The movie October Sky deals with a lot of themes that still exist in societies all over the world today.
One of the main themes and perhaps the most obvious is the inspiring idea of chasing one's dream and never giving up until success is found. In the movie, we find Homer Hickam, an average small-town boy, intrigued by the launch of Soviet satellite Sputnik and infatuated with the idea of joining the space race and making his own rockets. Homer becomes inspired to better himself. He wants to successfully build rockets and with further encouragement from his teacher, Miss Riley, he and his friends enter a science fair in which they have the chance to receive college scholarships. This is Homer's dream and he sets his goals accordingly to achieve his dream. Homer doesn't allow any obstacle, even family troubles, to stop him from obtaining his dream. His recognition of his goals and persistence in achieving them is a very admirable thing to do and is something that still happens all the time.
Over different decades the dreams may change and the challenges one face to achieve them may be different but no matter what decade, people are always going to have dreams and goals they want to achieve in their lives. Every person has a desire to be successful and happy. Success and achievement of dreams does not come easy. A person must have determination to be successful and the theme of aspiring to a goal and a better life does not go away over decades, no matter how big or small the dream is.
Family conflict is another theme that is universal for many reasons. In several ways, family conflict is combined with the theme of the generation gap. This is because family conflict is often caused by a lack of understanding between people and that most often occurs between adults and children/teenagers.
In October Sky, the conflict between Homer and his father, John, was in many ways inevitable. Homer and John were bought up in very different worlds. John grew up in a traditional world where most things were black or white - right or wrong and things were always done the same way. Homer is living his teenage years in a time where the future of small towns is uncertain and the United States is being dragged into a technological age. Growing up in such different worlds leaves the two with very different thoughts and perspectives on just about everything which means they are no doubt going to clash on those points. Their different perspectives cause Homer and John to rarely see eye to eye on things. The only thing they seemed to have in common was the fact that they were both very stubborn and that worked against them.
Family conflicts are often inevitable, even to this day. The generation gap between Homer and John that caused a lot of their problems obviously still occurs between families in every country of our decade and will probably still occur for the rest of time.
The themes dealt with in October Sky, such as the pursuit of a dream, family conflict, generation gap and more such as financial problems have been around for a long time and probably for a long time to come.