If by some strange cosmic coincidence you happen to be a fan of the show Community and you are also, like me, super excited for the new movie The Martian, then odds are you have asked yourself the very same question that I ask every time I see a trailer for the upcoming film. And that question is: “What in the hell is the role of Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino aka Troy) in the film!!??”
And honestly, there was some laziness on part in pursuing the answer. It wasn’t until a video released earlier today that the answer to my question really became clear. Seriously, I could have easily went to IMDB and looked up his character and it would have became clear…but alas…. I did not! Anyways, Donald Glover plays Rich Parnell in the movie. Parnell is an “astrodynamicist”(astrophysicist?) that comes up with a slingshot trajectory that will allow the remaining ARES crew, along with a resupply ship named Hermes, back to Mars to save the stranded pilot Mark Watney. The plan, as you will see in the video below, is rejected because the director of NASA believes it to be too dangerous. However, *spoiler alert, someone e-mails the ARES crew with the plan and they all decide to disobey NASA and utilize the “Parnell Maneuver” anyways.
Here is a promotional video released by 20th Century Fox that shows the amazing Donald Glover illustrating his plan to NASA: