by Gray Brechin
July 2, 2010
Arthur C. Clarke and director Peter Hyams proved less than prophetic in the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact, but they gave the audiences of 1984 what they wanted to hear. Cosmonaut David Bowman (Keir Dullea) — who in the movie 2001 disappeared into a mysterious black monolith orbiting Jupiter — reappears as a literally starry-eyed apparition on his widow’s TV set between commercials. He tells her that “something wonderful” is about to happen. It does hours later when exponentially proliferating monoliths send Jupiter critical, igniting a second sun in the solar system. Forewarned by Bowman’s specter, Russian and U.S. cosmonauts hightail it out of the Jovian neighborhood on the cusp of a blast of hot plasma. The two nations at home narrowly avert their own thermonuclear Armageddon. In the closing scene, cosmonaut Heywood Floyd (Roy Schneider) rejoins his wife and son for a happy reunion on the beach under double suns.