If you boil down all of Interstellar's moving dialogue and amazing visuals, it reduces down to one driving purpose: the goal of saving humanity. Matthew McConaughey's Cooper is recruited by Michael Caine's Professor Brand to lead a mission past the wormhole and colonize one of three supposedly inhabitable worlds. This is only after the good Professor fails in his efforts to launch massive space stations off of the face of the Earth, ensuring humanity's survival offworld. This leaves humanity with two separate missions, two separate chances to ensure its survival.
With an ending that's pretty vague in what it says, as well as the fact that Jonathan Nolan himself has spoken out on his original ending, there's some big questions about just how effective Interstellar's missions really were. Were Cooper, his team, and his daughter successful in saving the human race from extinction? That's what we're going to discuss, at length. Using the information given to us throughout the film's course of events, we'll see just which mission, if any, ensured humanity's survival in the stars.
Warning: Interstellar will be spoiled at length in this article. If you haven't already seen the film, bookmark this page and come back to us later.
Plan A: The Front MissionThe original plan to save the world's population in Interstellar was to build a massive space complex that doubled as a series of viable space stations. With Professor Brand working to complete a formula, he would enable those stations to be able to leave the planet, sending humanity off-world and towards Gargantua's supposed worlds of plenty. Unfortunately, the good Professor couldn't figure out his work, which led to the double-edged sword of his dishonesty involving the true purpose of the Endurance mission, as well as the inadvertent development of Cooper's daughter, Murphy (Jessica Chastain), as our planet's eventual savior.
Murphy ultimately saves the human race by receiving the necessary data to launch the stations off of Earth. She gets this information from her father, who's sending her encoded messages through his old wrist watch and time/space conduit located within the heart of Gargantua. Humanity is able to cast the shackles of its oppressive mother planet, and soar above the atmosphere to parts unknown. All because a little girl grew up with a wish and a hope to see her father one last time.
Did The Mission Succeed?: Yes, this mission succeeds because it helps get humanity off of Earth, in sustainable space communities that may or may not colonize the worlds beyond the wormhole.