• Joseph Durso

FORBIDDEN PLANET



As a person with delightful memories of Christmas's past, I value watching a movie from my childhood. Recently, we went down memory lane to 1956 to watch the film FORBIDDEN PLANET, starring Leslie Nielson, Walter Pigeon, and Anne Francis.

So why a sci-fi movie from the fifties in an article about Godly Growth in 2020? There are a couple of outstanding Biblical truths one can glean from this futuristic fantasy.

A ship sent to evaluate a team placed on a planet eighteen years earlier is warned not to land in the opening scene. They land anyway and find the sole survivor, Morbius, and his daughter in a desolate world. They are told that an unseen beast killed the other members of the landing party.

New details are added when members of the new crew begin to die. Morbius confides in the captain about the Krell's discoveries, a civilization deceased for a thousand millennia, and his brain enlarged due to using a machine for the mind, left from that ancient civilization.

In one of the film's closing scenes, a member of the crew tries the mind enlarging machine but dies in the process. However, not before telling the captain about the cause of the Krells demise - monsters from the Id.

The captain begins to accuse Morbius of murdering his teammates and now the ship's crew. Monsters of the Id are monsters of the subconscious. The Krell turned a twenty-mile cube portion of their planet into a machine capable of turning any thought the people might have into material reality. They would have the power of creation. Morbius' brain was only large enough to create subconsciously. Therefore he was not aware that his jealousy for the planet killed people from his dreams.


The Id or the Flesh

The Id, of course, is a Freudian concept. According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories. It is the untamed primitive, hence a monster.

Some people live in the flesh and others in the Spirit in Biblical terms. "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).

Those who are according to something operate down from a higher to a lower place. The lowest part of man is the flesh or the body. "God-breathed into the man (His body) the breadth of life, and he became a living soul." The body has primitive appetites and desires; they can be good or evil. Self-centeredness without a need for the creator God is sinful. The flesh dependent upon God is good.


Life in the Spirit

The person focused on the Spirit is operating down from God, which makes them God-centric and humbled. The proof of ownership by Christ is the Spirit. "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Romans 8:9).

Biblically, all men are born natural men because they are born dead spiritually. Only by God's grace do people receive Christ; they are born again and then inhabited by the Spirit of the living God. The concept above of man is similar but quite different than the Freudian model. Salvation is a Christian belief, and it takes spiritual discernment.

At the end of the film, Morbius dies by giving up his subconscious self and sets the mechanism that destroys the planet. The last line in the movie honors Altaira's father. The captain says Morbius's name will shine bright, reminding men that they are not God.


The Take-Away

Eventually, this present heaven and earth will be no more; there will be a new heaven and earth where righteousness will reign, and God will abolish sin. On that day, the one undeniable truth to the damning of the lost and the salvation of the redeemed will be Isaiah 46:9. "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me."


There is one God, and we are not Him, nor will we ever be. The hope that Christians have is to be like Christ and never covet His place and position. On that day, the praise of God will be on the lips of all the people, everyone will know Him, and we will be His servants, His slaves. Every person will be free to do only what is right, and every person will know the difference and desire to do what is right. In these ways, we will be in the image of God in Christ.


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