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In-story, the character is the reincarnation of a young man killed by a gang of road pirates; they beat him, stabbed him, locked his body in a car and sent it off of a cliff. From this, we can assume it was a "vengeful spirit" of sorts... but it returns with a physical body, changed from its original form, and with some new supernatural abilities seemingly tied to its vehicle, the Turbo Interceptor. We see his "return" to our world via an electrical storm in the desert, materializing the driver [in black sleek armor and braces on his limbs] and the car itself...

But it's never explained where he came from, how he got the vehicle, or how he managed to come back in a new human form.

The producers said he was more of an "inter-dimensional traveler" as opposed to a ghost, but a lot went unexplained, and that makes it somewhat more complicated. Added to that, every time he kills one of those responsible for his death, he seems to get stronger, physically, as shown by the braces "disappearing" from one limb for each kill.

Is there any more information as to these details?

  • Excuse my ignorance but what film is this question about? Googling `Wes Craven the Wraith" doesn't turn up anything relevant. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 21 '19 at 16:08
  • @TheLethalCarrot My Bad. Mike Marvin directed the film. I included a video of the trailer, oth so you could see it, and for further clarification. – Russhiro Oct 21 '19 at 17:56
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I suspect you've already seen this interview based on your comment about Mike Marvin's conception of the character, but yes, the director did not see him as a "spirit of vengeance":

MD: There also seems to be confusion in some audience members’ minds about how the Wraith acquired the futuristic car and suit, and for that matter what exactly he is. Some think he is a ghost, others an alien.

MM: Okay, I always envisioned him as emerging out of a sort of secondary dimension or reality, but I never saw him coming back from the dead as a ghost. I always thought he was a dimensional crosser, so when he was killed in the first place, instead of him going into the abyss or into the darkness or the void, whatever you want to call it, he goes to a place where he is able to literally cross dimensions. Originally, my idea with the Wraith car was instead of using a steering wheel, he would reach into the dashboard itself and then we would cut to inside where the engine was and we would now be in outer space. His hands would be sort of through the firmament and he would control the car almost by some kind of electrical connection. That was the idea.

  • No, never saw this interview, though I did hear about the similarities to/inspiration of High Plains Drifter. Sooo... Jaime [his initial human form] was already meant to be a Dimensional traveler? Why use the term "Wraith", then, which means ghost or spirit? And how did he have a human brother? And he "crossed dimensions" into a space where he could then "manifest" the Phantom car that reacts to his thoughts, and bring it back with him into this reality? – Russhiro Oct 21 '19 at 18:43
  • Yup. And it's meant to be more of a Western than a Horror film. Another potentially useful nugget was that the planned sequel script involved Packard's gang gaining the ability to manifest their own cars, with Jaimie brought back to fight them. – FuzzyBoots Oct 21 '19 at 18:55
  • Okay, wait... they'd be dimensional travelers, too? Granted, them getting their own powers would have made for a more action packed film, but it just raises even more questions about the nature of how these powers are bestowed! Packard and his gang seem far too "base" to be evolved beings from another dimension...though that perhaps would explain their craziness. the "Vengeful spirit embodied" aspect makes a little more sensel I could even take that Jaime's human spirit was somehow "transported" to this other dimension and given a new body...but to just "be" a non human? – Russhiro Oct 21 '19 at 20:06
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    @RussRainford: I haven't watched the film, but based on the interview, the director's concept was that, when Jaime was killed, he wound up in this other dimension, and was then able to interface with Earth enough to manifest with the car to get his revenge. And the concept of the sequel was that, due to the violent deaths he imposed (maybe with this strange dimensional energy), the gang members were in a similar scenario of being able to interact with the world in strange ways. They were all normal humans to start with. – FuzzyBoots Oct 22 '19 at 1:32
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    That said, I also kind of got the impression, reading through the interview, that the director made the film, as much as anything, to showcase the car stunts.So the plot was, in many ways, an excuse to get those stunts in. – FuzzyBoots Oct 22 '19 at 1:33

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