The Black Hole, circa 1979.

Hi friends,

After reading Troy’s post about the lovable robot “Johnny 5“, I had a thought on robots myself.

So this will date me a little bit – but I saw this movie as a kid in the theater! Sitting there with my dad and a big tub of popcorn, The Black Hole scared and dazzled me at the same time. This was amongst the many science fiction movies of the time, but by today’s standards it’s outdated and just funny to watch. My favorite character was V.I.N.CENT, the loveable flying robot that floated and had laser guns mounted on each side of him for defense. Do you remember this guy?


Vincent would “protect” the humans in the movie, and would also take on attackers and would even get damaged. Google image search “damaged black hole vincent robot” and you’ll see him bashed up with quirky eyes and smashed metal. It’s pretty great.

Fast forward to 2013 – and another awesome movie is released, Oblivion. Yes, another science fiction movie that has a lot of new premise and storytelling; except that I immediately noticed that “V.I.N.CENT” had been upgraded. The “drones” in this movie also protect the human race and additionally would take fire and end up in poor condition (in fact, that was the main character’s job- to repair the drones). I was happy to see a lot of new effects and “space” stuff, but take a look at the drone:


It is just me, or are they similar? Yes, the Oblivion drone is sleeker and modern. It’s eyes are not “cartoony”. However too close for me to say “wow look at that new idea”. Maybe it’s just me, but I noticed.

Maybe this isn’t a revelation, but what do you think? Are filmmakers out of ideas for science fiction sidekicks?

Take care, Ryan