Science Fiction : A Space Odyssey Essay

Science Fiction : A Space Odyssey Essay

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The History of science fiction is one of mankind’s richest forms of true expression, captured by the imagination. Even as make-believe as science fiction may be seem in its time, It more often than not plays on real life concepts and cultural issues of mankind’s present day climate, only slightly skewed from reality. It is these concepts that have the power to immerse audiences into something so rich that it’s slightly slanted factuality, from reality, causes little concern. Science fiction plays on concepts of paranoia, anxieties, invasion and exploration that are often at the centre of social and cultural issues of modern day life here on Earth. Novelist, Kingsley Amis writes

The design aesthetics in science fiction film has evolved from the fantastically improbable often envisioned in its infancy, to something far more factual as greater advances in Science and Technology take place in society. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968. Stanley Kubrick) gave the first big rise to this new design ethic and offers the most renowned case in point (figure 1), the law suit involving global electronic technologies giants Apple arguing that Samsung has infringed on its iPad patents of originality. Samsung arguing in return that Apple holds no originality as the design was previously envisioned in film.

And yet science fiction also goes beyond the aesthetics of its designs and what may be seen as the simplicity of its core themes. Science fiction caters to the Philosophical answers to mankind’s existence. It offers conceptual complexity, engaging audiences on ideas of political, historical and cultural commentary. Steven M. Sanders writes

Since the birth of science fiction with the novel Frankenstein, by British author, Mary Shelly, 1818, huma...


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...ears of the machine age and computer technologies. Man playing god, and his creation, his Frankenstein monster, rebelling against humanity.

Scott’s Alien android, Ash (figure 5), would become a modern day Frankenstein with new fears and formidable anxieties.

The 70’s brought with it new sciences with the exploration of genetics and artificial tissue, these scientific advances form the architecture, the building blocks of the android, bringing feasibility to the design as noted by Nature Biotechnology magazine.

Ash was human for all intense and purposes. Audiences see Ash as just another astronaut, the crews Science Officer on a mission, albeit anomalous. Ash evolves through the film to inflame fears and the anxieties of the cold war, the enemy within, and the paranoia of the communist, until his secret is revealed, one of a hidden agenda. Roger Lockhurst writes

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