'Westworld' Creator Came Up with 'Starman' Over a Drink with Elon Musk

SpaceX founder Elon Musk “crashed” the Westworld South by Southwest panel on Saturday, causing the audience to freak out before they saw a two-minute film about last month’s launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket created by Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan.

Nolan said he and Joy made the video about the rocket launch “in the spirit of optimism,” because he spent an “unhealthy amount of time” thinking about space flight as a kid.”

“I was having a drink last year with a friend and we were talking about how to inspire people,” Nolan said. “We were trying to think of an image, something to sort of shock people into looking and thinking about this again. What we came up with was red sports car and a David Bowie song.”

So, it turns out the co-creator of Westworld is also the co-creator of Starman.

Musk at South by Southwest.

A few seconds later, Musk walked on-stage — an appearance he previewed Friday — and delivered these remarks:

“There are a lot of negative things in the world, there are a lot of terrible things happening all over the world, all the time. There are lots of problems that need to get solved; there’s lots of things that are miserable and kind of get you down.

“But life cannot just be about solving one miserable problem after another. That can’t be the only thing. There need to be things that inspire you, that make you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity. That’s why we did this.

“There’s a guy called [Konstantin Tsiolkovsky], one of the early Russian rocket scientists. [He had] a great saying, “Earth is the cradle of humanity, you cannot stay in the cradle forever. It is time to go forth, become a star-faring civilization, be out there among the stars, expand the scope and scale of human consciousness.

“I find that incredibly exciting. That makes me glad to be alive. I hope you feel the same way.”

The “inspiration” Musk speaks of is something he’s brought up before. At the TED conference in April 2017 in Vancouver, Musk offered similar comments:

“It’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing,” he said then. “I just think that have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we’re the future’s not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, it’s incredibly depressing if that’s not the future we’re going to have.”

Here’s the full appearance:

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