4 Phrases Spawned by Sci-Fi — Friday Four

Shot of General Grievous from the Star Wars Prequels.

Some movies are just so eminently quotable that the dialog takes on a life of its own. People sometimes won’t even realize what it is that they’re quoting–the film has just become that pervasive in popular culture that even people who haven’t watched it might reference it. For a recent example, we’ve seen almost every line of dialog from the Star Wars prequel trilogy turned into a meme over the last few years. Post a comment online somewhere that says “Hello there,” and you’ll have a reply within minutes adding “General Kenobi!”

Of course, this sort of thing is not limited to the prequels. Let’s look at some of the most famous lines and phrases in pop culture and how they got their start.

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A Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer: Dark Skies

The Primer is back, unexpectedly as it may be, to cover little known 90’s UFO series and X-Files coattail rider, Dark Skies. Set in the 60’s with the backdrop of the cold war ever-present, Dark Skies poses an alternative to what you thought you knew about that time. But is being a period piece and limiting yourself primarily to UFOs instead of the SFF kitchen sink approach enough for this series to stand on its own, or was it right to be so quickly forgotten? It’s time to find out.

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4 Alien Species of Earthly Origin–Friday Four

Voth EarthOne of the more interesting ways to introduce “alien” creatures into a science fiction world is to reveal that these apparent extraterrestrials are a lot more… terrestrial… than you’d think at first glance. Earth is an ancient planet, with 4.5 billion years checked off already, and that’s a tantalizing prospect for a writer. After all, who’s to say there wasn’t a civilization present for the early days of Earth, so long ago that no trace remains? There are a lot of human civilizations that have been lost to the ages as it is, so the thought of a nonhuman one disappearing isn’t exactly outlandish. From a scientific perspective, there are plenty of reasons to think there wasn’t one–no sign of resources having been extracted from the Earth prior to us, for example–but we can always fudge this for the sake of the story. That being said, here are four alien species who are a lot less alien than you might guess.

Spoiler warning–the reveal that these aliens are actually from Earth is sometimes a plot twist, so proceed with caution.

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A Quick Intro to the Aliens of Defiance

Diversity of DefianceIf you’re not into Defiance quite yet, but you’re wondering what the deal is, you’ve come to the right place. While the official site does indeed contain brief overviews, they’re a bit dated, and not as comprehensive as they could be. And after all, it’s the well-developed backstory that really gives Defiance its potential; it’d be a shame to bury it all. So, I’d like to take a moment to introduce any newcomers, or even those casual viewers wondering about the background of Defiance, to the various alien species we’ve come to know collectively as the Votan.

UPDATED: Season 3 Information added!

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6 Degrees of Science Fiction–Friday Four(-ish)

Kevin Bacon X-MenEver heard of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?” It’s a little game people like to play with celebrities, based on the idea that you can get from any one actor to another (typically the aforementioned Kevin Bacon) by naming someone who was in a movie with another actor, who starred alongside a third in a different movie, and so on, until you make it to an actor who appeared on screen with Kevin Bacon. Today’s Friday Four (well, six, this week) is going to engage in some fun trivia by pulling the sci-fi version of this–counting each jump from universe to universe, how many jumps away are some of the biggest Sci-Fi heroes from each other? Let’s find out!

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