I saw the 2016 film Passengers recently. I was deeply impressed: it’s the kind of tale to which I aspire being able to craft myself. I’ve seen a lot of crap science fiction movies — and this isn’t one of them.
The starship Avalon is on its 120 year voyage from Earth to the colony Homestead II. The 5000 passengers and 258 crew are in cryogenic hibernation, and are scheduled to be awakened at the journey’s end. But en route, the ship passes through an asteroid field that causes substantial damage — and one of the passengers, Jim, is awakened when his cryopod malfunctions.
The trip is going to last another 90 years, and he has no way to return to sleep.
Jim survives for more than a year alone on the ship, during which time he very nearly loses his mind. To keep himself sane, he wakes up another passenger, Aurora — and, for a time, he lets her believe that her awakening was just another system failure. A romance blossoms, one that founders when Jim’s secret is revealed.
Meanwhile, the ship’s systems have been endeavouring to repair themselves… but failing. To save the ship will take two people, working together. Jim and Aurora find that they are equal to the task, and in doing so they discover that what’s more important than where you live is how you live.
Although the movie’s writer, Jon Spaihts, was also involved in Prometheus (which I consider to be a seriously sub-standard offspring of the Alien legacy), he’s also working on the upcoming reincarnation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. I’m looking forward to that immensely. I think I need to keep an eye on this man!