Friday, March 28, 2008

The Krell

The Krell were natives of the planet Altair IV in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet. Two thousand centuries ago, their race died out when they completed their project to gain freedom from "instrumentality" - that is, freedom from the use of tools and devices. A Great Machine would instead, read their thoughts and instantly make them into reality. Unfortunately, the 8,000 cubic mile (33,000 km³) machine they created for this purpose also gave physical form to all of their subconscious hatreds - unfamiliar emotions that had seemingly been eradicated from their society, monsters from the id, and killed them all in the space of a single night. The unstoppable machine committed genocide.

The Krell were highly intelligent and cultured and their culture long-lived, having even visited Earth long before Man became a tool-user.

Unfortunately, eons of peaceful existence made them forget their baser selves, which ultimately destroyed a great civilization as it was about to achieve its apex.

Human history is littered with analogs to Krell self-destruction. Our present moment is one such instance, amplified by the industrial scale power of modern human civilization.


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