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In Interstellar, when Mann wrecked the docking hub, Cooper and Brand are puzzled for a moment. But Cooper soon tries to dock his Ranger with the Endurance, which is spinning off. After successful docking, he pushes the Endurance out of orbit. Then Cooper and Brand laugh as they survived and Cooper says "And for our next trick".

What's his plan to do with the ship which is wrecked? However later after realizing that they are heading towards Garagantua, he plans a slingshot. But what made him to dock his Ranger after the Endurance is damaged? Did he see any of the undamaged thrusters in the ship that could take them to the destination? What's that 'next trick'?

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    I don't think he actually knew what the "next trick" is, he just says that because they just achieved something that seemed impossible. So he's himself surprised they made it and wonders what comes next. And as to docking, what else should he have done? Remain in the Ranger and die? They only option was docking the Endurance, no matter if there's a clear plan what to do next. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 24 '16 at 13:25
  • 'What else should he have done? Remain in the Ranger and die? They only option was docking the Endurance'. Of course, that's right too. But there must be some plan in his mind after successful docking, to come out of the shock and rejoice – kvchivukula Aug 24 '16 at 13:32
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    The phrase "for my/our next trick" is a well known joke in English. It's said after you do something pretty unusual or surprising. When its said in the movie, it breaks the tension and Brand bursts out laughing. – iandotkelly Aug 24 '16 at 13:37
  • Yeah. Thanks for that. But its not a time to have smile on the face without knowing what to do next. – kvchivukula Aug 24 '16 at 13:41
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    Your question seems to imply that Cooper had some form of fully worked out plan - and that the phrase implies that. I'm just pointing out that the phrase is a joke. Like NapoleonWilson points out - he had zero options. Indeed the dialog even says that "Case: That's impossible, Cooper: No, it's necessary". They could stay on the Ranger and die or they could return to the planet which is inhospitable to human life, go to sleep and eventually die. Or they could dock and work it out from there depending on the damage to the Endurance. – iandotkelly Aug 24 '16 at 13:47
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The team are on an inhospitable planet. They've discovered that Mann was falsifying the data about the conditions on the surface. Mann was attempting to strand them on a planet that they would simply not be able to survive long term.

They didn't have any option but to attempt to dock with the single ship capable of getting them to another survivable space, be that Earth or on to Edmund's planet. Its clear that Cooper realizes that they have no option but to attempt to dock with and save the Endurance:

CASE

Endurance rotation is 67, 68 RPM -

COOPER

Get ready to match it on the retro-thrusters -

CASE

It’s not possible -

COOPER

No. It’s necessary.

So Cooper was attempting what's quite often called a "Hail Mary" in American Football. A late game, extremely unlikely and often unsuccessful play - but the only one available to save the game.

When he succeeds, the "For our next trick" comment is a joke - a tension reliever. They've succeeded in so far as giving themselves a glimmer of hope that they might survive. Until they get into the Endurance and see how damaged it is, whether its capable of being flown they have no idea whether it was worth the docking attempt, but they had to attempt it.

My assumption is that there was 'no plan' other than give themselves the only possible slim option of survival, get onboard the Endurance. In a perfect world, they would have had a good enough ship to return to Earth, but at least they found they had an option to get Brand to Edmund's world.

The alternatives were to die in the Ranger or to return to Mann's planet and go to sleep. However they knew that there was little or no hope for NASA to build another Endurance and follow them there to rescue them.

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A little late to the party, but the phrase "now for my next trick" is a throwback to Eric Breedlove, the test pilot who crashed The Spirit of America at Bonneville after setting a new record of 526mph. After ditching the car in the water, he swam ashore and shouted "now for my next trick".

Its now used as a paraphrase by anyone who makes a seemingly impossible escape from a situation and lives to tell the tale.

  • Craig Breedlove* :D – Shalini Jul 26 '18 at 14:29

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