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Passengers (2016) Poster

(I) (2016)

Goofs

Jump to: Continuity (7)  | Factual errors (12)  | Miscellaneous (8)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (30)  | Plot holes (8)  | Revealing mistakes (3)  | Spoilers (3)

Continuity 

The shrapnel wound Aurora receives in her upper left arm while trying to vent the hot gas disappears during later scenes when that portion of her arm is visible.
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When Jim wakes Aurora up his hair is very messy and unevenly cut because he cut it himself. In the next scene within hours at the most, possibly minutes, his hair is cut normally.
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When Aurora undresses for the spacewalk, she tosses her dress past Jim's left boot. In the next scene, the dress is coming past Jim's right boot.
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Jim takes the I.D. bracelet from Gus twice.
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When Aurora locates Jim and jumps from the airlock, she never turns off her magnetic boots.
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When Aurora and Jim have their first breakfast together, the level of foam at the top of Aurora's cup changes several times.
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When Jim starts to view aurora's passenger profile you see Jim watching the holographic video From behind. The camera then rotates to see Jim's view but the image of aurora doesn't rotate but the progress bar at the bottom does. You can clearly see aurora's hair tucked behind her right ear at all times.
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Factual errors 

When Aurora is trapped in the water bubble, she appears to be unable to swim out of it. Even in zero gravity Newtons third law of action equaling reaction still applies. Pushing water backwards (through swimming movements) would easily push her forward to the surface and out of the bubble.
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When the ship loses gravity this happens instantly. However, judging from the external design of the ship gravity is achieved by rotating the ship around its axis. It would be impossible for the ship to stop rotating completely in an instant as another reverse force should be applied, losing power would still have the ship rotating and thus providing gravity. Even if ship's computer would behave erratically and decide to reverse the spin of the ship, this will most likely not happen instantly and therefore gravity would be lost gradually.
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The airlock from which Jim (first) and then Jim and Aurora (later) exit for their spacewalks is in one of the rotating pods; however, when the spacewalkers jump off the pod and spin out to the extent of their tethers, the stars are stationary.
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Supposedly the ship reaches the star Arcturus 31 - 32 years into the trip - they were both awake so at minimum his 30 years plus the year before he woke her but before Gus woke up after another year. Arcturus is 36.7 light years from earth. At half light speed they would only have traveled 16 light years. Nowhere near Arcturus. This hold true even if we assume unknown acceleration/deceleration. 30 years into the flight they are already doing 50% light speed.
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The Avalon's journey is scheduled to take 120 years, and this is regarded as a constant throughout the film. Since the ship is traveling at half of light speed, relativity will be a factor, and time will pass much slower on board ship. One hundred and twenty years of ship time could equate to a couple of centuries or more on Earth or Homestead 2.
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A ship where no humans were awake wouldn't need artificial gravity, particularly when such an effect had to be accomplished by spinning the ship, which would complicate astrogation, steering, etc., put stress on things fastened to the outside of the hull, etc., and generally complicate things unnecessarily. During the initial and final parts of the trip, while people were awake, the engines would presumably be providing acceleration or deceleration, which would itself provide enough gravity without spinning. A combination of thrust and spinning would produce a resultant fake gravity which would be their vector sum, but the spin of the ship would add a coriolis effect which would make things move in weird curved paths.
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It makes no sense that such a high-tech starship does not have a system that avoid that kind of collissions with larger object in space.
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Given the speed at which the ship is moving judging by the round trip time of the message Jim sent, time dilation would apply. That means much less time would pass for Jim and Aurora relative to the time the trip took in earth years.
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Avalon would not need to burn the main drive once the target velocity was reached. However, the ship may have needed a controlled burn during the slingshot maneuver. At some point after the voyage midpoint, the vessel would need to be rotated 180 degrees for a main drive deceleration burn. There did not appear to be a shield generator on the back of Avalon for this phase of the journey.
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When Jim manually opens the reactor cooling gate, he defends himself with a small door taken from the ship, which faces the intense fire of the reactor, although it was easily cut off with a small laser hand-piece.
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When Lawrence agrees to have dinner with Pratt the star field out the window port is moving up and not down. Centrifugally, they would have 'fallen' towards the overhead and not the deck.
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When Jim's tether breaks, he is shown drifting back toward the ship, and he throws his shield to push himself away. To break the tether, he would have to be moving away, including after the tether broke. He should have thrown the shield away from the ship to push himself back toward it.
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Miscellaneous 

Things do not instantly freeze in space as shown. Any water vapor not taken out with the air in Jim's suit would dissolve into a cloud of very fine crystals. It couldn't frost up his visor in the way shown.
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When Jim rushes to his room in a panicked state after just waking up Aurora, he sits on the bed and a moth or some kind of fly can be seen flying behind his right shoulder.
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In reality, swarms of rocks as depicted in this and other space disaster films don't exist, as gravity would consolidate them given a billion years or more, particularly with that one big rock in the middle. Even the asteroid belt in our solar system is pretty sparse. We've sent several probes outwards through the asteroid belt already, and none of them had to dodge anything.
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It wouldn't be possible for the passengers to view the star they pass by for more than an instant as the ship is rotating to simulate gravity which would quickly turn them away from the view.
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If nobody is awake on the ship, it wouldn't be likely to have the lights, instruments, video screens, etc. all powered up for a hundred years, rather than keep them shut down as well. In fact, just keeping oxygen in the interior of the ship would unnecessarily cause things to deteriorate over that time, it would be much more preferable to just pressurize the ship with plain nitrogen, which is pretty inert, and add the oxygen when people awake.
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When Aurora questions Jim about why he chose to travel to Homestead II, she casually debates the 'altruistic' motives of the Homestead Corporation for sending passengers to a distant star system at a reduced rate. She mentions how 'indentured service' is a component of the fare, in which each passenger must pay 20% of whatever they earn for the rest of their life to the corporation. Mention is also made of how the company has made 'quadrillions of dollars' from interstellar colonial activity, a vital part of which includes the indentured service of colonists on far-flung star systems. The nagging question is HOW the corporation can tangibly REALIZE a return on their investment - in a reasonable frame of time, to the satisfaction of their investors/shareholders, and for the benefit of Earth-bound investors within their own lifetime, no less - when just a one-way trip to these systems is on the order of multiple decades. Furthermore, a return trip is well in excess of a century (if Homestead II is a typical example on how far viable, habitable systems are from our own solar system) and Aurora suggests she, herself, hoped to be the FIRST person to make a round trip to the stars and back (suggesting a round trip - and time on the planet - of at least 240 years). Even if the very function of economics has changed radically in this particular future, the basic principal of give-and-take and something-for-something just doesn't even REMOTELY flesh itself out with the Homestead Corporation model of indentured service for Earth-bound investors (or investors on star systems other than Homestead II).
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When the Avalon star ship reaches critical levels and begins to shutdown, the alarm goes off. If the passengers and crew are in deep hibernation, there's no reason to sound the alarm because there's no one around to hear it.
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At 3:13 in the movie, just after the collision with the large asteroid we see the aftermath of the impact in the hibernation pod bay. The medical stalls with the glass walls all tremble. The nearest glass panel is smeared with drips and what look like water stains. How could this be on a ship with cleaning robots everywhere? Seems out of place on such a pristine ship before any malfunctions are detected by the computer on the bridge.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Jim does his first space walk, he cries and tears roll down his face. In zero-gravity, the tears would not roll down his face, they would float out of his eyes. But since he's attached to a rotating ship - much like a rock in a slingshot being twirled above one's head - he's not in a zero-gravity environment. The tear would "fall" away from the center of rotation (directly toward the visor).
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When the ship approaches Arcturus, a message informs passengers that they might be interested to watch the slingshot. Since the entire crew and passengers are supposed to be asleep until destination, there is absolutely no reason why such a message would have been designed, recorded or played.

However as we already seen, everything on the ship reacts to them, the bartender, computer, information points, the waiters in the restaurants and so on. It is therefore plausible that the slingshot information is being played because of their presence.
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A "slingshot" around a star is caused by the ship and its contents "falling" towards it, so there is very little differential force on the ship and passengers. It should not be confused with driving a car around a banked track, or a fast turn in a aircraft; where the external force acts only on the vehicle.
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The ship engines are shown active and working when Jim is floating in space with no tether line attached. If they are only developing enough thrust to push the shield through the near ( but not quite ) vacuum of space at a steady speed, Jim would not move relative to it.
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The slingshot around red giant Arcturus must be only a small course correction, because diving through the giant's photosphere, at 50% light speed, would be catastrophic. A red giant has a huge envelope of glowing hot gas around it, far past the gravity field necessary for a large angle slingshot maneuver. When Earth's sun goes red giant,the photosphere will extend to Earth's orbit.
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The ship has spare parts for everything, but apparently doesn't have the ability to wake up anybody to install them when necessary. If it's going to carry them anyway, it wouldn't be that much more difficult to actually have them installed and functional as automatically redundant backups that would switch in when necessary without human intervention. The spare parts are presumably in addition to any built in redundancy; such as the ability of the engine control computer to commandeer the processing power of other devices.
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In the film, the vessel is traveling at "half the speed of light", which is 93,000 "miles per second". At the beginning of the film, you see the vessel encounter a small debris/asteroid field, and the ship uses its "energy shield" to protect itself from damage. The speed portrayed in the film shows the ship hitting the debris at a much slower speed, possibly less than 1 mile-per-second. If the ship were actually traveling at 93,000 miles per second, any encounter with a debris field would have been instantly catastrophic, energy shield or not. There is simply no way an energy shield, as portrayed in the film, would have the time to destroy anything at that speed. Small dust-sized particles, perhaps, but not large asteroids as shown in the film. However, as speed is relative, the ship and debris can be considered to be traveling in the same direction, with (in this example), 1mph of overtake speed on the part of the ship. This would effectively be the same as a stationary object being hit by an object moving at 1mph.
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At the end of the film, when the Avalon is seen approaching Homestead-II, the ship is seen to have its engines facing away from the planet, but still operating. Assuming its course included a long stay, the engines would have need to be turned in the direction of travel - not only for reducing speed for safe orbital-insertion, but about halfway through the voyage, as as much time would need to be taken to decelerate as was taken accelerating.

But if its course was to slingshot around Homestead II's star without planetary orbit, it might need to continue thrusting in the direction shown.
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With an engine able to provide constant thrust and bringing a ship up to 50% of the speed of light, there would be no need for a "slingshot" maneuver around a star. But we don't know that the ship reached its current speed solely as a result of engine thrust. It might have already performed several slingshots; each providing a small change in velocity. Nor do we know how precise the nominal "50% of light speed" is meant to be.
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Jim first calls Arthur a robot, and is corrected by Arthur that he is an android. Later on, Arthur calls himself a robot after Jim asks him a question and he replies "These are not robot questions." As a real or android barman would do; he is trying to be friendly with Jim, rather than making an argument.
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Jim breaks into the luxurious Vienna Suite with a pry bar but in future entries the door opens automatically. He has obviously reprogrammed it.
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From all appearances, the ship generates gravity by rotating. If this is true, then the stars are constantly shown as rotating wrong. For example, at the 1h24m mark, the characters are shown in a room with a window looking out on space. With gravity oriented downward in the shot, then the outermost part of the ship should be at their feet, and the stars should sweep past the window left-to-right or right-to-left (depending on if the window is forward- or rear-facing). But they move past in some other, weird pattern, as if the center of rotation were off to the left of the window (whereas the center of rotation should be above their heads). But since we don't know how the artificial gravity is generated, we can't make any conclusions about how the stars should appear to move, or if we're even seeing the real stars, versus another view-screen image or hologram.
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The "slingshot" around Arcturus isn't present on the holographic map showing the entire journey. This may because it is only a very small angle, limited by the low density of a red giant.
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Aurora mentions that she is going to stay on Homestead II for a year and then go back to Earth on a return flight. For a trip that takes 120 years, it seems highly unlikely that the company would park a colony ship above the planet for a year and then send it back (how many people would even be willing to return?). In most depictions of colony ships, the ship itself is designed to be disassembled and used as habitation structures for the colony. It seems highly unlikely that a ship of that size would be used as a 240 year shuttle service.

But they might sensibly have smaller ships, able to bring physical samples back to Earth. And since it is commercial, it would sensibly include anyone who could pay for a round trip. And for settlers who wanted to see Earth.
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When the ship first encounters the asteroid belt, there are sound effects when debris hits the deflector shield. Sound waves cannot be heard in space as it is a vacuum, but we don't know the technology behind the shield, so it might transmit sound back into the ship it's protecting.
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When riding the elevator in the beginning of the movie, Jim experiences loss of "gravity" when he is riding the elevator. This is true when passing the center of a centrifuge, but since it seems the ship is under thrust from the main engine, this acceleration would create a "gravity" towards the back of the ship as well. However, under extremely low non-zero gravity, a person could easily lose contact with his seat in a moving chamber. If not due to his own subconscious muscle activity, possibly due to subtle changes in the elevator's movement as its cables, motor, bearings, and power fluctuate.
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Aurora could not jump 1,000 feet and hit a target as small as Jim without some type of course-correcting thrusters on the suit. The suit says of Jim "target acquired" which presumably triggers the thrusters and / or steering by the cable acting like an endoscope.
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Jim is not a "gold level passenger". Accordingly, he eats a meager and bland breakfasts until Aurora is awake. Yet he is somehow entitled to unlimited top shelf booze at the bar. The alcohol consumed may be easy to make synthetically and be of no real cost.
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At two points while Arthur is pouring Jim a drink from a whisky bottle a pink UK Excise sticker is clearly visible on the side of the bottle. This gives added realism to the copying of a 20th century bar.
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It has been suggested that because the ship was travelling at half the speed of light, it would have collided with the asteroid field in an instant, much quicker than shown. If the asteroid field was moving at almost half the speed of light, and in the same direction as the ship, then the way the film shows it would be accurate.
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The distance from Earth to Arcturus is 36,6 light years. Traveling at 50% light speed it would take the ship 73 years to get there. Not 120.

120 years is a good time, assuming that the acceleration is not instant.
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From the beginning of the movie we see the main engine of the ship is burning, thus accelerating the ship. At a 1G acceleration you would reach close to the speed of light within one year. At the start of the movie the ship has already traveled for 30 years, so even at a fraction of a 1G acceleration the ship would have reached close to the speed of light, not 50% as later stated in the movie. But the ion drive shown is not necessarily capable of 1G acceleration. An ion drive's force is dependent on the number of ions in space at that particular location, so it changes. And it would take a drive unit many times the area shown to accelerate a ship that massive at 1G.
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Assuming the artificial gravity is generated only by the ship's rotation, the water in the swimming pool should be pressed against the outside of the bubble. But if it also results from the ship's engine, the shape of the hull, and other unknown technologies, then it could be shown correctly.
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An ion drive as we know it today, might not be hot enough to instantly melt a door that could withstand a plasma flame for several seconds. Technology has changed over the centuries. Also the plasma was used on the hinges, the door is most likely made of a different material.
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Aurora (and therefore the crew, possibly others) was supposed to return to Earth after spending a year at the colony. That would be impossible since a basic premise of the movie is that there is no way to place passengers back in stasis after they are awake. Jim mentions the procedures they went trough before leaving Earth, there are possibly similar -hibernation centers on Homestead II.
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When Aurora and Jim take their first space walk together during the first date, the tethers to their suits momentarily seem to disappear when viewing them from behind as they stand on the ledge viewing the cosmos. But they are there, they are just hard to see.
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Once Aurora brought Jim inside and put him in the Autodoc the system required an ID code then it was activated in Command mode, however, later once Jim goes to show her the stabilize and suspend function he simply swipes Gus's ID band and the system instantly goes into command mode without an ID code. As with the Vienna suite door, Jim has modified it.
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The hibernation pods are supposed to have the passengers and crew laying on their backs and immobile for 90 years. This would cause people in hospital beds to develop severe pressure ulcers (bedsores). However, the hibernation pods must allow people to sleep without developing bedsores or countless other medical problems that would normally develop during 120 years.
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When Aurora disrobes to enter her space suit during the first date, she takes of her dress ; but although we do not see her take off her high heels, they would also need to be removed.
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The food, and the fresh cut fruit that Jim and Aurora eats in the dining hall is over 30 years old. And if they would have traveled all the way, the food in the machines would be 120 years old. There may be something like a "replicator", as used in the Star Trek franchise, to make any type of food desired. The use of this technology may come as a higher cost of resources and is only available to "gold level passengers".
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Plot holes 

There would be no way for the company to receive "updates" of what occurred to the missions that it sent to Homestead II. The trip is stated as taking 120 years. That would mean that each flight sent would arrive potentially several decades after the last member of each launch crew was deceased. Even if telemetry sent constantly in-flight , it would still take decades to return to Earth, if the signal even made it to its destination. This also means that any information that the company did have about Homestead II would be woefully out of date. At light speed, transmissions sent from the planet would take decades to arrive at Earth; waiting for verbal confirmations would take more than 100 years for each one. There would never be any successful means for the company to have "real time" knowledge of the ships, nor their voyages making the information offered by the computer and the characters either falsehoods or simple speculation.
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We are told that the ship has spares of everything on board. Why not just build a second Auto-Doc so that both Aurora and Jim can go back into hibernation?
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When discussing hibernation pods, Aurora says that the company has made thousands of interstellar flights without a single hibernation pod malfunction. Earlier, when Jim tried to send a message back to Earth, he is told by the computer that it would take around 80 years for a round-trip message. The home company on Earth would therefore have needed many thousands of years to communicate enough with thousands of interstellar flights to not only verify that they reached their destination, but also how ell everything functioned. Not only that, but that time is expressed only as the time relative to the space travelers, but much more time passes on Earth relative to the space travelers, according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, since they are traveling at half the speed of light (or at least they are in the time frame during the voyage that the movie takes place, but since it's not halfway yet and the ship is still accelerating, it must reach even faster speeds).
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If Homestead Company made eight quadrillion dollars from its first planet, that is a poor rate of return. Considering the distances involved, it would take centuries to even begin to realise any significant return, while investing capital on earth over a long period can easily give big returns. If the company had invested 66 billion dollars at 5% over 240 years (the expected minimum journey time to Homestead II and back - ignoring time dilation, which would greatly increase the period), they would have made the same amount of money. The question is: did the _Avalon_ cost more or less than 66 billion dollars? It seems reasonable to assume that it cost far more. NB. it makes almost no difference if the spaceship is reusable; the replacement cost is tiny compared with the expected profit.
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As the Avalon is shown to approach Homestread II at the end of the movie while crew woke up, there's no sign of presence of Aurora or Jim, assuming that they are dead by then. They could have split the their time in the Autodoc for their survival and thus they would be 40 years more than their current age, at the time they would reach Homestead II.
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The first time Jim and Aurora meet in person, she should've been suspicious that he didn't seem the least surprised that she's awake. After being by himself for over a year, Jim should've feigned shock at encountering another passenger.
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Jim says "There are replacement parts for everything." Since all aboard would normally be asleep, who would do the replacing?
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Jim and Arora have no trouble accessing and using the space walking equipment. Space walking is a very dangerous operation. If anything goes wrong, the space walkers can be killed and the ship can be badly damaged. The space walking equipment would only be accessible to authorized crew members who have been trained in space walking. Also, space walking is only done when it is necessary to go outside and make repairs to the ship.
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Revealing mistakes 

The medical auto diagnostic scanner shows Gus to have 612 disorders, however in a close up to the found disorders, it shows much less disorders that are duplicated.
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The ship momentarily loses gravity as Aurora and Jim are running through the main mall towards the end of the film. They then enter the bar to deactivate Arthur. The bar shows no signs of the gravity loss. All the bottles, bar stools, and glasses are still in place. Arthur could not have had time to clean up.
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While Jim tries to explain to Aurora on the ship P.A system why he woke her, he is watching her jog on the ship CCTV. She can be seen running on a bank of screens next to Jim, each screen showing the view from a number of different cameras. But when she stops at a wall and turns, there is a delay between the monitors: Aurora starts running on the left and right videos first, then running on the center one.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Aurora goes back into the reactor control room to manually pull the lever which opens up the air-cooling duct for the reactor, she burns her hand on the control station lever as it's too hot to touch. Moments later she gets up from the floor while leaning her hand on the same control station but this time she is unscathed by the emitting heat. This means the parts have different thermal conductivity, like a saucepan and its handle; or the tiles of the space shuttle.
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Plot holes 

Why would there only be a single medical bed for a passenger and crew complement of over 5,000 people? Everything else is stated to have a backup system or parts; why wouldn't such a crucial piece of equipment not have anything like that?
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Gus is aware that the ship has dangerous problems, and that his own health is uncertain. Yet he fails to wake the relevant experts.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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