The saga of Major Tom, an astronaut in David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity,” is a haunting one. Major Tom is launched into space but loses communication with ground control after starting a space walk and is left to float alone in a most peculiar way in the universe, looking at the Earth and contemplating its smallness within a vast expanse. The Most Peculiar Way is based on this awe-inspiring perspective of simultaneously being part of the Earth and very far from it. Orli says, “I always found this song to be haunting, and when I listen to it, it’s hard for me not to imagine how Major Tom must feel when he’s floating alone up there, perhaps simultaneously feeling afraid of the void of space and in awe of it.”
On September 12, 1962 at Rice University, President John F. Kennedy delivered what would become a historic speech. He explained that the United States could not “expect to stay behind in the race for space.” As a result, he stated that “we choose to go to the moon in this decade” and that the United States would “do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out.” The Sixties and the Space Race were a spirited time in world history, when nations rallied behind great expectations and accomplishments. Neil Armstrong took mankind’s first steps on the moon’s surface within that decade, which began a continuing fascination with the universe’s ethereal beauty and scientific possibilities. Interstellar is a remembrance of the origins of space exploration in the 1960s and its evolution through the decades since as technology has become more advanced and mankind more curious about the deeper regions and mysterious phenomena awaiting discovery.