Having an expert explain the science behind a sci-fi movie tends to be an exercise in fun-killing, but Neil deGrasse Tyson still has a lot to say about the latest blockbusters. The astrophysicist appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to discuss “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II” and “Alien: Covenant,” putting to rest any notion that either film is on firm scientific ground.
“There is no sensible space mission that’s gonna send humans to a planet before we send robots,” Tyson said of the latest “Alien” movie, “because if anything’s gonna do some killing, it’ll kill the robots first and not the people.” A sequel to “Prometheus” and another prequel to the original “Alien” franchise, “Covenant” follows a colonizing mission that makes an unexpected stop on a seemingly uninhabited planet after receiving a transmission emanating from it.
Tyson then turned his attention to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which commits a common sci-fi sin: “I think most sci-fi films that have stuff going on in space, they all have sound,” he explained. “But we’ve known from the very first movie in the ‘Alien’ series that in space no one can hear you scream. If no one can hear you scream, no one can hear you explode either.” They probably can’t hear your awesome soundtrack, either.
“Guardians” opened in theaters yesterday, while “Covenant” arrives on May 19. Watch the full “Late Show” segment below.