Science fiction is a great platform for challenging reality. Anything can happen. Just say a rock fell from outer space and now this crazy event occurs so we can create an alternate reality. Superman, Venom, and now Annihilation, to name a few, have utilized this classic premise.
In Annihilation a weird shimmer that looks like an enormous, wobbly bubble appears in the Pacific Northwest due to a meteorite (what else?!?). I know what you’re thinking, “I love bubbles!” But it’s not a fun bubble from your childhood – where most of the bubble liquid splatters on the sidewalk and never reaches floating sphere form.
This bubble is scary. People go in and they do not come out. What should we do in response to this problem? Send in more people of course! A band of empowered women head in and find that “The Shimmer” melds everything into one. Yikes! Team bonding on steroids.
Our crew discovers flowers, monsters, and humans that have undergone this strange phenomenon and now the crew realizes they are changing. Becoming one with the universe has never been so terrifying.
Here comes the clever part of the movie: Annihilate has a double meaning!
Meaning 1 – destroy utterly; obliterate
Meaning 2 – convert (a subatomic particle) into radiant energy
The audience is left to decide whether merging into a new form is death or life. In a society that rejects authority, classic gender roles, and order in general Annihilation presents a strange look at what happens when individuals lose their unique qualities and blur into nothing…or everything.
Our unique abilities and talents are given to us by God. Embracing differences has always been Biblical advice. Working together with our different skill sets is God’s plan, not melting into one giant blob. Christians are to embrace individuality within community.
1 Corinthians 12:14-16 (ESV)
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
We were uniquely knit together by God; it’s not necessary for everyone to be cookie-cutter robots. It’s important to note that embracing variety in creation isn’t the same as embracing sinful choices. The Church doesn’t and shouldn’t endorse sinful lifestyles. The Church must submit to God’s rule. The Church must remain salty, it can’t mimic the sinful world.
Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.