In the age of the Internet, there aren’t many “little-known facts” left to uncover, and so most of the examples of foreshadowing in sci-fi films has long since been discovered and discussed ad nauseam. Still, there’s something incredibly satisfying about watching old favorites like Star Wars and noticing some of the easy to miss clues in sci-fi movies you thought you knew by heart. It’s a sensation that makes one feel like a seasoned film critic and a masterful detective in one fell swoop.
There are some directors out there that put an intense amount of effort into filling their science fiction movies with foreshadowing, because they know it will make their films all-the-more rewatchable. And, if there’s one thing that all science-fiction fans love, it’s re-experiencing their favorite stories over, and over, and over again. Call it foreshadowing, call it an Easter egg, or call it spoiling your own ending - the fact is that peppering a plot with hints of future events is a time-honored part of creating science-fiction.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
In one of the earliest scenes in Jurassic Park, the various paleo-experts are accompanying park owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) on a helicopter ride to his newly founded dino island. When the chopper is about to land, the characters all fasten their seatbelts, except for Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who finds himself stuck with two “female” ends. In desperation, he ties the two ends together in a makeshift belt, and the crew lands safely. This foreshadows how the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park will manage to breed, even though they’re exclusively females or, as Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) states, “Life, uh, finds a way.”Was this clever?
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The Cape Gag In The Incredibles Gives Away The Villain’s Cause Of DeathPhoto: Buena Vista Pictures
The Incredibles remains one of the best superhero movies ever made, despite its cartoonish appearances, and perhaps the most cartoonish character in the entire film is Edna Mode (Brad Bird), costumer extraordinaire. One of Edna’s most famous quotes is her rant on the dangers of capes as a part of superhero fashion, as she believes that capes are an unnecessary liability. “No capes!” Later, in the final confrontation with primary antagonist Syndrome (Jason Lee), the villain is defeated when his garish cape is sucked into a plane’s engine, and he goes right along with it.Was this clever?
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The Plot Of The World’s End Is Hidden In The Various Pub NamesPhoto: Universal Pictures
The World’s End, the third film in the Cornetto trilogy directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is primarily a comedy, but it also has some serious sci-fi elements, due to the characters’ entire hometown being replaced by alien robots. Initially, the film’s plot seems to center on some old friends attempting to “crawl” to a dozen different pubs, each with its own memorable name and heraldry. Each of the pub names is actually a hint at a plot event that is going to occur when the characters reach said pub, and so the entire plot of the movie is hinted at right at the very beginning. At “The Cross Hands,” the group engages in their first round of fisticuffs, and at “The Two-Headed Dog,” they encounter a notorious set of twins. Most impressive is “The Hole in the Wall,” a pub that one character unexpectedly drives his car into to rescue the rest of the gang.Was this clever?
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“Blue Sky On Mars, That’s A New One” In Total RecallPhoto: TriStar Pictures
The original Total Recall is one of those films that make a point to bamboozle the audience. The central question of the plot is whether or not any of Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger)’s experiences are real, as they could instead be the result of implanted memories via the Rekall Corporation. However, there’s a big hint near the beginning, when a technician in the background says something about a “blue sky on Mars” being a “new one.” At the end of the film, Quaid is standing on the surface of Mars and looking up... at a blue sky.Was this clever?