While two years may seem like a long time, eternity is much longer.
BTS member Jin appears as a white speck in a completely black universe in the “The Astronaut” logo clip. He floats past the moon, meteors, and even a dog that looks a much like his own. Nothing can hold him. He’s lost and by himself. Then, though, a flash of violet light.
Nine years after making her BTS debut, Jin releases her first single as a solo artist in this video. He plays the titular astronaut, whose reality broadens to encompass a different one. He transforms into their fantasy, and they become his sole source of heavenly light. Because both songs were co-written with Coldplay and use the ever-expanding cosmos to describe an all-encompassing love, “The Astronaut” serves as a sequel to “My Universe.” However, they also easily fit within Jin’s larger discography because he has always preferred to use themes of light and darkness to examine relationships that are dear to his heart.
Consider “Tonight” (2019), the first song Jin wrote on his own, which laments the loss of his family dog and sugar gliders. I fear that I won’t be able to see you when this night is through, and I worry that I’ll be left alone when this night is over. His other honest Soundcloud release also carries this yearning. In the 2020 film “Abyss,” Jin enters the dark, deep sea of his inner self while holding his breath. Even if it means drowning, he wants to communicate with himself. He can only feverishly swim after his shadow while circling without approaching it because he lacks a voice.
Strangely, the ideas above are repeated in works he did not contribute to. In Front of the Post Office in Fall,” Yoon Dohyun’s song that laments the transience of life as the day gives way to night, was covered by Jin in 2018. Additionally, Jin sings about getting lost in a growing darkness and looking for another before morning in the song “Yours” for the Korean drama Jirisan (2022). Before his bleak anxiety transforms into something pleading, he thinks, “Have I been trapped in this place?” Every time you feel too far away, I tell myself to “keep waiting in this spot,” “see you in my heart every night,” and “every time I do, I end up crying.”
One cannot not but stand out amongst such melodies. He sings that “everyone believes I’m gorgeous, but / my sea is in fact pitch-black / A star where flowers flourish and the sky is deep blue: / the one that’s genuinely wonderful is you” in “Moon,” a solo track for Map of the Soul: 7 (2020). He goes on to say that they continue to look over him even when he is depressed or hurt. He promises to reflect light back on them by orbiting them as the Moon would the Earth. Finally, a relationship exists where both individuals are still noticed, seen, and loved by the other. Who else except ARMY, BTS’s followers, could inhabit Earth?
Therefore, it makes total sense that the aimless and lonely astronaut would have a drastic change in luck after discovering the purple light. The other’s identity can be inferred by the colour, and Jin has stated that “The Astronaut” was also designed with the ARMY in mind. Jin utilises the song to express precisely what kind of impact the ARMY has had on him as a gift to his fans before he departs to complete the minimum 18-month necessary military service.
The Army has firstly given him a feeling of direction. Jin had formerly resembled “that asteroid drifting by without a destination” in many ways. However, their chance encounter made him into their ideal partner so they could “explore the universe” together. These were Jin’s top pick for the song’s lyrics in a behind-the-scenes interview. He said, “When I met our followers, the fans had things they wanted to see, and I eventually found something to pursue. I didn’t have a mission or a dream I wanted to attain.” The words are given a made-up narrative in the music video. It implies that Jin is an extraterrestrial being who has become lost on Earth and who had been living a lifeless until he was drawn into the life of a teenage neighbour.
Second, ARMY has pushed him to verbalise a variety of emotions. Through his newfound friendship, Alien Jin gains an understanding of curiosity, fulfilment, and pride. Jin, the singer of the song, is jubilant as she sings, “and I adore you,” before adding, “when I’m with you, / there is no one else / I feel this way I’ve never felt.” Real world Kim Seokjin has developed into a man who can release songs about his innermost suffering alongside ones that are lighthearted trots about capturing a mega tuna. Jin has even asked for darker material to be cut out of shows due to his own preference for keeping the tone light and his conviction that his work is largely that of an entertainer. Nevertheless, he admitted in his letter for “Abyss” and subsequent interviews an increasing urge to express his melancholy through music if not in his daily existence.
Third, Jin has come to feel that ARMY is his eternal home due to their track record. “The Astronaut” opens, “You and me / A history that will never end / Oh, the story of “us” where you became my cosmos,” in contrast to earlier songs that were drenched in melancholy owing to an impending end date. Jin tells their origin tale as a result, fully anticipating a bright future. The song’s ecstatic chorus, “And you, you are my universe / And you make my world light up inside,” from BTS’s earlier collaboration with Coldplay, “My Universe” (2021), serves as another indicator of the relationship’s all-encompassing nature.
The song’s music video’s turning point comes when Jin decides to let his eagerly anticipated spaceship take off without him. As we see flashbacks of interactions with his neighbour, we also hear him say, “Heaven coming through,” as his voice rises above the arid landscape. The crucial statement made by Jin that a person is the centre of the universe—his entire universe—is that very instant. Someone who has given him meaning, emotion, and a sense of belonging.
He truly expresses the song “And I love you” in whatever he does as a superstar. It is a freely given love that has blossomed as a result of their affection for him. All of Jin’s songs about returned love exhibit this mutuality: both individuals recognising the worth of the other and establishing the relationship on that basis. As a result, Jin may add, “If they’re loving it, I do, too,” even if he claims that he only performs things because the ARMY likes them. It’s unusual for a single individual to laugh alone, after all. We all share a laugh. I was searching for that sort of discussion.
BTS and ARMY are undoubtedly “embroidering this long night” together, sewing stars into their common night sky, as the song “My Universe” puts it. Jin had frequently described a black canvas as a dismal expanse, but today it sparkles with each unique incident of happiness. This theme is sweetly continued in “The Astronaut,” which acknowledges how they have turned into one another’s heaven and home. While two years may seem like a long time, eternity is much longer.