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I have been trying to collect references to HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Could the lens in Gerty 3000 from Moon (2009) be one? It might be a stretch, but to debunk this distracting thought perhaps you could help me find an official source. Otherwise it stands to be falsified: forever a distracting thought.

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Yes, and Duncan Jones has said as much in interviews. For example,

The robot in your film is fairly reminiscent of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Was Gerty an intentional homage to that film?

Yes. But there are many homages in the film, to many sci-fi films. Maybe more than the casual observer will pick up on!

The thing is, people who haven’t seen the film, but viewed the trailer, pick up on the 2001 vibe much more than people who have seen it. Mainly because Gerty, our robot, has a single lens eye, and a soothing voice. When you see the film though, you understand that this is a very different story, and Gerty is a very different robot than Hal. The aesthetic similarities are purely a loving homage.

A short SyFy article also quotes Jones on the similarities.

"We could have either completely ignored that or we could have ... accepted that people are going to make that connection and then sort of take their expectation and take it in a very different direction," Jones says.

It seems that Jones and company felt that comparisons were inevitable. Rather than try to avoid them, they embraced the idea while establishing a very different character for their film.

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I think it goes beyond the lens: the whole thing is a reference to HAL 9000.

  • it's named Gerty 3000, a very similar name
  • it speaks in a concerned male voice
  • it is artificial intelligence personified
  • its interaction with the male protagonist is a key focus of the movie

In fact, while watching Moon, I kept waiting for Gerty 3000 to pull a HAL 9000 and go homicidal.

  • You'd have to provide more substantial evidence to back this answer up given that AI personas and male voices are incredibly common on sci-fi films plus the model name is not that close IMO – EdChum - Reinstate Monica Apr 8 '15 at 15:43
  • what @EdChum said for "accepted answer", but I really get what you mean by the anticipation! – hello_there_andy Apr 8 '15 at 15:45
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    True, lots of AI out there -- but the Moon android immediately and continuously made me think of HAL. I can't say the same about C3P0 or any other movie AI that comes to mind. Also, Moon's plot is largely about interaction of AI with leading actor, just like 2001 (I added the fourth bullet to my answer to help drive this home). – Shiz Z. Apr 8 '15 at 16:22

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