05 December 2015
FWS Top Ten: The Most Interesting Wars of Military Science Fiction
1. The Cylon Wars from BSG
The Cylons of the original series waged an 1,000 year war with the 12 Colonies of Man, until finally achieving victory, and destroying the 12 Colonies of Man. Of course, both Cylons had help in destroying the 12 Colonies in the form of the Baltar characters. After the end of the SyFy Channel reimagined series in 2009, it was believed that a new series would be created around the Cylon War and William Adama's experiences in the war, along with the series Caprica. Again, the Galactica would be front-and-center. This would have allowed us to see the war that had been floating around science fiction since the 1970's. That promised series was not delivered in the form that we fans expected. BSG: Blood & Chrome was downgraded to an online miniseries of a 10 episodes. The show we thought we were going to get was just okay, and the Cylon Wars remains an unseen war. What is interesting about the Cylon War mentioned in both series, is that creators took two very different ideas on the war and the Cylons.
2. The Four Year War from Star Trek
3. The Bugboys/Bebops/Wantabes of the ALIENS Universe
4. The Clone Wars (Before the Prequels) from Star Wars
For the newer fans of the Star Wars universe, it is hard to imagine the fandom a long time ago, an galaxy before the internet. Back before we got the bullshit prequels, we fans lived on a few facts, many theories, and high hopes to see the mythical war that Obi-Kenobi spoke of in the first film. Back in those days, even mainstream magazines, like Starlog, were involved in exploring the Star Wars we had yet to see. For years, we fans collectively wondered and theorized about the word "clones" in the Clone Wars. We knew that Boba Fett's armor was somehow connected to the original stormtroopers, and somehow those troopers were involved in the Clone Wars. Many of us speculated that the "clones" in the Clone Wars were cloned Jedi created to overcome either an Mandalorian invasion or an Sith invasion (before the rule of two). These new cloned Jedi were somehow turned to the Dark Side by the Emperor or Vader and used against the Light Side Jedi. I actually think that one of the few bright spots in the Prequel films was reality of the clones and how Lucas weaved the origin story of Boba Fett into the Clonetroopers as well.
5. The Jedi/Sith Wars from Star Wars
The underlying theme of the Star Wars films is the struggle between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. At times, the Dark Lords of the Sith achieve the control over the destiny of the galaxy, while other times, the Jedi achieve control. For some time, Star Wars fans have known that their was an larger Jedi/Sith conflict in the distant past, and it was not until the 1990's, when Dark Horse Comics published The Tales of the Jedi and Bioware released The Knights of the Old Republic games. This all-out war of Sith vs. Jedi armies has lit the imagination of fans for decades, and maybe we could make movies out of the Great Sith War...maybe call it, Episode -1? There was a rumor running around the internet of an tie-in film that told the story of the origin of the Sith and their struggle against the Jedi. Of course, it was just a rumor.
6. The War Against the Machines from the Terminator Universe
7. The Off-World Conflicts from BLADE RUNNER
BLADE RUNNER is one of those films that deeply layered with worlds within worlds, and for each of fans of the 1982 classic, we have different things that interest us about the Dystopian world of 2019. For me, the off-world conflicts that fueled the development of the Replicants was what I wanted to see more of, not the gumshoe hard-boiled detective of the film. I even went as far as writing an book and several short stories about those off-world conflicts to satisfy my urge. The only hints we've seen of those wars was the information during Decker's briefing scene, some of the good parts of Soldier, and the Marvel comic book. It is unlikely that the long-awaited sequel to BLADE RUNNER will not be showing us anything more of the off-world conflicts, but it totally should. Much like Terminator, the world of BLADE RUNNER seems to be stuck in hunt for skinjobs on the streets of failing megapolis cities via gumshoe assassins with badass revolvers. Given my exception that any future film or book will not show us the off-world conflicts, I have written three short stories and one novel detailing what I think those pocket conflicts would look like.
8. The Eternal War from The Forever War
9. The Human/Forerunner War from HALO
10. The Butlerian Jihad from the DUNE Universe
For many of us fans of DUNE, the religious crusade against the thinking machines 10,000 before the events of the first book was one of the most intriguing events that was not heavily explored. It was not until the 1984 film adaptation that we fans were able to glimpse the known universe before the legendary novels. Those paintings that served has the introduction to the DUNE universe and colored my vision of what I thought the Butlerian Jihad were going to look like. When it was announced that Frank Herbert's son would be crafting an trilogy about the war against the thinking machines, I was extremely excited, and bought it only a few days after its release...and boy, I was disappointed. The magic of the world of DUNE was not present, and the new universe seemed completely separate from the world seen in DUNE. Even today, when I re-watch DUNE, I wonder about what the Butlerian Jihad what it would have been like in different hands, and those paintings are still something that interests me...can we get an Butlerian Jihad reboot?
Next Time on FWS...
Distance can be an friend of the soldier in combat, and the closer proximity of soldiers to their enemy, the increase in the danger. One of the most deadly, chaotic tactical environments is Close Quarters Warfare. Combat in tight spaces of office buildings, homes, cruise ships, space stations, or even starships is its own special breed of combat, and it is high time that FWS explored and explained Close Quarters Warfare.