It is not uncommon for me to be the last person to get a joke. The usual “ohhhh” moment might come a couple minutes later. Going back to the movie Sunshine, I (like most people) thought I fully understood it. Sitting in church a few weeks ago, however, I had a huge “Ah ha!” moment about the movie and decided to share it with you all.
I rather enjoyed the move Sunshine, for both the suspenseful thrill and the psychological aspects of it. I questioned the ending though when the captain of the Icarus I turned into a crinkly-skinned sun worshipper. This finally all made sense to me during church service and the preacher brought up the book of Revelation. http://www.spiritualbiblestudies.com/Rev%2016/Verses%208-9%204th%20Vial.htm
Apparently, the Bible references many prophecies in which one sign of the coming of Christ is that the sun and stars will all die. Matthews 24:29 says “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” Revelation chapter 6 says the sun will be dark, the moon will be blood-red, and all the stars will fall to earth. This is apparently a common prediction of what will happen with the apocalypse, as seen also in Isaiah, Joel, and Mark.
Now it makes sense. The whole movie had a religious theme that was reinforced when the captain told the members of the Icarus II that God wanted Earth to die, explaining why he sabotaged the first mission. He saw the sun dying as a fact that Christ was coming. For humans to change the course of plans and attempt to save the sun would be a direct disobedience to God, whose intentions are to bring about Judgment Day and, essentially, and end to the planet. So his decision was to end all missions at survival and allow nature, or God, to take charge.
Then looking online to other references to religion in Sunshine, I found a blog also on WordPress about atheism in the movie. http://jennifersaylor.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/agnosticism-atheism-and-danny-boyles-sunshine/ This blogger believes that the movie actually encourages a switch to atheism and a less Christian view. She claims that the actor Cillian Murphy converted from agnosticism to atheism after filming (Of course, her source was Wikipedia so we can never be sure). To her, the idea of a God allowing people to suffer and die so horribly is unfathomable. She directly references the scene where Harvey misses the airlock, freezes and breaks in space. The argument is that a compassionate God would never let someone die so abandoned and alone while trying to save the human race. Rather, this proves that humanism is the ultimate solution considering it was only through the sacrifice and rationale of the members of the Icarus II that the people of Earth survived.
So either the dying of the sun in the movie promotes the idea of a Christian apocalypse or the strength of the people references humanism over religion. I’m not sure exactly which was intended by the movie (or if either were) but it made me look at Sunshine from a different viewpoint and say “Oh, now I get it!”