All Questions

443
votes
16answers
66k views

Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron?

The temptation of the One Ring, we quickly learn, is always tied up with power: each character's fantasies of possessing it seem to be about what they would do with great power. Even Sam, as I recall, ...
401
votes
5answers
30k views

Could I fake death to stop being Force-choked?

I work for a large government organization. My boss is a total jerk who abuses those working under him. I've tried contacting HR before but they won't do anything about him. Anyways, I screwed up ...
379
votes
17answers
69k views

Who or what was Tom Bombadil?

The most iconic of Middle-earth questions: Who or what was Tom Bombadil? Was he an elf? Was he akin to Gandalf, and one of the wizardly stock? Was he something… else?
349
votes
31answers
118k views

Why don't Muggle-born wizards use Muggle technology to fight Death Eaters?

We know that wizards in the Harry Potter universe are subject to regular physical harm (e.g. witness injuries from being hit by Bludgers or just colliding with things when playing Quidditch). ...
307
votes
23answers
112k views

Why didn't Gandalf or Frodo Fly to Mount Doom?

Why didn't Gandalf use his eagles to fly over Mount Doom and drop the ring? I know he feared what he would do if the ring overpowered him, so why not just give Frodo an eagle? And, if there would be ...
297
votes
1answer
16k views

Story where the number 3 is the monster?

I remember as a child (in the nineties) reading a story where the narrator was a little boy and how he was scared only twice a day – when the clock read 3:33. The 3's would be powerful enough (there ...
296
votes
4answers
47k views

How long was Bill Murray's character (Phil Connors) supposed to be in a time loop in the film “Groundhog Day”?

I've often wondered how long Bill Murray's character (Phil Connors) was supposed to be in his time loop before he got out of it. You could count the number of days depicted in the movie, but there are ...
284
votes
19answers
1.4m views

In what order should the Star Wars movies be watched?

Please don't lynch me, but I've never sat through an entire Star Wars film. I'm aware that the 3 (new) films are technically prequels, but I feel strange watching 3 new films then 3 old films? Do I ...
240
votes
11answers
42k views

Why does everyone think that the Millennium Falcon is a piece of junk?

It’s a running joke in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), and carried over into Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), that the Millennium Falcon looks like a piece of junk: Luke, “What a piece of junk!” ...
224
votes
12answers
24k views

Are all stormtroopers as poor soldiers as the ones in the movies?

In the Star Wars films we consistently witness just how poor soldiers stormtroopers are. They show very sub-par marksmanship, crappy house searching tactics, and are easily fooled and defeated by ...
223
votes
4answers
24k views

Which 2015 technologies were correctly predicted by Back to the Future II?

This year is not only the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future  franchise as a whole, but is also the year in which Back to the Future II  is set. Which technologies that exist in ...
199
votes
6answers
31k views

Why did C.S. Lewis use Turkish Delight as temptation for Edmund?

As today's xkcd so neatly puts it, The Chronicles of Narnia gives a really unrealistic impression of how good Turkish Delight tastes: Have some Turkish delight. If you betray you family, ...
199
votes
2answers
26k views

Whose underwear is this?

Okay, this is a bit different.... My son recently got underwear for his birthday. The underwear came in a set of 5, packaged as Justice League underwear. On the packaging, you can see The Flash, ...
196
votes
3answers
62k views

Are E.T. and Star Wars in the same universe?

An answer about the Star Wars timeline, uses the appearance of E.T.-like creatures in the Star Wars universe as a frame of reference for dating the sagas relative to our present day. I remember ...
193
votes
15answers
30k views

How did Dumbledore, or anyone, know Lily had sacrificed herself for Harry?

There were no witnesses, except for Harry, who was still a baby and didn't relive / remember the experience until much later. James and Lily were both dead, Voldemort was not quite dead but not much ...
189
votes
7answers
33k views

Why does the Death Star have a trash compactor?

During one of the most iconic scenes of A New Hope, the protagonists end up in a trash compactor. Why does the Death Star have one? Why not just blow uncompacted trash into space? And why a ...
189
votes
9answers
46k views

Was Yoda fully sane on Dagobah?

Our (and Luke's) original impression of Yoda is by no means flattering. He looks like a crazy hungry green thing that unfortunately has the ability to speak. Yoda digs through Luke's stuff, eats Luke'...
180
votes
11answers
39k views

Hogwarts: So why aren't the kids “doing it”?

So you've got Hogwarts, with several hundred adolescents obviously suffering from raging hormones, living in sexually integrated housing, and the incidence of hanky-panky beyond snogging is apparently ...
178
votes
3answers
202k views

Did Tolkien really explicitly consider Sam the true hero of The Lord of the Rings?

Quoting from Crouching Moron Hidden Badass: Literature on TVTropes (TVTropes link alert!!! Don't tell me I didn't warn you!): Perhaps even more aptly: Samwise Gamgee. His name roughly translates to ...
175
votes
2answers
37k views

Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer?

Star Trek often refers to 47 and Star Trek made a sport out of finding real or imagined references to 47. Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer in the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?
175
votes
8answers
31k views

Was the Millennium Falcon too slow?

I've always been puzzled by the speeds of space craft in Star Wars. The Millennium Falcon was said to travel at "point 5 beyond the speed of light" - which I guess is 1.5c: HAN: She'll make point ...
174
votes
23answers
55k views

Is the basic premise of humans as a power source in The Matrix reasonable? [closed]

In The Matrix the machines "grow" humans to provide a source of power. Is this really feasible from the perspective of power generation (never mind all the business of growing/feeding people)? Wouldn'...
168
votes
3answers
31k views

Does Batman use Linux?

While reading about a Windows 8.1 tips & tricks blog, I came across this conversation in the comment section where they were joking about the possibility of Linux being Batcomputer's choice of OS. ...
164
votes
6answers
41k views

If Luke Skywalker didn’t want to be found, why did he leave a map?

We know that Luke Skywalker vanished after But, for some reason, there’s a map to his location. That seems odd for someone who doesn’t want to be found, at least not by the wrong people.
161
votes
2answers
76k views

What is the origin of the “Riker Chair Maneuver”?

A video compilation of Commander William Riker sitting down has recently been going around the Internet. It demonstrates something that I had never noticed before: Riker has a rather... unusual ...
160
votes
2answers
27k views

How can Scrooge McDuck dive into money without hurting himself?

In the Ducktales series, Uncle Scrooge is famous for highdiving into his money bin. I've always wondered how he does it without hurting himself. Wouldn't he bang his head and knock himself out? Is ...
158
votes
3answers
18k views

Which 'finger' was BB-8 sticking up?

At one point in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Finn and BB-8 are talking. Finn gives BB-8 a thumbs-up. In return, BB-8 extends a little lit welding torch. I've heard two different understandings of BB-...
157
votes
8answers
30k views

Why are ships in Star Wars so ridiculously easy to steal?

Throughout both continuities, we see many times that stealing ships is exceptionally easy, as they appear to only rarely be locked, and to not require keys, passcodes, etc. to fly them. A few ...
157
votes
18answers
419k views

What order should Asimov's Foundation series be read in?

I believe that Asimov himself recommended reading them in chronological order, however I read them in the order that they were published and think that this is the best way to do it. What is the ...
156
votes
7answers
19k views

In-universe, is Aslan actually Jesus?

In the Narnia series, the character of Aslan bears many similarities to Jesus Christ: worshipped as a god but only the son of a much greater god (the Emperor-over-the-Sea) sacrificed for the sake of ...
155
votes
15answers
31k views

Why did the Matrix simulate 1999 instead of a pre-computer year?

In The Matrix, the people within the Matrix live in a simulated version of the year 1999. It's already been asked why the machines bothered with the Matrix at all, but let's assume that they had a ...
154
votes
13answers
80k views

Why didn't Sauron become invisible while wearing the One Ring?

I'm curious as to why Sauron is the only being/person shown wearing the One Ring who does not become invisible? Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise all become invisible while wearing the One ...
152
votes
7answers
21k views

Was Aragorn's claim to the throne legitimate?

In a recent post to The Toast, Austin Gilkeson argues that Aragorn, son of Arathorn's claim to Gondor's throne is invalid. The author goes into various details, but the core argument is: Gondor’s ...
152
votes
4answers
25k views

Which ship can go faster, the Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise?

As far as I can tell, both universes have equally objective ideas of speed. Do we know how fast the two ships can go? Which is faster?
152
votes
14answers
69k views

Why didn't the basilisk bite in Chamber of Secrets destroy the Horcrux?

As the title asks, why didn't the basilisk bite received in the Chamber of Secrets destroy the Horcrux inside the bitten person? Yes, I know Fawkes quite quickly healed the bite wound with his ...
152
votes
5answers
17k views

Does Hobbes ever do anything that Calvin himself could not do?

So this question got me thinking that, except for pure Calvin fantasy (i.e. Spaceman Spiff, where nothing is real), is there ever a comic where Calvin claims Hobbes did something and Calvin could not ...
148
votes
12answers
86k views

Where did Harry's parents get all of their money from?

So, at the beginning of Harry Potter, Harry is found to have a large vault of gold at Gringotts. Where did all of that money come from? What did James (I assume it came from him, as Lily was muggle-...
148
votes
1answer
18k views

Why are there so many 47s?

I have rewatched a number of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes in quick succession over the past week. One thing I observed that I hadn't before is that the number 47 seems to come up ...
147
votes
14answers
28k views

Was Darth Vader REALLY a Sith?

Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it. ― Darth Bane Did Darth Vader REALLY crave power? After thinking about the films a bit I realized that Darth Vader ...
146
votes
20answers
312k views

Why did Darth Vader die in Return of the Jedi?

At the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Luke had beaten Darth Vader in a duel, but didn't seem to injure the latter critically — all Luke did was sever Vader's right hand, which was a prosthetic ...
146
votes
11answers
110k views

What does Gandalf mean by “Secret Fire”, “Flame of Anor” and “Flame of Udûn”?

In Moria, when Gandalf confronts the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dûm, Gandalf says the following: I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass! The dark fire ...
146
votes
2answers
11k views

On Dagobah, do what, did Yoda?

Leader of the Jedi Council, Yoda was. For centuries, a Jedi. To Dagobah he went. For twenty years, lived there did he. Bored, he might be. Do what, did he?
144
votes
3answers
23k views

How does Picard choose a warp speed?

How does Picard, or anyone for that matter, decide at what warp speed to travel? Obviously there are times when they need to get somewhere in a hurry and he says, warp 9 or maximum warp, but the rest ...
142
votes
8answers
17k views

Given a magical world, why is the Quibbler ridiculous?

Harry Potter is a high-magic setting and magic is everywhere. There are very few limits on what spellcasting can accomplish, given you know the right spell. (Some of those limits are Gamp's Elemental ...
139
votes
8answers
29k views

In “Civil War”, why did Tony Stark and Steve Rogers choose sides that didn't reflect their attitudes?

Prior to Civil War, Steve Rogers has cooperated better with the system, while Tony Stark was more independent and even subversive. Examples: Rogers served in the army. Initially, Rogers was selected ...
138
votes
8answers
166k views

If only the Sith deal in absolutes, why does Obi-Wan say it that way?

Obi-Wan tells Anakin that "Only the Sith deal in absolutes", and uses that as his identification that Anakin had actually turned to the Dark Side. But it would seem the statement itself "Only the ...
138
votes
3answers
15k views

When and why did the Enterprise get balls?

When the USS Enterprise first appeared, its warp nacelles looked like this from the rear: At some point in The Original Series, the ship seems to have enjoyed a mild refit, resulting in ball-like ...
134
votes
10answers
91k views

What did Padmé die of?

According to Star Wars: Episode III MEDICAL DROID: Medically, she is completely healthy. For reasons we can't explain, we are losing her. OBI-WAN: She's dying? MEDICAL DROID: We don't ...
133
votes
12answers
448k views

Is there an official Marvel Cinematic Universe viewing order?

I'm planning on rewatching the currently-released 5 Marvel films prior to seeing The Avengers. Has Marvel released any sort of official viewing order? Captain America seems like the hardest one for ...
133
votes
12answers
21k views

What is the significance of Saruman's Ring?

At the council of Elrond, Gandalf tells of his encounter with Saruman. But I rode to the foot of Orthanc, and came to the stair of Saruman; and there he met me and led me up to his high chamber. ...

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