The 1971 dystopian sci fi flick was the directorial debut of George Lucas, produced by none other than Francis Ford ‘Godfather’ Coppola. It’s the story of a futuristic society, in which humans are forced to take emotion-surpressing drugs, people have numbers instead of names, and everybody wears the same stupid clothes while scoring a bald head.
Before I get into this, let me make this clear. THIS IS NOT STAR WARS!! Believe me, I love Star Wars, the George Lucas franchise anyway. Which is exactly what confused me so much going in. While some elements do indeed vaguely resemble the Lucas magic we all know and love, I probably would have never guess this were actually made by Lucas, if I hadn’t known about it before, or stuck around for the credits.
THX 1138 ( Robert Duvall ) is the name-code given to our protagonist living a futuristic work-centered underground city. In this world, emotions are not only unencouraged, but banned. The people are forced to take a daily drug to surpress their emotions.
Everybody has to be bald. Everybody wears an identical outfit based on their jobs ( which are probably assigned to them. Everybody is assigned a roommate. Nobody gets to have an opinion. Breathing humans, with no sense of what makes the human experience joyful or sorrow-filled or anything inbetween. Alive on the outside, nothing inside. Totally numb.
The concept of reproducing the human race and family has also been outlawed, leading me to the theory that this society ( like our own ) is plagued by overpopulation. The theory is further supported by the fact that the city even reports how many workers die there per ‘period’, whilst those very workers show 0 reaction. In other words, the drug even takes away their stigma of death.
After a day’s work, THX goes home to his…wife? Fiance? Girlfriend? Roomate? Yeah no roommate. Storywise their married, basically. It’s a weird society. Anyway – he goes home and finds that the woman LUH 3417 ( Maggie McOmie ) has stopped taking the drug and begun feeling. She urges him to do the same, declining, knowing they’d be caught eventually.
Against his will, THX is forced into taking pills that go against the governmont’s mandatory drugs. Being able to feel, he’s bestowed the urge to escape. And so he does. A long and dangerous journey awaits him, full of all sorts of poorly-aged special effects.
Overall, THX 1138 provides a unique adventure into a dystopian society. While I can’t even particulary say I enjoyed this film, I am glad to have seen it. In part for my appreciation of George Lucas, and in part due to it’s way to seperate itself from any other film I had ever seen. 7/10.
All photos used follow this license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en