The future of humanity is going to see a lot of changes as to what it means to be human. We’re going to create new versions of ourselves that we didn’t previously believe to be possible. But more than that, we’re going to create new things that look like us which may eventually even begin to think like us.
And we know this, we can’t escape it. Every time we successfully produce a robot that can walk on two legs or even fake an awkward smile, we’re stepping closer to that day when we may have to redefine humanity. And so, it makes sense that we have a lot of stories in science fiction that explore these things. We need to write them to explore the possibilities and address the issues we have with the ideas of a new, unfamiliar world that may be come.
One of the best examples of these sorts of stories is the film Robocop. Alex Murphy, killed in the line of duty, is brought back from the dead in a Cyborg shell, stripped of his memories and his sense of identity. The people who created his new body, OCP, don’t want him to have that humanity intact because it would get in the way of making him a cold, calculated law enforcement machine. But in the end, isn’t that free will and sense of compassion part of what makes a good police officer? It’s a fascinating question to explore and seeing Robocop’s new life unfold is both inspiring at points and incredibly tragic at others.
But when looking at the remake, it becomes clear that the new take on Alex Murphy’s life is going to go in a very different direction. The new Alex is aware of who he is and how he has been changed. The new Alex remembers his family and he remembers what they mean to him. There are decisions clearly made in the production of this new film to try to make Robocop more human than he was before. But does it really help make him more human? Wasn’t the tragedy of the original Alex Murphy already human enough?
It does lead one wonder just how exactly you approach making some of these sci-fi archetypes more relatable despite their superhuman qualities. Continue reading Finding Their Humanity: How To Approach 4 Popular Sci-Fi Archetypes