Fantasy, Science Fiction, Edward Cullen, and Why I Love Them

November 10, 2009

Last night David was browsing the Internet, and he (don’t ask me how) ended up on a YouTube video about the best Sith Lords. Don’t bother watching it though, because it’s just a few pictures of Dark Nihilus and Dark Revan set to four minutes of music, asking you to comment with your favorite Siths. (And we’re talking Star Wars here, just to be clear.)

David was fascinated. He started reading the comments and quoting them to me. Example:

Nihilus hands down. Revan had powerful control of the Force but he also had a massive military at his side for his conquests. Vader is a pawn of the Emperor and has no real control but is still strong. The rest have real strengths and positive features but Nihilus has absolute power of the force so much that he doesn’t need a large army for defense. Also he can kill all life on a planet without any real effort, something I’ve never seen another Sith Lord do. Death Star doesn’t count.

He couldn’t believe how people devote themselves to a world that isn’t real, in his opinion “throwing their lives away.” He went on and on about how ridiculous it is. My response?

It makes me want to watch Star Wars again.

David stared at me open-mouthed. Finally he ran his hands through his hair and said, “I don’t know how we ended up married.”

Of course he was kidding about that last comment, but the point is that we are very different in many ways, and this is one of them. David has no tolerance for fantasy and science fiction, and I consider them two of my favorite genres. He doesn’t understand that just because I enjoy losing myself in another world it doesn’t mean that I’m dissatisfied with my own real life. I love my life.

But fantasy gets me dreaming. It gets me longing for something more. I believe in God, in heaven, and in everything that comes with that, and I think C.S. Lewis described it best in my favorite sermon of all time when he said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Additionally, so many themes in fantasy and sci-fi echo the ultimate struggle between good and evil, and look forward to the day when everything will be made right.

My pastor and I recently got into a discussion about the Twilight series, which I am proud to say I let him borrow my copies of, and he gave me his take on why the books are so popular. He said that usually when he reads anything having to do with romance, he naturally relates to the man, being himself a man. But in this case, he found himself relating to Bella, the awkward and flawed girl. (Hopefully he’s okay with me writing this, and if not…eh.) Edward is supernatural, he is powerful, beautiful, almost too good to be true, he is fiercely protective and loves unconditionally. He is not meant to be a symbol of God, and some would vehemently argue against this, but I think the reason the books are so popular (because come on, they’re not that well-written) is because we humans were created first and foremost to be loved by God, and Edward displays many of the characteristics that we long for.

You won’t find me at any Star Wars conventions in the near future (because I, too, believe there is a line that probably shouldn’t be crossed), but you will certainly see me at a showing of New Moon. And now you know why.

Posted in: books & reading, faith


Comments on Fantasy, Science Fiction, Edward Cullen, and Why I Love Them

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    From Megan:

    Oh, Kathleen! I love thee.

    I am fascinated by how Scott is so fantasy/sci-fi/all-that-stuff oriented and David is not. I know they’re different people and all, but they’re so alike in a lot of ways.

    I think you’re right about the connection between the allure of fantasy lit and a longing for something more or beyond empirical realities.

    Also, I love Edward Cullen. There, I said it.

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    From Holly:

    My husband is a Star Wars nerd. He hasn’t been to any Star Wars conventions but he goes to the general science fiction ones. And he’s, uh, building his own light sabre so he can be a real jedi. Kind of scary …. I’m not a huge fan but I do watch it with him and I tried to read one of the books once!

  3. 3
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    From kapachino:

    I appreciate that, Holly! As long as he keeps a healthy perspective I think it’s awesome. :)

  4. 4
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    From Nora:

    You make a very good and interesting point.

    I love Edward for many reasons: he is the man that every girl does dream of, he’s romantic, handsome, intelligent, protective like you said and more. He is what many girls hope to meet some day.

    If only there were more real life men like Edward for us hopeless romantics out there…

  5. 5
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    From kapachino:

    Nora, there sure aren’t very many. I would consider my husband on par, except for the supernatural thing, of course!

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    From kait:

    What an excellent post! I am a sci-fi/fantasy lover myself, and I could not agree more wholeheartedly!

  7. 7
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    From Scott:

    Here’s a great quote from Tolkien on the subject of fantasy and escapism:

    “I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”

    Also, the nerdiest thing about the Sith Lords those people were talking about is that they are from the video games based on the movies. (Actually, they are set thousands of years before the movies, but I’m starting to look pathetic so I’ll stop talking now).

  8. 8
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    From kapachino:

    Scott, I love that quote; I have never read it before. The fact that those people were talking about video games is beyond nerdy. Makes it so much more awesome though.

  9. 9
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    From Cio:

    I love this post.
    also really love the C.S. Lewis quote!

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    From Kyla Roma:

    Yes!! I’m so glad I’m not alone in this! lol

    I’m a big sci-fi nerd, and I used to always be a little embarrassed by it- but I’m glad to know that I’m in excellent company here. =)

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    From kapachino:

    Kyla, I feel the same way! I need support! I’d love to know what some of your favorite books are.

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    From Vanessa:

    Well if you ever want to take it to the next level, I can show you the ropes at the next Star Trek convention.

    P.s. – but you can’t borrow my communicator, you will have to get your own.

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    From David:

    Looks like I’m a big bad sci-fi hating wolf and all of your friends must hate me now! I will say that it’s not the fantasy or “escapism” that I don’t like about sci-fi/fantasy. I spent all of junior high and high school escaping in Stephen King novels and any horror movie I could get my puffy little hands on, and still do. The reason I dislike sci-fi/fantasy so much is because of the made up names, words, and places. For some reason I just feel it’s so easy and cheap to just make up any old new word or name and do whatever you want with it. I like things that seem so real that it scares the pants off of you to realize how easily and fast you could be in any crazy/horrible situation or circumstance. I’m definitely a dork, TYVM. But a little bit cooler than Scott.

  14. 14

    From Reading: The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien | Currently Reading | Kapachino:

    […] I am extremely excited to read the most recent publication of Tolkien’s stories from Middle Earth, put together and edited by his son Christopher after his death. It is set in the time before The Lord of the Rings, which is my favorite story of all time. I devour all things related to it. I wrote once about why I love fantasy so much, find that entry here. […]

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