Good Night Oppy follows Mars Rover Opportunity, as it explores Mars’ surface for almost 15 years.

Director Ryan White recently sat for a conversation with uInterview founder Erik Meers to share the backstory behind the project.

“Opportunity was a rover that was sent to Mars in 2004 and was expected, if she could even land successfully, to last for 90 days. She ended up surviving for 15 years so the documentary is about her adventures on Mars, which industrial-like magic bring to life in a photo, real authentic way in the film,” White revealed. “It’s also a story about what was happening back here on Earth and the human beings that created Opportunity and drove her every day and the incredible emotional bond that was forged with her over the course of these 15 years.”

“We’ve learned so much technologically,” he continued. “We learned how to land a rover successfully. Her sister Spirit also landed successfully. The two missions before them were crash landings on Mars and they were massive failures. These two succeeded and not only did they succeed, but it was the first time anything we had created as human beings were able to travel around that planet and be a mobile geologist. We learned a lot about technology because they outlasted the odds for so long, we learned how to build this type of resilient technology for the incredibly harsh climate.”

White also gave insight into the emotional connection between humans and robots.

“I think one of my biggest inspirations for this film was the Spike Jones film [Her] where Scarlett Johansson‘s playing AI.,” White said. “I watched it a lot while I was making this film because it does really explore the emotional connection between a human and non-human. Another of my biggest inspirations was E.T., which is my favorite film still to this day and was definitely my favorite film as a little kid. It’s not about a machine, but it’s about a non-human character. We’ve seen this since the beginning of storytelling. Those types of stories do something to our hearts. They melt our hearts in a way that human-to-human connection does not. This was such an incredibly rare story as a documentary filmmaker. It’s rare to get to make something that has these childlike sensibilities of wonder and awe and is a really hopeful film.”

Good Night Oppy is available for streaming now on Prime Video.

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