With more and more movies about interplanetary travel coming out over the past few years, I think Hollywood is trying to tell us something. Interestingly enough, this is not science-fiction anymore, this is reality. There’s a good chance that in order for humanity to survive, we will have to colonize other planets. Even if this means growing food in our own feces as we saw in The Martian.
This epic film about space survival gave us a true glimpse as to what it takes for a human to not only survive on a deserted planet (Mars), but how to rescue him. It also shows you the type of intelligence that’s needed to pull this off. Our protagonist Mark Watney played by Matt Damon (who toward the end of the film called himself a space pirate) was just a botanist. But he ended up having to use more than his knowledge of agriculture to survive when he was accidentally left behind by his crew (they thought he was dead).
The film really focuses on calculations, teamwork, and thinking outside the box (something that humans excel at). It also shows us how fragile we are, and how we can operate at a minimal level. For example at one point, Watney is being protected by nothing more than a plastic tarp as he reenters space as “the fastest human to ever travel through space”. It was also quite usual when an astrophysics college student saved the day when NASA could not.
Hollywood has been showing us glimpses of the future as well as what could be possible if we work as a team instead of fighting amongst ourselves. They’ve also planted a seed (literally) in our minds to show us that we truly could colonize Mars or other planets. It’s really just a matter of time. Other more recent films such as Interstellar or even Gravity, were more science-fiction and fantasy than they were reality. For once, The Martian shows us the truest form of space exploration, survival, and rescue all in one.
Ultimately the lesson learned is to never give up. Even when everything is lost and you think you are at the end. “That’s when you begin.” Kudos to Ridley Scott and Matt Damon for such a spectacular film.