It's been a few days since we caught up with Denis Villeneuve's fascinating and probing sci-fi drama Arrival, and we basically haven't stopped thinking about it since. Building off of a dense and complicated short story titled, appropriately, "The Story of Your Life," Arrival casts Amy Adams as a world-renowned linguist trying to figure out why aliens have come to our planet -- before the military blows them to smithereens.

The secret to Arrival ends up being language and communication, the ways that we speak to each other, and the different ways we can translate intent and meaning in words and phrases. The key to understanding the movie lies in the acceptance of an alien language Louise wants to understand this language so she can decipher WHY the aliens have come to our planet -- for the answer to that question will either lead to, or prevent, war.

That's far from the only question that we in the CinemaBlend offices have been throwing around after screening Arrival. So I'm going to talk through the following points, so I can better understand Villeneuve's complex masterpiece, and maybe help you guys figure out a few elements, as well. Needless to say, this story will be drenched in Arrival spoilers, so bail out now if you haven't yet seen the film.

What Is The Aliens' True Purpose?

It's my understanding that the aliens came to our planet to teach us how to understand heptapod, their circular language and method of communicating. And they had an important reason. Being able to read or speak in heptapod means that you are able to see a person's entire timeline -- their entire Life Sentence -- from start to finish. The aliens, through the use of this foreign language, are able to change our perceptions of time (because the past and future essentially can be seen at the same time). And in the future -- like, 3,000 years in the future -- the aliens are going to need mankind's help... for an undetermined issue. Understanding heptapod is the tool, or "weapon," the aliens are trying to share with humanity, because they know they are going to need us later.

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