Friday, May 16, 2008

Astronaut Theology: Variations on a Beam

Previously we looked at the use of the Heavenly Beam of Insemination in science fiction poster art and in architecture as well. I wanted to cover some variations on this motif in other films, which may not always put across the same message exactly, but certainly relate to the concept of planetary insemination or human evolution.

And of course all of these films are about astronauts of one sort or other (cybernauts in the case of one particular film).

The first Star Trek film uses the beam and the Trinity, which is appropriate since the film deals with the alien retrofitting of a 20th Century Voyager probe. Perhaps this was meant as a metaphor for the retrofitting of alien DNA into human neurobiology. There's also a subplot were two Starfleet officers commune with the Voyager to achieve their apotheosis. Note the rainbow with its attendant OZ resonance. 

It's hard to conceive of a big budget film using the rainbow in its advertising today. Since this film was very much a Roddenberry project and its sequels were not, we have to remember what a sex obsessive the man was. I haven't seen the film in a while, but I'm sure the "climax" of the film has a ton of very interesting erotic signifiers encoded within it.

The beam and the Trinity recur in the last Star Trek film featuring the original cast. This film dealt with the intervention of the alien Starfleet in the evolution of the Klingon race. The beam descends into a Sol-like burst. Note the right eye and the damaged left eye of the Klingon there, reminding us of both Odin and Horus...

...which we see with Darth Vader in the Hildrebrandts' poster for the first Star Wars film. The lightsaber acts as a kind of inseminating beam (also ending in a burst), in that Darth Vader was the father of Luke and Leia there. The three humanoids also form a Trinity.


 Of course, as this hilarious YouTube video reminds us the rebel fighters barreling towards the Death Star is highly reminiscent of a reverse insemination, with the Death Star as egg and Y wings as spermatozoa.

The inseminating beam is seen in the Stargate/colonization ritual drama Lost in Space (very loosely based on the 60s camp scifi classic), which featured the voluptuous Hathor Graham as Judy Robinson and the equally voluptuous Mimi "Nephthys" Rogers as Maureen Robinson.

A different kind of alien intrusion is symbolized here in the cinematic document of Travis Walton's alleged close encounter of the fourth kind. Future Ten Thirteen stars DB Sweeney and Robert Patrick appeared in the film. Notice that enigmatic ring circling the beam and also that the tone of this illustration is both religious and highly sexual.

In the Gnostic parable Tron, the Artificial Intellgence/Archon "MCP" annoints the human players with the gift of cybernetic evolution, and again we see the ring circling the beam. Jeff Bridges lends Tron synchromystic resonance on loan from the WTC-based King Kong remake, as well as the Tut-resonating Iron Man blockbuster.

The "Calvin Klein Underwear Models Save the Universe" ritual drama Sunshine gives us a variation on the beam, as well as a ramp offering vague traces of an unfinished pyramid and a checkerboard. We're back to the Rockefeller Center motif again, where Sol is impregnated with technology, provided here by the prettiest Freemasons ever put to film. 

The moral of this story? Sci-fi is Sex through other means.