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NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
UNM hosts virtual ‘Star Wars’ Day on May 4
A graphic promoting the “May the Fourth” events hosted by the Student Activities Center. Photo courtesy of the Student Activities Center.
By Megan Gleason @fabflutist2716 “Star Wars” Day, a decadelong tradition at the University of New Mexico, continues with virtual events to celebrate this year’s “May the Fourth be with you.” On May 4, there will be two main activities: a craft session with stormtroopers and a free movie available to stream all day. Free craft kits have been available for students to pick up prior to the event, and kits picked up on select days had special “Star Wars” cookies included. The last opportunity for students to get a craft kit will be on May 4 in the Student Union Building. Printable coloring pages are also available online. The movie being streamed on May 4 is “Fanboys,” a movie about dedicated Star Wars fans taking their sick friend on a trip across the country to see “Star
Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” before its release. Students that stream the movie will be entered for a chance to win an iPad, sponsored by Xfinity. “This is always an event that happens almost during dead week or pre-finals week, so we don’t want to have it to be a huge time commitment for students and we want to provide an opportunity for students to just have a little bit of fun and kind of geek out over the things they really enjoy,” Andrea Marquez, student activities advisor, said. UNM student Tyrell Bruce said he would be in attendance at the event and is excited for a relaxing activity amid a stressful week. “I just want to have some fun because it’s right in the middle of dead week so I think I could use a break around that time,” Bruce said. Stormtroopers from the NM 501st Legion will be attending the online event, continuing their tradition of making an
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appearance at this recurring UNM celebration. “There is nothing quite like a group of stormtroopers to bring attention to an event,” the Legion’s website says. “Unlike individual entertainers, the 501st Legion functions as a group creating a true science-fiction/ fantasy ambience with a wide range of professional-grade costumes and props.” Marquez said because the event is being hosted virtually, it’s more personal and students can interact easily with the stormtroopers. “It’s an opportunity for students to do something that they wouldn’t normally be able to do at the in-person event, which is actually talk to the person who’s behind that costume,” Marquez said. Bruce said the online format allows the event to be more accessible but has its downsides, such as the necessity for a stable internet connection. “The virtual format allows
people to be in attendance no matter where they are in the world … (Virtual format is) very interesting to say the least,” Bruce said. Bruce noted that the “Star Wars” community is very friendly and said he is eager to meet new people since he hasn’t had many chances to do so during the pandemic. “It would be nice to meet some other ‘Star Wars’ fans, like maybe make some new friends for the first time in a year,” Bruce said. The event is open to anyone, regardless of if you’re a “Star Wars” fan or not. “If you like to be crafty and you want to do some crafts and de-stress while you’re studying for finals, (there’s) a coloring page,” Marquez said. “You can color that character any way you like — you don’t need to know even what movie that character came from. So it’s just kind of a fun way, I think, to be a little bit creative and use your brain in a different way when students are
kind of stressed with finals and stuff like that.” Marquez said she still has hand-made lightsabers from last year’s event on her desk. “I really enjoy and really love seeing students be creative at these events,” Marquez said. “There’s always some sort of craft component in our events.” In the future, Marquez said she hopes the event can be hosted in person again with more of the physical activities they used to offer, such as the photobooth or the New Mexico Lego Users Group. “Hopefully we’re in a safer spot to be able to do that — to stand right next to your friend, put your arms around them and hold a lightsaber together,” Marquez said. Megan Gleason is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @fabflutist2716
NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2021 / PAGE 3
Only Native-owned comic book store in the world resides in ABQ By Hannah John @yesitshannahj Lee Francis IV, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the owner of Red Planet Books and Comics, the only Native American owned comic shop in the world. Francis opened Red Planet Books and Comics in June 2017. The store is located near 10th Street and Central
Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The shop’s first titles were used books by Native authors that came from Francis’ own collection,” Red Planet’s website says. “Now he sells children’s books (quickly bought out whenever the Librarians of Color are in town for a conference) and, of course, comics.” Francis also founded Indigenous Comic Con in November 2016, which is a gathering that celebrates
Indigenous pop culture. The convention was formed to give a platform to Indigenous pop culture groups such as Native actors, cosplayers and artists. This inspired the idea for Red Planet Books and Comics. “(Red Planet Books and Comics) sprung out of the work we had already done, publishing through Native Realities and our Indigenous Comic Con, that I founded,” Francis said. “I tell the joke that I had a lot
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The only Native American owned comic book store in the world, Red Planet Books & Comics, located in downtown Albuquerque.
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of books and I had a lot of banners and I needed some space to host all of that. We figured, instead of getting an office, why don’t we open a bookstore so we can keep the comic con going all year long?” Francis said this is a place for Indigenous artists and authors to express themselves, whether that be through the store or the Indigenous Comic Con. “I am surrounded by creativity, illustration and imagination. I am surrounded by Native creatives because that’s what we specialize in,” Francis said. “It’s not just a comic book store; it is the Native comic book store. I can’t think of a better way to go into work everyday — it’s amazing.” According to Francis, he works directly with Native artists and authors to help display their works if they approach him. “We highlight Native and Indigenous creative works across the board as much as we can,” Francis said. “We do as much as we can in the limited space that we have.” Kirk Tom, a local Navajo cosplayer, found an outlet to display his artistry and work through the Indigenous Comic Con. Tom attended almost every Indigenous Comic Con and won the costume contest for the event twice.
“I was bringing something new to the table, being a Mandolorian character but added my traditional, Native designs to it,” Tom said. “As soon as I walked in, everybody freaked out in a way and they were like, ‘You can do that?’ Overall, everyone was excited that somebody actually did something this cool.” As with most non-essential businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted both the Indigenous Comic Con and Red Planet Books and Comics. According to Francis, the store stayed open virtually. “First and foremost, we shut the shop down. It was difficult — we saw it coming and started to make motions that this was going to happen. Then we really just started pivoting to online, to shipping and to distribution,” Francis said. “That was what kept us moving — we just did more outreach, we did more online sales. We had a really great winter and a really great holiday season. That’s how we kept it going through the whole time.” Francis hopes to continue supporting Native artists and encourages people to do the same. Hannah John is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @yesitshannahj
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Monday, May 3, 2021
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Top 6 movies for sci-fi lovers
Collage graphic of sci-fi movie posters.
By Jesus Mata & Alex McCausland @JesusMataJr99 @alexkmccausland Sci-fi movies have always been a way to expand our thinking about technology, space, time travel and A.I. technology. The following list of films highlight the best sci-fi movies to watch with these factors in mind, in both remarkable and frightening ways. Although the list is compiled from worst to best, all of these films are a must-watch. 6. “Star Trek” (2009) This fan-acclaimed rival to “Star Wars” is filled with action and adventure, opening up possibilities for what the future of space travel may look like. “Star Trek” showcases James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine, as a brash young man attempting to live up to his father's legacy after his death on a mission. All in all, Kirk lives up to his own legacy of being one of the most beloved captains in the “Star Trek” universe in this movie. This film also shows a future in which both humans and aliens work together to help save the universe, displaying a series of unique relationships that show a sense of unity and teamwork to accomplish a common goal regardless of what species they are. This is a good choice if you want to watch something similar to “Star Wars” with a little bit more adventure.
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5. “The Matrix” (1999) “The Matrix” is certainly a standout on this list, utilizing cyberpunk aesthetics, philosophy and martialarts-inspired fight scenes to create an unforgettable action film. Hacker Thomas Anderson, known by his alias “Neo,” meets Morpheus, a leather-clad rebel who reveals that Neo lives in a shared simulation of the world known as the “Matrix.” This sets Neo off on his quest to escape and free the rest of humanity, all while fighting against the forces that lead to the Matrix’s inception. The kung fu and anime influences are apparent in the film’s action sequences — characters levitate in mid air and perform unbelievable stunts, all while each kick and punch are punctuated by over-thetop sound effects. “The Matrix” never aimed for realism. Instead it revels in decadent, superhuman battles that keep you locked in from start to finish. Some of the most memorable moments in the film, though, are the mind-bending dialogues between characters where they discuss “the real,” and whether one can be sure of the concreteness of the things they percieve. While the action sequences are entertaining, it’s these probing conversations that make repeat viewings a necessity. 4. “The Terminator” (1984) “The Terminator'' is one of the most influential science fiction films that explores the rebellion of artificial intelligence and societal anxieties surrounding rapidly evolving technology. This is one
of James Cameron's more popular and notable films, and for good reason. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays the film’s killing machine from the future, casts a frightening figure — a towering, powerful robot that has humanlike features, but lacks any feeling or moral conscience. “No pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable,” the film’s DVD cover reads. The thrills of the film are further heightened by the cold, synthesizer-laden soundtrack, which creates a chilling and threatening atmosphere. It makes you feel as if the Terminator could appear from the shadows at any moment, just when you think he’s gone. 3. “Alien” (1979) You can't talk about sci-fi without mentioning the iconic sci-fi/ horror film “Alien.” Thick with tension and fear, this flick will keep you on your toes as Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, and her other crewmates try to survive the night. Long, drawn-out shots are used throughout the movie, pulling you further and further into the horrific unknown that lurks within the USCSS Nostromo spaceship. You’ll be frozen in anticipation of what might jump out at you from behind the next corner. This is made all the more frightening by the film’s grotesque Editor-in-Chief creatures, which kill offGleason crew Megan members in unimaginable, stomNews Editor ach-turning ways. While the main Megan Gleason alien that terrorizes that crew Managing Editor remains mostly unseen, what Gino Gutierrez glimpses you do get are enough to Campus Campus Representative Representative Jo-Dane Bell Jo-Dance Advertising Advertising Manager Manager Jordynn Sills Sills Jordynn
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make you want to move your chair a couple feet back from the screen.
which started with the eponymous trilogy, introduced audiences to an immersive universe filled with action, adventure and romance. The first three films are a must-see for any sci-fi fan because of the universal themes and cultural significance within nerd circles and the general public alike. Fans have been treated to a total of nine films with the potential for more, especially after Disney acquired the franchise in 2012. While the proceeding films have their merits, the original trilogy reigns supreme for its use of stateof-the-art CGI and inventive sound design, such as the slowed down elephant howls that create the TIE fighter screams. Most importantly, though, the films subverted the traditional Western genre and took the “good guys vs. bad guys'' formula to epic porportions, creating a space opera that soared to new heights and resuscitated the science fiction film genre for decades to come.
2. “Back to the Future” (1985) “Back to the Future” is a classic science fiction film, even to this day. Its humorous script, strong cast and creative time-traveling premise made the film a cult classic that continues to be celebrated. Stuck in a family of failures, Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, meets Emmett “Doc” Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. This eventually leads to Marty accidentally activating a time-traveling DeLorean that sends him back to November 5, 1955. While in the past, Marty realizes his actions are threatening his existence in the future, setting him off on his unique quest to ensure his parents still meet and fall in love. This plot shows what a monumental impact a seemingly small moment in time can have on the future, changing your view on everyday life. This movie is also filled with drama and suspense that will Overall, all of these films encomkeep you on your toes — even pass what sci-fi is about in not only though comedical moments the imagination and adventure faccome through, this is a matter of tors, but the terrors as well. These life and death for Marty. films will keep you immersed in the The movie is also filled with story as if you were actually there. iconic scenes, like the chase scene at the diner or when Marty acciJesus Mata is a freelance reporter Issue dentally invents rock ‘n’ roll atVolume his at the125 Daily Lobo. He 32 can be conparents’ school dance. tacted at email@example.com or It’s moments Editorial like these that onPhoto Twitter @JesusMataJr99 Data Editor Editor Copy Editor Staff make memorable and Joethe Rull film so John Scott Liam DeBonis Telephone: (505) 277-7527 Fax: (505) 277-7530 worth repeat viewings. Alex McCausland is a seCulture Editor Designer Multimedia Editor firstname.lastname@example.org nior reporter at the Daily Megan Gleason Joseph McKee Joseph McKee www.dailylobo.com 1. Original “Star Wars” Trilogy Lobo. He can be contacted (1977-1983) at email@example.com or The “Star Wars” franchise, on Twitter @alexkmccausland Advertising Advertising Representatives Representatives Jacob Griego Griego Jacob
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MONDAY, MAY 3, 2021 / PAGE 5
ABQ Science Fiction Society perseveres through thick and thin By Megan Gleason @fabflutist2716
The Albuquerque Science Fiction Society (ASFS) is a literary-oriented club focused on all things sci-fi as well as other related genres like fantasy, horror and more. Like most other organizations, the ASFS has been virtual for the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but continues to persevere in its 55th year in operation. The group has been meeting monthly on Zoom with events like movie viewings and author visits, co-executive secretary Craig Chrissinger said. The society also puts out a newsletter five times a year with awards, events, books reviews and more. “The club is a once-a-month opportunity for (science fiction) fans to interact, to listen to New Mexico authors and scientists, to meet new people and greet old friends, to watch a bad film or play a game show and to engage in conversation, debate and thought,” Chrissinger said in an email to the Daily Lobo. “Overall, it's a club and it should be fun, entertaining and/or informative.” Although the club is focused on literary works, Chrissinger said members also explore other related avenues such as gaming, entertainment, costuming and more. “I love talking about books with people and getting recommenda-
tions for new things to read. It is also a great way to get to know local authors and hear about (what) they're working on,” Jessica Coyle, another co-executive secretary, said in an email to the Daily Lobo. “I also love making (science fiction and fantasy) costumes, and there are a small group of members who are costumers/cosplayers, so I enjoy talking with them about what we're all working on.” When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the club didn’t meet for two months, but started again in June 2020 in a virtual environment. Although not everyone that used to meet in person attends online, Chrissinger said the goal is to have “a casual socializing period.” “The move to virtual was to try to give people a feeling of connection, even if it's not the same as in-person,” Chrissinger said. In 1969, the ASFS started a sci-fi convention called New MexiCon. This was later renamed Bubonicon and became a separate nonprofit corporation in 2014 that still has some overlap with the ASFS’s activities. Today, Bubonicon is New Mexico’s “longest-running sci-fi & fantasy literary and arts convention,” according to its website. Coyle said she became involved in the ASFS through Bubonicon, and Chrissinger said many committee members and volunteer workers tend to get involved with the group this way. “I had only been living in Al-
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(From left to right) “Gulliver’s Travels” and posters for “Star Trek” and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
buquerque for about a year, and I attended the convention in 2008 so that I could figure out what else was being offered in the local science fiction community as I was very involved in these kinds of events in my previous home,” Coyle said. “While volunteering at the convention, several people invited me to ASFS, so I started attending.” Chrissinger said everyone in the science fiction community had a “gateway” into the genre, or some sort of experience that inspired their interest. For Chrissinger, it was “Star Trek” and the “Creature
Feature” movies he watched as a young child, but he said personal gateway experiences can vary. “Science fiction has had an interesting and colorful history, whether we say it started with Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's ‘Frankenstein’ in 1818 or ‘Gulliver's Travels’ by Jonathan Swift in 1726 or even earlier,” Chrissinger said. “Today it is more popular than ever, but there still are people who consider it in the gutter — or without literary merit.” Chrissinger said the science fiction community has grown immensely.
“Today the world of science fiction and fantasy has grown to become immensely popular in pop culture and movies, and it has inspired scientists and astronauts,” Chrissinger said. “And the fans around it have created huge conventions like Worldcon, Dragon Con, the San Diego Comic-Con and such.” However, the importance of local groups like these aren’t lost on members like Chrissinger and Coyle, and they both reiterated the community aspect that the ASFS provides in New Mexico. “The club gives people a way to connect with others around a shared interest in a deeper way; I've met some of my best friends through the ASFS,” Coyle said. “Also, it is a great way for local (science fiction and fantasy) authors to introduce their work to a very receptive audience that is very interested in reading what they have written.” New members and guests are always welcome at the ASFS, according to its webpage. “The entry point, the gateway, doesn't matter once a person finds out how much more there is to discover,” Chrissinger said. Megan Gleason is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fabflutist2716
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NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
Disappointing end of the ‘Star Wars’ Skywalker saga has fans wondering what’s next
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This review contains spoilers.
“Star Wars” has transformed from a three-part film series that began in 1977 with an eponymous first movie to a mammoth franchise spanning several generations. While there is much debate over which film or set of films is best, the one sure thing is that “Star Wars” is a defining icon of the 20th and 21st centuries. As an avid fan of more than a decade and a dedicated viewer of most things “Star Wars,” I have to say that over the course of the last five or so years, my excitement and general interest in the films has steadily declined. Unfortunately, the awe I felt watching the first three “Star Wars” films has yet to be rivaled.
Although the special effects have, naturally, drastically improved from those used in the ’70s, it feels like the new stories and characters are lazily patched together in hopes of satisfying the hungry masses. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a force to be sure, as Rey Skywalker’s journey (one that mirrored Luke Skywalker’s) was fresh and engaging. However, as this latest installment progressed, I was unsure of the choices made (specifically in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”). Rey’s weird relationship with Kylo Ren and Palpatine’s return were the product of a studio and director who were running out of ideas and wanted to gain favor with the fans through shock value alone. With the release of “The Rise of Skywalker” in late 2019, the Skywalker saga definitively ended. This is hardly the end of “Star Wars,” though. According to Poly-
gon, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “We will take a pause, some time and reset because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie. There will be other ‘Star Wars’ movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.” “The Rise of Skywalker” left critics divided. Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave a generous review: “‘The Rise of Skywalker’ is, to me, the most elegant, emotionally rounded and gratifying ‘Star Wars’ adventure since the glory days of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’” What Gleiberman doesn’t address is that the battle scenes were cut sloppily, and with bluffed deaths sprinkled throughout, “The Rise of Skywalker” evoked characteristics of a rough cut not yet combed through for knots. In contrast, Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly effectively ripped the film apart at its seams: “‘We need a new franchise desig-
nation for this stumbling, bloodless conglomeration of What Once Was. ‘Rise of the Skywalker’ isn’t an ending, a sequel, a reboot or a remix. It’s a zombie. Grade: C.” I wish I disagreed with Franich’s assessment of “The Rise of Skywalker,” but the sad truth is that the loyal fans rooted for Rey and Finn for four years, only to be met with a weak, mediocre finale that Franich described wholly accurately as a “zombie.” While I don’t share Franich’s complete disdain for the film, I do feel Gleiberman’s description of elegance was perhaps too gracious. The consensus on the three standalone films released outside of the Skywalker saga was varied, but none received as much buzz from fans or critics as the nine Skywalker movies. In a sense, “Star Wars” has ended (at least the classic “Star Wars” we know). The empire, so to speak, of
“Star Wars” is paralleled by only a handful of competitors, and with endless possibilities for the future, the end of the franchise is far from near. After the hiatus signaled by Iger, hopefully new characters, battles and triumphs can reinvigorate the franchise and return it to its former glory. I choose to have hope for the next installment of the “Star Wars” films and stay eagerly awaiting an update. While “The Rise of Skywalker” was certainly a disappointing end to the 42-yearlong saga, I think it’s safe to say we can expect a new realm of characters who will capture our hearts just as Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy did. Emma Trevino is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @itsemmatr
Local sci-fi book club enjoys monthly literature discussions By Sarah Bodkin @sarahbodkin4 Albuquerque’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club meets monthly for virtual discussions regarding science fiction and fantasy novels, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jared Francisco, the leader of the book club, said the club provides for engaging discussions and helps his personal goal of reading more and with an increased speed. “I like the sci-fi genre already, I’m already a fan and I need to read more,” Francisco said. The club currently has 512 members, filled with fans who are looking for engaging discussions. The upcoming book for May’s discussion is “This is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal
El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. This dystopian, romantic novel follows two rivals through time and space as they fight for their opposing factions. Jeffery Twohig, a member of the club, said he feels extremely lucky to have found the sci-fi community. "The sci-fi community is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the TV, movie and book universes that have been created,” Twohig said. “(The book club) is a space where they gather, meet their tribes and share their stories, costumes and love of these various worlds." Francisco said monthly membership has decreased significantly, which he predicts is partially due to its regular Zoom meetings. There has been some resistance to technology on
Zoom, which is new for a number of the group’s members. Some of the monthly books for the club aren’t in the sci-fi genre, and allow readers to expand their horizons to other pieces of literature, according to Francisco. The sci-fi book club isn’t limited to experienced sci-fi fans, or even to people who read the books, Francisco said. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings, listen to the discussions and bring their input. “We do try to be a tight knit group. We have our regular members, and they're all good friends so that's really nice,” Francisco said. Sarah Bodkin is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at culture@dailylobo. com or on Twitter @sarahbodkin4
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Jared Francisco is the leader of the ABQ Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club.
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NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2021 / PAGE 7
Stowaway: A meddling contemplation of a complex moral dilemma By John Scott
@JScott050901 This review contains spoilers. If you were stranded on a desert island with three other people with only enough resources for three of you to survive until help arrived, what would you do? This is the question that “Stowaway” seeks to solve. The twist is that instead of an island, you’re in space and instead of discussing all possible options, the filmmakers restrict you to one scenario but throw in a few twists and turns as a treat. The film opens with the crew taking off on a mission to Mars. We hear the different intercoms from mission control and the crew performing final checks and confirmations before they finally embark on a two-year journey to the red planet. The opening shot is an elegant “oner” — a shot with no cuts — that seems to scream at the audience that this is not your typical space film. The rest of the film would seem to abandon that idea, however. There are two things that are important to note at this point in the film. The space crew consists of only three people: Zoe, played by Anna Kendrick, Marina (largely referred to as “Commander” throughout the film), played by Toni Collette, and David, played by Daniel Dae Kim.
The other important thing to note is the ship appears to be slightly offcourse and is not thrusting as high as it was calculated to. Marina nearly aborts the mission, but mission control tells her everything is going as planned. The performances by each of the actors are the strongest elements of the film. Shamier Anderson’s Michael, who we’ll get to in a minute, is a particular highlight. We finally reach outer space and see the crew dock at the space station with some light-hearted banter. David remarks how Zoe wasted “800 grams” of space on two Yale University mugs, to which Zoe remarks that the 800 grams was worth it in order to get a reaction out of David, who attended the rival university, Harvard. It’s these smaller and light-hearted moments that keep you engaged, but those shortly disappear after the first 30 minutes. This is an excellent time to note that the sound design on this film is particularly impressive. Had the release date come later in the year, it certainly would have been an awards contender. The sound design is so incredibly realistic that I frequently found myself gawking at the accurate reproduction of intricate and minute sounds within each scene. We then learn some more about the characters. Marina is, obviously, the commander of the ship and is in charge of the mission, Zoe is a doc-
tor and serves as the ships’ medical professional and David is a botanist who is studying micro-greens and algae. Like most space films, though, our crew is exceptionally talented at almost every task, so these specific roles only become relevant when the plot deems them to be. The crux of the film is the discovery of another human who falls out of a compartment on the roof of the spaceship. The carbon dioxide removal assembly (CDRA), a device that scrubs carbon dioxide out of the air to keep the crew from asphyxiating, is permanently damaged somewhere along the way. This is when we meet Michael, who happens to still be alive. He is initially frightened, but eventually calms down and tells the rest of the crew that he was working on the spaceship before the crew left when he slipped and fell unconscious. With the CDRA being permanently damaged, the four crew members will asphyxiate before they reach Mars; they only have enough oxygen for three. This is the only truly interesting moment in the entire film. For a couple of minutes, you are entirely invested in the crew’s solution to this extraordinarily complex problem: sacrifice one life to save the other three. The issue is that the film never truly explores all of the possible scenarios this issue could present. Instead, it locks you into the utilitarian idea that Michael, the titular
A still from the movie “Stowaway.” Photo courtesy of Netflix.
stowaway, is the least qualified to be there and, thus, shall be sacrificed. It means that most of the film will not really be spent considering the most interesting thing the film has going for it. Instead, it will test your patience with unsuccessful alternatives and see just how long it can put off it’s inevitable ending. With that said, though, you truly do get to like Michael by the end of the movie. Anderson really does imbue his character with so much kindness and warmth that it’s an impossibility for you to not sympathize with him. Of course, the film does not end with Michael dying but Zoe, because in a film that constantly enforces the fact that Michael will die, the least ob-
vious plot twist anyone could come up with would be that Michael does not die. I’m being sarcastic, of course. The final shot shows Zoe being withered away by space radiation, her character dying with a whimper not unlike the film that she is a part of. By the time the credits roll and you’ve woken up from your two-hour nap, you’ll wish the filmmakers decided to kill you and save you from having to sit through, or sleep through, the entire two hours of this film. John Scott is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @JScott050901
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