I went to see Spider-Man: Homecoming again today and they showed the opening scene of Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets. It blew me away.
It could have been its own short film, and it told the tale of humanity’s expansion and diplomatic missions via a space station in orbit around earth that began in the 1970s with each mission adding its own little bit to the station. As the years go by each mission adds its own bit to the station. Finally an alien race shows up, and it’s a peaceful first contact, and then another and another throughout many more years, and the station just gets bigger and bigger, until it was too big to be in Earth’s orbit anymore and they sent it off on a journey to continue its diplomatic legacy. It was such a heartwarming and positive thing and stands in such stark contrast to the generally expected first contact situations in the sci-fi genre. It was made even more beautiful because it was all set to Bowie’s Space Oddity.
This scene alone sold me on the movie, and is probably one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen. I certainly hope the rest of the movie can hold up.