It’s hip to be a square: Science Fiction becomes trendy among NAU students
By Miranda Scott and Dani Tamcsin
At a university with a population of over 20,000 students, the Lumberjack family is full of fanatics from every book anthology, film series and television show. At Northern Arizona University (NAU), it’s been even easier to find fellow enthusiasts for those who share one particular love: science fiction. From Star Wars to Doctor Who, the latest trend for the fashionable nerd is to tote the love of sci-fi on your sleeve. This wave of fans can help make it easier for people to connect and develop relationships.
For some students, the various themes and messages of science fiction resonate deeply with them in a way that is not easily found in every medium of pop culture. Whether you are just in it for the laser guns and silver suits, or if you love to see dystopian futures with worn down robots and Will Smith, sci-fi is something many people at NAU love and appreciate.
“We like to imagine things that don’t exist,” says Stacy Foster, a sophmore history major, “That’s why so many people like [science fiction].”
Revenge of the Nerds may have been the first breakthrough for sci-fi lovers everywhere, and since then the sub-culture of nerdiness has appealed to more and more people. Harry Potter ringtones and “Han shot first” T-shirts have become badges of honor. Whether you’re wearing them ironically or just picked them up from Comic-Con, nerd attire is an easy way for other fan boys and girls to spot their fellow Trekkies, Whovians and Ringers.
Some students can even remember exactly when they became invested in the genre, which can be just as simple as watching science fiction television show for the first time.
Alfonso Munoz, a freshman engineering major, says his first encounter with science fiction came from the SyFy network.
“I turned to the SyFy channel,” Munoz says, ”And there was this show about old dinosaurs, like coming back to life, and I just started watching a lot of that and The Twilight Zone too.”
For Brittany Mahr, a sophomore history major, watching her first sci-fi movie was like love at first sight.
“I was just flipping through the channels,” Mahr says. “This really attractive movie caught my attention, and I just couldn’t stop watching. The movie was probably Star Wars.”
For other people it was their friends that turned them on to it.
“My friend was like, ‘We should watch this show called Star Trek,’ ” says Stacy Foster, a sophomore history major. “We watched it, and then I never stopped watching.”
Sometimes, one of the best ways to get to know someone is to introduce them to different things. Sci-fi just happens to be something people can enjoy together.
It is common for people who are attracted to the idea of science fiction to go in droves to watch the latest future flick, which is often about the concept of technology and society going through a drastic change.
“We like to see what we can’t have.” Mahr says.
The ideas in science fiction are ones that are most often prevalent in the youth. Sci-fi can influence fans to create and own technology. According to Munoz, science fiction is like seeing a glimpse of the future.
Although science fiction fans have something in common, the sci-fi fan base here at NAU is varied.
“I like the Doctor Who sci-fi, like futuristic,” Foster says, while Mahr says she likes fantasy-type science fiction and Munoz says he likes “space-like sci-fi.”
College is the time to explore new things, and TV shows and movies that involve sci-fi definitely provide room for endless exploration.
As with all things, there are ups and downs with sci-fi. While Star Wars and the Alien movies have great reputations, others like any original movies on SyFy receive negative feedback. That said, the popular genre’s pull is nothing to underestimate. The fan-bases are powerful, the messages are far reaching and, most importantly, the entertainment is undeniable. In the end, there is really only one question you must answer before joining the ranks of sci-fi lovers: Star Trek or Star Wars?