5 Easter Eggs With Scarier Implications Than Anyone Realized
Easter Eggs are fun little extras thrown in for eagle-eyed fans and completionists. They're usually pretty harmless. Now, it's no problem if your hard-boiled detective says he likes to unwind by watching The Little Mermaid. But if your Dickensian street urchin starts quoting The Wire, you've created a rip in your reality that can have some unintentionally dark implications.
Aliens From Star Wars Created Judaism
The 1981 film Raiders Of The Lost Ark centers on the quest for the Ark of the Covenant -- the box that Moses uh... used to keep God in? The bible is not entirely in our wheelhouse. At any rate, the Ark is somehow filled with the divine power to melt Nazis' faces, and it also figures pretty centrally into Judeo-Christian mythology. And yet, if you look closely, you'll learn that the Ark wasn't given to Moses first, but rather, a pair of Twi'leks from the Star Wars universe.
Here's the ark in Raiders: an ornate golden box, with a relief set into the side, and winged bird-people-guys on top.
"Hey, shouldn't this weigh like five thousand pounds?"
Now, here is a still from the cartoon series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, wherein two Twi'leks are loading what is clearly the Ark of the Covenant into a spaceship. The ornate golden body, the two eagle-men on top. It's 100 percent the Ark.
And still not a single safety latch on the goddamn lid.
In addition, we know that characters from the Star Wars universe came to Earth in humanity's ancient past, because of the literal writing on the literal wall:
Which might mean that a Luke was nearby too ... A bearded man who can move enormous objects with his mind, like the sea ...
Those are hieroglyphics depicting C-3PO and R2-D2, visible inside the ancient tombs that Indy explores in Raiders. Since the Covenant is kind of the basis of Judaism, maybe all the miracles discussed in Exodus were actually the work of someone with knowledge of the force, access to a spaceship and advanced technology... and a bunch of locusts.
The Dinosaur From Toy Story Led A Life Of Unending Torture
Pixar is known for two things: making incredibly cute movies, and making incredibly sad and disturbing movies. Unfortunately for our collective innocence, those two usually come wrapped together, like a delicious jelly donut filled with magma. They're known for sneaking a lot cute little extras into their films: The same pizza truck can be seen in multiple movies, from Brave to WALL-E, the toys from Toy Story lounge in the background of Up and Finding Nemo, and the crushing sense that life is tragically brief can be found hiding just below the surface of everything they do. The more conspiracy-minded among us have even speculated that, because these details tie their universes together, the Pixar Extended Universe is supposed to be read as a single grand apocalypse tale about cars taking over the world and putting humankind on a space time-out.
Also, your childhood toys watching you masturbate.
But even if you don't buy the grand unified theory of Pixar, one Easter egg in particular implies that some of our most beloved characters are living out a nightmare existence. The post-apocalyptic children's film WALL-E takes place in 2805 (about 810 years after the first Toy Story). It opens on robot garbage man WALL-E returning to his post-apocalyptic garage/shed packed with junk from the time before humankind's departure. In it, we see Rex. Because of Pixar's love of crossovers, this is presumably the same Rex doll that Andy had 810 years prior.
"Andy will be back any day now. Any day."
We learn later in the movie that humans left Earth in 2105 after it became too toxic to live there, which means that even if it isn't Andy's Rex, the toy is still at least 700 years old. And since the toys in Pixar films are sentient, feeling creatures, this mean this immortal doll has watched the Earth die for centuries, along with everything he holds dear. Every other toy he knows is gone -- either buried beneath the immense piles of garbage, or incinerated/smashed into a cube during the clean-up. Rex has seen Andy, Andy's mom, and Andy's sister either leave or die, and the Earth slowly become an unlivable wasteland. We don't know what percentage of humanity was able to fit on the luxury cruisers we see traveling through space, but it's safe to assume it wasn't 100 percent. This doll has seen humankind's most brutal and vicious war: the war for a place in the universe. And the losers were left on Earth, to choke out and die in the garbage mountains. All while Rex watched, and presumably went slowly mad.
Mass Effect's Humans Murdered Their Best Friends Before Dragon Age
Dragon Age and Mass Effect are two games by BioWare that seem very different on the surface. Dragon Age takes place in a traditional fantasy world, which entails dwarves, elves, mages, and a huge amount of side-boob. Mass Effect is traditional sci-fi, which entails aliens, spaceships, lasers, and a huge amount of side-boob. Different as can be, right? But BioWare loves its Easter eggs, so one of the aliens from Mass Effect also pops up in Dragon Age. Well, a quarter of one does. A severed head, pinned on the wall as a trophy in a mansion:
"Fucking trophy hunters. My people use every part of the Krogan."
To the casual player, it's just a nice tip of the hat to their fans. But to someone who compulsively chases out the internal logic of pop culture, it's proof of a tragic timeline necessitated by this one detail.
Mass Effect 3 ends with every alien race amassing on Earth to battle genocidal robotic squids. We win, but in doing so destroy the ancient tech that enables interstellar travel, stranding everyone where they stand. In Earth's case, this means every soldier in the galaxy is stuck there, without a common enemy to unite them. The ending doesn't say what happened next, but we're guessing it wasn't good for the folks trapped on Earth. Well, for everybody except your pilot, who spends the rest of his days fucking a robot in an alien forest.
"Yes, it vibrates."
The Krogan in Dragon Age implies that the two games take place in the same universe. And seeing as no one in Dragon Age is referenced or acknowledged in Mass Effect, we can surmise that Dragon Age takes place after Mass Effect 3. So the traditional fantasy realm of Dragon Age is actually a primitive society emerging after the devastation of the epilogue to Mass Effect 3.
If that's so, then after saving the universe, we turned on our allies, and literally bombed each other back to the Stone Age. The surviving Krogans, who can live well over a thousand years, were apparently hunted for trophies. And nobody gets to fuck any robots anymore. Truly, it is the greatest tragedy.
Pac-Man's Tron Cameo Is Secretly Horrifying
In 1982, the world was enthralled by a little movie called Tron, which introduced the public at large to the idea of computer software and the charms of a young Jeff Bridges.
That role really tied the film together.
Tron was (and is) a whole lot of fun. It took us through the then-thriving world of video-game arcades, giving a generation of sweaty, asthmatic youth some hope that their Frogger skills would one day save the world. In the Tron-verse, programs manifest on "the Grid" as sentient beings. Midway through the film, we see a map of "The Grid," and sharp-eyed viewers noticed this delightful little Easter Egg:
The fact that it looks nothing like a grid?
That's Pac-Man in the corner there, chasing down pellets and having a complex push/pull relationship with ghosts. But hold on a moment. Tron is the manifestation of an early security program (basically the 1980s equivalent of Norton Antivirus). On the grid, he manifests looking like hunky Bruce Boxleitner. If a background task that is basically mall security for your PC looks like that on the Grid, what would Pac-Man look like?
Pac-Man must be a grotesque monster. Look at that map! If it's even remotely to scale, he is enormous. He would fill up whole hallways. He has no arms. He has no legs. He has no eyes. He has only a vast, endlessly hungry mouth that must always consume, that can never stop for even a single moment. And worse: This gigantic, yellow, beastly part-Cthulhu part-machine exists in real computers in this world, so according to Tron: Legacy, it can someday manifest into the real world.
The Stay Puft marshmallow man of our time.
Jeff Bridges, what have you wrought?
Willy Wonka Suggests Charlie's Dad Was A Supervillain's Henchman
Tim Burton brought a lot of new ideas to his re-envisioning of the classic Roald Dahl children's story, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. For one, Burton thought he'd flesh out the characters a bit more by telling us about Wonka's relationship with his father. Apparently Wonka got all of his weird personality quirks because his awful meanie of a father was a dentist that forbade him from eating candy. Clearly, that turns one into a candy-obsessed maniac dandy. It's inevitable!
Another new Burton-ism: Charlie's father had been laid off from his job on the assembly line of a painfully banal cosmetics plant.
Though at least he does become fabulously wealthy because his son is kinda sweet. Fuck the rest of those other workers, though.
That company manufactures a toothpaste called Smilex, as you can see here. The thing is, that's already the name of an existing brand of healthcare products that Tim Burton created it in a previous movie:
A face you can trust.
That's right, Smilex was originally created by Gotham City's most terrifying psychopath, the Joker. In Burton's Batman, the Clown Price of Crime used his criminal genius to poison all sorts of beauty products with a special toxin that made people literally die laughing. This means that, for a brief period, Charlie's kind, good-natured dad was technically a Joker henchman. By just doing his job, he assisted in the mass murder of many of Gotham's citizens.
Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. Mike Bedard is a writer living in Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to be exposed to some dope-ass jokes and dope-ass sketches from time to time. Jordan Breeding has a blog, a twitter, and is terrified of eggs, Easter or otherwise.
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