Why are there no movies in space?


Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, the future (or, I guess, the past in Star Wars’ case) of space is full of bright and exciting technology, new exciting games (Pyramid <pictured left from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica>, Dabo, Dom Jot, Kal Toh <there are a ridiculous number of different games and sports from Star Trek> or even that little hologram board game from A New Hope <you know the game I’m talking about, the one they’re playing when C3PO famously suggests that they “let the wookie win” >) books (Baltar writes a partial book while incarcerated in the re-imagined BSG that seems to gather a vast readership rather quickly, there are thousands of data files in Star Trek for reading, sadistic Eastern philosophy circulates throughout the Firefly universe) plays (Kirk attends a production of Hamlet in The Conscience of the King TOS episode 13) and music (the cantina scene from A New Hope or Jabba’s personal band from Return of the Jedi, on the Enterprise Uhura often sings while Spock plays the Vulcan lyre, and, somehow, All Along the Watchtower, makes it’s way to the Galactica near the end of season 3)

But no movies.

Seems like culture and technology have progressed with leaps and bounds in the imagined worlds of space, powerful weaponry, incredibly efficient space travel, and medical advancements (remember Luke’s hand?) but there doesn’t seem to be any Space Hollywood. In a Universe like Star Trek’s that is specifically meant to be this present’s future, the lack of a film scene becomes even more difficult to explain. What? Did we forget about cameras?

Clearly not. Picard looks at old pictures of himself (in that  leather bound photo album from Generations <pictured right>) but I guess Earth forgot all about motion pictures.

Sure the Holodeck has a cinematic aspect to it, but really it’s more like a game (mystery solving and what not.) They’ve got no shortage of games, games seems to be the main thing they do in space.

Conversation is another big activity, everyone’s always talking about Space Politics and Space Wars, religion, books, sex, music, but never movies. There are no famous directors on Serenity, the Millennium Falcon, the Enterprise, or the Galactica.

There’s even an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Season 1, ep. 22 The Neutral Zone) when a couple of humans from the 20th century are unfrozen from cryogenic hibernation and the first thing one of them asks is “where’s the T.V?” because he wants to watch a Braves game. Data does his classic little head tilt, realizes that such an antiquated abbreviation means “television”, and explains that the tube went out of style in 2040. Not like everyone got bigger, better T.V.’s, people just stopped watching altogether, they had better shit to do, like particiate in virtually-simulated orgies on the Holodeck.

Science fiction writers must have realized how much thought a Space Film Industry would take to design. What would the movies be like? Would they be depictions of the present (as in “modern” depictions of Space, contemporary drama) or would they be films of the past and therefore about “our” (the viewers) present, or more confusing still a past of the future that is our present future?



Even more confusing we would have to assume that in Space Hollywood science-fiction would be as popular a category as it is in our time/place. That means that in the Federation, the Galaxy, the Alliance, and the Galactica, many movies postulating a future of the future would be produced. That’s too much for most writers, but I challenge anyone brave enough to depict a Space Film Industry, with all its confusing rammifications.

4 Responses to “Why are there no movies in space?”

  1. A thorough addendum to this blog is in the works, so hold your horses Trekkies.

  2. Well I always assumed the Holodeck would be the natural progression of movie theaters. If Avatar and its 3d graphics is the final technological step in modern cinema – as I believe it is – then what would the next futuristic “movie theater” experience be like? 3D would get better and better until the actual flat projection screen is no longer needed, and a new type of theater would have to be created… one that can display HOLOGRAMS! Thus, through years of technology improvements and increased user interaction, the holographic movie eventually evolves into holodecks.

  3. The NX-01 Enterprise has their weekly “Movie Night” 🙂

    The Colonial fleet has TV (although we see very little of it).

    We see some TV’s in Serenity (playing the “Fruity Oaty Bar” commercial).

    Babylon 5 has TV, and they apparently love to watch Penn & Teller (Reebo & Zooty).

  4. First born unicorn, hard core, soft porn… Dream of Californication!

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