Monday, 17 February 2014

Crossing Over to Another World

A while ago, on Facebook, there was a funny comic that was shared by George Takei. It was a parody of the film Titanic, with penguins, I've even found the original, if you want to read it yourself. In the comments on this page, someone said "Still a better Romance than Twilight", which is apparently some kind of meme. Anyway, this comment made me consider, just idly, "I wonder if there's any Twilight/Titanic crossover fanfiction". Admittedly, this wasn't a very clever thought, but it just popped into my head and I was curious, so I looked it up on fanfiction.net . . . I was disappointed. There weren't any good ones.
That's to be expected, I guess, most of the stuff on fanfiction.net is terrible. But this disappointment was caused by two things. First of all, obvious one, there's a brilliant portmanteau - Twitanic, an opportunity there, lost and wasted. Secondly, all of these crossovers, they were terribly executed; a lot of them try to make Bella exist in the Titanic universe, which is just stupid. The Titanic sank almost 100 years before Bella was born. Why do they do that?

See, with Twilight, it is canon that Edward Cullen was alive during the time of Titanic. Admittedly, he would have been 11 years old, but it could still be done, what about Carlisle Cullen? He was born in England, perhaps that's how he planned on getting to America. But most people don't care about the continuity of the book, they're too busy trying to write their own story, and I think that's despicable. I wrote a post about this kind of thing ages ago, if you're playing with someone else's fictional world, then you should keep continuity and make everything canonical, otherwise you're being disrespectful and lazy. It's possible to do a canonical Titanic/Twilight crossover story if you want to and still have it make sense within the worlds of both stories.

Of course, I wouldn't, that story would be terrible. But that got me thinking about crossovers, and I started wondering: What movie universes could  you crossover, without any trouble? In fact, I thought, what if there were some crossovers that could make movies better?
The Word of the Day is: 'CROSSOVER'.

Crossover /'krosōvə/ n. 1. The act of crossing over 2. A bridge or other structure for crossing over a river, highway, etc. 3. Genetics. a. Also, Crossing overb. A genotype resulting from crossing over. 4. Popular Music. a. The act of crossing over in style, usually with the intention of broadening the commercial appeal to a wider audience. b. Music that crosses over in style, occasionally sharing attributes with several musical styles and therefore often appealing to a broader audience. 5. Also, Crossover network.

I'm quite fond of crossovers, never mind some of the crossover stories that I've written for this blog, but the major fiction that I'm writing for this blog, Duke Forever, although it seems as though it is mainly set in the Whoniverse (with hints towards other franchises), it has always been my plan that the "Duke Forever Continuum" would crossover with another major sci-fi series (which has, so far, been kept mostly under wraps with only a hint or two), I plan on revealing that crossover in the coming chapters, so you can look forward to that!

But for now, I've been looking at some interesting ideas for crossovers that don't have many inconsistencies; by that I mean movie crossovers that would make sense within their own set of rules. For instance, you couldn't crossover Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I mean, you could, but their magic systems are mutually exclusive. Not only are they set in different time periods and places, but in LotR, Wizards are god-like beings (of which there are only about four) that utilize magic implicitly, as they are eternally wise; whereas in the Potterverse magical ability is passed on through genes (there are probably a billion or so wizards) and you use magic words to cast spells. So that's my thought process. For the last week or so I've been looking for cool potential crossovers that not only integrate neatly but also overlap in certain ways to add something new to both universes.

And I have found five of them. That is to say 10 different movie franchises that not only could cross over logically, but also improve their respective movie franchises via their respective crossovers. Now a lot of these explanations assume prerequisite knowledge of the movies in question, so I recommend that you watch the movies before readign their specific entry. If that's unavoidable, then I hope you can keep up, because there's a lot to get through here, and I can't be explaining all of them. But before we get to the five main crossovers for this pot, I have two Honourable Mentions:

#BraveTangled How To Train Your Dragon
  (The Berk-Albion Triangle)
When I told Beloved about my idea for a crossover fic, she brought to my attention something that those in Fanfiction circles call "The Big Three", which is a term for fanfiction involving these three movies which were produced by the three main animation studios: PixarDisney & DreamWorks, respectively. This is an interesting crossover for a couple of reasons. First of all, not only are all of these movies computer generated, they're also drawn in artistic styles that gel well together. Secondly, all of these are set (more or less) in a realistic world, but with some kind of magical tidbit such as magic, witches or dragons. But thirdly, and most importantly, it is quite likely that all of these movies are set within the same, small worldspace. Brave is set in the Scottish Highlands; Tangled doesn't explain its setting, but the castles, knights and "ye olde pub" imply that it's set in England & Dragon is set on Berk, and while it's not explained where exactly Berk is, vikings are Norse, so it's fair to say they wouldn't be too far from Norway.
Now, if you fetch Google Maps, you might notice something about those three locations. They're all surrounding the North Sea. All three also have access to boats, and according to my Beloved, the Scots do mention defending from attacks by sea which may or may not be Vikings.
However, this isn't on my list. It gets a mention because the worlds would click together nicely and I like the idea of a crossover, but I must admit that Berk could be anywhere and although they can crossover, they don't so much overlap as they do "slot together nicely". I'm looking for something a little more tightknit than that.

#Pacific Rim & Half-Life
  (Pacific Portal)
Okay, the reason why this one isn't on the list is because Half-Life is a videogame franchise, so it's automatically void. It's a cool idea, but that's not what this list is about. Also, in order to make this universe work, we have to make quite a few assumptions.
So let's get the obvious links out of the way. Ellen McLain is the voice of the Jaeger A.I. in the film and GLaDOS from the Portal games, using the same voice in her Pacific Rim portrayal; the interdimensional tunnel from which the "kaiju" spawn (the Breach or the Portal) is reminiscent of the portal from end of Half-Life 2; both of these stories involve aliens trying to take over Earth & they both involve resolving these issues via Science.
The idea for this crossover is that these two universes take place in a divergent timeline from the Half-Life universe. whereby it wasn't Black Mesa that created Portal technology, but rather Aperture Science. The Resonance Cascade still occurred, but it crossed over into the Anteverse as opposed to Xen. As a result, Aperture science focussed on creating Jaegers instead of testing the Handheld Portal Device™. Cave Johnson used the mind-scanning technology for the "drifting" technology rather than immortalizing Caroline, and thus GLaDOS was used as a functional A.I. - all robot, no consciousness - and so never had the chance to go rogue which explains why she was used as the Jaeger operating system.
The problem with this crossover is that it's all hearsay. But it's a fun crossover idea, and definitely worth considering. Imagine a Jaeger controlled by Chell and Doctor Freeman. Or the potential for putting G-man in the Pacific Rim universe! I think I'd love any excuse to put that kind of character in any universe . . .

Anyway that's enough fun, now let's get serious. All of the crossovers I am about to propose make sense as far as I can see and I spent a long time reading through the Wild Mass Guessing pages of TV Tropes to find the best of these ideas. Although, just because this is serious, doesn't mean it can't be fun. If you write fanfiction, I heartily encourage you to explore these ideas in your stories, or just use these ideas as a jumping-off point for other ideas. After all, I don't claim these ideas as my own, I'm just putting together other peoples ideas to create something new. Now remember, some of these mention major spoilers for their respective films, you've been warned. So, here we go, this is . .

The A.W.N.'s Top 5 Movie Crossovers that Overlap in Awesome Ways

5\ Se7en & The Usual Suspects
  (The Se7enth Suspect)
Who was John Doe? After all, that's the name you give to someone whose name you don't know. So who is he? After all, most murderers are quite stupid. In real life serial killers are crazy and too obsessed with the outlet of killing to go planning them to any degree. So how is John Doe so good at what he's doing, insomuch as that he can plan these out for a year in advance? Not to mention, he's very good at evading the police, so much so that they only catch him when he walks into their police station, covered in blood.
Well, I'm suggesting that "John Doe" is actually Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects. Never mind that they're both played by Kevin Spacey, let's look at the linking factors. The films came out in the same year, Suspects before Se7en. The characters are both famously psychopathic, they both like playing games with law enforcement, they're both lonesome, prolific killers and they're both played by Kevin Spacey (okay, I had to come back to it).
The underlying theory here, is that Keyser Söze doesn't want to be remembered, whereas John Doe does. Keyzer Söze's whole conceit is that he tricks the world into believing he doesn't exist, no one can catch him because it's as though he's never there. The events of The Usual Suspects was the first time anyone ever came close to catching him. Whereas John Doe commits these atrocities so that people will never forget him. So I believe that, after a successful career as a criminal, Keyser Söze wanted to go out with a bang. After all, if you'd been hiding all your life, wouldn't you want to be remembered? So he commits these murders with the intention of getting caught. This explains how he manages to evade police, how he acts so unlike a real serial killer and, of course, how he can so heartlessly force people into these horrific deaths (he did kill his own family, after all). So when the police fail to catch him - as they've failed to do so many times before - he gives up on the games and finally walks into the police station, covered in blood. Also, doesn't Doe tell Detective Mills that he "admires him" because he has a normal life and a family? Those comments take an even darker tone when you remember that Keyser Söze killed his own family . . .

4\ Indiana Jones & Stargate
  (Indiana Jones and the Doorway to Heaven)
Something that really pisses me off is when people that "claim" to be fans of movie franchises pretend that certain elements don't exist. Matrix "fans" claim that the sequels didn't happen; Star Wars "fans" pretend the prequel trilogy doen't exist & Indiana Jones "fans" claim that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn't canon, just because it involves aliens and not "gods". Well, if you were a real fan you'd realize that not only is that film irrefutable canon, but it might just explain the entirety of the film series . . .
As has already been pointed out, in Crystal Skull, the Mayans believe the aliens in that film to be gods. You know, it's weird, but that's kind of the premise of the Stargate Franchise. I mean, think about it, why would you store a Nazi-killing supercrate of death in the same facility as a dead, alien body? Well, my theory is, that this is the Area 51, just like the one from Stargate: SG-1. They store all alien technology for cataloguing, testing & reverse engineering. That leads onto my next point, all of these films deal with alien technology. The Ark of the Covenant - a self-contained weapon of mass destruction; The Sankara Stones - free energy generators; The Holy Grail - the sangraal already exists in the Stargate universe, as does a Fountain of Youth device, this must be some kind of composite of the two & The Crystal Skull - well, that's an alien already, there's no need for extra consideration. Just like so many other devices the Goa'uld left on Earth, these artefacts are just examples of alien influence which lead primitive cultures to worship them as gods. My favourite part of this is, in the Stargate Movie, they discover the stargate device itself in 1928, but they don't use it until 1994. Meanwhile, the Indiana Jones franchise takes place between 1936 and 1957, so this would explain the events between the discovery of the stargate and discovering its function. Of course, all of this happens before the events of the SG-1 television series. But for any potential crossover fiction, I would like to point out that, according to Stargate Canon, Earth possesses a "Beta Gate" that has been in Antarctica for quite a while. Come on people, these stories practically write themselves! This theory isn't bulletproof, but it does now explain who those "Top Men" from Ark of the Covenant were all along, Stargate Command.

3\ Matrix & Terminator
  (Terminatrix)
The Terminator franchise is concerned with the fight between humans and machines in the oncoming Judgement Day, and up until the fourth film, it's about humans slowly but surely losing the fight against the machines. The Matrix movies are about how we've already lost the fight against the machines, and are now trying to fight back using cyber-guerrilla tactics and/or organizing some kind of peace between man and machine. But there's more to it than that. Terminator androids, as time goes on, are becoming more advanced and are integrating more and more biological parts into their systems to fight humanity. If this crossover holds true, then by the time the Matrix movies happened, they had found ways to include those bodyplugs to integrate not just body but also mind into machinery. To me, it seems like a natural evolution of machine. Speaking of machine evolution, how long could it take to invent time travel? They've been doing this thing for quite some time now, who's to say that the terminators we send back aren't coming from the time of the Matrix movies? That would explain why we don't see them in the Matrix movies, the T-100s are actually some of the oldest models, they must be sending those back in the time-machines so that they can fight in the earliest days of the war.
Also, during Terminator Salvation, we see that the machines are already building themselves a city and slowly destroying what's left of human construction, it's only a matter of time before humans will have no place left on the surface. I just wonder when they decide to scorch the sky . . .
Not to mention, this explains why Morpheus has so much trouble explaining "who struck first", since the earliest days of the war involved time travel . . .

2\ Watchmen Back to the Future
  (Watchmen 2: the Future)
Now, at first glance, very little seems similar between these two franchises. One's about some young kid trying to make sure time remains linear, while the other is about deconstructing the concept of superheroes, from a realistic point of view. The only real similarity is that they both take place in 1985.
But if superheroes existed in 1985, then there would be heroes in Hill Valley, right? it's a ridiculous notion. Except, I'm not claiming that superheroes exist in Marty's 1985. rather, I'm suggesting that superheroes exist in the alternate timeline (from Back to the Future II) known as 1985A . . .
Watchmen is set in a universe identical to our own, with a point of divergence some time before the Vietnam War (since that war is canon in Watchmen). Now according to Biff, he recieved the Grays Sports Almanac from "a relative" on the 12th of November 1955, only a year before the Vietnam war (which explains why that war still happened). as we can see, Biff's influence causes the world to go to hell, with high crime rates and terrible living conditions for all but the rich. I believe that this high crime is what caused these otherwise ordinary people to start becoming costumed crime fighters. Remember, most of these "costumed heroes" don't really have amazing powers, although Nite Owl's gadgetry makes more sense if there's the precedent of a time-travelling Delorean. The only character with superpowers is Doctor Manhattan, and he was ordinary until his workplace accident on August 20, 1959, after Biff had recieved his almanac. Hell, with all that money, what is Biff Tannen if not a supervillain?
And of course, the most damning evidence. In both of these timelines, Richard Nixon was still the President of the United States during 1985. Although, I don't know what became of that timeline after Marty fixed it at the end of that film . . . did I mention that time travel is confusing? Because it is.

1\ Titanic Inception
  (Deep Deception)
I am suggesting with this crossover that Brock Lovett hires Cobb to infiltrate Rose's dreams (using the dream-sharing device) and find the Heart of the Ocean jewel. Cobb is younger here (we know that Miles recruits them young), so there's no Mal because this happened before that. Cobb and the researchers enter Rose's dream together, but things get complicated.
First dream-layer: Old-Rose aboard the Keldysh; the crew are grilling Rose for information, but that's not working, so instead they use that information to send Cobb into the next layer, where he plans on infiltrating much deeper, to find the necklace.
Second dream-layer: Titanic, 1912. Cobb fakes a lucky hand during a poker game (he "used his imagination") to win tickets. He then proceeds to go through the entirety of the film to learn what he can about the jewel, while also playing the part of "Jack Dawson" because he doesn't want her subconscious to attack him. However, he's not as professional as he is in Inception, resulting in all the nudity and nookie that occurs. Unfortunately, during the fateful sinking of the ship. Cobb ends up dying from hypothermia, waking him up.
He then re-enters the dream, talks to the crew and heads down another layer, but by the time he finds her in her second dream-layer (because of the dream-time acceleration thing) she's now much older in her dream, and is again aboard the Keldysh [this is why you need a dream totem, it can get confusing as to which layer you're in], but she's fallen asleep, so, he enters her final dream-layer.
Third dream-layer: Sunken, Ghost-Titanic. Cobb enters into the final dream, and realizes that Rose is totally devoted to Jack, so much so that even her subconscious loves him, which is why all of the people applaud when they finally get together and kiss; her subconscious is as happy as she is. So that final kiss, I believe, creates an accidental inception, such that when she resurfaces to the first dream-layer, this causes her to throw the Heart of the Ocean into the water at the end, since she wholeheartedly believes that it's worthless in comparison to that love.
At the end, Lovett throws away his victory cigar and talks about how he "never got it", but is that because he never got the diamond? I believe, he did find it, but because of his experiences within Rose's dream, he looks at what he's doing and is ashamed of himself. There are a few more links to be found here and questions to be answered, but you'll have to find them for yourself.


Anyway, those are my "Top 5 Movie Crossovers", but they're not the only cool movie crossovers, and these are based on the research I could do in a single week, there's bound to be truckloads more, if you just take the time to look. If you know of any wicked cool movie crossover ideas (or if you've written a cool movie cross-fic), then please let me know, perhaps even in the comments section - drop me a link! - and of course, feel free to share around these ideas, or write your own stories with them, if you so desire. As I said, they're not mine, I just though they were awesome and I wanted to share. Even if you're not into fanfiction, all of these ideas help to ignite the imagination and inspire creative thinking. So please, share, link, write, create & comment to your heart's desire.

And, until next time, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and I've got some writing to do!

2 comments:

  1. I don't know, the Big Three seems extremely plausible, and only cannot exist because the three film companies have refused to do a crossver. I've never considered the Matrix and Terminator possibility . . . I think that will be my headcanon now, because it makes logical sense.
    Biff Tannen with that argument could have groomed Adrian Veidt as his successor, or rather Adrian imbibed the ruthless corporate mentality. This crossover puts a happier spin on the Watchmen ending, what with the "heroes" agreeing to remain silent on the deception, and confirms that the time period occurred from terrible time travel and changes to the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I wasn't saying that the Big Three (Berk-Albion Triangle) wasn't plausible. It gets an honourable mentions because it is plausible, very much so. If someone can write that kind of cross-fic well, it would be awesome. The only reason it wasn't included in the main list is because I had a very slim set of selection criteria that included pre-existing, overlapping elements - and while those three can co-exist, they didn't have enough overlapping elements.

      Delete

Feel free to make suggestions, ask questions & comment . . .
I would love to read your words.