What does Stephen Hawking have in common with me? Today —9 August 2010— at least one thing: we agree that mankind must colonize space without delay. The alternative is extinction.
For Stephen Hawking colonization is the solution to a disaster: war, overpopulation,resource depletion. For me the solution is not only a posible catastrophe —I'm more concerned about solar storms than, e. g., overpopulation, fallacious problem that resolves itself—. It is above all a necessity. The disaster would be not colonizing, not expanding, not following the first natural commandment of all living species: to grow and multiply. That's why I wholeheartedly support the investment of material and human effort on space projects. So I think the criticism of that effort is myopic, shortsighted and foolish. I was thinking about it when I wrote the script of PROXIMA in the end of 2005. In my sci-fi movie the nearest star to the Sun —Proxima Centauri— is a gate to the human expansion in space. A small group of people knows and uses it. The main character, Tony, dreams of being part of the vanguard of pioneers and contact with their leader, a man called The Messenger. To the imperative of colonizing space PROXIMA adds another factor, the rush. Hawking is concerned about the possible existence of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations. Their mere existence, even friendly, does bother me. Why..? In one sequence The Messenger tells Tony why:
I do not know if Mr. Hawking has been PROXIMA. I doubt it. Perhaps I’ll send a copy to Cambridge. But I am pleased to share the same yearning for human expansionism.
Madrid, August, 2010