Science Fiction Film & Television

Empire as mirror

Imperialism and identity in the Crest/Banner of the Stars series

Science Fiction Film & Television (2014), 7, (3), 409–432.

Abstract

As a genre, sf has been criticised for remaining rooted in the colonial narrative. Often, however, it is that very colonial narrative which is of interest. This paper examines representations of empire in Morioka Hiroyuki's Seikai series. These novels and anime focus on a classical, conquering, expanding empire, but position it as an alternative to postmodern Empire and the global capitalist political model. Empires come entangled with issues of identity; who are the colonisers and who are the colonised? Morioka challenges the idea of ethnic identity in a universe where genetic manipulation is easy. The series challenges Japanese cultural identity by presenting an evolving ‘Japanese’ culture hardly recognisable to the Japanese of today. From within the colonial narrative, these novels and anime grapple with issues of empire and identity, and fully utilise sf's potential to create a future empire that is relevant today.

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Author details

Smith, Christopher

Smith, Christopher