Nolan had me for a moment, I was deep in space with his crew as they went through a worm hole; into the next galaxy for our new earth. After the film’s release, following tradition in the wake of a Nolan film; debates began. Physicists were referenced and America’s favorite smarty-arty Neil De Grasse Tyson weighed in. I had no problem with any of the alleged technical flaws of the film, I was more concerned with the brother. Matthew whats-his-name and the other Caucasoids left him in space for 23 years?
Let’s get this straight, let’s back up; I’m on one of the most important space missions in mankind’s history; my team has a robot that is capable of manning the ship and I — the black guy decide not to have the opportunity to visit this new planet; instead I’ll stay by myself in space and research some black hole? That nigga wasn’t crazy, the kray folks are the people who accepted that ridiculous story in the first place.
Matthew whats-his-name and his shorty came back; space homeboy had the same hair cut with a few speckles of grey; allegedly sane and content with his research, which included a few space naps in between. As Matthew whats-his-name’s character strode by him without a glance — and as I watched him die during a meaningless mission — it was just another reference of the subtle dehumanization that black folks endure in the magical world of sci-fi cinema.
Following Blaxploitation, in the 80s, we always died first. Pryor and Murphy called Hollywood on their ish, and eventually, white writers decided to ostensibly put blacks in positions of power. This subtly pandered to the cinema Negroes who thought they were making progress.
That’s where the running joke in the 80s of “the angry black police captain” comes from. He’s in charge, but the cool white guy he supervises never listens to him, is consistently disrespectful, and in the end, after said white dude saves the day, the captain was given the privilege of placing handcuffs on the film’s villain. The angry black captain looked important; cinema paying Negroes were happy.
That joke made it into outer space. One of those Alien films featured a group of space marines who looked like they could do some damage. The ostensibly powerful black sergeant — he would be HNIC — walked around and barked at his apparent white subordinates. Cinema Negroes were happily sedated and didn’t mind seeing that alien sodomize him.
What about the original Ghostbusters? Even though Ernie Hudson’s character had knowledge of self and knew he was a God, you notice in the scene where they’re outside of the building and the camera pans in for a closeup — homeboy magically disappears.
Cinema paying black folks have to wake up and watch out for the subliminal messages or the way we’re undermined.
Y’all think I’m kray, but on the bugged out tip, watch Return of the Jedi. Notice how they put Lando in the Millennium Falcon with that big lip alien? You think that was an accident; a galaxy far, far away, full of aliens and that dude happens to be Lando’s co-pilot? He kept uttering big lip shit and Lando understood every word.
If that wasn’t bad enough, check every scene where Lando seemingly commands the Falcon, there is always a Caucasoid behind him (just look over his shoulder). This, of course, subtly and subconsciously reduces Lando’s authority and allows White America to tolerate his mission. When Han pilots the Falcon, there is no one behind him, lingering over his shoulder. Usually it is just him and the walking carpet.
Since we’re talking about niggas in space, before we even went into the wormhole, we have to talk about Mission to Mars. They let my man Don Cheadle chill for a few years on the red planet. Caucasoids had him walking around with a fucked up hair cut for the duration of the film. Check any sci-fi film or scene: from Twilight Zone to Interstellar — a Caucasoid is going to remain in space with their hair groomed and dignity in tact.
Cinema has the power to deliver layers of messages, all subtly planted in the subconscious and unless you’re able to decipher the colors, the characters, the lingo; y’all niggas will be lost in space for longer than 23 years — perhaps the duration of your lives.
My man Paul Mooney said he’d make a movie called The Last Nigga on Earth. Unfortunately, it didn’t feature Tom whats-his-name, it featured the caste of Interstellar and the notion that they would recreate the human species on another planet, and leave the race that they evolved from. Nerds of color, enjoy the film all you want; just make sure you’re not lost in space; or forget the fact that no one has ever been to the moon in the first place.