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Evolution of Science Fiction in Films Since the 1970s

Info: 888 words (4 pages) Introduction
Published: 24th Nov 2021

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Tagged: Film Studies


Science fiction covers a broad genre of hypothetical fiction which has defined many films and games, including ‘Cyberpunk 2077’, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Frankenstein’. It is generally defined by futuristic concepts such as time travel, space exploration and extraterrestrial life.

Figure 1. Famous image captured from the first science fiction film ‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’ (Méliès, 2013).

Many films have been categorized as science fiction throughout the years, with ‘Le Voyage Dans la Lune’ (‘A Trip to the Moon’) being one of the first known science fiction films to be created. In this revolutionary film, a group of astronomers listen to their professor’s plan to fly to the Moon. Six men travel to the Moon in a large bullet-shaped vessel and encounter hostile alien life before retreating to Earth and celebrating their voyage (Le Voyage Dans la Lune, 1902).

Since 1902, many advancements have taken place within society, which has, in turn, impacted the way that science fiction is portrayed in films. Technology that was predicted in the 1970s has already been invented, counting artificial intelligence and biometric scans. As a result, modern science fiction films endeavour to predict future technology, which is often assumed to include devices resembling advanced AI and robotics (Standage, 2020). 

In this dissertation, investigations will be completed into various science fiction films from the 1970s and how their portrayal of technology compares to recent films in the 2010s. Through investigations, the goal is to research how science fiction has evolved over the past fifty years and what might have caused these changes.


  1. Observe elements of science fiction from the 1970s to present-day to discover how it has evolved over the years.
  2. Understand what factors have affected the change in science fiction films throughout the years.
  3. Examine technological advancements in the past fifty years and how that has impacted perceptions regarding futuristic technology.


  1. Gather and analyse data on how science fiction technology has been imagined and perceived from 1970s films to present-day films.
  2. Research what technology was available in the 1970s compared to the 2010s and how that influenced predictions of future technology.
  3. Explore past predictions of future technology compared to current equipment and comprehend its impact on contemporary science fiction.


Le Voyage Dans la Lune. 1902. [Film] Directed by Georges Méliès. France: s.n.

Méliès, G., 2013. LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (A TRIP TO THE MOON). [Online]
Available at: https://www.intofilm.org/intofilm-production/scaledcropped/970x546https%3A/s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/images.cdn.filmclub.org/film__4290-le-voyage-dans-la-lune-a-trip-to-the-moon--hi_res-0d80ee00.jpg/film__4290-le-voyage-dans-la-lune-a-trip-to-the-moon--h [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Standage, T., 2020. ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. In: The Future Of Technology. s.l.:Economist Books, p. 4.


Batchelor, D. 2017, "Beyond 'Star Trek'", Communications of the ACM, [Online], vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 104-ff.

Canavan, G. 2016, "Star Trek at 50, or, Star Trek beyond Star Trek", Science fiction film and television, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 319-324.

Clément, G., 2017. International roadmap for artificial gravity research. Npj microgravity3(1), pp.1-7.

Geraghty, L., 2005. Creating and Comparing Myth in Twentieth-Century Science Fiction: "Star Trek" and "Star Wars". Literature/Film Quarterly, 33(3), pp. 191-200.

Grech, V., 2020. Doctors in Star Trek: The emergency medical hologram in Star Trek: Voyager. Early Human Development, p.104993.

Inglis, F., 2012. Failing the Turing test. Times Higher Education, (2055), pp. 38.

Kazmin, A., 2017. India's biometric ID scans make sci-fi a reality. FT.com.

Laposky, J. 2016, "Honeybot Robot Is That Automated Babysitter You've Been Waiting For", TWICE, [Online], vol. 31, no. 14, pp. 37.

Ohno, S., Kadono, T., Ishibashi, K., Kawargi, K., Sugita, S., Nakamura, E. and Matsui, T., 2008. Direct measurements of impact devolatilization of calcite using a laser gun. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(13),.

Petri, A. 2014, A bot named 'Eugene Goostman' passes the Turing test . . . kind of: It did convince one judge, though, WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post, Washington.

Steensma, D.P., MD & Kyle, R.A., MD 2016;2017;, "The Medical Doctors of Star Trek: Leonard “Bones” McCoy and Beverly Crusher", Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. e9-e10.

Warwick, K. and Shah, H., 2016. Passing the Turing test does not mean the end of humanity. Cognitive Computation8(3), pp.409-419.

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Film Studies is a field of study that consists of analysing and discussing film, as well as exploring the world of film production. Film Studies allows you to develop a greater understanding of film production and how film relates to culture and history.

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