August 1, 2011

So Close To Earth

I have noticed recently that several films had placed entire planets so dangerously close to Earth.

In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the Decepticons attempted to teleport their home planet Cybertron right next to Earth!

Then there’s Melancholia, an upcoming movie that seems to have a planet set to collide with Earth.

Another Earth has the most poignant scene of them all, with a mirror earth (that includes a matching mirror moon) spanning a huge portion of the sky visible in breathtaking detail.

Let me tell you this. Never have I known a bunch of movies released almost simultaneously that has put entire planets so near to earth. Correct me if i’m wrong, but perhaps the last movie ever made about another planet getting this close to earth was in The Fifth Element released in 1997. But further than that, When Worlds Collide was in 1951. But now, in an era when we are at the brink of finding another earth (or earth-like planet), films suddenly turn up with ideas that puts alien planets so poetically close to Earth.

Could it have been that these films influenced by the numerous discoveries of exoplanets that we hear about in the news almost every month? Perhaps. But there are deeper questions to ask.

Are these a reflection of humanity’s deep yearning to understand what all these new worlds mean to us? Does the quest to find another earth reflect humanity’s longing to understand the meaning of our existence by discovering similar worlds with life like our own?

There is no doubt about it. The impact of exoplanet discoveries is now becoming more and more apparent in our culture. These films simply serve as a signal that the impact of other worlds is now here upon us. And with it comes the question that needs to be asked of ourselves: How does the existence of gazillions of worlds that even outnumber the stars change the way you see the Cosmos?

No comments: