Science Fiction Has Always Been Political

It always seems like every time something major happens in a video game or media recently, there is always a complaint of “how did this become so political”. From the simplicity of just adding female and diverse cast members into something, because adding more women in a something is political for some reason, to the start of where this happened. Again. Now with newer Star Trek things where people walking into Star Trek: Picard are saying the series is too political. Now, I haven’t paid for CBS All Access because I have cast my line on how many streaming services I am going to pay for, but it happened with Star Trek Discovery when it appeared again.

I hate to break it to people, but Star Trek has always been political and progressive. For example, the concept of the Federation itself being where groups of aliens forming a super communist space nation where money doesn’t have any value and people can do whatever they want to live their lives is the heart and core of the original series. We could also talk about how each planet the Enterprise landed on had a massive political or philosophical message. Also, there is the fact that the Romulans and Federation had a border between them that was like the iron wall during the Cold War. Not to mention that the Klingons looked vaguely Russian in the TOS. There was clearly a vision here.

A Good Classic

Every single piece of science fiction media that has existed is a commentary on something from the past or the present time period. We could look at H.G. Wells’ The War of Worlds which was an anti imperialistic look at what happens when the UK, the most powerful country in the early 1900’s, got invaded by higher level technological force called Martians to show the reader “this is what we are doing to people”. You know, until the cold hits and destroys them. The way the message has been told has changed, but the fact that science fiction examines human society hasn’t changed. It’s great.

We don’t have to talk about Star Trek to do this latest science fiction comparison. Let’s talk about Babylon 5 which was the home of the Space UN who gave us a voice and face to the war going on in the series between the Centauri and the Narn with the eventual Earth becoming hard right causing an Earth Civil War. What about the BSG reboot in Season 3 where the colonial citizens on New Caprica were kept in camps by the Cylons for control. Something that was directly mentioned to talk about the War in Iraq at that time. Holy crap, that was the later 2000’s.

New Caprica

There is even the Expanse, whose fourth season came out recently on Amazon Prime, which centered on the conflict between the Old Earth, the Newer Mars, and the people living in between the colonies inbetween who constantly get caught in the war inbetween when an alien element, the proto molecule, causes war to start again. The latest season, centered on the people in between settling a colony world trying to start a new and then crazy, gun happy people from the Earth came into stop them and make them come back. Holden and his crew are people trying to settle down the situation despite the fact that alien things are happening on the planet to wipe every new inhabitant out. What can I say besides it being complicated.

I could even bring in talk about Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Space Battleship Yamato and it’s reboots, Gundam, Crest/Banner of the Stars, and who knows how many other mecha and sci fi things out there, but I don’t think I have to. Watch those though. I don’t know who is walking into here and complaining about Star Trek Picard being political, newer people walking into sci fi for the first time or people just noticing that Star Trek has been political. Welcome to science fiction and I hope you enjoy your stay here. It’s a wonderful and interesting genre that I love with all my heart and soul. I’ve even written a thing about it here.

My Favorite TV Show and this will never change.

I hope you new people can find something in it to love it too or at least find it interesting. If it’s not for you, that’s fine. Please don’t step over all of us who do love it still. Older people who lost interest in the genre, same thing honestly. Let people who love it to love it. There is no reason to cause drama other then to get people upset and riled up. The internet already has enough of that. Politics happen, even if they are in the skin of the show you are watching and it’s not the point for watching it. Science Fiction just bringing it up in the front of it’s content might be different and oh well. It happens. We all love different things.


  1. That’s certainly true about so many sci-fi series and even I’ve talked about some of those social and political aspects in some of my reviews (I think I did a whole paragraph on Toward the Terra on some of those things). It’s something that can’t be ignored whether I agree with the creators or not.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think it’s almost impossible to write something that doesn’t take politics into account, whether that’s intentional of not. The author will have some views and that will slip into their writing, because that’s what they see as the natural state of things. It can be something as innocent as having a female character living on their own. That might seem fairly innocuous but there are people that don’t believe that is acceptable. Whatever you write, you’re going to say something that doesn’t sit with someone’s outlook.

    That said, a lot of science fiction is very political. I completely agree there. Just look at The Hand Maid’s Tale or 1984. These are clearly on the very political side. Star Trek, however, is probably not as up front with its political nature, but it is undeniably there. I believe that the original series was the first TV series to have an interracial kiss. Again, that’s fine to me, but there are people that would be offended by that, even today.

    I think you can enjoy fiction without considering the political aspects, but it’s most definitely there.

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  3. The ‘it’s too political’ argument has been going on in the Doctor Who fandom since the current showrunner take over in 2018, which always makes me question whether they’ve ever even seen an episode of the show before. To me it’s just a blanket statement that people throw out there either to get a reaction or because they can’t be bothered to dissect what their actual problem with a show is. I mean if you want to argue that a message was poorly delivered that’s fine, but don’t just say ‘it’s too political’ as you’re only excuse.

    Sorry, got a bit ranty there. I think I’m just tired of seeing this argument.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. No, don’t worry about it. All of this post is a rant that came to mind last night which is why it’s not as polished as my usual stuff kind of is, if it is at all. I mean, I tried watching the latest Doctor Who and saw all it’s political stuff. That’s not what got to me, but the writing just isn’t that good to me. So yeah, guess I’m one of those people. The too political argument thing is so stupid.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah the writing isn’t really the strong suit of this recent run. I am enjoying series 12 more than I did 11, I’m back to being properly excited for what’s to come, but that’s more down to the ideas at play in the series arc and Jodie Whittaker herself than the actual writing.

        I think the episode Orphan 55 is a perfect example of good message, bad delivery.

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  4. “but Star Trek has always been political and progressive. ”

    Always. Remember The Mark of Gideon? Pretty big slam against Catholic encyclicals of the period. Plato’s Stepchildren? The first interracial kiss was a huge political statement. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to think of a single episode that _wasn’t_ political in some way. Except Turnabout Intruder. It was just bad.

    DS-9 was even more overt with its politics.

    “My Favorite TV Show and this will never change.”

    And here we have proof of your exceptional taste!

    If we define politics loosely as people working together to get something done, usually involving government or other large-scale operations against a population, then I’d have to say that if a science fiction story doesn’t address politics in some way, it’s going to feel flat.

    People engage in politics. It’s what we do to get things done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, all of those are great examples of what Star Trek has done and explored.

      I hope that’s proof. Could be of my ignorance to think of something else to watch as well. Hmmmm.

      And you are right about politics. That means everything is political isn’t it? Some things just want to explore more social issues then people talking at the same time and that’s ok.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone who says sci fi isn’t political is either a troll, a n00b, or a fool. I mean, even if they haven’t been exposed to less-mainstream authors (to non-SF fans) like Harlan Ellison, China Mieville, or Octavia Butler, did these people never read 1984 or Brave New World or A Clockwork Orange or Fahrenheit 451 when they were in high school?

    And the notion that anyone would expect Star Trek of all things to be non-political is just laughable. Now I’m sure the writers of the original series with its messages of equality, racial tolerance, anti-war, and anti-fascism would absolutely love it if those views weren’t considered “political” anymore, because it would mean that we had finally achieved something approaching a truly egalitarian society, but unfortunately that’s still far from reality these days.

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    1. Yeah, if anything society has really on the falling apart side of the human cycle which really sucks. I wish we could move forward, but people are still being horrible still unfortunatley.

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  6. Fiction’s main advantage over reality is that fiction is required to make sense. Story is the ideal way to communicate directly with the human brain (read Lisa Cron’s “Wired for Story”). I would read a story about a tyrannical space empire before I’d read another book about Nazis. Sure SFF has always been political. It’s also been the medium for sharing other ideas: philosophy, ecology, history, technology, etc. I’ll accept the argument that politics covers all of that, too.

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  7. I don’t find myself asking about the politics of the entertainment going in. the story is always meant to be an abstraction of reality. The question is how much do people develop and how much of the people and story is white washed?

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