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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Worship His Shadow- part 2- The Cluster

Originally posted 9-29-12. Navigation links go back to the original blog.

This is part 2.
Go back to part 1.
Go on to part 3. (Continue to part 3 on this blog.)
Return to The Lexx.
Go to main blog.


Images in this post click back to outside sources. Thumbnails will click to full size or back to source.

With our hero dead only 6 minutes into the movie, which way do we go? That’s right, we skip forward 2000 years.


The first thing we see is The Cluster filling the screen, the home planet to His Divine Shadow, and like it says, capital to the League of 20,000 Planets. Planet watchers may notice this particular planet is a chunk of rock, like an overgrown asteroid or moon, and the Cluster is carved into it and shielded with a ceiling built into the planet’s surface. You’re also going to notice several other things about The Cluster as the movie moves along- no green things growing anywhere, no open sky besides complete cloud or city cover, and no decor. The Cluster is pure form and function.


 

The Cluster as Capital City is a sealed and highly monitored compound. These groups of buildings house the Lexx and a complex judicial system. The outer accessways of these rows of big pyramid styled buildings is worker housing for what look like prisoners.


The first person we see sleeps in a tiny box, his only living quarters. He is awakened with propaganda and a computerized image sentences punishment for not reporting for work on time. Note that there is no volume knob or off switch, a scene very much like Big Brother on roids.


“Only a thin dimensional barrier separates us from the festering evil, malignant depravity, and alien chaos of the Dark Zone. The Dark Zone is not separate like two different planets. The Dark Zone coexists in the same space as our universe, in the same place at the same time. The Dark Zone has no rules, no sense, no order. We give thanks to His Divine Shadow for his ceaseless vigilance, protecting our universe of Light and Order from the horrors and disorder of the Dark Zone. We worship His Shadow. Long may he reign.”

  

“Good morning. Security Guard Class 4, number 47632943, Department 511, Level 4. This is your third wake up call. If you are late, you will receive 7 demerits. You already have 991 demerits.”

A lot of other people seem to be going through the same thing. A whole lot of people sleep in nothing more than tiny little boxes and literally own nothing but the uniforms on their backs.

  

Meanwhile, the same obnoxious computerized face, apparently used as an interface for all menial communications, kicks off a redirect alert in a prisoner transport bound for the Cluster. (By the way, nice visual pun, a face as an interface, not sure if that was intentional, but we later realize the weird macabre style doll face most certainly was an intentional slight against humans, once we see the extreme species prejudice in the fourth movie.)

“Due to a bulkhead malfunction, Prisoner Transport 58K603, you are being diverted from Gate 417 Punishment Level 2, to Gate 511.” All the numbers are read off individually, like five-one-one.

It is never indicated or even hinted at, but I believe the audience is supposed to realize as the story unfolds that the bulkhead malfunction was a deliberately premanufactured plant by Heretics as part of a much bigger plot. Or it could just be that particular transport had such a famous guest on board that it was diverted directly over for entertainment purposes, but I don’t think so, given the plan that was carried out. A lot of things happen in Lexx that are never explained, you either miss it or put the puzzle together on your own, which I feel is a compliment, the film makers assuming that we have brains and don’t need to be spoon fed, like so many scifi shows feel the need to do.  Good editing does the work of explaining everything. winky


These guards are being awakened out of stasis while the prisoner transport is remotely rerouted into a different flight path among a whole flock of other prisoner transports. All prisoners wind up on the Cluster.

  

(Incidentally, have you wondered yet why in the world it’s called The Cluster? You can look up a definition for clusterand it all looks about right, or you can go a step further… hint- some insects cluster, and rows of egg follicles are called clusters. Season 2 will go into why this might be a better image.) (And if you are remembering that part 1 said the Brunnen G defeated the Insects in the Insect Wars, you get a star on your forehead.)

My first question upon seeing the inside of the prisoner transports is how costly must it be to run all those small vessels from other planets with only a few prisoners in each one. Wouldn’t a larger cargo ship carry them all more efficiently?


Two things, slavery and psychology. Cost doesn’t matter if you’re running a spartan slave society, and keeping prisoners bolted to slabs and isolated into very small groups for processing kills hope and diminishes the success of subversive efforts for rescue.  At any rate, prisoner comfort and human rights aren’t a consideration.

    

“It’s your day of justice, Thodin!”


  

But still, this seems to be an overly elaborate way to handle prisoners. What is the point? *IS* there a point? Remember I asked this when you watch the fourth movie later.

The prisoner transports are guided through an opening in the roof of the Cluster and over a sprawling metro complex, a mega city in perpetual darkness. I have thought so much about this city, a model society completely controlled by His Shadow. No creativity, no choice, no autonomy. No escape.  Model citizenry based on ratting out your fellow man, entertainment wrapped around a heinous judicial system, government as religion, sucking up to Big Brother, in this case, His Shadow.  If Orwell ever gave you the willies, Lexx will melt you in fear, especially when you think how close some of our own histories have come to stuff like this, or still could.


  


One of the first things we see as the transports fly into the Cluster is the Lexx, housed in a huge hangar overlooking the city. The transports fly past Lexx and over a giant mega stadium to an even taller docking port. I’m not sure I can estimate how many stories high these constructions are, but they are massively impressive.



   

A security guard with 991 demerits is almost late reporting to work at Department 511 Level 4. A prisoner transport has been diverted to Gate 511. This is Thodin’s day of justice… 

Ok, you have to imagine that last bit with my tongue so far in cheek that it’s sticking out my ear.  You’ve NEVER seen a movie like this one.  I can’t wait to start obsessing over part 3.

This is part 2.
Go back to part 1.
Go on to part 3. (Continue to part 3 on this blog.)
Return to The Lexx.
Go to main blog.



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