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FAQ for
2010 (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents

A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for 2010 can be found here.

What is '2010' about?

Three American scientists -- Dr Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) (the scientist held responsible for the failure of the USS Discovery One mission to Jupiter nine years earlier), Dr Walter Curnow (John Lithgow) who designed the Discovery One, and Dr R Chandra (Bob Balaban) who designed the HAL-9000 computer installed on the Discovery One -- join the crew of the Alexei Leonov, a Soviet expedition to Jupiter captained by Tanya Kirbuk (Helen Mirren), to discover what went wrong. Meanwhile on Earth, the U.S. and Soviet Union are on the brink of war.

2010 is a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which was based on a 1950 short story, 'The Sentinel' by British science fiction author Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke eventually worked the short story into a 1968 novel, also titled 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was followed by a second novel, 2010: Odyssey Two (1982), which became the basis for this movie. 2010: Odyssey Two was adapted for the movie by screenwriter Peter Hyams. These books were followed by two more novels 2061: Odyssey Three (1987) and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997). Neither of the latter two novels have been made into movies although, in 2014, the SyFy Channel announced their intention to adapt 3001 into a television miniseries.

It's not essential as there is a brief recap at the start of 2010, but watching 2001 first provides a better understanding of the story of Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea), the mission of the Discovery, and the problem with the HAL computer.

Yes. After investigation, Dr Chandra discovers that the National Security Council (NSC) ordered HAL to conceal from Discovery's crew the fact that the mission was about the monolith. This conflicted with HAL's program processing and, as HAL was a sentient computer, it caused him to suffer a paranoid breakdown.

How does the movie end?

When Bowman warns Floyd to leave Jupiter's orbit within the next two days, Floyd breaks the communication ban between the Discovery and the Leonov. Aware that the two ships don't have enough fuel to make it back to Earth separately if they leave so many weeks ahead of their launch window, they concoct a plan to attach the Leonov to the Discovery, use the Discovery as a booster rocket, then detach the Discovery and use the Leonov for the return trip. They begin to make the preparations, including reprogramming HAL to accept the new orders, although Dr Chandra isn't sure whether HAL will accept them. Two days later, as they count down to launch, the crew notices that the black spot on Jupiter has suddenly begun to shrink, filling up instead with millions of monoliths. HAL notices, too, and requests that the countdown be stopped so that the phenomenon can be studied, forcing Chandra to be truthful about the Discovery's (and HAL's) imminent destruction. Fortunately, HAL understands and proceeds with the countdown. Just before the Discovery is destroyed, Bowman contacts HAL and orders him to point his transmitter towards the Earth and send the following message: ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE. USE THEM TOGETHER. USE THEM IN PEACE. HAL does as directed and transmits the message until the Discovery blows up. The crew then watches incredulously as Jupiter collapses then explodes, forming a small star. In the final scenes, Floyd composes a letter to his son explaining how the people on Earth will forevermore see two suns in the sky and know that we are not alone. He then goes into cryosleep knowing that the Soviets and the U.S. have, thanks to the message, ceased their hostilities. Meanwhile, centuries later on Europa, the new mini sun has warmed the surface enough to allow vegetation to grow there. A monolith stands in the middle of a lake, waiting for intelligent lifeforms to evolve.

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