In This Breathtaking Short Film, a Man's Quest for the Perfect Home Takes a Dark Turn

An explorer finds himself facing yet another planet he cannot reach.
An explorer finds himself facing yet another planet he cannot reach.
Screenshot: Dust

Isaac Asimov’s first law of robotics is: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” That’s an admirable goal, but what if it’s taken too far?

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Dust has shared a gorgeous but terrifying animated short film from writer and director Gökalp Gönen, called Avarya. It centers around an elderly man (voiced by Sermet Yeşil) as he searches the galaxy for a new habitable planet, because Earth has fallen into disarray. There’s only one problem: His robot companion (voiced by Damla Çay) keeps insisting that each planet isn’t good enough and refuses to let him disembark.

This award-winning sci-fi short film features jaw-dropping animation, beautiful Art Deco style, and a complex story—one that takes Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics to their greatest extreme. After all, what can you do when the robot you’ve designed to protect you decides that, in order to do so, you have to be protected from yourself? I recommend watching through to the end, as Gönen’s narrative has an ending that brings the narrative full circle, while managing to be both surprising and unexpected.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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