MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW
There's no question that "Interstellar" is a gorgeous well-made film, but a lot of the division among critics and movie writers comes from whether the story and emotions hold up under any kind of scrutiny.
"Interstellar" spends a lot of time explaining the answers to many of its questions, but there's one story detail that I — and the people I talked to at MTV — couldn't quite account for. To see if others had the same issue, I posed the question to a few film writers I know. Here's what I asked:
When Matt Damon wakes up from cryo sleep, he makes clear that Plan A was bulls--t from at least the time his mission launched. So why didn’t Damon’s ship and all the other missions carry along embryos for Plan B? Why wait to deliver embryos with a second, risky mission? In other words: why does Matthew McConaughey’s mission exist?
...and here's what they answered:
"Prefacing this with a cursory 'I could be wrong,' but I was under the impression that Damon's ship had embryos onboard as well. That was the part that blew up when the bomb triggered. And McConaughey's mission was a last-ditch effort because they weren't sure what happened to the other missions. Because communications out of the wormhole were so spotty, they need to blast one last ship in there to make sure at least someone survived -- even if that meant they would lose that ship too." — Christopher Rosen, The Huffington Post
"My best guess (other than 'there would be no movie') is that even though Professor Brand knew Plan A wouldn't work (something he shared with Dr. Mann), he'd have to share that grim opinion with too many people at such an early stage to get the funding necessary to put the embryos on all three ships -- remember he did want to at least try to create the illusion that Plan A was possible. Basically, he had to go through the motions of Plan A (which still served a purpose) before he could convince anyone that *maybe* we should also start making arrangements for a Plan B." — Mike Ryan, ScreenCrush
"The only possible explanation is that NASA didn't have enough embryos. Like, the initial first wave of the Lazarus mission required sending several ships through the wormhole. The stated goal all along was for those ships to serve as probes, while the Endurance would serve as the actual colonial mothership, bringing enough embryos to populate a new world." — Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
"So I don't think it's a plot hole, because McConaughey's mission exists to find the planet on which the embryos can live. The earlier missions didn't bring embryos because of scarce resources — there are only so many embryos, and so much fuel, and they can't be sent on a dozen different missions without any guarantee that there is a planet on which they can live. My impression was Plan B was a one shot deal." — Adam B. Vary, BuzzFeed
"When Dr. Mann and his mission head out, they don’t have any idea whether habitable planets even exist on the other side of the wormhole. So given Earth has dwindling resources, and knowing they potentially won’t come back from the mission/even find other planets, why waste viable, fertilized embryos? Even if the mission was B.S., adding the extra weight of 5,000 embryos on every separate shuttle in the first expedition would be a massive waste of fuel." — Alex Zalben, MTV
What's your explanation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.