Ready for another trip into Christopher Nolan's future of time-sensitive space exploration?
The director has just released Absolute Zero, a prequel comic to his latest mind-bender [Interstellar](movie:813746). Nolan wrote the story and partnered with comic-book artist Sean Gordon Murphy to publish a revealing opening chapter to the sci-fi adventure.
Here's what we've learned from the seven-page story, available to read in full over at Wired.com.
Warning: major spoilers ahead for readers who haven't seen Interstellar.
Absolute Zero explores the events before Cooper and Amelia made their last ditch attempt to save the human race. The punchable Dr. Mann (Matt Damon's character) takes center stage here as leader of the Lazarus missions, and it's clear that solitude is really starting to take its toll. We quickly find out that he may have left Earth a brave man, but the search for a hospitable new planet has driven him to some questionable levels of sanity.
Let's take a look at how the "lost chapter" fits in with Interstellar.
Dr. Mann's robot would have fit right in with TARS
Absolute Zero introduces us to Dr. Mann's robot, named KIPP. Like TARS with a dash of CASE, KIPP is there to assist with the mission and, more importantly, to be a companion to the isolated research. We learn that he tried desperately to keep the Lazarus mission on track despite Dr. Mann's frequent outbursts. It's not often that I shed a tear for some scraps of metal, but these hunks of junks just get me, you know?
(Can we give a quick hand to Christopher Nolan for creating a couple of the most human robots in years, all without faces or other anthropomorphic qualities? Who needs a neck when you've got a knack for wisecracks?)
Dr. Mann was always kind of a jerk
From Interstellar, we know that Dr. Mann disabled KIPP to prevent any damning data from reaching NASA, keeping alive the possibility of his survival. That fact did not prepare me for just how ruthlessly he gets rid of his robotic comrade. And even before the machine's death, Dr. Mann refuses to believe any calculations that his planet cannot sustain life. He would rather destroy KIPP's rational voice than accept his own reality. Jerk.
Dr. Mann began doubting the entire mission
Although Amelia considered him to be an inspiring believer with a commitment to humanity, Dr. Mann, despite his name, really didn't give a crap about mankind. Maybe he was different before Absolute Zero, but being trapped on a freezing cold planet with no food or company made him one selfish stick in the mud. At this point, his plan became more about saving his own hide than finding a sustainable home for civilization. Again, jerk.
How did you feel about Nolan's comic prequel?