How are you holding up? I know you’ve probably been trying not to think about it, but the Academy Awards are here. It’s easy to do when none of your films get nominated, but this year, I know it’s tugging at the back of your mind. “Gravity” and “Her” were some strong examples of your merit as a genre, and though “Her” might be a longshot, “Gravity” seems to have that special mix of talent and innovation that the Academy claims to value. I know you’re going to act like you don’t care about the Academy Awards, but deep down, you’re hopeful.
Despite the fact that you’re busy with the “Star Wars” sequels, I know there’s a small part of you that will have the Oscars on TV in the background. After “Gravity” starts winning awards in the fields of special effects, editing, and sound—a drill you know too well—your ears will perk up as the presenters announce the nominees for best picture. Though your exterior will remain cold and slightly alienating, I know that inside, you’ll be smiling like a proud parent as the footage of your films plays across the screen.
I know that the moment when the words, “The winner is…” enter your ears, whatever project you have in the works will experience an ever-so-slight pause in production, because you’ll have clockwork butterflies in your combustion engine as you finally let your excitement get the better of you. “It has to win,” you’ll think, “This time, after all these years, it has to win.”
But it won’t, Sci-Fi. I’m sorry, but it won’t.
We’ve had this conversation before, but since I know you’ll need some consolation later, let me remind you of the fact that you’re still important, Sci-Fi. Despite the fact that you aren’t always welcome at the cool kids’ table, your stories have functioned as the blueprints of our modern world. When Georges Méliès directed “Voyage dans la Lune” back in 1902, he was sowing the seeds of the space program that became a reality a mere sixty years after the film’s first showing. When Gene Roddenberry thought to have the members of Starfleet communicate with tricorders, he was introducing the idea of modern cellphones to the world.
So, hang in there, Sci-Fi. I’m sure that when the Singularity arrives, and humans integrate themselves with technology to create a new species, you’ll start winning some Academy Awards. Until then, however, keep on inspiring those what if questions. It might not seem like it around this time of year, but we still need them more than you’ll ever know.
Yours, Alex “Necrobot” Springer