Around 2001, at the conclusion of a Lunacon panel about sf film, I made my first statement of what I have come to call “The Vow”: “I will not see a science fiction film unless I’ve been assured by someone who understands science fiction that it is not stupid.”
The turn of the century was a watershed period in sf film, the first time when there might be more interesting sf films than a person might reasonably see in a single year. I point to 1999 as the precise turning point; the clearest marker of this was that the Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation nominations for that year did not include the new Star Wars film. Even two or three years earlier, it would have been unthinkable that an sf film of such high profile wouldn’t be nominated, even if it was a juvenile piece of claptrap, simply from lack of competition. SF in film had finally reached a point of saturation, or of escape: the films were going to succeed or fail without an sf-reading audience, and it was now, I felt, incumbent on people who actually cared about science fiction to refuse to participate in its stupidificaiton.