Last December, I asked if IT pros secretly hate Star Wars, because over 500 of you voted to rank your favorite sci-fi/fantasy franchise, and the Jedis came in a distant fifth, well behind the likes of Star Trek and even Stargate.
Last week, I asked you to rank the greatest science fiction films ever, based on SFX magazine's user-voted Top 10 list. Quadruple the voters chimed in this time, and Star Wars won, beating out Blade Runner by a scant 13 votes, 399 to 386.
To me, it's obvious what's going on here. The film Star Wars is still beloved by sci-fi fans that inhabit TechRepublic, but the franchise—what George Lucas has branded the Expanded Universe—has fallen from its rightful glory, reduced to an afterthought amongst ideas and institutions that have not become parodies of themselves (well, Star Trek: Voyager really tried to kill Trekdom, but Trek still is viewed as the top dog amongst our local IT pros). Blade Runner nearly surpassed even the original film, and it's pretty much the antithesis of Star Wars. Where Lucas gave us high fantasy clothed in pulp sci-fi tropes from a galaxy far far away, Ridley Scott gave us a gritty, dystopian almost here-and-now filled with dark, despicable characters gutting each other over various and sundry injustices and hatreds. Where Star Wars glossed over nearly all the scientific complications and consequences of its universe, Blade Runner showed us a world that science had made worse, not better. And these are the two visions vying for top genre honors. I'm not totally sure what this says about our local science fiction fans, but it's fascinating to theorize.