If real scientists wrote Alien scripts?4,165 Views22 RepliesAdd A Reply
All sci-fi movies are fictional and contain elements that may be unscientific. But within the rough frame-work of Alien franchise, especially Covenant, how would a story differ if real scientists were involved in writing the script?
I will begin with what will be left out.
1. plot motifs that are suggestive of creationism
We don't know the full story behind the Alien universe but the current evidences for evolution and human origin on Earth are so strong that alternative stories sound downright stupid.
What I can suggest is to root human origin on earth but make unknown hominid cousins that left the earth earlier. much much earlier and are scientifically more advanced.
This means all biblical mysticism has to go but R Scott certainly loves it and probably is a religious man.
By the way you cannot have 3 billion years old hominids that are genetically similar to us... if you are familiar with molecular biology and genetics, you should know about SNPs and mutation rates...
2. Timeline should be pushed forward , at least 200 years.
There is no chance in hell that we will colonize other star systems in the next 500 years. But this is sci fi so 200 will do.
3. We may acquire the technology to colonize other star systems but probably won't for economical reasons for a long long time.
4. In the mean time all serious businesses like exploration will be done by robots and AI as advancement in AI will be much quicker than that in space flight technology.
5. Human travel in space will only be for recreational/entertainment purposes. Actually colonization too as the human race will have little need to colonize other star systems for a long long time.
6. When we travel to other star systems it is far more likely that we send just embryos or even just genetic codes that are to be assembled by AI when the ship gets there.
7. We will do a thorough job in making sure there is no alien life form on the planet we want to colonize. We will certainly send out drones and robots for exploration first when we get there.
The short answer is: They would be a vast gulf less interesting and less entertaining.
Go read some Asimov (drops mic).
An exception, not the rule. And some of his work is truly tedious.
Concur with Gman's first comment
"Part of the journey is the end..."
But some of the scientific implausibility in the movie(such as space travel in the mid-late 21st century) are totally unnecessary. And there are other clues that show the writers' ignorance in science. The mood of Alien franchise is different from that of Star Wars or even Star Trek. It was meant to be more serious than sci-fantasy movies like Star Wars.
In the story I'm writing, I try to balance scientific accuracy with maintaining the 'feel' and character of the ALIENverse. As for Real Scientists, well, my hubby is one and helps me out a LOT.
1; Ftl travel, there's a very good chance that we will (relatively) soon have experimental test vehicles for such based off the Modified Alcubierre Metric.
2; Synthetic gravity is actually in development, though very, VERY early stage and has a ways to go yet as the yield is only 1/100th of a G. The keys to it were discovered in the whole Higgs-Boson discovery and the upgraded CERN will expand our knowledge of such even more so.
3; Long-term non-cryogenic metabolic semi-stasis is likewise becoming more than just early-stage experiments. The only real problems with such were how to prevent ice crystal formation in intra-cellular fluids and revivification.
They discovered (while studying case-files and medical reports of drowning survivors in below-zero conditions) that you don't need to go to cryogenic temperatures, which eliminated the ice crystal and all but a few small revivification problems that are solvable.
Drones! Send in The Drones!!
Yes, logically you'd have drones for advance scouting and a plethora of other tasks, which I address in my works. I reasoned that if Synthetics can exist, than lower-level 'pure mechanical' drones and robotics will also and be extremely capable-competent and intelligently able to solve problems with minimal Human assistance.
In the Literary world these days, the 'Hard Sci-fi' authors are fighting to stay to old-school scientific accuracy and such, despite the fact that real-world science is increasingly eroding the Classic Hard Sci-Fi writing model away as new breakthroughs and research opens up doorways to practical applications of what some once thought to be pure science-fantasy. ;)
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
Star Wars...To think of all those variations of beings commingling! The mass death due to exposure to each species viruses and bacteria would be rampant.
Edit:. But I still enjoy that series for what it is. It's fun to watch with my kiddo's. I think it was said above that I expect the Alien series to be more intellectual, to blow the minds of this forum group!
I remember a do***entary where a scientist was accusing Alien of a blatant scientific inaccuracy in regards of the alien life cycle and acid blood. All I can say is sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.
"But some of the scientific implausibility in the movie(such as space travel in the mid-late 21st century) are totally unnecessary. And there are other clues that show the writers' ignorance in science.The mood of Alien franchise is different from that of Star Wars or even Star Trek. It was meant to be more serious than sci-fantasy movies like Star Wars."
Being more serious does not equate or even necessitate being more accurate. That depends on the visual and atmospheric direction based on the screenplay's tone.
The scientific implausibility in these movies is likely chalked less to an ignorance for science and more to making the stories and world accessible to a wide audience. I'm no scientist by any stretch, but I don't really care whether or not the movie is accurate because that's not what I'm watching it for.
We need to remember these are films, not textbooks and they're designed to move at a pace that the story can progress. Quite frankly it's just easier to incorporate and explain space travel through some form of fictional "hyper-sleep" than go through the tedious motions of a potentially shocking embryo plot line--Where these newly formed characters will have to get to know themselves and each other, likely slowing a story's pace to a crawl. That's its own story in and of itself. It doesn't even need an alien involved. In Alien they simply wake up and have already known each other--Boom! We're into the story and bypassing all of that for the sake of brisk storytelling.
Many of the 'Scientists' out there really don't keep up on the wider going's-on in other fields.
EG: Many still claim that Silicon based life is IMpossible!!
They can tell that to the silicon-based beneficial bacteria found in the guts of various extremophile animals that live in very close proximity to hydrothermal vents. ;)
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
Yes that has been the problem with Prometheus...alien was so much more realistic and plausible. Yes things could be argued about it but not much and that is why it felt like the most realistic sci fi film ever and what made it so great. The realism seemed to go out the window in prometheus.
The best sci fi films are made by people with a real grasp of science and technology along with the creativity. obannon Geiger and Ridley were the perfect organism :) . Along with some others.
Yes a film made only by a scientist is boring but a film made by a top director with either great scientific knowledge or scientific advice from experts...I really noticed Ridley looked like a duck out of water with the technological / evolutionary side of prometheus were as the visuals are his thing (just seen the black goo spore inside the ear shot in covenant...very nice). I really hope this time round he's got the writers with the knowledge or someone to drive the realism of the tech and evolutionary side of it all...more realism please!
"It's almost as if they are making it up as they go along" :D
G. H. (Gman) It is disheartening however, when you find out that a writer like Jon Spaiths (Prometheus) thinks we will never make it to the stars :-(
I think Prometheus' premise made a bold statement. It was in a way a perverted version of creationism. It's just they didn't know where to go from there. And I don't think they still know.
I agree, the willing suspension of disbelief is seriously hindered when a movie has 'unrealistic' character behaviors, i.e.- petting a space snake! Those are the types of things a behavioral scientist may have said, "Find another way to do that." AS far as space aliens & space travel, I just allow it, unless it is a really dumb-looking space alien. Like a gorilla suited-guy with a space helmet? HAHA!
Remember dinosaur movies back when they dragged their tails on the ground ? LOL!
I would guess that as the World's population will continue to rise in the next 100 years, the Earth will not be able to sustain the demands and pollution of a huge increase in numbers of human beings.
It would be a great idea to colonize other Worlds in other galaxies, but technology will not progress enough, plus the vast cost and massive distances will rule out this option for mankind.
We will become victims of our own success and when the Earth's resources cannot cope with a huge global population and pollution in the air and oceans will overwhelm the planet.
Just because something does not seem probable to one group of people, does not mean it is impossible to achieve, i watched 2001: A Space Odyssey again and it blew me away that video phone calling(which is skype now) was shown to us back in 1968!
Its sequel 2010, the jupiter sling shot sequence, calculated by Arthur.C.Clarke was used by JPL for a later probe mission, as physicists delve further into the nature of matter and the sub-atomic i think meta-physics will have to play some type of role, without wisdom it can all backfire and blow up in mankinds face, i reckon the lv-223 engineers were advanced but were lacking wisdom, hey they would not have gotten in the predicament they were in otherwise, anyway i am going off on a tangent, all i am saying is, we don't know the nature of the universe, science has to give up looking at things from a limited view and start thinking outside the square bigtime.
One trick I am attempting, and who knows, it might catch on...is to use extrapolated real-world science, but keep it mentioned only as appropriate. With the inclusion of real-world information about the people involved in the experiments. Nothing all that 'heavy' or overly-involved, hust enough to reinforce a sense of Realism.
Example via Excerpt from ALIEN: Manticore
The utility laser finished the cut, and several of Manticore’s largest work drones moved in, pulled the wreck’s engine complex section away from the rest of the unfortunate vessel. The programming choices Smythe had entered saw the ship’s tractor-beam emitters and assorted smaller semi-autonomous drones bring the hull section to a halt, relative to the wreck and Manticore.
He still enjoyed the sheer genius behind such everyday technology. The foundations for tractor-beams had been laid down in the early part of the twenty-first century by David Grier at the New York University, using lasers to move very small test objects made of silica, weighing no more than milligrams, or at most that of a small pill, but it had accomplished moving them in all axes of motion under complete control from metres away across the test lab.
From there, the technology had grown, advanced, been scaled-up, further refined as advances in laser technology and metamaterial science brought their own contributions.
What had once been pure science-fiction, had rapidly become an indispensably useful tool for space vessels and many aircraft and water vessels as well. Manticore’s own tractor-beams weren’t the largest that were available, but they were extremely powerful, had the best range of all models, much lower maintenance demands and nearly infinite duty-cycles with first-quality motion-control of the object being manipulated. The twelve units were turreted and could operate anywhere in a three-hundred-sixty-degree sphere around the ship. For salvage, they were absolutely essential in his studied opinion and experience, as living crew no longer had to be employed for jobs that could be handled by the technology, thus risk and possible death was minimized.
Thus, the technology is framed within a suitably Human appreciation of the minds and talents behind it, as well as how such technology relates to his own position as Ship's Physician. The information is REAL names, and real Facts about the experiments going on today in the real-world, which gives a better 'solidity' I think as opposed to using some fictional name and fictional people being responsible for the technology of the Tractor Beam.
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
Neil deGrasse Tyson would be a good example of a scientist who can break things down for non scientist types to understand.
Video phones were imagined even in the 19th century. It was not something that looked improbable even then. However space travel is. Even Richard Feynman doubted that we would achieve interstellar human travel within the next 1000 years.
You can bet he knows about physics.
I think overpopulated earth is exaggerated.
There is still plenty of space. Certainly enough so that colonization of other star systems is not a necessity for a very long time.
I think we may be able to colonize other planets and moons within the solar system in the next 500 years.
The population will stabilize. Look at Korea. The poorest and the most densely populated part of the word merely 70 years ago and now it has the lowest birth rate in the world beating even Japan. They now worry about extinction of their race.
If Feynman was around and aware of the work going on, he'd change his tune about interstellar travel.
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
There is the radio frequency resonant cavity thruster, also known as an Emdrive. So, tt doesn't require any fuel. According to a wikipedia source, "there is no theoretical consensus as to how a resonant cavity could produce such thrust. Despite this, inventors have tried to develop such a drive because of the possibility of supporting long voyages in space, where propellant is a primary limiting factor." It was first invented in 2001. China claims they are about the convert all of their satellites to this EmDrive, but there is no proof of them actually having a working "engine". NASA tested it and found that it does produce thrust, but apparently no one understands why it actually works. It violates one of the laws of physics, which is why people can't understand how it works. Of course, the inventor says it doesn't violate. It functions off of microwaves. The main who invented (Shawyer) claims that we can get to Mars in 70 days. Compare this to the current trip time of 150-300 days. I guess Elon Musk did fly the first reusable rockets, but this EmDrive is the future (hopefully). Of course, EmDrive hasn't been tested in space...yet. According to another source in 2014, Shawyer is working on a faster version that could "increase the thrust by up to five orders of magnitude." NASA released a paper on their research with EmDrive. Some read this paper as stating that EmDrive could go faster than lightspeed. 1.2 times the speed of light actually and this is in a test where they weren't trying to see how fast it can actually go. There is much controversy over EmDrive and whether it works or it doesn't and over how fast it can go. EmDrive can also be applied to Earth transportation as well, according to the inventor. If we could travel at lightspeed, we could get to Pluto in 5 years. Then you gotta ask yourself about time dilation. There is so much to consider in space travel and I am no scientist in any way. Still after Pluto, interstellar space is not that far away. NASA's got New Horizons going to the Kuiper Belt. The farthest object made by man is Voyager 1, which is in interstellar space right now (entered in August 2012).