11 Fan Theories about movies that will completely blow your mind and reshape the way you look at life and reality itself

Fan theories!  We love ’em!  They take movies that we love (or not), that someone created and slaved over, and add whole other layers of meaning and depth to them that often the film maker’s never intended.  And sometimes…dare we say it…they make the movies better than the producers could ever have done on purpose.

Here are eleven that are absolutely guaranteed to reshape not just how you see the movie, but life itself.

And because I’m exercising some level of self-control, only a few of these are about Star Wars.

 

1. Where were those aliens taking all those people?

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FilmsDark City (1998), Knowing (2009)

Dark City is a science fiction movie by director Alex Proyas, which is about some mysterious aliens who have gathered human beings from who knows when and where, and are performing social and psychological experiments on them in a bizarre and ever-changing city floating in space.  It was brilliant, and came out in 1998.

Knowing is a science fiction movie by director Alex Proyas, which is about some mysterious aliens who come to earth to give obscure warnings about an impending global disaster, and to gather a portion of those people to rescue them from the earth and bring them who knows when and where.  It was terrible, and came out in 2009.

But what if the aliens in Knowing were not actually interested in saving people?  What if they were just out to get some subjects for their social & psychological experiments?  It makes perfect sense – the aliens in Knowing and in Dark City are the same aliens, and the one movie is a prequel to the other.

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The Theory:  “Knowing” is a prequel to “Dark City”

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Certainty of Being True:  99.7%

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2. Still waters run deep

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Films:  Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Watch C-3PO during the original Star Wars movies.  That droid is definitely up to something.  In A New Hope, he worries about the Princess in one moment, and then later claims to not recognize her when he sees R2-D2’s message.  Earlier, he even stared right at her when she was giving R2-D2 her recording, but then he just sort of stops–almost like he’s frozen–until she’s walked off.  He also lies:  he very clearly states in A New Hope that he’s not good at telling stories, but in Return of the Jedi he clearly is very gifted at just that.

Why would he lie?  What does it all mean?

Remember that it was young Darth Vader who built C-3PO.  What if young Anakin was being unknowingly influenced by the leader of the First Order – operating somewhere in the background of both of the original trilogies (see below for my thoughts on this, below).  And so what if Anakin or this other villain had programmed a secret mission into C-3PO:  one that involves carrying out the wishes of the First Order and setting the stage for their eventual rise to power.  That secret mission was obviously causing these strange inconsistencies in C-3PO’s behavior.

If this is true, than I’m sure that we’ll discover the full story in the upcoming The Force Awakens.  Perhaps C-3PO is not just a sleeper agent for the First Order…perhaps he is the leader of the First Order himself!  Either way, not long now until we find out.

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The Theory:  C-3PO is a sleeper agent for the First Order

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Certainty of Being True:  72%

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3. We’ve seen that kid from Jurassic Park again…

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Films:  Jurassic Park (1993), Jurassic World (2015)

This is one that’s been floating around for a while, that you’ve probably heard before, but it’s worth repeating because it’s absolutely, categorically true.  Do you remember the boy at the start of the movie who was played by Whitby Hertfold?  That kid who’s all snarky to Sam Neill’s Alan Grant, whom Grant terrifies with stories of the velociraptor’s hunting prowess?  Well, the theory is that that opening scene of the first movie of the popular franchise was not the last time we saw that young boy.  The idea is that Alan’s tirade had a profound effect upon the boy and impacted the direction of his life, and that we saw him again in the recent Jurassic World.

The idea is that the boy grew up to be the villainous character played Vincent D’Onofrio in Jurassic World,  Vic Hoskins.

Hoskins is the guy who intends to weaponize velociraptors against terrorists.  You cannot say that he is the same character as the young boy categorically, of course, but it all fits, including the two character’s approximate ages and general appearances.  And what else would inspire someone to use dinosaurs as military weapons against enemies of America that a litany of how viciously deadly the creatures are by a heartless paleontologist like Alan Grant?

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The Theory:  “Volunteer Boy” grew up to become Vic Hoskins

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Certainty of Being True:  86%

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4. Superman broke the space-time continuum…

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FilmsSuperman II:  The Richard Donner Cut (2006) & other Superman films

First of all, what is The Richard Donner Cut? If you don’t know, Richard Donner directed a portion of Superman II before he was removed from the project.  A big portion of the movie was re-shot by the credited director, Richard Lester.  Years later, someone took Donner’s footage and used it to create a version of Superman II that was closer to Donner’s original vision.  There were a variety of changes, but the most important one is that Superman resolved his personal issues (his marriage to Lois Lane and her discovery of his identity) but flying around the world and undoing time.

Again.

Just like he did in Superman:  The Movie in order to save Lois’ life from an earthquake.

Well, the reality is that The Richard Donner Cut reflects the events of Superman II (Superman’s marriage to Lois, and the battle against General Zod and his cronies) as they originally happened.  But when Superman broke the time barrier for the second time, it caused major damage to the time-stream and fractured reality.  An alternate universe was created, which we saw in Superman II (the theatrical version), Superman III, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.  Occasionally, the original version of Superman was still trying to break through (like when we saw Superman fight himself in the junk yard in Superman III.

But then he finally did!  The original Superman returned…in Superman Returns.  He’s played by Brandon Routh this time instead of Christopher Reeve, but it’s the same guy!  A major problem with Superman Returns is that Superman’s journey away from earth didn’t really make any sense, but thanks to this theory it does.  He breaks into his original film series, five years after Superman II.  This eliminates the Superman who was in Superman III and Superman IV out of existence.

But the world of Superman Returns doesn’t last long either, because of how fragile the Superman-multiverse is getting.  Thus, after the events of this film, the timeline breaks down and our original Superman is left roaming the multiverse, looking for a home. Eventually, he finds the reality that we saw in Man of Steel.

Now, no doubt that the Superman of Superman, the Movie is going to be appalled by the Superman of Man of Steel, so he’s going to do everything he can to confront over him his flippancy with his secret identity or his neck-breaking.

When will see this confrontation in the next movie, Batman v Superman, where no doubt it will be revealed that the original Superman is actually that movie’s primary villain. We’ve been thinking it’s General Zod transformed into Doomsday, but what if it’s not?  What if that’s actually the original Superman, and no one else, who was captured by Lex Luthor and turned into Doomsday.

Of course, Christopher Reeve passed away years ago, but there’s no reason Brandon Routh couldn’t do it.  Routh has shown interest in the whole comic-book adaptation thing recently by playing the Atom on Arrow.  (This could eventually lead to an awesome cross-over in which Superman meets the Atom, with both being played by Routh.)

Anyway, just imagine the shock and awe for audience when they see the sequence in Batman v. Superman in which Superman and Wonder Woman pound on Doomsday and knock some of his rocky scales off his face, only to reveal Brandon Routh’s face underneath.  Truly epic.

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The Theory:  Superman broke the space-time continuum in
“Superman II:  The Richard Donner Cut,” and every subsequent movie version of Superman is part of the same continuity

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Certainty of Being True:  99.7%

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5. The Mission: Impossible films seem inconsistent…

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Films:  Mission: Impossible (1996), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

So far, there have been five movies in the Mission: Impossible film series.  They all star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, but there are several distinct approaches to the character that we’ve seen.  In the first one, he’s a young and idealistic agent, and a bit uptight.  In the second, he’s much more relaxed free-wheeling adventurer.  In the third, he’s a family man who just wants to settle down.  In the fourth, & fifth he doesn’t seem to care about his family, and just wants to go on spy missions.

The explanation is that in each movie Ethan Hunt is actually a different person (except for the fifth, where it seems more likely that he’s the same guy we saw in the fourth).  This is the only reasonable way to explain the character’s personality changes and inconsistent choices.  How else do you justify Ethan walking away from his wife at the end of the fourth film?  And there is precedence for the fact that the IMF would re-use agent’s names (or maybe they were code names all along), since the Jim Phelps that appears in the first movie is clearly not the same guy that Peter Graves played in the TV series.  Even the Jim Phelps that appeared in the revival series in the 1980’s seemed like a different guy, actually.

And super-spy organization like the IMF would certainly have the resources to give its agents some sort of permanent disguise.  It’s probable even that each Ethan has had plastic surgery and some sort of special conditioning to make him such a dangerous secret agent.  It’s also probable that this process actually shortens Ethan’s life span, which is why new ones are required all the time.  After the original Ethan died, Luthor (the guy played by Ving Rhames) was probably brought in to watch over Ethan, to make sure that the new identity stuck and the conditioning didn’t break down.  This explains why he is so loyal to Ethan–it’s actually his job–and why he was so against Ethan marrying in Mission Impossible III.

In any case, unlike others on this list, this theory can’t be proven, but it explains many inconsistencies that otherwise exist in the film franchise.

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The Theory:  Ethan Hunt is actually a code name being used by a succession of agents over the years

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Certainty of Being True:  52%

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6. “Red Six, can you see Red Five?”

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Films:  Star Wars (1977)

Porkins was an unfortunately named X-Wing pilot during the Battle of Yavin in the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope.  His code name was Red Six, and he was amongst the first rebel pilots to die in that battle.  His death came after covering fellow pilot Biggs during a strafing run, when a ship malfunction apparently led to him being destroyed.  This happened fairly early in the battle.

But then, as the battle continues, amongst all the chatter going on over the radios, there is concern for a moment about where Luke (code named Red Five) is.  In the midst of this, we clearly hear someone ask, “Red Six, do you see Red Five?”  But at this point, Red Six had been killed, blown up.  So why is someone–perhaps the Red Leader–asking for Red Six to give him information?

The answer of course, is that Porkins must have been force sensitive and managed to return to the battle as a Force Ghost, unwilling to give up on his friends in their hour of need.  It’s even possible that in the chaos, some of his friends didn’t realize that anything unusual had happened.

I guess a correlating theory is that Porkins’ X-Wing ship must have also been force sensitive, and also returned with him.  (I guess that’s no different than Obi-Wan’s force ghost appearing with his cloak).

In any case, it’s pretty much a sure-fire guarantee that Porkins will be making an appearance in The Force Awakens in a few days, or possibly in his own anthology film.  William Hootkins sadly passed away a number of years ago, but there’s no reason he couldn’t reappear thanks to some CGI magic, a la Peter Cushing in Episode III.’

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The Theory:  Porkins returned from the dead as a Force Ghost

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Certainty of Being True:  74%

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7. John McClane died…a long time ago

 

Films:  Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, is the main character of the Die Hard franchise.  He is a police officer who nearly single-handedly defeats a group of dangerous and well-trained terrorists who have taken over a building.  Then, in the sequels to the film, he has a series of increasingly outrageous and unlikely adventures, where he fights and defeats other terrorists, mercenaries, armies, and so on.

Clearly, the Die Hard movies are deeply flawed, illogical messes that demonstrate no coherence or internal consistency.  Or at least they were, before we realized the truth of this theory:

John McClane died in the first Die Hard film.  Probably quite near the beginning, when he was having his first face-to-face fight with a terrorist.  The rest of the film, and indeed the rest of the franchise, are all the dying dream he is having in the last instants of his life.

That is why he constantly comes out as the hero:  John, essentially a loser, has the dying fantasy of being victorious, defeating more and more overwhelming enemies.  It explains also why the later films get even more absurd:  John is nearly dead, and so his fantasy is getting more confused.  If the rumored sixth Die Hard movie gets made (Die Hardest?  Live and Let Die Hard?  Die Hard into Darkness?) then we will certainly see the on-screen confirmation of this theory.  It’s exactly the sort of gritty realism that fans are clamoring for, which would breathe new life into an otherwise stale franchise.

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The Theory:  John McClane died near the beginning of “Die Hard”, and the rest of the franchise are his dying dream.

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Certainty of Being True:  92.56%

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8. Two popular franchises are really one and the same

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Films:  Mannequin Two: On the Movie (1991), Beethoven’s Treasure Tail
(2014)

The thing about fan theories is that you have to tread very carefully.  Fans are a passionate and strong-willed lot, as anyone who has participated in any of the classic online nerd-debates (eg. Joel vs. Mike, Hal  vs. Kyle, Moffat vs. Davies) would know.   These movies, TV shows, and stories of all forms, though clearly “entertainment,” illicit powerful emotions and lead to the formation of strongly held beliefs.  I mean, we’re talking about franchises that have massive fanbases full of committed devotees.  So when you start bringing up controversial and confronting ideas about these stories, you never know what sort of reactions will come your way, even when the theories being put forward are clearly grounded in reason and logic.

So, with this in mind that I mention  the following:  Jessie, the reincarnated peasant girl who is at the heart of the classic comedy Mannequin Two:  On the Move is actually the same character as Anne Parker, the mother of the local both in that other classic comedy, Beethoven’s Treasure Tail.

It’s hard to imagine that the creators of these two iconic sequels had in their minds that their films were actually connected, but careful examination reveals that these two characters (both played by actress Kristy Swanson) are clearly the same person.  The ages of the respective characters are consistent:  Jessie is meant to be about 18 years old (aside from the part about being turned to wood for 1000 year old, of course).  The direct-to-video Beethoven sequel (seventh and last–so far–in the franchise) takes place about 25 years later, and we can see that Anne Parkeris now in her mid 40’s.  In addition, both Jessie and Anne share many traits, such as the color of their eye color, the shape of their faces, the timber of their voices.  Jessie’s story ends  at the end of the Mannequin Two movie makes it clear she is sticking around in modern times, and we never hear enough details of Anne’s background to discount the idea that she may be more than simply an ordinary American woman.

Of course, doubters will chalk all this up to the sort of zany coincidences that we always see in Hollywood, but its much easier to swallow the idea that Jessie went on with her life in the 20th century and eventually became the mother of Sam, the Beethoven film’s young protagonist.  Jason, Jessie’s beloved prince from On the Move, either died or was overwhelmed with the responsibility of fatherhood, and Jessie changed her name and became Anne Parker.

I know that this theory is likely to rile a lot of fans, but I want to challenge people to look at the evidence clearly and logically.  If you do, I think you’ll see the connections between the Beethoven and Mannequin Two franchises only make both stories stronger.  Of course, there will be no way to convince some people  until either the Beethoven franchise or Mannequin franchise comes back for another installment.  This is something I know that many fans are clamoring for, and that I expect to see a Kickstarter campaign being set up for any month now.

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The Theory:  Pop-culture characters Jessie and Anne Parker are actually the same person.

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Certainty of Being True:  104%

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9. Woody, Nemo, Sully = separate continuities

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Films:  All Pixar movies (1995-present)

We all know Pixar, and love the amazing output of animated films that they have been putting our for decades:  Finding Nemo, Up, Toy Story 3, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and more.  It’s long been established that all of these films take place in one cohesive universe, with each film revealing another facet of one grande tapestry of a tale.

But a theory that is gaining increased traction is the idea that in reality, these films actually each take place in their own separate continuity.  So, according to this idea, young Boo from Monsters Inc. didn’t grow up obsessed with finding Sully, leading her to travel back into time and become the witch in BraveCars does not depict a world in which the sentient toys seen in Toy Story eventually became the dominant life forms on earth after the departure of the humans as seen in Wall-E.  Instead, each of these films exist in their own separate narrative landscape, and which do not impact upon each other (obviously the exception to this are the direct sequels, like Toy Story 2Cars 2, or the upcoming Finding Dory, which are still meant to co-exist with the other films in their own franchises).

Some would argue that this theory makes no sense because of all the crossovers that are seen throughout the films:  the cameo of in Toy Story of characters from A Bug’s Life, the presence of an “Incredibles” comic in Finding Nemo, the sight of a toy version of Monsters, Inc.’s Sully in Brave, Pizza Planet trucks being all over the place, and so on. But this theory doesn’t ignore that.  It simply claims that instead of these being actual crossovers, these sightings are actually in-jokes, Easter eggs, and references being purposely peppered throughout the films for the sake of their own amusement, and that of attentive fans.

That may be pretty thin evidence for some people, but we think it’s worth considering.

Incidentally, there is a similar theory about all non-Pixar Disney films, that essentially says the same thing.

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The Theory:  All the Pixar films actually take place in separate continuities, and the occasional cross-overs between them are actually the result of in-jokes and Easter eggs on the part of the film makers.

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Certainty of Being True:  59%

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10. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…an evil nobody guessed!

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Films:  Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983)

This one has been bugging us for years, because of all the inconsistencies and contradictions within the original Star Wars trilogy, but when we finally got the revelation of the rebel leader’s true colors, it all made sense.

We are sure that when The Force Awakens debuts in a few short days, it will be confirmed that Leia has not only got her feet firmly planted in the Dark Side, but that indeed she was there all along.

We know that Leia is force sensitive:  she’s the daughter of the “chosen one”, after all.  On the surface, she appears not to know this about herself until Luke reveals it, but a subtle scratching at the trilogy’s veneer reveals a very different picture.

In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor and Darth Vader are seeking an ally in young Luke Skywalker.  An ally against what?  The Rebel Alliance is already going to be defeated, the Emperor is sure, thanks to his trap with the second Death Star.  No, he is looking for an ally against a rival Sith Lord.  The Sith are very possessive of their power–indeed, we already know that generally there can never be more than two Sith at a time (a Master and an Apprentice)–so a second Sith Lord out there is an automatic threat to his power.

Now, note the way that Leia subtly and skillfully manipulates all the other players throughout the trilogy.  She allows herself to be captured by the Empire, but not before she brings together all the greatest obstacles to her bid for ultimate power:  Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Empire…and her own brother.  Yes, Leia knew about her brother, and she knew that he would ultimately prove to be perhaps the greatest threat to her ascension to complete galactic domination.

So Leia pits these potential enemies against each other:  she leads the Empire straight to Obi-Wan Kenobi, sends Obi-Wan Kenobi a message knowing he’d pull Luke into his quest, and then allowed herself to be captured.  Leia may not have been certain who was going to end up killing who, but that didn’t matter–either way at least some of her enemies were going to be eliminated.

As a prisoner to the Empire, she uses the Force to resist whatever interrogation techniques they attempt.  She next subtly manipulates Governor Tarkin into destroying Alderaan, which serves twin purposes.  First, it weakens the rebellion.  The rebel alliance is the source of Leia’s military might, but at the same time she must keep them in check, and destroying Alderaan and her father is a way of doing that.  Secondly, blowing up her adopted planet has the added advantage of killing off her Sith Master, the one who brought her up and raised her to manipulate the Dark Side of the Force.

We’ve seen lots of other instances of Sith Masters and Apprentices killing each other off, so we know this is how they roll.  We don’t know for sure who Leia’s master was, but I’m guessing it was either her adopted mother, or it was her nanny.  Either way, the strange relationship she had with this figure while growing up explains Leia’s otherwise contradictory comments about remembering her birth mother in Return of the Jedi.  Of course, she’s lying to Luke about the details, but it makes sense that Leia would think of her Sith Master with daughterly fondness, even if she also arranged for her death.

As trilogy continues, we continue to see Leia’s machinations.  She emotionally manipulates both Luke and Han.  She decides to rescue Luke at the end of Empire Strikes Back because she sees that she’s realized that Darth Vader is still alive, and she knows going to need Luke to fight and defeat Darth Vader.

In Return of the Jedi, notice the way that Leia cold-bloodedly murders Jabba the Hutt at the first opportunity.  Later, watch her slyly manipulate Luke into his final confrontation with their father.  At the end, see her smile with evil satisfaction at the destruction of the Emperor and Darth Vader – she knows now that most of her enemies have been destroyed, and that those who remain are firmly under her emotional grip.

The evidence is overwhelming:  Leia is evil.  She’s turned to the Dark Side, and did so long before we met her in the opening moments of A New Hope.  She spends the entire original trilogy manipulating her friends and her enemies to allow her a position of power.

Frankly, no other interpretation explains her behavior through these movies or is consistent with her actions or character motivations.

Luke Skywalker has been absent for most of the promotional material for The Force Awakens.  We believe that this is because he has finally discovered–too late–how dangerous his sister has become, and has gone into hiding.  Leia, now a General, will be revealed as the power behind the power behind the power of the autocratic First Order–which is what the Rebel Alliance became after decades of her control.  The drama of the movie will come from Han Solo realizing the truth, and being forced to confront his former love.

If not, it’s going to represent a severe misunderstanding of the Star Wars saga by J.J. Abrams, and a massive fail of continuity and internally consistent storytelling.

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The Theory:  Princess Leia is a Sith Lord

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Certainty of Being True:  98%

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11.The truth about Inception is stranger than you think

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Film:  Inception (2010)

Inception, considered by many to be Christopher Nolan’s psychidelic masterpiece from 2010, left many viewers in squabbles as they tried to interpret the ending:  was Cobb really being reunited with his children, or was he still dreaming, trapped in Limbo for a perceptual eternity?

The truth?  Neither.  Indeed, the truth is much stranger.

If you watch Inception all the way through, one thing is glaringly obvious:  it does not make any logical sense.  Settings adjust with little warning and less explanation.  Characters are found to be in new locations without us seeing where they came from our how they got there.  Events and plot twists are overly-contrived and occur with astonishing convenience.  And most importantly, the exposition of the dream-logic is inconsistent and feels like it was made up as the film went along.

Would a film maker as intelligent and experienced as Christopher Nolan really produce something so non-sensical?  Of course not!  There’s more going on here than meets the eye.

Inception is about dreams.  But it’s not about Cobb’s dream, or about Robert Fischer’s dream.  Indeed, it’s not about the dreams of any of the characters in the film, because those characters are not real people.  They are imaginary.  Not just imaginary like all fictional movie characters are, but imaginary in the context of the movie itself.

And it’s not just these characters who are imaginary, it’s the whole premise of the film – the idea of being able to enter someone else’s dream, either for extraction or inception.  Otherwise, how do you explain things like the inconsistency of how limbo and dreaming work?  For example, why are Cobb and his wife all of a sudden young when they are putting their heads on a train?  Why would a supposed professional like Cobb allow the memory of his dead wife to interfere with the most  important job?  How does Saito show up at just the right moment to rescue Cobb?  And why can’t you dream about someone’s top falling over, even if you haven’t touched it?

No, the truth about Inception is that none of it is real.  None of the characters, none of the events, none of the science fiction elements.  The truth is that the entire film is a dream, probably an Italian butcher from Brooklyn.  He’s probably a frustrated sci-fi writer with unfulfilled dreams who stayed up too late the previous night watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

This is the best explanation to make sense of the movie’s flaws and inconsistencies, and most importantly, it’s not contradicted by anything that happens in the movie itself.

And when it comes to fan theories, that’s basically the same as proof.

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The Theory:  “Inception” is a dream being had by an Italian butcher in Brooklyn

 

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Certainty of Being True:  16%

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There you go.  I welcome you to comment, critique, or even (if you think you can) rebut these theories!  In the meantime, happy movie theorizing, and enjoy The Force Awakens!

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5 thoughts on “11 Fan Theories about movies that will completely blow your mind and reshape the way you look at life and reality itself

  1. Glad you got a kick out of it. Many of them only really make sense in the light of lots of articles that are out there about this sort of thing, especially the Pixar one.

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