‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ vs. ‘The Martian’: Which will win Oscar sci-fi standoff?

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If Oscar voters only embrace a single science-fiction film this year, which one do YOU think they’ll nominate for Best Picture: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or “The Martian“? Both seem like instant classics, but Oscar is notorious for giving the cold shoulder to sci-fi fare. Just last year, the academy snubbed two such critically acclaimed blockbusters: “Interstellar” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Experts’ Oscar update: ”The Martian’ on the rise, ‘Joy’ closing in on frontrunner ‘Spotlight’

While no sci-fi film has ever won Best Picture, the original “Star Wars” might have come close in 1977 when “Annie Hall” prevailed. More recently, both “Avatar” and “District 9” managed to reap Best Picture bids in 2009, but that was when 10 films were guaranteed a spot in this top race. Now, the number of nominees can be anywhere between five and 10.

“The Martian” currently comes in ninth in Gold Derby’s Oscar predictions for Best Picture with 16/1 odds, while the still-unseen “Star Wars” is down in 19th place with lowly 100/1 odds. Our forum posters, many of whom are Hollywood insiders, have been weighing in on this sci-fi standoff at the Oscars. Read some of their comments below and then join the fierce debate in our forums here. And be sure to make your predictions for the Best Picture line-up at the bottom of this post. 

FilmGuy619: Gun to my head, I would say “Star Wars” because it will make all the money in the world and nominating it will solve the ratings problem they’ve been having. Plus, “The Martian” might peak too soon if “Star Wars” is a massive success across the board (critically, financially, and industry-wise).

Eddy Q: Currently I’m predicting neither but if “The Force Awakens” get close to “Empire Strikes Back” level reviews it definitely has a chance for Best Picture. I’m hearing a lot about how well-liked “The Martian” is by industry insiders but my gut feeling is that, when push comes to shove, it won’t do so well in nominations.

Adam Rock: I’m pretty sure “The Martian” is getting into best picture. I think. Also thought “Interstellar” would get in last year though.

manakamana: “Star Wars” will be huge. It’s already huge. It’s hard to imagine both “The Martian” and “Star Wars” in the BP lineup but I’d be VERY surprised if “The Martian” is in there and “Star Wars” isn’t.

Manuelcolon: And then there is “Mad Max,” the best reviewed action film of the last 20 years, everybody loves the film, and wants it to get in. Did better than expected at the box office, and surprised the world by how good it was and how amazing the reviews were.

Join the film discussion in our fun forum!

Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Oscar nominations).

Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby’s in-house team of Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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