2001: A Space Odyssey Full Analysis Part 1

2001: A Space Odyssey Full Analysis Part 1

Jan 17, 2017, 8:24 PM |

2001: A Space Odyssey



2001: A Space Odyssey… WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??? Let’s break it all down into manageable segments and look at from primarily from an Abductive Reasoning method, (a theory postulated from observations) use some Inductive Reasoning, (an aggregate of knowledge and truths of a subject, used to postulate a predictable behavioral or profile of the subject, and in this case, it’s Kubrick) amass all this data, use Deductive Reasoning, and (like Sherlock Holmes) see if we can glean and piece together what we are seeing, and postulate from that, a theory of our own.




Let’s start with some Inductive Reasoning- what we know of Kubrick to help our investigation. Kubrick was: 

  • Highly intelligent. (Suspected IQ= 175-195 range.)

  • Very Cerebral, and in his own mind, at all times.

  • Equally… very emotional, but selective at times.

  • Meyers-Briggs for Kubrick- is an IN_J. Kubrick is solid and very high in the other 3 traits, but the blank for Kubrick is due to him being methodically selective in the 3rd trait, and vacillated as it suited him; capable of both high T & F. Meaning Kubrick is I = highly Introverted, N= highly iNtuitive, J= highly Judging, and as it suits his needs either T= highly Thinking or F= highly Feeling. (INT/FJ), this 3 consistent and one trait fluctuating is common in all people.

  • Controlling and manipulative.

  • A Perfectionist beyond anal.

  • Never has too much information.

  • High spatial thinking.

  • Loves to use juxtapotion or contrasting ideas in correlation. (Remember this most of all.)

  • Loves to force people to think. (But remember this too.)

A lot to keep in mind I grant you, but refer to it as needed. A synopsis is: Kubrick was a brilliant mind, a ticking time-bomb, capable of explosions, both creative and destructive in force. Let’s examine the movie in manageable segments now, even play the movie if you can while we break it down together, but if you can’t, don’t worry, I will walk you though it. 


Abductive Reasoning- We need to look at the movie’s opening sequence and observe if there are any patterns, or other works in film or books, that we can compare the opening sequence to, and then see if they line-up… with anything. There was no movie anywhere in the universe, (or in any creation ever made) like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film is a creative masterpiece in unique singularity, both then and now, so there is no film to compare… but is there a book that compares? Well, let’s see. First, we must imagine ourselves, as Kubrick intended, to see his movie on the big screen, and place ourselves there. Play the movie or picture it in your mind­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­… we are in the completely dark movie theater, and what do we see and hear as the movie starts? We hear nothing at first, and see only a black rectangular screen for a few moments, like a “great void” of nothingness in space. Then, suddenly there is a brief low humming sound, followed by the familiar and ultimate, awe-inspiring, kettle-drum and trumpet music ever composed, (Sprach Zarathustra) and a significant moment in history, marked by a syzygy emerge, or a conjunction of Moon, Earth, and then Sun appear, (not in lunar-eclipse, but shown in the “New Moon” phase) and positioned as if they are in their original starting points in time, before ever beginning to move, on their heavenly body travels amongst the many stars, as the music reaches its crescendo, and focusing our attention to the Sun and Earth.



  • There is nothing, a void.

  • A signal of something tremendous about to happen.

  • Suddenly, out of nothing, there is the universe, with Sun, Moon, and Earth amongst the stars.

  • The appearance of the starting or being placed “in the beginning” of time.

  • Enveloped by the most awe-inspiring music ever created.

 What does all this mean or say to you? Is there a book of similar epic proportions? So far… it sounds like Genesis, and the act of God creating the universe, but intertwined with what we knew of science at the time. Let’s pause here for a moment… to those of you reading this, who don’t know me, I’m an Agnostic, so there is no pareidolia or “hearing and seeing what I want to hear & see” in the movie; I’m neutral. Whether you are Agnostic, Theistic, Atheistic, or even Anti-religious, forget all that, don’t look at it subjectively, (based in emotion) but look at objectively, with only logical analysis and reason. You may ask: “If this is Genesis, then where is the rest of Genesis, Adam & Eve, and all that in the movie?” I will show you that now, “The Dawn of Man” in “The Greatest Movie Ever Told”- 2001: A Space Odyssey.



More Abductive Reasoning: We are now on Earth in the film, and what do we see from our movie seat? We see the start of a new day at dawn, and the sunrise over a vast empty plain, some mountains, but otherwise a flat land, and with very few shrubs and trees at first. Then, we see some more trees and shrubs, some more time passage, and then animals, such as boar-like creatures and apes or “primates” living in tribal groups amongst each other, and as mostly harmless herbivores; this is to signify to the viewer it is at the “pre-fall of man” stage in the movie. You may be asking: “Wait, this sounds much more like the Theory of Evolution, rather than Genesis, doesn’t it?.” and you’d be right, but again, Kubrick used the juxtaposition of Evolution and religion to show the two as one. There is an “Adam-ape” as well as an “Eve-ape” and their many children, including Cain & Abel, and their descendants to show more time passage. 

Now at the watering hole, we see (from our movie seat) that there are two factions of apes, a tribe of Cain and a tribe of Abel in a confrontation, fighting for dominance over the water hole, as the day ends. After sleeping and the dawn of a new day, we see one of the leader apes awake to the sight of the monolith, as we hear the ever-increasing hum sound, eerily reminiscent of a bee-like and angelic chant sound, as the monolith is revealed, and again marked as significant by another syzygy, and the familiar awe-inspiring music again. The apes are at first frightened of the new monolith that has (to us) obviously not occurred naturally, but only exist by super-naturally means. This monolith at the beginning of the movie, and with the apes, represents the tree of the knowledge of good & evil in the garden of Eden, and when it is touch by one of the apes, (then eventually all in that faction) the knowledge of good and evil now exists in all mankind, and marks the fall of man. This act causes the first weapon to be created, (the bone-club) on the same day as the monolith super-naturally appears, and the first sin to occur, Cain-ape killing Abel-ape, at the second confrontation at the watering hole, the next day.


Now, “Is that all with Genesis and the bible?”- no, here is what most people miss... the second monolith, (later in the movie) represents the tree of everlasting life, (immortality) and is the feared tree by God if people were to find, resulting in humanity (if found to be worthy) to be just like God (Us) as He said in Genesis, this is why Dave Bowman (the worthy) transformed into a “space-baby” and a new God at the end of 2001, we have found both trees and partaken of their fruits.


In my next blog, (coming soon) “2001: A Space Odyssey Full Analysis Part 2”, I will deal with all the questions you have about the second half of the movie, with us in space, the moon, & Jupiter missions, the best chess game in cinematic history between Frank and HAL, and what really happened with HAL 9000.

Hope you enjoyed this analysis of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and look forward to my part 2 analysis.

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