A while ago, I wrote a cute little post about how Sentinels were real and confessed to being more than a little geeked out about the upcoming film, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
A Sentinel, by the way, is a giant purple robot that is equipped with mutant-detection equipment and various weapons and technology designed to counter mutant powers. The thought of seeing it up on the silver screen is giving me goosebumps.
What? I think we’ve covered the part about me being a huge nerd before.
The whole movie has been playing through my head for a while now. I get to see the cast members from the original X-Men movies (including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan) interact with their counterparts from the prequel movie X-Men: First Class (including James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender) even though they play the same characters, only at different points in their lives and in the timestream.
Now, though, I don’t have to rely on my imagination. The first trailer for the movie is out and, well, I’m possibly even more geeked out for this movie than I was before. Even without a glimpse of the Sentinels rampaging through a war-torn future, this movie looks good. Really good.
Here, take a look at the trailer and let me know what you dudes and dudettes think.
I know you dudes have all heard a lot about the mutant menace, but I want to talk about the other menace, the one you don’t even notice because it’s been there for so long.
For more than 40 years, Trask Industries has been hanging around, building bombs, weapons and genetic bioweapons designed to find, suppress, and, when possible, kill mutants.
This is just wrong. I mean, I know that mutants have been a major destabilizing force for years, ever since they came out of the genetic closet after the near-miss during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but come on.
These mutants aren’t scary creatures from the depths of space, operating on unknown logic. They’re people. They come from families just like you and me. They’re raised in our cities and on our farms and in our suburbs. Just because they have powers and abilities that are different from those we humans have, that’s no reason to round them up and toss them in camps, to presume they’re guilty.
Mutants are just like people. There are some good, some bad and the great majority somewhere in between.
And yet Trask Industries keeps pumping out Sentinels. These monstrous robotic killing machines — yes, I said it, killing machines — are found on every corner all over the world. This is big brother. Really big brother.
The one thing that has allowed this to take place has been the dehumanization of the mutants as a whole. We’ve followed along in the steps of demagogues who keep telling us that mutants are less than human. And then, when Bolivar Trask said he found a way to electronically differentiate an active mutant from a baseline human. . . Well, all bets were off. If they’re different, then we need to kill them before they kill us. And who’s to say these Mutant Detection Devices even work? I mean, Trask Industries calls it proprietary and won’t let anyone take a real good look inside.
If you want to talk scary, let’s talk Sentinels Mark I. These aren’t even human at all. There’s no human in the decision loop. Each one of these operates on a set of software code, but it operates independently. If it decides to shoot down a little dude or little dudette just because they have the x-gene, something they might not even be aware of, then we can’t stop it.
And the government just allows this to happen. Heck, Bolivar Trask got rich selling these metal monstrosities to governments all around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if some day these things just decided the best way to protect the human race was to take over completely and sterilize anyone found with the x-gene.
Seriously. I mean, have you looked — really looked — at the propaganda posters that are going up lately? If that thought, that image, doesn’t scare you, then you haven’t been paying attention.
To make matters worse, there’s talk that Trask Industries now is developing a Sentinel Mark X, which is going to incorporate some sort of genetically engineered bioweapon on board.
People, this just isn’t right. We need to do something. Write to your congressman or congresswoman, to your senators. Heck, why not write to the great Bolivar Trask his ownself? Let them know we believe mutants are human, too.
I started going bald early, about the time when I was 16 or so. That’s considered a mutation. Not much use in sowing terror or combatting dangerous criminals, I’ll grant you, but a mutation nonetheless. Am I next? Do I need to start fearing the sound of those soulless monsters clanging down the street after me?
We need to do something. Now. Not next week. Don’t wait until 2014. By then it could be too late.
I’m a writer. As such, I tend to write a lot of crap. Really, really bad crap. To make sure I don’t inflict any of that on the public, I many years ago joined a writer’s group to read their stuff and try to make them cry with cutting comments, while they ravaged my output.
For the most part. There are also some pretty nice people in the group on which I inflict my early drafts. One of the nicest was Colin Harvey, of the UK. Well, late of the UK. Well, the late Colin Harvey. A younger dude than me, Colin died of a stroke less than a year ago.
He’d only published a couple of books (relatively speaking), but, because I’m a reviewer on a number of sites, I got a chance to read all his books for free before they came out. I would gladly have paid full price for them. Not only was he a tremendous human being, he also was a pretty darn good writer.
My only regret is I wish I could have known him for longer.
I’m not alone in that desire. There’s other people who also want more from Colin. So, one of them went and made a movie — with the blessings of Colin’s widow (and, dude, that feels very strange to say) — from one of Colin’s stories.
However, because I like you dudes, I’ve arranged to give you a look at the movie without having to go anywhere else. However, if you head over to Angry Robot, you also get a nice interview with the filmmaker. Either way, give up five minutes to enjoy a story from the mind of one of the best, nicest writers I’ve ever known: Colin Harvey.