Headscratchers: War of the Worlds

  • In the 2005 film, Ray and his kids wakes up to an entire airplane having crash-landed right by the house they were staying in. Where were all the bodies??
    • Several hours passed from the plane crashing to Ray going outside, perhaps most of the passengers survived and simply left by foot.
    • A lot of bodies are seen floating down a river in a scene soon after the plane crash, and the fact that they aren't vaporized means that they weren't (directly) killed by the tripods. perhaps those were the people from the plane crash.
  • The aliens' beam weapons had some pretty strange interactions with matter. Organic life gets reduced to dust, but the clothes on humans are left untouched, and yet the beams punch through other solid matter with tremendous effect.
    • They use two different kinds of beam.
    • That still leaves the question of: why bother? I don't see the aliens recycling people's clothes or something.
  • What exactly is the significance of the birds throughout the movie (flying towards the Tripods during the ferry scene and again towards the end, shown at one point eating the Red Weed, etc.)? Do they actually play some role in the aliens' downfall, or do they simply constitute Rule of Symbolism?
    • The birds are what carry the diseases which wipe out the aliens.
    • They also indicate that the shields are down by landing on the tripods. Further, they are carrion birds attracted by rotting flesh. The implication in the book was that the aliens caught some necrotic disease, which would produce a smell attracting carnivorous birds.
  • What purpose does the Red Weed serve? Food source, or some alien redecoration technique?
    • Xenoforming. Changing the natural environment fom suitable for humans to suitable for aliens.
    • Alternatively, and more mundanely, it may have been an invasive species, either accidentally brought over by the Martian capsules, or brought along for some unknown purpose. They seem to thrive near and collect water, which the Martians are in dire need of, so that could also be a possibility.
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