How is the hand shaking significant to the main plot of the story? Why should aliens or the bulk beings create a distortion to have them a hand shake? The bulk beings were not doing anything for anybody’s personal emotion. They were doing all of those in greater aspect for the whole mankind, “to save the world”. After the quantum data was sent, they were done and they closed the tesseract. Why they would even think that “okay, great job. Let them have a hand shake”? There is no reason for them to create such a distortion. Is there? Then, why to put such a thing in story which has no significance in the plot but has inconsistency with physics while the entire movie team was trying to be “as accurate as possible” with the real physics?


I think you have misunderstood what happened. The handshake was in fact

Cooper, who when in that weird inter-dimensional behind-the-bookcase space, located the moment when they were traveling to the wormhole and attempted to communicate.

So, it was not the aliens (though they weren't actually aliens) at all. Given who it was that instigated the handshake, it seems to make perfect sense from the plot's perspective. You can watch the relevant scene (that explains both the handshake and the likely origin of the wormhole) here:

  • I am told in my previous question "Mysterious space-time distortion in 'Interstellar'" that the reason was "aliens" (or actually future civilization). Please read the comments on that question and answer that why the distortion did not exert any gravitation? and how was it moving with space craft?
    – VacuuM
    Apr 4 '15 at 11:24
  • @VikramadityaMondal aliens!=future civilization. How do you know it exerted no gravitational pull? And why should it have a gravitational effect anyway? The whole movie is based on the premise of the existence of a technology that can manipulate gravity. Remember that gravity is used for communication, even from the very beginning. Since you know that the creators of the wormhole can manipulate gravity, why would you assume that dampening the gravitational effect of a mini-wormhole is beyond them? Anyway, that's not the question you asked here.
    – terdon
    Apr 4 '15 at 11:32
  • Cooper as a dweller of 4D space-time cannot create any space-time distortion, he can only exert the force of gravity through the tesseract as gravity can pass through any dimension. And as a human being he can not surely exert such a huge gravitational force to distort in space-time. Then it was also possible for him to create a distortion on the earth to hand shake with his daughter. So I don't really understand how Cooper could have created the distortion himself?
    – VacuuM
    Apr 4 '15 at 11:36
  • 2
    @VikramadityaMondal comments are not for extended discussion, that's what Science Fiction & Fantasy Chat is for. You asked why the handshake occurred and I gave you the canon answer. That said, Cooper was using a tool specifically created to produce such distortions. I don't know how the tool works, that's not explained in the movie. We're dealing with a civilization that can create tools like the artifact in Interstellar, don't assume they are bound by the same limitations we are. They probably have a unified field theory that allows them to play with gravity at will.
    – terdon
    Apr 4 '15 at 11:47
  • Ok fine. But my this question was not actually how the civilization made the tool for work. Rather my question was how this hand shake helps the plot, which I did not understand from your very short answer. please elaborate. And one more thing at first you told "So, it was not the aliens (though they weren't actually aliens) at all" and then said dampening mini wormhole will not be impossible for the "creators of the wormhole"; then actually who it was? I am really confused. please elaborate that also.
    – VacuuM
    Apr 4 '15 at 11:56

This is explained in a lot more detail in the film's official novelisation; in short, the "handshake" was in fact caused by Coop as he was sent back through the wormhole by the 'bulk aliens' after having accomplished his main mission...

...to send the secrets of gravity manipulation to his daughter and the coordinates of NASA to his former self.


He wondered where Brand was, how she was doing. He wished he could explain to her why he’d had to leave her alone. Ahead he saw a glassy, golden distortion, and in it the Endurance, and for a split second he thought his wish had brought him to her—but then he saw that this Endurance was like new, undamaged, just entering the wormhole. He drifted through the bulkhead and saw Brand and Romilly there, both strapped in.

Brand, he thought, reaching toward her. In a way, he had gotten his wish. Could he communicate with her? Probably not, or at least nothing important, since this was the past, and she hadn’t known that any of this was going to happen.

To his surprise, she saw him. She reached her hand up to his, and he realized there was something he could communicate. Something that maybe was important. So he reached back, hoping to feel the warmth of her hand, give it an affectionate squeeze. But when their fingers came together they mingled, distorting each other but not really touching. A quiet moment in the chaos.

There's no specific indication that the handshake was intended or desired by the aliens. The likelihood seems to be that it was merely an unintended artifact of the wormhole's function as a (time-travel capable) travel conduit.

You can see this same scene played out in the film itself

And in the scene's description in the final draft screenplay


Cooper APPROACHES A GLASSY TUBE. Inside is the OLD, UNDAMAGED ENDURANCE. As Cooper looks in from the bulk he sees: Brand, strapped in, Doyle opposite, traversing the wormhole for the first time ...

Cooper REACHES for Brand ... She sees something, reaches up - their hands would touch if they weren’t in different dimensions, her fingers distorting the space of his fingers


WHAM! She, and the Endurance, are SWEPT PAST - Cooper is SMASHED into the spacetime of the wormhole - he SCREAMS AND WE -

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