2010 – The Year We Make Contact (1984)

2010 - The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Taglines: Is there life beyond the stars?

In this sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, a joint American- Soviet expedition is sent to Jupiter to discover what went wrong with the U.S.S. Discovery against a backdrop of growing global tensions. Among the mysteries the expedition must explain are the appearance of a huge black monolith in Jupiter’s orbit and the fate of H.A.L., the Discovery’s sentient computer. Based on a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke.

2010 (also known as 2010: The Year We Make Contact) is a 1984 American science fiction film written, produced and directed by Peter Hyams. It is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and is based on Arthur C. Clarke’s 1982 sequel novel 2010: Odyssey Two. Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban and John Lithgow star, along with Keir Dullea and Douglas Rain of the cast of the previous film.

About the Story

Nine years after the mysterious failure of the Discovery One mission to Jupiter in 2001, which resulted in the deaths of four astronauts and the disappearance of David Bowman, the fiasco was blamed on Dr. Heywood Floyd, who resigned his position as head of the National Council for Astronautics. While an international dispute causes tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, both nations prepare space missions to determine what happened to the Discovery.

2010 - The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Although the Soviet ship, the Leonov, will be ready before the American spacecraft Discovery Two, the Soviets need American astronauts to help board the Discovery and investigate the malfunction of the ship’s sentient computer, HAL 9000, which caused the disaster. The US government agrees to a joint mission when it is determined that Discovery will crash into Jupiter’s moon Io before Discovery Two is ready. Floyd, along with Discovery designer Walter Curnow and HAL 9000’s creator Dr. Chandra, joins the Soviet mission.

Upon arriving at Jupiter, the crew detect signs of life on Jupiter’s seemingly barren moon Europa. They send an unmanned probe down to Europa to investigate the unusual readings, but just as it finds the source, a mysterious energy burst destroys the probe and its data. The “burst” then flies toward Jupiter. The Soviets believe the burst was simply electrostatic build-up, but Floyd suspects it was a warning to stay away from Europa.

After surviving a dangerous braking maneuver around Jupiter’s upper atmosphere, the Leonov crew find the abandoned Discovery floating in space. Curnow reactivates the ship and Chandra restarts HAL, who had been deactivated by Dave Bowman before his disappearance nine years earlier. Also nearby is the giant alien Monolith that the Discovery was originally sent to investigate.

2010 - The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Cosmonaut Max Brailovsky travels to the Monolith in an EVA pod, at which point the Monolith briefly opens with a burst of energy, sending Max’s pod spinning off into space. On Earth, Dave Bowman, now an incorporeal being that exists inside the Monolith, appears on his wife’s television screen and wishes her farewell. He also visits his terminally ill mother just before she dies.

On the Discovery, Chandra discovers the reason for HAL’s malfunction: The National Security Council ordered HAL to conceal from Discovery’s crew the fact that the mission was about the Monolith; this conflicted with HAL’s basic programming of open, accurate processing of information, causing him to suffer the computer equivalent of a paranoid mental breakdown. Although the order bears his signature, Floyd is outraged that this was done without his knowledge.

On Earth, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union escalate to a state of war. The Americans are instructed to leave the Leonov and move to the Discovery, with both crews ordered not to communicate with each other. Both crews plan to leave Jupiter separately when a launch window opens in several weeks; however, Bowman appears to Floyd and says it is imperative that everybody leave within two days. Stunned by Bowman’s appearance, Floyd returns to the Leonov to confer with Captain Tanya Kirbuk, who remains skeptical.

The Monolith then suddenly disappears, and a growing black spot appears on Jupiter itself. The spot is actually a vast group of Monoliths that are constantly multiplying. The Monoliths begin shrinking Jupiter’s volume, increasing the planet’s density, and modifying its chemical composition. This convinces the two crews that they must leave soon. Since neither ship can reach Earth with an early departure, they work together to use the Discovery as a booster rocket for the Leonov, though it means the Discovery’s and HAL’s destruction.

2010 - The Year We Make Contact Movie Poster (1984)

2010 – The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, Keir Dullea, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Dana Elcar, Taliesin Jaffe, Natasha Shneider
Screenplay by: Peter Hyams
Production Design by: Albert Brenner
Cinematography by: Peter Hyams
Film Editing by: Mia Goldman, James Mitchell
Costume Design by: Patricia Norris
Set Decoration by: Rick Simpson
Music by: David Shire
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: December 7, 1984