Dystopias and Space Opera compete for the public’s taste. In so far the century, there were 17 films on dystopias versus 41 films on Space Opera:
The Space Opera has just scored a lot of points with The Mandalorian from Disney Plus.
The differences between the Space Opera and the Dystopias are two: one, the character of the villains, and second, the world in which the story takes place.
The world of dystopias is always a world in which you suffer, in which normal and ordinary people have a hard time. They are worlds designed to make people suffer.
The worlds of Space Opera are exotic worlds. Strangers. Wonderful. Mysterious: jungles, wonderful cities, worlds of oceans, or great lost civilizations. Or, another unknown land: planet Earth in the future, dozens of years in the future, or centuries later.
In the SP (space opera) the wars are against outsiders, against strangers: against, aliens. The Space Opera has rescued the adventure novel by creating and using the aliens. The protagonist faces evil aliens. Thanks to the invention of the aliens, can be omitted the colonial and lower and upper races. You can create adventures in which the hero rescues a village without anyone accused of Racism. If aliens do not exist, these years we have abandoned to politically correct, they’d been invented.
In dystopias, the conflict is internal. Wars are civil wars. The villains are those who rule, those who have designed a world made to make people suffer. And the protagonist faces them.
Do not know which is you two genders has to the worst villains. But are poorly designed.
The aliens in Star Wars are insignificant. As drawings, they are very good. But they are nothing. We don’t even know what they eat. In a galaxy with thousands of non-human races, you only interact with two: the Wookiees, and the Gungans from Episode I (which came out in 1999, that’s why we don’t count it here). Very marginally, with two others, in pod races. Nothing more. Of any know much really. Ashoka is barely developing as a character. But, nothing indicates that her alien character makes her different from humans. How cares for an alien who eats like humans, feels like humans, thinks like humans, and does everything like humans?
In the other SP movies, the aliens that come to invade us, just attack. In response we just kill them. They are huge, ferocious, extremely violent animals… and we don’t know anything about them either.
Are villains better in dystopias?
Some, like in the Planet of the Apes series, come from mistakes we made. Accidents that we were unable to remedy later. Other villains are sadistic governments, of which we do not know anything either. They want to keep people in subjection. They treat it like pieces of a board game. The heroes get stronger in the story, and they end up being able to face them and take them out of power.
But if they take power, then what?
When the heroes win, what will they do with the power? His whole life (which is short: they are young, no more than twenty years or so), they have only been two things: pawns, and warriors. They do not know how to govern. They know how to lead a band, a group of soldiers. But they do not know how to govern. And the only government they have ever known is the worst government. Where will they get ideas to govern well?