Mars or Bust: "The Martian" Is a Science Blast!
The Martian: “PG-13“ (106 min.)
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña
Directed by: Ridley Scott
The Martain Chronicles
As a planet-bound race of Earthers, we have always been fascinated by Mars, the red planet, named for the Roman god of War, out closest planetary neighbor. We have long dreamt of going to Mars, in fact much of our early sci-fi about alien invasions talk about “Martians” (probably spurred on by not only Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ series involving both John Carter and Princess of Mars, but by Orson Wells‘ classic radio retelling of H.G. Wells seminal novel; The War of the World) Needless to say, we are all enamored of Mars. Which is why a team of astronauts is currently on Mars doing research and selecting samples.
Trapped on Mars
However, when a dust storm suddenly brews and sweeps across the plains hitting the team before it can make it’s escape off planet. Unfortunately, as he is returning to the ship, botanist Mark Watney’s (Damon) line gets cut and he is blown off course. Inside the ship, the sensors detect no life signs for Watney so his shipmates, who are under the gun to get off-world, assume his Watney is dead, and lift off. However, Watney was actually still alive and, it was his sensor that was damaged. When he recovers, Watney proceeds to the habitat and sets himself up.
The Martian, Trailer
Unwilling to simply to give up, Watney understands that that it’ll be at least three years ‘til the another mission arrives to rescue him, plus, he has no means to communicate with the mother ship, and his supplies will actually only last him a year. Still, in spite of overwhelmingly impossible odds, he refuses to give up, and sets about to create more. Back on Earth, the Mars Mission Director (Jeff Daniels) decides to mount a mission to bring back Watney’s remains, but when he has the satellites check out the surface of Mars NASA discovers that Watney is still alive. So they have to figure out how to help him.
The Path Home
Eventually Watney figures out a way to communicate with Earth, and NASA needs to decide whether to tell the crew he’s still alive, and attempt a rescue s of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.
“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!”
Can You Me Major Tom?
Science is not so Weird
The film is full of drama, sacrifice, suspense and just a metric tonne of some actual science. So yes, instead of ray guns, aliens, and monsters, this is — like Gravity before it — more of a science than a science fiction film, and (hopefully) one that will inspire young viewers who will help spur on the next great wave of scientific achievement. Yes, this film is really that good. For those of us who grew up during the moon landings watching this film was truly a thrilling experience. All of Watney’s actions are predicated by, and steeped in science and as he walks his way through each step (just like the scientist he is) the film unfolds in a fashion that shows off how cook science is
Harvesting the Crops
Neil deGrasse Tyson Weighs in
Noted astrophysicist, host of Cosmos, and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter recently to weigh in on the space drama, The Martian.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Tweets
© 2016 Robert J Sodaro