Updated 2.10.2015: Cullen Smith from Lifting the Veil shared some very interesting data on Abraxas which I have linked below.
The following symbolic analysis of the film Jupiter Ascending describes some of the mythic aspects of modern film. We discussed in the post Decoding Fiction – Science of Meaning | As Above So Below (Fractal) Symbolism in Once Upon A Time TV Series some of the reasons why popular media is saturated in symbolic content.
See these post’s for more on symbolic content in movies.
Also the vimeo film Monolith is an excellent companion to this article, further revealing a great deal of symbolic content in film.
Some Spoilers below!
Jupiter Ascending, is one of the most expected and ambitious projects of the cinema industry yet, produced, by the Wachowski Brothers, creators of the incredibly successful movie saga The Matrix, Jupiter Ascending , released on the UK, the 6th of February of 2015, is a flamboyant fussion between The Matrix, Star Wars, Princess Diaries, also adding elements of another dystopian works on literature, cinema , as well as certain political elements, that should be analysed. Despite the harsh critics it has received, I think it should definitely be seen, and observed, carefully. Let’s check it out why.
The plot of the movie spins around a young girl, half Russian, half British, nationalized American, called Jupiter Jones(Mila Kunis), she carries an ordinary life cleaning toilets, and taking care of her family; desperate trying to get out, her life , gives a major change, when, at a Medical Clinic, expecting to extract her ovaries, she is almost killed by a breed of Aliens, called The Keepers. Rescued by Caine Wise, a half lycan, half humanoid rogue soldier, she is introduced to the truth , not only on them, but whom she is in reality, the heir to Planet Earth, part of the Royalty. Then , there it comes the conflict, between our protagonist, and the House of Abrasax, one of the most powerful dynasties, in the whole of the Universe, its three heirs: Kalique, Titus, and the all-powerful Lord Balem, compete, for power, owning entire systems of planets under their grip. The Earth’s true nature is revealed by Caine Wise to Jupiter: Your planet was seeded by Abrasax Industries roughly one hundred thousand years ago. What does this mean? Here it is an interesting connection between Jupiter Ascending as well as Blade Trinity , and the creepy dystopian saga, Unwind, written by Neil Shusterman, the Vampires in Blade trinity, harvest humans, keeping them on a chemically induced coma, to extract their blood, forever; in Unwind, the dream of the ruling class is to achieve immortality by using the fluors of the ‘ expendable ones’. Abrasax Industries hunt humans, kept them, and extract their essence, to produce a special fluor, capable of prolonging time, in other words, the eternal youth, the star product of Abrasax Industries. Jupiter Jones, perplexed, is given a quasi elitist explanation by Kalique: ‘ Your Earth is a very small part of a very large industry. Right now, Balem is entitled to Earth. Once you claim it, the Earth will belong to you.’ Here is when it comes the major conflict of the movie, the inner power struggle between the Abrasax brothers to fight for the Planet Earth. Another interesting details , come when Stinger Apini, the character, played by Sean Bean, colleague of Caine Wise, tells some quite eerie details of Abrasax Industries , as well as, Planet Earth’s and humanity origin; the origins of humanity was on a planet called Horus: You’ve been taught that birthplace of the human race is Earth, it is not. Abrasax Industries, seeds planets, so they can collect the harvest, humans, to extract their fluor, once they procreate, or they overpopulate, they start, the harvest, to keep the things up. Here it is an interesting combination of Malthusianism, and Social Darwinism. The first one, pioneered by the venetian monk Giammaria Ortes, then by Thomas Malthus, actualized by The Club of Rome’s 1972 book Limits to Growth , speaking about the dangers of the overpopulation , and the consumption of the natural resources. And then, there is the Darwinist element, the consideration of certain beings, as nothing more , than a cattle to breed, in order to perpetuate the ruling of the elite, the underclass is sacrificed, on behalf of the Oligarchy. One movie character that illustrates this pernicious and savaging nature , is Lord Balem Abrasax, the ruler of Abrasax Industries, the richest , and most powerful of his brothers, among his most highlighted quotes are: Some lives will always matter more than the others’ resembling George Orwell’s work Animal Farm, when Squeeler , the lackey of the tyrant pig Napoleon says: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals , are more equal than others, that is animalism.’ Another quote that illustrates, the ruthlessness of Balem is: I will harvest that planet tomorrow, before I let her , take it from me.’ However, the two most revealing ones are:’ I give life , and I take it ‘, resembling Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the Manhattan Project grandiloquent statement: ‘Now I have become death, the destroyer of the worlds’, and ‘ Life , is an act of consumption.’ Here it is revealed the psychopathic nature of Balem, quite similar to that of Agent Smith in The Matrix, while torturing Morpheus, depicts the human race as a virus that consumes the resources of the planet, like a plague. For Abrasax Industries, the single, and most valuable commodity, is not oil, gas, or electricity, but time, in some sort of way, the Elite, here, becomes almost like the most vicious parasite, predating on the lives of the others to perpetuate, and prolong theirs, like a modern version of the vampires.
Titus Abraxas, is another very interesting movie character, desperate, to gain control over his brother Balem, arranges a marriage, between him and Jupiter Jones, in order to ‘ protect the Earth’ , but with plans to murder her, and therefore, inhering the earth himself, gaining the upperhand against Balem. We can make an analogy with the chess game, when Titus brought Jupiter under her protection, he put Balem on a zugswang state, but by marrying her, he would have score a brilliant checkmate, forever. As Titus tells Jupiter in the wedding: Love doesn’t play any role here, it’s a matter of state. This raison d’etat, long before, treated by the French Cardinal Mazarin , disciple of Cardinal Jean Duplessis de Richelieu, on his Breviary for Politicians, and also Machiavelli; it is also shown many times in the popular literary as well as TV series Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, the marriage between Cersei Lannister and King Robert Baratheon, Sansa Star, and Tyrion Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon, and Margaery Thyrell, Khal Drogo , and Daenerys Tangaryen, are just a few examples on how marriages, at the uppermost levels, are just power manoeuvres to seal an alliance, or to incline the balance of power, favouring one side against the other, a classical Realist axiom , International Politics as a Zero-Sum Game. A really good work on the subject , is Alison Weir’s The Marriage Game, analysing the British Aristocratic politics in form of a great novel, another excellent work is Mario Puzo’s The Family, on the Borgia Dynasty and their inner fights in the Italian and Vatican aristocracy. So, here it is a little bit of Game of Thrones, that the Wachowski brothers, have added to this explosive cocktail.
Another interesting feature, that is present all along the movie, is the fact, that humanity is controlled secretly by an invisible, and all powerful race of aliens, always watching and being vigilant, sometimes, caring, sometimes, destroying as they please. According to the Ancient Astronauts theory, the Angels, are in reality Aliens, that visited the earth long time ago, and inbreeded with humans, such as was depicted in the Apocryphal Gospel, the Book of Enoch, describing how a group of angels, called The Watchers, or Grigori, commanded by Semyazza and Azazel, fell in love, with the daughters of the mortals, and inbred with them, originating a destructive race of giants, called Nephilim. The Grigori, were chained and casted to darkness, and the Nephilim, destroyed by the Archangels, apparently, however this idea is nothing new at all, if we take a look at the Norse mythology or, better, the Greek one, we will find examples of Gods, having relationships with humans, these ‘ Gods’ could be Aliens, in fact, the Gods had offspring , demi-gods, such as Achilles, Hercules, or Theseus. What does this has to do with Jupiter Ascending?
Well, the movie, by itself, it’s a depiction of the fight between two Gods, let’s say, the evil, wicked and ruler Balem(Zeus), and the rising, benevolent, and revolutionary Jupiter(Prometheus). Jupiter Ascending is a dystopian futuristic depiction of the Greek gods fighting each other. Why? There is a key scene in the movie, when Stinger Apini, shows Jupiter the incredible advancements of the futuristic technology, Jupiter thinks of all the goodness that it could bring to the human race, and lets it be known to Apini. However, he doesn’t- think humanity is ready for this, and besides, her kind wasn’t keen on sharing things, to what Jupiter says: I do. Prometheus takes the fire of the gods, and teaches the humans all sorts of arts, how to work the metal, in other words, to progress, to what Zeus, angry, chains him to a rock, and sends an eagle to devour his liver each morning, but the liver regenerates itself on the afternoon, so it becomes an absolute an abhorrent torment. This clash between Zeus and Prometheus is shown in Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound: ‘ You ask why he torments me, and this I will now make clear. As soon as he had seated himself upon his fathers throne- Zeus overthrew his father Kronos, and then became the head honcho-he immediately assigned to the deities their priviledges and apportioned to them their proper powers. But of wretched mortals he took no notice, desiring to bring the whole race to an end and create a new one in it’s place. Against this purpose none dare to make stand except me- I alone had the courage; I saved mortals so that they did not descend , blasted utterly to the House of Hades. This is why I am bent by such grievous tortures, painful to suffer, piteous to behold. I, who gave mortals first place in my pity, I am deemed unworthy to win this pity for myself, but am this way, merciless disciple, a spectacle that shames the glory of Zeus.’ Jupiter , as Prometheus, was the only one, to stand for the human race, when Lord Balem, tries to force her abdication, saying: That Planet belongs to me; she answers: not anymore. Jupiter, is trying to make sure, he isn’t gonna do it to nobody else’s. The House of Abraxas, could be called the House of Olympus. The lack of consideration for the mortals, the Hellenic gods feel, shown in The Iliad , when the Gods plan the Trojan war, to restore their status, luring the pathetic prince Paris to take Princess Helena of Menelaus. This is the same as Kalique’s when she’s asked about the harvest: ’ No, but I’ve heard they feel no pain’, these are High-tech humanoids, capable of regenerate , and last for thousands of years, the dream of the Trans humanism gurus, becoming more than a human, a hybrid, fusing machinery and flesh, enforcing the human capabilities up to unimaginable levels; it is, then, when Kalique’s revealing words to Jupiter make sense:’ Time , is the single , most precious commodity’ This idea of time, perpetuating live, and the sacrifice of the unworthy is also present on the 2011 movie In Time, with Amanda Seyfried, and Justin Timberlake; on this film, time isn’t just a commodity, is money, is the only money available, and how much you have, means how long are you going to live, therefore, the rich live forever, and the poor, are left to perish. Jupiter Ascending, is truly a good action movie, with excellent graphics, a quite elaborated plot, and lots of political messages, that deserve to be taken onto consideration.