‘After Earth’: Will Smith, Son Discuss Science Behind Fiction (+Video)

Will humans abandon earth?
By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
April 25, 2013 Updated: April 25, 2013

After Earth star Will Smith said in a Google+ Hangout session that he thinks humans may have to abandon Earth in real life as they did in his recent film. 

After Earth star Will Smith said in a Google+ Hangout session that he thinks the fictional scenario of humanity having to abandon Earth depicted in his recent film is a serious possibility in real life.

“I truly believe the exploration of space is an absolute necessity,” Smith said. He was joined by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Google futurist Ray Kurzweil, explorer Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter Alexandra Cousteau, and an 8th grade class, to discuss how the science-fiction of After Earth applies to real life.

“Either we’re a space-faring civilization, or we’re going to be bound to earth until some eventual extinction event,” Musk said. He said space exploration is a good idea for security against such an event, but it is also simply exciting and interesting.

Musk noted that “There is some potential, even though it does sound ‘science-fictiony,’ for warp drive to work.”

He explained that it could be possible, “to warp space so that you’re traveling at the speed of light, but you’ve warped space so that space is actually traveling.”

Kurzweil added the possibility of traveling through other dimensions: “Or we could go through other dimensions, and places that seem to be far away could be closer through another dimension.”

Jaden Smith, 14, Will Smith’s son, co-stared in After Earth, which will be in theaters in June. The film takes place 1,000 years in the future. Humans had abandoned Earth, and the Smiths’ characters land back on the planet to find an environment completely hostile to human beings.

While the Smiths were filming in Costa Rica, they learned much about caring for the environment.

“I feel like I really saw some true beauty in the world after shooting in Costa Rica,” Jaden Smith said. “After that experience, it really showed me how important it is to save the world.”

Will Smith said he talked with elders about the changes they had observed in weather patterns which highlighted for him the concern of climate change.

“Today it’s oil that we’re willing to go to war over,” Smith said, “At some point in the future, it’s going to be water.”

Jaden Smith said he is worried about the world getting to a tipping point, but he is hopeful “my generation will take things seriously.” He said he thinks his generation can adjust and commit to using only renewable resources.

“I completely agree with Jayden,” said Cousteau, 37. “I think this generation has an extraordinary opportunity to use technology that we’ve never had before, knowledge that we’ve never had before.”