Any time you want, you can see a sci-fi film about some future dystopia. It’s playing at your local movie theater, it’s on your streaming Netflix account, or Hulu, or wherever else you look.
Dystopias are easy to create stories around. They provide built in social problems, personal struggles, tragedies large and small, tests of human courage. Perfect fodder for storytelling.
But you don’t see many tales set in utopias. Telling a story set in a utopia is a bit like telling a story set in Heaven: If nothing is wrong, how do you build dramatic tension?
Star Trek: The Next Generation tried to convey a sort of utopian vision of a better and more enlightened future. But then they needed to resort to outsized antagonists to mess up the calm utopian order, such as Q and the Borg. So I’m not sure that really counts.
Would there be any way to tell a compelling dramatic tale in a truly utopian setting? If anyone can think of a good example, I’d love to hear about it.