Interstellar

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here, but I felt like writing something, so here I am. It won’t be long.

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I watched the premiere of Interstellar tonight, courtesy of a friend who works for Shaw. It started out a little slow, and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going, but I’m glad I watched it till the end (not that I would’ve left – though I did make a quick run out to relieve my bladder… it’s a long show). I wouldn’t say it was stunning in an in-your-face, over-the-top kind of way, and I’m not even sure if I can articulate why it left an impression on me, but it did.

It’s about space travel and time travel and saving the human race with lots of physics and equations that I will never understand, but two things stood out to me that are really only tangentially related to the movie’s plot:

1) The vastness of the universe.
Something I really appreciated about the production was the silence. There was a lot of silence – so much so that I had to pause my popcorn crunching. These moments mostly happened during these long shots of outer space: Earth at a distance, the galaxy, stars, other crazy things that most of us don’t think about on a regular basis. It instilled a sense of awe and wonder, which is exactly the kind of response we should have in the face of the universe. It is so much bigger than us. And God sees it all. He rules it all. And still knows each of us intimately.

2) The desire to ensure the survival of the human race.
This is something that really made me stop and think. The whole movie orbits (ha ha) around this need to save the human race from extinction. It’s not questioned at all. I’m not suggesting that it should be questioned in the movie – it isn’t the point of the plot, but it struck me as fascinating. It’s not the only movie based on this premise. Why? We see the same thing today with NASA trying to send people to Mars to see if it could potentially support human life, in preparation for the day when our resources on earth run out. The question in my head is this: Does that desire stem from arrogance or some sense of altruism or nobility? Or perhaps arrogant altruism? Is it arrogant of us to think that the human race is so special that it deserves to be preserved? Well, Jesus did die for us, which does make us special and worthy. But does working to find ways to prolong the existence of the human race ignore the possibility that it is simply our time to go? If we are not meant to fear death, should we fear extinction? What does it mean for us to trust that all things happen according to God’s plan and perfect timing, in an imperfect world? What do we do in the meantime?

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Dylan Thomas

Just some food for thought.

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