Stuck Here With You
This post contains a spoiler for the movie Passengers. You likely have already heard about it because it happens in the first few minutes of the movie, and every review has mentioned it, but in case you haven’t, stop reading now.
I’m not going to see the movie Passengers because the mishaps-in-space trope fills me with dread*, but I realized that I got the story wrong after reading Nerdist’s take on the plotline. My assumption was that both people woke up at the same time on the ship, and the movie is trying to figure out why these two passengers and none of the others are destined to die in space.
But noooooo, Chris Pratt wakes up 90 years too early and then decides to wake up one of the other passengers so he won’t be alone.
Nerdist asks an interesting questions (which sounds like it comes from the movie): “If you were stranded alone on a desert island, as star Chris Pratt pontificates early on in the movie, and you had the power to strand someone else there with you, would you?”
Like, if you were going to be locked in a spaceship, doomed to die, would you grab someone else to join you on-board so you wouldn’t have to be alone, knowing that you’re dooming that other person to the same fate?
I know the “correct” answer is “of course not!” The kind person says they would stoically endure their indefinite solitary confinement and talk to themselves until the end of their days.
But… really… I mean, if you had the ability to have someone with you, wouldn’t you take someone with you? There is a reason why solitary confinement is considered a cruel punishment. People literally go insane only speaking with themselves. But once you decide to do it, the question gets trickier: Do you pick someone you know or someone you don’t know? And if it’s someone you know, do you go with an acquaintance, a friend, a family member, or your favourite person in the world?
Listen, I know this makes me a terrible person, but I think I’d grab someone. I mean, first and foremost, I would hope that they would naturally be in the same mess with me so I’m not to blame for their situation, but if that’s not possible, I think I’d grab an acquaintance. I think. Best not to know me, right? Oh my G-d, but then the guilt factor kicks in and I think, “No way could I deal with the guilt. Better to die alone.”
What about you?
*It doesn’t matter whether it’s real, like Apollo 13, or fake, like Gravity. I can read book versions, but I can’t see movies. I panic just thinking about them. I’m still freaked out about the “Resurrection Ship” episode of Battlestar Galactica where Apollo is floating through space.