It’s a nightmare scenario: You’re supposed to sleep through the 120-year journey to another star but you wake up way, way too soon. That’s what happens to Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Dunn (Jennifer Lawrence) onboard the starship Avalon, which is en route to establish a colony on the distant planet “Homestead” in the new movie Passengers. The film, which opens December 21, grapples with the technological and personal challenges of such an interminable journey, especially when—as they often do in the movies—things go wrong.
The film features some impressive zero-gravity effects—most notably a scene in which the ship’s artificial gravity fails while one character is taking a swim in the onboard lap pool—and tantalizing visions of the kind of entertainment and amenities that might be available on a futuristic spaceship. But it shows that even the most tricked-out of luxury starships can be devastatingly boring and lonely when you know you won’t live to reach your destination.Long duration interstellar travel is an oxymoron. It has to be extremely rapid to ever be remotely practical for humans. To read more, click here.