After watching Arrival, I read up on it. Many posts online talk about the aliens saying they'll need help in 3,000 years. So I watched it again when Louise talks to them 1-on-1. They only speak in their language, no translation. On a whim, I turned subtitles on, in the subtitles we see what they're saying. Are all these posts from folks who watched with subtitles or was it mentioned somewhere else in the movie and I missed it?

  • The subtitles were there in the theatrical release. I'm surprised the DVD/Blu-Ray version wouldn't have them enabled by default.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 14:20
  • I watched on iTunes and it did not include the subtitles. Thanks! Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 16:28
  • 2
    @Steve-O Wow, I got the DVD at the weekend and watched it, and this section was subtitled, the rest of the film was not. Wonder how this has got screwed up for some people! This of course makes this a valuable question. The scene in question must have been completely baffling first time through! Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


It happens when she goes back alone to ship after the blast and Costello explains it all to her (around 1:24). The conversation goes like this:

Louise has weaponUse weapon I don't understandWhat is your purpose here? We help humanityIn three thousand years We need humanity help

They said that in an alien language only which got translated to audience in subtitle.

  • Wow, those subtitles are not on the iTunes version I watched last night (and re-watched the scene this morning). It sure makes for a different moment when they're omitted and you're watching for the first time. :) Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 16:32
  • Gah! I just watched this last night, with no subs - and by the time I got to the end I wanted to throw something at the screen. I'm not sure knowing it should have had subs would have improved it in any way, or whether the entire experience just annoyed me too much to now care. We spent the next hour on IMDB wondering how in hell's name it got an 8.0 & where this 3000 years came from :/
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 8:09
  • It's not there on the Netflix version too Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 22:59

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