2001: A Space Odyssey Analysis
The purpose of this report is threefold. I will begin by briefly discussing my interpretation of the film, 2001: a Space Odyssey, with a particular focus on the piece of alien technology, the black monolith. I will then discuss the plausibility of the Jupiter landing/living scenes, including the accuracy of how it was portrayed and whether living on Jupiter for a sustained period of time is realistic. Finally, I will wrap up by delving deeper into the black monolith. I will discuss the plausibility of the technology and the initial reaction to the technology from life on Earth.
The ending of this film is entirely open to interpretation, ranging from an ...view middle of the document...
This time, instead of simply implanting ideas into Bowman’s head as it seemed to do with the apes, it completely transformed Bowman from an old man into a baby surrounded by a protective shield. This could very well be seen as a further stage in the evolution of man; from primate to man, then from man to whatever this baby figure could be. “Baby” Bowman is then shown travelling through space towards Earth.
In the film, Bowman and the other astronauts are sent on a mission to Jupiter. Towards the end, Bowman is the only one who reaches Jupiter and attempts to enter the planet in the mini-space pod. During this scene, Bowman’s cruiser is bombarded with brilliant, multicolored flashing lights for a full few minutes. I believe this was portraying him breaking through the atmosphere of Jupiter. In my research for this assignment, I have found that this portrayal may be more accurate than I first thought. Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, boasts a similarly massive atmosphere. This atmosphere is notorious for being extremely colorful. On the NASA website, it is stated that Jupiter’s atmosphere is “a tapestry of beautiful colors and atmospheric features.” These colors also could have been produced by the enormous magnetosphere of Jupiter. Deep in the atmosphere, the hydrogen and helium abundant in the upper atmosphere as gas becomes metallic and electrically conducting. The colors could have been electrons and ions reacting within this magnetosphere. Another possible explanation for the colors could be lightning storms in the atmosphere. Lightning is formed on Jupiter by convection, just like on Earth. However, Jupiter’s lightning is much more powerful, resulting in more intense storms. Bowman could have very well been driving right through one of these intense lightning storms in Jupiter’s atmosphere. While the array of colors and their appearance may have been exaggerated in the film, I believe any one of the factors listed above could have accounted for the scene mentioned.
Eventually, Bowman breaks through the atmosphere and reaches the inner portion of Jupiter. First, the innards of Jupiter are shown to be rocky. This may have some scientific truth to it. Due to its massive pressure, it is said that Jupiter may have a core of ice-rock. The science begins to break down when some sort of flowing liquid ocean is shown. Jupiter is much too far away from the Sun for the temperature to be suitable for liquid water. Therefore, the liquid is most likely hydrogen and/or helium.
This last fact transitions nicely into my next discussion: the plausibility of a human, or any life form, living on a planet like Jupiter for a sustained period of time. In the film, it shows Bowman living out the rest of his life in some sort of room, which I have assumed to have been located on Jupiter. There are some problems with this assumption. For life to exist, it must have access to liquid water. Jupiter, however, is well out of the habitable zone of...