The Adventures Of Captain Eo At Heaven’s Gate

We’re takin’ over
We have the truth
This is the mission to see it through
–“We Are Here To Change The World” (not to be confused with “We Are The World”)

Technically, the 1986 3D sci-fi production Captain EO is not a movie. Rather, it’s a 17-minute Michael Jackson video that just happens to be directed by Francis Ford Coppola, co-written by George Lucas, and shown exclusively at the Disney theme parks. (Now there’s a rather interesting combination of factors!)

But the pretensions to being a movie are all there, as well as the fact that it is essentially a conscious pastiche of late 1970s/early 1980s science-fiction movies. It also has plenty of esoteric symbolism up the wazoo, as we will soon see.

The film starts with a whirlwind/vortex/wormhole/stargate swirling in space, with an asteroid of some type coming into view and hurling towards the screen:

Neither element seems to bear much relevance to the plot, but one gets the feeling that whirlwind is an almost Biblical/mythological primal force of God that is “spitting” matter (the asteroid) out of it. The scene also, visually, bears a bit of resemblance to the crucial scene in 1981 The Greatest American Hero pilot where the alien spaceship first visits Ralph Hinckley and gives him the suit that will grant him superpowers:

Both the whirlpool and the spacecraft are mandalas—a deeply archetypal circular symbol representing the Universe. Carl Jung believed that the symbol of the mandala appears in a person’s life when they are in the midst of great personal growth.

Adding to simultaneously Biblical/Star Wars-iness of the proceedings, a narrator declares:

“The cosmos, a universe of good and evil. Where a small group struggles to bring freedom to the countless worlds of despair. A ragtag band led by the infamous Captain EO.”

So it is made clear that this is going to be a story dealing with very universal and basic themes of good vs. evil. There’s not going to be a tremendous amount of subtlety here— especially not in a 17-minute film made for Disney.

Let’s look at the name “EO.” Director Francis Ford Coppola named EO after “Eos,” goddess of the dawn. Eos was thought by the Greeks to be the creator of of all the stars and planets (bringing us back to that “in the beginning”-type opening with whirlpool and the asteroid).

Ancient Greek depiction of Eos, goddess of the dawn
Modern interpretation of Eos
Eos used as an icon for a crypto platform initiative

But that didn’t make a lot of sense to me—why name Captain EO after a goddess?
Looking into the history of Eos, we find out that she had a son with a similar name— Eosphoros. He is also known as the Morning Star. And the “Morning Star” is also the name of…Lucifer.

Here is where some esoteric interpreters of Captain EO lose their shit; they ergo believe the entire film is some sort of Satanic plot featuring Lucifer. But the figure of Lucifer/The Morning Star has a long history outside of its Biblical connection; and Jesus himself has also been called “Lucifer”/The Morning Star.

In esoteric thought, Lucifer is the “bringer of the light”—a Prometheus-type figure bestowing the knowledge of the Gods to humans. He “illuminates” humankind. He is almost a type of messiah figure.

Now let’s look at the persona of Michael Jackson—particularly in his “golden” 80’s/early 90s period. He strikes an especially messianic figure (my God, if you examine the content and imagery of the 1988 feature film Moonwalker alone…)—specifically, the Horus-like figure of the sacred androgyne/”magical child.” In fact the only other pop star who has reached that level of intense primal archetypal energy of this type was David Bowie.

Michael Jackson portrait by David LaChapelle for “Sunday Times” magazine
album cover
posted on the official Michael Jackson site
get the picture, yet?

That’s an important point about Jackson to remember. Some have said that his increasingly “feminine” features and high-pitched voice insinuated that he was “gay.” But it wasn’t about homosexuality. It was about androgyny.

Jackson was an incredibly androgynous figure (possibly helped along by his dad who allegedly had him chemically castrated). This is why Jackson resonated with the public so strongly…he was resonating an intense new archetype for the Age.

And this is why Jackson was chosen to play Captain EO. Because the short film itself was trying to make a big statement about this new Age, this new Aeon. This is why you had the three biggest powerhouses in Hollywood—Coppola, Lucas, and Disney—making it. This is not an “accidental” thing. This video was a “statement,” originally screened in Epcot Center—the theme park dominated by the spherical geodesic dome called “Spaceship Earth.” EPCOT, an acronym for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.”

EPCOT: a futuristic geodesic dome a la Bucky Fuller

Let’s go back to the plot of the film. We see EO’s spacecraft, which looks weirdly archaic in design—almost like an early Wright Brothers-type aircraft—and has something on it which looks like wings. Inside the ship, we are introduced to several aliens and a robot who all looks like pastiches of creatures from earlier films.

Of particular interest are the names of the two-headed alien, “Idey” and “Odey.” The names sound similar to the ones the Heaven’s Gate cultists used, all with the -ody suffix.

in the center: Idey and Odey
Heaven’s Gate member Jwnody
Heaven’s Gate member Dstody (a.k.a. Thomas Alva Nichols, brother of “Star Trek’s” Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)

Then we meet Captain EO himself. He wears a white suit with a rainbow undershirt. He and his crew are described as lovable “losers,” who have to complete their assigned mission of giving the “key” to the Supreme Leader of a particular world.

Though they lose the map to the Supreme Leader’s world, they crash-land on it anyway. The world is a dystopian technological hell devoid of organic life. It looks very much like a similar world in the 1978 movie The Wiz, also featuring Michael Jackson and a very similar transmutation/”New Aeon” plotline.

the enslaved cogs of the Dystopia in “Captain EO”…
…and “The Wiz”

They are then taken prisoner taken to the Supreme Leader. Played by Anjelica Huston (who would later go on to portray the “dark goddess” Morticia Addams), she looks like an inorganic demon designed by H. R. Giger (her “look” will be replicated as that of the Borg Queen in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact).

Supreme Leader…
…and Star Trek’s “Borg Queen”

EO proclaims that his gift is to unlock the beauty within her. Then he breaks out into the first of two songs in the film, “We Are Here To Change The World.”

All the themes about enlightenment, a Utopian future world, and more are in the lyrics to this song:

“We’re on a mission

In the everlasting light that shines

A revelation

Of the truth in chapters of our minds

So long, bad times

We’re gonna shake it up and break it up

We’re sharing light brighter than the sun

Hello good times

We’re here to simulate, eliminate

An’ congregate, illuminate”

Then EO fights the cyborgs by shooting bolts of light from his hand. As his light hits the cyborgs, they turn into beautiful radiant humans. He then shoots his light into the Supreme Leader—she becomes a pretty goddess.

EO’s light also transforms the techno-kingdom into an idealized world complete with Grecian pillars.

The sight of Huston in her new clothing, between two pillars…this is the High Priestess card of the tarot, the Goddess between the pillars Boaz and Jachin.

This is heavy esoteric symbology—something co-writer Lucas, who was deeply acquainted with the works of Joseph Campbell, would not have been unaware of. (And think of Jackson’s status as the Moonwalker compared to the Skywalker of Lucas)

Now we get to the second song of the film, “Another Part Of Me”:

We’re takin’ over We have the truth

Don’t point your finger

Not dangerous

This is our planet

You’re one of us

We’re sendin’ out a major love

And this is our message to you (message to you)

The planets are linin’ up

We’re bringin’ brighter days

They’re all in line waitin’ for you

Can’t you see?

You’re just another part of me

Out from a nation

I feel the truth

The final message we’ll bring to you

There is no danger to feel the truth

So come again

We need you

While I see no overt connection between Captain EO and the Heaven’s Gate Cult (though who knows, maybe they watched that film at EPCOT; they were massive pop-culture sci-fi fans, so this possibility is not as crazy as it sounds), consider these song lyrics compared to this excerpt from one of the Heaven’s Gate transcripts, from the 1990s:

We’ll title this tape, ‘Planet Earth About to be Recycled— Your Only Chance to Evacuate is to Leave With Us.’ Planet Earth about to be recycled—Your only chance to survive or evacuate is to leave with us. Now, that’s a pretty drastic statement—pretty bold—in terms of religion, in terms of anybody’s intelligent thinking. To most people who would consider themselves intelligent beings, they’d say, ‘Well, that’s absurd. What’s all this doomsday stuff? What’s all this prophetic, apocalyptic talk?’ You know, intelligent human beings should realize that all things have their own cycle. They have their season. They have their beginning, they have their end. We’re not saying that planet Earth is coming to an end. We’re saying that planet Earth is about to be refurbished, spaded under, and have another chance to serve as a garden for a future human civilization.

Now, the next bodies they will receive once they die to Earth looks very much like space aliens, and physical features which one could attribute to Michael Jackson himself (especially in later years):

this is literally from the Heaven’s Gate website

We see fallen angels and space aliens as synonymous— fallen angels and space aliens are synonymous. And the Next Level—the only real extraterrestrials—have a body similar to the human body. The human body was made from the same basic design, the same general form, except the human body is more animal than that Next Level form. The human body has hair, needs teeth, has physical characteristics that are appropriate to this environment. When you go into an environment that does not require eating things that you have to pull off the bone, or crack the shells off the nut, then certainly teeth are not needed. A Next Level body in a non-earthly environment also needs no hair. That Next Level body is a creature that looks very attractive, has two eyes, some remnant of a nose, some remnant of ears—what you would call remnants—even though they function very well as nose, as ears.

And further on, the significance of the divine androgyne is elaborated on:

The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Evolutionary Level Above Human also has bodies. I wouldn’t say flesh bodies because they have different characteristics. But it is a physical body, a biological body, that humans need, for it’s not a mammalian body. It doesn’t reproduce. It’s not male nor female. It probably would look like what you might consider a very attractive “extraterrestrial.”

My point in quoting these passages is not to say that Captain EO was taken from Heaven’s Gate or vice-versa. But it is to say what I believe: that both the makers of this film and the HG cult—alongside many other artists, writers, filmmakers, and spiritual people—”received” these basic ideas from the same “well.”

(I do also want to point out that this is not an endorsement of HG, or saying that they were “right”—they did end up committing ritual suicide to ride the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet, after all. Everybody “takes” from this collective well and interprets the information in a way they see fit.)

Eos and Eosphoros?

The message of Captain EO is that a new age—a “New Earth”—is coming, an age after the “Second Wave” or the Second Industrial Revolution (symbolized by the inorganic techno-world). The harbinger or messiah of this new age is the literal Light-Bringer— Captain EO, Eosphoros, the Morning Star. Literally, “The Bringer Of Dawn,” reminiscent of the title of Barbara Marciniak’s book of channeled material from the alleged Pleiadians, Bringers Of The Dawn.

EO will use his light—Enlightenment, Illumination—to restore the Goddess and turn Earth back into an Eden-like paradise.

And EO is embodied in the androgynous figure of Michael Jackson—the Moonwalker, Peter Pan, Horus. “Captain EO,” written by George Lucas, who also penned a space opera featuring a young messianic figure known as the Skywalker.

There’s so much more that can be unpacked here, but this seems like a good start.


Editor’s Postscript: this was the 2nd version of an even earlier post—both drafts composed way before the Leaving Neverland documentary. Thus, my belief regarding the accusations of child abuse levied against Jackson at that time was that while I had a somewhat open mind regarding whether he committed the deeds or not, I was convinced that in any case he (and his handlers) gave these kids an unnecessary emotional burden. Which is to say: whether he actually physically assaulted them or not, he certainly emotionally “groomed” them and placed them in situations that were irresponsible.

Post-Leaving Neverland, I feel it is very possible more took place between Jackson and these kids & that indeed he was a sexual predator. That said, when you consider how profoundly the icon of Michael Jackson was “pushed” by tastemakers and pop-culture creators in the 80s and early 90s to the public …it really makes you think, doesn’t it? Especially with the esoteric aspects rolled into his persona. It is all quite bizarre.

The counter-argument to all this is that Lucas, Coppola, Disney, and the entertainment/media complex in general had no idea of what Jackson was allegedly doing—because certainly if they did, they would have cut ties with him. As a person who admittedly has been on the peripheries of the entertainment/media complex but has been there observing stuff…I can’t buy this counter-argument at face value. I’ve seen too much shit go down with people knowingly casting a blind eye, and heard of even more. The “open secret” is a very real thing.

But the interesting thing is that in some fringe circles, Jackson has now taken on the role of “framed by the deep state”—just another Conspiracy Hero, to add to his other roles as the King Of Pop, Moonwalker, Horus-Resonator, Peter Pan, and so on. He continues to mean different things to different people, passing on from the world of flesh and blood to that plastic realm of Symbology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s