I watched the movie Forbidden Planet last week, for the first time in 15 years. Besides being an interesting take on The Tempest, one of my favorite plays, it’s also, 60 years after its release, still a reasonably good sci-fi movie. Plus, it stars a young Leslie Nielsen. What’s not to love?
The movie begins, as oldie sci-fi films often do, with narration during the credits roll:
“In the final decade of the 21st Century, men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon. By 2200 AD, they had reached the other planets of our solar system.”
I found that to be quite interesting: this movie was released in 1956 and projected it would take mankind about 140 years to get to the moon. About 5 years go by, and President Kennedy announces to the world his goal of landing an American on the moon by 1970. And in 1969, less than 14 years after the movie’s release, Neil Armstrong takes that first small step. Less than 10% of the projected time.
With Elon Musk announcing his Mars colonization plans this week, it’s funny to think about how our perception of the speed in which technology can evolve changes. And as we learned from Kennedy’s challenge, sometimes all it takes to speed things up is imagination and a deadline. So the only thing really left to say to Elon is: