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Sad Space Dads Trope

In recent years, depressed father figures in space has been a plot line in many movies. While Interstellar is likely the most famous and most well-liked of this trope, it likely has it's origin in the success of Gravity which showed critics and fans like prestige science fiction movies. While space can be a blank space to explore parenting, the starkness of space with "people feeling feelings" can make a very boring movie.


Here are five movies with the "sad space dads" trope:


The Midnight Sky (2020)


This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe, accompanied by Iris, a girl he finds at the research station. The Midnight Sky has a 5.7/10 rating on IMDB and a 26% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects. I did not enjoy this movie as I found the kid-adult relationship very cheesy.


Ad Astra (2019)


An astronaut undertakes a mission across the solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe. Ad Astra has a 6.5/10 rating on IMDB and a 40% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing. I did not enjoy this movie, as it takes a long time to say very little and uses Liv Tyler as a sex prop instead of a full character.


High Life (2018)


A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation. High Life has a 5.8/10 rating on IMDB and a 43% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. I did not enjoy this movie, as it is more of post-modern art piece than movie.


First Man (2018)


A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk, including his relationship with his children (one of whom dies). First Man has a 7.3/10 rating on IMDB and 67% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, winning for Best Special Effects.


Interstellar (2014)


When Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future, a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, is tasked to pilot a spacecraft, along with a team of researchers, to find a new planet for humans, leaving his daughter behind. Interstellar has a 8.7/10 rating on IMDB, 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, wining for Best Special Effects. I did not enjoy this movie, as the world building is unrealistic and the script is cheesy.


The Creator (2023)


Against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds the secret weapon, a robot in the form of a young child. The Creator has a 7.1/10 rating on IMDB, 76% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. I did not enjoy this movie, as feels exactly like other Sad Space Dad movies.

 

Are there any other "sad space Dad" movies?

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