interstellarOn Nov. 5, the movie event of the fall will be arriving. Of course, I’m talking about Interstellar. This movie has had nerds, scientists and cinephiles alike buzzing for years and it’s finally on the way. Not only is the cast top of the line (Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley, Matt Damon, whew!), the premise is groundbreaking, promising some highwire drama and and an onslaught of truly impressive visuals. So, for those of you who need a refresher on what this epic sci-fi picture is all about, here are some points based on promotional materials and trailers. Of course, there are no spoilers here, but there are some facts that might explain more than you’d prefer for this kind of movie. Ye have been warned.

1) The film takes place in the not-so-distant future. The Earth is environmentally ravaged and the planet’s ability to sustain life is waning. So it’s dystopian, in an Al Gore kinda way.

2) The theoretical physicist Kip Thorne’s theories provide the scientific solution to the ailing planet and the human race. Thorne is both an executive producer on the film and consulted on the film’s scientific elements, which extensively discuss the ramifications of wormholes.

3) What is a wormhole? Often described as a sort of hypothetical “shortcut” between two points that are far, far apart in the universe. The popular theory is that it could be used to travel enormous distances across spacetime. In this case, it would be how McConaughey and company find another habitable planet that can sustain human life.

4) McConaughey portrays Cooper, a widower with two young children who must choose between joining the crew that seeks to save the future of humanity and leaving his kids behind. He’s an engineer and a pilot? That part isn’t entirely clear, but he is apparently the best hope for humanity.

5) Chris Nolan, the film’s secretive director, is a champion of practical visual effects. When possible, he creates environments that are tangible and not CG, lending his films an authenticity that permeates every frame. For Interstellar, there are several interior spaceship shots done in a documentary-style. Nolan is so committed to giving his viewers and actors the real thing, that he created actual outer space views for the performers to see from the spaceship’s windows. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes every one of his films so special.

By now you should be waiting with bated breath for Nov. 5 to arrive. If not, check out the trailer one more time.