As LOST drew to a close on Sunday, having abandoned much of the physics and philosophy they hinted at along the way, I was left with one thought (ok, a lot of thoughts, but this isn't about LOST anyway): Has faith won out over science? After all, Battlestar Galactica took a very similar road of religious resolution that's still controversial among BSG fans.
I'm not as avid a sci-fi reader as I should be (researching this column has caused me to make a very long to-read / read again list), but I try to be an avid sci-fi watcher. With two television shows deciding to throw their storylines towards faith over reason, I began to wonder what our sci-fi legacy might be when all is said and done. After all, last year was a big one for sci-fi, with Star Trek, District 9,Avatar, andMoon making quite an impact on moviegoers. (Let's not forget the flops such as Surrogates orTerminator: Salvation; they're still emblematic of our place and time.) Only Avatar can really be said to have tackled faith in any recognizable way, and could potentially be lumped in with BSG and LOST, as a nature loving lifestyle and a reverence for the Tree of Souls triumphs over technology. But it's a stretch to classify Avatar as really participating in that debate. (Science does try to explain how the Na'vi and their "worship" works, though. So maybe it's not that big of a stretch.)
Arguably, the overarching theme was really the most basic one of sci-fi or "mainstream" fiction (what it means to be human, the indomitable nature of our spirit), but I also see a theme that LOST really ran with: What happened, happened. What's done is done. There is no do over. Even Star Trek, arguably the most cheery of the lot, resolutely went forward having destroyed Romulus and Vulcan, and stranded "our" Spock in a timeline not his own.