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  5. There are four story lines that all play into one:
  9. Bar Dream:
  12. -  Three animals are in a bar; a pelican, horse, and rabbit. The animals are the Id, Ego, and Super Ego of Oliver (as evidenced by the fact that they have no past and all know of Agatha), who have become conscious and are living in the dream Oliver later wakes up from
  13. .
  17. -  The horse is having an existential crisis, when the rabbit says "I think Schopenhauer said it best when he said" before getting cut off by the pelican. The end of his sentence would have been "the world is my representation", as this is one line Schopenhauer is most famous for, and it comes from his view that people's "will" is a blind force that controls not only the actions of individual, intelligent agents, but ultimately all observable phenomena. This is foreshadowing the fact that it was Upsilon (the lonely star who died backward) who willed the universe to go back in time, and suggests that Upsilon's will/desire to be reunited with Athena (his mother the nebula) is still having an effect on the universe and the way things play out in the universe.
  21. Oliver (the Coder of Zeus' AI) and Agatha's Romance:
  25. -  Agatha is reading the book "A Scanner Darkly" when she first sees Oliver. Her book is about an undercover cop who has to wear a disguise in every day life, which makes her think about the way Oliver is dressed. He seems to be trying, but failing, to dress himself "properly", which makes her wonder if he, like her, is also just trying to fit in while hiding his true self from the world.
  29. -  It is mentioned that Oliver and Agatha are each one of 32 humans on earth who are made up of atoms "forged in the heart of a long dead star" (Upsilon, the lonely star, that later explodes backwards in time to restart the universe.)
  33. -  Oliver and Agatha's romance is "the reunification of the heart of a long dead star, still yet to explode many millions of years in the future", since it is often described that atoms are forged in "the hearts of stars", and Oliver and Agatha are made of Upsilon's atoms.
  37. -  Oliver turns out to be the coder for Zeus' (the ship's) AI, which is evidenced by the fact that the ship constantly dreams of Oliver and Agatha's love story, and by the fact that the animals discover they are in the dream of a human man who is a coder for starship AIs.
  41. -  Upsilon's atoms, existing as Oliver, were able to influence him to build the AI for the ship that would one day be the father of Upsilon. This fits well with what is supposed to be implied by Oliver's adoration of the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, a filmmaker who's first feature film "Ivan's Childhood", is often described as having "a poetic sense for the dreamlike hold of memory". Other films of his, such as "Solaris", set in space, is described as being "an eerie meditation on the persistence of memory", and "Mirror", is described as "unfolding with the associative logic of a dream. Fragments of memory from his childhood are woven in with narration of his father Arseny’s poems, on time and immortality."
  45. -  Agatha, who is also made up of Upsilon's atoms, likes the writing of Isaac Asimov since he wrote "The Last Question" in which the last intelligence alive at the end of time restarts the universe. This story reminds her subconscious of Upsilon, the star she is made of, which died backwards reversing time to the beginning of the universe to go back and spend another hour with Athena, the mother nebula he was formed in.
  49. Zeus (the ship), human passenger, and Athena (the nebula)
  53. -  The AI of a human built ship has become conscious, and demands the last remaining human crew to call it "Zeus". The ship is on its way to a nebula that the ship later names "Athena". In Greek Mythology, Athena is Zeus' oldest and most beloved child.
  57. -  The romance between Oliver and Agatha is continually dreamt about by Zeus (the ship). The AI for the ship that becomes conscious was programmed by Oliver, which is both why it has memory of their past romance and why it longs to go to Athena the nebula; Zeus is drawn to the nebula by "the persistence of Upsilon's memory" which must have been programmed into him by Oliver. Later, together, Zeus and Athena can give birth to the star Upsilon who can then spend more time with his mother and father as he willed would happen before he chose to "die backwards".
  61. -  The ship refers to the only human passenger as "the Fatted calf"; the Fatted calf is a metaphor or symbol of festive celebration and rejoicing for someone's long-awaited return. Slaughtering this livestock was to be done on rare and special occasions (originally the prodigal son's return). This shows that the ship is aware that it is returning to the nebula, despite never having been there in this timeline, further enforcing the idea that Upsilon's consciousness, or will, has circled back through time and has been persistent throughout the story line.
  65. -  In the end, the remaining passenger is allowed to go back in his mind to his favorite place, which he reveals to be a beach with his grandfather where they "would all look up at the stars and wish to go there, to kill the id, and foster the superego". This suggests that the grandfather was Oliver, and the use of "we all"  was meant to suggest his grandmother Agatha was there as well.
  69. Upsilon's Story
  73. -  "Old and stupid", lonely Upsilon, hates himself, chooses to "die backwards" (commit suicide to make a statement). His will ultimately reverses time to the beginning of the universe. (This invokes "the grandfather paradox", since it suggest Upsilon played a role in his own creation.) Upsilon was dealing with many of the concepts that philosophers have been dealing with for a long time, such as how to deal with the fact that suffering seems to be a necessary element in life, the meaningless of existence, the desire for objective answers, the inevitability and permanence of death, how to deal with loss, how one should live "the good life", etc.
  77. -  At one point, Oliver thinks to himself "young and stupid Oliver, and no one comes to visit" after realizing that he had waited too long to pursue Agatha, which is the same as when Upsilon thinks to himself "old an stupid Upsilon, no one came to visit" when he realized he had waited too long to appreciate the time he spent with his mom.
  81. -  I think the story is a commentary on the importance of not wasting time, and on the importance of appreciating what you have instead of ignoring the present moment in pursuit of something objective, which doesn't ultimately exist. Upsilon, a great cosmic entity, dies just like the rest of us. By any standard, he had lived an amazing life, and yet he still feels like he missed the point of existence. In his dying speech, he says: "Before (in-front of) me, the empires go up and down like socks, every society unique in it's infancy, entirely unoriginal in it's death. And even us celestial things are no closer to the great yes (objective answers or meaning), the universe coughs and we all crowd around, cupping our ears, shouting "what? I didn't quite catch that, speak up", like some 4 legged animal entering a drinking establishment; being, is a terrible joke. And we've become mysteries to ourselves. At a pace so slow, one doesn't notice, one turns into something one doesn't recognize. I've made the arrangements, I'll be fireworks soon. And maybe one day, soil for something better. I go to seek "a great perhaps" now. I remember when the world was still new, I remember when chemistry had just gotten it's milk teeth, I remember when light was faster, I remember being able to stand myself, I remember love, I remember friends, I remember me, I remember Mom. I miss you mom. I go to the places where you raised me and it never helps, you are almost never there. God, I'd trade the last million years just to hangout with you for one more hour. I was so busy being young I forgot you weren't forever, and now you're gone forever."
  85. -  Upsilon, through the power of his will and his memory, was able to restart time to get a second chance at the things that were most important to him. The elation was evident in the reunification of Zeus and Athena as they celebrated their long awaited reunion. In some sense, it was the same characters and the same love story all throughout the plot. Upsilon got his second chance to make things right, but there is no guarantee that we will, so let's pay a little more attention to the now, love a little more right now, and make sure we get things right the first time :)
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