Sci-fi Film: Infinity and Beyond
Watching the Millennium Falcon（千鷹號）soar across the screen again, or hearing the familiar sounds of a lightsaber（光劍）duel in Star Wars 7, the Force Awakens（星際大戰：原力覺醒）opening in theaters on Dec. 17th in Taiwan is bound to evoke much nostalgia. Movie fans lined up to see the premiere. I-chin Tai（戴宜秦）and Yen-lun Hung（洪彥倫）said, “We had seen the Star Wars series episode I to VI, this time both the story and special effects in the movie have once again met our expectations.”
Star Wars series had gone on to becoming a cultural behemoth all around the world since episode IV, the first of this film series was released in 1977, which was one of the few sci-fi films in the 70’s. Thinking outside the box, George Lucas, the creator and director of Star Wars films used many real stage props instead of animation, also combined with eastern and western culture in the story, which is one of the reasons why the movies attracted lots of people from the entire world.
The sci-fi movies are popular over the ages because human beings are always curious about the outer space. Besides Star Wars, Star Trek（星際爭霸戰）series are another famous sci-fi films about the universe, both were adopted from novels. It’s not exaggeration to say that a movie makes the characters in novels or comic books come to life.
Meal 8: A Toy Story
No matter if you are a child or an adult, you must have dreamed of owning a huge amount of toys from around the world. You should also have had an expereince of not knowing which one you should pick from. However, you don’t have to be disappointed for your unreachable dream.
The toy store“Meal 8”is founded by Peng-yun Tsao（曹朋芸）in 2009. She has been fascinated with fantasy movies, such as Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and Gremlins since she was a child. She is also fond of collecting antiques and accessories from the U.S. and Europe. Later on, because of the good business, she could rent a little booth in a shopping center. Eventually, she got an opportunity to establish her own store, Meal 8.
However, what really makes this store special is the good service from the owner Ms.Tsao. As there are so many fantasy movies and novels in Taiwan, Tsao said that it is a phenomenon of collective consciousness（集體意識）, which means people tend to catch the fever around the world. In addition, Tsao also mentioned that more and more young people have come to buy the action figures（公仔）from fantasy movies than before. Peng-yun Tsao shared one of her most indelible memories, in which a crazy fan reinvented his own house to re-create the aisle of warship from Star Wars.
Running the business for over five years, Tsao believed that it is really a blessing that she can run a successful business. “The ephemeral nature of life is a blessing as it reminds me to seek the inner eternal peace and makes me more humble and thankful for my life. On the contrary, I should take whatever it comes in life when in bad condition,” shared Tsao. That was the reason why Star Wars touched Tsao–the wisdom of Yoda, and Darth Vader renouncing the dark and sought the light before he died. The story is not only about the warfare, but also the courage to seek for peace. The charm of fantasy movies lies in that they are full of truth.
Fantasy Literature: A Magical Journey and the Problems along the Way.
Fantasy novels are getting more and more popular in recent years. Some of which like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were adapted into films, making a huge hit and becoming a global phenomenon. The world of fantasy literature usually runs its story in a fictional universe with an evil dragon, a fearless hero and a wizard with his magic to help the hero through the ordeal. However, it also somehow reflects the culture of the real world itself.
Writers in Taiwan are struggling to have their own fantasy literary style. The chief editor of Fantasy Foundation (奇幻基地) Hsiu-chen Yang (楊秀真) pointed out that a part of the problem is due to Taiwan’s environment, which is not supportive enough for the fantasy writers. Yang named a few reasons towards the problem, one of them is the lacking of reading ability of teenage readers. They wouldrather read books like light novel which is easy to understand instead of the fantasy literature which is often with a lot of nuances among different characters that are required time to figure it out. Besides, readers nowadays have plenty types of books to choose from, especially the books translated from other languageswhich often steal the spotlight from local fantasy novels.
Therefore, with limited amount of readers, the writers suffer a hard time making a living by writing. Some of the series are considered the classics in their original country, but the sales figures might suddenly drop in Taiwan. Nevertheless, Yang says as a publisher, even though these books are not sold out well, they deserve to be introduced to the readers. They will publish them and hope that every book they publishe would become a feather in a man's cap.