Passengers Movie – Best of SciFi
The new movie Passengers struck me pretty hard because it is a culmination of the best ideas that SciFi novels always analyze: how people react to unfamiliar and difficult situations. Come to think of it, the best movies, songs, and books all deal with how people respond to crises.
The key concept the movie deals with is how people deal with the unforgiving conditions of space – the huge distances and the one way trips that are required. Much like Interstellar deals with time and loss and the meaning of connection and commitment, Passengers deals with loneliness and the basic human need for company. In prison, solitary confinement is the worst punishment one can receive, and in Passengers, Jim has been dealt the card of solitary confinement for life. His character faces an ethical dilemma like no other – a selfish desire for company and sanity against condemning another human being to the same fate as he has been dealt. Survival is our most basic instinct, and Jim’s desire to live overrides his moral compass. He knows he will go insane in solitude, and suicide or death from old age will be his only reprieves from insanity. He chooses to live by condemning Aurora to a life that is only marginally better than his own – at least she won’t be alone…. How will it turn out? I’ll let you know when I finish the movie!