Before you go accusing Matt Damon of making the same movie twice (in a row), be assured that Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut in Ridley Scott’s new movie The Martian is very different from Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Sure, they’ve both been abandoned on an uninhabited planet, and yes, they both work for NASA. Heck, even their spacesuits look similar (when it comes to interplanetary travel, orange really is the new black). But while Interstellar’s Mann sulked, plotted and pouted, The Martian’s Mark Watney, to use his own words, “scienced the shit out of the situation.” Circumstances aside, we’d argue that they’re nothing alike. Allow us to convince you with our own pseudo-scientific stack up:
Watley: As a botanist who’s part of a pioneering space-exploration program, Watley’s job is to explore Mars and bring his findings back to Earth.
Mann: Mann’s mission is to find a planet where what’s left of the Earth’s inhabitants can live. (Spoiler alert: He sucks at it.)
Watley: “In your face, Neil Armstrong.”
Mann: “You were never tested like I was. Few men have been.”
Watley: Potatoes and Vicodin (this guy knows how to have a good time!)
Mann: Sour grapes
What they’ll go down in history for
Watley: Being an interplanetary pioneer and the record-holder for the fastest man in space.
Mann: Being a traitor to the entire human race.
Watley: A drop-top shuttle with no heat, no oxygen and no control panel. But man, the view is spectacular.
Mann: None. NASA could have at least given him a Segway.
Watley: Nike. The phrase “Just do it” has never been more apt.
Mann: Whiskas. So much heartache could have been avoided if this lonely earthling had only had a feline companion.
Watley: Iron Man. The Marvel superhero inspired one of Watley’s riskiest attempts at returning to Earth.
Mann: Thor’s bad bro, Loki. It all comes down to that backstabbing-traitor thing again.
What they miss most about Earth
Watley: Takeout coffee
Mann: His own humanity
Post-NASA career options
Watley: Organic potato farmer
Mann: Public relations professional