Sci-fi fans rejoice: Original science fiction has returned to the big screen with the release of Rian Johnson’s time-travel film “Looper.”
In a sea of recent sequels, trilogies, book adaptations and spin-offs, a completely unique science fiction movie is refreshing, and there have been few released since Christopher Nolan’s 2009 dream-heist film, “Inception.”
“Looper” is about a contracted hit man, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose marks are sent to him from 30 years in the future, when time travel has been invented and outlawed, leaving only the mob brave enough to use it.
A looper is obligated to eventually “close their loop” by killing their future selves, but when Joe, the main character’s older self, as played by Bruce Willis, is sent back, he fails to carry out the job.
According to Box Office Mojo, “Looper” made around $20 million in its opening weekend and could look to close its run in theaters with around $60 million with considerably more earnings from its overseas release.
While “Hotel Transylvania” and “Taken 2” have since trumped “Looper” at the box office, it seems audiences are responding to the idea of original science fiction by flocking to their local theaters. Sci-fi is back in the public consciousness.
Students at California Baptist University are also expressing an interest in science fiction with the addition of a special topics course on “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing” to the English curriculum this semester. They have the opportunity to write their own short stories and critique the work of others.
“I am taking this class to better my skills as a sci-fi author and to learn what it takes to be a sci-fi/fantasy author who people actually enjoy reading the works of,” says Courtney J. Wing, senior graphic design major.
With films like “Looper” achieving such widespread appeal, it is no wonder why classes such as this one are gaining popularity among college students.
“Original (movies), such as ‘Willow,’ Indiana Jones and Star Wars are wonderful if they can be pulled off,” Wing said. “I love sci-fi in particular because for me, even if I know it can’t be real, if you can explain to me how it would work and give a good, sound argument for it, it makes it that much better.”