Science fiction movies run the gamut from being serious and filled with plenty of facts that are mixed in with the fictional aspects of the movie, to so silly and over the top that one has to suspend disbelief almost entirely in order to watch it. This is the case with both movies that are being looked at in this article since Men in Black and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are the types of movies that one can’t help but enjoy or ridicule depending on how one feels about them. Some would claim that the science in one or both of the movies is unfounded and completely fantastical. But the point of each movie is, as with most movies, to just have fun with it and allow your imagination to take over. It feels, sometimes, that too many people take the movies they watch far too seriously and while destroying the idea of the movie by trying to apply reason and reality to it. I’ve done the same thing as many others, and yet, the balance between wanting to point out errors and missed opportunities to convey facts instead of fiction and the act of simply enjoying the ideas that can be generated between one movie and another.
A language barrier is hard enough between human beings.
It’s tough enough to understand the language barrier that exists between humans, but trying to think about how much of a barrier might exist between humans and other species is an even bigger conundrum since it’s easy to think that the many different noises that equate to speech in so many alien tongues would be indecipherable to many humans. And yet, the Babelfish, the tiny creature that is introduced in Hitchhiker’s Guide, is one of the easiest ways to translate and bring together various species that might never have been able to communicate otherwise. In fact, it’s a sure bet that some species would never bother to communicate with humans since Agent K makes it clear that human thought is believed to be a communicable disease in some parts of the universe. Thereby, finding an easy way to keep everyone talking without needing subtitles at every turn would require a solution that wouldn’t alienate viewers but also wouldn’t be too simple for them to debunk immediately.
Maybe the Men in Black have their own synthetic version of the Babelfish.
Obviously, ideas aren’t going to be shared between two very different movies, but the fact is that Kay and other MIB agents showed an aptitude for understanding the languages of other species that was a little too easy to be believed so readily since the grunts, squeaks, clicks, and other sounds that were heard in this movie would be tough to figure out without some easy form of understanding that would enable the human ear to decipher what was being said. Since the Babelfish couldn’t be used in this matter, it does stand to reason that maybe something else was devised from the Babelfish that might have been used to augment the MIB’s ability to communicate with the rest of the species in the galaxy on their level, kind of.
Understanding multiple languages is difficult for most people.
The manner in which a person’s mind works can determine whether they are able to learn a new language or not or will cling to the comfort of the language they feel comfortable with. It’s very easy for some folks to learn a new language, as there are people that can pick up a new language as easy as breathing. In the movies, a language barrier can be overcome very easily since, well, movie magic and plot armor go a long way when it comes to many things. Creating a way for different species from different worlds isn’t that big of a deal when it comes to creating it, but thinking that it could be used for more than one movie is even simpler.
These two stories could exist in the same universe.
The MIB are the guardians of the earth, and the obvious drawback here is that the earth is destroyed in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but considering that a new earth was built and ready to go before the movie was over, it’s fair to think that as much of a responsibility that the MIB possess, the universe beyond their reach will take care of itself. But thinking that the earth-based organization would somehow benefit from the same kind of item that would make it possible for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to operate as it does makes a lot of sense, considering that the explanation of how humans can talk to aliens and understand them could be a lot more complicated if not for a simple explanation such as this.