The Creator Movie Discussion and Explanation

The Creator Movie Discussion and Explanation
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The Creator Movie Discussion and Explanation, because some of you are watching the movie The Creator and wondering what the heck just happened to your last two hours. And that’s fair. There is a lot going on here. And Gareth Edwards? No offense… but he doesn’t exactly care whether or not you initially get it. You are going to have to do your own work to put two and two together to make pi. Wait, what? I don’t know. Regardless, I really loved this movie. There is a lot of gorgeousness happening here. There’s a lot of thinking going on here. And if you aren’t careful, you might walk out of this movie thinking that Mr. Edwards is advocating for HAL9000 to take over running the earth.

High Level Walkthrough of The Creator

In a really well done montage, the movie opens with the baby steps of AI and mechanical robots, and we watch as they rapidly increase in capability and intelligence. Until finally, the segment cuts to the pronouncement that AI ended up launching a nuclear strike on Los Angeles, which resulted in the deaths of almost a million people. And that precipitated the outlawing of all robots and AI technologies within the United States and all Western allies. But still, there are bastions, safe harbors, around the world that still welcome these DASTARDLY technological creations. (Specifically New Asia…)

The worry? Oh, not much, just the eradication of all human life on the planet. And so the west, determined to save their skin, begins to hunt down The Nirmata… The Creator. And in the assassination of the Nirmata, they will be stopping the radical growth of these AI technologies around the world. But before they can assassinate him, they’ll need to find him first. And in an attempt to root him out, the west does two things… 1) They create NOMAD (North American Orbital Mobile Aerospace Defense) which is capable of viciously accurate attacks from space. 2) They send Joshua Taylor in as a deep undercover operative into New Asia to find the whereabouts of the Nirmata.

Only problem? While undercover, Joshua falls in love with Maya, and as we meet Maya, we see that they are expecting a child. The West, chomping at the bit to get a lead on the Nirmata, sends in a strike team that goes horribly pear-shaped. In the resulting chaos of the fallout, Maya is killed in the strike. Five years later, Joshua works in the clean up of Los Angeles’ ground zero, but finds himself still being pestered by military types who are still CERTAIN that he must know where the Nirmata is. He was their closest chance after all. But their having killed the love of his life sort of makes him not really want to talk to them at all. But when the military shows him that his wife might actually be alive still, Joshua is all in on “helping” them find her and the Nirmata.

With Joshua’s help, the strike team make it back to his village, but they were initially unable to find the compound. Which is because it was under the ground. Eventually, Joshua makes it inside, but as everything goes sideways, he finds himself all alone with the Nirmata’s primary weapon… AlphaZero or Alpha0, or … if you aren’t picking up what Edwards is putting down, the Alpha & Omega. (And if that means nothing to you… that is a reference to the book of Revelation, and another name for Christ. (You know, The beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet? The beginning and end of all things? (I just over explained a simple idea again… didn’t I? DANGIT.)

But what is it? The weapon? Apparently it is a child. A child that is locked in a massive bank vault, and who just sits and watches TV. Huh. Weird? In the chaos of the attack coming from NOMAD, Joshua (am I the only one that noticed our heroes name is Joshua? No, I refuse to over explain yet again. Not doing it. You tricked me into it last time, and I’m not doing it again.) Soon we realize that Alphie, as Joshua calls her, is able to control electronics with her mind. Which makes her the most powerful TV remote ever to exist. But here’s the trick, the young girl, robot, simulant… what have you… can grow. And as she grows, her robotic powers will grow exponentially as well.

Escaping with Alpha Zero, Joshua makes it to a electronics developer friend, Drew, who tells him the full details of the child’s potential. But as they are discussing her, the New Asian police raid the robot factory, killing Drew’s girlfriend. But before Joshua runs with the child, he finds out that the reason the raid happened five years prior was because the government had intelligence that Maya, Joshua’s girlfriend, was Nirmata. (If this surprised you, you were not paying attention.) Eventually, the New Asian police capture Joshua and Alphie, and they bring the two to their village.

Harun, an old friend of Joshua’s, explains that the nuclear explosion in Los Angeles? That was caused by a human error. A code glitch that the U.S. government had to blame on someone. So who else is better to carry that blame than AI? But as the movie painfully explains over and over again, the simulants only just want to peacefully coexist with humanity. Joshua also learns that the original Nirmata was Maya’s father, and that he passed down his knowledge to his daughter, and when he died, she took over the role.

Running for his life, Joshua rescues Alphie, and runs for it as Howell catches up to him yet again and attacks the village. Tin-can self destruct robots attack the duo… but Alphie intervenes and saves Joshua’s life, but not before she is critically injured. Joshua runs with the girl, and attempts to get her fixed by the Nirmata. But when they are all reunited, Joshua realizes that she has been in a coma the last 5 years, ever since the original attack. Simulant monks watch over her, and keep her alive. Why didn’t they pull the plug? Well, because they are disallowed from harming humans. We also learn there that AlphaZero was based on Maya’s unborn child. A scan of the fetus was made, and from that, the Nirmata created the perfect “weapon”. Joshua takes a scan of his wife’s brain, and eventually gives it to Alphie. And Joshua realizes he needs to destroy NOMAD in order for the war to end.

The duo are caught by U.S. military forces and hauled back to Los Angeles where Joshua is told he has to kill Alphie with some sort of electroshock, weapon, thing. But instead of doing it, he sets it to stun, and before she is finally recycled, Alphie helps the two escape. They hope onto a shuttle, and head up into outer space, in order to divert the craft to NOMAD. Simultaneously, Andrews orders NOMAD to launch a full-scale strike against the remaining AI stronghold across the globe. But Joshua and Alphie attack NOMAD in order to attempt to halt the attack. Alphie, finding a replicant that looks like her “mother”, the Nirmata, and plants her mother’s memory chip in the replicant. But unable to haul it back to Joshua, she leaves it. Joshua then plants a timed explosive in order to disable the ship’s power, attacked, and beset, Joshua is able to send Alphie on an escape pod, but he’s unable to go with her. As Alphie lands on the planet’s surface in time to watch the destruction of NOMAD, we also see that as the station is blowing up, Joshua and “Maya” are reunited.

The Creator Movie Discussion and Explanation - a movie so complex, that I'd argue that hardly anyone is understanding what it's really about.

The Creator Movie – That’s A Lot – What Does It Mean?

So, if you were to watch this movie, and take it at face value, you might come away with the fact that Edwards is in love with AI, robots, and that he would like the world under the control of despotic and maniacal machines. But I think that nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout the movie we watch as people advocate on behalf of the machines they interact with day after day. They tell of how they were saved by the machines, healed by the machines, or saved by these “horrible” robots. Regularly we watch as humans mourn the death of their family friend, and attempt to save them. And you know what? I actually don’t even think this is about the robots at all. WAIT WHAT?

If It’s Not About The Robots, Then WHAT?

So, if we remove the AI and the machines from the picture, then what is this all about? Well, if you remove the robots, then what is the only thing left in the equation? That would be us. Right? And if we look at the movie objectively, from a historical standpoint, the fact that the fights are happening deep within New Asia, and all that New Asia is saying they want to do is to be left to live in peace… then maybe there are echoes here of the Korean and Vietnam wars? We watch as whole villages are gun down as the West invades, hellbent on a single objective. We watch as the robots, who are – as far as we know – incapable of violence. So then maybe we should look deeper at ourselves? The lies we tell ourselves that propogate this sort of international hostility? And why we do it. Not saying I specifically agree, just saying that that seems to be the deeper message here.

Think about it though. This is a movie about the darkness of man’s heart. Our inability to dream. To hope. To trust. It’s a movie about conspiracies, and a story about our ability as a people to find scapegoats for our failures. If the West had been more honest with itself, they would have said… WHOOOPS, a programmer blew up Los Angeles. But since that is really hard to do, instead, we blame an underrepresented people. We blame an area of the world. And we go on our own holy war against that scapegoat. (If you’ve done any reading in the Old Testament on that phrase, “scapegoat”… you’ll know that this is literally what happened. The sins of the people were placed on a goat, and it was sent out of the city. Out to wander, to what? Die? On behalf of the people in the city, and their immorality.)

This movie isn’t about robots. Think about it… THE WEAPON THAT THE NIRMATA CREATED WAS A LITTLE KID. The weapon’s abilities were just an ability to control other technologies defensively. She never blew anything up, she just powered things down. She was able to intervene, not attack. If it was actually a “weapon” she would have been like Akira or something. Mental pulse waves, and psychic chaos. But that’s not what she could do. She was passive. And so I really don’t think this movie is about the morality or amorality of sentient machines. It isn’t about our losing jobs to thinking circuits connected to servos and whirring pneumatic pistons. It’s about our ability to take ownership of our actions. It’s about our design to shove blame on the innocent.

I don’t know… thoughts? What do you think this movie is ultimately about. I do not think it’s going to do well because it’s heavy. It’s not a Lego Movie trick ending. It’s kind of a downer. It’s more of a Blade Runner sort of movie. Dark. Negative. And beautiful. (Morose?) It’s a movie that I will add to my Dune and Blade Runner 2049 playlist, and I’ll watch it over and over again because it deserves to be watched. It deserves to be understood. Grappled with.