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.


  1. I've am a fairly new reader to your blog and so far you consistantly blow my mind with every post I read.

    Enjoying it immensley and looking forward to catching up on your old posts.



  2. lol so that's why I love sci-fi so much. Great stuff. That Star Wars vid was excellent.

  3. Cheers, boys! I guess we're wandering away from Jung territory into Freud!

  4. and it's C.L.Knowles planting the intellectual seeds of semination

    you really "blow" my mind

    they were having sex on a checkerboard in the Star Wars vid.

    i love this song

  5. I was wondering could these posters be depicting what to some is called the arrival of the Photon Belt. To which our solar system supposedly will be exposed to from 2012 on. The procession of our solar system and it accompanying planets around the central sun called Alcyone, which happens in a 12,500 year cycle. A band of highly charged particles being emitted from the center of our galaxy. It is said that light/sound/frequency affects the DNA molecule. The transmitting of or passing on, as you know, is the basis for insemination. So what are the chances that developments in astrophysics were being portrayed in movie posters mytho-archetypally. Nah, I must be loosing it, LOL.

  6. "...the rebel fighters barreling towards the Death Star is highly reminiscent of a reverse insemination." The "Family Guy" episode "Emission Impossible" made a similar comparison, with a microsopic Stewie piloting an X-wing-style fighter against the twin Death Stars of his father's testicles. Bonus synchronicity points: Stewie's ship computer is voiced by Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry's widow.

  7. It's worth mentioning the strong themes in Roddenberry's work of "ancient astronauts" and the man/god relationship. In the episode "Who Mourns for Adonais", Kirk and crew meet the literal Apollo, an immortal space traveler whose colleagues founded Greek civilization and were taken for gods. Kirk plays Zeus to Apollo's Cronus, and the explicit story is of man supplanting his gods. In "Return to Tomorrow" the Enterprise meets the survivors of a god-like race whose bodies were not unlike humans, and who "seeded" the stars with their descendants. One of Roddenberry's first plots for reviving Star Trek in the 1970s had the Enterprise going back in time and becoming the Titans, the god-like founders of advanced civilization on Earth and throughout the galaxy. In the Motion Picture, as in the episode "Changeling", damaged space probes seek out their human "creators" looking for answers to the meaning of existence. So, stories of space travellers appearing as gods, and humans transcending mortal limitations and/or supplanting the "old" gods were common on Star Trek. I always interpreted this as signs of Roddenberry's deep humanism rather than a conspiratorial "plan" for humanity. The "plan," if there was one, was for humans to live up to their fullest potential and create a broader meaning for existence through the interraction and appreciation of the boundless creativity and diversity of the universe.

  8. “Sci-fi is sex by other means?”

    I would have to disagree with that. It's like Sigmund Freud looking at the world through red sex-colored glasses; everything is going to look red. In other words, it's useful but at the same time its reductive and substantially blinds us.

    If the visuals are soaking the audience in a sea of sexy bodies and blasts of joy, then probably it's about sex and titilation mostly. But i think in the more well-considered films, sex itself is just one expression of the underlying fractal. Most of the time they're using sexual imagery to (1) hold the attention and then to (2) invoke the primary factal which is nameless, but has insemination as one recurring swirl in its design. Thus a film can resonate with our understanding and experience of sex, but at the same time it's not about sex per se, it's about the universe-wide pattern that sex is one expression of. Instead of “Sci-fi is sex by other means”, I think sex is the hook that captures and holds the attention, and also resonates with the “act of creating by means of combining”, whether it's new artwork or new lifeforms or new worlds or new sci-fi tales or nuclear fusion within the sun. In a way, sex is the sci-fi film producer's swiss army knife.

  9. I'm continuing to enjoy your blog and your in depth research. Also, I've noticed that you're moving more toward the synch work and not as much comic book reference as before.

    I've enjoyed all the comic references too and I think you laid a great foundation for your current concentrations.

    You stated in this entry on the Astronaut Theology concerning the Star Trek Rainbow Beam:"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."

    Again, I think we're being hit with a little "deflection" by the poster creators. The "rainbow" references work as well as your solid white "insemination" beam because if you remember your simple science; white light contains all the colors of the rainbow. White light through a prism yields...the "rainbow". So your connections still work here even more exquisitely so.So it's really all the same whether white beam, colored or rainbow.

    I love how the "variations" on the beam work so well as white light or its composite rainbow of colors so often played in children's themes as well as our beloved "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in OZ.

    Great work!

  10. "Don't get cocky!"

    I think I love this post more than any. Everyone complains when the interpretation is all about sex, but the truth is, it really IS all about sex. Thirty Helens agree.

  11. How do you know they mean it all to be about sex though? Unless they actually say so - and that isn't something they'd need to hide if it was the case (art refering to sex never hides if it is so doing) - then it's more a case of just matching anything that looks similar to what's been shown, and you could pick something else and that'd fit too.

    Plus, what are they trying to say with it anyway? People are shagging all the time and throwing out kids into the world with no thought at all.

    Sunshine is interesting, because the 'baddie' character is the way he is because he can't take what he see's as the futility of existing.
    Sure we know that the local Sun and all else has a lifespan, but probably not that many people bear that in mind.
    For example, when it comes to worship of celestial bodies the way some people do it - what do they think about when it comes to the 'death' of those celestials?

  12. Chris -
    enjoyed the blog as always- Question though, how does Iron Man resonate with Tut? I caught your comment on the TRON poster. Just hoping for a bit more understanding.

  13. Hey Thrace- I think Jake went into that on The Blob- check it out.

  14. I am thinking you might find interest in this...!

    From the Game Illumaniti and if you have not seen the spookiness of this game and what it predicts I suggest you look it up. BTW how do I know you respond to my post in Blogger? I will keep this thread open to see if you do. Cheers!