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World class Universes!

January 23, 2008

space-eye.jpgDon’t worry, I am not trying something surrealistic… Not yet 🙂 See… Creativity definitely intrigues people with good taste. Be it a few lines of poetry or a fine drawing… creativity with originality catches the eye. As a creative excercise, what if you are asked to create a new world? Well, one can do that atleast in paper, isn’t it? 🙂 . For me, creating worlds is THE MOST interesting piece of work in fiction/fantasy writing, it seems. Just sit back and think about writing a fantasy story like Alice in Wonderland or Harry Potter…! In these type of fantasy stories, authors describe the fantasy world atmosphere elaborately, the organisms, animals, human beings, the laws of nature… A world of possibilities to write about!

In fantasy, you don’t have to follow the same laws that govern us in earth… You can break, bend rules like anything. For example, see Harry Potter is able to do magical things by just reciting a few words/spells aloud! I still feel, this could have been made a bit more realistic by stressing on concentration of mind etc. Yet it is interesting. You don’t even need to be that much creative, actually it can be more realistic – like the Star Wars story… or you can be even more convincing like the “The Matrix” story… Wikipedia terms these stories as having their own Universe!

Even in paper creating a world is not an easy job as it seems at the outset. It took several years for fantasy authors such as J.K.Rowling (Harry Potter), George Lucas (Star Wars) for coming to a final description of the fantasy worlds in their stories. Though these authors spend a major part of their time in defining the world where the story happens, many in audience wouldn’t have noticed the subtlety of the story’s universe and would have considered it as something subordinate/secondary thing that attributes to the main story. For example, many in my friends didn’t notice there is no sun in “The Matrix” movie’s universe until the second part’s post-climax scene.

Thinking about the Star Wars, the episodes of the movie were released within a span of, say thirty years and yet every episode was a huge hit among the audience.


If we observe closely, the emotions, passions depicted in this movie can be correlated with human civilizations of our earth, while the other thing such as intelligent species, worlds, technology and every thing else are fantacised! For example, in the story some of the intelligent species do have their own pet animals too. This somewhat makes us feel something interestingly different from our world’s boring structure of humans being the lone intelligent ones isn’t it?!

The central part of the Star Wars story is “The Force” – it is defined as an “energy field, created by all living things, that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” The definition reminds the way Hindu scriptures, upanishads talk about god! According to the story, ‘The Force’ has bright and dark sides. Both sides have some good and bad aspects. In the story, the Jedi take the bright side and the Sith take the dark side of the Force. The Force is described so ambiguously neutral that we cannot term it as good or bad. Star Wars subtly indicates here, the ultimate truth about nature or God is subjective and cannot be classified as good or bad objectively.

Another speciality is, in most of the sci-fi movies, the alien species are shown as so ugly that we might even get vomiting sensation, whereas in Star Wars the alien species are shown in a respectable or atleast esthetically acceptable manner 🙂 All the more, the Star Wars creator George Lucas has written the story amazingly by playing with the minds of the beings while keeping the technology and nature as neutral. Rise and fall of the empires, the people, the animals, technology, emotions fill the Star Wars universe equally and that is what makes Star Wars my favorite universe.

While Star Wars has its own world with natural laws governing it, on the contrary, Harry Potter is in a fantasy ‘world-within-world’ scenario. J.K. Rowling has taken fantasy to great levels by setting up living beings and nonliving things (wands, potions…) with magical powers. I have seen all Harry Potter movies, and only haven’t read the books yet. 🙂
The animals in wizard world are just cute. The elves, owls, the phoenix and other birds are all just cute – interesting to watch. Some of the things Phoenix bird, Unicorn horse etc., are seemingly inspirations from existing mythology. I think initially the whole Harry Potter series was planned to be written for children and later in the story, the author has changed her mind to include adult readers/viewers as well. The reason being in the initial stage the story is all about the kid Harry Potter and the magical school. Later slowly, romance, a sort of racism (mudblood, halfblood etc) crept into the story. Anyway, Hogwarts school must be a heaven for most kids in our world ) . Fantasy everywhere. I wonder how they restrain the kids from creating tons of ice creams and chocolates out of magic ) .

And finally how can I leave out “The Matrix”! The dim sun-less atmosphere, the techniques to bend laws of physics, the faster way to learn new things, various philosophical attributions and so many more make the matrix Universe setting just cool. The way matrix film depicts the reality as so unreal is itself an unusual concept.
Among the Matrix series, my favorite is the first one, the reason being it is the most unpretentious, brilliant and at times even makes us wonder about our real world. The other parts of the trilogy are good enough but sometimes it feels that they are no different from any other sci-fi movies. When I watched the matrix movie for the first time, the breath-taking zero-gravity CG shots just didn’t allowed me to understand the story at all… I was just awestruck!

Matrix story is a wondeful one wherein the philosophy of various religions in one side and science on the other side are made to converge at a point. There is in fact, theories like this floating around already. See this interesting piece: Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guys Couch. There is also a research paper on this virtual reality.

So, If you have come up reading this far (and without scrolling past 😉 , you must be a die-hard fantasy movie fan like me 🙂 Someday I would also create a new Universe… some day…!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2008 8:18 am

    Good post 🙂

  2. January 29, 2008 8:31 pm

    @Aparna: Thanks!

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