Week 4 Compare/Contrast “2001: A Space Odyssey & “The Sentinel” Science Fiction
In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, it deals with a series of encounters between humans and a mysterious black monoliths that is apparently effecting human evolution. In the short story “The Sentinel”, the story basically reverses the roll of the black monoliths. The narrator in the short story speculates that the mysterious aliens who left the monolith behind may have used mechanisms belonging “to a technology that lies beyond our horizons, perhaps to the technology of para-physical forces.
” Let’s start with that difference. It seems in the movie the story of the monolith is the energy of the sun, and it is the basic for evolution. In the movie it starts with “the beginning of mankind” with apes, and other creatures on a planet. The mysterious black monolith appears, and the apes began to huddle around it and touch it.
After this happens, it seems the apes became smarter, and figured out how to hunt, and to use weapons as one of the apes kills the leader of the water hole so it’s key for survival.
When the ape throws the bone in the air, the movie then goes to an orbiting space satellite years in the future, which is what the falling bone in the air resembles. The second act of the movie surrounds a Dr. going to the space station and discussing the “Odd” things that have happened surrounding the black monolith. The space station has a meeting and it is highly regarded as a secret artifact, and no-one will give any definitive information about “the artifact deliberately buried four million years ago”. There are multiple parts in the movie that were just a totally shrug of the shoulders and I had no clue what it had to do with the plot. The employees of the space station ride a moon bus to the artifact; which is the black monolith that looks identical to the one discovered by the apes. They examine the monolith; take a picture in front of it, and all of a sudden there is this huge high pitched screech noise emitting from the artifact. In the sentinel, the artifact has sort of the same effect on the humans. It had more of a control factor on mankind in the sentinel quoting “This was not a building, but a machine, protecting it with forces that had challenged Eternity. Those forces, whatever they might be, were still operating, and perhaps I had already come too close. I thought of all the radiations man had trapped and tamed in the past century.
For all I knew, I might be as irrevocably doomed as if I had stepped into the deadly, silent aura of an unshielded atomic pile.” I watched the movie first and read the story second, perhaps making it seem as the movie was way over my head without reading the short story by Arthur C. Clarke. The short story has seemingly the same concept of finding the artifact on the moon while exploring other aspects of the moon. It also elaborates entirely on the discovered artifact. The movie seems to have some sort of tangent when it goes to the Jupiter Mission. The HAL 9000 computer just takes up space in an already too long movie. I think in 1968 we were obsessed with technology, so that’s why the producer decided to put this hour long tangent of just the computer showing off, and controlling the ship while also destroying lives of the three men in suspended animation. The movie seemingly takes up space with the creation of the “HAL” computer. It really has nothing to do with the monolith, or anything besides the story of the space travel which is what the movie is entitled “A space Odyssey”. There are too many aspects of the movie lost in transition from the monolith to the space station and HAL computer. I for one got lost in this part of the movie and almost completely forgot about the black monolith. As I stated in the short story, the monolith or “discovered artifact” is the main point of the story.
The only mention in this act of the movie about the monolith is the messaged displayed when Bowman is trying to destroy HAL, because HAL is about the demise of the crew and is trying to stop Bowman from destroying it. When he pulls HAL’s memory chips from the computer, the message is displayed: “The four million year old black monolith on the moon, “Its origin and purpose is still a total mystery.” The message also adds that it has remained completely inert, except for a single very powerful radio emission aimed at Jupiter. The final act of the movie was the most bizarre. Bowman leaves the space ship “Discovery One” in a pod, and finds another monolith in orbit around the planet. When he approaches it, all the planets, moons, and sun goes in line with the monolith, and it takes you on a ten minute journey through colors and lights and things that made me so confused. It ends with Bowman in a room in the pod, then outside the pod in a space suit. Okay I can buy that…but all of a sudden he is much older. The point of view keeps switching to him sitting at a table eating food, and then laying in the bed which is seemingly his death bed. The black monolith appears at the foot of his bed, and then he is transformed to a fetus as if evolution has taken him back in time somehow, in orbit around the earth gazing at it. Strange. The short story ending is surrounded by the thought of evolution and creation. To quote the story: Perhaps you understand now why that crystal pyramid was set upon the Moon instead of on the Earth. Its builders were not concerned with races still struggling up from savagery.
They would be interested in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive -by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, our cradle. That is the challenge that all intelligent races must meet, sooner or later. It is a double challenge, for it depends in turn upon the conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between life and death.” In this aspect I believe the point of view from the book and movie are trying to accomplish the same goal, yet in their own way. The view of aliens, artifacts, and stumbling upon it are very similar. They both present the first contact between human and aliens to be about an artifact left by them. There is no sight or mention of aliens in the short story or movie. Just the artifact left behind or created by the aliens that could still be in existence. If they humans can get past the fact that the artifacts are left, it can only be a matter of time until they can understand it. In the short story its thought that the artifact will be opened someday, because the signals have ceased and whoever created it will turn their minds upon Earth. This aspect seems that the aliens will return some day and show the human race the power of the artifact. In the movie, there is no mention of it. I thought the movie ended without such an explanation as the book gave, which the book gave an entire page of detailed information on how aliens and the artifact can be viewed.
A reference of 2001 A space odyssey. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20th, 2012, from 2001 Space Odyssey: http://www.2001aspaceodyssey.org/articles.asp Clarke, A. C. (n.d.). About the short story The Sentinel. Retrieved September 20th, 2012, from japetus: http://japetus.name/visionaryjourneys/pdf/TheSentinel.pdf http://bestsciencefictionstories.com/author/Rusty/. (n.d.). Best Science Fiction Stories. Retrieved September 20th, 2012, from Arthur C Clarke: http://bestsciencefictionstories.com/2008/07/27/the-sentinel-by-arthur-c-clar
Cite this Science Fiction Movies Comparison
Science Fiction Movies Comparison. (2016, Jul 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/science-fiction-movies-comparison/