With Halloween quickly approaching, and after nearly two years that felt like they were out of a movie but unfortunately were all too real, the setting was perfect to celebrate fantastic feats of actual fiction at the 2021 Saturn Awards.
The red carpet at the L.A. Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel was graced by masters of genre entertainment (science fiction, fantasy, and horror), both long-running favorites (Back to the Future “Doc” Christopher Lloyd looks fantastic at 83) as well new additions to the scene. Inside the lobby, full-sized figures of a werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster glowered over guests sipping on cocktails preparing for the big event.
The Saturn Awards, which are presented and produced by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, are the only awards show that has been honoring the best in genre entertainment for almost 50 years. It was hosted this year by horror icon Bruce Campbell (known for playing Ash Williams in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise), who was hilarious and engaging as he led the audience through an incredible list of awardees.
The Star Wars franchise had a fantastic showing, with seven wins for Rise of Skywalker, The Clone Wars, and The Mandalorian. It also illustrated one of the most beautiful aspects of the Saturn Awards- it’s inclusivity for everyone involved in creating entertainment, from the production member whose name I didn’t catch accepting for The Clone Wars, through industry extraordinaire Jon Favreau who, when accepting for The Mandalorian, remarked that all of those involved in the business in the room were privileged to be the “first ones who get to see the show”.
Other choice quotes came from recipients of The Spotlight Award winner The Expanse, “we create our own realities, even when reality sucks”, as well as a later award recipient remarking on how horror let’s us look back at the past, fantasy allows us to dream, and science fiction allows us to see what we can be (or what we should try to avoid).
The most motivational words of the night came from the Special Saturn Award recipients, especially black producer and writer Eric Wallace who was awarded the Dan Curtis Legacy Award. The award is named for director, writer, and producer Dan Curtis, and Wallace remarked about how Curtis’ horror television show Dark Shadows changed his life and led him into the industry. And of course, there was the first annual Robert Forster Artist’s Award, named in honor of Saturn Award favorite Robert Forster and given to an actor for their body of work and impact on the industry, bestowed on the aforementioned legend Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd has had a remarkable career and is still going strong- truly an inspiration to all involved in genre entertainment.
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, which puts on the Saturn Awards, is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by film historian Doctor Donald A. Reed, and is supported by several hundred genre enthusiasts and professionals. Below is the full list of winners at the 46th Annual Saturn Awards!
Best Science Fiction Film: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture: Joker
Best Fantasy Film: Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
Best Horror Film: The Invisible Man
Best Action/Adventure Film: Mulan
Best Thriller Film: Knives Out
Best International Film: Parasite
Best Animated Film: Onward
Best Independent Film: Encounter
Best Actor: John David Washington (Tenet)
Best Actress: Elizabeth Moss (The Invisible Man)
Best Supporting Actor: Bill Hader (It Chapter 2)
Best Supporting Actress: Ana De Armas (Knives Out)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Kyliegh Curran (Doctor Sleep)
Best Director: J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker)
Best Writing: Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood)
Best Production Design: Barbara Ling (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood)
Best Editing: Bob Ducsay (Knives Out)
Best Music: John Williams (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker)
Best Costume: Bina Daigeler (Mulan)
Best Make-Up: Amanda Knight, Neal Scanlan (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker)
Best Special Effects: Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, Dominic Tuohy (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker)
Best Science Fiction TV Series: Star Trek: Discovery
Best Horror TV Series: The Walking Dead
Best Action/Thriller TV Series: Better Call Saul
Best Fantasy TV Series: For All Mankind
Best Presentation on Television (Under 10 Episodes): The Mandalorian
Best Animated TV Series: StarWars: The Clone Wars
Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series: The Boys
Best Film Presentation on Streaming Media: Enola Holmes
Best Actor on Television: Patrick Stewart (Picard)
Best Actress on Television: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Doug Jones (Star Trek: Discovery)
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Danielle Panabaker (The Flash)
Best Younger TV Actor: Brec Bassinger (Stargirl)
Best Guest Star on Television: Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
HOME ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS
Best 4K Film Release: Knives Out
Best DVD/BD Classic Film Release: Dr. Cyclops (Special Edition)
Best DVD/BD Collection Release: Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release: Creepshow (Season 1)
Best Local Stage Production: The Witch (Geffen Playhouse)
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FROM THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION,FANTASY & HORROR FILMS
The Visionary Award: Mike Flanagan
The Life Career Award: Michael Gruskoff
The Producers Showcase Award: Victoria Alonso
The Dan Curtis Legacy Award: Eric Wallace
The Special Achievement Award: David Kirschner
The Television Spotlight Award: The Expanse
And the inaugural
The Robert Forster Artist’s Award: Christopher Lloyd