“Oblivion”, a bleak thriller about future dystopia, set on a distant planet and starring Tom Cruise, is nearing it’s release date in theaters. We at Jinni wanted to stop for a moment and try to figure out what is it about the future and distant planets, that seems to make the movies about them so grim? They’re always set in some broken society, a ruined civilization, or on a menacing distant planet, which in many cases is ruled by evil aliens or is being threatened by them in some way. I guess that since the future is unknown, we project our fears onto what it holds. We imagine the worst so that we can be prepared for the worst the moment it arrives. I say: think positive! Break the rules! Why must we always dread what the future holds? Let’s rewrite the future and include some laughs and romance instead of all of the atrocities we’re being forced to face. With some minor genetic alterations, courtesy of our Entertainment Genome, here’s what the future could look like:
Genes of the original – Exciting, Betrayal, Danger, Battles, Society.
No reason not to start with the biggest bang; “Avatar” is currently the highest grossing movie of all time, known for its amazing 3D and special effects that truly captivate it’s viewers. It tells the story of Jake Sully, who decides to take on the role of his brother who died on the distant world of Pandora. In exchange for his help, he will regain use of his legs through an expensive surgery granted to him by the army. What he doesn’t know yet, is that the military wishes to drive away the natives, simply known as the Na’Vi, and take control of their rich minerals. In order to mine these resources, they want to remove the Na’Vi from their homes.
The Jinni take – Humorous, Feel Good, Looking for love, Meet the Parents.
Jake Sully hasn’t been able to find true love for years now because of his paralyzing disability. He hears about a new form of technology that can be found in the distant planet of Pandora. In Pandora, it is possible to transfer your consciousness to a different body, taking on the form of the planet’s native people, the Na’Vi. Once Jake switches bodies, he meets Neytiri and falls in love with her, but their love cannot be fulfilled until her parents accept him as part of their tribe. Nothing goes right as Jake tries to readjust to his new culture in this romantic comedy, packed with ups and downs!
Genes of the original – Tense, Bleak, Psychological.
This clever independent film revolves around an astronaut named Sam Bell who is the sole resident of the moon, a distant planet in itself, and his mission to harvest the resources that are needed on Earth. Being all alone, all he has is a computer named ‘GERTY’ to talk to. Being on the moon for almost 3 years weighs heavily on him and he starts hallucinating. After an accident on the station’s harvester, Sam makes a shocking self discovery that turns his life upside down and makes him question his identity and beliefs.
The Jinni take – Silly humor, Buddies, Drug abuse, looking for sex.
Sam Bell always yearned to leave his bubble and explore the great big world beyond. So he upped and left society to work on the moon, where he got to explore the little planet as well as create an unlikely friendship with the station based super-computer ‘GERTY’. While harvesting on the moon, Sam discover a lunar mineral with effects resembling LSD, which cause him to have hallucinations of a sexual nature. Unable to control his urges, the two embark on an obsessive quest to find companions, and the movie follows the misadventures of these 2 wacky characters.
Genes of the original – Atmospheric, Stylized, Rivalry, Morality, Deadly creature
In the far future, the only resource that matters in the universe is called “The Spice”, and it can only be found on a distant planet named ‘Arakis’ which is also known as ‘Dune’. The planet is infested with fearsome monsters known only as the sand worms. Two families – the Atreides and the Harkoonen - fight for control over the spice because he who controls the spice, controls the universe; and thus begins a string of events, including betrayals, quests for revenge and a prophecy that comes to life through th e duke’s son, who becomes a great leader. The movie includes a great deal of immorality and corruption in order to obtain the spice at any cost!
The Jinni take – Exciting, Adventurer, Save the Princess, Against the odds
In order to save the princess from the evil baron Harkoonen, Peter Atreides must venture to the distant planet ‘Arakis’ where the princess is kept, where he fights his way through a number of deathtraps, faces out-of-this-world spells and rituals that were set for him by the evil baron, and fends off gigantic terrible sand worms who swarm the planet. Could Peter’s quest be doomed to begin with, or will he overcome the impossible and defeat all the evils that stand in his way, and manage to save the day?! Check out this exciting escapade to find out!
Genes of the original – Suspenseful, Rough, Evil Alien, Space Wars, Human Existence.
In the future portrayed in this action classic, people obtain citizenship only through serving their country. We follow the escapades of Johnny Rico and his girlfriend Carmen as they graduate from high school and decide to enlist in the military and join the fight for the fate of humanity against the evil alien bugs. The bugs, which are infesting the universe, are evolving and becoming more intelligent with every passing day. It is up to the military to foil the bugs’ plans to wipe out humanity from existence. Filled with gore, and some fast paced action, this movie doesn’t let you rest for a split second.
The Jinni take – Offbeat, High School Life, Fish Out of Water
Humanity values equality over anything else, especially during a time when the human race has discovered they are not alone in the universe. Johnny Rico transfers to the alien planet of “Klendathu” in order to study foreign affairs, and to expand his horizons beyond the knowledge of his own race. Once there, he soon finds out that the bugs are more benign than they look and that there’s definitely more than meets the eye. In this fish out of water comedy, Johnny Rico is thwarted into ridiculous situations, that call for trouble at every turn.
Genes of the original – Suspenseful, Future Dystopia, Fate of Humanity, Conspiracies.
This is the story of one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth. With the help of drones, humanity extracts vital resources from the planet in order to survive in the aftermath of the war with the terrifying Scavs. When Jack meets a stranger while on one of his patrols, he initiates a chain of events that brings him to question everything he believes in, including the fate of humanity.
The Jinni take – Touching, Adventure, Hotshot, Love and Romance.
Jack Harper and Victoria are paired up on a mission to salvage resources from the ruined planet Earth. Initially antagonistic, they seem to be different in every possible way. Jack is more curious and roams around the ruins, while Victoria wants to be thorough and complete their assignment without wasting time. When both of them make a dangerous discovery, it’s up to Jack to get Victoria back to safety. Suddenly, their true emotions surface, and it appears that all this time they were just holding back. Now, Jack will do anything to get a second chance at love.
Alright, I know, our takes are not really serious and producers will probably not be knocking down our office doors, bidding for these scripts. It’s more likely that they would turn out to be really good B movies… but it does make you think, doesn’t it? I suspect that the magic of Sci-Fi lies within it’s ominous nature. While threatening and scary, it’s also very intriguing and brings to our attention the need to stop and take a minute to consider ways to avoid these dark futures. In a world that strives for peace, no one wants to be under the threat of destruction.
And thus I bid all of you a fruitful week, free of existential threats!
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