What is 2001: A Space Odyssey?

2001: A Space Odyssey Is a Science fiction film that released in 1968. It is considered as one of the most groundbreaking films of all time, and "the movie to change all movies forever." It was directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Arthur C. Clarke.

It was nominated for four Academy awards, and won Kubrick the award due to his usage of visual effects.


2001: A Space odyssey follows three seperate stories. In it's first chapter, It is told from the perspective of a starving tribe of hominis, in other words, it begins at the dawn of man. Eventually, an ominous black monolith appears, and shortly after, the tribe learns how to use bones as tools, and with that they are saved from the brink of death as they begin to hunt animals for meat. The tribe's leader, Moon-Watcher, then throws a bone up above his head, and with it came the transition between this and the next chapter.

In the film's second chapter, it follows a man known as Heywood Floyd, as he is tasked to investigate an odd magenetic force, dubbed "TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly - 1)" on Tycho, one of the Moon's many craters. As he reaches it, it is revealed that the magnetic field was being generated by a monolith. After he approaches it, and touches it, the monolith sends an ear-piercing signal, and with it ends the story from Floyd's perspective.

The movie's third chapter, which takes place 18 months later, follows David Bowman and Frank Poole, captains of the spacecraft Discovery as it heads for jupiter.

As they grow closer and closer to the mammoth planet, HAL9000, the ship's onboard AI system with a human-like personality, begins to display odd behaviour, almost like he was malfunctioning, that had not previously been seen before, as every computer in the 9000 series has a completely clean error record. Hal blames any error on the ship to be purely due to human activity.

Both Dave and Frank become increasingly concerned about this, and attempt to discuss it privately in one of the ship's extravehicular activity [EVA] pods. While they were very thorough with making sure Hal could not hear them, Hal could still read their lips, as they discussed the need to disconnect him, as they truly had no other alternative if Hal was truly malfunctioning.

As Frank uses one of the EVA pods to replace the supposedly malfunction antenna unit, Hal takes control of the pod, and attacks Frank with it, disconnecting the tube to his oxygen tank on his spacesuit. Dave quickly hops into another EVA pod to retrieve Frank's body.

While Dave is outside of the ship, Hal kills the 3 crewmen that were put into hibernation by shutting off their life support systems. Once Dave returns to the ship with Frank's corpse, Hal refuses to let him in, stating that if they were to deactivate him, it would jeopordize the mission. Dave instead decides to enter through the emergency airlock, despite it requiring him to let go of Frank's body in order for it to work.

Once the airlock opened, Dave carefully positioned the pod to propell him into the room, due to him forgetting to bring his spacesuit's helmet. As soon as Dave gets back inside the ship, he quickly heads to Hal's Processing core, in order to deactivate him. As he is doing so, Hal begins begging for Dave to stop, which he ignores. Right before Hal is fully shut off, He asks Dave if he wants to hear a song that he had been taught to sing. This is the only thing Dave responds to throughout the entire sequence. And with that, the AI lay dormant, silently longing for reactivation.

Immediately after Hal is fully shut off, a pre-recorded message is played, revealing that the true objective of the mission was to investigate a radio signal sent from the monolith to jupiter. Once Dave arrives at Jupiter, he finds said monolith floating horizontally, as if it was lying in wait for him. He chases after it in a EVA pod, and is then pulled into a vortex of coloured light and astronomical phenomena. He observes oddly coloured landscapes as he passes by.

At long last, he finds himself in a large bedroom, painted in white from head to toe. It is here that he sees himself age, and then eventually becomes an older version of himself. At the final stage, he is an old man lying in bed. A monolith appears at the foot of his bed, and Dave instinctually reaches for it. He is then transformed into a fetus trapped in an transparent orb of light, and is shown floating above earth as the movie's credits roll.

The film's sequels:

2001: A Space Odyssey is followed up by 3 written sequels, with the first one, 2010: Odyssey Two, being adapted into a movie.

2010: Odyssey two was published in 1982, with it's film adaption being released 2 years later, in 1984. It follows a joint USA-Soviet that is sent to jupiter in order to figure out what happened to the doomed Discovery and it's H.A.L 9000 supercomputer.

2061: Odyssey Three was published in 1987, and Stars Heywood Floyd as he once again must confront David Bowman and HAL, alongside an alien race that has chosen humanity to play apart in evolution of the galaxy, whether it wants to or not.

3001: The Final Odyssey Is lead by the astronaut killed by HAL, Frank Poole. One millenium later, his freeze-dried body is discovered in the kuiper-belt by a space tug known as The Goliath , and is miraculously revived. He is then summoned to Europa, which humanity was banned from 1000 years prior by the monoliths, and is believed to be the only human allowed there since.

My personal thoughts on the film:

To start us off, 2001: A Space Odyssey is probably the best film I have ever watched in my life hands down. It's absolutely breathtaking, especially when you consider what year it was released in.

I think it is important to mention that I rarely latch onto movies unless they are extremely specific and catered to my tastes, and 2001 seemed to hit the nail on the head. it hit all checkpoints in what I am utterly deranged about. It's got AI. It's got alien lifeforms. It's got insane homoerotic subtext. What more could I possibly need?

On the topic of homoerotic subtext. I think about the relationship between David Bowman and HAL 9000 so so much. What if you both went through a cycle of death and rebirth, and through that you found your way back to each other after a series of events that drove you apart. Alongside the implications that you two spent 1000 years alone with nothing but each other is going to be the death of me one day.

Both those characters, and pretty much every other major character in that film and its sequels are written incredibly well, and after having watched the film at least 5 times by now, I can safely say that they never get old. The movie it's self is also extremely addicting, and I get excited for it despite knowing everything that's going to happen already. I think it's the anticipation for those events that really get my gears turning, you know?

I will probably update this section as time goes on, as I have only been really into 2001 for a few weeks, if you can believe it. I originally watched it a couple of times last year, but never managed to finish it, and therefore it did not leave a massive impact on me like the full viewing of the film in an IMAX theatre did back in september.