February 27, 2017

“Arrival” to “The Silent Planet” (C.S. Lewis)

“Arrival” to “The Silent Planet” (C.S. Lewis)

I recently watched the movie Arrival, and I think it’s one of the best science-fiction films to come out in years. I loved everything about it. This is the kind of story that keeps you thinking long after the credits roll.

But as I continued processing, I began to realize that I had seen a good bit of it before. Or more accurately, I had read a good bit of it before. Quite a few details are shared with one of my favorite books from C.S. Lewis—the first of his Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet.

I don’t mean to imply that Arrival is a copy or adaptation of Lewis’ work, and I’m far from suggesting any kind of plagiarism. Based on Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life,” Arrival has an original plot, and very much stands on its own. But just for fun, I thought I’d put together all the parallels I could find. I can’t help but think that Lewis must have been at least a little bit of an influence for Chiang.