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My Skyfall Theory


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#1 DavidJones

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 10:26 AM

 
When Bond falls into the water, he dies. The first line of the theme song, "This is the end," refers to this. Bond has been anticipating his own death since he started ("I've drowned and dreamt this moment/So overdue"). The title indicates an apocalypse, an Armageddon where time has run out, there is no escape and only death awaits.
 
The title sequence shows Bond dying. It's a phantasmagoria of images which have defined his life. Guns, women etc. He's drifting into the depths. There's even a grave yard. There are flames, indicating Hell. He stands, vigilant, shooting into mirrors, believing they are real figures. This indicates the deception which is a hallmark of his profession.
 
The rest of the film is Bond's final conscious moments before death. He knows M has given the order for Eve to shoot, which kills him, and he sees this as a betrayal. He has always been controlled by M, and his dream depicts this by having him controlled by Silva, who is another person M has betrayed. Silva is an embodiment of every villain Bond has faced and Bond himself (which is why Silva is a 00 agent too).
 
The dream plays Bond as played out – this is his insecurity. Many of our dreams reflect our anxieties about ourselves.
 
The narrative of Bond's dream defies logic - it is a dream, after all - and there is no particular reason for anything that happens. Like any dream, it is being made up as it goes along. Any moments which couldn't happen in reality - like Silva's attack on the armed guards in his cell - are not shown, because such an impossibility cannot be enacted. It's hand-waved away, just as in our dreams.
 
Q connects Silva's laptop to the government's mainframe - despite Q being a techno wizard and, as such, should know not to do this - because this is Bond's dream and Bond does not know that this would be a mistake.
 
M has to face a Parliamentary committee and the responsibility for her actions, such as killing Bond.
 
Bond sees Séverine die, unable to save her, just as his wife Tracy was killed in front of him.
 
He returns to his childhood home, where he remembers his life began.
 
He has the Aston Martin from Goldfinger again and not the one he won in Casino Royale.
 
There's ice on the lake, even though it's not the season for it. This indicates snow and winter and the Alps where his parents died in a skiing accident. We see their graves too.
 
The lodge is surrounded: he has to face the bad guys, just as he has always done, but this time it's merged with his childhood. It's the scene of the biggest stand-off he's ever faced: where he realised that his parents were gone and he must face his life alone.
 
M dies. This is Bond's revenge, due to the anger of being used, but he's also failed to protect her. It's retribution and guilt mixed up.
 
At the end of the film, Bond discovers that Eve is Moneypenny. Bond has always been a misogynist and, as this is his dream, Eve confirms his view on women by admitting that she wasn't up to field work and has decided to be a secretary to man instead.
 
Bond enters M's office. It's just like it was in the glory years of his career: classical, with wood paneling and no glass walls, and there's even a male M sitting behind the desk. This is Bond at his happiest: he is about to go off on all the best missions of his career. This continues into Spectre, in which he encounters Blofeld again.

Edited by DavidJones, 09 August 2016 - 05:59 PM.


#2 David_M

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 01:39 PM

Well, I like the "it's a dream, so logic doesn't apply" idea.  :-)

 

However, you lose me with the last sentence:

 

 

 

It's just like it was in the glory years of his career: classical, with wood panelling and no glass walls, and there's even a male M sitting behind the desk. This is Bond at his happiest: he's about to go off on all the best missions of his career.

 

 

...because those "glory years" happened on someone else's watch.  The "male M in a wood-paneled office," Moneypenny bound to a desk in the outer office, etc are hallmarks of the Connery-to-Dalton eras, which the Craig era seems to somehow pre-date (unless, as seems increasingly likely, it's unspooling in another timeline altogether).  If "he's about to go off on all the best missions of his career," that means he hasn't gone on them yet.  So how can he be comforted by memories of events that are still in his future?  And how can Severine be a dream stand-in for Tracy when he hasn't yet met and lost Tracy?

 

Otherwise, though, a fun theory.  Especially since (1) most of the film only makes sense by the "no logic" standards of a dream and (2) there's no way he could've survived that fall, period.

 

Hmm, but this means the 007 of "Spectre" is...what...a zombie?



#3 DavidJones

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 05:59 PM

Well, I like the "it's a dream, so logic doesn't apply" idea.  :-)

 

However, you lose me with the last sentence:

 

 

 

It's just like it was in the glory years of his career: classical, with wood panelling and no glass walls, and there's even a male M sitting behind the desk. This is Bond at his happiest: he's about to go off on all the best missions of his career.

 

 

...because those "glory years" happened on someone else's watch.  The "male M in a wood-paneled office," Moneypenny bound to a desk in the outer office, etc are hallmarks of the Connery-to-Dalton eras, which the Craig era seems to somehow pre-date (unless, as seems increasingly likely, it's unspooling in another timeline altogether).  If "he's about to go off on all the best missions of his career," that means he hasn't gone on them yet.  So how can he be comforted by memories of events that are still in his future?  And how can Severine be a dream stand-in for Tracy when he hasn't yet met and lost Tracy?

 

Otherwise, though, a fun theory.  Especially since (1) most of the film only makes sense by the "no logic" standards of a dream and (2) there's no way he could've survived that fall, period.

 

Hmm, but this means the 007 of "Spectre" is...what...a zombie?

 

From the office, Bond is beginning to relive his past. It's like if I dreamt all my years in school, I'd start from Year 1. This dream also assumes that the first twenty films took place between Quantum and Skyfall, which is a popular theory. Spectre is the same dream. He meets Blofeld, a classic villain from his past.


Edited by DavidJones, 09 August 2016 - 06:07 PM.


#4 Surrie

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 09:53 AM

This is certainly interesting. However, as far as I'm concerned Craig's era is set in a timeline that pre-dates the first 20 films. 



#5 David_M

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 01:12 PM

 

 

This is certainly interesting. However, as far as I'm concerned Craig's era is set in a timeline that pre-dates the first 20 films. 

 

Except in SF and Spectre he's older than Connery was in DN (and definitely looks it).

 

I think it's more likely the Craig era happens in a separate timeline, like the new Star Trek movies: same character in a divergent reality.  As different as they can sometimes be, it's not that hard to draw a through-line from Connery to Brosnan and accept all those guys as basically the same character.  Craig's Bond, IMHO, is another matter entirely.  I can't imagine him in any of the other Bond films, and I can't imagine any of the other Bonds in his.  It's a different character entirely.  I'm not saying better or worse, mind you, just different.  That's why it's so disorienting when they pull out the Aston Martin, when all its historical importance is tied to another version of Bond.  Or when Oberhauser says, "My new name is....ERNST STAVRO BLOFELD!" like we and Bond are supposed to gasp in shock, when the only reason that name means anything is because it figured in a lot of adventures that didn't even happen to this version of Bond.  He could have said his name was Migelito Loveless, or Skeletor, and it would have been just as relevant to Craig's version of the Bond universe.

 

I can, oddly enough, imagine a film like Moonraker or DAD being a dream conjured up by a dying brain.  Or a too-large dinner of sauerkraut and brats and a pitcher of beer.



#6 Professor Pi

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 05:05 AM

I've heard this Skyfall theory before ("Why not stay dead?" Mallory asks Bond.)  If you're familiar with Darren Franich's theory from Entertainment Weekly, Bond dies on Blofeld's chair in SPECTRE and the rest of that movie is a dream.  From there, it's not a great leap to imagine all 20 films from Dr. No to Die Another Day are dying fever dreams in Craig Bond's head.  It explains away a lot of other inconsistencies--the Aston Martins, Dame Judi Dench's two M's, Blofeld's ever changing appearance, Bond seeing himself as the different actors cast.  But it also makes the canon somewhat trivial, much like JJ Abrams wiping away decades of Star Trek with his rebooted alternate timeline (which the new series will nevertheless not be set in.) 

 

The temptation of these theories is it cures bad script writing.  The problem is it's a corner one can't write oneself out of.



#7 Surrie

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 08:31 AM

 

 

 

This is certainly interesting. However, as far as I'm concerned Craig's era is set in a timeline that pre-dates the first 20 films. 

 

Except in SF and Spectre he's older than Connery was in DN (and definitely looks it).

 

I think it's more likely the Craig era happens in a separate timeline, like the new Star Trek movies: same character in a divergent reality.  As different as they can sometimes be, it's not that hard to draw a through-line from Connery to Brosnan and accept all those guys as basically the same character.  Craig's Bond, IMHO, is another matter entirely.  I can't imagine him in any of the other Bond films, and I can't imagine any of the other Bonds in his.  It's a different character entirely.  I'm not saying better or worse, mind you, just different.  That's why it's so disorienting when they pull out the Aston Martin, when all its historical importance is tied to another version of Bond.  Or when Oberhauser says, "My new name is....ERNST STAVRO BLOFELD!" like we and Bond are supposed to gasp in shock, when the only reason that name means anything is because it figured in a lot of adventures that didn't even happen to this version of Bond.  He could have said his name was Migelito Loveless, or Skeletor, and it would have been just as relevant to Craig's version of the Bond universe.

 

I can, oddly enough, imagine a film like Moonraker or DAD being a dream conjured up by a dying brain.  Or a too-large dinner of sauerkraut and brats and a pitcher of beer.

 

 

I'm not so sure. I think by doing CR EON wanted to show us, Bond, before he was Bond. When I watch Craig's era, I think that none of the other missions (Connery - Brosnan) have happened yet. I know he's a different type of Bond but if I'm completely honest I think EON were under pressure to create a Bond that the masses in the cinema would enjoy - they move with the times. 

 

We see Bond win his DB5, and to me, the end of Skyfall represents Bond's start in MI6 that we recognise as similar to the Connery era... the closer to the end of Craig's era the more nods we see to Connery's maybe? Also, with the addition of ESB we should be shocked at this name revelation as we have never heard of him before if we are thinking this timeline happens before the Con-Bros timeline. 

 

It makes more sense to me, and easier to ignore some of the inconsistencies if I watch Craig's era as if EON have taken us right back to the start - the start that we haven't ever seen. Bond is the way he is in the Con-Bros era's because of the events in Craig's era. 



#8 Dustin

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 10:53 AM

For me Craig's tenure is simply an alternate story-verse where nothing of the events DN through DAD ever happened - but some things may, depending on the viewer. I felt much the same about Brosnan's adventures, you could imagine he was the same person as the ones before, but you never actually needed knowledge of previous events. Brosnan got his own past and sensibilities - cue that Teri Hatcher character - but if you so wished nothing prevented you from seeing him in the same continuity as previous models.

The idea of showing Bond before he was 007 - well, that was in effect only the pts of CASINO ROYALE; personally I always thought CR's last line was already the end of the transformation*. Around that time origin stories just became en vogue and I was surprised to find the theme deeper explored in QUANTUM OF SOLACE and even more so in SKYFALL. Overall these films, together with SPECTRE, now feel like a self-contained and separate tale. Just think of Blofeld's claim to have caused all of Bond's misery, personal and professional. Nothing - of consequence - happend outside CR through SPECTRE, no other big villains, no women that meant more to 007, no assignments to save the world or at least the day.


*Though CR was quite successful at the time fans in the media-business and outside demanded right from day one after CR's premiere the return of the 'Bond we know and love' - as if that ever was a precisely defined benchmark standard. The absence of certain minor characters and the unusual style of certain conventions was already a major fault for some by the time of QOS. When SKYFALL, too, did not offer the habitual ingredients in the desired way it was more than a few fans were willing to take. I shiver to think of what might have happened if SPECTRE hadn't finally delivered these conventions...

#9 Tiin007

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:55 AM

Also, Craig's films cannot precede the original timeline (Connery through Brosnan) because there would be too many actual contradictions that way-- such as Bond meeting Felix and Blofeld twice for the first time (how could Bond not be familiar with Felix in Dr. No if he had already met him in CR / QoS?). Plus there is the shift from the "after 9/11" events of these movies to the Cold War era? It just doesn't make sense to assume Craig's films occur in the same timeline as those of Connery-Brosnan. 

 

The best one can assume (if you're really insistent on merging the two) is that perhaps Craig's Bond has experienced certain select elements / fought certain select villains / and met certain select women from the original timeline over the course of his career, but updated to the modern era. The problem with this assumption (other than the fact that we've seen none of it) is that one now has no way of determining which of these stories were carried over to Craig's era-- clearly not Felix or Blofeld (whose stories differ from those in the original timeline). Does that mean that Craig's Bond has married and lost Tracy? Seems like it would've been mentioned if it had been the case.

 

No, clearly there is no way around the fact that the series started from scratch with CR. 

 

And please don't point to Judi Dench as indicating anything-- she is just an actress. 



#10 David_M

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:54 PM

I've always looked at the Bond series as the modern-day equivalent of ancient myths:  people used to crowd around a campfire to hear stories of heroes, now they pack theaters, but in either case the same stories get told over and over with just enough details changed to hold the listener's interest.  In that context, it doesn't matter if Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond in OHMSS, or if Octopussy looks just like Andrea from MWTGG, or if Brosnan-Bond would have been 11 years old when Goldfinger attacked Fort Knox.  Eon makes little to no effort to connect the pre-Craig Bonds, so why should we?

 

With Craig, it gets stickier because suddenly we're supposed to connect the dots; it's all supposed to tie together logically somehow in one big story.  But the details are so contradictory to what went before that now we have to deal with the question: Is this the same guy as before, or not?  Also, it's worth noting that even though Eon now wants everything to tie together, they're not particularly better at continuity than they were in the old days.

 

Anyway, I agree with the "cherry picking" approach to Craig:  we can insert whatever classic adventures we like into the (sometimes huge) gaps between Craig's on-screen missions.  But for me, some of them will never work, at least not as we originally saw them.  And one of them is the one where got that gadget-laden car he keeps trotting out for cheap applause.



#11 DavidJones

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:01 PM

The Craig films exist in a bubble. Casino Royale was a reboot, not a prequel.

 

Before, there was a floating timeless, but that has been eschewed altogether now. It needed to happen in order to attract new fans. 

 

When CR came out in 2006, reboots were the order of the day. They still are, to an extend, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made cross-film interconnections similarly fashionable.



#12 dtuba

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 09:58 PM

An interesting theory, Mr. Jones. As Bob Dylan would say, you know something is happening here.

 

I too am of the belief that Bond dies in the PTS of SF as well. I am not so sure about the dream stuff, but some very good observations none the less. My theory, half-baked as it may be, is that Bond in SF is merely an extended metaphor for the 50 year old character who is not beholden to any timeline. If he exists only in Craig's timeline, then the series would only be 6 years old...correct?

 

At any rate, Bond dies in the PTS, and is then resurrected, and then returns to the place he was born, completing his rebirth. We then see the wood paneled office of the male M, then the gunbarrel, then bam! We are full circle back to 1962. (I would have loved it if SF's gunbarrel music started with the "audio bongo" cue like DN's did.) By this measure, the DB5 in the garage does not belong to any particular timeline either. (It too is merely a metaphor). 

 

If this is indeed Mendes' intent, then I do appreciate what he is trying to do by adding metaphor and subtext to the Bond saga. My problem is, why? Why does he feel the need to kill off a recently rebooted character? Could we not have had a 50th anniversary film that celebrates as well as deconstructs Bond without destroying him first? My problems with SF are the motivation, not necessarily the execution. Not to mention that it makes the events of SP even messier and ...well, less relevant I guess. If Skyfall is indeed just a metaphorical construct of Bond for the purposes of the 50th anniversary, then great, but it should have been a truly stand alone film. Just one of the reasons I did not care for the shoe-horning of Silva into the events of SP.



#13 DaveBond21

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 04:50 AM

This is certainly interesting. However, as far as I'm concerned Craig's era is set in a timeline that pre-dates the first 20 films. 

 

I think they all slot in together. CR is the first mission. After QOS comes a Tokyo mission with M, which was only referred to in FRWL, then comes Dr No. 

 

For the aging 007, we can slot in adventures such as FYEO, AVTAK, DAD and Skyfall wherever we want.



#14 sharpshooter

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 04:58 AM

The Craig films exist in a bubble. Casino Royale was a reboot, not a prequel.


It's the easiest and most logical way to look at things.




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