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15 Movie Theories Made Up by Fans That Completely Changed Some Films for Us

Some films have a straightforward and clear plot and others surprise us with open endings. Still, in almost all cases, there’s room for creativity. Some fans really let their imagination fly and have come up with theories that radically reinterpret many of the stories we saw on the big screen, like WALL-E, Joker, Harry Potter, and even Toy Story. All of them are the center of some interesting hypotheses that, as strange and crazy as they may seem, could cause you to watch your favorite movies with different eyes.

Bright Side collected some of the most popular alternative movie theories circulating on the internet that could change the way we see many movies forever.

1. E. T. was a Jedi knight from the Star Wars universe.

The connection between E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the original Star Wars trilogy is unavoidable: Both plots deal with beings from other planets, they were released at the same time, and their directors, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, are close friends. But there’s a theory that deepens that link by arguing that the character in the first film, who is abandoned on Earth, is nothing more and nothing less than a Jedi.

This theory is backed by the fact that in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, creatures that look exactly like E.T. appear in the Galactic Senate. Also, when he goes outside on Halloween, E.T. meets a boy in a Yoda costume and recognizes him. Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, his Jedi power to move objects would explain why he can make bicycles fly in the famous scene from the Spielberg film.

2. Marty McFly died at least twice in Back to the Future.

In the first movie, Back to the Future, Doc Brown is killed in an attack by Libyan terrorists, and Marty McFly manages to reverse the tragedy by warning him of what is going to happen. What’s not seen in the movies, and that some fans suggest, is that the character played by Michael J. Fox died at least twice in the trilogy, and his adventure partner saved him by time traveling.

In the second episode, the scientist played by Christopher Lloyd rescues his friend from death on Biff Tannen’s terrace and also when he was going to be run over in a tunnel in 1955. The theory indicates that he had no way of being in the right place, at the right time, if it hadn’t been because, at some point in the timeline, McFly died, and Doc used the DeLorean to go to the past and avoid it.

3. Willy Wonka is the children’s version of a character from The Divine Comedy.

One of these books is a masterpiece of children’s literature, and the other is a classic poem on sin and theology. However, there seems to be a link between the 2 writings. In The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri describes how Charon, Hades’ boatman, transports souls from the world of the living to the world of the dead, just like Willy Wonka does in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as he guides children through the interior of his eccentric factory, even by boat.

The comparison continues: Dante divides Hell into 9 circles, each designed to punish a sinner for a specific sin he committed on Earth, just like Wonka’s scenarios are designed to show the children’s flaws. This is why, for example, Augustus Gloop can’t cope with gluttony and falls into a river of chocolate, and Violet Beauregarde takes a piece of chewing gum and turns into a blueberry. The endings of both stories are also very similar: Dante manages to rise to Paradise, like Charlie, who manages to pass all the tests and leave the place in a glass elevator.

4. WALL-E is pure evil and expelled humanity from paradise.

WALL-E is an endearing character from the Pixar Universe. Although the robot projects sweetness and becomes a hero who rescues humanity from wandering aimlessly through space, there’s a theory that argues that he’s not so sweet. It claims that he represents the serpent from the biblical story that manages to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

According to this idea, those who live in the spaceship are in Paradise. They are happy, they have everything they want, and they don’t have problems. But then, WALL-E arrives and gives something (a plant) to a robot that happens to be called EVA, and this generates a series of events that forces humans to return to the desolate planet Earth. They no longer have a carefree life: They must work to survive. Eventually, conflict will arise, which will start a new cycle of deadly sins and destruction.

5. The violence behind the “abracadabra” in Harry Potter

The killing curse, “Avada Kedavra” is directly connected to the famous “Abracadabra” of “Muggles” (humans without any magical powers). This was stated by Harry Potter’s author herself, J. K. Rowling, but a Reddit user went a step ahead and theorized about the history of these words, both similar in sound, but different in meaning.

According to this fan, the killing spell was used by wizards against Muggles. But once wizards started hiding, thanks to The International Statute of Secrecy in 1692, those words became a myth. Over time, the phrase changed slightly to “Abracadabra,” which was believed to have healing powers — the opposite intention of the original spell.

6. The donkey from Shrek comes from the story of Pinocchio.

All the characters in Shrek come from a specific group of fairytales: Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and Rapunzel, among others. This leads some to wonder about Donkey’s original story, and, unsurprisingly, there’s a theory for him too: It’s believed that he comes from the story of Pinocchio because, in the wooden boy’s world, there’s a haunted place called “Pleasure Island” where children become donkeys.

In the 1940 Disney animated film, some of the kids who transform into donkeys appear to maintain their human thinking and speaking abilities. In addition, this hypothesis is based on the fact that Donkey seems to have memories of having been human, such as when he recounts to Puss in Boots that he remembered wearing underwear.

7. The author of the spell that forces Bill Murray to repeat a day

Groundhog Day became a classic of modern cinema, but an explanation for why the time loop that traps Phill Connor into living the same day over and over again is never given in the plot. This led the audience to formulate their own answers. One of them points out that the person responsible for freezing Bill Murray’s character in time is Ned Ryerson, an acquaintance who the character meets on the street at the beginning of each day.

According to this idea, Ned is a kind of demon that takes revenge, since he feels rejected by Phill. “Be careful with the first step,” he says with an evil smile, referring, according to the hypothesis, to the beginning of the curse, the start of the loop. On the last day, finally, the main character agrees to treat him properly and buys him insurance, an action that ends up freeing him from the spell.

8. The toys in Toy Story aren’t alive.

This theory will not be applauded by Toy Story fans, and surely many will try to discredit it. But, according to it, the toys were never alive and the plots created in the movies are stories about their owners, Andy and Bonnie, which were made up while they played with them or dealt with the loss of a toy.

The idea is sustained by 2 explanations. The first one refers to the fact that no one ever caught Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the toys in the middle of a compromising display of life. The only one who found out was Sid, but apparently, he didn’t tell anyone, or at least, no one believed him. The second one questions why, Buzz in the first film of the saga and Forky in the last movie would freeze when a human entered the room or lifted them up, if they didn’t even know that they were toys.

9. Humankind created the Matrix after defeating machines.

The Matrix became the first cult film that led to the production of video games, comics, and animated short films. The movie describes how Humanity covers the sky to take away the solar energy supply from machines. However, machines win the war by creating humans artificially, whom they use as an energy source. But one user devised a theory that turned this idea upside down.

A new perspective claims that the war was won by humans, but at such a terrible cost to the ecosystem that the machines that survived were programmed to keep Humanity alive in virtual reality. This way, humans live unconscious in a digital utopia, since reality is apocalyptic, and there aren’t enough resources necessary for survival.

10. The hood would have saved the bad guy from Jurassic Park.

One of the villains in the first episode of Jurassic Park, Dennis Nedry, dies when he gets attacked by a dilophosaurus while trying to escape with the embryos he had stolen. According to one user, his story and that of the entire saga would have been different if the spy employee had just left his hood on.

Here’s why: His bright yellow coat served as an imitation of the dinosaur’s extendable crest. The dilophosaurus just changed his attitude and became aggressive when Nedry stumbled in the rain, causing his hood to fall off and causing him to become distinguished as prey.

11. The Joker from The Dark Knight used to be a soldier.

According to one theory, the Joker from Batman: The Dark Knight is actually a former soldier who derives his post-traumatic stress disorder from his mental problems, the disorder with which many war veterans return home. The 2008 film doesn’t delve into the villain’s story, which allows fans to build their own hypotheses.

The military past of Heath Ledger’s character would explain the technical knowledge he displays when using different firearms and explosives, and the scars on his face. In a scene in which he was questioned by Batman, he showed that he knew how these arms and devices worked. His face doesn’t appear in the facial recognition system either, which suggests that it was removed from the database at some point for security reasons.

12. Captain America is Star-Lord’s grandfather.

The actress who played Star-Lord’s mother, Chris Pratt’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had a cameo appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger. She appears as one of the followers who meets the superhero in the campaign to support America’s soldiers during World War II. This wasn’t ignored by fans, who speculated that the meeting was more intimate than the cameras exposed and led to her getting pregnant.

This happened in the mid-1940s, and since Star-Lord is known to have been born in 1980, the timeline indicates that Steve Rogers could be his grandfather. This would also explain why he’s more powerful than his father Ego’s other children, as noticed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, director James Gunn publicly denied this unofficial account and claimed that the grandfather, who appears in the movies of the saga, is the Star-Lord’s Mother’s true biological father.

13. Kevin, from Home Alone, became Jigsaw.

This one is one of the theories that’s actually gone viral, but that doesn’t stop it from being well-grounded. As an adult, Kevin McCallister from Home Alone became Jigsaw, the sadistic murderer of the SAW saga. After all, the character played by Macaulay Culkin enjoyed hurting thieves who wanted to rob his house, in the same way that the villain in the horror movie enjoyed torturing and inflicting pain on his victims.

The tactics they used were also similar. They elaborated on homemade traps and complex games designed to make their targets suffer. There’s also a physical resemblance. Both have blue eyes and blonde hair. Their names are different. Jigsaw’s real name is John Kramer, but he may have changed it. The big hole in the theory is that Kevin is a boy in 1992, the date Home Alone: Lost in New York was released, and would be around 50 years old for the premiere of the first SAW movie released in 2004.

14. There’s a historical connection between Remy and Ego in Ratatouille.

In Ratatouille, the harsh food critic Ego surrenders to Remy’s food, the rat who dreams of becoming a chef. Since it couldn’t be otherwise, fans came up with a theory of their own to explain this: The house in which Remy begins to develop a cooking hobby is none other than Ego’s. In fact, it’s Ego’s mother who the rodent watches when learning how to cook.

The basis for this idea is that the scenes that show Remy learning how to cook, and those portraying Ego recollecting his childhood, seem to take place in the same kitchen. However, director Brad Bird gave a less romantic explanation for this: To save time, the movie animators reused some of the images they had already developed.

15. Aladdin takes place in a post-apocalyptic future.

The animated version of Aladdin, and its following adaptation with flesh and bone actors, seems to go by in the past, although which year is never specified. However, a widespread theory turns this idea around and claims that the events happen in a post-apocalyptic future.

Upon his release, the genie says he was trapped inside the lamp for about 10,000 years. However, when he creates clothes for his new master, we can see items that resemble modern clothing, like jackets and ties. Besides, at one point, he transforms Abu, Aladdin’s monkey into a car, and imitates contemporary actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson. There seems to be a single explanation for displaying all this knowledge after being locked up for so long: The story actually takes place in the future.

Which of these hypotheses surprised you the most? Do you think these theories have a strong foundation? Do you know of any alternative explanations for other popular movies? Tell us in the comments!

Preview photo credit Toy Story / Pixar / Disney