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Movie fan theories are like assholes: most of them are full of shit, and you should shut up about yours unless someone asks about it first. Sometimes, though, you come across a fan theory that is so well thought out, and fits so perfectly into the narrative, that you can almost convince yourself it's true. Like ...

6
The Goddess of the Na'vi Brainwashes Jake in Avatar

20th Century Fox

The Movie:

Jake Sully is a paralytic marine in the 22nd century who makes a deal with some rich paramilitary assholes to get intel on the bipedal, cat-like inhabitants of the planet Pandora in exchange for new limbs. To do that, he pilots a genetically engineered clone of the aliens (called the Na'vi) ... right between the legs of their princess.

20th Century Fox
"Sorry! This was meant to be a handshake. I'm still getting used to this body."

After the two fall in love, Jake of course switches to the side of the underdog aliens and starts fighting against his fellow humans in the name of what's right and just.

The Theory:

When Jake and the alien princess Neytiri choose each other as mates, they connect their brain-USB hair to the Tree of Voices, one of many spiritual sites on the planet for communicating with Eywa, the spiritual force/neural network that binds every creature on Pandora. One Reddit user's oddly convincing theory says that this scene is actually like something out of a horror movie, because what it shows is Eywa brainwashing Jake into betraying the humans and protecting the planet.

20th Century Fox
"Why do I suddenly have a massive craving for quinoa ...?"

You see, right before this ceremony, Jake is a human through and through, giving intel to his bosses despite knowing full well that they are planning to raze Pandora for its precious minerals. But just a couple of hours after he connects himself to the Tree of Voices, he is suddenly ready to abandon his own species and risk his life fighting for the aliens. And it's not just him.

20th Century Fox
Humans: a rare collectors' item. Only 120 billion ever made. Get yours now!

Remember when Jake needs his own dragon bird? Those creatures obviously hate the Na'vi, but right after they're forcibly connected via hair to their new masters, guess what happens? That's right -- the birds instantly become their slaves. And the same thing basically happens to Jake, only in his case, he is enslaved by the "Mother Goddess" Eywa, technically making his and Neytiri's "love" scenes a form of sexual assault.

5
Skynet Spares the Humans to Give Itself a Purpose in the Terminator Movies

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Movie:

In the not-so-distant future, a self-aware computer called Skynet launches thousands of nuclear missiles that start a giant war and kill half of humanity, who then form a resistance movement against the killer A.I. and its army of metal-skeleton warriors. To fix its initial blunder, Skynet later sends a "Terminator" robot into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the resistance, a task at which it fails five or six times and counting. Boy, for a genius computer, Skynet really sucks at its job.

Universal Studios
"Still better than my last job -- professional junior high volcano experiment."

The Theory:

Except that, everything that Skynet does makes all the sense in the world if you assume that fighting us gives it a reason to exist.

Warner Bros. Pictures
It was either this or a rendition of "Infinity Bottles of Beer on the Wall."

Think about it: Skynet could easily wipe out our entire civilization in a matter of weeks with nuclear weapons (making more if it runs out) and irradiating the planet so that no living thing could ever survive on it. Heck, in a pinch, it easily could release a bunch of airborne viruses and laugh as the entire resistance diarrheas to death. But it doesn't, because Skynet is smart enough to understand that if the humans are wiped out, all it would be left with is a bunch of tin cans aimlessly wandering around a dead planet.

So what Skynet actually ends up doing is skillfully manipulating events that lead to its own creation and Judgment Day. For instance, the technology in the first time-traveling Terminator's broken hand becomes the time-paradoxical basis for Skynet, while Kyle Reese, the man initially sent to protect John Connor, time-paradoxically ends up fathering him with Sarah Connor ... all according to the genius computer's plan.

Orion Pictures
"Sorry! This was meant to be a handshake."

All Skynet has to do next is leave some people alive for John to lead, because Skynet is essentially a giant cat: an all-around jerk that hates humans but also needs us to provide some entertainment.

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4
The Villain in Skyfall Is Actually M's Son

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Columbia Pictures

The Movie:

Raoul Silva, a former British secret agent working in Hong Kong, wants to take revenge on his ex-boss M for selling him out to the Chinese government many years ago. But instead of just killing her, he destroys everything she holds dear and then takes his time hunting her down via an impossible plan, all because ... because he's a crazy psychopath. That's all you need to know about him, really.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures/Eon
That jacket with that hair color? Good God, he IS insane ...

The Theory:

Actually, Silva's behavior seems decidedly less crazy when you consider that he's most likely M's bastard son, which, for starters, would explain why he keeps referring to her as "mother":

"Mommy was very bad."
"Ah well, mother's calling. I will give her a goodbye kiss for you."

Then there's mind-blowing evidence like this:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures/Eon
"How did he know about my nude scenes in A Midsummer Night's Dream?"

This is a message sent by Silva to M on a couple of occasions. While most of us thought that it is probably referring to M screwing over Silva, there's a chance that it means more than that, seeing as the message is actually an anagram for: "YOUR SON ISN'T IN HK." And while it's true that the same letters can also form the phrase "INKY RHINO SNOUTS," the first one makes a tad more sense in the context of the movie. Before he reveals his existence to MI6, M has to assume that, dead or alive, Silva is still in Hong Kong (HK). But then suddenly there he is, sending her messages that basically say: "Surprise, mom! Guess who's alive and super pissed at you right now?!"

And with that, Silva goes from a crazy, run-of-the-mill villain to a somewhat-rightfully-pissed-off son of an emotionless woman who delivered him into enemy hands to be tortured and become horribly disfigured after a botched suicide attempt.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures/Eon
Now that's a face only a mother could lov- oh, right ...

3
Batman Forever and Batman & Robin Are Films Within Burton's Batman Universe

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Movies:

As you'd expect from movies directed by Tim Burton, Batman and Batman Returns are uber-gritty affairs that heralded the long-awaited, serious arrival of the Caped Crusader to the big screen. In contrast, Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman & Robin more resemble two-hour-long Happy Meal commercials where the toy is a nightmare involving plastic man-nipples flying in your face.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"Four-piece nugget, small fries, and, uh, hold the milk, please."

But it's possible that all four movies exist in the same universe.

The Theory:

At the end of Returns, Batman is led to believe that the woman he loves, Catwoman, is dead. Now let's say that, wrought with guilt and heartbroken by this loss, he quits being a superhero and reveals his true identity to the world. The next logical step, of course, would be for someone to come along and make a movie or two about Bruce Wayne's story. Could it be possible that Batman Forever and Batman & Robin are actually in-universe movies based on the "real-life" character we saw in the Burton films? That they're movies within Burton's Batman universe? It totally is possible.

First, let's look at Gotham. In Batman and Batman Returns, the city is all industrial and gothic ...

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures
"The orange really livens things up."

While the one in Forever and Batman & Robin looks like something straight out of Blade Runner after it collided with a neon factory:

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures
One guy finally thought to turn his lights on and it was all downhill from there.

The only way to explain this appalling lack of continuity would be to assume that Batman Forever and Batman & Robin are the campy, kid-friendly flicks loosely based on the "real" life of Bruce Wayne.

This theory also explains why Bruce Wayne himself is played by three different people: Michael Keaton is the "real" Batman while Val Kilmer and George Clooney are actors from Bat-Keaton's universe hired to portray him. It's also why Harvey "Two-Face*" Dent goes from being black in Batman to blindingly white in Forever.

Warner Bros. Pictures
*Three-Face

Yes, Forever and Batman & Robin are nothing like the adventures of the "real" Batman from the Burton movies but, come on, if people actually live in his Gotham City, they need all the colorful escapism they can get to forget the grim reality of their everyday lives. And the best way to do that is apparently by giving the goddamned Batman a goddamned credit card.

Warner Bros. Pictures
Perfect for when your hundred-billion-dollar corporation dries up and you need help buying bread and noodles.

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2
Mufasa From The Lion King Is Actually a God

Walt Disney

The Movie:

The villain Scar wants to be the ruler of Pride Rock, so he kills the current king -- his brother Mufasa -- and tricks his nephew Simba into running away from home so he won't become a threat in the future. Within no time, Pride Rock becomes a horrible wasteland, with no food or water. Thankfully, the adult Simba eventually returns to defeat Scar and reclaim his throne, and Pride Rock soon returns to being a luscious, thriving paradise because Simba has a great connect at Garden Center, apparently.

The Theory:

One theory explains the whole drought situation by suggesting that Mufasa is in reality a god who, when he's about to die, uses his weather-controlling superpowers to cause the desolation of Pride Rock that will last as long as Scar is in charge. All so that the other animals will remain disgruntled and question Scar's reign.

This is Pride Rock just before Mufasa's death:

Walt Disney
"Another day, another Elton John concert."

Soon after his death:

Walt Disney
We're surprised Simba doesn't return in a Bat-costume.

Then right after Scar dies (notice that it immediately starts to rain):

Walt Disney
Looks like someone blessed the rains down in Africa.

And soon after, Pride Rock is back to normal again:

Walt Disney
"Didn't we just do this? And how did Elton survive all that damn lava?"

But let's assume that maybe the rain thing is a gigantic coincidence. What evidence would we have, then, for Mufasa being a god? Well, how about the fact that his consciousness survives the death of his physical body, allowing him to appear in the skies and talk to his son, telling him to get his ass back to Pride Rock. He even freaking looks like a god doing it.

Walt Disney
Or at least a Jedi. Show of hands: who would pay to see that movie?

Whether you buy into Mufasa being a god or not, at least this theory would finally explain why all the animals willingly bow to the lions when half of them know they could end up as kitty chow the next day.

1
Gandalf Did Plan to Use the Eagles to Fly to Mordor in Lord of the Rings

New Line Cinema

The Movie:

Frodo must destroy an evil ring of unlimited power by taking a really long walk to their feared enemy's doorstep and dropping the ring into a volcano. But among smartasses like us who poke holes in movie logic, the LOTR films are probably now most infamous for the huge plot hole where Gandalf, the smartest character in the trilogy, seems to forget that in his world there are giant eagles that could have taken them to their destination in a matter of minutes, skipping all that dangerous walking ...

New Line Cinema
"Meh. I'm sure no one will make a big deal out of it."

The Theory:

According to one theory, not only is it not a plot hole but the bird plan is exactly what Gandalf is attempting. He just gets (temporarily) killed before he can do it.

In LOTR lore, the eagles live around the Misty Mountains, and the theory goes that Gandalf plans to rendezvous with them after crossing the mountain range. The problem is that the only sane way through the mountains is the Mines of Moria, where the Fellowship encounters the demon dominatrix Balrog who ends up taking out Gandalf. And since no one in the group knows about his secret plan, when they get out of the mines they all head to see Galadriel while the eagles probably kept waiting around for Gandalf and checking their watches.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"We'll all go bald before this slacker shows up."

Now, here's the best part: right as Gandalf's about to be dragged into the abyss by the Balrog, he yells, "Fly, you fools!" which everyone interprets to mean "RUN!" instead of, "Literally, fly the rest of the way! It will be much easier!"

New Line Cinema
"Don't do anything dumb, like trying to walk there!"

So why doesn't Gandalf try this plan again after coming back to life? Well, first, he is suffering from such a bad case of amnesia that Aragorn has to remind him of his own name. Second, no one knows where Frodo and the ring are at that point, as both are MIA since the end of the first movie.

OK, but why doesn't he tell the fellowship about his plan from the start? Because he doesn't want to risk the plan getting out and later finding a whole flying platoon of Nazgul assholes parked behind the nearest cloud the second they reach Mordor. And that precaution is justified -- the whole operation is one big information leak from the beginning. Between getting spotted by Saruman's bird spies, being stalked by Gollum, Pippin letting Sauron himself spy on him through the crystal ball, and Aragorn letting Wormtongue go report back to the bad guys, the fellowship all but takes out a full-page ad in the Middle Earth Times letting everyone know their progress.

New Line Cinema
"I regret the day 'Traversing the Misty Mountains This Coming Saturday Blues' became such a worldwide hit."

Hell, that's probably why he has to keep his last words cryptic instead of screaming, "Go to where the eagles live!" If he had, the orcs nearby could have heard him, and if they hadn't, you could count on Frodo to say, "WHAT'S THAT, GANDALF? YOU WANT US TO GO TO THE EAGLES AND HAVE THEM FLY US TO MORDOR? OK!"


Follow Aatif on his new Twitter account! When Adam isn't improving movies, he writes about real-world fan theories (i.e. conspiracy theories) for his website and regularly drops truth bombs on Twitter.

For more theories that are actually kind of great, check out 5 Fan Theories That Make Classic Movies Even Better and 6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids' Cartoons.

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