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Headscratchers: Pitch Black
  • The planet that eclipses the sun is a massive ringed planet. Even though the planet is big enough to block the sun by itself, some dim light would have been diffused by the rings and reflected to the planet. Then the fact that until later in the movie when it rains we have absolutely no reason to believe it is cloudy - the sky is clear up to the sun being eclipsed. That means stars should be out, and lots of them. Anyone who has been out away from a large city can attest to how bright a sky full of stars is. SO... plenty dark? Yes. Pitch black as they show it to be? Doubtful.
    • Maybe the system is in a nebula or otherwise has the stars obscured.
    • As someone who lives in a rural area where it gets very dark, I can attest that the stars are very bright and numerous, but that doesn't translate to a lot of light on the surface. The light from a clear sky full of stars is less than one-thousandth of what a full moon reflects, and only about double the amount of light from a cloudy night with no stars at all. The sky is amazing, but it's still pitch dark if you try to walk around.
      • The moon is a completely different story, but the planet they crashed on didn't seem to have one even in the model of the system they found at the camp. Though why there were no visible distant stars is a toss-up - perhaps the atmosphere of the planet itself prevented them from being visible?
      • This is probably a dumb concept, but could the multiple alignment of the planets have effectively created an eclipse of the entire sky rather than just of the sun? If the planets were closer together or one was larger than we're used to?
    • There's a far more mundane, far more believable explanation for it being pitch black with no visible stars: cloud cover. After all, it started raining at the end of the movie. The planet caused an eclipse, and cloud cover then formed and blanketed the area, so you wouldn't see any stars.
  • The planet that eclipses the sun pops up from under the horizon in quite a hurry, quickly blocking the sun. THEN, completely violating inertia, stops dead in front of the sun for god-knows-how-long. There would have to be massive forces at play on that planet to stop it like that - forces which would rip that planet apart.
    • The other planets in our solar system stop and reverse themselves - as seen from Earth. It's all about how the orbital timing is. Their motion is around a common center point, not around each other. Also, it's a gas giant, and obviously fairly close: Even if it keeps moving at the speed we see, it could take most or all of a day for it to move out alignment with the sun it's blocking.
    • Or one or both planets have a slightly more elliptical path. There could be a point in their revolutions that they happen to be in lockstep with each other. This would give the appearance that the eclipsing planet has stopped in front of the sun.

  • They've left a spaceship to bake on a hot, desert planet. Then they seek refuge inside of it. It should be like an oven in there, without power to operate the ventilation system.
    • It's not like they had a better option.
    • At least there's good insulation, unlike outside. Also, spaceships are designed to radiate excess heat outside.

  • When the ship crashes in the beginning, the front windshield is shattered. Debris pummels the pilot, who gets up after the crash without a scratch - even though at the speeds the debris would have been coming through the windshield a grain of sand would become an unpleasant projectile.

  • The creatures appear to have wiped out all other life on the planet except for the glowworms. How do they survive with no food sources?
    • We don't know that. The characters only explored a tiny fraction of the planet; Life on the surface is strongly implied to be destroyed, but there could still be a very complex ecosystem underground, perhaps drawing energy from volcanic activity, which happens deep in our oceans where sunlight doesn't reach.
    • Alternately, the geologists who built the outpost could've been the ones who wiped out the huge creatures whose skeletons were found, believing them dangerous because of their sheer size. In which case, the outpost's staff being devoured would rate as karma, because they took away the cave-predators' natural food source.
    • This is fairly simple. They eat each other, as Jack notes at one point. Sure, they all look pretty much alike to us, but to an alien, crocodiles and aligators, or mice and rats, or hedgehogs and porcupines, or even dogs and cats can look very alike at a glance but are completely different animals.
    • My theory is that an extinction event is just beginning. The previous "cycle" wiped out too much of the animal population on the surface, and the creatures are turning on each other because they're starving.
    • There are at least two types of creatures, assuming the tiny batlike things that strip the skeleton of one of the hapless extras weren't a young version of the full-sized monsters. If we do assume that, the bats may breed fast and in large numbers, giving the big monsters a food source other than themselves. (Similarly, the bats may prey on wounded or dead full-size monsters.)
    • Apparently one of the earlier versions of the script explains that there is in fact a whole underground ecology down there, with their taking to the surface presumably having some purpose other than feeding; perhaps just stretching their wings. That being said, their resorting to mass cannibalism seems to support the recent extinction theory.
  • Why would subterranean creatures who can only come outside once every twenty years or so evolve flight?
    • Massive underground caverns?
    • Possibly they have a 23-year breeding cycle, and either hibernate or subsist on subterranean prey between eclipses, when they emerge to gorge themselves and fatten up for reproduction.

  • Wouldn't they be able to build a solar-powered vehicle that can STORE A CHARGE in the future? What's the use of having a vehicle that can only operate when it gets hit by direct sunlight?
    • The vehicle seems to have been designed for this planet, where it usually doesn't get dark. Not having a battery onboard saves weight and expense.
    • You could potentially handwave it as a missing or damaged battery as well. If someone had pointed out "Crap, the battery doesn't work, but at least the suns are out" then it'd be justified. Maybe they just missed the part about pointing it out?

  • Other than for dramatic effect, why did they ALL go back to the crashed ship and then all return to the escape pod TOGETHER? Wouldn't it been smarter and easier to leave one group at the camp w/ the escape pod prepping it (or just waiting) and have a smaller group bring the power cells back to the camp?
    • Sure, but there was no clear leader of the group at that time telling them what it would have been smarter to do.

  • And how were these solar windmills supposed to work? Of course, there are these small versions you can buy at almost any crafts store, but even they need to be built with very very light metal parts that are carefully balanced to even maintain their own rotation when hit by sunlight. I can't imagine them being able to power any kind of machine, especially not an industrial-level generator.
    • They look like the solar windmills we can buy anywhere today - that's not necessarily what they are.
    • And they may not even power the machine at all; I took them as some kind of analogue gauge to give you an idea of how much sunlight you're getting.
      • The scene were the sun goes down heavily suggests that the windmill like devices are what capture the sunlight as Jack is shown furiously wiping dust off the glass and looking back and forth between the device and the sun, attempting to give the device as much direct sunlight as possible.

  • How does a creature that light burns evolve on a planet with continuous daytime?
    • Underground.
    • A better question might be Why does the wildlife evolve to take advantage of a brief window of night on a planet with almost continuous daylight? It seems unpleasant for the humans to walk around in daylight, but plenty of extremophiles exist on Earth in conditions far worse. However, it seems there is no life that operates on the day cycle.
      • No life any more, at least not in the area that the movie happens in. As stated above, there could be who-knows-what living in other areas of the planet. As for why they evolved to exploit a 23-year cycle? They probably *didn't*. They evolved to tolerate the near- or total-darkness of the caves. The 23-year cycle just let them get out and about once in a long while, like creatures that live in smaller ponds that periodically flood to the point of forming a larger, temporary lake.
    • Possibly they use the multi-eclipse as an opportunity to disperse, allowing populations from different cavern networks to spread to other caves, and to meet up for breeding purposes. The ones that started attacking each other in mid-air may have been fighting over mates, not turning cannibal.
    • I'd be willing to bet, based on the creatures poor adaptation to their environment and the hints that the planet had previously been populated and livable that the creatures were not actually native to that planet.
  • So in that one scene where Carolyn finds out that the aliens are below ground level and she's panicking as she tries to climb out...just what is Riddick doing? It jump cuts between her crying for help, the crew listening to hear her, and Riddick slamming his restraints inside the ship. Is he trying to make a loud enough sound that the aliens are too distracted to get her or is he trying some sort of Morse code to alert the crew members? Or is he doing something else entirely? The scene always mystified me.
    • I haven't watched it in a while, but my interpretation was always that he knew what was happening (Fry was underground, in danger) and was doing it for kicks. The Riddick of Pitch Black is much more animal-like and spooky than the one from Chronicles. It's not really out of character for him to get some sort of kick out of banging around in the ship while someone's about to get horribly killed.
    • In the commentary, they point out that Riddick seems to somehow know what is going on.
  • Why are there no plants? At all?
    • There was considerably less oxygen on M6-117, which is why they used those breathers; more likely than not, there were plants underground that simply didn't get as much oxygen to the surface - only enough to keep humans (barely) alive.
    • Except plants only make oxygen when they're photosynthesizing, which requires light. More likely there are areas of the moon that do have plants, we just didn't see any because the ship crashed in a desert.
    • This is an alien world we're talking about. It is possible that on Hades/M6-117 that animals and plants never split off during their evolutionary course; which would make sense, considering how barren and harsh that world is. For all we know, the Bioraptors may have been part plant; and it is possible that they produced oxygen. There are deep-sea plants that can grow without sunlight; and there have been many cases of plants with animal-like tendencies on Earth.
    • But wait, there's more: How did the Bioraptors, who can be killed with prolonged exposure to any light at all, even evolve on a planet where the Suns only set once every 60 years?
    • Imam states that the Star System Hades/M6-117 is in gave him the impression that Night lasts just as long as day does. There were probably Durnial (Day-light) creatures that went into hibernation or stasis for the long Night and could not survive otherwise elsewhere on Hades; while the Bioraptors were in the opposite case. Their adaptation more resembles an animal that hibernates during winter than, say, a Bat that only comes out at night.
    • Nope. Remember, the geology team was there 22 years before, and had no lights in the camp because it was always light out. The movie made it clear that it was an eclipse, not just the suns setting. So there's no way those things could evolve with one eclipse every 22 years.
    • I got the impression that the moon was hollowed out, kind of like a honeycomb. There is probably a complex ecosystem below the surface. The bio-raptors merely come to the surface during darkness, probably to breed, away from all the other badass predators, and in the frenzy they kill each other. Would also explain why those larva things were bioluminescent. If light harms the bio-rapters, then there is a disadvantage to eating those larva, which could be bio-raptor young.
    • My pet theory is that the creatures were an introduced species that completely destroyed the planetary ecosystem.

Pirates of the CaribbeanHeadscratchers/FilmPitch Perfect

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