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date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The marketing model of the cinematic blockbuster, together with the increasing economic viability and technological sophistication of CGI, has helped to foreground military adventure, especially in the form of the combat film narrative, as a dominant mode of science fiction for a general audience. Lucrative franchises like Stars Wars and Star Trek dominate the genre at its most popular. Outpacing the actual militarization of American culture, the convergence of military and cinematic visualization and modeling technologies—from digital gaming to Reagan’s “Strategic Defense Initiative”—normalizes both SF as a militaristic genre and military culture in general. In the complex interplay between American military power and militarism in the popular imagination—a steady yet persistently shifting dynamic throughout the so-called American Century—military science fiction in the technological mainstream provides predominantly ideological affirmation, while it falls to literary science fiction to articulate a wider spectrum of themes and critical positions.

Keywords: military science fiction, CGI, combat film, Star Trek, Star Wars, military adventure, Stragetic Defense Initiative, American Century, militarism

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