Transformers Being Sci-Fi or Sci-fi fantasy

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by K2flygurl, Oct 30, 2019.

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Do you prefer Transformers to be sci-fi or sci-fi fantasy

  1. Sci-fi (soft)

    9 vote(s)
    22.0%
  2. Sci-fi (hard)

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%
  3. Sci-fi fantasy

    20 vote(s)
    48.8%
  4. Don’t care

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%
  1. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I lean more on fantasy, i kinda miss the fantastical elements in a way that it's left more ambiguous rather than demystifying everything as of late *cough*IDW*cough*
     
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  2. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Fantasy 100%.

    Most stories are completely plot driven where one Deus ex machina saves the moment then never really mentioned or used again.

    Edit: The more I though about it, the more I think I oversimplify my post.

    The reason with there is no question for me that it is fantasy, is that there is no science behind anything. Every time a writer decides to do something new to be special, or whatever reason, we always get a simply "oh, it's because of "this" reason".

    Examples? Here's just a few off the top of my head:
    • Size change became mass shifting.
    • Optimus died? oh, his mind on diskette backup
    • Need to destroy a planet? let's give X the power of a star/black hole/lucky charms for this one instance.
    • Need to lift something that all physics are laughed at, let make X be able to lift a planet off a larger one.
    • Weapon that can destroy a planet/city/kill everyone, will bounce off that other guy that just arrived to save the day. Small generic low power pop-gun kills him easily.
    • energon ran out? well, X will be dead in this story, but in another he'll just be out of power and will be restored.
    It's all plot driven, so the rules aren't just out the door, they are shot out with a particle cannon E-V-E-R-Y time something needs to happen according to the writer and the story he's making.

    There is absolutely no science in any of it.

    The easy answer to why it's fantasy is: can you replace everything about Transformers with a setting on a magical world with magical abilities - so humans turn to animals, shot magic missiles, magical staffs or bows, etc., change size, etc. with oceans and big ships (think "Final Fantasy" or D&D style) and the answer is 100% yes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
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  3. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    I feel like soft sci-fi is a good way to describe it.

    I'm going to make the argument that Transformers is not science fantasy. I've always thought of science fantasy as media that equally blends magic and/or traditional fantasy ideas with science. Star Wars is often described as science fantasy. I agree with that, because Star Wars has firm storytelling roots in the fantasy genre...King Arthur (hero's journey), magic, wizards, spirits, knights, swordplay etc. In RedLetterMedia's words, Star Wars is fantasy with some space paint. Transformers occasionally features that sort of stuff, but it's extremely few and far between. At it's core, Transformers is about aliens coming to Earth, and the interaction between two species. I'd argue that's definitely a sci-fi premise. Stuff like Orion Pax's "hero's journey" is brief backstory that could easily be omitted. Transformers isn't about that.

    Also, it's debatable if the 'magic' in Transformers is even true magic, or just super advanced technology (personally, I think the latter). Even if it is magic, the tech is far more prominent than the mystical aspects. Mystical aspects are usually just fluff thrown in to add an intriguing backstory (like the 13 and all). It's not really important to the story or the premise, and could usually be omitted (mystical stuff is probably 5% of the brand, at most). Contrast that to Star Wars, where The Force (and the themes that come with it) is inseparable from the narrative, and very prominent.

    Keep in mind I'm speaking in broad terms here. Some individual stories like The 1986 Movie (which literally uses Star Wars' structure...including the "hero's journey"), Revenge of the Fallen, and A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court are probably considered science fantasy. But I'd argue the brand as a whole is much closer to regular science fiction.

    Transformers is definitely not hard sci-fi, because that would mean the science would have to be grounded in real science, which definitely isn't the case. I can't think of any Transformers incarnation that's almost totally scientifically accurate. But keep in mind that just because something isn't hard sci-fi, doesn't automatically make it science fantasy. The tech in Transformers is supposed to be functioning on a scientific level. It's just "science that humans haven't discovered yet". Fictional science (hence "science fiction").

    Transformers blends a lot of genres. Science fiction, action, adventure, superhero, fantasy, mecha, even disaster. Personally, I'd describe Transformers as Action/Adventure/Sci-fi, if I had to put it on a Wikipedia article or something.
     
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  4. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde Some doofus

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    Light on the fantasy, heaps of Science fiction.
     
  5. Furnace

    Furnace Ant-droid at a picnic

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    That’s more or less my ideal headcanon of what a Spark is: a highly complex computerized life principle encoded in each Transformer by Vector Sigma. In this way, Cybertronian life is not “natural”, but “third born”, generated by a machine created by some other agent.

    To that end, I also imagine Primus as the ultimate life principle behind all mechanical life in the universe, a sort of supreme Sourcecode which robots partake in for life and consciousness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  6. Sixwing

    Sixwing Another mug in a red jumpsuit

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    I love hard SF, but sadly it probably wouldn't work super well with Transformers (square cube law, and whatnot), but I could settle for Transformers as soft SF.
     
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  7. Venixion

    Venixion Resident Feather-brain

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    Its sci-fy with the occasional bits of fantasy slipped in. (And its fantasy never mixes well.)
     
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  8. sevenlima

    sevenlima Well-Known Member

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    Sci fi fantasy is much more fun.
     
  9. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    I'm confused by the first two options. Sci-fi is just Sci-fi... what's with the distinction between soft and hard? This isn't porn!
     
  10. DrJest

    DrJest Crewdition Washout

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    Go back to page one and scroll down. There's a couple of posts about that there.
     
  11. Sixwing

    Sixwing Another mug in a red jumpsuit

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    Hard SF usually has a realistic and scientific framework around it. Usually chemistry, physics, biology, and such. Soft SF is less scientifically accurate and usually based around the so called "fuzzy studies", i.e psychology, anthropology, and things of that nature.
     
  12. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    I consider "soft sci-fi" to be stuff like Star Trek or Doctor Who (and even Star Wars, although there's a strong fantasy element to that too)...stuff that deals with space and technology and whatnot, but doesn't really adhere to 'real' science. It's supposed to be scientific within the context of the story, but it's 'super advanced alien tech' or something. Usually with a lot of technobabble to explain stuff that's unexplainable.

    "Hard sci-fi" is something like the Martian, something that makes an attempt to tell the story within the limits of our scientific knowledge. But it's still a fictional story, as opposed to something like Apollo 13 (which is based on real events).

    Granted, I don't think I've ever heard the phrase "soft sci-fi" before. I usually just hear "science fiction" used as the overarching genre, with stuff like hard sci-fi and science fantasy being subgenres of that. I think soft sci-fi is a good phrase though, because it makes a distinction between the two.
     
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  13. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    That kinda sounds like you're just describing the difference between Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi Fantasy which is even more confusing when "Soft Sci-Fi" and Sci-Fi Fantasy have their own options in the poll.

    Star Wars is... or rather WAS a Sci-Fi Fantasy. I say WAS because the Metacolorians (spelling?) introduced in the prequels kind of killed the fantasy element to the story and made it more of a straight sci-fi.

    Star Trek is just a straight Sci-Fi. Yeah there's a lot of technobabble that doesn't really mean anything but it's a show set in the future with technology that doesn't exist yet. That's the FICTION part of Science Fiction. It doesn't have to fit within the limits of our scientific knowledge, in fact I would say if it did then it's not actually a Sci-Fi story at all, it's Science FACT not Fiction.

    Pretty much all Sci-Fi tries to stick as close to real science as they can only straying from that when the technology in the story has to go beyond anything we're currently capable of. That's the fiction part.

    If I were to classify anything as hard or soft... I think anything that was set in the future at the time it was made but has now become our past (Such as Back to the Future 2 being set in 2015) and has sense been proven wrong, that's Soft Sci-Fi... if it's actually managed to come true or was set far enough in the future that we still haven't caught up to it yet, that's Hard Sci-Fi.

    Another distinction I could make is when the "Science" doesn't even sound believable for the time the movie was made in. Like the Matrix. The Machines plan is overly complicated, stupid, and would never actually work. Using humans as batteries? We don't put out that much energy and the program running the simulation by itself would take up more power than we could ever generate. We couldn't even power a text based simulation like Organ trail let alone a simulation so realistic that it's virtually indistinguishable from the real world.

    I could believe that in the future Machines with AI managed to overthrow the human race, I could believe that virtual reality could become so advanced that we wouldn't be able to tell if we're in a video game or real life but no amount of advancement in technology can make humans into batteries. Unless you can some how reduce the amount of power needed to run such things which as far as I know has never been done. And even then why wouldn't you just use ACTUAL batteries and not bother with the simulation since that's just taking more power to run anyway?

    Or there's the MCU since it's been said that there is no magic in the MCU just super advanced technology... yet Thor's hammer only working for those who are worthy is a principal that has ZERO scientific merit what so ever so there's like no way that thing is advanced technology. Plus we see kind of how it was made in Infinity War so again nothing scientific about ANY of that. And Doctor Strange kinda felt like they gave up on the no magic idea because that movie didn't even try to present anything as science they just straight up said it's magic. Prior to Doctor Strange though the first couple Thor movies and the producers did seem like they were trying to give a more scientific spin on the character rather than being a literal god he's an alien with god-like powers. They even explained that the Bifrost was an Einstein Rosenberg Bridge.

    I do kinda like the idea that "gods" are actually just aliens with super advanced technology beyond our level of understanding. It's been said that advanced technology would be virtually indistinguishable from magic... except that science is actually explainable once you do understand it and magic doesn't exist.

    Funny enough I literally just talked to someone who called something magic simply because he didn't understand how it worked. That being the Looking for Group Queue would automatically put you in a group when enough players were in the Queue to start the event. Some how he thought the Queue didn't work that way and that it must be magic... nope it's just how the game was programmed to work, that's literally the exact purpose of the Queue. It's literally in the name and people still think it doesn't work that way.

    Anyway... I'm still confused on what Hard and Soft Sci-Fi is... And it doesn't help that everyone seems to have a different opinion on what those things should be. How do I cast a vote when I don't even know what I'm voting on? Those aren't even real genres. It's just Sci-Fi or Sci-Fi Fantasy...

    Those two have a clear distinction because it's actually two different genres mixed together. Sci-Fi with some elements of Fantasy mixed in. Star Wars originally would of fit the qualification for Fantasy because the Force wasn't given a Scientific explanation till the Prequels. Jedi and Sith were essentially space wizards and that made it a Fantasy because the Force was something mystical that couldn't be explained scientifically and hardly anyone believed in... for reasons that also make no sense when you see how common Jedi are in the prequels.

    Also I think there's another Genre we could mention... Sci-Fi western which I think fits the Hearts of Steel story line where the Autobots and Decepticons were trains in the 1800's. There aren't a lot of fictions that could be classified this way because by all means that mix of genres should not even work. I mean one is all about high tech future stuff and the other deals with the past so they're kind of polar opposites but some fictions have some how managed to blend the two... like Firefly. I like that show... the movie not so much because they killed off my favorite characters... but it's just so weird that this odd blend of genres that shouldn't even go together some how made such an awesome series.

    Speaking of which I would love to see Hearts of Steel adapted... maybe not for a full series but for like an animated movie like all those DC animated movies adapted from comic books. I think it would be a great one off adventure thing. And I want Hasbro to make more Transforming trains...
     
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  14. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    This has been ripped apart multiple times,and the truth was that they were using humans for their brains as interlinked processors... basically, the humans and the machine mind are one and the same.

    The battery thing was thrown in there as a simplification and just wasn't true.

    The "super-science" of Thor was just stupid... and the whole Doctor Strange thing when it comes to the infinity war, he has the time stone, so he could have simply gone back in time and stop/change everything as needed to prevent purple dude from losing his family/planet, etc. or just prevented his conception, etc.... but that would have killed the story.

    That's the trouble with over powered beings/characters, technically, if they were as intelligent as they are supposed to be, they would be able to stop events very easily, before they escalated, etc.... or just take things on without breaking a sweat. Captain Marvel is able to smash right through a gigantic re-enforced warship ship like it's make with toilet paper, but can't handle a punch?

    Everything is plot driven according to the writers.... and the difference between fantasy and science fiction is simple... one (fantasy) is all about the story and everything about it is interchangeable, the science and such is absolutely in the background, while science fiction, the story depends on science, real or make believed, but still have allusion to scientific principles, the science is in the foreground. It's a tricky slope at times and why some may have trouble seeing the difference.

    Just ask yourself, what the "science" means to the story... background or foreground to the story(ies).

    Transformers, as I've described earlier, is fantasy as everything about it can easily be switched with magic or such without affecting the stories-lines. The fact that from one story-line to another (different writers) will change powers, abilities, timelines, characters, events, revamp origins, etc. and the fact that they are robots changes nothing, it's technicality not even important that they are, it's just a background thing... they could be human-like beings with the ability to change into animals, vegetation or other.
     
  15. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    I totally agree with the part about over powered characters. That was a big complaint I had with Captain Marvel's movie and I was predicting that she would be the key to stopping Thanos but as it turned out she ended up barely even being in Infinity War or End Game because she's so powerful they had to write her out of most of the story so the movie could happen. Plus she seemed significantly weaker in those movies than in her own movie as if the writers couldn't figure out why any other heroes would even be needed to participate in the battle unless they weakened her powers.

    The way she was portrayed in her solo film Captain Marvel should have been able to single handedly wipe out Thanos' entire army in less than 5 minutes.

    I don't agree with this part of your post though.

    Science being background of foreground doesn't make any difference what so ever. It's still Science Fiction either way. As long as the Fiction is based in Science it's a science fiction.

    The reason a lot of people have trouble distinguishing what qualifies as Fantasy is because Fantasy actually has two different definitions depending on the context and the context is difficult to distinguish. Fantasy in a more general sense of the word is actually interchangeable with Fiction they're synonyms. However in the specific context of genres Fantasy is defined as a specific type of Fiction that deals with Magic and Mystical elements being real things within the context of that story.

    The second part of that also factors into why it can be difficult to tell Sci-fi from Sci-fi Fantasy because advanced technology is virtually indistinguishable from Magic. This is why I made such a big point about Thor and Doctor Strange.

    There's no question that the MCU is at least in part a Sci-Fi story with advanced technology and aliens running around that qualifies. The questionable part is the question on is in if it could also qualify as Fantasy. For that it needs to fit the criteria of having Magical elements that are real within the context of the story. A story that explains away the magic using science is not a fantasy because it's gone out of it's way to explain in universe that magic isn't real. Even if it uses story elements that are traditionally magical like Thor typically being an actual literal god in most cases, if the story explains that Thor is an alien that humans had mistake for a god but that isn't actually the case, then it's not a fantasy because that completely removes the magical elements from the story and turns it into a Sci-Fi.

    The MCU isn't even the first time Thor has been portrayed as an alien by the way. He was also an alien in Star Gate, Dirk Gently, and And Another Thing... (The double "and" there is not a mistake and I didn't forget what that other thing was, the literal title of the story is "And Another Thing...")

    A big part of the reason I disagree with your assessment is that Science and Magic can ALWAYS be interchanged without effecting the story in any way. The only thing it changes is the genre of the story. Like Star Wars originally being Sci-Fi Fantasy. The fact that the prequels explained away the magical element with science may have changed it from a Fantasy to a straight Sci-Fi but the change in genre in no way what so ever changed the over all story of the original trilogy.

    You could very easily change any story from Science to Magic or vice versa weather it's background or foreground without changing the story what so ever. It would be harder to change things that are in the foreground of the story but not impossible.

    I would argue that the Sci-Fi is a foreground thing in Transformers because they are alien robots. The magical elements are in the background as they rarely ever impact the story at all and for the most part except in a few rare cases aren't even confirmed to be magic in the first place, fans just decided it was magical even though the story never said it was.

    The Matrix of Leadership for example. At no point in the movie was it ever said that this object had any magical or mystical properties what so ever. Fans just chose to interpret it that way even though it's a Sci-Fi about alien robots and everything else in the fiction has a scientific explanation behind it. The main reason why objects like the Matrix are an exception is because it doesn't really make sense within the context of the story why the Quintessons would make such a device so anything tied to the Transformers gaining sentient life was attributed to the God Primus giving them life.

    Oddly enough this isn't that much different from Terminator, the Matrix, or the story of Isaac's home planet on the Orvill with AI becoming so advanced that it overthrows it's creators and becomes indistinguishable from life. The only difference is with the creators being something other than humans or human-like the idea of the machines taking over is portrayed as a good thing. I think Transformers might be the only such story where the creators are the villains rather than the Machines...

    Also background or foreground makes no difference because as you said yourself "the story depends on science, real or make believed, but still have allusion to scientific principles, the science is in the foreground." The thing is though this sentence is wrong. That doesn't make science in the foreground, that just defines what a Science Fiction is in either case.

    Science being in the background or foreground of the story I would define this way. Quantum Leap and Sliders I would say are in the background of the story. They both kinda have a similar formula. The main character or characters randomly jump from one place to another trying to find their way home. They deal with different problems during each episode before they move onto the next adventure.

    This is where I would say that the science fiction is in the background. Quantum Leap has Time Travel but that only really comes into the story at the beginning and end of each episode. Sliders deals with the Mutiverse and again that only comes into play at the beginning and end of each episode. If you removed those elements from the shows and look at each individual story as a stand alone adventure by itself there's nothing really Sci-Fi about it... Well Sliders can be if they land in a universe that is technologically more advanced than our own but Quantum Leap mostly takes place in the past, we rarely ever see the future world that Sam comes from so there's not really a whole lot of Sci-Fi.

    Star Trek and Star Wars very much has Sci-Fi in the foreground with advanced technology and aliens everywhere in the story. But you could easily swap out the aliens with mythical creatures and the technology with magic and still have the exact same story. It would be a lot easier to swap out the Slider device with a magical wand that does the same because it barely factors into the story at all but science and magic are always interchangeable in a fiction either way.

    Usually the main difference between Magic and Science in terms of fiction is how hard the writer wants to try to explain how things work in the universe they've set up. Science takes a lot more effort to be as accurate and believable as possible even when we're talking about Technology that doesn't actually exist they still have to make it look and sound like something that could at least be scientifically plausible. With magic you can do whatever the hell you want because it's freaking magic and magic doesn't need any kind of explanation for how it works, it just DOES. The only limitations of magic are set by the writer of the story rather than is this realistically plausible because when dealing with magic the answer is always NO!

    That said I'd also like to point out that it's a lot easier to convert science into magic than the other way around. If you want to take something Scientific and turn it into magic then just take away the elements of the story that explain how it works. Suddenly it's now magical. You can even take something that actually exists and turn it into magic. That's kind of what real life magicians do ALL THE TIME. They're actually illusions that appear magical to those who don't understand how the trick works.

    Taking something magical and trying to scientifically explain how it works is a lot harder because you now have to ADD something that wasn't there before rather than taking away. This is probably why the MCU failed to do this with Thor's hammer because there's nothing they could possibly add that would explain away how that works. Worthiness is not a real thing, there's no way to scientifically measure it, so having something that functions on that principal is inherently always going to be magical. They would have to completely change how Thor's hammer functions in order to change that from a magical object to a technological device.
     
  16. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Sadly I can resume everything worth saying with one single word that covers everything said, "macguffin".

    Also, go read this
    The Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy: What Every Screenwriter Needs to Know | Writer's Digest
    And this
    Science Fiction vs Fantasy - Fiction and Genre | Now Novel

    In simple terms if you can use science to explain and support something then it passes as science fiction. And if your story is just "because it's the way it is" then is moves to fantasy.

    Tf has too many holes to be scifi... I understand that some won't agree but it doesn't change the fact.

    Just to add.. if it's not a true story based on events, it's all fiction... the word's definition is clear cut and can't be used as an oratorical argument.

    fiction:
    1. the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose form.
    2. works of this class, as novels or short stories: detective fiction.
    3. something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story:
    4. etc.
    Science fiction
    1. a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc.
    Fantasy
    1. imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.
    2. the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
    3. a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.
    4. Psychology. an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.
    5. a hallucination.
    6. a supposition based on no solid foundation; visionary idea; illusion: dreams of Utopias and similar fantasies.
    7. caprice; whim.
    8. an ingenious or fanciful thought, design, or invention.
    9. Also fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, especially one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters:
    And TF do NOT draws on scientific knowledge, facts or such, they are robots, yes, but their characters aren't tied to being robots or into what they transform... everything about TFs are just there.. aka Macguffins.

    1. Optimus doesn't feel compelled to carry merchandise across the country.
    2. Silverbolt doesn't have a full time job carrying people around the country/ies.
    3. There is no science that ever explained energon in a scientific approach, and what it "is" changes from story to story.
    4. The matrix also changes or starts existing as needed by the story
    5. New abilities that are never explained scientifically happen then disappear, again, according to story

    I could give you examples all night, but I'll stop there, as that first link I provided does give you a bunch of great examples with the Super-heroes stuff, even with The Matrix.

    Now that said, note that I'm just being very "Academic" on what the terms mean and what they represent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 10:32 PM
  17. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    That's mostly all true except you seem to be totally ignoring that Sci-Fi Fantasy exists as a mix of the two. This comes off like you think there's a hard line where it's one or the other and can't be both which is not the case.

    Again true no one was even debating that.
    Incorrect. You seem to have missed something in the definition that you yourself posted.

    "Science fiction
    1. a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc."
    You're only focusing on the Scientific Knowledge part of that and totally ignoring the speculation part mentioned immediately after that. Transformers is a story about ALIEN ROBOTS. You can't do a story involving aliens on scientific knowledge because we don't have enough scientific knowledge to ever accurately portray them. We've never encountered real aliens that we're aware of so any story involving them is going to be purely speculation. The same thing with any advanced technology which is what we're talking about with the robots because our robotics technology is still years away from anything resembling a Transformer exactly as they are in the fiction. So again this falls into the speculation part of that definition.

    You can't do a story about aliens or robots without it qualifying as a Sci-Fi so there is really no way you can say that Transformers is only a Fantasy.

    1. Why would he? That makes no sense what so ever. That would actually make it MORE of a fantasy and LESS Sci-Fi because the truck is only a DISGUISE and itself has no desire to do anything so there's no scientific reason why Optimus would ever do that.
    2. Why would he? That makes no sense what so ever. That would actually make it MORE of a fantasy and LESS Sci-Fi because the jet is only a DISGUISE and itself has no desire to do anything so there's no scientific reason why Silverbolt would ever do that.
    3. Energon doesn't really exist so of course there's no REAL scientific explanation for it. That doesn't mean there isn't one within the context of the story. This again falls into the speculation part of the definition. And by the way there is a real world reason as to how something LIKE Energon could theoretically be found to exist. The Periodic table of elements shows every currently known element. What a lot of people don't know is why it's arranged the way it is with seemingly random blank spaces scattered around. Those blank spots are for hypothetical undiscovered elements like Energon that have yet to be discovered and filled in later. So yeah even real world science has room for purely speculative elements like that making Energon totally fit within the realm of Science Fiction. It doesn't need to be exactly the same from one story to the next because it's a purely speculative element that hasn't actually be discovered. Any writer can make any changes they want to it so long as they keep in the realm of speculative science with Energon being something that could theoretically appear on the table of elements it's science fiction. It would only move into Fantasy when Energon stops being speculative science and starts being a purely magical thing that could never actually exist.
    4. The Matrix is actually difficult to argue isn't magic especially when some stories claim it was made by a literal god! If they put more effort into explaining exactly what the Matrix is and how it functions it could become more Sci-Fi but as it stands even in the most scientific based stories they never really explain this thing. It's just there.
    5. Not even sure exactly what you're talking about here. There's a wide range of things this could apply to and most of them could be explained by Sci-Fi but without more specific details of the exact cases you're talking about it's tough to argue.

    At this point I'd like to point out I don't deny that Transformers has some elements of Fantasy. As I mentioned above I can't really say that the Matrix falls into the realm of Sci-Fi the way it's currently portrayed in fiction. I can think of ways to fix the Matrix to make it more Sci-Fi like maybe it's ability to change Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime is because of Nanobots rebuilding his structure on a molecular level. Currently there's no explanation for why this happens so it appears to just be magic but if you add that scientific explanation than something that originally seemed Fantastical suddenly becomes Sci-Fi.

    I'm just saying that it's not a hard line between one or the other. It is possible for a work of fiction to be BOTH sci-fi and fantasy. Transformers is without a doubt in that realm. I personally would prefer if it was more of a straight up Sci-Fi. I would love it if they reworked the fantasy elements of the story and explained them scientifically... officially instead of just being my own personal head canon. Stop portraying Primus and Unicron as gods for example. I don't mind them being in the story just wish they were just really big robots and not literal gods. The AllSpark could really use some reworking as well cause it seems like it just magically makes robots from nothing and is also the after life for sparks when a Transformer dies. And the most fantastical thing of all... The idea that ROBOTS were actually the first forms of life in the universe and they created us. We know that's not true and there's no way it could be. It's really stupid and I did a literal face palm when I read that.

    Please just replace Quitus Prime with someone else. The Quintessons created the Transformers not the other way around. It's stupid as hell that this robot created them. Robots don't just appeal naturally they have to be built. They aren't real life, they're artificial. The most fantastical and unbelievable aspect of Transformers has always been the idea that they are just naturally occurring life forms who are indistinguishable from artificial robots we built.
     
  18. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    My point is still the same, that they are robots is a negligible factor, the characters aren't truly focused on that. I am separating the stories from the toys here.

    As per my previous point, everything in TF that's "technical" is actually nothing more than a macguffin, easily replaced with something that could be in a "magical world" instead and it would come out the same, the story itself wouldn't change, the stories and agenda/development are completely plot driven.

    The same applies to Star Wars, which is a space opera, and not science fiction.

    (for the examples I used, those were in response to the comment about their transformation is it's impact on their psyche)

    The speculation part would hold if this point wouldn't be so obvious, but I note that I do understand your point. But that's like saying, for example, that I have a set of tools, hence I am a mechanic... and no, that's not fact, as the fact that I have tools is true, but I do not have certification, training and enough knowledge or practice to be considered as such.

    So yes, TF have a "science" factor, but the truth is that it too limited, too easily replaceable, which is why it makes it fantasy.

    And also yes, I understood that it's a very fine line between the two in such circumstances, but as per other example, super-heroes for example, Superman is fantasy, Batman is science fiction, yet both co-exist in the same "universe".

    In the end, it comes down to facts about the stories and the characters and how much of an impact the environment has on them. Can you change everything in the environment from "science" to magic, if yes, then it is fantasy even if everything is about the future, robots, etc., if not, then it holds within science fiction.

    In all honesty, the truth is, true science fiction is virtually impossible to achieve unless you base it on present and knowledgeable science that already proven as fact. It you need to twist anything in any way to make the story happen (outside the realm of true or speculated scientific possibilities - to use that "speculation angle" context you used here), it automatically falls off the science fiction table and turns into opinion and not using an erudite approach, and that's completely your choice to form an opinion and that's not even worth debating, I simply pointed what truly defines what science fiction vs fantasy is, and that's up to you to either agree or not, but it's not going to change anything that's factual that you do agree or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019 at 5:02 PM
  19. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Would it help if I simply stated that TFs is 100% fantasy that is set in a science fiction environment? Maybe I've just not been expressing it correctly.
     
  20. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post that's actually true for EVERY story. It doesn't matter if you can easily swap out this for that. That doesn't make it pure Fantasy. Those elements have to actually be there in the first place for it to be a fantasy. The hypothetical I can swap these alien robots out for something else and not change the story at all means nothing because we're not talking a hypothetical situation where it's a war between the Elves and Dwarfs instead of Autobots and Decepticons. We're talking about what the story actually is right now without changing anything... Alien robots = Sci-Fi.

    Actually space opera is a sub-genre of Science Fiction. Not every sci-fi is a space opera but every space opera is a Sci-Fi. It's impossible to be a space opera and not be a Sci-Fi because being a Sci-Fi is a pre-requisite of a Space Opera.

    That's not really a proper analogy. Being a certified mechanic has more qualifications than just owning some tools. It's also actually possible that you can be a mechanic without owning any tools what so ever. The job site should already have the tools available for you to do the job so it's not really necessary to own your own. Even people who do own their tools rarely bring their personal tools to work because they'd prefer not to lose their personal property while working with other people.

    Sci-Fi requirements aren't really so strict.

    Nope as said before this makes zero difference. There is not a hard line where something is either Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Transformers may not be a true 100% Sci-Fi but it's not 100% Fantasy either. It's BOTH "Sci-Fi Fantasy" is also a genre that mixes elements of BOTH which is what Transformers does. There is no point at which a story about ALIEN ROBOTS becomes pure Fantasy. It doesn't matter that there's too little of a scientific factor here. It doesn't matter that it's easily replaceable with something else. That's absolutely true of EVERYTHING! By your logic literally all fictional every written can be whatever genre you want it to be because you can easily change elements without effecting the story what so ever to change the genre. This is true for every story ever written.

    Like literally people have even pointed out that Pocahontas (Based on a true story), Fern Gully (Fantasy), and Avatar (Sci-Fi) are all the exact same story.

    You can't just ignore the alien robots and call it a pure Fantasy, it doesn't work that way. It's Sci-Fi Fantasy.

    Actually Superman is Science Fiction. He's an alien and most of his powers are actually scientifically explainable with science. His strength and ability to fly... or jump really high... is because the gravity on his home planet is much higher than on Earth. It's the same reason why humans are seemingly able to do the same thing on the moon where there's less gravity than on Earth.

    Other powers are explained by radiation from our yellow sun. Krypton's son is red and doesn't have the same properties. All of this falls into the realm of speculative science. Though it's kinda been determined that radiation could never actually cause super powers but that wasn't well understood at the time Superman was created.

    Captain Marvel (Shazam not the other one), Wonder Woman, Aquaman, characters like that who either use magic or have magical origins are fantasy.

    Again doesn't work that way. The answer is ALWAYS yes so by your logic EVERYTHING is fantasy. Even a story based on true events can and HAS been changed to magic. Does that make the original non-magical version of the same story fantasy too? No. By your logic because Fern Gully is fantasy... and because Disney added mystical elements like a talking willow tree to the story then the actually Historical story of Pocahontas must then also be Fantasy. But if it's Fantasy that means it never happened at all. Obviously the talking tree thing never happened but there was a real life Pocahontas in history. Changing elements of a story to fantasy effectively makes a whole different story based on the original, it doesn't effect the genre of the original. You can't just say well this could be a fantasy so there for it is a fantasy, it doesn't work that way.

    Wrong! Do you know what the word speculation means? You posted the definition of a Sci-Fi yourself earlier but you don't seem to understand it all because of that one word.

    Technically if you base it on present and knowledgeable science that is already proven as fact that's not a Science Fiction at all. That's just SCIENCE. You can't have Science Fiction without dealing with at least some speculative unknown elements. Aliens, technology that has yet to be invented, advancements in current technology, things that have yet to be discovered or proven. That's Sci-Fi.

    What the heck are you even talking about here? Nothing you said here makes one bit of sense. I'm again getting the feeling that you don't comprehend what the word speculation actually means because you're using it here but you're using it in a nonsensical way where it just doesn't mean anything. It feels empty like when a child apologizes only because their parents made them rather than out of true sincerity. The word is there but doesn't seem to mean anything as it's being said.

    Going to break this down really quick.

    "It you need to twist anything in any way to make the story happen (outside the realm of true or speculated scientific possibilities - to use that "speculation angle" context you used here), it automatically falls off the science fiction table"

    No it doesn't "fall off the science fiction table" because that's literally how Science Fiction is defined. That's what makes it a science fiction in the first place so why would it fall off the table? This is why above I talked about how you're use of the words speculated/speculation felt empty because you're clearly dismissing that part of the definition and saying "no that's not Science Fiction" which is just wrong. That IS science fiction.

    "turns into opinion and not using an erudite approach, and that's completely your choice to form an opinion"

    An opinion is something that is neither right or wrong. It differs from one person to the next.

    We're not really discussing opinion here because the genres have already been defined. We know for a fact what qualifies something to be Sci-fi and what qualifies something to be Fantasy. We know for a fact that you can mix elements of different genres into a story to have it qualify as both at the same time. We know for a fact that it's not always a hard line between one or the other.

    The whole Soft Sci-Fi and Hard Sci-Fi thing seems to be all opinion because I don't think those are even real genres but that's a different conversation than you and I are having.

    "and that's not even worth debating,"

    Actually opinions are worth debating. Debates aren't just about proving who's right or wrong. It's about getting out of your own echo chamber an listening to another point of view. Maybe you'll see things differently in a way that you never would of even thought of before. It's very unlikely that your opinion will actually change but that's not the point either. It's just about being open to new ideas and discussing things with other people.

    "I simply pointed what truly defines what science fiction vs fantasy is, and that's up to you to either agree or not, but it's not going to change anything that's factual that you do agree or not."

    Except what you're pointing out ISN'T factual like AT ALL... You're totally ignoring the facts the entire way and making up your own as you go along.

    Fact is that Transformers is Sci-Fi Fantasy. There is no debate over is it Sci-Fi or Fantasy, it's BOTH because it has elements of BOTH in it.

    Fact is there is no point at which a story involving ALIEN ROBOTS can just BECOME Fantasy and not be a Sci-Fi anymore. You can't just say well if the alien robots were something else then it would be Fantasy so there for it is Fantasy. It doesn't work that way. They ARE alien robots. It doesn't make a difference what they could hypothetically be replaced with because you can do the same exact thing with EVERY STORY EVER. That doesn't mean EVERYTHING is Fantasy. It only matters what the story actually contains as it's written. If you need to ignore the fact that they're alien robots to claim it's not Sci-Fi then you're inherently wrong because you're intentionally changing the facts to fit your narrative rather than looking at the facts as they are.

    Let's put this into terms you might understand better.

    If a story contains magical or mystical elements that could never actually exist but these things are considered to be "real" within the context of the story that's fantasy.

    If a story contains things that are considered to be realistically plausible based on the understanding of science at the time the story was written that is Sci-Fi. It does not need to be scientifically PROVEN to be true, that defeats the purpose of it being FICTION. It only needs to fit within the realm of realistic possibility that something like that COULD MAYBE exist.

    You mentioned McGuffins before. Well the thing is ANYTHING can be a McGuffin, they aren't always magical. Some times a PERSON is a McGuffin. There was a recent episode of the Flash where Ralph Dibney could of been considered a McGuffin but there's nothing magic about it. I don't want to give too much away in case you haven't seen the episode so I'll give some other generic examples instead.

    There's two ways a person can come into a scene just in the nick of time to rescue someone. If they just sensed that someone was in danger and used some magical scrying tool or crystal ball to find them that's Fantasy. There's no way you should ever be able to just sense when someone is danger when you're no where near the person, there's no magical way of finding someone. These things would never actually work. It's totally made up. If they never actually knew the person was in danger but went looking for them for a totally unrelated reason only to find that no one else has been in contact with them either and follow a trail of clues from their last known location that eventually leads to where the person is being held this all falls within the realm of realistic probability. It's probably not realistic that they'd be found alive every time that's more a trope of fiction but it's at least possible that they could be found alive in some cases. Either way it's still considered a McGuffin no matter how it happens.

    Lets go into objects. A McGuffin can range anywhere between a magical object that you have to find to advance the plot to a scientific object you have to create to do the exact same thing. Just as an example, you have a character who is dying. What's killing them? Curse (Fantasy) or Disease (Science Fiction) Even if the Disease is totally made up and nothing like that even exists it's still in the realm of Science Fiction. MacGregor's Syndrome for example, the Disease that was killing Nora Fries is not a real illness. However all of her known symptoms and the ways she was being treated for the disease are all realistically plausible. How are you going to cure them? Find the fairy, wizard, warlock, witch, whoever placed the curse on them and force them to reverse it. (Fantasy) Find a magical plant to create a potion or an amulet that can fix any curse. (Fantasy) True love's kiss or Cry them back to life (Fantasy) Take them to a doctor who specializes in this type of illness. (Science Fiction again this applies even if this isn't a thing that actually exists) Find a rare plant with some sort of protean or enzyme that is known to counteract the illness in order to create medicine. (Science Fiction and yeah I'm aware this sounds a lot like the potion thing but the terminology being used here is what matters. Plants do actually have healing properties and were once believed to be magical before scientists studied the plants and discovered what exactly was actually causing those healing effects.) Some experimental drug or procedure that even the doctor isn't sure will actually work but it's you're only option so you try it anyway and hooray for you it works. (Science Fiction)

    All of these things could be considered McGuffins and notice how easy it is to swap out the Fantasy with the Sci-Fi without changing anything else in the actual story and vice versa.

    What you COULD do... (Change the alien robots to something else) doesn't mean it's not Sci-Fi. What matters is that they ARE alien robots. We could discuss if this or if that all day. If they were Cowboys and Indians it'd be a western but that doesn't mean it IS a western. They're not Cowboys and Indians they're alien robots which means it's at least in part a Sci-Fi.

    I could just as easily change the Mystical elements to Scientific ones that doesn't mean it's not also a Fantasy. You can't just cherry pick elements from the story and say well this is magical so the science doesn't matter any more than I can say well this is scientific so the magic doesn't matter. It's not 100% one way or the other. It's Sci-Fi Fantasy.

    The only part of this that could really be considered opinion is maybe exactly how much does it lean one way or the other. I personally lean more towards the Sci-Fi side of things. It feels more like a Sci-Fi that contains some elements of Fantasy than the other way around. Maybe like 22% Fantasy 78% Sci-Fi if I had to make a rough estimate. That's just personal opinion though. How do you even measure that?

    Even if you personally think it's 1% Sci-Fi 99% Fantasy it's still got ALIEN ROBOTS, it still qualifies as a Sci-Fi. It can never be 100% Fantasy unless you completely remove the alien robots from the story but then it wouldn't be Transformers anymore.