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Thread: Why are there no popular films about space engineers?

  1. #1

    Why are there no popular films about space engineers?

    A few decades ago, during the space race, everyone dreamed of becoming astronauts. Now the progress of the space industry is even more evident. The same topic about astronauts is gaining popularity. But the astronaut, although a professional, is unlikely to get to his adventures without the engineers who gave him the spacecraft.
    So why don't we see engineers as the protagonists of popular films? They're cooler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Paris, France, Earth
    I think it has to do with how something will look on screen. Having astronauts explore space is more easily to make interesting on screen than engineers building a spacecraft, sadly. Not that it can't be done - The Martian focused a lot on the engineers on the ground, for instance.
    "The main difference between Trekkies and Manchester United fans is that Trekkies never trashed a train carriage. So why are the Trekkies the social outcasts?"
    Terry Pratchett

  3. #3

    I think...

    There are quite a few films about startups. How a few people in a garage did something that people now use. Why not make a film about an imaginary team that built a rocket from scratch? Any modern space company can be taken as a basis. For example, like team

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Um, Have you ever seen the film When Worlds Collide, a 1951 American science fiction disaster film, produced by George Pal, directed by Rudolph Maté, and starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, and John Hoyt. It was distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on the 1933 science fiction novel of the same name, co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer.

    Other films where the lead character(s) is/are engineers are Buckaroo Banzai and Iron Man and with just a teeny stretch, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, to my mind Admiral Nelson qualifies. True, none of these are "space engineers", but they most definitely science fiction movies about engineers. Abhorent as it is to Star Trek fans, Jar Jar Abrams's 2009 Star Trek spends a lot of time featuring Cdr Montgomery Scott, the quintessential space engineer, and Robert A. Heinlein' s Destination Moon surely ticks all the boxes. Also, in 2013's Gravity, almost all the challengers faced by Sandra Bullock's Dr. Ryan Stone are engineering based, even though she's a medical engineer. Also, in Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey's Cooper is an engineer. Then there's Apollo 13, where almost all the characters are engineers, including main characters Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise are all engineers with multiple degrees. Then there's the old TV show Salvage 1, where Harry Broderick (Andy Griffith) owns the Jettison Scrap and Salvage Co. and is a specialist in reclaiming trash and junk to sell as scrap. His dream is to recover equipment left on the Moon during Apollo Program missions. In the show's opening title narration, Harry states: "I wanna build a spaceship, go to the Moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back and sell it." Surely, that last one fills the bill!
    Last edited by Owen E Oulton; 06-27-2021 at 09:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Try October Skies. It is a true story about the early days of one engineers troubles before entering the space program as a teen. I haven't seen it myself for some years I thought that it was good then.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2023
    There may be several reasons why there are no popular films solely focused on space engineers.

    Firstly, space engineers may not be as well known or recognizable to the general public as astronauts. The role of space engineers is crucial in the success of space missions, but it may not be as glamorous or exciting as the role of an astronaut, who is often seen as the face of the mission.

    Secondly, the work of space engineers may not translate well to a visual medium like film. Much of the work that space engineers do is technical and complex, and it may be challenging to portray this in a way that is both understandable and engaging to a general audience.

    Lastly, there may be a perception that stories about space engineers may not be as exciting or dramatic as stories about astronauts. Space missions often involve high stakes, life-threatening risks, and the thrill of exploration, which can make for a compelling narrative. However, stories about space engineers may not have the same level of tension or excitement.

    Overall, while space engineers play a vital role in the success of space missions, it may be challenging to create a film centered solely on their work. However, this is not to say that it is impossible, and with the right approach, it may be possible to create an engaging and exciting story about the unsung heroes behind space exploration.

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