TARS and CASE are the two robots which are part of the Endurance crew.

The Interstellar wiki explains

TARS is a former marine robot with angular limbs and a sarcastic attitude.

and that

CASE is one of three former marine surplus robots, alongside TARS and KIPP, CASE first appeared within an alcove onboard the Endurance mission.

Is there a significance to the names of the robots, or why were they named as such? Are they unique serial numbers (similar to R2-D2 and C-3PO)? The fact that the names are written in all caps on their bodies lends weight to the idea that they may be acronyms.

I'm hoping for an in-universe answer if possible. It wouldn't make much sense for the military to name them after people who assisted in the creation of the film.


  • Minor note: didn't TARS first appear at the gate of the secret NASA base, decking Coop while Murph waited in the truck? Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 17:32
  • 3
    And written in Braille below, of course. Painted Braille, which means it's largely useless for blind people... One theory posted on the wiki: "Tars is an anagram for star. As he is the star of the robots and it's a spacy name. By the way the other two robots are kipp and case. Kipp is for kip Thorne who was the scientific advisor. Kipp has an extra p to lend case which is ok because he is a pile of parts anyway. With a p case is now an anagram for space."
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 22:25
  • 1
    Simple, TARS for TERMINATARS....
    – user41799
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 13:39
  • 1
    Here's my little theory: Take a look at TARkovsky's Solaris, especially the interior design: cdn1.sbnation.com/assets/4033679/4.jpg
    – armin
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


According to this Wired article (which includes information from Nolan) the names do not stand for anything.

While Christopher Nolan was making Interstellar, he decided to show a model of the movie’s bots to his kids. They were extremely disappointed. “That’s not a robot,” they told him. “That’s a box.” Well, it’s true: Nolan’s intelligent machines, which he dreamed up with production designer Nathan Crowley, look for all the universe like slabs of metal. The main bot, named TARS (which doesn’t stand for anything), might as well be a distant cousin of 2001‘s monolith. Then again, nothing in Nolan’s world(s) is what it seems. “When I let my kids play with the model, open it up, see different combinations,” he says, “they started getting really excited.” Let’s peek inside the box.

  • They may not stand for anything, but do they have any in-universe significance?
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 3:20
  • @phantom42, Tn Association of Rescue Squads Knoxvile Tennessee & Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TARS) - Yahoo Finance...are from top search result from DuckDuckGo. My wild guess is Tesseract Automatic Rescue Squads...
    – Cloud Cho
    Commented Apr 5 at 18:14

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