Interstellar: More Fact Than Science Fiction

Imagine how many movies are there today. No, we can’t because to count the number of movies released till today is similar to counting the number of stars. There are approximately more than 500,000 movies to date and every one of them is different. We see different stories, different casts, different technologies and so much more. It is all for the simple need for entertainment.

Every one of us craves for that time off so that we can go to the movies. We all have that favourite movie, actor, or director whose films we want to watch as soon as they are out. We may even watch the same movie many times just so we can experience the creativity.

One all-time favourite director goes by the name of Christopher Nolan. Nolan is one of the directors of some of the greatest blockbusters ever produced. One of them is a Sci-fi movie, Interstellar.

Interstellar is one of those sci-fi movies that stay true to the science it displays to a very great extent. Let’s take a deeper dive into the facts surrounding the movie.

Christopher Nolan director of Interstellar movie
Christopher Nolan Courtesy: The New York Times

Interstellar: Behind the Scenes

Interstellar used cutting edge technology and also a little old school cinematography in its production process. Nolan was keen on making scenes look as realistic as possible. He wants the viewers to not only see the vastness of space out there but also feel it. An average person seeing the movie will feel like there must be a great use of greenscreen. In fact, there was no green screen at all for most parts. 

The Endurance Mothership
Courtesy: Wallpapercave
The Endurance Mothership Courtesy: Wallpapercave

Starting with the Endurance spacecraft, the mothership of the “Lazarus” mission in the movie, the entire craft is designed with achievable science in mind. It is essentially a wheel spinning around a central cockpit. The wheel has 12 individual capsules performing different functions that are connected by circular tube ways. The cockpit is connected to the capsules via three steel see-saws which help in manoeuvring the craft.

Artificial gravity is something we see in most science fiction movies. Instead of creating artificial gravity, the spinning of the entire ship creates a centrifugal force which acts the same as gravity. It is a fairly achievable technology. This is another example of the idea of realism which incorporates the entire movie. 

Kip Thorne and Gargantua

Before Nolan ever joined the film, the project was in the hands of another movie maestro, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg called in Nolan’s younger brother as an assistant director and that is how Nolan came into the movie. The entire project was from Paramount pictures around 8 years before the release of the movie. It was under the supervision of producer Lynda Obst and Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.

Courtesy: Wallpapercave
Gargantua Courtesy: Wallpapercave

The most important part of Nolan’s search for realism is proved in the movie when the team encounters a wormhole and “Gargantua“, the supermassive black hole in the movie. Now, we don’t know what a black hole looks like. We cannot create a real black hole rendering without knowing anything about it.

This is where the ideas of Kip Thorne comes in. The entire black hole that we see in the movie is rendered based on actual science. Gargantua is a black hole that originates from Thorne’s theories.

This is what makes Interstellar a true masterpiece. It is actual science. This science stays true even outside the movie because 3 years later the first pictures of a black hole came out. And those pictures were almost true to what we see in the movie. 

Millers Planet
Millers Planet Courtesy: Wallpapercave

Another part is where the crew land on Millers Planet. The crew faces a time-irregularity where one hour on the planet is approximately 7 years for anyone outside. This might seem far fetched but it is actual science. The science behind this time dilation comes from Einstein’s theory of relativity. Nolan says that the only parts which are far from reality are the cryo beds. 

Final Verdict

There is no doubt that Interstellar is a scientific masterpiece. Most of the scenes in the movie are created with realism in mind. Believe it or not, most of the concepts that we see are achievable science.

Much like we took the photograph of a black hole, or derived the theory behind wormholes, we may be living in outpost stations such as Cooper’s planet, or we may use four-dimensional structures for communications.

We may be able to warp the future as we want it to be. Although it may not be possible in our generation or the next, it is possible to say that we will get to it somehow. 

Check out this article on Hubble: An Incredible Space Odyssey