Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Did you watch Interstellar and think: what the hell was that all about?

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Interstellar movie – Another dimension?!

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


– The Poem from Interstellar

I’ll try to explain the most questions.

When does Interstellar take place?

There’s no title card at any point giving a date, and Nolan has been cagey about specific details. A clue comes from the early dialogue between Coop (McConaughey) and his father-in-law, Donald (John Lithgow), during an amateur-looking baseball game which tells us it was late 21st century.

Why do they want to leave Earth, anyway?

In short: blight, food shortages, and lack of oxygen. According to the book The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne, the film imagines a future where a combination of catastrophes reduces the population of North America tenfold or more, with similar consequences for the rest of the world.

What’s all this ghost stuff about?

Coop’s daughter, Murph (Mackenzie Foy), complains to her father of a “ghost” that throws books around her room, poltergeist-style, and appears to leave messages. Coop later realises that it is not a ghost, but a gravitational anomaly. The anomaly leaves messages in binary code: GPS coordinates that lead Coop and Murph to the NASA base. We also later discover that a message has been left in Murph’s watch by “them”. As it turns out, gravitational anomalies have been detected by Brand’s team of scientists for almost 50 years – around the same time that a wormhole appeared near Saturn. It’s ultimately revealed that these anomalies have been sent, in part, by Coop himself, via the tesseract. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

What is the gravity equation?

Essentially, the gravity equation is Professor Brand’s attempt to control gravity. The gravitational anomalies observed by Coop, Murph and Professor Brand lead to a complete reevaluation of the scientific understanding of gravity.

Plan B?

Brand has a back-up plan. If he can’t evacuate the human population on Earth using his gravity equation, he will repopulate humanity on a new planet using fertilised eggs, abandoning those still on Earth. Later in the film, on his deathbed, Brand admits that the whole mission was a lie: he was unable to solve the gravity equation without entering a black hole, so ‘Plan B’ was really ‘Plan A’.

What is that wormhole?

Did you really asked this question? Well, okay… In order to find a new home, humanity needs to find a new planet in a distant corner of the universe – and the only way to get to a distant corner of the universe is through a wormhole. Luckily, a wormhole appears near Saturn, the most significant gravitational anomaly of all, a “disturbance of space-time”, leading to a distant galaxy.

Who put the wormhole there?

Later in the film, Coop interprets “they” as “us”. “They didn’t bring us here at all”, Coop tells the robot, TARS. “We brought ourselves.” It is Coop himself who sent himself the coordinates to NASA and the quantum data from the tesseract.

Why does time move faster on Miller’s planet?

Due to Gargantua’s massive gravitational pull, “every hour on that planet is seven years on Earth”. After a massive tidal wave hits the spacecraft and delays their exit, they find that 23 years have passed on Earth.

What’s love got to do with it?

Love is a key theme in the film. It leads to some scenes that tend to divide people into two camps – those who think it is a powerful and emotional antidote to the film’s heavy scientific concepts; and those who think it is cheesy sentimental hogwash.

 Love is the one thing that we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.

What exactly is that weird bookshelf kaleidoscope acid trip thing?

This is referred to in the script as the ‘tesseract’. In geometry, a tesseract is a ‘hypercube’, a four-dimensional version of a cube: a tesseract is to a cube as a cube is to a square. In Interstellar, it is where Coop and TARS enter after passing through the event horizon (the boundary at which not even light can escape) of the Gargantua black hole.

More questions?

Take a look on the reddit channel, some interesting theories are mentioned there.

 

I’ll start a new mini series on my Blog which analyses some movies (which i think are worth to mention). Just use the “Movies analysed” tag to find it.

I hope you liked it! 🙂

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One thought on “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

  1. I think putting “love” in movies are aimed at the stupid majority who like to see romantic bullcrap in every movie they watch. Love love love, like they’re telling us something new. Really cheesy and boring concept since the invention of cinema. Get real, movie makers!

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