reply to post by fixedworld
What was that movie really about?
As Arthur said to Stan, 'I didn't realize we were making the first $10m religious movie.'
Plot summary (contains spoilers):
Mysterious powers from outer space help some clever apes develop their potential by teaching them stuff using a big black slab as a chalkboard. Among
the lessons are meat-eating, murder and war. This is the start of a very long-term project.
Project phase two begins when the apes' human descendants find another of those pesky slabs buried under a crater on the Moon. They unearth it and it
sends an alarm off to Jupiter (Saturn in the book). The alarm wakes up another
giant slab, this one in orbit round one of the moons of Jupiter
A spaceship is sent off to Jupiter (Saturn) on the trail of the second slab's alarm call. There are a few accidents along the way, ensuring that only
one astronaut is left when the ship arrives at its destination. He finds the orbiting slab (slab no. 3) and putters out in his space-pod to have a
look at it. This slab is a star-gate (it's actually called that in the book). The star-gate swallows the astronaut and his space-pod and slings them
across the universe to an unspecified location. On arrival at this mysterious place (is it even 'in' the universe?) the astronaut ages rapidly, dies
and is reborn as a 'star-child'. This completes the second project phase. What happens next is not hinted at.
In later books (and movies) Clarke did, of course, tell us what happens next, but those later works are a bit sad really, compared to the original
book/movie combination. If you haven't read or watched them – don't.
reply to post by comppwizz
Clarke didn't describe the moons of Jupiter in the book version of 2001
. He described the moons of Saturn, and he didn't actually do very
well with the descriptions, which were based on what could be seen by telescopes on Earth.
The moons of Jupiter, as shown in the movie 2001
, were the work of Stanley Kubrick, the director, and his opticals crew (probably). No doubt
Stan took Arthur's advice, which would have been based (again) on what could be seen through telescopes on Earth. Jupiter is a lot nearer Earth than
Saturn, so its moons are a tiny bit easier to see from here than Saturn's are. He was a clever man, Arthur, and he made the right guesses. Mind you,
the pictures from Pioneer weren't really that detailed.