On Passengers the movie, infinity and mortality…#PassengersMovie

We are finite beings in an infinite universe.

I watched the movie PASSENGERS recently, and it impressed upon me my own mortality.

In the movie, 5,000 passengers and 250 crew members are on a massive space ship headed for a planet they will colonize. The journey will take 120 years, so they’ve been placed in suspended animation.

Thirty-years into the journey, one of the hibernation pods malfunctions and wakes up the passenger. With ninety-years to go before the ship reaches the planet, and no way to return to suspended animation, Jim will spend the rest of his life alone on the big empty ship (BTW, the ship is totally amazeballs!). He considers suicide. In desperation, he wakes up another passenger. Aurora believes her pod malfunctioned, but of course, learns it didn’t. From there the movie diverges into typical Hollywood fare with high stakes danger, a gut-wrenching choice, and explosions.  However, the images of space transcend mediocrity.

What struck me (and rather profoundly) were the space walks. The characters were two small beings floating in the silent vastness of outer space, two specks in infinity, whose lives literally hung by a thin tether.

Jim and Aurora realize they will not reach their destination alive. Everyone on the ship will go on but them.

What a metaphor for life.  We live. We die, and everyone else goes on. They die, and everyone they know goes on.  There will always be a destination beyond our reach because time, like space, is infinite, but our lives are finite.

We are all passengers on a big ship traveling to a destination we will not reach.

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2 Responses to On Passengers the movie, infinity and mortality…#PassengersMovie

  1. Beautifully written, Cara, and yes, those space EVA scenes were breathtaking. Also, the contrast between the first two space walks in terms of mood and atmosphere, showing the two sides of being in space–the gut-wrenching isolation and then the pure wonder.

    I absolutely adored this movie. I know many took issue with the choice made, but just about any SFR or romance story you read is about someone having their life altered by someone else for unexpected reasons. I think the dilemma was portrayed very realistically, and the decision only made after great agony and internal turmoil. And it was a very human decision. (Not to mention the doom they would have met if the decision hadn’t been made.)

    And then that the heroine was a writer! I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to have read Aurora’s book.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I think they made the best possible choice: to live the life they had. I totally understand Jim’s decision. I think most people would have caved under the circumstances. And I can totally understand how Aurora would be feel robbed.

      The movie so was beautiful and so engrossing. Usually I start looking at my watch about an hour into a movie, but that didn’t happen in this case. The ship was so well done, the android bartender was cool, and the unhelpful help center was spot on.

      There was so much to love.

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