I seldom watch TV but last weekend I did see the trailer of the upcoming Passengers movie starring Hollwyood darlings Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The trailer looks exciting enough albeit with a tried and used plot:
Sometime in the future Earth (that oddly enough is located in the middle of the Milky Way instead of it's real location of one of the farther arms of our galaxy) is overpopulated and passenger ships filled with humans in suspended animation are off to a mystical planet somewhere to seek their fortune.
Okay, just out of my head I can figure out some anime that have a similar initial premise: Saber Marionette J, Last Exile, Vandread, one episode of Lost Universe, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, etc... Heck, even the classic 1980's cartoon Thundercats begins with a similar premise! The entire Gundam saga has a huge list of different spinoffs where humans either live in planets or build artificial colonies in floating space stations and a war eventually erupts because they seek independence from Earth.
Of popular Hollywood flicks Avatar sort of comes to mind although they merely consider Pandora to be a source of fuel rather than a planet (more like a moon) humans wish to actually emigrate. Total Recall (the awesome original version not the crappy remake with Colin Firth) has colonization of neighboring planets.
Of course, things go wrong and a ship with so much super technology has a failure of the hibernation system. Whereas in Thundercats, Lion-Oh suffers partial aging and grows up to be a full-fledged adult with muscules but remains in hibernation, Chris Pratt's character in this flick wakes up but he can't restore the hibernation system to fall asleep. Dumb, dumb, dumb. You'd think they'd place a few extra pods for these flicks or something.
So now Chris Pratt suffers from Cabin Fever without going Jack Nicholson loco thanks to apparently some sort of friendly robot and a while later another pod fails. This time the awakened human is Jennifer Lawrence and of course, a love story erupts and bad stuff happens.
I am indeed curious to see this movie, although my first priority is to watch Sully this upcoming XMAS Sunday before they take it out of the theater. I am iffy regarding watching Rogue 1 so I might have to flip a coin and opt either for Rogue 1 or Passengers on New Years weekend.
As for Passengers, until I see the movie I cannot claim how good or bad it is. However, I feel like the plot is a more dumbed down version of Trigun. Ever heard of that anime? It is a really popular 1990's scifi drama series that aired in Toonami that was very successful.
The plot begins with a similar space colonization premise albeit the ship has a permanent crew that remains awake including a woman named Rem Requiem. They locate a potentially inhabitable planet but they decide not to colonize it because it's mostly desertic without a sufficient amount of water to house all of the ships. During their voyage the ship bumps into a pod with two baby alien boys that they choose to adopt. One of them is named Vash and his twin brother Knives.
Vash grows fond of Rem and sees her as his adoptive mother whereas Knives feels angry that the human crew is pulling him away. Knives decides to trigger the crew into killing eachother which he does rather well and ignites the self destruction command of all of the ships to kill everyone.
His insane plan? To ensure he and Vash survive and inhabit the desert planet to live together in peace. However Rem sours his evil plan and sacrifices her life by sending at least some of the ships to safely land in the desertic planet.
The current plot of Trigun happens 100 years later where Vash who stopped aging once he reached adulthood goes on a crusade to save lives even if he destroys entire cities by accident following Rem's ideals.
While I am indeed curious to see this flick, I kind of feel Trigun simply has a lot more plot. Heck, while you are bored, why not give Saber Marionette J a chance as well? In that anime the colonization ship suffers a mysterious accident and kills everyone on board. The only survivors are 6 adult men from different countries and zero women. Instead of choosing to be the last generation, they choose to use complex cloning technology to recombine their DNA and found an entire planet inhabited by men. They build robots with female bodies to remind Terra 2's inhabitants what women used to look like. That series begins where a Japanese guy named Otaru finds a very special marionatte with artificial AI named Lime that expresses complex human emotions and starts an amazing voyage to return real women to his planet.