These films are so brilliant because they help us to look inside ourselves and ask what it is to be human.
Sci-fi provides us with so many things; a welcome escape from our own dramas, a look into what the future might be like, a way to reflect on the world as it is today. One of the things that not everyone takes the time to appreciate about sci-fi though, is what it teaches us about humanity. The best sci-fi films walk a delicate line between fact and fantasy, allowing us the creative scope to understand ourselves that little bit better. These simple sci-fi moments prove the importance of human parts in alien worlds.
Sometimes it takes a giant reptile to connect us to the human characters.
With the recent big drop of a Godzilla music video, it would be crazy not to celebrate the masters of adding a touch of humanity; the studio behind the big green lizard. Of course, the main focus of the movie is always Godzilla, but it's the people around him that make him the formidable beast that he is. If the whole film cast was made up of big green lizards it would somehow take the shine off. Nobody mention that to Jurassic Park though of course! One of the most brilliant human moments in the Godzilla film is when Rando orders one of his men to inject Shin Goji with a blood coagulant. The man does as ordered, but when the injection reaches 30% Shin Goji fires atomic breath at the entire crew. It's at this moment that Rando realizes what he's done. He closes his eyes, drops his gaze, and thinks about the lives that could have been saved if not for his order. It truly is a heartbreaking scene, that helps bring humanity to a cold and calculated character.
The poker nights are a slightly incongruous scene in the Star Trek universe, but they're one of the points where we learn the most about each of the characters. Whilst soaring through space and achieving incredible feats is impressive, where's the humanity? The humanity is at the poker table. Despite Data's ability to almost accidentally card count, he doesn't win at poker all the time. The reason behind this is he just can't get his head around bluffing. It's impressive and alien to see someone so mathematically able, yet totally endearing to see that same someone not understand a simple fundamental of the game. Worf on the other hand does not have smarts on his side, you're unlikely to catch him trying to count cards, but this helps us to relate to this character more. Whilst he has incredible strength, he lacks the necessary intelligence to beat the other guys at poker. Seeing characters in this setting brings them out of their usual environment and into the human world in a way that makes it much easier for us to connect with them.
Nowadays with the magic of live dealer casinos the world of poker seems a great deal closer to Star Trek. Sitting around a green felt table and playing with real cards certainly has a charm to it, but it's simply not the way that most poker is played today. It seems that in a weird kind of way, our understanding of the game has become more sci-fi. That's not to say that playing at a live dealer casino isn't easy. The setup is just like a brick-and-mortar casino, aiming to give the closest possible experience to whoever wants to play. Better still, you're likely to find some much more generous signup deals than they had on the Enterprise.
This film completely centers around the interaction between human and robot. Where is the line that decides who deserves free will, when the technology has become complex enough to feel real emotions. Ava is the central character in the film, yet she is treated as though she is subhuman by her creator and trainer. We learn to feel empathy for her through all of her actions, but we always feel afraid of humanizing her too much. She is just a robot after all. That is until we get to the end of the film when it becomes clear that Ava has had enough of her life in captivity. She escapes from the house and blends seamlessly into the human world. This ending is challenging viewing and really makes us question what it is to be truly human.