As the first man to set foot on the moon, it seems likely that Neil Armstrong enjoyed movies set in space. It was, after all, his territory. Which films, however, best honored astronaut pioneers like Armstrong? Take a look at some of them.
Alien was a little film that created huge buzz and eventually built itself into a multi-billion dollar franchise. The movie’s gritty portrayal of life aboard a space ship and its willingness to depict the dangers that lurk in the unknown catapulted the film front and center. It accurately defined the strength and courage that astronauts need to survive the blackness of space, where “no one can hear you scream.”
Apollo 13 was the story of the mission meant to follow that of Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s. The film accurately played out the stress of astronaut training and the always present competitive factor. It showed the immense determination of America’s space cowboys. It also pictured how quickly things can go wrong; forever changing the future for a few good men.
Star Wars was and still is the greatest space saga. It depicted what astronauts always hoped to find; life on other planets with aliens living and operating in the same way we do. Sadly, that even applied to man’s inhumanity to others and penchant for war. Still, the stunning special effects and costumes created a world that generations of Americans will enjoy.
Wall-E presented the cautionary tale of what can happen if man gets stuck on the wrong pathway. Humanity’s lack of caring for the planet that grew and nurtured them created a bleak picture for the future. If man doesn’t change he could still become enslaved to the careless disregard, apathy, laziness and greed portrayed in the film.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind addressed what astronauts longed for and people all over the world hope for — a friendly encounter with aliens. UFO sightings, rumors and studies seem to prove that life exists beyond this planet. What form it takes and how it is similar and different to us; however, remains unknown. The answers are out there.
2001: A Space Odyssey is visually beautiful and intellectually stimulating if not a bit pretentious. However, it began a long string of films about the dangers of computers and other forms of artificial life. It also made us once again look at our own origins.
Star Trek moved easily from the small screen to motion pictures because the stories were large enough and pertinent enough to resonate with theater audiences. No franchise, save Star Wars, has had the kind of impact of Gene Roddenberry’s creative genius. The franchise still lives, having been rebooted into its third incarnation.
Avatar continued to stress man’s apathy toward nature. It also addressed man’s need to capture and enslave that which he cannot or will not understand. However, it also proves that once man does understand his alien brother, changes can take place.
Which space film is your favorite and which one do you think Neil Armstrong likely loved most? Sound off below.