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The depiction of futuristic jobs in movies—even if the movie is set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”—fuels dreams of employment possibilities for all of us who grew up expecting to drive a flying car one day. What’s comforting is that technology evolves so fast that some futuristic jobs may actually be a possibility. Just think: the kids from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” could only imagine working a mobile phone kiosk at the local mall, and now it’s a reality for today’s teenagers. A handful of other film-job sectors are poised for futuristic employment growth, as well.
In futuristic films, territories, planets, cities and space outposts are colonized, conquered, destroyed, recaptured and rebuilt. Somebody’s got to be in charge—why not you? Granted, many government positions will likely be mid-level bureaucratic posts, as depicted by all the brisk walking on the Death Star or angst-ridden Rebel hand-wringing in the earlier “Star Wars” trilogy. The “Star Wars” prequel trilogy brings big government front and center with its depiction of the Imperial Senate at work. Starfleet is a governmental agency, and a treaty always needs to be negotiated, drafted or broken. Whether you’re a dictatorial overlord using force to get things done, as in “Flash Gordon,” or a low-level Prawn management official from “District 9,” plenty of futuristic government jobs will be available.
Futuristic mining is a big deal in movies. Obviously, as future populations spread and consume, more resources will have to be found. Often, entire planets are mined for their resources in future films. The Kryptonians in the Superman installment “Man of Steel” destroyed their own planet, along with several others through poor resource management. The monsters in the “Alien” series were unleashed by a mining crew on one of Jupiter’s moons. Spices are a major target of futuristic mining, as depicted in “Dune” and the “Star Wars” films. The Millennium Falcon, as you may remember, held a record for the fastest time making the Kessel Run, a space route for spice smugglers. In “The Empire Strikes Back” the cloud planet of Bespin was being mined for gasses. Of course, sometimes mining is not so much an employment opportunity as a punishment (the mining planet in “Chronicles of Riddick” probably doesn’t have a dental plan).
If film depiction is a reliable indicator, construction will offer significant job opportunities in the future. Planet-based cities are massive, complex and, apparently, very tall. Cities on Earth are depicted as such in films like “Blade Runner” and several of the “Star Trek” installments. The various urban areas of the “Star Wars” films, as well as the hedonistic Mars–based cities of “Total Recall,” are the result of massive development efforts. Plenty of construction jobs should be available if you have the right skill set (after all, the next Death Star isn’t going to build itself).
As transportation evolves into the futuristic modes depicted in science-fiction cinema, skilled pilots and drivers will be needed to operate them. Everything from freighters like the Millennium Falcon to Starfleet transport, and shuttles from Earth to the various space stations—such as those depicted in “Wall-E,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and the forthcoming “Elysium”—will need operators. Occasionally operation may be outsourced to robotic or other technology (like the future taxis of Los Angeles in “Blade Runner”), but there will still be plenty of futuristic movie employment for humans and other non-terrestrial species: think of Bruce Willis’ taxi driver position in “The Fifth Element.”
1 Law Enforcement
Law enforcement—particularly across planetary and galactic jurisdictions—appears to be a growth sector in futuristic movie employment. From “RoboCop” and “Blade Runner,” which present more Earth-based employment opportunities, to the militarized law enforcement of Starfleet, which boldly patrols treaty violations in deep space, law enforcement opportunities will abound. There may be some hazards, such as being blown up, lasered or lost in space; but remember: high turnover rates mean increased demand for new hires!