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In the 2016 film Passengers, Jennifer Lawrence's character Aurora Lane says that her plan was to travel to the planet Homestead II, live there for one year, and then return to Earth, being the first person to do so.

However, it is established that the colony ship they are on doesn't have the means to put someone into hibernation, and I didn't see any evidence of other ships going to the planet (although that would be the most logical explanation if there was evidence for it). So how did Aurora plan to return to Earth if the ship didn't have any way to put someone into hibernation?

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    Based on this inconsistency (or whatever it is) I was like 94% sure that there was no colony and the ship was just heading off into the void. That the trip was 100 years so all the passenger's friends would die before they found out the ship never made it to its destination. Of course then I couldn't figure out why they had a pool for passengers who would never wake up...
    – stannius
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 22:49

2 Answers 2

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The plan is that Aurora would put in Hibernation on Homestead II. Homestead II being another of many colony worlds. The ship is fully intended to be a two way ship and be used many times. It was never a one way voyage.

As Jim mentions, the process for hibernation is a long and complicated one. Part of the crew that were asleep would be corporate Medical officers with the means and knowledge to do it. The problem was that Jim and Aurora didn't have clearance for the Proprietary information on Homesteads hibernation technology, and even if they did, could not operate it from the inside. Hence the problem with one being able to sleep at the end at the cost of the other.

Once they arrive, multiple skilled workers, whom have received four months of training prior to landfall, will use multiple technologies to build up a society on Homestead II. This includes any laboratory or facility for hibernation. That's the point of colonization.

As intelligent as Aurora is, I'm sure she would have confirmed that a round trip could be achieved, prior to booking passage.

Update: The original screenplay says that the Avalon lands on Homestead II, it's greeted by existing colonists.

we see the scene from the perspective of the colonists gathering to watch the new citizens arrive.

Jim and Aurora have a conversation earlier about how profitable Homestead I was for the Homestead Corporation. It's likely that Jim and Aurora's ship was not the first to arrive at Homestead II. As such, facilities and medical staff already there could place her back in hibernation as well.

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  • There was no single build-your-own-hibernation-lab-in-a-box kit that they could access. The technology, like everything else on Homestead 2 would be built there. By people like Jim, skilled workers who get a free ride in exchange for labor.
    – cde
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 3:00
  • @Thunderforge I'm saying there is no single "hibernation lab". It's not a pre-fabbed assembly. It's not legos. It's highly complicated medical technology. And as the movie showed, the crew is locked behind firewalls, and even if he did wake them up, that would doom one or more of them, since you can't put someone into hibernation without manual entry. Even when they found a self-contained hibernation mode in the medical bay's override screen, someone had to operate it.
    – cde
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 4:07
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    @Thunderforge Arthur had a conniption when he was faced with the fact that the hibernation pod malfunctioned. Imagine the logic bomb he would face if he was told to put someone to hibernation. Also, look at how badly he screws up in telling Aurora Jim's secret. I wouldn't trust Arthur with anything more complicated than a mixed drink.
    – cde
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 4:12
  • @thunderforge when SRTs or transcripts or cams are available, I'll see if anything states that they are the first destined for HS2.
    – cde
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 8:49
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    @chopper3 repair manual and spare parts. The ship can also self repair when it's main processor hasn't been riddles with space rocks...
    – cde
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 17:52
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This is far from the only problem with the story. For as advanced as the tech would have to be to achieve intergalactic travel you would think that being able to walk out of an airlock with no suit on would be impossible. The computer would not allow it. Seems like we have tech that could do that even now. Also Aurthurs AI is advanced enough that some computer on the ship would recognize that Jim's pod failed. In fact we know it does because it appears on the holographic screen on the bridge. Yet anytime he asks about it the response is that it can't happen. You would think the computers would be designed to innovate. The auto pilot would have to be able to do this before it would ever be safe to use.The odds of passing a red giant on the birthday of the one passenger Jim woke up has to be astronomical. Knowing that pod failure is supposed to be impossible and yet when Aurora is woken up she never even suspected that Jim might have done it. Lastly there are far worse places to be stranded than a Luxury starship yet they act like they are stuck on a barren island. They are alive and have plenty of food and water and luxury amenities. Poor them. 🙄

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    This doesn't answer the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 8 at 18:45

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