6 Sneaky Ways Movies Foreshadowed Huge Twists
Cinema is full of memorable plot twists, from the ghostly ending of The Sixth Sense to the revelation that Kevin Spacey was secretly a repulsive villain in The Usual Suspects and, um, life. Obviously, no one wants the end of a movie ruined (regardless of what scientific studies say), but because filmmakers are like Batman villains who can't help but leave clues behind, great twists are often hinted at in teeny, tiny ways throughout the film in question.
SPOILERS to come for movies such as ...
Solo Subtly Paved The Way For That Crazy Cameo
Solo told the story of how Star Wars' beloved scoundrel accumulated all of his defining characteristics and possessions in a surprisingly short amount of time (which is apparently a thing that just happens to Harrison Ford characters). Still, the movie had one huge surprise at the end that had nothing to do with Han getting the galactic facial reconstruction surgery that would have preserved the series' continuity.
No, instead we find out that the head of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate Han has been working for is none other than ... Darth Maul. It's an especially baffling moment for whatever sad adults stopped watching cartoons to live life or whatever. Those familiar with the Clone Wars and Rebels series already knew that Maul, unlike Hayden Christensen's career, actually survived the prequels.
While it may have seemed totally out of left field, Solo does give us a few extremely subtle bits of foreshadowing. For one thing, Maul's subordinate, crime boss Dryden Vos, has a bunch of patterned lines on his face that are vaguely reminiscent of Maul's KISS-Army-like mug.
Also, Dryden's weapon of choice is a two-bladed glowstick knife ...
... which is essentially a miniature version of Maul's iconic, glaringly show-offy double-bladed lightsaber.
Plus, those who obsessively scoured Vos' office looking for clues that Ron Howard faked the moon landing or something might have noticed that Vos has a Sith Holocron on display -- a reference to Maul's Rebels storyline.
Even more pointedly, Han's Crimson-Dawn-employed ex Qi'ra casually mentions that she's been trained in "Teras Kasi" -- which indoor kids likely recognized as a reference to the martial art invented for that Star Wars fighting game which finally allowed Luke and Chewie to act on years of unspoken hatred.
After fans theorized that Darth Maul's acrobatics may have been Teras Kasi in action, the novel Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter made it official, with the author specifically mentioning that Maul fought using Teras Kasi. Solo's screenwriters even admitted that the Teras Kasi detail was a "nugget" meant to hint at Qi'ra's connection to Maul. So your mom's insistence that you didn't spend your entire teenage years playing abysmal PlayStation games and reading Star Wars message boards ruined your chances at predicting a cool twist. Thanks a lot, mom.
A Gold Tooth Is The Key To Coco's Story
Coco, Pixar's latest attempt to get adults to cry in front of their confused children, tells the story of a young Mexican boy, Miguel, who dreams of being a famous guitar player. The only problem is that his family has banned music. When Miguel is caught wielding a guitar, his grandma straight up Pete Townshends it in front of him.
What caused his family to go full Footloose? We're told that Miguel's great-great-grandfather abandoned his wife and child to pursue a musical career, and the family decided to lay all the blame on the medium of music in general. Soon, Miguel discovers an old photo in which his disgraced ancestor is seen wielding an unusual guitar, complete with a skull headstock, like some kind of mariachi Misfits cover band. And it's the same guitar Miguel's musical idol, the legendary Ernesto de la Cruz, played. It's kind of the Disney version of finding out you were sired by a member of Van Halen. (Ask your uncle with the mullet.)
Miguel ends up travelling to the Land of the Dead (through Disney-friendly magic, not by being horribly killed), where he befriends a wacky skeleton named Hector. We eventually discover that Hector is Miguel's true great-great-grandfather, and was murdered by Ernesto, who then stole all his songs and even that cool guitar. Yup, Pixar's come a long way from chronicling the antics of sentient toys to full-fledged murder stories.
Perhaps we should have seen this twist coming, though. Remember de la Cruz's guitar? That skull headstock had one distinct feature: a gold tooth. Which bears a striking resemblance to Hector.
It's the movie's way of telling us Hector's true identity before Miguel finds out. So audiences who noticed the gold teeth either figured all this out on their own or began putting together fan theories about how the burglar from Home Alone ended up dead in Mexico.
Blade Runner 2049 Had No Twist If You Were Paying Attention To The Haircuts
Updating the beloved '80s sci-fi story with modern visual effects and a soundtrack in desperate need of a new muffler, Blade Runner 2049 tells the story of K, a new type of replicant -- a model built to resemble dreamy early 21st century actor Ryan Gosling. Thankfully, this one was set to "Detective" mode instead of "Condescending Jazz Enthusiast."
While we spend most of the movie thinking that K is original recipe Blade Runner Deckard's secret love child, in the end we find out that his kid was in fact a daughter, who now works manufacturing memories for replicants. It seems a few of her memories ended up in K's brain, like the dystopic future equivalent of finding a used Band-Aid in your Big Mac.
The movie gave us a big hint about this, but never called attention to it. In K's (fake) memories, we see him being chased through whatever orphanage was designed to resemble every '80s hair metal video. He's surrounded by a group of boys with shaved heads, though he himself has a Beatle-like mop of hair.
When K visits here, most of the kids have shaved heads like in his memory. But while it's never commented on, the girls are allowed to keep their hair.
Which should have tipped us off that the child we saw couldn't have been K, because only a girl wouldn't get the full Lex Luthor treatment in the Terry Gilliam Home for Wayward Children. Of course, we still think Deckard's real daughter was Jared Leto's terrifying henchwoman, but whatever.
Annihilation's First Scene Tells Us Everything That's Going to Happen
The psychedelic all-female Predator remake you didn't know you wanted, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as a scientist whose special forces husband pops by their house after being lost and thought dead. He also seems pretty dazed, which is either an important clue or Oscar Isaac was simply pooped from shooting The Last Jedi at the same time as this movie -- sometimes on the same day. Impressively, he refrained from calling his wife "Padme" while complaining that her grandson grew up to be a jerk.
Portman journeys inside a mysterious alien-infected zone dubbed "the Shimmer," where plants and animals are all Brundlefly-ing into crazy monsters. As she reaches the center of the Shimmer, Portman discovers that her husband is dead, but whatever alien organism landed on Earth is duplicating whoever it encounters like a drunken T-1000.
That's a jarring reveal ... except they hint at this core concept from the very first scene of the movie. You know, the one in which Portman gives a lecture about how cancer cells spread through duplication. We even get some nice visuals of cells doubling up. This explains the movie's working title, Attack Of The Space Cancer.
And if you were paying close attention, you might have spotted another doppelganger before that trippy ending. Inside the Shimmer, Portman and company take shelter in an abandoned house...
... which is almost an exact duplicate of Portman's house from back in the non-shimmery world.
While you may not even have noticed this at the time, the implication seems to be that the aliens are somehow even duplicating things from people's memories. Either that or it's a comment on generic architecture. Or the production just didn't want to pony up the dough to rent a second house.
In Moon, A Dumb Song And A Tacky T-Shirt Reference The Character's True Identity
Moon finds America's Cool Cousin Sam Rockwell as the lone grunt manning a lunar mining facility. Before his three-year shift is up, our hero runs into his exact double. Another Sam Rockwell! Which means 1) something crazy is going on, and 2) this movie is about to get twice as many ridiculous dance scenes.
We eventually find out that all of these Sams are clones who are told they're human to maintain productivity, and who die off every three years, at which point they tee up a fresh clone. The movie winkingly hints at this from the very beginning. Sam's alarm wakes him up each morning with the song "I Am The One And Only."
This seems like a funny meta joke in retrospect, but remember that everything aboard the station is controlled by the company, which may have chosen this track to subliminally reinforce the illusion that Sam is a real, unique human being. Sam also sports a tacky T-shirt that says "Wake me up when it's quitting time."
Which also has a double meaning -- when one clone "wakes up" for the first time on the station, that means it was quitting time for the expired clone. All of this suggests the existence of deleted scenes wherein Sam wakes up to increasingly depressing songs with titles like "You're Not Unique At All, Actually" and "Hurry Up And Croak, You Soulless Piece Of Recycled Garbage."
Related: David Lynch Is Selling T-Shirts Now
The Dark Knight Rises' Miranda Keeps Quoting Ra's Al Ghul, But No One Notices
The concluding chapter of the "Batman needs a lozenge" trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises ended with a few surprising twists. Bruce Wayne is alive, that cop's real name was Robin, and Alfred takes a surprising number of luxury vacations for a manservant. But the most shocking of all (if you didn't have access to the internet) was the reveal that Bruce's love interest, Miranda, is Talia al Ghul, the daughter of supervillain Ra's al Ghul.
Once she admits the truth, it seems obvious, partly due to her brand-new kimono-like outfit and sudden penchant for stabbiness. But we (and come to think of it, the World's Greatest Detective Batman) should have known all along. Why? Because she is incessantly quoting her dad as if his life was a Monty Python sketch, and somehow no one picked up on it. Like, remember how Ra's wanted to "restore the balance" of the world in Batman Begins?
Well, so does Miranda ...
One of the big disagreements between Batman and Ra's al Ghul was that Bruce couldn't do what was "necessary" -- that is, kill people.
When Bruce tells Miranda he can't save her while trying to stop Bane, she ominously replies "Do what's necessary."
Also, after Miranda and Bruce get bat-busy, he notices a scar on her shoulder -- and, bizarrely, pokes at it.
Viewers might have noticed that it's the same shape as the fire poker the League of Shadows wanted to brand Bruce with in Batman Begins. And to make this connection even clearer, in the same scene, Miranda is literally using a fire poker.
Though she somehow resisted the urge to jab at Bruce with it, even after he groped her scar like a big weirdo. Seriously, who does that?
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