Title

Salvation at the Cinema: Religious References in American Science Fiction Films of the 1980's

Date of Award

Winter 1992

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Humanities

Committee Director

James V. D. Card

Abstract

This thesis examines several science fiction films from the 1980's for religious references, particularly in relation to the alien portrayed therein. E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial presents the alien as good fairy, Christian savior, and son of the Great Goddess. Alien and Aliens give the demonic embodiment of human corruption. Star Trek refers to eastern mysticism, New Age religiosity, and Christianity, but the crew ultimately worships a machine, which itself recalls the Great Goddess. The Empire Strikes Back refers to magic but not to religion. Alien Nation created several religions and cults for its short-lived television series. The thesis concludes that science fiction film has the power to re-write religious experience in twentieth-century terms.

DOI

10.25777/kx5t-wg93

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