Same here. As I’m a nitpicker by heart, there are already many things I found wrong with the trailer, but it doesn’t mean I won’t drag friends with me to see it in theatre.
Also, I am now regretting not publishing a short story of mine two years ago. It features a first interstellar manned ship, and it is also called the Endurance. Now, if I ever publish it, I’ll have to find another name…
Actually, while in Asimov’s books Earth eventually becomes uninhabitable, there is a pretty interesting and original reason behind it - also, it happens after large-scale interstellar colonisation took off. Unfortunately, it’s explained in “Robots and Empire” which can be a bore due to its slow pace, despite interesting ideas. I would still recommend it for those ideas, though. For example :
One interesting and, surprisingly, still unique SF device (AFAICT) is a weapon called the nuclear intensifier, which is to be pointed at active nuclear reactors for a result you can guess. I don’t know how realistic it is, and I have yet to think about the implications of such a device to the world and its technology, but that’s a pretty original one. [/early spoiler]
That said, I agree that the whole “we used and abused the planet now we have to go and find another” trope, as Bentaware words it, is kind of lame. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a cliché (it wasn’t used that much AFAICT), but it’s definitely pretty idiotic.
Seriously, what kind of abuse do you have to inflict to inflict to Earth that it is easier to build interstellar ships and colonise an unknown alien planet than fixing it? I’m not talking about the morality of whether to find a new home (and probably end up trashing it as well) instead of cleaning the old one, here. No, I’m talking about sheer logistics. It may even be easier to fix the Moon than migrate Mankind to another star system, FTL or not.
Unless they actually gave a pretty good reason to why the Earth is turning deathball, of course. Like the one in Asimov’s books. And that’s not some meek Strangelove cobalt-salted nuclear winter, mind you, but something with a bit more staying power.
But I won’t hold my breath.
And that include “natural” causes. If suddenly, after those untold millions of years, something is threatening Mankind the very century it manages interstellar travel, it’s not something.
Also, I have doubt NASA will ever put someone on Mars, so having them run a manned interstellar mission? Yeah, suuuure…
Now, it that was an unmanned interstellar mission…
But who wants to see a film about an unmanned interstellar mission on an alien planet who may be the key to Mankind’s survival? With mission control having only remote, laggy connection who will be blocked at the worst possible moment? Where teams of the world’s best engineers have to struggle to suddenly face untimely material failures, or new challenges they never expected with inadequate equipment, and demonstrate out-of-the-box, ingenious solutions from light-years away that would make Apollo 13’s teams proud? Where scientists have to find answers from incomplete data under crushing political pressure while Mankind’s fate is at stake? Where twists catch everyone off-guard, when the threat turns out to be something else entirely or when whole new solutions seems to appear?
Yeah, no-one is interested in the adventures of a silicon chip, after all.
But again, the movie will really have to rub critics off for me to not see it in theatre.
Ha … there is a movie about Interstelar Dones traveling to an exoplanet! The human drama you described is missing but it definetly contains silicon drama and is quite enjoable. It’s a semi fiction-docu though.
I agree with the people who don’t want to spend the money sending people far out in space. Air, heating/cooling, food, radiation and whet ever else including death. Can do a lot more with gadgets.
A C Clark had the sun go nova or something I don’t recall the name of the book.
[quote=“Topperfalkon, post:5, topic:531”]
I think you’re thinking of Asimov
Wouldn’t a beam of neutrons have this effect? I mean, it wouldn’t have to be a nuclear reactor specifically, anything can go boom if you make it heavy enough, just saying it’s possibly not entirely unrealistic.
(Though on the other hand, nuclear reactors are usually built to be quite good at stopping subatomic particles, ions, and photons from leaving, so…)
Not an exoplanet, admittedly, but don’t forget:
It even involves the “planet’s broke, lets go somewhere else” trope.
For once, I’m rather on @Bentware side: we humans place too much hope in “finding other places to start anew or gather resources”. That may as well not happen if we kill ourselves before.
No need to make the planet inhabitable with radioactivity: just stop the Gulf Stream with too much melted icebergs at once and you may get that. Or rather a mix with the many other ecological catastophies we may witness in the next two decades.
As a species, we’d most probably survive, but at what cost?
looks interesting, I’ll have to check it out.
Wait, with Michio Kaku? Doesn’t Kichae have something against this guy?
IIRC, there are references to a godlike alien race blowing up stars (specifically, blowing up planets so hard it blows the star up as well) in “3001 Final Odyssey”, but my memory is a bit hazy. He could have written it in more books as well, though.
I don’t see someone turning the Sun nova letting some of those pesky humans escape in their tiny metal boxes. Unless it’s precisely what they want. But if we accidentally turned the Sun nova, now that could also make for an interesting motive, if you can justify it well enough.
Interesting, the star going nova (well, going red giant actually, but the end result is the same) is the reason in the old Infinity timeline why Mankind leave their homeworld, Geodesia. And Flavien seemed to be well aware how unrealistic that was, hinting at an unnatural cause. Which always intrigued me to no end, as there are no aliens in the Infinity universe, but Geodesia was far behind any technology that would have allowed them to tamper with their star…
A beam of neutrons could do that, but it would be more of a secondary effect, after all the other nastiness neutrons will cause as anything it hits. Also, a nuclear engine probably has neutron reflectors, particularly if it is a fission engine.
In his book, Asimov talked about a Z (or W?) boson beam, which wouldn’t really have much effect on ordinary matter. For reference, Z and W bosons are the vectors of weak nuclear force, which is the one causing nuclear disintegrations.
(IIRC, ships are using fissions reactors here, but I don’t remember it to be stated, or whether it works on fusion reactors as well).
It makes for a rather nasty surprise when sneakily pointed on running nuclear engines…
Worst case scenario, it causes mass extinctions (loss of useful biodiversity, unbalance in surviving populations), floods and storms in an increased basis (economic damage, possibly droughts until we adapt by producing more food to account for the losses), economic depression, slightly reduced inhabitable lands, to which can be added wars and epidemics.
Pretty nasty, but as a species, we survived far worse. Hell, as a civilisation, we could even survive it (if our civilisation wasn’t inherently unstable and about to either collapse or mutate, that is).
So build bigger polders, increase storm-surviving building requirements, over-produce food, prepare for a few decades of economic letdown (and try to come up with alternate solutions to restart/maintain economy), keep a shelter (or an army) just in case, and you should be mostly fine.
Case in point, it’s still cheaper to colonise a slightly used, locally available Earth than a fraking alien planet. If we really needed to, we could probably even survive at Prypat. Rather badly, with cancer and genetic research suddenly getting a bump into priority, but survive nonetheless.
Actually, I found it kind of worked here because :
It’s not quite the focus on the movie, more of a (rather important) background.
At least, they are trying to fix the Earth, not colonise another - they simply, choose, for some reason, to build their shelters in outer space instead of underground, in orbit or in giant towers
They go for the humorous angle more than the realistic one, so they get a free pass when fun > believable.
It’s a movie whose romantic scene involves robots dancing in space using fire extinguishers.
If Interstellar has a romantic scene involves robots dancing in space using fire extinguishers, I promise to stop criticise this “Earth’s dead, find another” trope there as well.
I agree though. I find space exploration much more fun when it’s driven by human curiosity rather then survival instinct … that’s why I love Star Trek* that much, I rather think about morality and other difficult topics then “how can we survive another year out there” while looking out from the orbital colony around a gas giant …
*and that’s also why I’m not the biggest fan of the reboot and Star Trek Online … with all that war and turmoil.
But the best way to explore topics like that is to include adversity. War, disaster, even such “mundane” things like crime or interpersonal relationships. Star Trek has always been at least as much, if not more, about exploring the people out in space as it was about those people exploring space.
That’s why I prefer Late TNG, DS9, Voyager, the reboot, and even Enterprise.
The facade of perfection is allowed to slip, and the show explores what happens when it does.
Morality, for example, becomes a much more interesting question when the stakes are more than academic.
That may be true. And conflict, may it come from nature, strange live forms (de facto People) or mental structures or believes is nearly certainly always the stepping stone to a new adventure.
Still what I said wasn’t really about that. What I meant was more about the goals and motivations of the protagonists. You can have all those interesting situations and maybe even decide the same way: Even if your goal is to survive or if it is to explore.
I just find it more exciting if the protagonists have the choice … they could do anything they wanted, relax on the sunniest beaches, but they decided for the conflict, for the difficult decisions, for going beyond just survival.
It was natural causes. Some science discovery of some radiation that shows a star will go nova. They had one hundred or so years and the global politicization did nothing until the last twenty or so.
It was one of the latter books.
A) Now is one of the biggest dieoffes.
B) People pushing Aztec grain as it uses less water. Europeans wanted to get rid of it as the Aztecs kept adding human blood to it.
C) The Civil War in C.A.R. and Syria are weather pattern changes related.
That’s what people forgot. It’s a fiction story set in space. Spock was logic and Bones was emotion. It could have been written about the age of exploration. But like most things it’s better in space.
The first reboot was just making the humans the center of the story. Humans are boring. Spock is now too emotional. Sex out side of Pan Far? I would never do it!
The second movie was about cleaning up our mess. About something. Kahn seemed less emotional then Spock.
The first movie was an action movie. A dime a dozen.
That’s an interesting point I had never thought about, thanks for sharing it.
I’ve always thought about ST (particularly the old ones) with some fondness as a “Don’t think too much about it” for its universe. Their happy utopia was one of the things that always struck me as unrealistic wish fulfilment (though in the next ones, the curtain sometimes open to dark corners, which makes it more realistic).
But, leaving aside the believability of this particular utopia itself, having them live in an utopia and have people choose to do something with their lives despite the risks underline a point, and an important one - that one cannot simply let oneself live in unfulfilling happiness, one has to do something with one’s life.
Which is, interestingly enough, the fundamental mistake of our time.
Definitely didn’t read this one, then.
And I rest my case. Ten thousand years before, it would have been “Hey, isn’t the Sun brighter than usu…” Ten thousand years later, it would have been “Well, better relocate at Sirius. Could someone help me with moving the Earth, please?”
But in literally the tens of millions of centuries of its existence, the Sun decides to unexpectedly blow up in the middle of its life, right at the exact century where it’s actually dramatic for Mankind?
It’s now too late, alas, but I would have loved to ask Clarke about it. He was a great writer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually had something on his mind about it.