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Questions tagged [plot-device]

An element introduced into a story, film, play etc. to advance the plot.

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8
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1answer
282 views

When does Logan become a runner?

I'm somewhat confused by the ambiguity in the intentions of Logan in Logan's Run (the movie). He seems genuinely interested in running as soon as he leaves his mission briefing with the supercomputer ...
4
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1answer
177 views

Why did the Andromeda Strain start digesting rubber (polychron) and human bodies?

Michael Crichton's 1969 science fiction thriller The Andromeda Strain and the 1971 film of the same name ficticiously describe/depict a Phantom F-4 where a biological agent recovered from a satellite ...
14
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1answer
466 views

Has a hard SciFi story addressed launching from Venus and its high-density atmosphere, especially after 1967?

Background: The answer to the first part of When did planetary scientists realize Venus' surface pressure was almost 100x that on Earth? How did they find out? is 1967, though it was known or at ...
2
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1answer
108 views

When was DNA evidence from a crime investigation in space first used in a SciFi plot?

In the Space SE question Why were blood and hair follicles from 25 people put on the Moon? I wrote It sounds more like a potential plot for a future CSI Spaceforce episode. That got me thinking, ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Why do wizards in OTBTW restrict their magic to their staffs?

In Off to be the Wizard the shell program that does all the magic for the wizards is programmed so that it only listens to the spells if the wizard is holding his staff (or wand). But why would they ...
-7
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2answers
904 views

In Avengers: Infinity War, what did Dr. Strange need to do to ensure the outcome in Endgame?

Dr. Strange explains to Stark in Infinity War as follows: Strange: I went forward in time, to view alternate futures. To see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict." Stark: How many did ...
10
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3answers
3k views

What is the status of the Infinity Stones post Avengers: Endgame?

In Avengers: Endgame, the heroes travel back in time to "borrow" the Infinity Stones from the past to use them in the future. I get that. At the end of the movie, But because the movie has gone ...
-2
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3answers
465 views

Does every generation of Starks have a Brandon?

I'm playing catch up with Game of Thrones and relying on YouTube to help fill in blanks, but have noticed there are a lot of Brandon Starks who all have important roles in shaping the story. I know ...
3
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0answers
51 views

Is this a time-travel discrepancy in Gone World?

This is a question on Gone World. At one point, Shannon gets back in time without the formal channel (i.e. getting on her ship and heading back over a period of 3 months). She actually uses the time-...
2
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1answer
1k views

Who is the mother of the son of Godzilla from the 1967 movie of the same name?

This is the son of Godzilla (Minya/Minilla) as seen in the 1967 movie Son of Godzilla. So, Godzilla’s son is “born” after hatching from an egg a trio of giant praying mantises dig up on Sollgel ...
10
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1answer
1k views

In the novel The Three-Body Problem, does the Sun's amplification of radio transmissions have a scientific basis?

Per Wikipedia [...] However, she is rescued at the last minute by Yang Weining and Lei Zhicheng, two military physicists working under Red Coast (a Chinese initiative for alien communication ...
7
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1answer
326 views

How closely did When Worlds Collide authors pursue the physics of the catastrophic damage and planet trajectories?

After writing this comment I thought of the 1933 novel When Worlds Collide co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer. South African astronomer Sven Bronson discovers that a pair of rogue planets,...
5
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1answer
105 views

When was methane first described as a rocket fuel in an SF story or plot?

The SyFy.com article If we’re going to go to Mars, this is how we’ll have to deal with trash ends with Mars and deep space will be an even greater challenge because astronauts will be too far from ...
13
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0answers
528 views

What level of control does the Alien Queen (from the “Aliens” films) hold over the eggs and other aliens around her?

The title says it all. And this is spurred by a comment posted to this post on the “Movies & TV” site here. Does the queen get to choose when the eggs open? That's not how it works with any egg ...
1
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1answer
385 views

Why did Bancroft choose Ryker's sleeve for Kovacs?

After Bancroft's "murder", he uses his considerable resources to get the last envoy brought out of prison to investigate the crime. The problem I'm having is why he dumped Kovacs into Ryker's sleeve? ...
3
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1answer
812 views

How exactly did the Millennium Falcon transition from attack speed to a complete stop in “The Empire Strikes Back?”

So in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Han Solo—in an effort to elude the Imperial Fleet—piloted the Millennium Falcon out of the asteroid field, accelerated to attack speed and then… Suddenly stopped, ...
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0answers
170 views

Did the Klingons damage the relay?

Vulcan Hello - bits of Transcript Michael Burnham: Shenzhou has been called to the edge of Federation space to investigate damage done to one of our interstellar relays. Blast burns around the ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Why doesn't Princess Leia go straight to Yavin IV?

At the beginning of A New Hope, Princess Leia has just received the stolen plans for the Death Star. Yet rather than take these plans directly to the Rebel base on Yavin IV, she first stops off to ...
2
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0answers
172 views

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi” — how does Leia know who Obi-Wan is? [duplicate]

So, in the opening scenes of A New Hope Princess Leia leaves a message for Obi-Wan Kenobi, asking her trusty plot-exposition droids to deliver it to an old recluse on a distant planet. It is, at ...
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0answers
262 views

Is Crait a deus ex machina? [duplicate]

Note: This is not a duplicate of this question! This is a more general question which links to what is the accepted answer to that one and clearly says it doesn't solve the problem. Additionally, ...
8
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1answer
459 views

Why not take the creature to the nearest beach?

In the Shape of Water, Eliza waits several days for the "rainy season" and for the nearby canal to fill with rain water so they can release the creature. But not only do the have a car already (the “...
3
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1answer
282 views

How could the Doctor destroy the Dalek fleet this way?

The Doctor's plan to save Gallifrey and destroy the Daleks is as follows: DOCTOR 10: The Daleks would be firing on each other. They'd destroy themselves in their own crossfire. WARRIOR: ...
4
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1answer
914 views

If this tech in The Last Jedi was new, how did the Resistance get detailed schematics of it?

In The Last Jedi some key new technology is assumed to be the reason why: Not long after this, several characters come up with a plan for how to disable this tech. As part of their discussion ...
32
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4answers
7k views

How does the magic in “Liar Liar” work?

In Liar Liar, Jim Carrey gains the superpower of not being able to lie for 24 hours. Wikipedia defines lying as ... a statement used intentionally for the purpose of deception. The practice of ...
11
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4answers
959 views

Why did Poe leave his jacket?

After they crash on Jakku, somehow Poe and Finn get separated while both surviving and then the TIE Fighter gets swallowed by the Sinking Sands and explodes. (Related) There's a lot that lacks ...
5
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2answers
310 views

What prevents the tardigrade from escaping?

In Season 1, Episode 5, "Choose your pain" we see the tardigrade enter survival mode by expelling almost all the water from its body. Later, we see the it ejected from the USS Discovery into space, ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Is that actually the White Witch in the Ritual Scene?

Spoilers if you haven't seen or read 'Prince Caspian'. So in Prince Caspian some evil guys: In the movie, I'm aware this doesn't exactly happen in the books. But my question is, is this actually ...
5
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3answers
151 views

Why do wizards like Martin keep transporting back to the exact moment in the future from whence they came in Off to be the Wizard?

In Off to be the Wizard the characters like Martin keep returning to the same point in time from where they traveled back to Medieval England when they need something from the future. In Martin's ...
5
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2answers
578 views

How did The Founders make Odo sick?

In Deep Space Nine episode S04E26 "Broken Link", Odo found himself suddenly afflicted with an illness that caused his shape-shifting abilities to destablize. He eventually went to the Founders for ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is she looking at her hands in the end in movie Morgan?

In the last scene of Morgan we see Lee looking at her hands. During her evaluation, Morgan also looked at her hands (palms up, palms down) in same way. Is there connection between Lee and Morgan? Why ...
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0answers
75 views

Why does Alys' death make Taverner exist again?

In Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick, the protagonist (a celebrity named Jason Taverner) spends the majority of the novel in a society where there is no record of his having ever ...
4
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1answer
253 views

In The Andromeda Strain what was the thing in white that approached the satellite retreival team?

At the beginning of The Andromeda Strain a few military guys were sent to retrieve a downed satellite before it was apparent that there was an airborne virus killing everyone. They were just in a Jeep ...
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0answers
276 views

Why did the 'Reality Dysfunction' book series end with a Deus ex Machina?

Why did the 'Reality Dysfunction' book series end with a Deus ex Machina? I mean he runs across a sentient super computer black hole with limitless power acting as a wish granting genie? I ...
8
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3answers
4k views

Why did Imhotep think Evie was Anck-Su-Namun reincarnated?

As we see in The Mummy Returns (2001), Evelyn Carnahan is the reincarnation of Princess Nefertiri, who is Seti I's daughter and the rival of Anck-Su-Namun. However, in the first film The Mummy (1999), ...
24
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1answer
4k views

How did Data not know what Aldebaran Whiskey was?

In the TNG episode "Relics" where Scotty returns, Data serves Scotty a glass of a green liquid which he cannot identify. The drink is later identified by Picard as Aldebaran Whiskey, which seems to be ...
4
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0answers
47 views

Effect of alien shrine on Armando

In the short story "The Familiar" by author David Farland (released as part of the short story collection "Alien Artifacts"), protagonist Armando encounters an alien artifact on the surface of Europa. ...
3
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0answers
286 views

Who actually nuked the Karakum?

Warning: Contains spoilers to "The Expanse" Season 2. In "The Expanse" Season 2, the Martian Ship "Karakum" apparently carries out some black ops mission on Ganymede. It gets destroyed while at or ...
7
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3answers
4k views

Why didn't Newt Scamander just release the Thunderbird the moment he arrived in New York City?

We only learn of Newt Scamander's purpose in going to New York City when he and Jacob enter the suitcase. His entire purpose is to bring a Thunderbird named Frank to Arizona. Newt says in a bit of ...
6
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2answers
9k views

Did the Obliviate-in-the-rain spell with the Thunderbird at the end of Fantastic Beasts affect those who were indoors?

Did the Thunderbird and rain and Obliviate spell at the end of Fantastic Beasts affect everyone in New York City? Or just those who were standing in the rain? This video seems to imply anybody who ...
8
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3answers
315 views

In Kin-Dza-Dza! why are matches so precious?

Matches, aka Ketse, is the most valuable currency in the Kin-Dza-Dza universe, and even half a match is enough to buy a transportation device. The setting is dystopian/resource depleted ("we used our ...
4
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2answers
105 views

What are Climbing Crescents as used in The Broken Eye

I am currently reading The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks. In one of the chapters the character Teia has to steal something from a tower. She uses something called climbing crescents to help her achieve ...
1
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1answer
123 views

In Greg Bear's “Slant,” what was the conspiracy trying to accomplish?

In Greg Bear's novel Slant, what was the villains' conspiracy trying to accomplish? What was their goal? There are several plot threads. One is about a young prostitute who visits a client, who winds ...
7
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1answer
3k views

When was the Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator first depicted?

The Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator was an explosive device meant to destroy the Earth, which was blocking Marvin the Martian's view of Venus. It may have also been mentioned with a different but ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Does Rogue One create a plot hole in Return of the Jedi re Hyperspace Radio?

In the Star Wars movie Rogue One, we see the Rebels communicating over the radio whilst at Light-speed. I don't recall seeing this in other Star Wars movies. (They pop out of Hyperdrive - and the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

How many people knew the Chamber of Secrets existed?

And of course I am asking about the time before the events of Book 2. Although we don't see Hermione quoting anything directly about the chamber from "Hogwarts: A History", from Prof. Binn's class we ...
2
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0answers
132 views

How much did Lucius Malfoy know about the workings of the diary? [duplicate]

From CoS (or was it from HBP?) we get a very vague hint at how much Lucius knew about the diary; Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort probably told Lucius that the diary would help open the Chamber ...
6
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1answer
982 views

How did the telephone work and what was its role in Einstein's God Model?

In the movie Einstein's God Model sometimes a rotary telephone was used to receive messages from the dead or to exit the Matrix. Other times it seems that the telephone was not involved, such as when ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Why is Ocarina of Time the splitting off point for the Zelda timeline?

I have read the other questions and answers related to the Zelda timeline on here. But my question wasn't answered there. A few years ago Nintendo finally released the History of Hyrule book. It, ...
3
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0answers
2k views

Can someone explain the Bleach ending to me? [spoilers] [closed]

I just read the last issue of Kubo's Bleach - and I must admit I don't get it. Maybe I've missed many subtle hints, maybe I'm just dense, but - it seems like no major question was answered by the ...
4
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1answer
703 views

Why did Cersei ask for Ser Balman's help?

In A Feast For Crows Chapter 24, We see Cersei having a dinner with Ser Balman Byrch and Falyse Stokeworth. Following conversation takes place: “As I feared. Bronn is gathering swords for the dwarf....