A terminally ill tech billionaire: Saul contemplates euthanasia, deciding to leave his wife behind in order to take one last trip into space, seeking ‘The Good Death’. Taking stylistic and narrative inspiration from the likes of Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’, and James Gray’s ‘Ad Astra’, ‘Last Trip To Space’ is a dramatic animation, which links the very personal journey of a terminally ill tech billionaire considering euthanasia, with his existential journey of choosing to leave the earth and his wife behind, in exchange for ‘The Good Death’ in the emptiness of space. The twist at the end of ‘Last Trip to Space’, is that Saul does not have as much control over his life as he’d like to think. Alone in space, his wealth and power become irrelevant, as his robot carers make the decisions about his last moments. He ultimately finds himself ejected from the ships airlock without a suit, facing the terrifying vastness, violence, and indifference of space, very far from the love and deep Christian faith of his wife Bea.
Adapted from the death of Saul [1 Samuel 31: 3-6 + 2 Samuel 1:6-15], we follow Saul’s tragic journey away from God’s plan, towards deciding his own destiny. Saul, the main character references the biblical Saul, whilst his wife, who has a strong Christian faith and believes Saul should not take his own life, represents the voice of God. As the protagonist Saul leaves the earth and his wife behind, he distances himself from the voice of God, and the love of his wife. In the Bible, as Saul falls from grace in his kingdom, he continues to clutch at his power by taking his destiny into his own hands, forgetting the God who anointed him in the first place. This downfall leads him to the point where he would prefer to die by his own decree, than let God decide. As tech billionaires travel into space in self-funded spacecraft, exceeding normal human limits through wealth and technological prowess, the biblical parallels with the pride and ultimate downfall of Saul become apparent. Reading the last acts of Saul, I imagined a world where tech billionaires commit the ultimate act of pride: deciding the time and place of their own death.