the blu ray on right now! Oh and I haven't seen the alien vs predators so im not counting them but from what I hear I'm a better person for not having seen them.

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    1. I second this franchise. I unabashedly LOVE 3, ever since begging my dad to take me that summer (May is summer in movieland right?). I also love how bananas 4 is. Its a great universe that is still a bit mysterious, & I feel still has more to explore. Just maybe step away Ridley. Love the experiment with different directors w/ each installment.

      I also echo ignoring the crossover is good for one's soul.

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  2. Star Wars for me because I really like the original trilogy, Episode III is good and even when it's not great, I get the most excited about it as a series out of all the sci fi series'. And now pancakes :-)

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  3. Im trying to resist saying Planet of the Apes due to the current hype potentially skewing my perception. However, im not a big Trek fan and while I like Star Wars just fine im no where near a star wars FAN like some tend to be, so I think the right answer is Planet of the Apes.

    I really enjoy the original series. Its fun, and interesting, and thought provoking and marvellous. I like some of the tv series and some of the comics, and the new series has been so wonderful. It doesnt have a perfect track record but its highs have been stupendous.

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  4. Eh, yeah, it's the original Star Wars trilogy. Sorry to be unoriginal.

    This is science fiction comedy, but while the Back to the Future series ranges in quality quite a bit, I think they're all watchable and enjoyable on some level, so that would probably be my second choice.

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  5. It's got to be Star Wars. Of course the originals are great, but I'll put in the prequels just as often, simply because they came out oddly aligned with specific parts of my life and based on no merits of their own.

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  6. I've got to go with Star Trek, because there are no characters in any franchise of any genre that I'd rather spend time with than the original Trek crew. I even like the much-maligned part V because of many of the character beats. I love the passion for exploration that Roddenberry built the franchise with and no matter how many times I see Star Trek II, it always always always works.

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  7. For me it would be Star Wars as well, but I have a large group of friends who don't accept that because they fit the mold of fantasy films more than traditional science fiction. So if we're playing that stupid game I'll have to defer to the Terminator franchise, 'cause 2.5 out of 4 ain't bad.

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  8. Is Star Wars really a Sci-Fi franchise? Or is it two fantasy franchises stacked on top of each other and wearing and overcoat and hat? If it's really Sci-fi, then it's my favorite. Otherwise I think I would really be stuck trying to find a franchise. It would have to find one where I could watch at least half the movies without issue. All the other ones I can think of have a few bright spots, but are mostly problematic for me.

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  9. I'm as much a fan of OT Star Wars as any average geek, but I don't think I'm being unduly snobby in calling it space fantasy and not sci-fi. Sure, one could argue that because it's got spaceships and sci-fi elements, but at its heart, it's a fairy tale, complete with unabashed real magic in the Force.

    Of course there's no one definition of sci-fi. Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sci-fi? It's got radioactive ooze and aliens, right? It's more of a superhero franchise, right? But is "superhero" really a genre? Spider-Man is a superhero, sure. But is the Hulk? Not really, right?

    To me, though, even though its science can be as shoddy as anyone's, Trek is sci-fi, even with elements such as The Q, because it is, at heart, about humanity embracing technological progress just as Wars is, at heart, about being and wielding magic.

    So yeah, to answer your question, Star Trek is definitely the best sci-fi franchise of all time to date. Deal with it. :P

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    1. Oh yeah, but who would win in a fight? A Star Destroyer or the Enterprise? Data or Darth Vader? Huh? And who's hotter, Leia or Troi?

      Internet message boards were invented to discuss/fight to the death about questions like these and we've gone and forgotten about them! Shame on us!

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  10. WILD CARD: Independence Day! Yeah there's one film now, but it's currently in the works to be a franchise with ID Forever 1 & 2 coming out. The original was quite original, and avoided a lot of cliches that'd annoy us, so I have much hope for the next two. Yeah, I'm excited! Despite Will Smith not being around to say "WELCOME TO EARTH!"

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  11. Back to the Future, The Matrix: first one of each was great, but weakened by other installments

    Original Star Trek: excelled at character relationships

    Star Wars (episodes 4-6): great fables of good versus evil

    Alien, Terminator: my personal favorites (the first two of each, at least) with preference to the Alien franchise

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    1. To be determined: will Ridley Scott do a good job with the Blade Runner sequel? Recent efforts provide cause for concern.

      Wishful thinking: I would like to see an Edge of Tomorrow prequel focused on Rita at the Battle of Verdun.

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  12. when does something go from a movie, a trilogy or movie series, and become a franchise? is there a difference?

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    1. I don't think so. I think just any property with multiple movies is considered a franchise (I would say especially if it's like three or more). It's just an interchangeable word with "series." A trilogy is also a franchise. I think so, anyway.

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  13. Well the right answer is OT Star Wars of course but besides that I like the Alien franchise minus the Alien vs Predator movies. Alien and Aliens are awesome, Alien 3 is a bit of a mess but still good. Alien Resurrection is a total crap show in my opinion.

    The most consistent franchise though might be the Predator franchise. I liked Predators, Predator is a classic and Predator 2 is highly underrated in my personal opinion. Quick note Johnny 5 in both Short Circuit movies is great 80's fun. "Input, input need more input!"

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    1. Predator 2 ain't underrated by me, my friend! Love it - haven't seen Predators since it first came out but I remember liking it okay - due for a rewatch!

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    2. "Star Wars OT" is not a franchise, my friend. If you claim Star Wars, you're counting the PT and the Ewoks movies and the Holiday Special and everything. ;)

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    3. What is this PT and holiday special you speak of? In my world, I've never heard of such things ever existing. ;)

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  14. I'm kinda buying into the idea that Star Wars isn't REALLY science fiction and it's a boring answer anyway so I'm going to go with Terminator - not only is the action awesome but it has some really interesting ideas about artificial intelligence and time travel that I've spent probably way too much time pondering and coming up with my own theories about - especially in regards to trying to make work what Terminator 3 F'ed up (I like the idea that the 1997 Judgment Day date was a lie so Sarah Connor would die (of cancer) thinking she really had prevented it).

    Also speaking of cyborgs and a franchise I'm currently watching that just went unexpectedly sci-fi on me - in Rocky IV, is it possible that the actual point of that fucking ridiculous robot Rocky owns is to plant the seed in our minds that MAYBE Dolph Lundgren is REALLY a robot? Or is it all just part of a really deep metaphor? *snicker*

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  15. The MANT franchise really went downhill after Lawrence Woolsey left to make GALLIGATOR.

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  16. I've been debating between Terminator and Alien, but I think I'm going to have to go with Alien. The first Alien is one of the best sci-fi movies ever, and I'm actually a big fan of Alien 3. I think that movie gets a lot of grief from people for the wrong reason, most people who want it to be more like Aliens. I may actually like Alien 3 more than Aliens.

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    1. Alien 3 was one of the first movies I remember critiquing after I saw it in the theatre, that criticism essentially being: "The first Alien was lame with only one alien and no weapons and then they FIXED that with Aliens and then for some reason with Alien 3 they went back to the original lame formula." I was 12 and stupid.

      Now of course I realize that the original was the real masterpiece (not to knock Aliens, it's awesome too) and I've come to appreciate the third one more and more.

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    2. This pretty much echo's I'd go all in with Cameron on this one, and instead go with Terminator (instead of Scott/Cameron Alien).

      It's an extremely close call though, and I can't really say why I prefer The Terminator universe over Alien. They both have very similar structures as well (well at least the first two do), where the first one is more science fiction (even horror) isolationist movies with heroines forced into the lead. Then the second movies are almost pure actionfests with stellar effects, great action, the same strong heroines, and an interesting story to hold it all together.

      Of the four great movies in the series I'd probably say Alien is the best, but Terminator and Terminator 2 are that much better than Aliens, that it edges them out. Also the T-1000 makes for an awesome villain, where as in Aliens all we get is more Aliens.

      When including the rest of the franchises, once again I think they're pretty close together. I like some of the ideas behind both Alien 3 and Terminator Salvation, but both weren't able to live up to the earlier movies. Then there's Rise of the Machines, which hasn't aged very well, but at least I liked it initially, whereas I never liked Alien Resurrection.

      Of course if we were to include the Aliens vs Predator movies and Prometheus that makes it even more one sided.

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    3. Yay! Alien 3 finally getting some love! I hated that movie for years and watched the Fincher cut of it on the Alien Anthology, HUGE difference. And knowing all the production back story from the Blu-Ray really helped me enjoy the movie more.
      Such a great franchise! Too bad Alien 4 was kind of ehhhh. Promethus made me furious (fiddling with the timeline) and the next game coming out with Ripley's daughter...sigh

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    4. Yeah it's hard to justify the AvP movies, or Resurrection, or Prometheus. However, it's much harder to justify Terminator Salvation and Rise of the Machines. But I think Alien 3 really pushed the Alien franchise over the edge for me. Perhaps it's because I've never been a huge Aliens fan, but it never upset me that Hicks and Newt died. Because Ripley is the franchise in my eyes, and her relationship with the Alien is always central. And like, it's a horror movie. I know a lot of people can't get passed it, and I think that's why it's so reviled in some circles.

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  17. Regarding Star Wars, I don’t really consider Star Wars to be primarily science fiction. And I think that a science fiction movie which spawns sequels usually gives rise to something that is less a science fiction franchise over time, and more about standard characters and plots which may incorporate one or more science fiction ideas established in the first movie, but which do little or nothing with those ideas after that first movie. The Star Trek movies sort of buck that trend, in that besides all of the stuff you can find in a published tech manual about how things work in Star Trek, several of the movies as a whole explore a few different science fiction concepts. However, I also got to thinking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, and I think that a case might be made for this collection of movies.

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  18. Star Wars, even if it's really a fantasy series with sci-fi aesthetics. The original is classic, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie ever, Return of the Jedi is satisfying as hell, Revenge of the Sith is surprisingly decent, and even though episodes I and II are truly awful, I can enjoy them purely as spending two hours in Star Wars Land.

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  19. I'm so disappointed. Where is the Firefly/Serenity love? :(

    How about 2001 and 2010? I wish we could get an adaptation of the third novel by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Science Fiction can also portray science eventuality and ask questions. :)

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    1. I assumed they were asking for movie franchises, and Firefly only has one film.

      It's a damn awesome film though.

      Never cared for 2010 though

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  20. I've boiled it down to two, Alien or Star Trek, depending on my mood. Trek for the technology and hope, Alien for the despair and darkness.

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  21. I did not read every comment, so I may have missed it. The first idea that pops in my head doesn't have several movies, but I still think it could be considered a franchise... Twilight Zone. ?

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  22. Devilishly clever by fusing the intends to recast the lead into the very commence of the show,Doctor Who remains the longest-running science fiction program in,well,any sort of history.At 30+ seasons and numbering,Doctor Who must be the top science fiction show ever.

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