Hidden Meanings Behind the Movie,
"Ad Astra" (Spoilers)

Review by Joy Davis

Synopsis: "Ad Astra" is a sci-fi and adventure drama that is set in deep outer space.  When pulses of antimatter threaten life on Earth, officials at U.S. Space Command trace the source back to the Lima Project Base on Neptune that's headed by astronaut H. Clifford McBride.  They recruit his son, astronaut Roy McBride, to communicate with him from Mars.  They must know if he is still alive and behind the power surges.  Roy's father was declared missing for over 16 years.  It turned out to be a lie.  He must take a commercial flight to the moon, crossing into the war zone of the moon's dark side before heading to Mars that is not only dangerous, but also high-risk for him emotionally. He still struggles with feeling abandoned and rejected that threatens the mission.  I will explain how the Law of Opposites is a central theme throughout the film to explain how it works on a subatomic level and within family dynamics. 

Warning: Spoilers within the Presentation

Mysterious Power Surges

Welcome to "Conscious Movie Reviews."  I'm your host Joy Davis and here to review "Ad Astra," a sci-fi drama.  I'll be going over the Law of Opposites as a running theme throughout the film. 

Struck by a power surge, astronaut Major Roy McBride fell off an antennae ladder, high above Earth, hurtling fast toward the ground.  He kept his compusure to safely land with a parchute. 

Officials at U.S. Space Command traced the damaging pulses back to the Lima Project base on Neptune, headed by Roy's father, the famed astronaut H. Clifford McBride.   

Roy was originally told that no one had heard from Cliff for 16 years since he orbited the planet in search of alien life.  He'd been lied to.  Now they need to know if Cliff's the one behind the release of antimatter into the Universe that threatens all life on Earth, so he was tasked with sending messages by laser communication from Mars to his father. 

The Law of Opposites at Work

In physics, for every particle of matter, it has a "twin" that's identical in mass, but opposite in charge called antimatter.  This is an example of the Law of Opposites at work on a subatomic level, but also between family.

Cliff's name refers to being being up in your head a lot, like on a steep ridge, and away from the heart.  Roy gravitated between the two, represented by going up the ladder, then falling from it.  As astronauts, their profession symbolizes a need to explore what you cannot define - namely the collective unconscious - a metaphor for deep space.

Roy's fall from a power surge can relate to an introversion of emotional energy, directed from father-to-son that's destabilizing.  For survival, he would repeat his affirmations to stay emotionally grounded.   

On a subconscious level, when you want security like Roy did from his father, he also attracted insecurity through his father again.  They were drawn to each other as opposites, but in a dangerous way.  

The Dark Side of the Moon

En route to Mars, Roy took a commercial flight to the Moon.  Colonel Pruitt, his father's old associate, and some personnel escorted him through the moon's dark side - a war zone where the SpaceCom base is located.

When Roy's escorts were killed by scavenging space pirates during a high chase, he went off course with the lunar rover and into a crater, but managed to board the spaceship Cepheus that was bound for the red planet. 

Being on the moon shows how Roy is metaphorically attracted to his mysterious, dark desires.  He was forced into dealing with the wounds of his past that the crater represents.  There are even more challenges ahead because Mars is often associated with the masculine energy of conflicting, war-like forces.

Attack of the Baboons

When the crew of Cepheus responded to a distress signal from a Norwegian medical research space station, they found dead bodies on board and two baboons, ready for attack.  Roy pressurized one of them in a chamber and got away from the other. 

Baboons as spirit animals represent strength by taking a grounded approach to life and are deeply rooted in family.  Roy was attacked by them as warning that his only connection to family is under serious threat.  They also mirrored back to him the rage he felt inside from having an absentee father. 

Making Contact from Mars

At the underground SpaceCom base on Mars, Roy sent messages to his father.  By going off-script in an emotional way, he received an immediate response, but wasn't privy to the reply.  Officials deemed him to be a psychological risk, so Roy was taken off the mission. 

Placed in a "comfort room", Helen Lantos, the Director of Operations,  showed up to let Roy know that her parents were crew members of the Lima Project base.  Cliff murdered them for trying to return home by cutting off their life support systems.  She showed him classified videos as proof.   

This is another example of how the Law of Opposites work within the subconscious to reveal that whenever we want approval, like Roy did from his father, we're also wanting disapproval.  Cliff gave this by leaving him abandoned and rejected. 

And, when you want control, the way Roy remained calm and collected under pressure, he also wanted things out-of-control by putting himself in life-or-death situations. 

A Difficult Meeting

Roy got help from Helen to board the rocket that was leaving soon for Neptune with a nuclear payload to blow up the base.  He had to fight off the crew out of self-defense, killing them in the struggle.  It would be a lonely, 79-day flight.  The thought of confronting his father terrified him.

In astrology, the planet Neptune symbolizes delusion and neuroticism with a hidden desire for sabotage - another forewarning for Roy's protection.  

At the Lima Project base, Roy set the nuclear payload to detonate in 3 hours.  Cliff was still there.  He couldn't see well with cataracts and explained that the release of antimatter was really from an accident gone wrong with the transmitter when his crew attempted mutiny.  

According to Inna Segal of Visionary Intuitive Healing, she teaches that for every disease, there are unhealthy attitudes and emotions contributing to it.  Suffering from cataracts is often associated with having a suspicious view of people and events.  Cliff saw things from his limited perspective as a madman resembling a religious zealot on a mission.  He refused to leave because his work was more important than being a father. 

After years of searching for intelligent life outside of Earth's solar system, it's really Cliff who is the alien for alienating himself from others.  He considered Neptune his true home by saying, "I found my destiny, so I abandoned my son."  

Releasing for Freedom

Tethered to each other outside the base, Cliff cut himself loose to drift away.  This symbolized a release of Roy's unhealthy wants that his father represented.  He released on wanting both approval and disapproval; desire for security and insecurity; and needing control to have things out-of-control. 

As we release the underlying wants of our emotions that create a sense of lack in us, what's left is peace.  We can finally accept, even appreciate in an unconditional way, whatever shows up for us in every moment.  Roy freed himself to accept him as is and let him be. 

An Explosive Reaction

Roy reached the ship, just in time for the nuclear explosion to propel him back to Earth.  He was teary-eyed from the ordeal. 

This scene shows the Law of Opposites at work in physics.  When matter and anti-matter come together as opposing forces, they annihalate each other to release a powerful burst of light, like the volatile relationship between father and son that ended in an explosive way.

At home, Roy re-examined his life.  He created new afirmations about relying on those closest to him out of shared love. 

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