5 Conservative Themes Hidden in Interstellar

2. America is not just another country.

President Obama noted, in an unscripted debate moment in 2008, “The problem is - is if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time.” Even more famously, he noted in 2009, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

So exceptionalism is an illusion.

In Interstellar, which begins in a dystopic, technologically crumbling future in which everyone is forced back to the farms, the world’s armies have disbanded and the one sign of cutting-edge technology is a leftover drone from India that’s been buzzing around aimlessly for a long period of time; the liberal hope that America would someday be cut down to the same size as every other country has come to pass. But as humanity prepares to breathe its last breath, there is a rescuer in the form of NASA, which has supposedly been dissolved but is actually operating secretly underground. No other country has ever had anything that could top the brilliance, creativity and resourcefulness of America’s space-exploration team.

(Mild spoiler ahead)