The Martian

Earlier today, scientists from NASA emerged from the rundown garage that government cutbacks have forced them to move to in order to announce a shocking discovery: There is water on Mars. Actual liquid water, like the stuff that comes out of our plastic bottles. We’re not experts on outer space or anything, but we’re pretty sure this means that there is definitely life on other planets, and it’s only a matter of time before we make contact with an extraterrestrial force that could wipe out our entire race in an instant. Basically, this is all very exciting.

Well, to us it’s exciting. To famous director Ridley Scott, though, it’s probably more of a nuisance. That’s because a major plot point of his next film, The Martian, involves stranded astronaut Matt Damon trying to figure out how to make water on Mars. Now that we know there actually is water on Mars, we’ll have no choice but to snicker at the movie the way we do when people pull out old-fashioned cell phones or when Dr. Grant says that a T-Rex’s vision is based on movement. “No water on Mars?” we’ll shout to a delighted theater. “What a stupid movie!”

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But that’s not even the worst part of this for Scott. According to The New York Times, NASA actually showed him a picture of the Martian water “about two months ago,” but he was too far into production on The Martian for it to change the plot at all. Had NASA given him the courtesy of revealing this crazy discovery sooner, he would’ve had Damon’s character find “the edge of a glacier” beneath the surface of Mars, and it would’ve been “fascinating.” Still, it sounds like he prefers the way it is in the film, which involves Damon using a device to make steam, using the steam to make condensation, and then using that to grow potatoes.

Meanwhile, the scientists from NASA have quietly canceled an upcoming announcement that c-beams can’t actually glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. Also, the newly inaccurate The Martian will be in theaters on Friday. Try not to laugh at it too much.