Crop [Source]

In Interstellar a pathogenic organism (the blight) is responsible for a global food shortage.

Corn seems to be the last crop that can be grown, although it is hinted that it's only a matter of time until it falls victim to the blight as well.

But at the end of the movie we can see corn fields on Cooper Station, which made me wonder what happened to the blight?

  1. A cure was found.
  2. There is still no cure, but due to the space station being a 'closed eco system' (CES) the corn can't be infected.

But if a cure was found, why leave earth?
And if a CES is the solution, why not have them on earth (e.g. build bio-domes)?

My question:

  • At the end of the movie, was the blight still a problem?

1 Answer 1


It is quite unlikely that a cure for the blight was found, since as you said yourself, they could have just stayed on earth and gradually recultivated it in this case. So the 1st option stays out of consideration. It is, however, likely that you could cultivate plants in a closed ecosystem once you have seeds separated from the blight, afterall they somehow would have to grow new stuff on whatever planet they land on anyway. So yes, the corn there was likely isolated from the blight still running rampant on earth.

But as to the idea of building closed ecosystems on earth, there was another severe aspect to the whole blight problem. It was slowly turning earth into a plantless desert with a toxic atmosphere. So the only possible long-term way to overcome this would have been to not only grow the food inside biodomes, but to move the entire human civilization into biodomes on an otherwise completely hostile planet. And I'm not sure this would have been a remotely possible endeavour on the long run, or at least not as an ultimate solution for humanty's progress. Granted, it might be sufficiently reasonable to serve as a last resort of hope, hadn't we found that promising wormhole, which suddenly made an even less likely solution much more reasonable.

But I admit that I'm not providing a definite answer here either, only possible ways to explain the situation. The idea of moving humanity into biodomes might as well just not have been considered by the writers at all, since of course it wouldn't make the humans strive for new dimensions and a better future, but make them effectively prisoners surrounded by a dead and destructive world waiting for their slow demise.

Another possibility might be, that this in the end wasn't real corn afterall, as this whole area was practically just a museum to remind humanity of its (and especially Cooper's) past as farmers.

  • I'm assuming that Amelia landed on Edmund's planet about the same time Cooper was rescued, which is 50+ years after sending the message to Murphy. This would mean that mankind left earth before knowing whether there is a suitable planet on the other side of the wormhole. - I actually kinda expected a twist ending, where Amelia lands on Edmund's planet only to find it already colonized. But for some reason the earthlings never made it to that planet in the 50+ years.
    – Oliver_C
    Dec 17, 2014 at 19:53
  • "move the entire human civilization into biodomes ... not sure this would have been a remotely possible endeavour" Isn't a space station merely a biodome, with added challenges? I wonder if there is even an in-universe reason that space stations were better than biodomes. Jun 15, 2015 at 16:45
  • @JohnWalthour But the space stattion was nevertheless only a temporal solution, until they settled on the new colony. It was nothing like moving the whole earth's population into biodomes till the end of all days.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 15, 2015 at 16:51
  • Ah. So, are you saying the advantage wasn't that the stations were easier to build, but that they were mobile? Jun 15, 2015 at 17:06

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