The story is a hidden message about a method for ressurecting the dead on JupiterAccording to the mysterious Toynbee Tiles anyway.
The next stage in human evolution isn't the giant fetus — it's Artificial Intelligence.The Monolith accelerated the evolution of AI just like that of primates. Evidence: HAL, a computer, expresses emotions at the end. Sure, the 9000s are built long before the humans discovered the Monolith, and these computers are already proven to have a perfect track record. But having a perfect track record doesn't mean HAL perfectly mimics the human mind. The track record deals with logic and analysis, not feelings such as fear, suspiciousness and regret. Heck, those feelings tend to get in the way of perfect track records. An inexplicable skill also happened to the primates after the Monolith. Logically, they have no apparent reason to attack the other, less intelligent group. The little battle seems completely intentional from their part. It is not from self-defense, quick instincts, or simple emotion. The human and AI minds might appear far from each other, but consider. AIs are created from our knowledge. The aliens, however, would be completely different in nature; the aliens in this film truly are alien.
The Aliens are speaking in excitement about Dave in the hotel room.It is speculated that the strange gibberish echo-y voices that can heard in the hotel room are the aliens themselves speaking. They stop talking the moment Dave sees his older self eating because the experimental process has just started. So they've been quietly watching and analyzing as Dave gets older. They're either patiently watching as Dave ages naturally or accelerated the process to have him age quicker.
The SAL 9000 is the "twin-9000".The "twin-9000" computer mentioned in the first film could very well be SAL 9000, unless there are other 9000 computers we haven't heard of.
Contact (at least, the film version) is an alternate universe of 2001.The mysterious aliens who built the Portal Network in the Vegan System are the creators of the Monoliths. The aliens who made contact with Earth are one of the many alien races that have evolved due to the Monoliths.
The Aliens created the rings of Saturn.In the first book, there is a sentence which suggests that "no one had ever given the slightest thought to the curious coincidence that the rings of Saturn had been born at the same time as the human race."
It's not about aliens at all. Or not literally. It's about the nature of man.
The Starchild is a representation of the next stage in human evolution.
Moon is in the same universe as 2001: A Space Odyssey.GERTY is essentially a nice version of HAL-9000. The cloning and technology seem similar as well.
The Aliens destroy or redirect everything headed beyond the Sol systemThis explains the reason there is no 'Voyager 6' by 3001. Space technology is extremely advanced to the point where humans build space elevators and a ring around Earth made out of diamonds mined from Jupiter's/Lucifer's moons. They even terraform and colonize Ganymede. So why are there no interstellar colonies? Why was Frank Poole almost the first man to leave the solar system? Because interstellar space is as forbidden as Europa, of course! The monoliths have convinced the Aliens that humanity was omnicidal in nature, and need to keep humanity away from intelligent life. (By 3001, the aliens decide that humans are such maniacs that they need to be exterminated). So, Halman or possibly the Monolith pushes Frank Poole closer to the ship in the outer solar system, blows up robot probes when they pass the Oort Cloud, and haunts interstellar expeditions so that one crew member dooms the whole ship.
HAL's murder of the astronauts was prompted not because he was trying to cover for a mistake he had made, but because the people running the mission had specifically programmed him to do so under certain circumstances.This was a theory put forward by Rob Ager in his analysis of ''2001''. (Note his analysis covers the film only, not the book version.) The gist of the theory is this: HAL had been programmed to run subtle psychological tests on the crew all throughout the journey to Jupiter. If at any point, any or all of the crewmembers were determined to not be completely under HAL's psychological control, then HAL would have to dispose of them. HAL was sure that Frank was under his control because he had been able to beat him by cheating at chess. But Dave was a more sceptical sort, and when Dave insisted on double-checking the AE-35 unit instead of buying HAL's explanation of its failure, the crew's fate was sealed. HAL's "kill the crew" programming was then activated and he began carrying out his orders of exterminating everyone on the ship. (It may seem far-fetched that Mission Control would create a computer program that would result in the murder of an entire crew but this is a Kubrick film we're talking about. If you know anything about Kubrick's politics and other film works, it certainly wouldn't seem implausible to him that an Authoritarian Government Agency would casually terminate a crew on a mission as important as this one if it weren't completely certain of its control over them.)
Dave believes that he sees God (literally) near the end of 2001."My God!" isn't used as an exclamation; it's used to identify the pronoun "it" in "My God- it's full of stars!" (For a not-so-serious example: "My chocolate- It's full of peanut butter!")
The Aliens are pre-mending planeswalkersAnd the monolith are devices that allows the ignition of the Spark without the person dying.
It wasn't the use of clubs that the monolith introduced to the proto-hominids, but imagination.Basic tool use was already something they were capable of, as with chimpanzees today. Mechanically, a club isn't that big a breakthrough. What was groundbreaking was the affected apes' ability to imagine the far-reaching opportunities that might follow from the use of an implement like the bone club, as illustrated by those shots of a
A Clockwork Orange takes place at the same time as 2001.Both are Stanley Kubrick films that take place in the future. The year in A Clockwork Orange is never stated, and the events could be taking place on earth while Hal 9000 is going crazy.
The Monoliths only accelerate evolution when the subject is ready.When the apes come in contact with the monoliths they are developed enough to gain a jump in evolution, however when humans find the monolith on the moon it emits a high pitched shriek to drive away the people because they are not "ready", this occurrence did have an effect on HAL however because of the level of sophistication of its design. When Dave finds himself in the hotel room he his being deliberately aged until he is ready to be evolved.(into a space fetus apparently.)
The aliens who created the Monoliths also sent Albert Einstein.Einstein was either one of them, or a human created by them to further advance humankind. If you want proof, his surname literally translates as 'Monolith'. The German 'Ein Stein' means 'one stone'. The English word monolith has the very same meaning. Einstein = one stone = Monolith.
Frank knew all along that Hal was malfunctioning.During the chess game, Hal informs Frank that Hal will win in two moves. In actuality, Hal would win in three moves, but Frank does not notice the error and accepts his loss. Later, in the pod, he is the one most adamant about disconnecting Hal, and was able to immediately start naming off the way to do it so that the ship's systems wouldn't be affected by the disconnect. Frank did notice the error, but was simply playing along so as not to precipitate anything with Hal. Notice that Frank stares at the screen for several seconds before conceeding the game, as if analyzing the moves in his head. Being alerted to the malfunction, Frank secretly brushed up on the Hal-9000 disconnect procedures in case it became needed. The malfunction with the AE-35 unit simply proved his suspicions. Why did he still go on the mission to replace the AE-35? Several reasons. 1) He didn't think that Hal knew about their plan to disconnect him. 2) Hal had, as of yet, made no move against the crew, so the malfunctions weren't seen as life-threatening, simply endangering the mission. 3) Even if he suspected anything, he didn't want to risk Dave's life if Hal did decided to do something. 4) If he suspected anything, he wanted to try to keep Hal from knowing that he knew, and a sudden change (like sending a different person to complete the replacement) would have alerted Hal.
The Firstborn are Engineers.From The Lost Worlds Of 2001: Apart from their unusual height - more than seven feet - the creatures that looked down upon the world of Pliocene were strikingly human (...) With a little plastic surgery, Clindar could have passed for a man. He was hairless... Sound familiar?
The Discovery was fitted with HAL as a time-saving featureDiscovery was slapped together so fast there are irregularities that required constant observation. HAL was the only way to get around it. How HAL would interact with the humans wasn't even really considered.
One of the hibernating scientists was a weapons officerFor all we knew, the monolith sent an "attack" message.
Star Destroyers form the "wedges door" on the moon at the moonbase.When I saw the movie as a kid in the 1980's, and I saw the wedges pulling apart and thought it looked like six Imperial Star Destroyers had all been parked with their points together and then pulled back in reverse to open. I can't watch the sequence without thinking it. (Yes, this is "Jossed" in the next shot, but still!)
The Space Odyssey and Time Odyssey series are set in the same continuity.The last Space Odyssey novel ends with the monoliths being destroyed, but not before they sent a message to their controlling node, 450 light years away from Earth. This would appear to suggest Arthur C. Clarke's intention to write a fifth novel, where the Firstborn deal with an intelligence capable to destroy that technology. Except that he (apparently) didn't. He went on to write a trilogy he called Time Odyssey, with the help of Stephen Baxter. However, he did say that the Time Odyssey novels form an "orthoquel" to the Space Odyssey novels. Well, what if the events narrated in the Time Odyssey novels are a consequence to the actions narrated in 3001: Final Odyssey, as an attempt by the Firstborn (who acquired the ability to manipulate time) not to just exterminate intelligence, but to erase it from existence? That would also explain the inconsistencies between one novel and the next: each subsequent novel shows the result of further attempts by the Firstborn to tamper with the timeline.
My God - it's full of stars!
The Monolith is a TARDIS.The Monolith appearing at different points is just a Time Lord journeying through time and space. Maybe it is more advanced than The Doctor's TARDIS; it is slimmer than a police public call box, so its interior may be bigger. The chameleon circuit worked at some point, but it got stuck and always resembles a monolith.
The Starchild's birth was meant to be an inversion of Haeckel's recapitulation theoryInstead of embryonic development paralleling our evolutionary history, all of human evolution has just been the embryonic stage of a much higher being. Which I guess makes the Earth an ovum, and human beings sperm... or the chemical soup that produced life was the ovum, and some other catalyst was the sperm... I don't seem to be making this idea any less confusing.