The Master’s thesis "Inventing Armageddon: Technology as Apocalyptic Threat in Science Fiction Movies" investigates the significance of technology throughout the history of the science fiction genre. Since the dawn of civilization technological innovations have shaped and influenced human development and science fiction has incorporated those changes into its stories, be it the invention of the steam engine, x-rays, or the discovery of electricity. Technology has always been used for good and bad, constructive as well as destructive causes. However, in the entire history of mankind there has been one invention which possesses the potential to confront humanity with the threat of complete annihilation: the atomic bomb. This thesis will argue that this event has caused a crucial paradigm shift within the science fiction genre towards a more critical and pessimistic attitude regarding the representation of technological innovations, resulting in the emergence of techno-apocalyptic fiction.
This thesis will focus on three movies that represent significantly different stages of science fiction history: "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), "WarGames" (1983) and "The Matrix" (1999). A close examination of each of these movies will illustrate how their individual historical and socio-political contexts have influenced the techno-induced apocalyptic scenarios portrayed in each of these examples.