I've always loved Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. As a teenager I read it more than once, I think long before seeing the Disney movie. To me, Captain Nemo (latin for "no man") was the good guy, and I couldn't imagine a better life than being a member of his swarthy, muscular, all male crew! The Nautilus was an invincible machine - powered with the same energy as the sun! How cool was that? The entire ocean was their uncontested "turf", and they had no need to go back to the land... ever. The land was the domain of stupid rules, stupid wars and stupid people. The sea was the domain of freedom, and even as a 14 year old I knew that was a good thing.
"The sea is everything... an immense reservoir of nature where I roam at will..." --Nemo
Ned Land (natch) represented the land, and handsome as he was, I still hated him. Here he was in paradise, and all he could think about was how to get off! It wasn't until I was much older that I realized his desire to leave was tied to his gonads. Ned needed to fuck, and there were no women on board the Nautilus. Of the three Nautilus "rescuees", Ned was the driving force to leave, to mutiny.
Ned is a harpooner; a whaler. A whale is of course Leviathan - the Behemoth of the sea. Moby Dick was Ahab's nemesis, and a metaphor for fate, or God (fate with an agenda). Ahab's enemy was a sperm whale, invoking the masculine. The sperm whale literally dines on giant squid (Kraken) so when the Nautilus is attacked by a Kraken, we see it as it really is: a great phallic "whale" which has just swallowed Ned! Ned always considered himself the cock of the block, no wonder he didn't much appreciate it.
Ned becomes Pinocchio and Jonah, and even Han Solo, swallowed by the giant space slug.
Disney's 1954 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was probably the first Steampunk movie. The Disney Nautilus featured reptilian plating that evoked a great metal Ichthyosaur - a sea dragon. It even had a "rose" window with the distinctive Flux Capacitor motif. James Mason played Nemo, so as usual, we have a Mason playing God.
Nemo is the prototype Bond Villain - a man bent on saving the world by destroying it. Driven by vengeance and empathy for the oppressed (being personally familiar with the evils of so-called civilization), maybe he figured that he couldn't do any worse than the status quo. (That's always been my beef with the Super Heroes - all they ever manage is a restoration of the already appalling status quo.)
"They lack vision." --Darth Sidious
One of my favorite Bond movies is The Spy Who Loved Me, which features megalomaniac shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg and his ultra-cool submersible headquarters, "Atlantis". Besides trips to the pyramids, Ringo's wife Barbara Bach as agent "Triple X", and the iconic (rear engine) Lotus Esprit car-submarine, the plot revolves around Stromberg's new super tanker, the Liparus. The Liparus literally "swallows" nuclear submarines as if they were sardines - Stromberg's base is in Sardinia. Another whale tale.
The Nautilus' namesake is a cephalopod whose shell forms a logarithmic spiral - an expanding fractal. It is a predator that feeds mainly on shrimp and small fish - sardines. A model of the Ouroboros?
As Steve Willner points out in Ouroboros, CERN, and a Trip Through the Water Door, "galactic alignment" is all about Ouroboros. Maybe it's time I get in touch with my inner Jonah.
Apparently, Jules Verne was a suspected homosexual. No wonder I like his books.