This month marks the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, extensively thought to be one of the biggest science fiction films ever made. It’s a movie that stands the take a look at of time strangely neatly, partly as a result of its topics resonate as a lot in 2018 as they did in 1968. In truth, in spite of their wildly other subject material, it in fact stocks so much in not unusual with Black Panther. Both films discover the techniques guy is tempted and in the long run corrupted by means of the attract of era and science.
2001 opens with an iconic collection the place a bunch of prehistoric man-apes eke out a meager residing in a harsh panorama. That easy, brutish life is interrupted by means of the unexpected look of a black Monolith of their midst. The apes can not comprehend what they are seeing. They don’t have any idea of science or arithmetic, and this completely geometric object is in contrast to the rest they have ever encountered. Being uncovered to the monolith turns out to unencumber one thing inside the thoughts of the ape chief (referred to as Moon-Watcher in the novel). This reward from a mysterious staff of beings from the stars conjures up Moon-Watcher to make use of equipment for the first time. It’s the pivotal first step in mankind’s technological march.
Tragically, Moon-Watcher’s first act as a rational, inquisitive being is not to paintings for the receive advantages of proto-mankind, however to devote violence. He’s forced to pick out up a discarded bone and use it as a weapon towards a rival tribe chief. It’s a disquieting second that displays how, even from the very starting, guy’s thoughts tended in opposition to violence. That’s one thing that weighs on the viewer as the movie jumps to the yr 1999 and we see trendy guy rediscover the monolith (now buried on the Moon). Clearly, the mysterious beings who created the monolith are checking out humanity’s growth and resourcefulness because it starts venturing into outer house. But having noticed what Moon-Watcher did along with his first style of enlightenment, is there any hope trendy guy can do higher?
A equivalent combat performs out over the route of Black Panther as we find out about the tragic foundation tale of Erik Killmonger. As a tender boy in Oakland, Erik had his personal burst of inspiration when he witnessed King T’Chaka’s hovercraft hovering into the clouds. Just like Moon-Watcher, his thoughts was once woke up with chances after seeing this fantastical, inconceivable object. But additionally like Moon-Watcher, he let this defining second lead him down a gloomy trail. Vowing revenge for the dying of his father, Erik used the dream of Wakanda as gasoline to mould himself into the final killer. In the procedure of looking to develop into worthy of coming house to Wakanda, he finally ends up betraying the very beliefs the nation stands for.
Both 2001 and Black Panther are serious about the idea of wisdom and whether or not guy is in reality worthy of that wisdom. Man pursued the mysterious monolith in 2001, however handiest lone astronaut Dave Bowman proved courageous and steadfast sufficient to in fact succeed in his vacation spot and meet the creators of the monolith. Everyone else, even deficient HAL 9000, was once corrupted by means of the promise of their all-important undertaking. Young Erik Stevens was once transfixed by means of the sight of Wakandan era, however by means of turning into Killmonger he proved himself completely unworthy of the throne he coveted. In each circumstances, the attract of science and era bears a devastating corrupting affect.
However, the final message of Black Panther is not that only a few persons are worthy of reaching enlightenment. It’s that humanity wishes a serving to hand so as to evolve into one thing higher. King T’Challa noticed in Erik Killmonger a refection of the failings of his father and the kings ahead of him. It’s now not sufficient for the fortunate few in Wakanda to cover in the back of their power fields and forget about the struggles of the leisure of the international. They need to proportion their wisdom and assets and assist different international locations develop into higher. Like Spider-Man, the Black Panther has to pair nice energy with nice accountability.
That’s the shared failure of Wakanda’s kings and the monolith creators. King T’Chaka gave Erik a small style of Wakanda ahead of cruelly taking it away and leaving in the back of a sour, orphaned boy. The monolith creators gave the Promethean reward of wisdom to humanity however did not stick round lengthy sufficient to show them learn how to harness that reward. But each motion pictures finish on a decidedly constructive observe. Just as Dave Bowman transforms into the Star-Child and achieves his complete doable as a sentient, residing being, a brand new era of African American youngsters are uncovered to the wonders of Wakandan era. And this time, any person is there to turn them what to do subsequent.