78-year-old filmmaker Werner Herzog shared some interesting thoughts before the release of his new documentary on asteroids, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds now available on Apple TV+.
From Herzog’s new interview with the science site inverse:
Herzog tells Inverse he’s less concerned than ever that a meteorite will destroy the Earth, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still be worried about our own extinction. “It may be 100 million years to go until then,” Herzog says, before adding, “within the next thousand years, we may have done such stupid things that we are not around anymore to contemplate it….”
There’s a theory that all life on Earth came from a meteorite. Do you think that’s possible…?
[I]f you expand the question, it wouldn’t surprise me if we found life somewhere outside of our solar system, or even within our solar system, because we share the same chemistry with the universe. We share the same physics with the universe. And we share the same history with the universe. So with trillions and trillions and trillions of stars out there, it’s highly likely that somewhere there are some forms of life. Probably not as good and interesting as in movies. We can be pretty certain there are no creatures out there like in Star Wars…
Have you heard the theory that we’re living inside a simulation?
Yes, but I don’t buy it. Because when I kick a soccer ball from the penalty spot, I know this is for real. If the goalie saves it, oh shit, this is for real.
He also discusses the 1998 asteroid disaster film Deep Impact and his own appearance on Rick and Morty, as well as part on The Mandalorian — and the experience of watching its premiere with 1,000 hardcore Star Wars fans. (“It was unbelievable. The first credit appears and there’s a shout of joy that you cannot describe… It’s evident Star Wars is a new mythology for our times, whether you like it or not.”)
But though Herzog’s films “often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature,” according to Wikipedia, Herzog insists to Inverse that Elon Musk’s plan to build a city on Mars is a “mistake.”
In a blistering criticism, Herzog describes the idea as “an obscenity,” and says humans should “not be like the locusts….”
Herzog is not opposed to going to Mars at all. In fact, the German filmmaker would “love to go [to Mars] with a camera with scientists.” But the long-term vision of a Mars city is a “mistake.” Herzog’s main concern is that humanity should “rather look to keep our planet habitable,” instead of trying to colonize another one.
In short, Mars is not a livable place. There is no liquid water at the surface, or air to breathe. Solar wind means inhabitants would be “fried like in a microwave,” Herzog says.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.