'Grease' and Other Dark Movie Fan Theories
At this point, who hasn’t seen Grease or at least know the gist of it? It’s that classic '50s-themed musical about Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), an Australian teen who has a summer romance with Danny (John Travolta) before school starts up again. After fearing she’d be going away to Australia again for good, thus ending her relationship with Travolta, her parents decide to stay and the hormones ring in musical harmony from then on out! However, recently a dark theory from Imgur (a home to many dark things on the Internet) resurfaced when actress Sarah Michelle Geller found out about it. She reposted the post on her Facebook feed and it caused chaos. Before I go any further I will have to say… SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
At the end of Grease, Sandy and Danny magically fly away in a car and
everybody is happy. Nobody questions why or how this car is
suddenly able to fly. But backtracking to the start of film, Danny
brags to his friends about saving Sandy from drowning,
stating/singing, “I saved her life, she nearly drowned.” (Then,
presumably, improvised a line that was left on the cutting room
floor to the effect of, “It was electric. Tra-VOLT-a electric!”)
But what does this mean? Isn’t it obvious? It means that Sandy
wasn’t saved in time and slipped into a deadly coma, so the events
depicted in Grease are all a part of her final dying dream
as she heads off riding that big convertible into
death the sky!
(Nothing says Welcome Death like “Shoowop-shoowop-a-bop”)
Upon hearing this news, Grease co-writer Jim Jacobs said that to think that Sandy was in a coma the whole time is preposterous. Not a direct quote, but he said something along the lines of, “To the Grease coma fantasy or bust people, you’re being ridiculous.” The man co-wrote the musical, so he must know for sure, right? Whether you disagree or not, it is a fun theory -- if you enjoy those kinds of dark things. But if you want to stick to the story as it is, that’s fine too. It’s not that weird for a car to just fly off into happily ever after, it’s a friggin’ musical! You want to argue that logic, then why are all these people always singing and professionally choreographed?
In any case, Grease isn’t the only story that has compiled some dark fan theories, and it’s also not the only one where the creator has come out to set the record straight. Let’s take a look below at some fan theories that were either shot down by creators, endorsed, or will forever be left in agonizing ambiguity.
[Warning: MORE SPOILERS!!!]
This is a classic science fiction flick and has developed a very devoted fanbase over the years. The short story behind this movie is that Harrison Ford is a bounty hunter of sorts in the future of 2019 (it’s pretty hilarious to see this flying car “future” now) whose job it is to track down rogue, genetically-engineered robots who commit crimes. These robots are referred to as replicants, because they look straight-up like regular people, and Ford’s job is classified as a “Blade Runner” (get it?). Since it’s hard to differentiate these replicants from actual people, it makes the cases that much harder.
Major spoiler comes from the end where it’s left to the audience to decide if Harrison Ford was a replicant himself the whole time. Debates waged on until a few years ago when director Ridley Scott confessed that Ford's character indeed was a replicant. The problem here now lies in that Scott and Ford have gotten behind a long-awaited sequel due out some time in the not-so-distant future. Ford will be reprising his character, but that’s where we have a problem… replicants don’t age. In fact, they don’t even really have that long of a life span, so how is the now-senior citizen Ford going to pull this off? Sure, he showed recently in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that he can still do some action (even though he did break his leg on set), but does this mean that Scott is going back on his word and Ford’s character was actually human the whole time? For now, it looks like this one will be left in temporary ambiguity again.
(The only sparks I saw was in a steamy romance...)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ah, John Hughes, that writer/director whom everyone’s mom will tell you understood what it was like to be a teen girl in the '80s, and everyone’s dad will tell you, “Stop judging me. A man can cry too.” Hughes is best known for teen comedies that had a lot of heart to them, like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and, one of his few classics that didn’t star Molly Ringwald in any capacity, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring Matthew Broderick as the titular character who sneaks his girlfriend Sloane out of school and gets his best buddy Cameron’s school-ditching butt out of bed to come out and enjoy a day of hooky. The whole adventure seems like a lot of fun with only one really dark scene that isn’t even played off that dramatically for Hughes. Around, presumably, viewing number 1,237, a hardcore fan saw something even darker than a lot of people could imagine.
That dark scene I mentioned earlier comes from Ferris’s friend Cameron in a potentially serious suicide attempt by drowning in a pool. Ferris saves Cameron, and afterwards Cameron makes a joke, leaving it sort of up to you if it was serious or not. We never see it, but Cameron, who seems to comes from a well-to-do family, speaks of a neglectful father and never seems to mention his mother, who it could be theorized is dead. Also, when we open on Cameron, he’s sick and depressed in bed. This all points to a fan theory that has gotten a lot of steam online that Ferris and his girlfriend Sloane don’t exist, and are actually figments of Cameron’s imagination.
Ferris lives a pretty classic one-dimensional sitcom life, which is pretty odd for John Hughes. Even in one of his later efforts, Home Alone, the main character, 8-year-old Kevin, is treated like absolute garbage by his family until they realize they forgot him at home when they get on a plane to Paris. Instead, Ferris has parents who care for him, a sister who’s jealous of him, a hoard of classmates who absolutely adore him, and a seemingly perfect, younger girlfriend. It doesn’t add up for a John Hughes flick, so somebody figured that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is really Cameron’s Descent into Depression-Induced Psychosis. Yup, Cameron is really the main character and Ferris is just a friend he made up representing everything he wishes he was. Depending on how you look at it, you’re either lucky or unlucky that this will never be revealed to be true or not. Hughes died in 2009 and took this secret with him. Considering he never mentioned anything about it, and as far as the Internet knows this theory wasn’t made while he was alive, it’s pretty safe to say Ferris was as real as Cameron. If you really want to, though, you may resume believing that Cameron’s day off consisted of him dancing in his bed while he made out with his pillow named Sloane. (NSFW)
(Ferris Bueller, you’re my depression!)
Just like Brad Pitt screamed in Seven about what was in the box, fans across the world have been asking the same thing about that friggin’ suitcase in Pulp Fiction. Just what was in there letting out that crazy, otherworldly glow? I’m not giving you a summary of Pulp Fiction, as there is too much going on to get into it, but it’s worth a watch. My only suggestion is don’t go down that rabbit hole of trying to figure out what’s in the suitcase. With that said, let’s talk about the most widely-accepted theory about what’s in the suitcase. It’s viewed by many fans that the suitcase holds one of the character’s (Marsellus Wallace) souls as he lost it when dealing with the devil. He’s seen in multiple scenes with a band-aid on the back of his head, which many fans have taken as evidence that his soul was extracted, because apparently that’s how it works. Other evidence comes from the code on the suitcase being “666” and that everyone remarks on how beautiful what they are looking at is. I mean, if souls were real, they would probably be the most beautiful part of a human and immediately grab our attraction. Even the worst person in the world would have a soul that’s a sight to see.
What’s the man Quentin Tarantino think of this himself? He admitted that he doesn’t even know the answer. The whole thing is a plot device to drive the story in the movie and give the audience something to debate about. His rationale behind leaving it open also comes from a good place in entertainment that trusts the audience. On set, he mentioned that they tried a myriad of different props, but he realized it’s better for the audience to use their imaginations since whatever they think of will be better than anything anybody else could make up. So, is it Wallace’s soul? Absolutely! So long as you want it to be. Other fun theories are Michael Jackson’s other glove, the diamonds from the Reservoir Dogs robbery, and Rudolph’s nose. (Very NSFW)
(Maybe it’s a Nickelodeon neon sign to lighten the mood...)
Yes, Star Wars has a legitimate fan theory that actually ties a lot of things together. Nothing about it is really "dark" per se -- it’s just cool. So remember how R2D2 and Chewbacca both make appearances in the prequel trilogy (R2, of course, being a main character)? It doesn’t quite make sense and opens up some plot holes. For one, it implies that R2 and C3P0 were front and center to witness the fall of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire. Second, it makes Chewie and Yoda old chums who were also war buddies at one point. That’s crazy.
Sure, at the end of Revenge of the Sith, it is said that R2 and C3P0’s memories will be wiped and they will have a new owner, but it doesn’t explain a gosh darn thing about the bat crap crazy fact that Chewie and Yoda have a history. Their friendship goes as far as Yoda even lamenting to Chewie that he will “miss him the most”. Some things don’t add up here but are simply fixed with the solution that Chewbacca and R2 are actually rebel agents tasked with getting Luke and Leia together at the appropriate time. Isn’t it peculiar that R2 knows exactly where to go with the message from Leia and, unlike C3P0, isn’t afraid to take the pod to Tatooine? Sure, maybe Leia’s father did know where Obi Wan was held up and told her, but why else would R2 get caught and sold to Luke? It’s not just luck or the Force it’s all planned out.
What’s even weirder is the fact that Chewie and Han are in Mos Eisley at the same time as R2, C3P0, Luke, and Obi Wan are looking for a ship out of there. If Chewie really was a Rebel agent, then being a smuggler is a great way for him to drop off crucial Intel to the Rebellion without anybody noticing. It’s also established in the cantina where we first meet Han that he is a wanted man by Jabba the Hutt. He even kills Gredo (WHOM HE SHOT FIRST!!) in an attempt to get away safely. So why would he really risk going there to begin with, especially when he didn’t have anything to deliver to Jabba? Well, Chewie is seen handling the initial deal with Obi Wan at the bar. It’s a shot from Luke’s POV and we can’t hear what they’re discussing, but who’s to say they’re not talking about their Rebel plans?
From there, things get into way more detail. Like, the Internet is full of essays on this topic, but let’s bring this short summary to where it needs to end. So far, there is no solid confirmation on this one, and since George Lucas is truly done with the series, it’s no longer his call. Perhaps in Episode VIII, IX, or even the upcoming Rogue One, Disney will step up to the plate and make this theory canon. Until then, we can only begin a new hope that this becomes fact.
(Good move, bartender. Droids are well known racist bigots when they drink.)
Bonus – Just fun facts about Chewie and R2 being Rebel agents. Some less-grounded theories state that Chewie and R2 started the Rebellion. Even more ridiculous is that the pair are actually traitors to the Rebellion and were working for the Empire the entire time. I guess one could argue that these theories could be as legitimate as the team being Rebel agents, but Jar Jar Binks being the ultimate Sith lord pulling all the strings makes more sense than Chewie and R2 being bad guys or great masterminds.
(First black hole research, now Star Wars fan theories. Thank you, Sir Stephen Hawking!)
- Kevin Donaldson, YH Contributing Writer