NowhereMan
 member, 468 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 19:05
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 6):

Rock operas are fairly popular with English-speaking audiences, so I don't see why not.
Shroompunk
 member, 23 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 19:23
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
I have a dream... of a space opera, lucha opera, opera opera, wherein all of the wrestlers are singers and all of the singers are wrestlers, and there's a choral narrator who sings when the characters in the ring are fighting.

It's about an intrepid starship captain who discovers his beloved father has been murdered by the Zorn, whom the Federation enjoys an uneasy but necessary alliance with, and among the dead man's personal effects is his weathered, blood-stained mask.

And the Act II climax is the captain singing a song about duty, about being torn between his oath to the Federation and and his filial obligations to his father's legacy, while he is removing his uniform. And it ends with him lacing up the mask.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:28, Fri 07 Jan.

GreenTongue
 member, 1083 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 19:44
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
In reply to Shroompunk (msg # 8):

While interesting, I think that might be hard to pull off in the PbP medium.
In F2F on the other hand, might be worth recording, to show it can be done.
Shroompunk
 member, 24 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 20:49
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Wasn't thinking of game for that one. Live show PPV, maybe, or find out which of the big wrestler/actors are secretly triple threats.
Yaztromo
 supporter, 461 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 21:05
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
I thought space opera was supposed to mean soap opera in space.
Well... I learnt something new today as well. I can tick that box.
evileeyore
 member, 627 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 23:41
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
GreenTongue:
I also need to look into Dark Matter it sounds like.

Be prepared to have your heart broken.  Just as it was really getting excellent, it was canceled at the end of season 3.
GreenTongue
 member, 1088 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 23:46
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 12):

Great .. another one ... :'(
GreenTongue
 member, 1089 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 23:46
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?

This message was deleted by the user at 23:46, Fri 07 Jan.

GreenTongue
 member, 1090 posts
Fri 7 Jan 2022
at 23:46
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?

This message was deleted by the user at 23:47, Fri 07 Jan.

engine
 member, 870 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 02:54
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
To me it means that it's not going to involve any scientific rigor.
facemaker329
 member, 7377 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 06:42
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Looking at it from a different perspective...one of the hallmarks of Opera is the spectacle.  Opera stories aren't subtle reflections on the human condition...they are huge productions that are intended to awe the eye as much as the ear, traditionally.

So, to me, "Space Opera" is a story in a sci-fi setting that is huge and spectacular and minimally, if at all, concerned about realistically portraying things like the massive amounts of time it would take to travel between worlds, much less star systems, or the intricacies of physics that would be involved in making the setting remotely plausible.  Star Wars is definitely Space Opera.  Star Trek moves closer to the sci-fi realm, but you still have massive ships idly hopping from star system to star system and engaging in combat maneuvers that should flatten the crew into paste against the interior bulkheads, with the scantest of pseudo-scientific rationales for these grandiose measures, so it's still got a lot of Space Opera in its DNA.  2001: A Space Odyssey is sci-fi...there's no artificial gravity or inertial dampers or warp/hyperspace drives or any of that kind of stuff...it's all designed around scientific theories like using centripetal force to simulate gravity or living without gravity and having to put people in some kind of cryogenic stasis to save resources for the relatively short hop (compared with Star Wars or Star Trek) to Jupiter.

Firefly, I would categorize as Space Opera.  There's a little more lip service to some aspects of reality, while at the same time completely ignoring others for the sake of easier/better story focus...but, ultimately, even though it's a story about one little ship trying to get by, it still focuses a lot on spectacle over realism.
evileeyore
 member, 628 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 08:09
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
facemaker329:
Looking at it from a different perspective...one of the hallmarks of Opera is the spectacle.

Inversely I don't consider "spectacle" to be a component of Space Opera or Sci-Fi... or really any particular 'genre', except Micheal Bay and JJAbrams, if you want to call their styles a 'genre' (which I do actually).

But that's because those two film makers are about the empty spectacle, it's all cinematics, no heart.  By your metric, JJAbrams Star Trek movies are Soap Opera, which I'd disagree with (they aren't even 'Trek' in my opinion, but my opinion is my opinion).

I disagree with your assertion that Space Opera isn't about the distance between places.  It is and it isn't.  It isn't in the way 2001 is about the portrayal of distance, 2001 was aimed more at hard Sci-Fi, similar to The Expanse, despite The Expanse so very soft sci Epstein Drives and 'gravity drugs' to allow them to 'close the gap' between the Belt and Earth (weeks of travel instead of years), 2001 uses distance to showcase the hardship of space and our technological mastery at overcoming it.  However Space Operas often have those 'slow moments' (usually a travel montage) where the characters can investigate their own motives, or 'wilderness' treks where they are cut off from "everything else' and can spend time on internal reflections.  There is also usually a remoteness between places (sometiems deliberately to emphasize how someone is cut off form help, alone), the original Star Wars trilogy had this, then George started wiping it out with his remakes and the Prequels, but the "distance" still peeps through in places (even in the Prequels).  The Sequels have no distance, everywhere is right next to everywhere else.

As for Firefly, the reason I don't call it Space Opera is the 'lack' of scope and the focus being different.  While there is a larger conflict, and they do get drawn up into it (in the movie definitely), it's more in the way protags in Westerns do, reluctantly at every step (even fighting agianst beign involved), obliquely, and not from a position of control.  The Firefly crew aren't trying to overthrow the Alliance (was it the Alliance?  My lore is iffy after all these years), they were just trying to ply the trade out at the edge out where the Alliance's grip was loose and the Captain could 'fly free'.  Which is why I call it a Space Western, the scale of conflict tends to be local, the scope tends to be personal, and the focus is more 'rugged individualism' rather than any spiritual/mystical journey (though I'll admit, my choice of focus might skewed as I tend to use Star wars as my 'primary' Space Opera template).
BFink
 member, 73 posts
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 10:33
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Since no one has mentioned it so far, I will: Fading Suns. Pretty good if you don't want to bother yourself with detailed logic of the world, jumpgates, economy and warfare.
MKelly
 member, 741 posts
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 18:38
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Space opera, I would have to list Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon.  I do not mean the movies but the original serialized programs, the old comics, MAYBE the old Gil Gerard series.  To me space opera is more the inclination to suspend believability to enjoy the story.  There were several rpg’s that I readily call space,  the 80’s rpg Space Opera by FGU, and Space Master by ICE, of course Star Wars is right in there as well.
Jobe00
 member, 340 posts
 Role-Playing
 Game Mechanic
Sat 8 Jan 2022
at 19:33
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Lensman, Star Wars, and maybe Firefly.

The Flash Gordon movie with the Queen soundtrack is definitely one of the finest Space Opera movies ever made.
evileeyore
 member, 629 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sun 9 Jan 2022
at 00:55
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
BFink:
Since no one has mentioned it so far, I will: Fading Suns. Pretty good if you don't want to bother yourself with detailed logic of the world, jumpgates, economy and warfare.

I've run the setting as both Space Opera and a more gritty weird Religious/Spacepunk/Dystopia.


Jobe00:
Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Lensman, Star Wars, and maybe Firefly.

Oh yeah, Flash Gordon for sure.  Lensman is ... weird.  I can definitely see it being fit into Space Opera, but when I read it just didn't 'feel' Space Opery to me, but that was probably more Doc Smith's writing style than the scope, scale, of focus.  It could definitely be done up as a Space Opera movie.

Which just reminded me of Dune, and I've never considered Dune to be Space Opera, though it too somewhat fits my scope, scale, and focus requirements.  I think it's all the fatalism that's inherent in Dune, Space Opera for me has a hopeful core, not bleak fatalism.  I think I have to update my Space Opera definition to include 'hope' in it somewhere.

quote:
The Flash Gordon movie with the Queen soundtrack is definitely one of the finest Space Opera movies ever made.

110%.  "Flash!  Aah-AH!"


I can't really speak to Buck Rogers.  The only version I know was 79-81 tv series and I don't remember it well enough to define it anymore than to say "sci-fi, definitely sci-fi".
Gaffer
 member, 1719 posts
 Ocoee FL
 45 yrs of RPGs
Sun 9 Jan 2022
at 11:46
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
I feel the basic tenor of a story must be ADVENTURE spread across the far reaches of the galaxy/universe to qualify as Space Opera.
phoenix9lives
 member, 1081 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Sun 9 Jan 2022
at 17:55
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
This is a fascinating and interesting discussion.  I've been reading it all this time with no real opinion one way or the other.  So after reading all of these answers, I decided to search for the definition on Google, and this came up:

Oxford Languages:
space op·er·a
/spās ˈäp(ə)rə/
Learn to pronounce
nounINFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
noun: space opera; plural noun: space operas
a novel, movie, or television program set in outer space, typically of a simplistic and melodramatic nature.

facemaker329
 member, 7378 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sun 9 Jan 2022
at 19:24
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 22):

The Buck Rogers TV series was DEFINITELY Space Opera.  Especially the first season, where much of Buck's adventures involve fending off various attempts to attack, enslave, or destroy Earth.

The second season became more Star Trek-ish, with our heroes on a ship that was travelling from planet to planet and solving "the conflict of the week" without much of a significant overarching plotline to develop (one of the reasons it fell apart in S2, I think...plus, a lot of those weekly conflicts had ridiculously cheesy resolutions...even by early 80s standards).

But I remember it fondly, because my dad watched it with us...though I think he got disillusioned that they departed from the same kinds of stories they used for the serials when he was a kid.
GreenTongue
 member, 1091 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 9 Jan 2022
at 22:55
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
The original Flash Gordan and Buck Rogers were certainly Space Opera.

I think a lot of things are said to be but, are not really. Which is what prompts me to ask. ;)
facemaker329
 member, 7379 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Mon 10 Jan 2022
at 00:43
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
I think, as a genre, it hasn't ever had hard and fast definitions placed on it, and it's come to be close to a catch-all for anything futuristic, space-based, that lacks the trappings of hard sci-fi.
GreenTongue
 member, 1092 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 10 Jan 2022
at 01:37
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 27):

So far I have Space Westerns, SpacePunk, Hard SciFi and Sci-Fantasy as separate from Space Opera. Just how many distinct sub-genre are there?
donsr
 member, 2488 posts
Mon 10 Jan 2022
at 01:55
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
::chuckles:: as  many as  there are people  who sub divide it

people who  hate SCI-FI or fantasy, lump them together , so it depends onwhat you look for.

 me?  I Like action Movies..i hate Cop movies..sometimes a cop movie  wil be good  enough for me to watch, because of the action movies.

 I hate slob humor  movie..so, when a fantasy  or scifi sjow  takes that route, i , flat out, won't watch it.

 i lump those movies  i don't like into one nice pile, per gerne ...people who like thos  movies will sub divide them.

 here's anothe example, growing up, i was one of the kids -teenagers  who bought  Marvel comics   and  war comics...

 superman and Batman , i didn't like ( except for the annulas they were neat, ebcaus ethey had extra stuff in)

 Mavrl stuff i loved, ..now..present day..i get to watch shows  about them... I ove the Punisher..i don't like  Golden Fist.. I am Luke  warm on   Caredevil, and  about the same for Jessia  Jones  and Luke cage..

now? folks that don't like  the genre at all. would have them lumped into one pile.
evileeyore
 member, 632 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 10 Jan 2022
at 04:34
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
donsr:
::chuckles:: as  many as  there are people  who sub divide it

This is fact.

I tend to try to make my division have the definition in the title, so when I say "Space Western" or "Space Cyberpunk" I don't have to describe what I mean, like Dune, "Space Lehnrecht Dystopia", it's a lot to say (and I'm still trying to refine the definition*) but it's descriptive (if you're just enough of a eurohistory nerd to grasp what 'lehnrecht' means right off).


* I've never tried to put Dune in a cubby, it's always kinda fit into it's own niche "alone" enough that calling the genre "Dune" was sufficient (and people had either read/seen Dune and knew what I meant, or hadn't and accepted it when I said, "you have to read it to really understand, I can't do it justice").  However with Fading Suns also fitting so well into the genre, and possibly others, I'm thinking I might have to refine the genre title, at least for my usage.
facemaker329
 member, 7380 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Mon 10 Jan 2022
at 05:20
What Does Space Opera Mean To You?
Dune really is kind of it's own category...a weird blend of political intrigue, military action, derivative elements of multiple religions, sociological theses, and the occasional tidbit of hard sci-fi, with a massive dose of home-brewed mysticism to top it all off.