Have you seen the movie Passengers already? Good, since I'm going to chat about it a bit and I would not want to be the source of any unpleasant spoilers. What we all know from the teasers is that there's a huge spaceship, going to a colony world, with passengers all asleep in hibernation chambers. Then someone wakes up, decades too early. And the spaceship, Avalon, is just spectacular. Worth a film-viewing on its own!

OK, I'll have to admit, the most spectacular thing for me in the film was that I was in it, sort-of. So I'm calling myself Aurora Lamminlaine, but originally it was just Aurora Laine (until I discovered there was a high-schooler with that name, and it felt a bit unfair to start publishing space romance using her name, so I added "Lammin"). But still. The female lead in the movie is called Aurora Lane, which is pronounced just like Laine in Finnish. And she's a writer too. If I should write that kind of co-incidence in one of my stories, I'd erase it out of embarrasment – too in-your-face.

But back to the film. For ages I've been moaning about lack of moral dilemmas in space (since the days of Star Trek NG, I think). And now I got one. Live and die alone, never again even talking with another human being, this terrible situation brought through no fault of your own, slowly going crazy from sheer crushing loneliness OR pulling someone else with you, and bearing the responsibility of changing their fate forever, without being able to consult them. Mmm! That's just the kind of stuff I love! Moral dilemma which also serves as an emotional conflict. And it can only end in tears and heart-break, with that kind of premise it can't be anything but a tragedy...

You'd think. When the end arrives, those looking forward to bittersweet, heart-tearing experience watch it in dumb shock. The dilemma glossed over and forgotten, emotional conflict forcefully and unconvincingly solved by external actions: they live happily ever after on the empty spaceship, she forgives his actions apparently because he's so brave in face of danger. I'm reminded of Ethel M. Dell's book the Bars of Iron, where a widow remarries, and later finds out her new madly-in-love husband actually killed her first husband. And he's a rapist too. But it's all forgiven and forgotten in the end, because marriage is fate and well, umm, it does not make psychological sense except as a comforting, hopeful fantasy for women trapped in violent marriages (which, at the time when the book was written, were quite permanent). But hello Passengers, we're in the 21st century now and we don't solve our moral dilemmas with crush-blow don't think just love romance endings. The ending is presented as a clean-cut happily ever after, even if it is clearly morally very ambiguous situation. I'm tempted to blame Hollywood which can't do bittersweet love tragedy like other film industries can, for some national psyche reason. In any case the movie is saying some very unflattering things about what the filmmakers think as the American male's mental system.

I offer not one but two alternate endings to cleanse the bad taste which this otherwise quite fine movie left:

1) Aurora Laine, I mean Lane, spends one more year with Jim and then she goes to the newly discovered hibernation pod to sleep her way to the new planet. They separate teary-eyed, but both knowing this was the only right decision. Epilogue may include Aurora landing on the new planet and discovering she's pregnant.

2) Medipod recommends Gus to use its hibernation mode to stop his deteoriating body from dying. He, however, wants to make sure the ship doesn't malfunction critically, and keeps on working with Aurora and Jim until they think the damage has been fixed, without telling them about the hibernation option. Then he dies, but not before whispering to Jim that one of them could stay in the medipod until the ship arrives to the new planet. Jim promptly offers the hibernation pod for Aurora, who stares at it contemplating when there's a loud explosion. Oh no! It's the fusion chamber! Excess heat needs to be vented out or the ship will blow up! Things proceed as seen in the movie. Catastrophe is averted. Aurora professes her love to Jim. Jim very happy, but says "If you ever change your mind, the medipod will be there for you". Epilogue about plant-filled ship as in the movie.

I'm open for script-writing offers you know!