Movie characters encountered some strange things in space in 2019. We’re still trying to figure out the logistics of these scenes where animals make unexpected appearances.
Space Baboons in “Ad Astra”
Midway through this moody space epic, Brad Pitt’s character Major Roy McBride gets a distress call from an animal research ship. In a scene that could have come from the opening to “28 Days Later,” a rage-filled baboon attacks McBride’s partner, killing him. McBride barely escapes with his own life. A deeply unsettled McBride later says he “understands their rage.”
Summer Anne Brennan breaks down the real history of sending non-human primates into space in this Medium article.
Orbaks in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
These sturdy steeds are called orbaks, but they’re played by real horses. The Rebel heroes ride them during the critical “ground assault” on a First Order Star Destroyer. Unlike space vehicles, they can’t be tracked. General Pryde (Richard E. Grant) definitely wasn’t expecting this kind of attack.
Ship Full of Dogs in “High Life”
In Claire Denis’s trippy film, a condemned man Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his daughter Willow (Jessie Ross) are the last survivors on a space ship of death row prisoners.
Towards the end of the film, Monte boards a ship similar to his own and encounters only stray dogs. They appear to have survived by eating each other. Monte’s now-grown daughter Willow (Jessie Ross) pleads with him to bring back one of the puppies she sees on the monitor, but he refuses, saying it would contaminate their ship.
At first Willow is upset, saying it’s cruel to leave the dogs to die, but then tells her father he made the right choice.
From flashbacks, we learned that Monte had dogs back on earth and received a life sentence for killing his best friend over a dog.