What year does Interstellar take place?
What time does Interstellar take place?
At the end of the film, the space station doctor tells Cooper that he is 124 years old. A few minutes earlier, Amelia says that Cooper doesn't look bad for someone who is 120 years old. So at this point in time, Cooper is 119/118 years old. A gap of five to six years was lost within the Tesseract. Cooper, shortly before Amelia's comment, states that they lost 51 years with Gargantua as a slingshot, which means that Cooper was 68/67 when a man died.
The next mention of the passage of time comes when the crew returns to the Endurance after discovering that Miller's Planet was a bust. 23 years and change. Make Cooper 45/44 years old at that moment.
It was also mentioned that it would take the crew two years to get from Mars to Saturn, which made Cooper 43/42 years old when he left Earth. This is in line with Donald's comment that Cooper was born 40 years early or too late. So Cooper is in his 40s. The hard thing to understand is how Murph will be 10 years old when Cooper leaves Earth, and when the older Murph delivered her "birthday" message, it was 26 at best. Make Murph 35/36 years old, almost six to seven years younger than Cooper at the time of her message. Difficult to explain. ( There is no mention of a jump from six to seven years. However, it is possible that there was still a time difference on Mann's planet. It's not proven, but we'll move on anyway .) So we have to make Murph 43/42 years old by this point, according to her.
By the same logic, the older Murph would be 98/97 at the end of the film; and had entered cryo-sleep about 96/95 years old. Understanding this, it is difficult for an elderly person to maintain the mid-90s for a person in the "future-future". That said, an elderly person like Donald wouldn't survive until the early 90s, especially in terms of the state of the earth and the appearance of medical care for children, let alone geriatrics. As of now in 2014, the average life expectancy is 79 years. To be fair, let's assume Donald died at the age of 87. We know 25 years have passed since Cooper was on perseverance and the like; He gave proof that Donald must have been 62 years old when Cooper left Earth. That's not a bad sale if John Lithgow is 69 now, 68 at filming. Almost a six year hiatus in his physical appearance. However, for his physical appearance to make sense, Donald would have to die at the age of 93/94. ( For example, suppose Tom's news of Grandpa's funeral is close to being 23 years behind .) Elderly Murph in the 'Future-Future' could hardly bear to reach her without medical supervision in the mid to late 1990s, and she wasn't at Earth; So I find it hard to believe that Donald died in the 90s. According to this logic, Cooper is 43/42 years old and Donald 62 years old. A gap of 19/20 years. That said, Donald was 19 or 20 years old when Cooper was born. Plausible. Now Donald could have had children at that age at any time. Cooper possibly a year or two younger than Donald's daughter. She would be 17 or 18 years old at the earliest, making Cooper 15/16 years old. Although they are unlikely to marry right away because Cooper worked for NASA and college for a while. But if they got married right away at 17 (Cooper) and 19/18 (Cooper) and 20, Murph would not have been born for 15 to 16 years. Make Tom 15 or 16 years old at most.
Back to Donald, when he's 62 years old, if he makes the remark about 6 billion people and inventions are made every day as a kid, then we have to do some research here. October 1999, marked when the world met 6 billion people. For Donald to be a child in 1999, he should have been born in the early 1990s. That would contradict some of what Cooper said and things like that. Donald must have generalized then, and the last year 6 billion people were on earth was 2011. So he couldn't have been born in 2011 to claim he was a child when the world was 6 billion people Earth held. So we're going to say Donald was born in 2003. The year Cooper left Earth, 2065 . We could go further and reduce it to late May to mid-June; due to the way okra and corn are planted and harvested in the New York area. I say seen New York because of the baseball team. ( Almost 51 years in our future, or 50 years if we look at it now as 2015. That rounds everything off nicely .) This would also result in Cooper being born between 2022 and 2023. Tom was born in 2049/2050, which means that Cooper was 26 or 27 years old at the time. Murph was born in 2055 and was 32 or 33 years old. Donald dies before 2090. And when Cooper finally returns from his trip, it is 2146.
I don't think Nolan intended to tear the movie's timeline apart like that, and the movie is really more about a father and daughter's relationship. I enjoy the fact that a particular year is not mentioned. I think it takes away the message of the film and focuses on other "background noise". But we humans need to know the answers to our questions. Our curiosity will never die.
If anyone has better information, please share it. My math could be bad and I could have missed something. Feel free to correct this.
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