Passengers: A Sci-Fi Romance in Space
Passengers is a 2016 American science-fiction romance film directed by Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The supporting cast features Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy GarcÃa. The film follows two passengers on an immense interstellar spacecraft carrying thousands of people to a colony 60 light years from Earth, when the two are awakened 90 years early from their induced hibernation.
The film was nominated for Best Original Score and Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards, and received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, with praise for Lawrence and Pratt’s performances, Newman’s musical score, and its visual style and production values, but was criticized for its plot and characters.
The Avalon, a sleeper ship transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members in hibernation pods, is traveling from Earth to the planet Homestead II, a 120-year journey. After only 30 years, an asteroid collision damages the ship despite its defense systems, causing a malfunction that awakens passenger James “Jim” Preston, a mechanical engineer, 90 years too early. After a year of isolation, with only an android barman named Arthur for company, Jim grows despondent and contemplates suicide until he notices Aurora Lane, a beautiful young woman inside a pod. He views her video profile and is smitten. He considers reviving her for companionship, but struggles doing so, knowing it is morally wrong and will circumvent her intended life on their destination planet.
Jim eventually decides to awaken Aurora, claiming her pod malfunctioned like his. Aurora is devastated that she will grow old and die before the ship reaches Homestead II. Her attempts to re-enter hibernation are futile. She begins spending time with Jim and eventually falls in love with him. Jim intends to propose to Aurora on their first anniversary.
Arthur accidentally reveals the truth to Aurora after misinterpreting Jim’s affirmation that he and Aurora have “no secrets” between them. Aurora is distraught and angry with Jim; she alternately berates him or shuns him completely. Soon after, another pod failure awakens Gus Mancuso, Chief Deck Officer. The three discover multiple failures in the ship’s systems. If not repaired, the ship will continue to suffer critical system failures.
Gus attempts repairs with Jim and Aurora’s help while Aurora still blames Jim for stealing her life. Gus’ body begins failing; medical tests in the Autodoc (an automated medical diagnostics and treatment pod) show that he has only hours to live. Before dying he gives Jim and Aurora his ID badge to access crew areas and repair the ship.
Jim and Aurora discover a series of hull breaches from the asteroid collision two years earlier. The computer module administering the fusion reactor that powers the ship has been critically damaged causing the ship’s cascading malfunctions. Jim realizes that venting the reactor core will prevent an imminent reactor meltdown that would kill all of the hibernation pods.
Jim tells Aurora that he must vent the reactor by opening the vent hatch from outside the ship since the computer module is damaged; this would result in certain death from exposure to extreme heat. Aurora assists while admitting she is terrified of losing Jim and living on the ship alone. Aurora finally declares her love for Jim as he begins venting the reactor core.
Aurora initiates a manual override of the vent door while Jim secures himself to a tether attached to his damaged spacesuit; he manually holds open the door as it vents but his tether breaks causing him to be pulled towards space. Aurora retrieves him using a spare spacesuit and resuscitates him in the Autodoc.
Jim later learns that the Autodoc can function as a makeshift hibernation pod for one person using its medical stasis option. He offers it to Aurora so she can complete her journey to Homestead II; however she chooses instead to stay with Jim on board Avalon.
Eighty-eight years later, the ship’s crew awaken shortly before arrival on Homestead II. They discover a small house amid lush vegetation on one of Avalon’s decks along with video recordings left by Jim and Aurora chronic