Greetings from another time.
That's right, MTV News has traveled through a wormhole on a detachable pod in the Endurance spacecraft, witnessing both the marvels of modern space travel and an overpowering sense of curiosity about what the heck director Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is actually going to be about.
All this, without even leaving a padded armchair in the lobby of New York City's Lincoln Square.
Ahead of the November 7 wide release of the film, a traveling exhibit of the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2, showcasing the "Interstellar" experience, will make stops in New York City (Oct. 6-8), Houston (Oct. 17-19), Los Angeles (Oct. 25-27) and Chantilly, Virginia (Nov. 5-19). Fans will be able to take their turn exploring the Endurance, just like we did today. Even Nolan has tried the virtual reality trip and been wowed.
"I was impressed with how the experience is able to put you in the cockpit of 'Interstellar's' spaceship, the Endurance," he said in a release. "It was just like being back on set."
To begin the experience, a person just has to settle into a cushy maroon armchair and relax, placing a chunky virtual reality headset over their faces. Headphones complete the combo, and the experience begins.
Mike Woods, head of digital at Framestore, which developed the experience, told MTV News that the idea behind the "Interstellar" experience was more of "a real honest, organic visceral experience. Things we've done before have been about vertigo, a panic-inducing screamfest. This is more of a relaxing trip through a place, it's much nicer."
Testimonial: no screaming to be had in this experience, in which the user is vocally guided through a spaceship and told that they're in zero gravity. As you float through the corridors of the spaceship, you can look up, down, side to side and even behind you. There are no jump scares, or scares at all, as you move through the shuttle, just atmospheric sound and very slight, occasional movements of the chair to signal changes in gravity. The stars outside the windows move, and occasional objects float past. There's no action to take, just an environment to observe.
"There are literally two different types of people who go through these experiences: there are the ones that are just struck dumb with fear and will just sit rigidly like they're watching a film on the screen, and then there are the brave ones that realize, hang on a minute, I can do whatever the hell I like and look around all over," Woods, who estimated that he's been through the experience 15 times a day for the last six weeks, said. "You can actually bob and weave. Nothing makes you feel like you're really in a place like that sense of parallax with objects."
Indeed, objects such as a pen, notebook and flashlight float past your head as you drift around, and it's tempting to try and reach up and grab objects, as we witnessed one be-helmeted kid trying to do.
As for hints at the plot of Nolan's befuddling film, look elsewhere. The experience ends with the user seated at a control console and a white burst of light outside the shuttle's window signaling a jump into a wormhole. Woods, who walked the set of the film to get an idea of the immersive environment he was building, hasn't even seen the movie yet.
He did, however, share his best guess of the movie's plot with us, including his theory of Matthew McConaughey's character's thread: "He's handpicked because of his skills to board this ship and go back or forward in time and work out what is the best next thing to do in his own time. Kind of half time travel, half sci-fi. I think I'll direct you to the Reddit threads for any more."