One of the fundamentals of science fiction films is a basic anthrophilia. Right? Where the director assumes that the audience will want Humanity, when it faces grave danger from alien attacks, to bounce back, triumph and be saved. That’s always the given, that the audience always wants itself to emerge victorious over the Terrifying Existential Threat.
That is so 20th Century. How about a bold twist on the traditional “Hallelujah, Humanity Prevails!” jive? We need an epic new film that dares to put forth the notion that Humanity has now been exposed for what it truly is—a dreadful plague of Evil Rapacious Greed, a cosmic germ of total menace. It’s time for the flick that embraces the concept that, actually, Humanity doesn’t need to be saved. It needs to be offed.
You’d love it. You know you would. I mean, really, how can you not hate us? We’re messing up everything! The “humanity as virus” hypothesis has been around for a while, and it’s got cred. We’re the freaking jerks who are killing off tigers and coral reefs!
The film opens with Earth’s violent mischief sounding the alarm at Galactic Central Headquarters. Upon inspection, it’s apparent that we humans are flunking our midterms … badly. Indeed, it’s so bad that Galactic HQ has determined that we must be “corrected.” Normally, such a decision would mean these characters would instantly become the villains. Not this time. The beings sent by HQ to “adjust” we raging Earthlings aren’t the bad guys, but the noble heroes, sent to bring about our total doom. They arrive in secret and subtly install a sterility virus that, in 300 years, will infect every human being. (Yes, I’m stealing this idea from Children of Men.) This means that, in 400 years, Earth will be people-free. The task is carried out. The virus works. As it always does. It’s not violent. It’s not horrific. It’s just … after a while, no more peeps!
Cut to 10,000 years later, and, gee, Earth is doing pretty darn good without us. We do not appear to be missed. An amazing balancing and cleansing has occurred in our absence, and our wondrous, beautiful planet is once again thriving with an astonishing, stupendous vitality.
Next scene—the City at the Center of the Galaxy. It is beyond dazzling. Duh. Here we see, in the Galactic Records, that The Correction of Earth was the 37,767,843rd such Correction carried out in galactic history. We also see that an equal number of planets successfully negotiated their infantile crises of war, hate and violence. And so it goes here in the Milky Way.