Today the human race landed a probe on a comet flying through space. More specifically, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission was a success. For the first time in the history of the Universe (as far as we know) a living organism created an object that used the gravitational pulls of planets to accelerate itself fast enough to catch a comet, and then land on it. What a feat of wonder! What ambition.
Which brings to this short film, which I’d like to share today: Ambition, created by the European Space Agency in collaboration with Platige Image and directed by Tomek Baginski . And if the main actor looks familiar, that’s because it is none other than Aidan Gillen. Little Finger himself, from HBO’s Game of Thrones series. However, in this short film he is playing the role of Master to actress Aisling Franciosi’s Apprentice.
They are a pair of post humans who seem to be preparing to create life on a new world. Possessing awesome telekinetic control over some type of nano-technology, or perhaps simply matter in general, they recount the events of today from a distant vantage point in the future. Give it a watch.
Ambition by Tomek Baginski in Collaboration with Platige and the European Space Agency
The Making of Ambition
Archetypal Marketing in Action
To me this is a clear example of archetypal marketing. The story too, of course, is dominated by two obvious archetypes. Master and Apprentice. But the marketing aspect is interesting to think about too. Why this story to promote a space agency mission? Why the concentration on super human abilities and the word “ambition”?
After watching the short film and the making of documentary, I think the answer is clear. It’s because ambition is a deeply held value of the ESA. It wants to “show what’s possible” by landing a probe on a moving comet. Something that should be insane to even contemplate. But today they did it! And the story they’ve chosen to promote this event is meant to provoke the viewer into dreaming even bigger. Of a time in the distant future when humans are like gods. And yet it all started with the Rosetta mission. With us. Right now.
Talk about a powerful narrative…
The last remarks of one of the special effects artists stands out to me. It’s a shame that the interest in science, space, and human exploration of the cosmos is so low that we must get a group of artists to concoct a story about super humans who can create life on other worlds just to get the word out about this momentous event. But if I’m honest I don’t think that’s the real reason the ESA did it. I think they realized that they were doing something special. That human beings had reached a special place. And that that place and time needed to be commemorated and contextualized in the most natural format we, as humans, know of.
Feature Image Credit: The Making of Ambition