The near-future setting in “Moon” doesn’t seem too far off from the many possible realities that await us in the next couple of years. There’s an energy crisis plaguing Earth and a multinational named Lunar Industries has managed to spearhead a mission that succeeds in finding an alternative. The isotope, Helium 3, can be found in abundance in the moon’s lunar rocks and the combination of an automated enclosure and a one-man mission that lasts 3 years makes smooth extraction of the fuel possible. This man in question is Sam, who edges closer to the completion of his tenure and is motivated by the memories of life back on Earth. However, after a harvesting procedure goes wrong, Sam is forced into questioning the very fabric of his existence.
Even before this revelation, Sam leads a rather lonely existence in the Sarang Station facility, his only companion being an A.I. named GERTY. While GERTY doesn’t have a structure that mimics human biology, they are sentient enough to quickly resolve hitches in the operation, which includes eliminating any threats that might expose the truth. The cross of total isolation that Sam bears makes him hyper-aware that he is a cog in the machine, but the hope of returning home sustains him through this dreary stretch of isolation.
Once this facade of normalcy shatters, Sam is left to look deep within himself and grapple with the true meaning of his existence. No one likes to feel utterly replaceable, even in an emotional sense; Sam has to contend with the fact that he is physically replaceable and is, in fact, not the “original” Sam, but actually a copy of a copy of a copy manufactured to retain real human memories, dreams, and desires.
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