No matter how fantastic a film is, none of them are perfect. Even ones deserving of a 5 star rating can have flaws – albeit not as many as other movies. The filmmakers can try to make their story as tight as possible, but there will be the inevitable detail that slips through the cracks as the project makes its way to the screen. Especially after multiple viewings of a personal favorite, there will be a basic plot point or question that needs clearing up. Not everything is apparent in the film, and sometimes fans have to look to other sources to learn everything. Here are 10 answers to movie mysteries you’ve been waiting for.
The Dark Knight Rises
After Heath Ledger tragically passed away prior to the premiere of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan decided that he would not use the Joker in its sequel. While that decision was understandable, many thought it was odd that the character wasn’t even mentioned by name during The Dark Knight Rises. He was such a huge part of the franchise that he couldn’t have just fallen off the face of the Earth. According to the novelization, Joker is the lone inmate at the rebuilt Arkham Asylum, spending his days in solitary confinement with no one to “play with.” It’s a sad end for a memorable character, but one we would have loved to see.
For years, people have thought the ending of Taxi Driver is inconsistent with the darker nature of the film, as Travis Bickle is hailed as a hero for saving Iris. Some believe that the final moments all take place in his head, a dream that sees him writing his own legacy. Clues that support this are Travis’ previously destroyed TV seen intact, and a letter from Iris’ parents that appears to be in Travis’ handwriting. Writer Paul Schrader says that since the whole movie is set inside Travis’ head, it’s not meant to be realistic. How’s that for a mind bender?
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
The original trilogy featured Dark Side users, but the term “Sith” was never spoken on screen until the first prequel. Polar opposite of the Jedi, they do not have a full army or an entire order at their disposal, just two. If the Sith were to overthrow the Jedi, why would they only have a master and an apprentice? Per the novelization, the Sith originally did bring as many allies together, before they tore each other apart with their extreme lust for power. Darth Bane, who survived the first Sith purge, was the one who decided there should only be two at the most, which worked quite well until Darth Vader came back to the light.
In the 2009 Star Trek reboot, villain Nero has been waiting 25 years to invoke revenge on the Federation, but why did it take him so long to move into action. It doesn’t make sense for the Romulans to wait 2+ decades to strike, and luckily, there’s a perfect explanation as to why. A deleted scene shows that Nero was captured and held in a Klingon prison before he broke his crew out and moved forth on his plan. There’s no telling why this was cut from the theatrical cut, but it would have been a nice inclusion to clear things up a bit.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
After his old fashioned costume in The Avengers, Steve Rogers received an upgrade for his uniform in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The modern design was well-received by fans, but by the film’s end, Cap is wearing his old duds from World War II, stealing them from the Smithsonian. The reasoning for the theft is never given in the theatrical cut, but a deleted scene showed that S.H.I.E.L.D. was tracking the updated costume, so Rogers ditched it to throw them off the scent. Fortunately for him, his original uniform was still in great shape and proved to be just what he needed to get the job done.