I watched Gravity (2013) at my local cinema in the glorious IMAX 3D format. I was on the edge of my seat throughout and loved every moment. I recommend that you watch Gravity at the cinema if you love science fiction and visual effects!
Gravity is all about Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). In this mission, Kowalski shares stories with the crew and mission control about his many space missions. He seems very comfortable and reassuring, recounting his stories while gliding through space using a prototype space walk suit. Further into the movie however, he appears a bit different in nature to me.
Spoilers ahead so look away if you have not seen Gravity yet. Watch the trailer instead.
What If… Gravity has a plot twist?
Is Kowalski really the commander of the STS-157 mission? I think there is a chance that he is not even in the mission roster. Maybe he is not even up there. Notice that when Dr. Stone is inside the Soyuz vessel and has decided to quit, Kowalski inexplicably appears after a long absence and grabs the outside of the Soyuz hatch. We were stunned but we quickly figured out that this sighting of Kowalski is a product of Dr. Stone’s delirious state probably from oxygen deprivation. So, should we accept that “tethered-savior” Kowalski or even mission commander Kowalski were both the real deal?
This being Dr. Stone’s first mission I think we can see Kowalski as her coping mechanism. Kowalski, a veteran astronaut could have been part of Dr.Stone training in the ground, memories which she uses now to overcome fear and to calm herself down. Do you remember Kowalski’s eagerness to tell stories while gliding in space with his special suit? From the beginning, when she is servicing the Hubble, until they meet in Soyuz he helps her remember all her training, reassuring her on proper breathing to flight training.