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GALAXY VS COSMOS

13 August 2005

Things are heating up in August-land! Still in Club Th?atre, it seems another crazy plot is uncovered by our pack of heroes. Well, handful of somewhat cowardly protagonists, anyway. Stay tuned! We're nearing the end of this short storyline and also the hundredth episode of the comic! Great Scott, how about that. It seems only a year ago that I started this operation.

I saw The Chronicles of Riddick recently and it was very surprising and good. What I had expected: a nice big budget sci-fi/action flick with lots of explosions but nothing out of the ordinary. What I got: the Starwars of this generation. That's about how it jumped up at me. That's not to say it's very similar to Starwars, but it had that same expectant, radiant feel. Extraordinary landscapes that locked my sight to the television, a narrative that, though speckled with die-hard Vin Diesel ass-kicking, had a lot of romanticism to it, a wonderfully imaginitive universe with crazy planetdestroyers, armies of darkness and Judi Dench as an elemental, and most importantly: a COSMOS, not a GALAXY.

I'm going to try to explain it. A galaxy is everyday space, with stars and planets, but most of all, lots of black. A galaxy is an empty thing, a void. Lifeless planets. A lone spaceship heading into infinity and loneliness. A galaxy is a big, empty, lonely place, where no one can hear you scream. But a cosmos... a cosmos is alive. A cosmos is packed with planets bursting with alien life. A cosmos is rife with nebula's, there are no dark patches but radiant spaceclouds everywhere. A cosmos teems, is busy, it is exotic and vibrant.

Only in my head of course, but that is how I, personally, signify one universe from the other. I don't expect anyone else to do it. But Riddick had a cosmos, no doubt about it. To give you a feel of it, here are movies with strong feeling of one of the two:
Galaxy: Alien, Starwars (classic trilogy), old Startrek, Spacetruckers
Cosmos: Farscape, Firefly, Starwars (new trilogy), Startrek (newer series), Futurama

What is immediately apparant is that the cosmos is far more prominent in newer series. This might be because these are more visually loaded. So it might very well be a visual thing, whether the shots have a certain richness to them. I'm not rueful about it though. I kind of like the cosmos. But that's just because I'm a romantic sucker.

Roderick.