Maximillian (The Black Hole)


Maximillian is a fictional character who appears in Disney's motion picture The Black Hole.

Technical Specifications

Maximillian was constructed by Dr. Hans Reinhardt, effectively replacing the robot trooper S.T.A.R. as Reinhardt's assistant aboard the "U.S.S. Cygnus". Maximillian was apparently not programmed to speak, communicating only through his actions and the eerie glow of his single red optical sensor. Maximillian nevertheless served as an effective enforcer of Reinhardt's will. Painted entirely red with silver claws, Maximillian was taller than humans, only vaguely humanoid himself, with 'legs' that served to control his altitude and direction. He was designed with six arms, three on each side, which were mounted on a rotary swivel and could be switched out as needed. Each pair of arms was equipped with high-speed rotary claws, magnetic clamps, and laser blasters.

History

There is no clear telling of how Maximillian was originally built, but the novel version of the movie, written by Alan Dean Foster, has some hints, from which the following descriptions are the sum of. When the Cygnus' First Officer Frank McRae began revolting against Reinhardt along with the entire crew, Reinhardt reprogrammed the ships sentry robots to capture the crew. Officer McRae was badly injured and after the mutiny, Reinhardt began experimenting on McRae, as well as the rest of the crew, for his skills of keeping the crew mechanically alive as his slaves. However, several of his attempts were failures and in the process McRaes body became more and more ruined and destroyed as well as his mind. Finally, having seen, that McRaes body was no more in the shape of being experimented on, Reinhardt decided to build a metallic body around him. And so, Maximillian was created. This perhaps is evident during the film. As for the rest of the crew, Reinhardt turned them into humanoid robots.

Shortly after the crew of the "U.S.S. Palomino" arrived on board the "Cygnus" to investigate its presence on the event horizon of the nearby black hole, Maximillian intercepted the crew and targeted V.I.N.CENT, approaching it menacingly until Reinhardt explained to Maximillian that they were not a threat.

Maximillian seemed to have little respect for other robots aboard the ship; this was particularly evinced in the way that it casually knocked Old B.O.B. aside when requisitioning replacement parts for the damaged "Palomino". It had little respect for human life as well; after Dr. Kate McRae and Alex Durant learned of the true fate of the "Cygnus" crew and tried to escape the ship, Maximillian cornered Durant and killed him in a particularly brutal way, despite Reinhardt's protests that Durant was a "good man." Reinhardt himself seemed to fear Maximillian, and at one point he whispered to Dr. Kate that he needed to be protected from the hulking red machine (though this could have merely been a form of psychological manipulation in order to win the trust of the Palomino's crew, and possibly even gain their sympathy).

The degree of Maximillian's loyalty to Reinhardt was unclear. After the "Cygnus" started to fall into the black hole, the spaceship began to break up under the gravitational stress. Reinhardt was pinned by a falling wall panel, but his pleas for Maximillian's help were ignored. The robot instead proceeded to the probe ship as previously ordered; though it's possible it may have just considered the first ordered task 'more important'. This also could be a hint, that Maximillian was against Reinhardt in some occasion, as he had been created from a human. Maximillian then encountered V.I.N.CENT and Old B.O.B., badly damaging the older robot with a laser blast. Maximillian battled V.I.N.CENT, and appeared to get the better of him, until V.I.N.CENT produced a tiny rotary saw that burrowed into Maximillian's circuitry. Maximillian was disabled, emitted an animalistic shriek as he was sent tumbling through a breach in the ship's hull and into the black hole.

Inside the Black Hole


Through the eyes of Kate McCrae, Maximillian appeared to find Dr. Reinhardt in space outside the black hole, somehow merging together so that Reinhardt was effectively trapped inside the body of Maximillian. Peering through the red-tinted lens of Maximillian's optic sensor, Reinhardt was doomed to spend eternity in a fiery afterlife reminiscent of Hell.

References

The connection between Dr. Hans Reinhardt and 'Maximilian' nearly resembles that story of Dr. Faust from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Faust signs a pact with the devil and in return got whatever he pleased from him, but after his death his soul would be lost forever. The movie directly points to that specifically, showing 'Maximilian' in hell with the 'soul' of Dr. Hans Reinhardt trapped inside for eternity.

Trivia

In the movie, both a miniature scale-model of Maximillian in addition to a full-scale model were used for filming.

The full-scale model of Maximillian is currently on display at MGM Studios in Orlando, FL.

Strings can be seen attached to Maximillian several times during the fight with V.I.N.CENT near the end of the film.

The robot had already been named Maximillian before Disney cast Maximillian Schell as Hans Reinhardt.


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