The Danger of Technology
This theme is explored throughout the plot, but there are two examples that are explored in detail. One is related to HAL, and this situation highlights what can happen when the human race creates something and doesn't know exactly how it functions, or at least is supposed to function. In this situation, HAL is created, and works perfectly for a while. But then, this intelligent machine turns on man in a famous and memorable scene, in which HAL tells Dave "No," and "Stop, Dave." This situation is one of the most common man-versus-machine conflicts: man creates machines, and machines turn on man. This is therefore nothing new, but this novel puts its own unique spin on it. The second is related to nuclear weapons, and the power that goes with them. This subdivision of the theme is explained less thoroughly than the previous one, but it is still present. For the most part, the narrative issues a warning message about the nuclear age, and of the destruction that may possibly come to pass at the hands of advanced technology.
This movie looks at the evolution of humans in the long term; it even goes beyond the present, predicting evolutions that will take place in the future. As the movie begins, it looks at two important evolutions of prehistoric beings: the beginning of the use of tools and the beginning of the use of clubs for weapons. Much later (in the future, actually), there are two evolutions that have happened, one much more significant and less realistic than the other. The first is that humans have transitioned to space travel, and it is commonplace to be going on long journeys through the galaxy. Perhaps a more momentous evolution of humans that is predicted in this film is the transition from organic intelligence to computers and other forms of artificial intelligence. This happens or the first time at the end of the story, when David Bowman's mind and memories are being sucked out of his body and put together in a light structure.
Throughout the depicted action, long space journeys take place, and it is not much out of the ordinary. A lot of the story takes place. There are often new and unseen technologies introduced, especially pertaining to space travel and the manipulation of forces that appear to be impossible to manipulate normally. Time and again, complex theories and devices appear almost out of thin air, offering intuitive and advanced guesses at what the future could hold.