What do you think about the discussion points in this feature? Resident dad. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the TheArrivalMovie community, Press J to jump to the feed. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. More intriguingly, we don’t know whether that human aid will stem from knowing the language itself, the time-perception-altering side effects of learning it, or the global unification that results from it. This meant sending pods to Australia, the Black Sea, China, Denmark, Japan, Pakistan, Siberia, Sierra-Leone, Sudan, the U.K., and Venezuela, in addition to the ship that touches down in rural Montana. But they can't do that until we ourselves are unified. Louise wants to stop them, but doesn't know how. The aliens gave their language (and the ability to perceive time simultaneously) to humans, which in turn, assumedly allows humans to make great leaps in understanding and technology. “In war there are no winners, only widows.”. Because she's able to understand heptapod, she can see into her future -- and she's attending a party 18 months after first contact. Production designer Patrice Vermette designed the logograms to be circular, representing how way the aliens think about time cyclically instead of in a straight line. Louise then persuades Shang to call off his attack in the “present” by telling him what his wife’s dying words were and thus proving to him that the aliens’ language has taught her how to time-travel. Ian suggests that the locations might correspond to rates of lightning strikes but also notes that Sheena Easton had a hit single in each spot in the 1980s, so correlation probably does not equal causation in this case (unless the aliens are just really big fans of “Sugar Walls”). This is where it gets interesting. It's confusing in the moment, but it makes a LOT more sense once you get the concept of the heptapod language down pat. A linguist singlehandedly thwarts a world war by time-traveling. Thank you! She interacted with the heptapods. And they had an important reason. But they have identified that gifting the humans with non-linear time vision is important and this will somehow enable the humans to help 3000 years later. I thought she already had the ability to see through time, but maybe never understood it. Would her future be different? I think they are a unified agent as a species, and want to unify with our own species as well. In Ted Chiang’s original short story, the aliens are called Flapper and Raspberry, but the movie takes its alien-naming approach a little more seriously. Speaking of which, what were Shang’s wife’s last words? They sure did. Or are there moments in Arrival that we overlooked, that mean something different? I suppose that is not the focus of the movie Arrival. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. I don't see how that's possible. To a lot of people, this was annoying because the reason for their “arrival” was not stressed upon in detail. But "Future" Louise can't share the information with "Present Day" Louise until "Future" Shang shares it at the party. I have a theory. When they say 3,000 years to them it's actually seconds or minutes or hours. The bulk of the film focuses on how a human being would react to, and process, the irregular experience of First Contact. Are we way off? Here's where I disconnect with Arrival, briefly. But Louise seems to be mostly OK, if a little wheezy, for the brief amount of time that she’s in there. But the other alien, Abbott, nobly sticks around long enough to deliver his part of the message that the aliens came to deliver in the first place. As Louise learns the language, she also begins gradually experiencing visions of her future, a sign that she too is beginning to experience time differently. Louise, for example, sees that Ian will leave her because he'll think that she made a bad choice (perhaps in not telling him in advance that their daughter, Hannah, will die). So here are answers to some of the most pressing questions we had after watching Arrival. The hypothesis, which comes from the work of early 20th-century American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, is already widely disputed in the world of linguistics, but the way the movie uses it is pure science fiction. This helps explain the answer to our next question. Aren't you really only seeing one POSSIBLE translation of a person's timeline? She can only see into her own future and those who interact with her. If it stops, they’re in trouble. And you'll never see this message again. So they helped the main character understand their language so she could translate the message to the other 11 countries not to bomb them. Translating heptapod doesn't really mean that you can "see" the future, so much as you can understand fully what has happened on your own timeline... and also what WILL Happen. Being able to read or speak in heptapod means that you are able to see a person's entire timeline -- their entire Life Sentence -- from start to finish. Denis Villeneuve’s new sci-fi drama, Arrival, which was released on Friday, has—to put it mildly—a pretty complicated plot. She has also begun to experience flash forwards to the future, so it’s conceivable that she’s drawing on knowledge of the language that she will have in addition to what she already knows. Arrival presents many clues without revealing its hidden truth until the film's conclusion. He understands that on HIS timeline, sharing that information was crucial to Louise being able to change his mind in the past. The crux of the conflict is that Louise's eventual husband, Ian (Jeremy Renner), disagrees with that decision, and this -- I believe -- is why he eventually leaves her in their shared future. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. Let's discuss. Why do they call the aliens Abbott and Costello, anyway? The key to understanding the movie lies in the acceptance of an alien language Louise wants to understand this language so she can decipher WHY the aliens have come to our planet -- for the answer to that question will either lead to, or prevent, war. Extroverted introvert. Because the aliens themselves don’t experience linear time, their logograms can put words in any order without changing the meaning of the message. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. You "remember" things that you once "forgot," because you never really knew them in the first place. What if, one day, he realizes he can forgive her? I don't think that's quite it. It would be very difficult to pull off, cause we're talking about 200 generations, but information could possibly get passed to her.