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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.


1 Charlotte { 12.20.16 at 7:46 am }

I have no brain power this week to this no too hard about your question. Little sleep and a million things to do before Saturday!
But, like you can’t watch space movies, I can’t watch anything with water or sinking ships or drowning. That ish totally freaks me the eff out and I get all panicky-feeling and like it’s happening to me. HATE it, and always have to either skip the movie or cover my eyes til the part is over.

2 Charlotte { 12.20.16 at 7:47 am }

That should say “to think too hard about your question”…oh spell check!

3 a { 12.20.16 at 8:12 am }

I’d probably, in this situation, wake someone up eventually. I enjoy my solitude but I have to interact with others sometime. I might be able to hold out longer than most people, though.

4 Chickenpig { 12.20.16 at 8:14 am }

I’m with Charlotte. I fell in a well when I was a toddler and almost drowned. Now I can’t put my head under water or watch movies like Titanic without having nightmares for days. So….give me space any day.

I admit if I was alone on the ship I would probably wake someone up. I think it would be really cruel to expect someone to survive all alone without any company. If my husband was one of the passengers I would probably wake him up. He wouldn’t want to wake up years later knowing I had died. But waking up a total stranger? That would be difficult. When I see the trailers, all I can think is “What if she is just no in to you? Talk about pressure!” There’s only two people awake on the entire ship, and what if she thinks he’s a total creep? That would be my luck. I’d wake someone, and we would be totally incompatible.

5 Beth { 12.20.16 at 10:59 am }

I can’t watch space movies either. I feel like I’m suffocating. And I’d definitely panic and wake someone else, much as I wish I could say I’d be cool and collected and go it alone.

6 torthuil { 12.20.16 at 1:14 pm }

Ugh that sounds horrible. Flesh crawls just thinking about it. I think I would wake up someone close to me that would understand and forgive. I wouldn’t want to live with the (justified) anger and resentment of a stranger. Don’t think I’ll watch that movie either though.

7 Sharon { 12.20.16 at 1:24 pm }

Tough question. I don’t know the answer.

8 katherinea12 { 12.20.16 at 2:19 pm }

Like you, I really want to think I’d never wake someone else up. Before last winter, I probably would have been adamant that I wouldn’t. I mean, it would be wrong and I’m introverted, so on and so forth. Last winter, however, we were in a sort of solitary as we needed to keep premature kiddo away from sick people, germs, etc. By February, I was losing it. I just wanted to talk and be around people. So as much as I would love to say I would do the noble thing and not wake someone else up, with guilt I’d have to say that in reality, I would almost certainly be unable to resist the temptation.

9 Jill A. { 12.20.16 at 3:51 pm }

At this point in my life, no, I would not wake anyone else up. I prefer my own thoughts and company. Especially in stressful situations. The thought of being dead does not bother me. The thought of dying, only a little bit. It is not good for my social skills to withdraw from people too much, but if I never had to worry about interacting again? I’d stay alone. And I expect I would be content and at peace. 🙂

10 Raven { 12.22.16 at 2:29 pm }

Ugh. I am with you on the space movies. Or doomsday movies. They all make me feel sick.

What are the terms of this? He wakes her up, because he is going to live out his natural life on the ship and can’t imagine being alone for the next 60+ years? Or is it just a few years? Or does he know?

I WANT to think I wouldn’t wake someone else up… I would never, ever want to hurt someone or doom them to death. BUT… if I am facing spending my entire life completely and utterly alone, I think I probably would – although the guilt would eat away at me. (Is there no way they could turn the ship around, or find a way to communicate with someone??) If I knew the term, I might be able to keep myself from doing it. If I had no idea, but thought it might be forever – I would likely hold off for a while, and then give in.

The whole idea of it gives me the heeby jeebies…so I will NOT be seeing this movie!

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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