SILENT RUNNING is a wonderful science fiction film that was released 40 years in 1972. It was directed by Douglas Trumbull who was the special visual effects master for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek:The Movie, and other sci-fi classics.
This story has Bruce Dern and some others tending to the last vegetation of the rain forest in giant domes in outer space. They have robots on board to help them named Hewey, Dewey and Louie who resemble R2D2. Eventually, Dern learns that they are supposed to destroy this remaining forest and head back home but he does not agree with the orders and tries to protect it.
Joan Baez sang a couple of songs including the title track and the wonderful song used at the end “Rejoice in the Sun”.
Here’s the finale (Spoiler Alert) which I believe makes the movie so memorable. I still get chills and feel moved when I see this.
The notion of the last remnants of planet Earth’s rain forest floating through space forever with only robots as the gardeners is an emotional concept. Reminds me of how I felt at the end of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and realizing how brief our sojourn is here on Earth.
Here’s the theatrical trailer
Bruce Dern talks about Silent Running and how it found an audience many years after leaving the theaters.