Maybe you’re like me, and you never connected to Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ as much as you wanted to. That always bothered me, because although I loved the movie, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I should and I could never sort out what the problem was. Until now. I stumbled across a thread and realized ‘This Redditor Solved Interstellar for me.’ I’m passing along this scifi breakdown in case it helps you rediscover your lost love for this masterpiece of storytelling.
So as we all know, Interstellar features Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, and Anne Hathaway as they search for a new planet to support life in the face of Earth’s failing natural ecosystem. The discussion of time and multiverse travel always rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed like a logical tautology (“It is what it is”) but it never explained how the humans were able to achieve multiverse travel on their own. There seemed to be an assumption that future humans had solved the problem and then reached back to our multiverse to give us the clue. I never liked that answer.
But happily, it turns out I was wrong anyway – strap in and prepare for your mind to be blown: This Redditor solved Interstellar, and you’ll be glad they did. Incoming Scifi Breakdown in 3 … 2 … 1 …
I think “They” are AI from the future. If you reconstruct the movie with this idea it eliminates every paradox. The movie begins with Cooper and his children capturing a drone with highly efficient fuel cells. The fuel cells suggest that machines can out live human beings as they do not need food, and instead are efficiently powered by solar energy. The film plays with the idea of an artificial “humor setting” over and over again. Study AI and you realize that humor is one of the great frontiers of AI technology. A machine that understands humor and knows how to use a seemingly illogical human expression is a machine that is artificially intelligent, therefore, TARS is an early AI.
In the original timeline, humanity did go fully extinct, however, they left behind AI (Powered by solar energy) which evolved to a point where it could carry out the prime directive as determined by Isaac Asimov. This law of robotics is:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
In short, humanity went extinct, and was resurrected from the dead by AI.
This theory completely eliminates every paradox in the film, most notably, why would future human beings need to manipulate space and time to save themselves if they were already alive to do it? Also, how could future humans exist unless a wormhole was opened in the first place? This is inexplicable until you focus on TARS. If you re-watch the film with the AI theory in mind, it becomes apparent that man needs machine, and machine needs man, and it is logical for AI to save humanity for reasons which aid the machine. This is demonstrated when Cooper attempts to dock with the damaged Endurance, TARS questions Cooper and states that it is “impossible” based on his analysis of the situation. Cooper responds, “No, it’s necessary.” This is the key difference between man and machine. The human being will go beyond the impossible to the possible. A human being will create the logical out of the illogical.
I’m not going to post the entire thread – you can read it here – This Redditor goes to great pains to explain logically how the plot of Interstellar worked and I’m grateful for their scifi breakdown. It definitely means I’ll be re-watching Interstellar now. This explanation might help you as well, in your scifi discussions. No need to argue, just hold out the information and let it speak for itself.
Back to writing!