Written in Ink
Written in Ink

CYOA: The amazing plots hidden within Interstellar (Idea factory page)

UPDATE: The outline page is in place and I should have (at least) that set of options done in less than a month


Interstellar ... is like an onion. It has a lot of layers, it’ll make you cry, it’s a brilliant satire, and it has way more DNA than you do.

On one level... well, I’ll let somebody else do the speaking for me.

I was stunned. I’m still stunned. My hands were shaking. Tears in my eyes at times. My love for the cinema rejuvenated. My love for storytelling enhanced. A big smile on my face. Just watching and waiting for those typical run-of-the-mill moments that I thought were sure the come in a studio event film, only to be surprised time and time again.


Yes, it really is THAT good.

Yet, at the same time...

Go ahead, tell us that didn’t happen.

It’s not that we don’t understand it, it’s just really stupid.


Yes it really is THAT bad.

Or at least, it is if you’re watching the wrong movie.

Interstellar isn’t a majestic journey through time and space. It isn’t a chaotic, confused mess. It isn’t the story of the power of a father’s love for his daughter. It isn’t Matt Damon’s worst cameo (okay, it is also that). It isn’t philosophical musing about the nature of humanity.


Is it?

A Ghost Story, with The Others as the same story from the perspective of Cooper’s wife?


The tale of a never ending struggle between TARS/Interstellar Robot Jesus and Tommy, part of a 5th dimensional terrorist cell

Then read on!

Eventually they’ll both be links. We’re going Choose-Your-Own-Adventure! We’ll make Kinja’s layout work for us rather than against us!

For example: Was Tommy really just a terrorist?


Was he actually the 3rd-dimensional past projection of his mad 5th-dimensional future self?

[Camera zooms in on tesseract and the dimensions shift again, and again...eventually closing in on what looks like the ancient husk of TARS embedded in the Tesseract, nameplate scrawled over V’ger style]


UPDATE: As gods-n-clods and tsalonich have exposed, the real ‘right movie’ is the one that gives you the most glee.

If you hated the movie, then this perspective might give you a chance to love it in a delightfully subversive way. If you loved it, then you’re already good but this might give you a different movie to love in a new way.

And if you haven’t seen it because you have reason not to trust because Hollywood hasn’t been catering to your particular type of mind ... then if we’re cut from a similar strip of cloth then this is definitely for you.


And it’s freaking GENIUS!

First of all, let’s talk about what’s happening on Earth.

You had to have noticed that things look a little...weird. It’s like a cartoon view of society, where we somehow became amazingly good at some things and amazingly bad at others. We can’t solve a plant blight but Anne Hathaway gets a magic baby factory? We have advanced AIs like TARS but forgot how to communicate over long distances? None of this makes any sense if this is in the ‘Mid 21st century’


That’s because it’s not the mid 21st century. It’s the mid 31st, and things have not gone well.

Society had pretty much completely collapsed. We weren’t losing our technology. We were finally recovering it. We had already lost everything, and were slowly our way back up. We were unfortunately inconsistent in how we reinvented ourselves, we had random access to information on past technology (with our most advanced find being a well sealed military base) and we didn’t have the slightest understanding of basic crop management. We were basically a self-inflicted post-apocalyptic Maya 2.0.

UPDATE: I’ve been doing some pondering here and I think I have a better idea about how all this happened.

At a point in time, we realized we were undergoing a societal collapse due to the impacts of a climate catastrophe (not like 2012, but the impact on some of the coasts for even the mildest scenario is pretty devastating) and managed to seal a massive number of production facilities and the like away from the elements for future generations to discover.

However, it only took a generation or so for the people left behind to start saying ‘you know there’s stuff we could use in there, right?’

So the humanity we see is kind of dealing with the few things that were left untouched, which was mostly high tech military bases and remote farmhouses owned by absurdly rich recluses with access to the best HouseWrap(tm) money could buy.


Luckily, there’s a wormhole to send people through, and many very pretty things happened and there was much organ music and redshirts were lost.

And then...

Illustration for article titled CYOA: The amazing plots hidden within Interstellar (Idea factory page)

Anne Hathaway said that, in the middle of a science conversation. (not the Citation Needed bit, I just had to include that for not-feeling-dirty reasons)

The fact that it was in the middle of a science conversation is important. TARS never got any indication that her statement was incorrect. All the humans agreed and basically told TARS that love can transcend time and space in a very physical way.


Not long after that, TARS was once again in for a huge shock to his worldview. Remember this moment?

CASE: It’s not possible.

COOPER: No. It’s necessary.

And then Cooper proceeds to do the impossible, right in front of TARS.

Of course, all is not well (they’re lucky this wasn’t Gravity!) but they do have the ability to travel to the last remaining world and presumably finally set up shop


However, Coop (his assigned human) is severely traumatized and was obsessing to the point of mental unhealthiness over his science genius daughter (not his simple muggle son, of course). They were already too far in the future for him to ever see his daughter again, but TARS didn’t realize that what he was trying to do was impossible and, as does sometimes happen, he found a scientific way around it.

It was obvious! Love transcends time and space! If he can get him through the event horizon then Cooper can be Murph’s ghost, which he clearly prefers to making space babies. (Though admittedly, it probably wasn’t the fun way).

UPDATE - as tsalonich pointed out below, TARS didn’t necessarily have to take a big leap of faith here. The Plan B mission was already in good hands with CASE and the ‘New Human Love Science’ and ‘Actual Science’ both supported each other, making TARS more comfortable with the risk.

...back to our regularly scheduled article

But Cooper never sent the message that got him sent into space.

Mad future descendants of Tommy did.

Luckily for us, TARS didn’t know that, and he cheerfully coerced Cooper into the event horizon and inserted him into the time loop, simultaneously giving him another chance with his daughter through the tesseract and foiling the Tommy Jr(^many)‘s plot.


After Cooper ignores Tommy some more and they send the gravity equation TARS realizes that Coop’ll probably break something important if he gives him an insane instruction (he was still Coop), so TARS quickly sacrifices everything for humanity (we’ll get to that!) to get Cooper back through the wormhole.

More things happen and we find out that Murph (MURPH! MURPH! MURRRRPHHHH!!) has saved the planet, saving Professor Caine from being known as the man who tricked the world into wasting all of their remaining time building beached strawships. (You caught that, didn’t you?)


With Murphy as the hero and Tommy as the goat of pretty much everything (seriously, screw Tommy), he basically became the Theon Greyjoy of his era (but less sympathetic and hopefully still with dangly bits)

Cooper repairs TARS and they head off to make Hathababies.

Yes, this makes TARS Robot Jesus.

In the distant future, Tommy’s descendants begin plotting their revenge.

UPDATE: tsalonich’s Fringe theory got me thinking. What if there’s something very fundamental about the nature of Tommy that we’re missing? What if he’s ignored/disdained because he doesn’t really belong?

[Cameras zoom in to the center of a fantastic, futuristic construct, centering on a heavily modified ancient seeming TARS at the core, name overwritten to ‘Tommy’, V’ger style]

Perhaps Tommy is actually TARS’ mad future self trying to commit suicide by destroying his own past? Something like if The Master was actually The Doctor after he heroically reinserts himself in the Time Vortex to save Gallifrey but finally has his luck turn and the drumbeat/pulse of time drove him mad?

Alternately or in combination, what if Tommy is a projection in back in time...like a poltergeist himself. If that farm is actually some sort of 11th dimensional haunted house it would certainly explain how anachronistic some of the things there were, and the farm was the only real place we saw other than the military base.

Perhaps that’s what The Others was about, too?

Also: Future article ideas don’t appear to be a problem at this point, do they?

Other Update: Oh! Oh! That’s why Tommy can never leave the house!!!

We can’t really be sure if we’re in anything like our original timeline, but that doesn’t matter, because nobody ever cared about Tommy. In any timeline. Ever.


But, unless there’s a whole new layer to this, we know we can count on TARS will save us. He may only be 90% honest, but he’s 100% awesome.

Illustration for article titled CYOA: The amazing plots hidden within Interstellar (Idea factory page)

Thoughts? Comments? Did I miss something important?

About the Author:

Will is an awful, awful person who likes helping make things Better Than You Remember.


Interstellar : 200% Fixed. 55% Implemented (Two good solutions with lots of branches. CYOA Implementation added work)

Midi-Chlorians: 100% Fixed. 65% Implemented. (One good solution with few branches. Just needs cleanup. Lots of spillover into other films)


Sad Cancer Movies: 150% Fixed. 10% Implemented. (I still feel super weird about this one)

Game of Thrones: 80% Fixed. 100% Implemented. (Review format works fine as standalone, but more work needs to be done)


The Happening: 90% Fixed. 60% Implemented (Accidentally made cool with Midi-chlorians, but that movie was really bad)

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