“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”
Cooper – Interstellar
My wife and I are both incredible fans of science fiction films, and were thrilled when Interstellar, the November 2014 release directed by Christopher Nolan, was recently released on DVD. If you’re the type of person who loves reading science fiction novels to see what actual science you can pick up along the way, then you will absolutely adore this film.
This film won awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design at the Academy Awards, and there really are several features of this film that shine as brightly as intergalactic stars. As a blight destroys all living crops on Earth and extinguishes its oxygen supply, humanity faces the reality that this planet was not meant to last forever. A team of astronauts and scientists race against time to find a way to save the human race before it’s too late, and the result is an interstellar adventure that you will find impossible to forget.
The visual effects are stunning, the acting performances are spot-on, and the intense scientific theories being tossed and bantered about as if they are child’s play will fascinate you. Despite the film’s length (169 minutes), you will find yourself clawing the edge of your seat and disappointed to see those final credits begin to roll.
While this film contains threads of hope for humanity, including the power of self-sacrifice, innovation, and love, the overarching theme is a troubling one. The scientists and astrophysicists all assume that there is no God in control of the universe, since they are simply too “intelligent” for such a theory. As they literally travel beyond the galaxy and back they begin to find answers, but the answers provided here left me uneasy. The hope of every character and the inevitable conclusion was that humanity, in the end, would somehow find a way to make sense of the universe and rescue itself…. that we would, in essence, become our own saviors.
While this might make for a good story, it simply doesn’t ring true with Scripture. There are many elements of this universe that mankind doesn’t understand, and was never meant to. In Isaiah 55:9, God says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” And, of course, we know that there is simply no way for humanity to ever rescue itself from impending doom. Instead, we must admit defeat and fully rely on Christ to redeem us. Acts 4:11-12 states, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Despite this problematic theme, I would still name this among my list of favorite science fiction movies. It’s a breathtaking adventure ride that you don’t want to miss, and will give you and your friends plenty to talk about for days to come!