1. Why isn't Brand smarter?

Before Brand, Doyle, and Cooper explore the first planet, Brand and Romilly explain that time is experienced differently in the spaceship and on the planet. An hour on the planet is 7 years on the spaceship and back on Earth. This makes everyone space shit their space pants.

The team goes into the expedition with the knowledge of how taxing it is.

However, when they land on the planet and everything goes awry, Brand suddenly figures out that though they've been receiving the rover's transmission for years, the rover has been sending it for only a few minutes. 

Uh, why didn't Brand, the ship's resident smartypants, think of this before they traveled to the planet?! Not before it was too late and Doyle's been killed by a big wave, which is something he could have easily accomplished without leaving Earth.

 

2. Why is my favorite character a robot?

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Tars was your favorite character, right? Isn't it so crazy that the film's most endearing character is a robot who looks like Ender? 

No, it's not crazy. It makes perfect sense. Because Tars is the most human-y robot ever. He's the perfect combination of sassy -- "Why are you whispering? She can't hear you" -- and empathetic -- "I would never leave you behind, Dr. Brand." He's like the lovable teacher from a sitcom. In fact, the only difference between Tars and a human person is he doesn't have all the character flaws that make humans annoying.

And he looks like an asterisk when he runs.