Everyone dreams of going into space. Richard Garriott is not at all like everyone else, but he did fulfill a dream to actually go into space.
As part of the Indy's Big Sky Documentary Film Festival coverage, read this review of Man on a Mission, which screens this afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Wilma.
Man on a Mission
As an avid space buff, I'm a little embarrassed I had never heard of Richard Garriott. His story is worth learning in Man on a Mission, if only for the strangely charming character study.
Richard's father was Owen Garriott, an astronaut in the '70s and '80s who spent more than two months aboard early space stations Skylab and Spacelab. Richard dreamed of becoming an astronaut but poor eyesight made it impossible. So instead, he developed video games, creating some of the first fantasy role-playing games, like Akalabeth and Ultima. The games make him rich enough to buy a $30 million ticket into space aboard a Russian rocket and 12 days on the International Space Station. Oh, and he commonly goes by his other name, Lord British, refuses to cut his braided ponytail and lives in a haunted house/museum adorned with various medieval items.
Yeah, that sounds worthy of a documentary.
Despite his many eccentricities, the surprise here is that Richard seems like a genuinely decent and interesting guy, and the proof is that we never sense a hint of resentment from his fellow astronauts and cosmonauts during a year of training and two weeks in space. What's more, his father appears to be legitimately excited for and proud of his son.
- Review by Dave Loos