The real-life collapse of the Arecibo Observatory used as a location in GoldenEye causes the Bond movie to trend due to the similarity to its movie fate. The 1995 movie was Pierce Brosnan's long-awaited debut as James Bond, after he lost out on the part in the 1980s to Timothy Dalton. GoldenEye relaunched the franchise after a six-year gap following Dalton's second outing, Licence To Kill in 1989. The rollicking movie was considered Brosnan's best in the role, not least because of its stunning action set pieces.
Sean Bean co-starred in the movie, introduced in the stunning opening sequence as 006/Alec Trevelyan before being seemingly killed off. He emerges later in the film, revealing himself as the villain running the crime organization Janus. His real on-screen death occurs atop a giant satellite dish in the jungle, with Bond kicking him off a platform above the dish. While he lies there dying, the platform explodes, causing it to collapse on him and the dish. It is one of Bond's most memorable kills, and one of Bean's most memorable on-screen deaths. Now, the real-life location used in the movie, Arecibo Observatory, which also featured in the N64 classic GoldenEye 007, has suffered the same fate.
Echoing the final scene of GoldenEye almost exactly, minus the helicopter and secret agents, NBC reported the platform had collapsed into the reflector dish on Tuesday. The original damage to the dish happened during Hurricane Maria in 2017, and there was further damage caused by earthquakes in 2019 and 2020. Bond fans immediately noticed the similarity of the images to the finale of GoldenEye and made the 25-year-old movie trend on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Some fans even joked the disaster was Bean's fault after he damaged it during filming of the movie. You can see some of the Twitter reactions below:
RIP to the best level in Goldeneye 64 https://t.co/I0d0Z2fcEH— Charlie Gile (@CharlieGileNBC) December 1, 2020
It's an incredibly ironic and strange turn of events for the real-life observatory, which was used for radio astronomy, atmospheric science, and radar astronomy research, as well as the search for extraterrestrial life. It didn't just appear in GoldenEye, having also featured in Jodie Foster sci-fi film Contact, where it was referred to by its real name. Hopefully, this isn't a sign that other famous scenes from Bond films come to life, as a number of famous landmarks could be in danger as a result.
Ironically, the MI6 building, which was blown up in Skyfall (2012), started spewing red smoke last week, with fans on Twitter claiming that perhaps it was a sign the new Bond had been chosen. Of course, the similarities are purely coincidental, and it's a pity that a piece of scientific and movie history was allowed to go to ruin.
Now Bond fans will have to wait until No Time to Die opens in theatre to see what future sites of destruction may be discovered in the latest exploits of our favorite British spy.