Star Wars

Star Wars Science Fiction Films of the 1970s

Creator George Lucas said he wanted to make a science-fiction film that was optimistic and aimed towards younger audiences; thus Star Wars, the iconic space opera was born in 1977. Before this game-changing film was released, science fiction was already an active film genre in the 1970s. However, many of these films had a much bleaker approach to the genre, favoring dystopian depictions of imagined worlds rather than life-affirming ones.

In an article about science-fiction films of the 1970s, Matt Wild analyzes the history thusly: "If the ’50s were science fiction’s rock ’n’ roll period, and the ’60s were its psychedelic phase, then the ’70s were when SF finally went emo." He described the films of the 70s as "cerebral" and "angsty." Films like Logan's Run in 1976, Rollerball in 1975, and Futureworld in 1976, explored futures and technologically advanced worlds that were bleak and horrific rather than playful and whimsical.

Logan's Run explored a world in which everyone gets executed on their 30th birthday, while Westworld and Futureworld looked at a theme park where robots start killing the patrons. Rollerball was more of a political thriller filled with angst and paranoia. The release of Star Wars, with all its lilting adventure and its exploration of the triumph of good over evil, heralded in a new era of rousing adventure in science-fiction cinema.