15 Compelling Sci-Fi Villain Fan Theories

Voting Rules
Vote up the theories that have you convinced.

Audiences love sci-fi movies for their inventive mythology, eye-popping visual effects, and heart-pounding action sequences, but none of these things would matter without their iconic villains. Fans online certainly agree, and have even gone to the extent of creating some pretty astonishing theories about these sci-fi baddies. For example, some fans believe the Empire in the Star Wars franchise doesn't actually rule by force or intimidation, but rather by providing economic opportuntity and stability for people around the galaxy.

Other theories break down subtextual motivations of the villains. In Predator, there's an arguement that the stealthy alien hunter actually offs each of its victims in a way that exposes the fragility of their masculinity. There are even theories that turn the victims into the bad guys. Some fans will tell you the humans still have firm control over the Machines in The Matrix!

Check out this list of fan theories about classic sci-fi villains, and don't forget to vote up your favorites!

Photo: The Empire Strikes Back / 20th Century Fox

  • 1
    1,164 VOTES

    Admiral Ozzel Is A Rebel Spy In 'The Empire Strikes Back'

    From Redditor /u/JustafanIV:

    Everything Ozzel does in his brief bits of screen time is to the detriment of the Empire. When the probe Droid finds the rebel shield generator, Ozzel tries to dismiss it as smugglers before Piet speaks out of turn and gets Vader involved. Later, Ozzel orders the fleet out of hyperspace too quickly, giving the rebels plenty of time to activate the aformentioned shield generator that Ozzel knew about.

    "Clumsy as he is stupid" or Rebel sympathizer who gave is life to give the Alliance as much time to evacuate their base as possible? I side on the latter.

    1,164 votes
  • 2
    1,572 VOTES

    Humans Are Still Really In Control In 'The Matrix'

    From Redditor /u/John-on-gliding:

    The Matrix establishes that Humanity and the Machines went to war. Towards the end of the conflict, humanity scorched the sky to rob the Machines of their power source. We are led to believe that despite this feat, the Machines still won the war and enslaved humanity as an energy source. It’s been discussed to death that humans would be a terrible energy source for the Machines. So, why do they keep us alive?

    For all the Architect's smugness, it seems to me that, considering the alterative, the humans have a pretty cushy existence inside the Matrix. Earth is destroyed, but we live on with all the perceived amenities of the modern world while the Machines endlessly toil away to keep us in perceived material comfort. If the Resistance achieved their goal of freeing us, they would have billions of unplugged humans, all in need rapid medical assistance to adjust to the real world. Zion could barely feed their own people, now they're supposed to sustain billions of disorganized humans on a dead planet?

    I propose that Humanity won the war against the Machines when they scorched the sky. But, victory came at the terrible cost of destroying the planetary ecosystem. Having rendered the world conventionally uninhabitable, the survivors programed the remaining Machines to keep humans alive in a virtual reality, in perpetuity. The Machines are programed to think they won the war and that they need humans as a fuel source. The Machines slave away to keep up alive while we live on blissfully unaware in a digital utopia mirroring the supposed pinnacle of human civilization. The Machines continue on because they are the ones under the delusion of that they are in control.

    1,572 votes
  • 3
    876 VOTES

    The Empire Is Successful In 'Star Wars' Because It Offers Economic Stability

    From Redditor /u/CrinerBoyz:

    In the latest episode of The Bad Batch, the newly-formed Empire is shown utilizing its first non-Clone soldiers as they begin the process of replacing Clones. One of these soldiers says a line that stuck with me:

    "With the Empire, I get paid, I get fed, and I have a roof over my head. That's more than the Republic ever did for me."

    What if, the key to the Empire's success in the galaxy wasn't the intimidation or suppression factor that we all might assume, but instead is the economic opportunity it provides for millions of its citizens?

    Think about it. Raising a massive galactic army via recruitment is actually a massive jobs program. Millions of "real people" gain jobs to replace the Clone army, and millions more are added as the Imperial army grows. Then millions and millions more are added as new contracts go out to build weapons, equipment, vehicles, ships, and bases. The Imperial economy creates millions upon millions of jobs that never existed under the Republic. And these are jobs that will be around in perpetuity as the Empire intends to keep a large standing army, unlike the Republic.

    You can read the full theory here.

    876 votes
  • 4
    616 VOTES

    The T-1000 Develops A Passion For Killing In 'Terminator 2'

    From Redditor /u/Azumarill99:

    No matter how many times I watch T2, one scene that always annoys me is in the final act when the T-1000 stabs Sarah and asks her to call out to John. Why would a machine designed specifically to well, terminate waste his time torturing Sarah, a potential threat when he could just kill her and imitate her. The T-800 even says, quote "The T-1000's highest probability for success will be to copy Sarah Connor and wait for you to make contact with her." There's also the fact that during the final scene in the steel mill, the T-1000 is moving much slower than we know he's able to move, almost walking towards the trio when he sees them.

    Over the course of the movie, the T-800 is shown to develop not only an understanding of human emotion, but also the ability to feel compassion and empathy for others. So if a less advanced model like the T-800 can develop emotions, it stands to reason that under the right circumstances, so could the T-1000.

    That's where my theory comes in. I believe that the T-1000 develops desires of its own. More specifically the desire to hunt, and torment his victims. In the early scenes of T2, he'll try to kill any bystanders that get in the way as quickly as possible, such as the mall employee and John's foster parents. But starting with his attack on the mental hospital starts to prolong his killings like when he sneaks up on and stares down the night guard for a few seconds before killing him, and why he wastes time trying to stab them through the elevator when he's clearly shown to be able to melt through the elevator.

    You can read the full theory here.

    616 votes
  • 5
    1,183 VOTES

    The Aliens In 'Signs' Are Actually Demons

    From Redditor /u/ZorroMeansFox:

    Let’s skip the M. Night hatred for a moment. I, too, think he's become something of a joke. But he HAS made a number of worthwhile movies, and this is one I initially couldn't stand, thinking it was full of ridiculous plot-holes. And then... EUREKA!

    When I first saw this film, I didn't realize that it wasn’t about aliens at all. It’s about the return of demons. Notice it’s all about a priest’s resurgence of belief, and a preordained moment of redemption-if-dared-and-attempted. There is no alien technology or weaponry or clothing of any kind, only a clawed, naked beast creature and lights in the sky.

    Furthermore: The running joke throughout the movie is that people see these “invaders” in a way that’s related to their particular frame of mind: The cop sees them as prankster kids, the bookstore owners see them as “a hoax to sell commercials,” the Army recruitment officer sees them as invading military, the kids see them as UFOs... and the priest sees them as test of faith. This understanding of the film removed my hatred of the “You’ve got to be kidding me; they were killed by WATER!” concept. In fact, the priest’s daughter had been referred to as “holy” (as revealed during Mel’s key monologue) - recognized by all who saw her at her birth as “an Angel”; and her quite particular relationship to water is shown to be very special and spiritual: In other words, she has placed vials of what are, essentially, HOLY WATER all around the house. (And the creature’s reaction when coming in contact with this blessed liquid is EXACTLY like monsters/vampires being splashed by spiritual “acid.”)

    You can read the full theory here.

    1,183 votes
  • 6
    298 VOTES

    Alien Technology Accelerated Wikus's Transformation In 'District 9'

    From Redditor /u/Zarah_Niva:

    Bear in mind this theory isn't very fleshed out but upon watching the film twice in the last few days I’ve come up with this sort of theory. As you saw from the title I believe that the transformation that Wikus undergoes into an alien might have been accelerated by his use of various alien technology. I believe this because of several factors.

    It was alien technology, specifically the fuel needed to power the command module to the Mothership which started the transformation.

    After he was forced by the MNU researchers to operate the various alien weaponry the scientists noted that the process from human DNA to alien was heading to complete metamorphosis which was why they needed to harvest his organs quickly to study.

    After the film's battle scene at the climax when Wikus is in the alien mech suit fighting Koobus’s team and when he is finally extracted you can notice more alien like features (one of his eyes is distinctly more alien). I noticed that the mech seems to use a type of interface which links up with the users own nervous system.

    This is all I have to go on and I might just be grasping at straws but tell me what you think.

    298 votes