Interstellar: Which ending would you have preferred? SPOILER ALERT

Lilani

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Interstellar just came out on DVD, and I've been thinking a lot about the ending. Apparently, the happy ending where Cooper goes into the black hole, changes the past, and gets shot back out just in time to get picked up by the people of the future, and sees his daughter again just before she dies of old age, and goes off to rescue Brand...was all not supposed to happen.

http://nerdist.com/jonathan-nolans-ending-to-interstellar-made-a-lot-more-sense/

In Jonathan Nolan's original ending, the wormhole collapses when Cooper flies into it. He sends the data about the planets and wormholes off and it's left to the audience to decide if the people on Earth are able to rescue themselves with it in time, and nobody is left to go rescue Brand. No happy ending for the heroes, no certainty of a future for anybody, just hope and loss.

The major plot point this leaves dangling is the gravity anomalies at the start of the film which led Murphy and Cooper to NASA in the first place. Apparently these were supposed to gravity waves produced by a neutron star being destroyed by the black hole, but Christopher Nolan felt that was too much science for the audience to digest. Plus he had to carve out his happy ending.

Personally, I think I would have preferred the sad ending. I was touched when Cooper and Murphy met again and I really felt joy for Brand as she stood there alone on the planet knowing she would get rescued, but something tells me the weight of the previous plot points was reduced by all of this. After all of the harsh punches to the gut the movie gives you, the ending really feels too perfect in hindsight. Seeing Cooper set up the robot again was funny, but I think I would have preferred a more stark ending which juxtaposes hope and loss than a happy ending that wraps up everything in a nice neat bow like this is a Disney film or something.

What do you think, those of you who have seen Interstellar (or those who haven't and still wish to comment)? Happy ending, or sad ending?
 

Zontar

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Sad ending sounds much better then what we got, it leaves some ambiguity to it all and also makes sense within the context of the movie, which the ending we got certainly did not. The ending irked me the wrong way, firstly because it shows that future humans are assholes because they could have 1) placed the wormhole in Earth orbit, and 2) given the anti-gravity formula right from the start.

Then again the movie had a LOT of problems with it, and even the best parts of the movie are in my opinion a visually spectacular empty shell without substance behind it.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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I haven't thought of Interstellar much since I saw it, but yes, I'd have preferred that ending as well. The happy ending was a bit too "Hollywood" for me and for Nolan as well. At one point during the film I thought it was going to end crushingly depressingly, with humanity choking on ash clouds and Space McConaughey being left floating in space, which I thought would have been massively ballsy. That ending you described would at least have realized some of that potential.
 

Ryotknife

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that other ending sounds too much like a Mass effect 3 ending (YEA I WENT THERE), nor does the whole gravity waves produced by the neutron star telling where to find nasa make any sense. NASA is not physically connected to the wormhole or the black hole.

I personally would have been pissed if it ended that way.
 

Darks63

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The alt ending sounds alot better than the "I found my daughter by the power of love" malarkey that we got. I did love the visuals though especially the tidal wave planet.

I personally would have liked for the ending to be like it was sans Coop surviving because the blackhole he went into was a true blackhole and it killed him. The whole tesseract scene and ending killed the heroic act of him sacrificing himself so the female doc and the clone colony could get to the new earth.
 

Frezzato

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Oh no no no, I love the happy version. It gives me hope for the movie adaptation of--I cannot remember the name of the graphic novel. Being made into a movie soonish. Like a Vietnam War type of future love story.

Wow that was random. Anyhoo, there IS one movie that I thought could have (should have) been much, much sadder, and that's The Notebook. Thankfully I've never read the book ("There's a book?") and I thought that--

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER[footnote]I'm kinda tired of officially spoilering things. Such a rebel![/footnote]

--since James Garner looks NOTHING like that hot dude, whatshisface, that James Garner was in fact the "rich guy" from earlier in her life. See, I thought whatsherface married hot guy, had kids, and many decades later hot guy dies. And then James Garner, "rich guy", seeks out whatsherface on her deathbed and reads to her. Not just because he genuinely loved her, but because he understood that she was alone and shouldn't have to die that way. And the last act of his long life was to finally treat whatserface with genuine compassion, even though it was torture for him to read her diary which described the happy life she led without him.

But I dunno, maybe rich guy was a jerk? I really don't remember that movie--at all--just like the only thing I remember after being forced to watch Twilight was me saying "They're SPARKLY???"
 

Lilani

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Ryotknife said:
that other ending sounds too much like a Mass effect 3 ending (YEA I WENT THERE), nor does the whole gravity waves produced by the neutron star telling where to find nasa make any sense. NASA is not physically connected to the wormhole or the black hole.

I personally would have been pissed if it ended that way.
The gravity explanation confuses me as well, honestly. At first I read it as they see the gravity anomaly, realize it's something major going on like a black hole, and to track down NASA. But the gravity anomaly in the movie is also a guide to finding NASA, so how they find it if they don't get that guide is a bit tricky. Unless they attribute it to fate or have NASA come find Cooper themselves.
 

Ambient_Malice

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I feel the Tesseract gels the entire film together. It provides the MORE that a great many films, or games for that matter, lack. In that single sequence the film is elevated to become something greater than a sum of its individual scenes.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Sad ending sounds more "realistic". I know I was ready for it as soon as McConaughey flew into the wormhole. I think it would've turned the whole thing into a shaggy dog story though, and I wonder if it would've made the movie unbearable.

Now that I think of it, why did McConaughey himself have to go rescue Hathaway? He gets told by his daughter that she's alone and waiting for rescue. And it's been something like 3 or 4 generations since they first took off (I forget exactly). So why hasn't anybody sent someone to go fetch Hathaway? It'd make more sense if she was waiting for McConaughey when he finally comes through.
 

Fox12

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The sad ending makes more sense, and fits into the hope and despair of the film. I would probably keep the Murphy sub plot, but definitely kill the father. The data could explain the gravity fluctuations earlier in the story. I don't like the idea of future humanity sending the data back. It was the best film I've seen in ages, but the weak point was definitely the finale.
 

rgrekejin

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bartholen said:
At one point during the film I thought it was going to end crushingly depressingly, with humanity choking on ash clouds and Space McConaughey being left floating in space, which I thought would have been massively ballsy. That ending you described would at least have realized some of that potential.
...what's ballsy about a tortuously long movie that ultimately ends up being a nihilistic shaggy dog story? That sounds less "ballsy" and more "a deliberate waste of my time".

I'm so glad they went with the ending that they did. It sounds vastly superior to this one. The idea of Cooper somehow being able to transmit data on his own from out of a black hole equipped with nothing but an out-of-fuel space shuttle and his bare hands is so ridiculously MacGyver-ish that I never would have bought it. The ending in the movie (where future humanity create a special construct from which Cooper can communicate with Murphy) at least dispenses with the problem of getting the information out of the black hole - it does so via the means of super-advanced future tech.

You might perhaps be tempted to point and yell "Deus Ex Machina!" at this point, but I would counter by observing that the entire premise of the movie rests upon the existence of the Incredibly Convenient Wormhole[sup]TM[/sup]. I admit that there is a pleasing parsimony to the idea of removing the actions of the future humanity from the movie, but if you do so, then you have to explain where the Incredibly Convenient Wormhole[sup]TM[/sup] came from. So it isn't like future humanity wasn't foreshadowed at all.

That said, I still fully expected Cooper to die in the black hole post-tesseract. I would have been fine with him sacrificing himself so that his daughter (and humanity) might live. I was actually really pleasantly surprised when it ended up spitting him out near Saturn. I really liked that all of the many sacrifices Cooper makes for the benefit of others throughout the course of the movie ultimately end up saving his own life in a way that he could not possibly have anticipated. Very "he who clings to his life will lose it, and he who lets his life go will save it", if you pardon the Biblical paraphrasing. Very karmically satisfying. It always pleases me when I see someone resist the strangely still-popular trend of having a grimdark ending because edgy. I would have though we'd have grown out of it after the 90s.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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rgrekejin said:
bartholen said:
At one point during the film I thought it was going to end crushingly depressingly, with humanity choking on ash clouds and Space McConaughey being left floating in space, which I thought would have been massively ballsy. That ending you described would at least have realized some of that potential.
...what's ballsy about a tortuously long movie that ultimately ends up being a nihilistic shaggy dog story? That sounds less "ballsy" and more "a deliberate waste of my time".
A tortuously long movie which was also arguably the most anticipated, and one of the biggest, releases of last year, from a director who's the golden boy of Hollywood at this point, yes, it would have been massively ballsy to have a depressing ending in a film getting a release as big as Interstellar. That doesn't mean it would have automatically been good, in fact I bet it would have pissed thousands of people off, but no doubt it would have been more memorable than the standard "and they lived (and also died) happily ever after" Hollywood ending. That said, like I mentioned, I haven't really thought about the movie that much since I saw it, and I don't know if I'd have liked it if actually brought on the screen. I just find the description and the idea given here more interesting and appealing.
 

zumbledum

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Lilani said:
What do you think, those of you who have seen Interstellar (or those who haven't and still wish to comment)? Happy ending, or sad ending?
sounds like i prefer the one in it to the original proposed as you explained, not so much because its sad but more because i hate hose films that just leave it up to us to pick one, it wasnt our story nut up and end it yourself!

and i hate the happy re write endings.
 

rgrekejin

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bartholen said:
rgrekejin said:
bartholen said:
At one point during the film I thought it was going to end crushingly depressingly, with humanity choking on ash clouds and Space McConaughey being left floating in space, which I thought would have been massively ballsy. That ending you described would at least have realized some of that potential.
...what's ballsy about a tortuously long movie that ultimately ends up being a nihilistic shaggy dog story? That sounds less "ballsy" and more "a deliberate waste of my time".
A tortuously long movie which was also arguably the most anticipated, and one of the biggest, releases of last year, from a director who's the golden boy of Hollywood at this point, yes, it would have been massively ballsy to have a depressing ending in a film getting a release as big as Interstellar. That doesn't mean it would have automatically been good, in fact I bet it would have pissed thousands of people off, but no doubt it would have been more memorable than the standard "and they lived (and also died) happily ever after" Hollywood ending. That said, like I mentioned, I haven't really thought about the movie that much since I saw it, and I don't know if I'd have liked it if actually brought on the screen. I just find the description and the idea given here more interesting and appealing.
When you put it like that, I suppose that taking a movie that you've staked your reputation and $165 million of someone else's money on and then giving it a depressing, deliberately ambiguous ending that's likely to make much of the moviegoing public feel like they've just wasted nearly three hours of their life definitely counts as "ballsy", in the same sense that it would be "ballsy" of me to try and take a salmon from a grizzly bear.
 

Vigormortis

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That...sounds like a horrendous ending. It leaves even more unanswered questions than the ending we got. Why would the gravity anomalies in Murph's bedroom provide coordinates to NASA's location if they were caused by the black hole destroying a neutron star? What use would the gravity data have if the wormhole collapsed? Earth's survivors can't colonize the worlds the mission discovered if there's no way to travel to them.

Speaking of the wormhole, if not from the future humans, then where did it come from? Was it just a convenient plot device? (even more so than it was already) And now that I'm thinking about it, how could Cooper have even transmitted the data from inside the black hole?

Cripes, that ending sounds terrible. I'm fine with sad endings, but needlessly grim-dark endings that revolve around the pointless sacrifice of the protagonist and leave so many unanswered questions that it throws the entire film's premise into question?

Yeah, no thanks. I'll gladly take Christopher's ending over Johnathan's original ending.

Besides, I think people read way too much into the "power of love" nonsense. The film practically goes out of its way to invalidate that notion from the moment it's even brought up.

rgrekejin said:
Precisely. The Tesseract is a bit Deus-Ex Machina-y, but fits well within the confines of the story. And in an almost abstract sort of way, it makes more sense than the alternate ending.

It fascinates me that posters would actually have preferred the alternate ending. This board routinely goes on tirades about how 'sick' everyone is of 'grim-dark' movies and endings, yet they'd prefer the grim-dark ending for Interstellar?

I don't get it...
 

Redd the Sock

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I said leaving the theater I hated it ended happily. The whole movie had been a commentary about how science has limits and how right now it seems it can do anything, eventually it will hit a wall that all the numbers say we can't solve. Then it went and mumbo jumboed a solution that saved humanity based on some very hypothetical science.

It was like ME3 as an ending that seemed to forget the tone of the rest of the work.
 

Smooth Operator

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The "sad" ending might be better as long as you imagine your own better story, but actually it's just a cut-off point with nothing resolved.

Not that the official ending did anything right, essentially they went back and made the entire journey pointless because there was always going to be a perfect solution, with a perfect dreamlike black hole sequence, where the protagonist perfectly explains shit he has no knowledge of.
If they at the very least made the surviving humans come out barely alive, without enough resources to have a permanent space colony, missing most plant and animal life, most things still stuck on the planet with no reliable way of getting it. Then you keep that tension the movie built up through most of it, and you still get a very ambiguous story that might or might not play out to our favour. Searching for Brand also becomes a necessity not merely an odd romance damsel story.
 

skywolfblue

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The happy ending is a lot better.

Even though it doesn't make much sense, it ties off most of the threads and provides closure. It's Dues Ex Machina, but 2001 A Space Odessy, of which this film was a massive tribute to, ends in a similarly strange fashion.

The sad end just leaves everything hanging and unexplained. I think the comparison a few people have made to the original ME3 ending would probably be appropriate for this.
 

Zack Alklazaris

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Also I can not accept humans saving themselves because it is a serious paradox. It could be explained if they stated the human race survived the second dust bowl, but felt it left a black mark on the race that needed be to correct. There was no explanation.

They use the black hole to catapult themselves to the last planet (you know the one they never visited or explained what happened to the team that was sent there). The planet could be the Eden planet they were searching for or had the resources necessary to refuel. By then Murph could of discovered the secret to creating a massless object. They could of come back from failure only to discover the human race now lives on a giant space station.

I mean I just thought of that in 2 minutes, how the hell did they pull a black hole is really an entrance to another dimension that sends the main character to a space library and communicates with his daughter through love before finally being rescued by space rangers.

I loved the rest of the movie, the realistic theoretical interpretation of a black hole was truly a gift to be seen.
 

Hawki

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Don't mistake this for me actually saying something positive about Interstellar, but of the two, I'd go with the happy ending. It has problems, a lot, but I think it's a better alternative to ambiguity in this case.