Wednesday, March 01, 2023


Good Night Oppy is like a real life Wall·E

Good Night Oppy is a documentary about twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Both were launched three weeks apart for a 90 sol mission. 

While clearly there is no actual video footage of the rovers on Mars, the team at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic do some good CGI of what it would be like. 

That, and they pepper in interviews with the design, engineering and operations teams, and archived footage from those teams.  It works really well. 

While they never address Wall·E, they do mention how both rovers have some human like attributes. The Pixar guy was much more anthropomorphized. Still, you found yourself feeling - like the crew did - that these were more than robots. 

And if you've seen Wall·E, I think it'd be a fib to say that his design didn't come from Spirit and Opportunity.  The movie came out 5 years after their launch. 

From the get-go, even the title, clearly the filmmakers favour Opportunity over Spirit. This is less than subtle in the movie itself, though there is affection for the latter. Granted the former has a longer life than the latter, so I get it. 

They focus more on the how-to than the discoveries. They focus on the humanity - of the robots and the crew. It's well done and a good show for any astronomy enthusiast.  There are some smile moments and a few sad ones, but maybe that's just me. 

Good Night Oppy is being shown on Prime. 

2023 Movie Count / Goal: 05 of 15

Song by: Lucy Kaplansky

1 comment:

Old Lurker said...

Nope nope nope. I still get choked up thinking about the famous XKCD comic.