George R. R. Martin, author of the seminal A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy book series (which is getting turned into a series of miniseries by HBO), has some less than kind words for George Lucas' 800-pound gorilla of a space opera franchise:
Unlike STAR WARS, this is a film that only grows richer every time you watch it. A monster that makes sense, characters with a little psychological depth, science that isn't just empty technobabble, a sexy heroine, a tragic hero, the awesome caverns of the Krel... FORBIDDEN PLANET has it all.
Winner and still champion.
The best science fiction film of all time.
From the same blog post, here are the eight films (to name but a few) Martin claims are imminently superior to Star Wars:
- Forbidden Planet
- The Time Machine (1960)
- War of the Worlds (1953)
- The Day the Earth Stood Still
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
Brought to my attention via SFSignal, I've seen six of these (no Charly or Stood Still for me, yet), but I can't say I enjoyed any of the other six more than Star Wars. I'd certainly concede Forbidden Planet, 2001, Alien and by a mile Aliens are better written and stronger artistic achievements than Star Wars, but "better" is a very subjective thing, and I like a little popcorn to go with my pathos. Anybody else got an opinion?