This post and video contain major plot details from Interstellar.
Renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has earned a reputation for “ruining” movies by pointing out their scientific inaccuracies. His complaints previously motivated James Cameron to change an incorrect star field for Titanic’s rerelease. He also took to Twitter to nitpick the various scientific errors in Gravity. (Although, strangely, he has no problems with the movie Deep Impact.) While Tyson again took to Twitter to “review” Christopher Nolan’s space epic, Interstellar, he was fairly gentle on the sci-fi flick. And now he’s coming out in defense of the film’s high-concept ending in a new video for Business Insider.
At the film’s end, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) travels into a black hole and winds up in a mysterious “Tesseract” that essentially gives him windows to his daughter’s childhood. From there Coop is able to manipulate gravity to send messages to the past and start the chain of events that will lead him to space (and save humanity). While some have claimed this creates a time paradox, Tyson argues that in a hypothetical fifth dimension time could function in an non-linear manner which would essentially make questions of time paradoxes irrelevant (because all of time is happening at once).
Humans can already move easily through the three physical dimensions of space. It’s not that much of a stretch to imagine a dimension in which a human could similarly move through the fourth dimension, time. Or, as Tyson puts it, “These are fascinating questions that make great fodder for science fiction stories. And we don’t know what’s in a black hole so take it and run with it.”
So there you go, the weirdest part of Interstellar may not be based in scientific fact, but it doesn’t refute our understanding of the universe either. Perhaps next Tyson can take on Interstellar’s biggest mystery: Why Casey Affleck’s character named his son Coop Cooper.