Sunday, May 28, 2017
Why the movie Alien Covenant matters
Science fiction is rarely about Science or mere fiction. Not to say the technology or gadgetry in sci-fi is supposed to be authentic or workable or that the stories are meant to be taken literal, but, the underlying themes woven within many Sci-fi plots are often telling. Alien Covenant follows seamlessly in the path of Prometheus , both of which are great movies. Again, the next plot line in the series raises great questions about creation-creators, our place in the universe, and what are our origins.
What I like about these particular movies is the space given to both the idea of Faith and to Science. I don't think reason, logic, or science are enemies to faith in the supernatural, and in fact I think we learn much more about the supernatural and its possibilities through science than we do without exploring science. Though Prometheus was more faith-friendly and treated the faith-character with more respect than Covenant does, there is still room given to explore both ideas of having faith and merely trusting in science.
Perhaps Science can tell us the "how's" to much of creation, but it science can't pretend to tell us the "why's" or what the end results are going to be. Foundational-purpose and meaning aren't tested in a lab or deciphered with an equation.
What Alien Covenant adds to the "Alien" project, is the unpredictable element of AI, Artificial Intelligence. Not that a "synthetic" human is new to the movie series, but the new question which is raised loud & clear is, Can we trust our own creation, what will the future of AI be? That is the big question of the Alien series, and it's probably not just for Sci-fi anymore.