Sunday, January 17, 2010

Forbidden Planet

Source: "Illustrations 10-17-2007" from Submitted by Tom Barber
"Forbidden Planet" (1956) by MGM

Long before actor Leslie Nielsen became famous for his comedy movies such as Airplane and The Naked Gun, he played the commander of a space ship in the classic science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet. Sent to investigate the fate of a previous expedition to the planet, Nielsen and his crew find only two survivors of the previous expedition, Dr. Morbius and his daughter Altaira. Dr. Morbius discovered the planet had once been inhabited by the Krell, a super-intelligent race. The Krell had developed a vast machine that could provide anything that an individual Krell could desire. It was controlled by the thoughts of the person. Dr. Morbius was able to learn how to utilize the machine to some extent. But what Dr. Morbius and the Krell did not take into consideration was the subconscious: What Dr. Morbius called the “mindless primitive”. It was the base elements of the subconscious such as envy, greed, and hate that brought about the destruction of the Krell civilization and eventually Dr. Morbius. Towards the end of the movie, Dr. Morbius realizes that it was his own subconscious mind that was controlling the “monster” that had been attacking the crew of the spaceship and was now threatening Leslie Nielsen’s character and Morbius’ daughter Altaira. He speaks the following line:

“Dr. Edward Morbius: Guilty! Guilty! My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!”

We would probably call the “mindless primitive” our sin nature. Morbius realized that no matter how intelligent or how technologically advanced; people still have the basic nature to sin. To paraphrase the apostle Paul, sin makes us do what we don’t want to do and not do what we want to do. Like Morbius, we are not able to control or stop our sin nature by our own power. We can only accomplish some measure of control by the grace and power of Jesus Christ working thought the Holy Spirit. It’s not until we are in Heaven that we will be totally sin-free.

As the movie comes to a close, the planet is destroyed by the explosion of the Krell machine as the crew of the spaceship and Altaira watch. Leslie Nielsen’s character sums it all up with this statement to Altaira:

“Commander John J. Adams: Alta, about a million years from now the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy. And your father's name will shine again like a beacon in the galaxy. It's true, it will remind us that we are, after all, not God.”

No comments: