1. Where was the Joker during The Dark Knight Rises?
The Joker is one enemy of Batman’s that we never thought we would ever see disappear because they will not kill each other (Batman because of his morals, The Joker because he likes having Batman around). It’s like a never ending cycle. The Joker even states this in his last lines of The Dark Knight:
You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
But for some reason, The Joker is never battles Batman again. Batman could even retire without the ongoing threat of the Joker. So other than Heath Ledger’s death, what gives?
Apparently The Joker was being held as the lone resident of the brand new Arkham Asylum – rebuilt after the events of Batman Begins. He was also held in solitary confinement leaving him all alone.
2. Why can there only be two Sith at a time, as established in The Phantom Menace?
When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, it was established that there could only ever be two Sith at any given time – a master and an apprentice. Seems like a pretty dumb strategy… There’s no limit on how many Jedi there can be, you would think the Sith would want to keep up with their enemy.
The novelization of The Phantom Menace explains this: 2000 years ago they used to gather as many Sith as possible when they were first established. The problem was that they would constantly betray and undermine and murder each other which makes them weak as a group.
Darth Bane survived first purge of the Sith and decided since they are pretty much incapable of working together, there should only be 2 at a time.
3. Where does Gizmo from Gremlins come from?
Gizmo is the adorable Mogwai in Gremlins who sadly undergoes a terrifying and grotesque birthing process every time he gets at all wet and mutates terribly every time he eats food at the wrong time. Why!?
Mogwai were created as an ultra-peaceful, pacificist race by an alien scientist named (not joking here) Mogturmen. A Mogwai was to be sent to every planet in the universe in order to inspire its inhabitants to be kind and peace-loving as well (or get stolen by mysterious Chinese shopkeepers, either way). Earth was one of the first “test” planets.
Mogturmen made the “give birth by gettin’ wet” deal so that Mogwai could easily reproduce quickly and help spread the message of peace. It’s never really made clear why the “no food after midnight” rule was implemented – probably just a bug that he was working on. Obviously they still needed some work.
4. What is going with the Precursors in Pacific Rim?
The only thing we really learn about the bad guy aliens behind everything in Pacific Rim is that they’re called “The Precursors,” they’re cloning the Kaiju and sending them to Earth, and that they live in a colorful world accessed through a portal at the bottom of the ocean.
The novelization of Pacific Rim goes into more detail on characters, events, and the Precursors, who come from a dying world, and want to conquer ours so they can live here and escape their own personal Krypton. Kind of understandable.
5. What’s the deal with E.T.’s powers in E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial?
E.T. has a couple powers; He can resurrect stuff with his glowing finger, and he has a psychic connection with Elliott.
The novelization explains that E.T.’s psychic connections go far wider than just Elliott – he can communicate and listen to the thoughts of other people, animals, and even plants. Elliott’s dog thinks long and hard about all of the shoes he’s eaten over the years, Elliott’s mom thinks about her abilities as a single parent a lot, etc. – and E.T. can hear it all. Also, E.T. can live a LONG time – he’s about 10 million years old and is of the Brodo Asogian species.
6. What the heck is going on at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey?
At the end of 2001, astronaut David Bowman encounters another of the mysterious monoliths that appear throughout the film, and it causes him to experience crazy visions of the universe, that eventually land him in an oddly-lit room, where life literally flashed before his eyes, ending with him as an old man lying down, pointing at a black monolith at the foot of his bed. He then transforms into a glowing fetus in a bubble, some fabulous music plays, and the newly-born “Star Child” floats around Earth.
The novelization to 2001 is slightly different than most – it was written by Arthur C. Clarke concurrently with the film version (co-written with Stanley Kubrick), although released after. Although left open to interpretation, the novel does explain it a bit. Bowman is actually seeing other galaxies and star systems – then the beings behind the monoliths land him in the mysterious “hotel room”, where they suck away his lifeforce and memories so that he may become the immortal “Star Child”, now a being that’s able to survive in the void of space.
And, apparently has a bunch of other powers – like the ability to blow up nukes in space. Because he does that – the implication that Bowman was brought to a higher form of being just in time to save humanity from destruction. See, those monoliths that appear throughout were left by hyper-advanced aliens to bring life to “the next stage” (like when the apes at the beginning encounter the monolith and suddenly understand how to use tools and weaponry).
The further novels go into greater detail about the monoliths, the Star Child transformation, and what it all means, but the main takeaway should be that those last ten minutes of the movie kinda DO make sense.