Interstellar Ending Explained: Time Travel and The Real Science!

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Interstellar Ending Explained

Christopher Nolan’s interstellar is a 2014 epic science fiction film that he co-wrote, directed, and produced. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Matt Damon, and Michael Caine are among the actors featured.

The film depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is in peril and follows a crew of astronauts as they enter an interstellar wormhole near Saturn in search of a new habitable planet for humanity to call home.

It was written by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, brothers who got their start in the industry with a script that Jonathan wrote in 2007.

Christopher and his wife Emma Thomas produced the film Interstellar through their company Syncopy, and Christopher and Lynda Obst produced the film through their respective companies.

Successful theoretical physicist at Caltech who won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics The film’s scientific advisor and co-writer, Kip Thorne, also contributed to the film’s official tie-in book, The Science of Interstellar.

The film was funded in part by Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Legendary Pictures. Director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema used the 35mm Panavision anamorphic format and the IMAX 70mm format.

In late 2013, principal photography began in Alberta, Iceland, and Los Angeles. Double Negative, who also created the film’s digital effects, worked extensively with practical and miniature effects to create Interstellar.

Plot Summary

Interstellar Ending ExplainedCooper, a former NASA pilot, is relegated to a life of farming in the year 2067. He disregards Murph’s claims that a ghost is speaking to her through her bookshelf but then notices a peculiar pattern of dust on her bedroom floor.

He follows the clues and finds a hidden NASA facility where Professor Brand explains that humanity can no longer survive on Earth due to blight, dust storms, and failing crops.

The current top-secret mission at NASA is to design a spaceship that can transport humans to another planet in search of a new home. Brand says he has a gravity equation in the works that will make this possible, and he wants Cooper to pilot the mission.

Cooper nods and tells a sobbing Murph he’ll be back soon. A shuttle carrying Romilly, Doyle, and Brand’s daughter Amelia docks with Endurance under his command.

The vessel is making its way toward a wormhole that appeared decades ago near Saturn. The Endurance enters the other galaxy through the wormhole, where they find a solar system orbiting a supermassive black hole known as Gargantua.

The crew plans to check out three planets that have already been explored by NASA explorers who have reported back that they are habitable. There is no dry land on the first planet and its oceans are constantly churning with enormous tides.

Due to the time dilation caused by the planet’s proximity to Gargantua, Amelia and Cooper return to the Endurance decades after Doyle’s death. Romilly has aged 23 years since he joined the ship.

After reviewing his Earth-bound messages, Cooper finds out that Murph is now his age and has settled into his role as a scientist for Brand. In order to guarantee a NASA mission to his planet and be rescued, the previous investigator, Dr. Mann, fabricated data.

Interstellar Ending Explained

After Romilly is killed by Mann’s booby trap, Mann tries to hijack the Endurance but messes up the docking and blows himself out of the hatch. The damaged Endurance finally comes to a safe docking, and Cooper and Amelia are there to greet it.

Cooper suggests they use Gargantua as a slingshot to get to the final planet because they don’t have enough fuel to run their engines for very long.

Cooper decides to make a dramatic weight loss sacrifice by falling into the black hole and leaving Amelia to finish the journey without him.

Cooper flies past the event horizon and into a tesseract, a hypothetical spacetime structure with five dimensions. Since the wormhole also appears to have been placed there by future humans with access to higher dimensions, he draws the conclusion that the two are related.

It clicks with him that he can communicate with Murph and his earlier self by using gravity. After Professor Brand dies, Murph travels to Earth to pay her respects at her childhood home. On her bookshelf, she discovers her late father’s old watch, the second hand of which is jerking around.

She is convinced her “ghost” has returned, but it turns out to be Cooper sending her messages from another dimension.

Cooper provides Murph with information about the singularity of the black hole, which she uses to solve the gravity equation and free humanity from Earth. Cooper’s time in the tesseract is over, and the beings of the future kick him out.

The wormhole transports him back, where he is picked up by a ranger in Saturn’s orbit. It has been almost ninety years in Earth-time since Cooper left, but he has barely aged due to the time slippage around Gargantua.

On a space station, he finds Murph, by then a famous scientist for saving humanity from extinction, waiting for him.

She tells Cooper that she is dying and that he should go find Amelia on the other planet so that they can make it their new home before she passes away. Cooper takes off on an adventure in a stolen spaceship.

A new human colony is being established by Amelia on the other planet. She takes off her protective gear and takes a deep breath, proving that the planet is habitable.

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Ending Explained

How Did Murph Know Where Brand Was at The End of Interstellar?

interstellar ending explained

Cooper spends the entire film trying to get home to his kids, so it might seem odd that he would voluntarily take off again at the end of the film after being reunited with Murph for only about 30 seconds.

Cooper’s decision to follow Murph’s advice and return through the wormhole in search of Brand is strange enough; however, it’s also puzzling how Murph knew where Brand was or that she was still alive.

We never get a straight answer to this in Interstellar, but we can make some assumptions based on the movie.

Cooper learns that Murph has been in cryosleep for the past two years on Cooper Station, but that she was awakened the moment she heard about his discovery and set out to find him.

Cooper takes in the sights of the space station, sets up housekeeping in a carbon copy of his Earth home, and fixes TARS while he waits for Murph to arrive. Assumably, he has also been fully debriefed about what occurred on the Endurance during this time period.

After all, he is still a NASA pilot who has returned from a government-authorized mission, even if he has been absent for decades. One of the first things to do is to get his official story of what happened.

The significance of Murph to NASA and humanity by the end of Interstellar suggests that Cooper would have had access to the final report as soon as it was finished.

Since this is the first time Murph and Coop have seen each other in decades, it stands to reason that she is aware of everything he went through on his mission, including his decision to jettison himself into the black hole to ensure Brand’s safe arrival on Edmunds’ planet.

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Isn’t the Ending of Interstellar a Paradox?

interstellar ending explained

Major questions arise once Cooper learns near the end of Interstellar that “They” are the humans of the future who built the tesseract and the wormhole to ensure the survival of the humans of the past.

The most glaring of these is the question of how people from the future are supposed to save those from the past if they themselves cannot survive without them. Known as a “bootstrap paradox,” this is when an event’s supposed cause ends up being its effect.

Although it defies logic, there could be a plausible explanation within the context of Interstellar.

Humanity might have perished in the “original” timeline, but Brand’s “Plan B” colony on Edmunds’ planet might have survived, evolved, and one day developed the ability to time travel and change the past, thereby creating a new timeline.

Time in Interstellar isn’t linear, but there may be a simpler explanation that doesn’t require multiple timelines to work.

Throughout the film, a number of characters go to great lengths to explain that our current understanding of time may be extremely limited, and that future human may have a very different experience of time than we do.

This may indicate that the conventional wisdom that the cause must come before the effect is false. Perhaps in the Interstellar universe, time isn’t a line, and our firm belief that cause and effect can only move in one direction is a symptom of how little we understand.

 

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