After a few misfires in recent years, The Martian marks a major return to form for Ridley Scott. Expertly managing a large ensemble cast and expansive narrative, he's delivered a tense and funny film that ranks as one of the most entertaining of the year (read the full review here). The film isn't just delight for fans of Scott's work or smart, entertaining sci-fi though, but also those who love to pour over the frame for hidden details. There's a lot of very real (or future-adapted) science hidden here, as well as lots of awesome in-jokes and references of a more filmic persuasion. What's remarkable about the easter eggs hidden in The Martian is that, unlike the plethora of references we've come to expect from Marvel and the other big blockbuster franchises, they're not only rather overt, but also often played for genuine laughs. Quite a few are rooted in Andy Weir's source novel, which was noteworthy for its light-heartedness as much as its adherence to science fact, but Scott's also thrown in his fair share of filmmaking winks as well. Here are eight of the coolest (which obviously contain spoilers).
Honourable Mention - What Year Is It?
Odd for the genre (and in stark contrast to Scott's other sci-fi flicks), The Martian makes no allusions to what year it's actually set in. It's clearly the near-future, with technology similar to the present and the Ares Mars missions a relatively new advancement, but concrete details are hard to come by. This ambiguity was something Weir consciously chose for his novel and Scott has carried over to the big screen. In the name of scientific accuracy, though, Weir did work out the correct dates. And, based on the transmission times and the fact the mission needed to cover Thanksgiving (so Mark had some potatoes to grow), so too did super-fan Kenny Ray. As revealed on Weir's official Facebook page, Ray worked out that "Ares 3 launched on July 7, 2035. They landed on Mars (Sol 1) on November 7, 2035. The story begins on Sol 6, which is November 12, 2035." The film's official Twitter page suggested the year was 2047, but in this case we're going to go with the author himself in the sake of accuracy.