After a long put off re-watch of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” (2014), Joe ponders on his legitimate need for a sequel. *mild spoilers for Interstellar & 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Space. The final frontier.
Or it certainly seems that way for the adventures of Coop (Matthew Mcconaughey), hero of 2014’s critically lauded “Interstellar”. Christopher Nolan’s first film after finishing work on the last film in DC’s finest cinematic works, the Dark Knight Trilogy. To put things as succinctly as one can with a film of such narrative complexity in terms of its seemingly otherworldly theories regarding space-time, black holes, tesseracts and 5th dimensional beings, this adoption of alternate ideas/science’s/ways of thinking seems to be trademark Nolan, and at least in this instance – perhaps Nolan at his best. For you see, what we are presented with over the 2 hr 49 minute runtime, is a hard boiled, old school sci-fi, in much the same realms as “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), Disney’s universally detested (though much loved at The Werd) “The Black Hole” (1979) & “Silent Running” (1972) – but, certainly concerning 2001, you knew that, it’s rather obvious, and something that has been said countless times before, though I feel that it is worth mentioning that herein the similarities are stark, in terms of design aesthetic, scoring and theme, and for me at least – impact.
I parrot the similarity between 2001, because it was successful enough to spawn the sequel, “2010: The Year We Made Contact” (1984). And while I’m not entirely suggesting that because this happened in the past, it should happen now, I am stating that however improbable a sequel was – after 2001 ending like it did – one happened anyway, they found a way to continue the mythos of the Monoliths, David Bowman and Hal 9000. This is relevant to my own thinking towards a sequel for “Interstellar”, for it ended with the same definite sense of finality, despite events being left on a form of cliffhanger. In 2001, David ascends through the influence of the Monolith, ultimately being reborn as the Star Child, all at once rounding off the narrative arc of 2001 nicely, whilst leaving tantalising opportunities to be explored. “Interstellar” ends in much the same way, in that the main arc is complete, humanity is saved, and Cooper sets off on his own to find Amelia Brand and explore option B – the human seed colony. In both films the main plot is dealt with, before leaving us with just a whiff of later adventures.
It seems like, if enough exploration was done, enough effort put into the ideation of a sequel, Cooper’s story could be further explored. And with it, the ideas on space, time and relativity presented in the movie, there’s also that wonderful notion of humanity spreading across the stars after abandoning earth – something that was always a draw when watching Battlestar Galactica.
I’m all for ambiguity in an ending, but I can’t help but feel there’s more to these characters, there’s more to this universe even, that is yet to be explored. Is it important that we uncover the source of the tesseract, or the wormhole that makes the entire film possible? Probably not. Do we need to experience more phenomena caused by the 5th dimensional beings (advanced humans)? Probably not. I guess the danger here is that we end up with more of the same. But in a modern landscape where hard sci-fi like this is sparse, I feel like a proven property like this has more chance of success, and at this stage, more of the same wouldn’t be a bad thing in my books.
So, am I alone in this? Is there anything left for “Interstellar” to give? Is it out of the realms of possibility that the franchise could be continued in book form? I for one, will be waiting patiently to see what Christopher Nolan does after “Dunkirk” (2017).
Whilst I’m still here, how about working on an “Event Horizon”(1997) successor too?…