In "Interstellar," the Earth is dying and it's up to Cooper, Brand, Romilly, Doyle, and TARS to find a new planet suitable for life. Their journey is perilous, difficult, awe-inspiring, and mind-blowing. Not everyone makes it back alive.
It's a shame the explorers didn't have a high-end unified communications system in place. Things would have been a lot easier.
That water planet looks pretty safe from up here...The Endurance hovers over Miller, a planet named for the scientist who first landed there. Two problems immediately stand out:
- The planet is entirely covered in water.
- Miller is so close to a black hole that for every hour the explorers spend on its surface, seven years will pass on Earth, thanks to the effects of time dilation.
"Dr. Miller sent out a 'thumbs-up' signal. That means the planet is promising," she says.
"A thumbs up is so vague, though," says Cooper. "It's a huge gamble."
"It's all we have to go on," says Brand.
"Did anyone check Dr. Miller's presence status?" asks Romilly.
They had not. Cooper tells TARS to pull up Dr. Miller's current presence status via the Endurance's UC platform.
"Dr. Miller's presence status is Unavailable," says Tars. "He added a note: 'The waters of this planet regularly form thousand-foot-tall waves. I see one coming toward me. Uh-oh.'"
"Hmmm," says Brand. "Maybe we should check out Dr. Mann's planet, instead."
"Good idea," says Cooper.
They depart, never having set foot on Miller. Doyle is especially grateful.
Dr. Mann's data looks promising...The explorers arrive on Dr. Mann's planet. Honestly, it doesn't look that great - icy, cold, barren. But the data Dr. Mann sent was very promising. Hmmm.
They awaken the scientist from his hyper-sleep. He's ecstatic to see humans again, and begins to tell them about the planet and its prospects for life.
"I know it doesn't look like much, but when you get down to the waterline, the atmosphere improves dramatically," he says. "All of my readings suggest we can grow plants there, and may even find organic life."
"That's great!" says Brand.
"I'm sure my kids will love it here!" says Cooper.
"Um, excuse me," says Romilly. "I just used our communication analytics tool to take a closer look at Dr. Mann's data. And the data is - how do I put this? - it's fake. He inputted it all manually."
Everyone turns to stare at Dr. Mann.
"You see, the thing about that is .... There comes a moment - "
Cooper punches Mann in the face. The team departs, irritated but, importantly, alive. It could have been worse. Romilly is especially grateful.
What about Plan A?On his deathbed, Dr. Brand reveals a devastating secret: Plan A, the idea of moving humans en masse from Earth to another planet, is nothing more than a pipe dream.
"The only way to solve the problem of gravity," Dr. Brand tells Murphy, "is with data from inside a black hole - data we can never access."
"What if we sent a probe into a black hole?" she asks.
"We've tried. It doesn't work. The signal can't escape."
"But what if the probe is equipped with a UC solution featuring real-time communication capabilities?"
Dr. Brand sits up in his deathbed.
"Hey, you know what?" he says. "That just might work."
They try. It does. The problem of gravity is solved, and all without the use of a tesseract.
Would the use of high-quality UC make "Interstellar" a more exciting movie? Probably not. But it certainly would have been a shorter and less disaster-filled adventure.