This topic dredges up that old topic we’ve addressed around here before, what is science fiction. Some think Science Fiction only realistic, science based stories (specifically labeled Hard Science Fiction). The history of the genre makes it clear that Space Opera, the lighter more free portion of the genre the developed out of the Planetary Romances of Edgar Rice Burroughs, is just as integral to the overall science fiction genre as hard SF is. And it is funny how Asimov is considered hard SF. A lot of his work is far more on the Space Opera side then hard SF. Especially his Robots/Empire/Foundation setting that so obviously had an impact on Star Wars. Lucas himself labeled Star Wars as Space Opera, which it most certainly is. In Space Opera, hard realism takes a back seat to story and it is up the writer to make the audience believe. People steeped in science have always loved to poke holes in Space Opera. Often it is only feasible on a theoretical level. Sometimes not even then. Space Opera writers end up writing quasi-science to give an air of authenticity and possibility to things like ESP, FTL and so many things that current science says are not possible. A lot of that is based on the reality that at one point in time, breaking the sound barrier or going to the moon was considered impossible.
A truth I’ve discovered about most fiction is that it can usually fit in more than one category. There is room to call Star Wars science fiction, space opera, fairy tale and other things. Even a space western or space Samurai cinema. But rather then saying it should not be called X, we should be saying it can be called W, X, Y, and Z. I call it space opera (a subset of Science Fiction) because that is actually my favorite genre and I am well read and well watched in it.