When Cooper (McConaughey) and Brand (Hathaway) return from the ground of the first planet in Interstellar, the scientist (Romilly?) that stayed in the ship aged 23 years because of the effect of Gargantua, right?

So, when they traveled to the next planet and met Dr. Mann (Matt Damon), Dr. Mann did not age the same 23 years. He aged in the same rate as Brand and Cooper.

Everybody on earth aged 23 years, Romilly aged 23 years. So, why did Dr. Mann not age in the same rate?

I understand that as a plot inconsistency. Is there another explanation?

1 Answer 1


Yes, there is an explanation for that. Dr. Mann was in some kind of hypersleep. This is apparently an established technology in the film. You can see Cooper and the rest of the Endurance crew enter hypersleep during their 2 years of travel from Earth to Saturn.

It is also mentioned that Romilly could have gone to hypersleep, too, but chose not to anymore at some point since he was unaware of when Cooper and Brand would return, which is why he did age significantly (even if maybe not the entire 23 years), and why Brand assumes that he didn't go to sleep.

Brand (seeing old Romilly): Why didn't you sleep?
Romilly: Oh, I had a couple of stretches. But I stopped believing you were coming back. And something seemed wrong about dreaming my life away.

And later Dr. Mann also explains how he entered hypersleep waiting for someone to rescue him:

My supplies were completely exhausted. The last time I went to sleep, I didn't even set a waking date. You have literally raised me from the dead.

Now of course it's unclear if that hypersleep is able to completely halt any aging at all, but given the science-fiction setting it's not a big stretch to accept that it slows down aging to a large degree.

  • Would make sense if hypersleep would stop aging, but it doesn't. It's just a plot device so them don't go crazy after running out of things to do for 2 years.
    – vianna77
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:35
  • Also, I heard that the 3 planets are around Gargantua and that would make him age slow. I don't believe it's also true.
    – vianna77
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:37
  • 1
    @vianna77 Well, we don't know if it does, it's magic future tech. Brand specifically asks Romilly why he didn't sleep after seeing how old he is, that certainly suggests a connection.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:38
  • 1
    @vianna77 No. It is specifically clarified that only Miller's planet was near enough to Gargantua to have a significant effect on Cooper's and Brand's time. Mann's planet, as well as Romilly aboard the Endurance (who afterall was much closer to the black hole than Mann), never got near enough to be affected by it as much. For more information on that, see this question and its answers
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:40
  • I agree with you! The other planets are not around Gargantua! That's one friend of mine trying to explain Mann not aging.
    – vianna77
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .