his latest film, Battlefield Earth, John Travolta
undertakes the role of a nine-foot tall alien with glowing amber
eyes, a grotesquely elongated head and hook like talons for hands,
but says, “You’ll recognize me.”
Travolta has come a long way from the good-looking, but naive and
eccentric bad boy, Vinnie Barbario, he portrayed in Welcome
Back Kotter. Now, at the pinnacle of power, Travolta is co-producing
and starring in the screen adaptation of Scientology founder L.
Ron Hubbard’s pulp sci-fi novel, Battlefield Earth.
Throughout his career, Travolta has flirted with themes of good,
bad and baddest. From a scruffy, not entirely angelic, archangel
Michael, to Face Off’s challenging play on dichotomy,
Travolta has found roles that allow him to remain the innocent (though
somewhat jaded) eccentric good guy while legitimately exploring
the darker aspects of his nature. He has now come full spectrum,
shedding all redeeming human qualities to characterize the evil
actor compares what he sees as being the film’s theme with modern
day society, saying, “It’s kind of about what’s happening on Planet
Earth. You’ve got your criminal element, your good guys, the search
for gold...when you see it, you’re going to see some parallels.”
Through the lens of astrology we also see some interesting parallels
to the man himself, with the film's two main characters representing
exaggerated caricatures of opposing parts of Travolta’s own psyche.
Goodboy: Aquarius Sun
film tells of an Earth that has been enslaved by an alien species.
The story follows a human survivor, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler—strong,
brilliant, handsome, compassionate, well-loved and altruistic—an
all around wonderful guy and truly superior being—as he unites mankind
and leads a revolution to overcome the alien overlords who have
been plundering the planet of its resources.
February 18, 1954, at 2:53 pm, in Englewood NJ, Travolta has the
Sun in Aquarius in the Eighth House. Uranus, the planet linked to
Aquarius, is in the Twelfth House. In the highest sense, Aquarius
represents the ideal man—the perfected being that has liberated
himself from the limitations of time and space. Often artistically
depicted as an angel, the immortal messenger to mankind from the
Gods, it is concerned with connecting humanity to the divine while
saving it from its animal nature. Uranus, the planet linked to Aquarius,
is the planet of non-conformity, radical ideas, freedom and extraordinary
born when the Sun is in the sign of Aquarius are known to be fair,
just and reasonable, but also idealistic, with an air of superiority.
Each is gifted with their own particular brand of eccentricity.
With Uranus in the Twelfth House, the individual also feels connected
to the divine (Twelfth House), and confined by earthly life, finding
it difficult to submit and live by earthly rules (Uranus).
the Alien Beast: Pluto in Leo
the film, humanity has been reduced to scattered remnants by the
invasion of the Psychlos, an evil alien race governed solely by
the desire for profit and the love of cruelty. Our hero, Jonnie
Goodboy, is pitted against Terl, the nefarious head of security
for the extraterrestrial’s mining operations. He is the baddest
of the bad with absolute authority and the power to do anything
his horoscope, Travolta’s Aquarius Sun is pitted against (in
opposition to) his Pluto in Leo. Pluto, named for the mythological god of the
underworld, is the planet of metamorphosis. It is the powerful force
of our instinctive nature to evolve. At the grossest level, it is
our most base animal instincts—a malefic and dark force that encompasses
the nasty aspects of mankind: greed, jealousy, revenge, obsession,
desecration, death, annihilation, subversion and conflict—all those
scary things that could lead to the destruction of life as we know
a personal level, Pluto is the alien aspect of our nature, something
about ourselves we find completely unacceptable but are unconsciously
drawn to experience and change. When Pluto is in Leo, the individual’s
love of personal power and authority (Leo) is under pressure to
evolve (Pluto). In its most negative expression, this translates
into an individual who is motivated solely by an obsessive desire
for the power to be, do and have anything he wants, regardless of
the harm he might cause either himself or another.
Will to Power: Sun-Pluto
Sun-Pluto opposition reveals that these two characters (perhaps
less exaggerated) represent warring factions of Travolta’s psyche,
making him a confrontational man who assumes his self-will (Sun)
will be frustrated (opposition) by a world he sees as peopled by
controlling villains (Pluto in Leo). It is alien to Jonnie Goodboy
that it could be his own will to power that forces confrontations.
This makes it predictable that Travolta’s life would involve encounters
that would give him the opportunity to experience the use and abuse
of personal power, and that these encounters would spark off an
unconscious urge to purify himself, kill off the baddies and save
long affiliation with Scientology is well-known. He is its primary
celebrity spokesperson. The church is rumored to have financially
backed, at least in part, the production of Battlefield Earth.
This has led some to believe the film is a subversive attempt to
indoctrinate mankind in Scientology beliefs. Travolta, of course,
denies all this.
Travolta does say that getting Battlefield Earth made
is “the pinnacle of using my power for something.”
can get things done that a studio might not normally do,” he told
the New York Daily News. “I told my manager, ‘If we
can’t do the things now that we want to do, what good is power?’
Let’s test it and try to get the things done we believe in.”
it really be that John Travolta is a closet (Twelfth House) revolutionary
(Uranus) whose life is centered (Sun) around enlightening mankind
(Aquarius) to its underlying motivations and mysteries (Eighth House),
but feels his ability to do this would be thwarted (opposition)
by those in places of power (Pluto), leading him to use the power
of his own celebrity (Leo) to subversively (Pluto) get his message
to mankind (Aquarius)?