Is there a name for movies/stories/whatever that intend to represent the future (i.e. the year is 2100 and blah blah, like Star Wars etc., actually anything that is not real and is an imagination fantasy of the future).

  • See also: scifi.stackexchange.com Mar 24, 2011 at 15:06
  • 5
    Just to pick a nit... Star Wars is not a future story it's a story that happened "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."
    – oosterwal
    Mar 24, 2011 at 20:20
  • @oosterwal, I was going to pick that exact same nit, but you beat me to it.
    – Marthaª
    Mar 24, 2011 at 23:09
  • I was talking aobut the future parts. Mar 24, 2011 at 23:19
  • Movies of the future will be [elaborate] advertisements.
    – jbelacqua
    Mar 25, 2011 at 3:13

4 Answers 4


As others have said, in the absence of any more specific definition, science fiction is the most likely answer. It deals with:

the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting

However, depending on your point of view, Star Wars may not be a good example, as it can be classed as space opera, which:

emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities

Space opera and science fiction are both subgenres of speculative fiction, which:

is an umbrella term encompassing the more highly imaginative fiction genres

For more information, take a look on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Overflow site.


It all falls under the classification of science fiction. Note that these "future worlds" may actually represent a time in the distant past as well. If you recall from the first Star Wars film (now labeled IV), the opening text crawl announced: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away ..."

  • Of course, some sci-fi fans go to great lengths to define their genre as the improbable made possible, distinguishing it from fantasy where the impossible is made probable. Mar 24, 2011 at 11:39
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    And most of the science fiction fans I know never use the abbreviation "sci-fi" unless they're talking about what non-fans think science fiction is.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:06
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    @Colin: That may be a quirk of your friends. The sci-fi fans here seem to use the term as much as they can.
    – MrHen
    Mar 24, 2011 at 21:16
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    @MrHen: That's a long running, but never dominant meme. Those that don't like "sci-fi" are likely to use "sf" in it's place, and may mean "speculative fiction" by it. It is generally not hard to detect which kind of fans you are in the presence of, and it is not polite to unduly antagonize them. Mar 25, 2011 at 0:20

The term 'Future Noir' is used to describe movies like 'Blade Runner' and 'Twelve Monkeys'. A subset of these films, like 'Terminator', get an additional classification of 'Techno-Noir'. These all tend to be darkish stories set in a dystopian, often post-apocalyptic, future. Literature, like '1984' and 'Fahrenheit 451', can fit within the future-noir genre, but can't really be called 'techno-noir'.

The more general term 'Speculative Fiction' covers a wider range of genres, including super-hero fiction and horror, that aren't necessarily set in some future.

Somewhere between the over-encompassing 'speculative fiction' and the narrowly focused 'future noir' and 'techno-noir' genres is 'Future History'. The 'Star Trek' franchise would fit within this genre, as there are frequent references to their past, which is also our future.

The three links given in the previous paragraphs each have lists of other titles that fit within their respective group.


There is also a genre called 'film-blanc', which in contrast to 'film noir's' dark settings and dystopian story lines, offers hope and utopian story lines. Melding the two already accepted phrases 'future noir' and 'film-blanc' I propose coining 'future blanc' to describe films and literature that are set in a hopeful or utopian future.


Futuristic SciFi (Science Fiction)

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