2001: A Space Odyssey

Frank Poole is killed while outside of the ship by HAL. David Bowman doesn't realize Poole is dead so he leaves the ship to try and rescue him. While he is getting Poole, HAL kills all of the hibernating crew of the Discovery One. After Bowman gets Poole's body he asks HAL to open the pod bay door so he can get in. In a famous quote ("I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.") HAL refuses and Bowman ends up going through the emergency airlock and risking his life.

He then puts on a suit to protect himself if HAL attempts to shut off the oxygen and goes to HAL's brain room to shut him off. HAL admits to Bowman "I'm scared Dave, I can feel it slipping away." and eventually loses all of its memory except for knowing a song called "Daisy" that his instructor taught him. He asks Bowman if he wants to hear it and Bowman tells him to sing it while he disconnects HAL.

After he does, he finds out that the Discovery One reached the orbit of Jupiter and he receives a pre-recorded message of from Dr. Heywood Floyd about what the mission was about. The crew was supposed to explore a new life form whose evidence was found in a black monolith that was buried on the moon, transmitting radio signals to Jupiter. The film enters it's final stage "Jupiter and Beyond" as Bowman finally sees the 3rd monolith and departs in a pod to see it. The monolith transports apparently through a black hole or worm hole through multiple dimensions and through different universes and galaxies and Bowman goes into a state of shock.

Suddenly, he is in a hotel room with no exit. He sees himself outside of the pod and suddenly the pod is gone and he is alone in the hotel room. He walks into the bathroom and sees that he has aged and his hair is gray. He then sees an even older version of himself eating supper acting as if nothing is wrong. The old Bowman at the table looks in the bathroom and sees no one there. He goes back to his meal acting as if he's lived in the room his entire life. He forgot the mission until accidentally breaking a crystal glass, which makes him wake up out of the trance for a second. He looks over at the bed and sees himself, only older to the point of mummification. The Bowman at the table is gone and the almost corpse one in bed is moments from dying.

He looks over and sees the fourth monolith at the foot of his bed. He silently raises his arm to it then falls back dead. He is then "reborn" into a supernatural being. A "Star Child" with the ability to travel through space and different worlds freely. The entire hotel sequence is a terrarium set up by the aliens to make Bowman comfortable and allow his "rebirth. The "Star Child" heads back to Earth and the movie ends with the Star Child outside of Earth looking at it with wonder that it is the primitive place it came from while "Also Sprach Zarathustra" blares triumphantly.

Monty

Other mistake: There is something drastically wrong with the design of the spherical 'Aries' moon shuttle. Some seats and many fixtures are 'upside down' relative to the up-down orientation of the shuttle itself, and we see loose food trays and equipment about the place as if this is routine. But - the shuttle is designed to land on the moon. What happens then? The moon has gravity, remember? There are going to be quite a few very disgruntled people dangling upside down like spiders, and there will be loose gear (and perhaps a stewardess or two) bouncing about all over the place. It is not a matter of stowing loose gear or lying flat on landing - some parts of the shuttle are upside down relative to others, which is why the stewardess has to do that famous 180 degree upside down walk. Whichever way you look at it the shuttle is going to encounter serious problems when it reaches a gravity well, which will occur whenever the engines are fired up, never mind landing on the moon.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The shuttle lands "on its back" with legs extending beyond the engines. As in most traditional sci-fi, and ALL actual, space flights to date, the launch (and landing) orientation for humans is to be on one's back. This minimizes blood being sucked down to your feet if you were sitting upright at launch - you could pass out. So we see this when the shuttle lands on the moon - the cockpit (red window) faces up (pilots on their backs, facing out the window). When we presume that the passenger cabin was 180 degrees spun around from the cockpit seating, they're still on their backs. Any loose objects would have been stowed before landing - the airlines don't lock down your bags, newspapers and coffee cups, right? They're loose in the cabin during flight, but put away on takeoff and landing.

Airliners do not fly upside down. The Orion shuttle cannot possibly operate the way it does if it lands in a gravity environment - some rooms are upside down relative to others - why else would the stewardess do the 180 degree vertical walk? It is an idiotic design flaw, and the posting is 100% correct.

The Aries passengers sit and stand with their feet down towards the moon. The pilots sit with their back down to the moon, as conventional astronauts do on Earth. But the attendant's 180-degree walk is completely wrong to the orientation of the shuttle's interior: it should have been only 90° if you look at the Aries exterior. One assumes that Kubrick preferred a longer, more cinematic shot, over a technically accurate shot. But nobody was upside-down to the moon.

More mistakes in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

More quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Trivia: The leopard lying on a dead zebra was actually lying on a dead horse painted to look like a zebra. The cat wasn't too happy with that scene.

Larry Koehn

More trivia for 2001: A Space Odyssey

Question: I don't understand the significance of the monolith or the starbaby. Can someone explain it to me?

Answer: As author Arthur C. Clarke explained it, the first Monolith (the one seen at the beginning of the film and then buried on the Moon) was a space probe from an incomprehensibly more advanced alien intelligence that resided inside a star elsewhere in the cosmos. The Monolith's objective was to seek out lifeforms that had potential and "tweak" their neural evolution, causing them to evolve toward intelligence. In the case of Mankind on Earth, once the modification was made, the Monolith probe retreated to the Moon and waited 4 million years for Mankind to reach it. When Mankind reached the Moon, the Monolith sent a signal to the next phase of the experiment, which was another Monolith in orbit of Jupiter. When Mankind reached the Jupiter Monolith in a matter of months, the Monolith acted as an interdimensional portal to the other side of the universe, transporting the evolved human specimen to its creator (that resided within a star). The creator intelligence found the specimen (Dave Bowman) to be of acceptable quality and rapidly evolved him to the next level, a Star Child. The Star Child is a "godly" evolution of Mankind. The Star Child chooses to instantaneously return to its home planet (Earth), where it stops a nuclear war.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: The monolith is a monitor placed by the aliens to track the progress of developing civilizations. When humanity found the monolith on the Moon, that signaled a certain level of technological advancement. The starbaby is the evolution of the astronaut, as the symbol of humanity, from "Earth-bound" to a true child of the universe, turning his back on the Earth and looking toward the stars.

scwilliam

In both the Arthur C. Clarke story and in the movie, the Star Child does not "turn his back on Earth"; quite the contrary, as soon as Bowman transforms into the Star Child, his first impulse is to instantaneously return to Earth, which he does just in time to stop a nuclear war. In essence, Bowman becomes the guardian of Earth.

Charles Austin Miller

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