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Interstellar in three universes

Updated on November 29, 2014

Gargantuan black hole

Black hole
Black hole | Source

Multiverse take


If you intend to but have not watch Interstellar or if you are looking for previews, please do not continue.

Intersteller and the three timelines

By now, I am positive we could agree Interstellar is one of the best movies of the year except one thing (actually two) in the movie that was bugging me which prompted me to attempt to present a solution. They are the two time paradoxes. The first paradox is the Saturn wormhole. How could THEY (5D beings) have put a worm whole near Saturn in the first place if the earth perished and no-one survived to evolve into THEM? The second is how could Cooper have sent himself the coordinates to the secret NASA base if he was not there in the first place. While attempting to solve these two paradoxes in a single timeline, which seems like how the movie is presenting it, I scratched my head a little too hard. After working out a sound explanation and constructing necessary basic mechanics, I would like to share with you my take on the movie. It involves a multiverse system with infinite number of universes (or timelines) in them. We pick three particular timelines out of infinity.

Third timeline

The third timeline the one presented in the movie. The earth is plagued by blight and a wormhole mysteriously appears near Saturn in 1950s, Cooper and Murph discover coordinates to the secret NASA base which were written using gravity and Cooper goes on the expedition. After adventures on two planets, Cooper falls into Gargantuan, the blackhole near Miller planet and Brand goes on to Edmund planet with embryos to execute Plan B. With the help of data gathered from the close stable blackhole, Population on Edmund planet later evolved into 5D beings who later made a tesseract to trap Cooper and sent a wormhole back in time to solar system in an attempt to save their ancient ancestors. Inside the tesseract, Cooper finds himself become the ghost to his own daughter and sent back black hole data and coordinates to NASA secret base so that the past him could have gone on the journey.

Okay. It doesn’t make sense to me. If the past Cooper needed the future Cooper to send him a message, how could he have found the NASA base in the very first time, say, the future Cooper was not there yet because the past Cooper never made it to the base? This is where the second timeline comes in.

Second timeline

It is a little deviated from the movie. Everything is the same up until Gargantuan. Wormhole appears near Saturn. Cooper did not get married and there is no Murph. His training flight did not crash and he went on the expedition as planned, visited two planets and fell into the blackhole. But in this timeline, there is no tesseract waiting for him. He gets sucked into the darkness, crushed and died.

First timeline

Nothing much goes on in here. Earth never encountered the devastating blight. This is possible because of the multiverse assumption. One of the universes must contain a timeline where the earth doesn’t get devastated. There was no wormhole near Saturn. Humanity used up all resources on earth, advanced the technology enough to allow themselves space faring, mastered the secrets of the universe and finally evolved into 5D beings (THEY).

To become 5D beings, they needed to discover a few more fundamental laws of the system of multiverses. Humanity in the present day are 4D beings, as explained by Neil deGrasse Tyson. According to him, 4D beings have freedom in the first 3Ds which are x, y and x spaces but trapped in the fourth dimension, time. We are trapped in the present day. We cannot move forward and backward along the timeline and we have no idea of the existence of higher dimensions. We know 4D and 4D only. The rest is all theoretical.

Fifth dimension

Being 5D beings, THEY discovered one more dimension than us. The multiverse dimension. Imagine an infinite series of long, never ending gas pipes put together side by side in a line. Each pipe represents a timeline or a universe. The fluid turbulences inside the adjacent pipes are very similar to each other with only very minute of the minute variations say, an atom or two at a particular cross section (a frame of time in our language). When you go through around 1000 pipes, you will begin to see some significant differences. For us, it is purely theoretical but for 5D beings, this infinite pipes system is very real and tangible. Being 5D beings means that they are free to move along their own pipe lengthwise. They can go back and forth along the pipe whereas we can only go sideways on one cross section, the one at the very tip of the pipe which is still flowing continuously. Just like we have c, the speed of light, to limit us from time travelling backwards, THEY also have fundamental laws of multiverses which limit them.

1. THEY cannot foresee the future

THEY can fast forward into the future just like we can (at least theoretically). However, they cannot peek into the future and try to do things in order to influence it. THEY can travel the pipe back and forth but once they are at the tip, they either go with the flow or make the tip go faster.

2. Once a past is created, it cannot be changed

Once THEY fast forwarded the tip probably using time dilation, events happened up until the tip cannot be modified. They can go back along the pipe but only purely as observers.

3. Change in a past event will cause divergence

They cannot interact with or influence the past but with enough effort, they can have some interactions with it. It was described in the movie. Cooper tried so hard to communicate from the tesseract but he could only interact cross timelines through gravity only. The law of multiverses forbid interactions with the past in a timeline. If any interaction with a past is performed, it creates a divergence at the point of interaction and thus, creating a new timeline 1.5 between 1 and two. A new pipe will pop appear between the two adjacent pipes just like Black family mansion in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Going across fifth dimension

Just like how we are trapped in our fourth dimension, time, they are also trapped in their fifth dimension, cross universe (or timeline) movement .That does not mean that they cannot have any interactions with timelines other than their own. Us 4D beings are trapped in time axis, but with enough (gigantic) effort, we know at least for sure that we can travel forward in time to be in the future faster than it is supposed to arrive. In the same way, with enough gigantic effort, 5D beings can have some minute interactions with timelines that are not too far from their own. It will be a daunting task for them even to go across a few pipes nearest to them. Say if they are 6D or 7D beings, not 5, they can go across pipes or timelines that are placed in a 3D structure for them. A 7D being can go to a much more divergent timeline much faster. All they need to do is go up.

If 5D beings wanted to go to the 1000th closest timeline, they will have to make 1000 interactions with the pasts in their timeline, starting from the nearest past to the farthest past. The farthest interaction with the past will create a divergence bigger than the first 999th and thus, sandwiching the 999 previous divergences. They have effectively seen (or created) the 1000th pipe from theirs. Since they are trapped in that fifth dimension, they know that other timelines exist and they can observe them but they cannot travel there, live there or make any further interactions in timelines diverged far away from theirs. For them, interaction with another timeline means creating divergences in the past of their own timeline and observing them. With exponential effort, they might be able to have interactions in timelines closest to theirs. That's all they can do.

Back to first timeline

The 4D population in the peaceful first timeline, having their home planet depleted, living as space farers, one day discovers a way to build a tesseract, allowing them to evolve into 5D beings. The discovery of ways to harness electromagnetism allowed us to do unimaginable things. It empowered us with telepathy like powers to have long distance communication which was a dream of fairy tales in past millennia. In the same way, the discovery of ways to harness gravity allowed them to do wonders like creating wormholes for inter galactic travel or building a tesseract to revisit the past for observation.


They discovered that a wormhole can be made by digging the past with gravity. It is not an easy task, but it can be done. To dig the past, they need to get in a tesseract, locate the 3D point and start digging with gravity into the past. Once a sufficiently deep excavation is completed, a worm hole is open between the specified 3D point and the location of the digger/tesseract, allowing them to go through it to the other side.

The tesseract

By manipulating gravity with the help of a black hole, a tesseract can be created. In its raw form, it is analogous. It shows a blurry stream of events which makes no sense to a 4D observers. In the movie, the tesseract shows events in terms of rooms. Rooms are in fact, digitized or quantamized form of timeline. In the raw/analogue form, you can imagine a series of seamless interpolating frames between the centres of the two rooms, which effectively erases the room boundaries and leaves a stream of movements which make no sense to our perceptions.

A tesseract can be easiest created inside a black hole.

Now, the space-faring 5D beings decided that it is time for them to return home and rebuild earth. Since they need to go back to the solar system from wherever they are, they needed to create a worm hole. They located a point near Saturn which is a safe distance from the earth and started digging. Year 1952 in their timeline happened to be the necessary depth to dig.

Second timeline

A wormhole appears near Saturn as a result of divergence from the first timeline due to the 5D beings interacting with their own past. NASA in this 1.5th timeline sent astronauts through the wormhole, which is connected to other galaxies in their own timeline, for exploration. At the same time, the gravitational effects of the wormhole initiates blights on their earth with them no means of fixing it. Cooper’s plane did not crash in this timeline. He did not get married and had a daughter Murph. His team went through the wormhole, visited the planets and finally he gets sucked in into the blackhole Gargantuan and he dies. Plan B gets executed by Brand and Edmund planet born future 5D beings.

When Edmund 5D beings in this timeline invented the power of gravity, the first big project to do exercise their new found powers is to revive their ancestors. The earth is already destroyed beyond repair in this timeline. How would they revive their ancestors? To do it, they needed to reach the timeline where they are saved. It would be daunting for them to get back to the first timeline of the three. It would mean uncreating the wormhole near Saturn and it would mean more interaction with the past, thus farther divergence from the first timeline. The only way for them is to share their knowledge of gravity with their ancestors so that they can save themselves. To do that, they needed to communicate with their ancestors in the past of their timeline.

Why revive earth?

If you are granted with means to play genetics and a couple of ancient dinosaur DNAs, what do you do?

You build a Jurassic park. For Edmund 5D beings in the second timeline, reviving earth is like building a Jurassic park. It might make no difference to their own timeline, but they can observe it and they can build a museum where they can tour to learn us. Secondly, it serves as honoring the origins and about never forgetting it.

Inter timeline communication

As it has been established in the movie, the only discovered way to communicate with the past is via gravity. It is not possible for them to send electromagnetic waves, written papers or any other form of media. They need to talk to us in gravity. Communication via gravity is not easy in the first attempt as shown in the movie. You can make all sorts of signs from across the timeline, no one on the other side is going to notice it simply because they were not observing it. You cannot drop gravity signals to SETI neither simply because they are not listening to gravity. Even if they are listening to gravity via satellites, all you can do is send them gravity signals in binary form using distant celestial objects. It is a bigger challenge. Say, you’ve succeeded in pulsating a quasar to produce binary signals, by the time we translated “Hello world”, it might have past decades or centuries.

This is where love comes in in the movie

Love is simply paying enormous attention to another person. Murph loves her dad so much that she keeps looking for signs of him. She finally found it and they could successfully establish a communication channel. The Edmund 5D beings in the second timeline, after numerous attempts to communicate earth in the past, they finally realized it is much easier and economical if they could use Cooper instead of doing it themselves. Cooper, being conveniently placed in a blackhole in that particular past, was an ideal candidate for communication medium. So, they built a tesseract in the black hole in the past of second timeline where cooper gets sucked into it, therefore, creating a divergence and the 2.8th timeline. Next, they crashed Cooper’s training flight by manipulating gravity, creating a divergence where he gets married and had Murph. This leads to the creation of the 2.9th timeline.

2.9th timeline

In this timeline, Cooper’s plane crashed and he dropped out of astronaut program, got married and had Murph. He did not receive NASA coordinates from himself. He lived on the earth until he died.

2.8th timeline

Cooper in second timeline died in the black hole but Edmund 5D beings built a tesseract to save him in the 2.8th timeline. Instead of getting crushed to death, he found himself in a tesseract in 2.8th timeline. Take note that in this tesseract, unlike any other examples previously, the tesseract does not observe the past of the timeline it is in. Instead, it is tuned to another separate but close sibline 2.9th timeline. In there, Cooper sent 2.9th Cooper in the past, the coordinates to NASA and shared the data of blackhole which was described by TARS, with Murph. Why does he do that? He is from 2.8th timeline and in there, he did not have Murph and his plane did not even crash.

What happened in a inter-timeline tesseract

As a 4D being, when Cooper was put inside a tesseract tuned to another timeline, that timeline became part of a reality for him. Its all in his mind. He could sense an attachment to Murph and the frustration about his failure to join NASA program, and about the fact that the earth is dying. He also maintained some of the memories from his own 2.8th timeline. In fact, the two realities in the two timelines merged as one for Cooper whose brain was not advanced enough to take on the fifth dimension yet. What he saw in the tesseract was a reality for him, and he also remembers magically, the coordinates to NASA, and out of desperation caused by the memories in the host timeline, he sends it to what he thought was himself from the past. In fact, Cooper from 2.8th timeline sent Cooper from 2.9th timeline the message thinking he was the same. This creates the third timeline diverged from 2.9th where Cooper gets NASA coordinates and goes on an adventure that was saw in Interstellar.

Cooper paradox

Cooper in the third timeline gets the NASA base coordinates, he went on the adventure, fell into the blackhole and was saved by Edmund 5D beings in 2.8th timeline. This is because second timeline and 2.8th timeline are closely linked to each other and Edmund 5D beings exist in both and they evolved the same way and think alike. Edmund 5D beings in 2.8th timeline were also trying to do their part in reviving the ancestor ancestors. Cooper here sends message back to 3.1the timeline and Cooper in 3.1th timeline sends message to cooper in 3.11th timeline and so on and so fact. It is effectively a cosmic infinite loop.

Cosmic infinite loop

What happens when you have a cosmic infinite loop? There are two possibilities. One, lets say each timeline operates on a separate closed system, say, like a server. When you have an infinitely loop, it would crash one server and shut down a timeline. In this scenario, 3.1th timeline will crash because that is when the flow goes into an infinite loop.

Another possibility is that the infinite loop stops somewhere in one of the created timelines, if it works like genetics. Each diverged timeline mutates a little bit and gradually, Cooper in 3.11111111111th timeline or so, stops getting sucked into blackhole and the loop ends.

Either way, it is not important to us who are observing the third timeline only. As far us we are concerned, Edmund 5D beings in the second timeline were successful in an attempt to communicate their own past by using Murph and Cooper, who made a divergence and creation of the third timeline. They can now start observing the third timeline, learn from it and say, put it in a museum.


At the end of the movie, Cooper gets taken out of the blackhole and is put near the wormhole near Saturn. How did that happen? It is relatively simple. The tesseract inside the blackhole, was in fact inside a wormhole. Cooper was doing his stuff in the tesseract all the while being transported back to the Saturn wormhole. Bear in mind that the wormhole and the tesseract provide him a great gravity shielding so that, he does not get affected by Gargantuan’s gravity while he is in there. This is why he was late by 70 earth years only when he exited the Saturn wormhole. 70 years for a brief while was started entering the blackhole before being placed in the tesseract. Otherwise, without it, he would have spent an eternity of earth time in a few minutes inside Gargantuan.

Interstellar trailer


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