As I wandered into the living room, I saw that my wife was watching M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs on the tube. It’s one of her favorites, so I’ve heard plot summaries from her in the past. So as I sat down a few minutes ago, I asked her a question.
Prof. M: What’s the alien invaders’ weakness in this movie?
Mrs. M: Water.
PM: It’s poisonous, right?
PM: So why do they decide to invade a planet that is literally covered in the stuff, that has it in the cells of every living thing, that has it in the very atmosphere?
MM: Because it’s a movie. Because it’s fiction.
PM: But it’s science fiction — they should think about these things.
MS: Think about what things?
I recapitulated the discussion.
MS: Maybe they don’t know water is poisonous?
PM: Really? They’re capable of interstellar travel, but they don’t recognize that the planet they’ve decided to invade is covered in poison?
MS: Well, maybe there’s some kind of caste system, so the ones on the ship are just worker drones that were sent by the ones that designed the ship. Maybe they’ve been traveling for generations, and now the folks on board have forgotten that water is poisonous.
PM: Maybe I can accept that last one — but here’s the thing. If we’re talking interstellar travel, there are numerous other planets in the neighborhood, relatively speaking. Again, why the one festooned in death?
MS: With the generation thing, maybe what they have is the equivalent of teenagers piloting the Titanic.
PM: That didn’t even work out too well with adults.
And how was your Sunday morning?