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Headscratchers: Edward Scissorhands
  • Just why exactly did Edward wind up with scissors for hands? I understand that the inventor never got around to building Edward proper human-like hands, but why the hell would he put scissors on him in the first place? Even if Edward was supposed to be a gentle soul, building a Frankenstein-like artificial human with deadly metal blades for hands is a pretty big risk for an inventor to take—what if he ever went rogue? And if he just didn't have time to build hands, wouldn't it have made more sense to give him grasping claws that he could actually hold things with? Or better yet, he could've just not bothered with putting anything in place of hands until he was ready to give Edward the real thing. As we see in the movie, scissor-hands are very handy for cutting hair and bushes, but they're pretty much useless for anything that you would ordinarily use hands for. It seems like the scissor-hands caused much more trouble than they were worth.
    • Edward started out as a (presumably mindless) machine used to cut things up. When the inventor built that, he never intended to eventually make him into a human/android. Eventually he got the idea to do just that, but again, it's not like he started out creating a human robot and kept the scissor hands for the lulz. He did intend to give him regular hands, just died before he could do it.
    • They actually show the hands Edward would have gotten; but the scientist dies literally on Edward's hands; and Edward can't do anything to help him and may have in fact killed his own father; the hands are shown to have been damaged well beyond repair and the film is not clear on just how much time has passed between that accident and the current day; but it's safe to assume it has been years and years; we are shown at the end that Edward doesn't age and is still very functional.
      • I'm not sure where that was stated in the movie, but it would explain Edward's supernatural haircutting and hedge-sculpting skills.
      • I think the hands presented to him in the box are largely meant to be symbolic, an idea of what the inventor will be giving him. I also don't think Edward actually kills the inventor - all he does is touch his face with a blade and he doesn't react - As Edward later tells Peg, "He didn't wake up,". At some point in the film we also see some pages and overlays for Edward's design, which appear to suggest that he was basically a modified version of one of the chopping robots we see.
    • Don't forget that while he may be a kind mad scientist, the inventor is still a mad scientist.
    • Well, Edward started out as a cookie cutter. I always assumed that the inventor added to the cookie-cutting robot over time to create Edward, hence his scissor hands.

  • Was anyone else bothered by Edward killing Jim? Yeah, he was a dangerous, dangerous Jerkass, but Edward stabs him, gives him a cold stare, then throws him out of a window. Is that not a little overkill?
    • Beware the Nice Ones. It was shown earlier in the film that Edward has a darker side that comes out when he's angry. It could be argued it was a case of "him or me" since Jim seemed willing to kill him.
      • Jim was actively trying to kill him. Edward didn't seem like he was really trying to fight back until Jim hurt Kim, but I think it could easily be considered self-defense.
    • The fall would have killed him much quicker than the stab wound. Throwing him out the window was essentially a mercy kill.
    • As added to the YMMV page, the 'Burton on Burton' book of collected interviews published in the 90's suggests that, for Burton, there is a small element of revenge fantasy in that scene, perhaps making it slightly less palatable. Jim's still a sadistic creep who nearly mowed down Kim's brother, probably could have killed her, and tried to kill Edward, but even so.

  • So in all the years of the town living down below, nobody ever visited or was even curious about the highly visible creepy mansion on the top of the hill?
    • It's possible that a few people came up to the creepy mansion, but screamed and ran away at the sight of Edward.
      • But they all seemed pretty happy to meet him. And no one gave any sign of recognizing him.
    • Simple: The big creepy mansion is private property. They don't go up there because they're not invited.
    • They assumed it was deserted. You naturally would do when faced with an aging, decrepit mansion that nobody has ever claimed to have lived in. Remember it took a desperate salesman to finally go up there.
    • Just because they think it's deserted doesn't mean they wouldn't be curious about visiting it. And said salesman didn't think it was deserted if she was going up there. She was hoping to find a customer.
    • Kim's granddaughter says that she heard it was haunted. Given the exclusive nature of the neighbors toward anything diverse or outstanding, it's not hard to imagine that negative rumors like that had been around since the mansion was built. Everyone keeps away because they don't like how nonconformist it is.

  • Why did Edward never see a doctor? It was mentioned several times in the film that he should see a surgeon about getting prosthetic hands, and one time he actually said he'd like the name of one when offerred, but we never saw any follow-up on the subject.
    • One possible explanation is that there's a theme of misanthropy throughout the film. The townspeople are happy to be entertained by Edward, but they never truly try to help him, they just condescend to him, and then feel better about themselves for it like they just did him a favor by acknowledging he exists. They want to look compassionate without being compassionate. It's easy to mention you know a doctor, it's quite another to see about actually putting Edward in contact with that doctor.
      • And in all honesty, if you were Edward, would you be roaming around asking people for a surgeon? I think not.
    • It was also mentioned that he considered it, but didn't want his gift of styling and sculpting taken away. Still that makes both more and less sense since maybe he coulda made the normal and scissor hands interchangeable after the procedure was finished. Or say the least have one normal and the other scissored.

  • Here's one that's bothered me. The ice blocks Edward uses to create snow, where did they come from?
    • The neighbors loved his plant sculptures so much they all chipped in to have the ice delivered just so he could sculpt it.
    • I always assumed they came from the castle. The Inventor seemed to like making foods in bulk, so he probably had some kind of cold storage room where the ice blocks could have been kept.

  • What's the deal with Edward's hair, anyway?
    • He's not dextrous enough to cut his own hair.
    • I figured he had been cutting it, but kept botching it, along bed-headedness. Hence why he has all those scars on his face.
    • Edward cares for others much more than cares for himself. He doesn't bother with cutting his own hair because he doesn't need to. When the townsfolk showed interest in having their hair styled, he complied because he figured it would make them happy.

  • Am I the only one who found Kim's decision to never go visit Edward to be pretty selfish?
    • She didn't want people knocking at his door should they catch her sneaking off to the mansion. Aside from that, she said to her grand daughter that she wanted Edward to remember her as she was when he met her. After seeing his "father" die of old age, he probably couldn't bear seeing the same happening to Kim.

  • How did Joyce ever come to the conclusion that having sex with a scissor-handed man was a good idea?
    • I don't know, man. People are weird. Why do some women correspond and fall in love with death row inmates?
    • Did he even have a penis anyway?
    • Arguably yes. The mad scientist wished to make a replica of a man he would consider his son, so it would be odd if he left something out.
      • ...Really? I mean, why would he think to add that on? Unless he's planning for Edward to then reproduce (and given that its unlikely he'd have the means to add in robot-DNA somehow, that's unlikely to ever be possible, even in a world where its possible to make a sentient scissor-handed robot), then I'd think it'd be far more odd for him to decide to give his robot son a penis.
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