So Brad Steinbacher from the
(next week it'll be
here) has offered $100 to anyone who can explain the ending of the movie to him.
Here was my attempt... Comments?
OK, I don't imagine you're serious about the 100 clams, and if so, I
don't imagine I'm the first to give you the 411, but here goes:
Most science fiction stories have a single punchline based on some
scientific principal. POTA does a dirty trick by giving us two punchlines in one. This will make more sense if you're a sci-fi fan, so find one if you're not.
You know the old time travel paradox story: go back in time, step on a
cockroach/kill your grandfather, and destroy the future. I've always
thought it would be fun if the time traveller altered history, but only
_his own_ history. So he might return to his former present, only to be
locked into a different timeline, kind of like sliders with no rewind
That's what marky mark did with his little slave rebellion. Just like
H.B. Carter's character predicted, his visit became a legend that everyone would get wrong, and people wouldn't believe. In fact, they found it so unbelievable that the great emancipator of the slaves would be a mere human, that Tim Roth's character got all the glory instead. We were supposed to be so distracted by the story of 'adam' (that space-chimp) that we would be blindsided by the 'future' story of Jesus/Lincoln (marky mark).
That's the first whammy. The second whammy is a lot like that old classic star trek episode, the one where the enterprise goes to the planet with the roman empire, and Kirk and Spock are put into the gladiator's ring. Remember how the poor persecuted apes ^H^H^H^H christians kept yammering about 'The Sun', only Uhura told us it was really 'The Son' they worshipped?
The gimmick behind that show was what they called parallel evolution, the social ecology on that planet happened to evolve exactly like the roman empire, except with television. (I'm sure the renegade starship captain had something to do with it, I can't remember, thank god!)
So when our intrepid astronaut/time traveller returns to his present, he finds that he's changed history just a tad, but the overall structure of social evolution remained parallel to our own.
*with one very large leap of faith. Obviously, the slave rebellion didn't take place in civil war times, it took place in medieval times. But to the target audience of this movie, those are are just different chapters in the same history book, so this plot hole might be forgivable if you just cross your eyes and squint.
So in order to make sense of it all, you have to finally believe that
just like the charlton heston version, this movie takes place on earth,
except in an alternate past instead of the future.
The Oberon didn't start out orbiting another star, it was orbiting Sol. That ringed planet really is saturn. And the time warp led to earth all four times: the chimp, the the hero, the poor oberon crew, and the hero on his way 'home'. They just went to four different time periods in history.
I could ramble on a lot more, since I really like this film. But that's the best I can do with the ending. It didn't confuse me hardly at all. I just wish I knew the actor's name who played the slave trader orangatan. That guy stole the show.
Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"