Why the Movie 2012 Makes Perfect Sense

The movie 2012 isn’t a disaster movie. It is a misunderstood sweeping supernatural epic about angry gods, failed shamans, and what kinds of sacrifices are needed to appease elder forces of dread.

Jackson Curtis is the last scion of a long line of shamans, mixing both many bloodlines of ancient Irish and Celtic origin and (somewhere in the woodpile) one of the last Mayan shaman bloodlines.

As his last name suggests, “Curtis” was destined to be a polite messenger, a harbinger of new things brought in with proper ceremony. When the Mayan Long Count calendar rolls over, shamans of his line were to help define what forces would describe the new age.

While that shouldn’t have actually happened in 2012, the Mayan gods are more driven by belief than math, so the erroneous common perception that December 21, 2012 is the date of the turnover drives their divine actions rather than a centuries-old accounting of days.

But when the Mayan Gods look to see how the Welcome Shamans have prepared for the new age, all they find is Curtis, and his only real work of storytelling (the main way shamans prepare society for the future) is a extremely unpopular book called Fairwell Atlantis. The gods of fire, water, and earth are angered by his total failure, and look to his story.

From movie’s viral tie-ins, we know this book is “This first person account of a disastrous flight aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis is nonstop suspense from the start. Opening lines are crucial in setting the tone of a story, and Curtis hits his mark running with, “I am watching Martin die in the pitiless vacuum of space.” This poignant blast from Captain and Chief Systems Engineer Troy Scottsman screams emotion and vulnerability in the harsh environment as his Flight Commander drifts slowly away.

On the outside, Farewell Atlantis is a hard core science-fiction-mystery-adventure novel with larger than life characters. The premise of a Galactic Alignment has played havoc with gravitational forces as the planets cue up. The proton bombardment on planet Earth’s thinning magnetic field in the wake of excessive solar storms brings uncertainty to the future of mankind. As the space shuttle orbits the doomed planet Earth, a saboteur prevents the crew from helping those on the ground.

So, taking their cue from his “shamanistic” description of the new age, those gods seek to destroy the world, and kill Jackson Curtis himself, in keeping with the first line of his book. Their powerful psionic and divine energies create readings so bizarre that the scientists who try to understand them are driven mad, resulting in nonsensical ramblings about neutrinos and other crazy theories that SHOULD tell the audience that science is being killed by supernatural forces too horrific to comprehend.

The Mayan Gods of Air, however, decide they *like* Curtis, and seek to save him. Air is the thing most dearly needed in his book (about a spacecraft), and his description of “solar storms” in the story are taken as an appeasement by the Air Gods on the power of storms. So they send him warning (if dangerous) winds, buoy up his airplanes, and divert debris from crushing him at the last second.

In the end, the Mayan Gods accept the Great Arcs and those who die just outside them as living sacrifices and new temples, and end their divine rampages. (And apparently SOME shamans in Africa are still doing *their* jobs, since the continent is largely spared).
When seen in this light, everything in the movie makes sense.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on January 21, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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