Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Blogathon: Journey Across the Cosmos Through Film

In our lifetime, it is not likely we will journey across the cosmos and see its wonders up close. In the near future we may travel to other planets: likely Mars, perhaps Jupiter or even Saturn, but through the movies we can travel further into the universe than NASA could ever dream, and here is our chance to experience its wonders first-hand.

The idea behind this blogathon is to create, in a sense, a fantastical journey across the cosmos, beginning with films set in our Solar System and branching out to explore the galaxy and perhaps something far beyond that.

So, naturally with a cosmic-spanning blogathon we'll have to keep things orderly. Here are some rules:

  1. You literally have the entire universe to choose from. Any galaxy, nebula, solar system, star, planet, dwarf planet, moon, comet, asteroid,  is fair game provided it hasn't already been taken by another contributor, and sometimes even then there may be exceptions. (For instance, even if one person has already claimed Jupiter itself, you could still write about a movie that uses one of its moons)
  2. While the location in question should be prominently featured in the film, it does not necessarily have to take place there. For example only a small (though memorable) portion of Contact actually takes place anywhere near Vega, but since that star plays such an important role in the film's story it would still be a valid choice. 
  3. Although I encourage you to find movies that are set in actual locations observed by astronomy, the extent to which I will enforce it decreases the further from Earth. Basically, while dealing with the solar system you should stick to things that have been observed, but once you're out of the galaxy anything is fair game.
  4. The film you choose is not required to be a scientifically accurate representation of space. Movies where the subject matter may not be accurate either due to scientific advancements made since its production or creative liberties on the part of the filmmakers are acceptable.
  5. With a few exceptions, only one article per object. This is moreso simply to add a layer of challenge to it and encourage diversity (going the easy way I'd half-expect to be bombarded with Mars-based films).

As for how to submit it, there's a few different ways you can do so. You can tweet your article or post a link in the comments. If you're having difficulty finding something good to work with you can drop me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do to help. I can't promise anything, but I'll try and find you something. Worst case scenario if you can find something interesting to say about a film in an area that has been claimed I might be able to make an exception to the usual rule.

So, let's begin the epic journey. For suggestions you can consult my previous article Visions of the Planets, in which I discuss various attempts to envision each of the planets in our solar system (with the exception of Mars, which got its own article).

For the purposes of this list I am temporarily including suggestions for each of the locations I am providing. If I receive an article dealing with that option I will replace the suggestions with a link. You are by no means required to stick to this list. If you can find films featuring other moons, stars, planets, galaxies, or anything else of interest that I have failed to consider I am willing to add them onto here.

Since this idea is a lot more complicated and I'm already running the Favorite Movie Scenes and the Women in Film blogathons, I'm going to make sure you have plenty of time to do this one without having to rush on the others. Because of that, I'm setting the deadline to August 31.

Now that's all out of the way, so on to the submissions. I've split this up into three main levels. The first deals with any and all local objects (i.e. the planets, the sun, etc.), the second covers a much broader range, and the third essentially entails anything outside of our galaxy.

The Solar System

The Sun

  • Sunshine (2007)


  • N/A


  • The Silent Star/Der schweigende Stern/First Spaceship to Venus (1960), Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), Doomsday Machine (1972)


  • Marooned (1969), The Right Stuff (1983), Apollo 13 (1995) Gravity (2013)

The Moon



  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)


  • Outland (1981)


  • Europa Report (2013)



  • Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962)


The Galaxy


  • Contact (1997)


Veil Nebula

  • Dark Star (1974)

Beyond the Infinite

Other Galaxies

  • Star Wars (1977)Galaxy of Terror (1981)


  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


  1. Ooh ooh ooh! Can I have A Trip to the Moon!?

    All Things Kevyn

    1. Smart move. Got in early so you could get an easy one. A Trip to the Moon it is.

  2. You know, I've been meaning to write a review of "Total Recall" for a while now. This seems like a great time to do it. Sound good?

    1. I presume you're talking about the 1990 version, in which case that would be a perfect choice for Mars. From what I understand the remake mostly takes place on Earth.

    2. And here it is, my review of Total Recall:

      I also examined the movie's score by Jerry Goldsmith earlier in the week:

  3. I'm a little mad at myself for missing the women in film one, :( for this one I would love to take Event Horizon, what do you think?

    1. That's alright. If it is any consolation, I am open to the possibility of running it again in the future considering how successful it was.

      That said, I'm good with Event Horizon. That's Neptune covered.

    2. super thanks! and yes you should do another one, that's a rich topic if there ever was one

  4. Great idea, John. I do have one on Silent Running that a regular contributor posted on my blog back in June. Would that do? Please let me know. Thanks.

    1. Why don't you send me a link and I'll take a look?

    2. Here you go: http://le0pard13.com/2014/06/24/guest-post-forgotten-sci-fi-gem-silent-running-1972/