Jodie Foster stars as scientist Ellie Arroway, who has dedicated her life to searching for possible intelligent lifeforms outside of Earth and our solar system. An orphan from an early age, her faith in God has wavered since the days of trying to futilely contact her mother in heaven through the radio, replaced by a firm belief in science and facts as the pinnacle of what’s true and right. While her faith that we are not alone in the universe is unwavering, as a scientist, she won’t rest until she has absolute proof. Scanning the skies for radio waves of intelligent extraterrestrial origin, she and her team at SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) wait diligently for a message. That day finally arrives when they pick up a repeating signal emanating from Vega, a star system 26 light-years away. As the scientists work diligently to try to decode the message, the Earth erupts in a series of science vs. religion debates on what this all means, and who should be the one who represents our interests should we come face to face with the originator of the message.