Not all stories wrap up cleanly and not all worlds can be fully fleshed out. Often you can come out of a movie with a few lingering questions on your mind.
They’re not necessarily plot holes. They don’t ruin the story or wreck your suspension of disbelief. They’re just little moments of ambiguity that stick in your brain. Sometimes a sequel or a prequel or even an interview with a director can come along and clear things up. Sometimes though, those questions never get answered.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most enduring questions in the history of cinema. Stick around for some unrecognized heroes, madmen that might not be as mad as you think, and more mysteries that have haunted film fans for years.
10. When Is It Safe to Feed A Mogwai?
Keep it away from bright lights, don’t get it wet, and don’t feed it after midnight. These are the three simple rules of mogwai ownership we learn in 1984’s Gremlins. The first two are rather straightforward. The third one is the problem. I’m not sure if you noticed, but the day starts a midnight. That’s 0001 in military time. It’s always after midnight.
So when should you feed the thing? The film and its sequel do not go out of their way to make that clear. I’d say your best bet is to turn down any mogwais you’re offered and get a hamster or something.
9. What Caused The Apocalypse In The Road?
The Road is set in a blighted, ruined world, but is tightly focused on the grim life or death struggles of a father and son. The scale of destruction is immense, but it’s all backdrop. The Road is utterly unconcerned with mythology or worldbuilding and never reveals just what destroyed its world. The Road is a movie about the aftermath and that’s it. In a way, it lets you project your own fears onto the setting. The culprit can be whatever apocalyptic anxiety you’re currently dealing with.
8. What Is The Man With No Name’s Name?
The Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) are arguably the greatest westerns of all time. Their star is arguably the most iconic western hero in cinema history, but we don’t really know much about him. In fact, his defining feature is that he has no name. Neither director, Sergio Leone, nor actor, Clint Eastwood, have never spilled the beans on the identity of The Man and many sincerely hope they never do.
If you want to see another character that thrives on a sense of mystery, check out #4.
7. What Did Bob Whisper?
Lost in Translation provides a sort of choose-your-own-adventure ending. The last words of the film are intentionally obscured from the audience. We see Bill Murray’s Bob track down Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte and whisper something to her but we never learn what. It allows the audience to essentially write their own ending to the film by putting whatever words they want into Bob’s mouth. Apparently, Murray improvised the line and even Sofia Coppola, the director, doesn’t know what he actually said.
6. Why Doesn’t Chewbacca Get A Medal?
Nerds have pondered why beloved Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca was not awarded a medal at the end of Episode IV: A New Hope for decades. Did they not have any in his size? Did they run out of medals all together? Did he turn it down? If so why? Does the Rebel Alliance hold some unspoken prejudice against Wookies? Why would a guy that would tear your arms off over a game of holographic chess put up with having his accomplishments swept under the rug? Maybe he’s just the Leonardo DiCaprio of the Star Wars universe. Maybe Episode VIII will be his Revenant.