5 Light-Hearted Movies With Dark Moral Implications

Sometimes, movies or shows that go out of their way to be light and inoffensive end up accidentally creating complex moral dilemmas. The writers will often do everything possible to avoid pointing out the troubling implications of their innocent plot ... but don't worry, that's what we're here for.

#5. Harry Potter -- Wizards Disprove Most World Religions

If we say, "The existence of wizards would disprove most world religions," you could easily shrug and say, "Well, yeah, but so would the existence of the Force." But there's a key difference; there are no Christians or Muslims in the Star Wars universe. There are in the Harry Potter universe, and some of them are also wizards.

After all, every year we see the characters celebrating Christmas. Unless the "Christ" part refers to something else in this reality, that probably means that at least some of these characters believe in Jesus.


"What did our lord Christopher Walken get you this year, Harry?"

Also, in one of the books we see the tombstone of Harry's parents with a Bible verse engraved on it, so it would be safe to assume that they were at least a little bit religious.


That, or whoever buried them was kind of a jerk.

This presents a massive crisis of faith for anyone living in the world of Harry Potter, as the fact that magic exists automatically contradicts half the stuff that's in the Bible. The school is haunted by sentient ghosts (like Nearly Headless Nick) who are basically floating refutations of the Christian afterlife. The most feared creatures in that universe are Dementors, robed beings that can suck out your soul before God or Satan ever get to it.

And in this universe, most of the miracles Jesus was supposed to have accomplished only by the grace of God could be performed by a 12-year-old with a wand and a copy of The Standard Book of Spells.

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"Fishes multiplicare!"

Hell, according to the Harry Potter books, even resurrection is possible, and that's supposed to be a trick limited to Jesus only (and his close pal, that one time). Oh, and there's a magical stone that will grant you eternal life.

Therefore, anyone who both knows about magic and believes in the Bible is in for a huge theological dilemma: Can you continue having faith in God if it turns out He was wrong about a lot of stuff? This would be a huge blow to anyone's beliefs, but the books/movies never touch on the subject.

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"And risk these sales?"

Now, in the Harry Potter world, most normal people don't know about wizards, but a lot of them do, including some important political figures, like Britain's prime minister. Many others witness magic firsthand when their seemingly normal kids start developing powers.


"I have to admit, I'm going through a mild existential crisis right now."

So maybe all those zealots who were convinced Harry Potter was anti-religion had a point after all (although not in the way they thought).

#4. Star Wars -- The Droids Are Being Oppressed

Star Wars is one of those stories where there's absolutely no challenge telling the good guys apart from the bad guys: The Rebels are good because they're trying to liberate the galaxy from tyranny, and the Empire is evil because they shoot planets and dress in black and stuff. However, for all their talk of freedom, even the Rebels are guilty of one enormous crime that nobody seems to care about: the oppression of an entire noble race of mechanical people.


These guys.

The Star Wars movies alternate between showing droids as beings that are capable of real friendship and emotion and disposable objects that get sent on suicide missions or traded for scrap. For example, as the epic 70-minute YouTube review of The Phantom Menace points out, one second Obi-Wan is emotionlessly watching droids being shot to shit on a screen ...


"Cool."

... and 10 minutes later the queen is personally thanking R2-D2 for being a hero who put himself in danger to save the crew. If droids aren't sentient beings, why would anyone bother thanking them for anything?


"What? No, I thought it was a real dude named Artoo! What's wrong with you?!"

That's like giving a medal to a rifle, or, like, some oddly shaped trash can that an enemy soldier tripped over. For that matter, why would they include R2 and C-3PO at the ceremony at the end of the first Star Wars? They should be in a closet at that point.

In other instances, R2-D2 demonstrated loyalty, courage and even inventiveness (like when he outwitted those two other droids and set them on fire). Meanwhile, it's been established that C-3PO is capable of feeling basic emotions like pride, terror and even grief -- in Return of the Jedi, when R2-D2 is shot by a Stormtrooper, he laments, "Oh, R2, why did you have to be so brave?" Though R2 is definitely braver, both seem averse to physical harm, suggesting that they actually feel pain.


"BEEP BEEP BOOP BE -- oh shit, that actually hurt! Motherf-!"

Presumably all droids (or at least the ones that look like R2 and C-3PO) have minds that are just as humanlike, and yet people are routinely wiping their memories. That's the first thing Luke's uncle Owen tells him to do with the droids in the first Star Wars, and Luke doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with the equivalent of brainwashing a human (his protests are more along the lines of "farming is lame!").

Of course, C-3PO had already been lobotomized before, at the end of Revenge of the Sith, when Leia's adoptive father casually instructs the dad of another minor original trilogy character to delete all trace of the droid's hopes, fears and personality.


"We can't have any awkwardly placed throwbacks to the original trilogy here, no sir."

The most likely explanation here is that the humans know droids are people, too -- they just don't give a shit (even though some of them have robot parts and all). And that's what we in this world call "slavery."

#3. Dr. No -- James Bond Single-Handedly Turns the Caribbean into a Nuclear Wasteland

In James Bond movies, it's accepted that the end justifies the means -- we're fine with Bond killing supervillains' workers, lab technicians and janitors left and right because he needs to fulfill his mission at all costs, and also those guys are dicks. The end of Dr. No, however, is one of those times when he might have gone a little overboard.


Just a little bit.

As part of a plan to sabotage U.S. missile and space launches, the evil terrorist organization SPECTRE employs atomic poindexter Dr. No to build a nuclear-powered toppling ray on the Caribbean island of Crab Key, near Jamaica. Bond successfully dicks up these plans by forcing the island's atomic reactor into a catastrophic overload, resulting in Dr. No's ironic demise ...


"NOOOOOOOOO -- oh, haha, I see what you did there, Ian Fleming."

... while Bond and the sexy companion he acquired at some point triumphantly run from the resulting explosion, presumably (definitely) to have sex behind the nearest shrub.

But shockingly, causing a nuclear explosion in the middle of the Caribbean isn't as harmless as the movie depicts it -- let's just say that by now, instead of being known for their reggae music and dreadlocks, Jamaica would be famous as the land of impoverished five-eyed babies.

Let's look at what was in Dr. No's lair (since Bond obviously didn't): a pool-type reactor from this era should have around 56 kilograms of uranium. Considering that Dr. No was running an entire island out there, including a bauxite mine, a million-dollar aquarium and a goddamn rocket toppling ray, it would be safe to assume that he was using at least three times the normal amount of radioactive material -- so that's 168 kilograms (370 pounds) of uranium blown into the Caribbean sky.

That's nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl, but that's not saying a whole lot. If we take a fallout map of the Chernobyl disaster, adjust it to the scale of this explosion based on what we know and superimpose it on a Google Maps image of the Caribbean, it would look like this:


"Hey, Bond, CIA here. While you're at it, do you mind helping us with a little problem down here? It's called Cuba."

See that patch of land under the lower red cloud? That's the entirety of Jamaica. The city of Kingston and its more than half a million laid-back citizens would receive the brunt of the radioactive fallout, making the city uninhabitable for a century. Not that anyone would be coming back: A quarter of the country's jobs and a good chunk of its earnings come from tourism, and nobody wants a Jamaican glow that actually glows.

Depending on prevailing winds, large swaths of Cuba and Haiti (and Bond himself) could have been fatally irradiated ... simply because Bond wanted to make a cool exit.


"This would make a great story for my grandchildren, if I wasn't sterile just from standing here."

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