The movie Jupiter Ascending by the Wachowski siblings was released on DVDa while back, and unfortunately I have allowed a long time to pass before getting around to blogging about it. It took me a little while, when I saw The Theory of Everything, to realize where else I knew Eddie Redmayne from. One was Jupiter Ascending, and the other was Les Miserables.
This is not a great movie by any means. But for those interested in the intersection of religion and science fiction, it is an interesting one.
The movie centers around aliens who are focused on longevity and on genes. It is one’s genes, ultimately, which make for immortality, and so it is not just one’s continuous self, but also the spontaneous emergence of the same genetic code anywhere, that is considered to be constitutive of a person’s identity. There is an entertaining scene in which a human who is the genetic duplicate of a deceased powerful extraterrestrial person, goes through alien bureaucratic layers trying to get her claim to the privileges that go with here genes.
But genetic existence isn’t the only kind of longevity the aliens are interested in, and it turns out that Earth is one of many places where beings such as humans are grown in order to eventually be harvested to make a serum that restores one’s youth.
The movie thus explores quite explicitly a number of aspects of immortality, longevity, and the rights of sentient beings. And so whatever else might be said about it, it is a movie that deserves attention from those interested in the exploration of religious themes in science fiction.