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  • Various explanations for the inconsistencies of how time travel works between the three Terminator movies are fanon. The Terminator movies (and the TV show, for example) never state how it works, just that it does.
  • Given that George Lucas himself has said that the only things he considers "official" Star Wars are the films and the Clone Wars cartoons, it could be argued that the entirety of the Star Wars Expanded Universe is nothing but Fanon. Some fans would argue with this point of view.
    • Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki, has a fairly complete list of fanon elements that have found their way into the official continuity, either as an intentional homage or due to the authors mistaking them for canon.
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    • SuperShadow is a website dealing almost exclusively in bizarre fanon notions; its webmaster alleges that he is a close personal friend of George Lucas. Most Star Wars fans avoid the site, and discussing it in a serious forum is a good way to rankle a lot of people. Poe's Law is in full effect here; fans can't tell if the guy is serious or just making fun of other fans' bizarre fanon ideas.
    • Anakin was prophesied to bring "balance to the Force", but no one is sure what that "balance" is supposed to be. Word of God says that he was destined to destroy the Sith (which he does, by killing the Emperor and dying himself in Return of the Jedi). But many fans believe this prophesy refers to the Balance Between Good and Evil — and in the prequels, Anakin does kill all the Jedi other than Obi-Wan and Yoda, leaving two Jedi and two Sith. Other fans claim that the very existence of the Sith implies imbalance. This has caused endless arguments, with each theory plausible but rendering various parts of the saga an Idiot Plot. Darths & Droids describes the debate in the blurb of this strip.
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    • The Phantom Menace introduced the concept of "midichlorians". Are they just an indicator of Force sensitivity, or do they actually create the Force itself? Canon gives no information either way. Wookieepedia says they're just sensitivity indicators, and one theory suggests that the Force creates midichlorians (and not the other way around), but it's another source of intense debate.
    • Many fans believe that Anakin didn't believe Palpatine's conspiracy theory that the Jedi were trying to take over the Republic, but he went along with it anyway because Palpatine had something he needed. The films are ambiguous on this; James Luceno made that canon in the Expanded Universe.
    • Shmi Skywalker apparently became pregnant with Anakin despite being a virgin. The movies never explain how this happened outright, other than a vague line about him possibly being "conceived by the Living Force". Many fans latch on to Palpatine's story of Darth Plagueis, a Sith lord who could "create life"; they thus believe that Plagueis' experiments with midichlorians resulted in Anakin's conception.
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    • The vast Expanded Universe can sometimes be contradictory, not just with the films, but also with each other. Fanon tries to keep everything straight, but it's not that successful with that. Its canonicity was never very strong, but The Force Awakens and its sequels have been largely confirmed to override it anyway, making everything here even more dubious.
    • Another theory is that Darth Vader avoids setting foot on Tatooine because he's afraid to face anything that reminds him of his past life as Anakin Skywalker. It's never addressed in the films, but it does explain why Obi-Wan sees no problem with hiding Luke there, and why Luke never bothers to change his surname; Darth Vader would never come to get Luke himself even if he knew he was there.
      • Or, of course, it could be because he doesn't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
      • Anakin in the Expanded Universe frequently calls Padme "Angel" as a term of endearment, even though he only ever called her an angel once in the films.
      • There are all sorts of strange theories regarding family relationships, including that Anakin is really Ben's father, Palpatine has some relationship with Mara, and Luke lost his virginity to Leia right after the Battle of Yavin (so before they knew they were brother and sister).
      • Fans have created all sorts of inconsistency in interpreting sexuality in this universe. The Jedi are often shown as being completely celibate (George Lucas has claimed otherwise, but also said Jedi can't "form attachments", which implies something most fans don't want to deal with). Slash fans have gone all over the place on the universe's stance on homosexuality, ranging from Everyone Is Bi to practically puritanical attitudes. Bioware caught flack for Juhani, as although she was written as a lesbian, it's not so clear in the game itself because the writers had to rely on subtext to sneak it past the censors. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, same-sex options were not available in the vanilla game, but were added in the expansions. Karen Traviss settled this with Mandalorians, at least, writing them as simply not giving a shit.
      • Most fans believe that Luke was under the influence of the Dark Side during the Dark Nest trilogy.
      • Fans have assumed that the word kriff — largely undefined in the EU — has something to do with sexual intercourse. Probably because it's usually used as a stand-in for "fuck".
      • Several fans assume that Jaina Solo takes the title "Galactic Empress" after her husband Jagged Fel becomes the Emperor of the new Galactic Empire. We haven't seen much of Jaina and Jag's life beyond their marriage, and details about Jag's reign as Emperor are rather scarce. Most fans agree that Jaina and Jag are likely to be Royals Who Actually Do Something, since both are decorated fighter pilots, Jaina is a legendary Jedi, and she learned a lot from her mother Leia's example, and she's not likely to sit on the sidelines while her husband runs the Empire.
    • It's often assumed by Jedi haters that the Jedi philosophy is about rejecting all emotions when it's actually about controlling one's emotions. The films imply, and the EU makes it clear, that Jedi are not intended to be emotionless robots-they just focus on restraining themselves so that they can act without the passions and attachments that characterize the Sith.
      • Additionally, fans love to assume that Jedi have absolutely no emotional connections other than Master and Padawan, when countless EU works show friendships between age-mates, informal Master-Padawan relationships, the occasional adolescent crush, and plenty of Jedi/non-Jedi professional relationships and friendships. In fact, it's almost impossible to find a story with Old Republic Jedi that doesn't show relationships beyond just Master-Padawan.
  • The Big Lebowski: A popular theory among fans is that Donnie is Walter's imaginary friend. This doesn't make much sense, as the Dude also acknowledges him a few times during the movie, both characters go to a funeral home after he dies, and other characters (including the Stranger, the Jesus, and Gary the bowling alley bartender) acknowledge him as well.
  • The Usual Suspects: There are a number of fan theories that identify Keyser Soze as any member of the cast you care to name. In the director's commentary, the filmmakers express puzzlement over this phenomenon, saying they felt the end is pretty clear.
  • In The Film of the Book of Prince Caspian, a geeky boy attempts to flirt with Susan at the train station in the first few minutes of the film. A small group of fans have grown attached to him, calling him Warren.
  • The Lord of the Rings films gave us Figwit, the sexy elf from The Fellowship of the Ring. He was noticed by fangirls and anyone else who got bored during the Council of Elrond scene; they adopted him and called him "Figwit" as an acronym for "Frodo is great — who is that?" He's also played by Bret McKenzie, whom viewers may have recognized from Flight of the Conchords. As a nod to the fans, he reappered in The Return of the King (to much squeeing), and McKenzie was given another role in The Hobbit trilogy, as Elrond's personal herald "Lindir" (meaning "singer" and a minor canon character).
  • Some fans like to put both Event Horizon and The Chronicles of Riddick in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. In Event Horizon's case, it's quite plausible to put the film sometime in the Dark Age of Technology, and the events line up well with everything we know about the Warp.
  • Fight Club
    • A surprisingly large number of people sincerely believe that the name of Edward Norton's character is Jack. In fact — and this is lampshaded in the film — his true name is never revealed, although an argument can be made that it is, in fact, Tyler Durden. Notably, the novel is a bit more unambiguous about the last point, as it includes a brief scene after The Reveal where the Narrator shows his driver's license to Marla to prove that "Tyler Durden" isn't his real name. The film called him Jack in the script and behind the scenes, but only as a nod to the Reader's Digest articles written by an organ in first person discussed in the film.
    • Another popular theory is that Calvin and Hobbes is the prequel to Fight Club, with the Narrator being an older Calvin, Marla as Susie, Bob being an older Moe trying to be The Atoner, and Tyler as a vengeful reincarnation of Hobbes.
  • The fandom for Inception has unanimously decided that Eames' totem is a poker chip. This is fleetingly implied in the film but never explicitly stated.
  • Michael Myers, the antagonist of Halloween, is believed to have never dies in either of the two original timelines. This means that presumably, he has survived the end of both Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween: Resurrection, the last in each respective timeline. The remake further suggests that the filmmakers aren't planning to end either timeline. Chris R. Notarile made a fan film based on this theory (which included professional voice actor Tom Kane), depicting Michael Myers' death at age 60, from the rage inside him, as Dr. Loomis predicted in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. It could fit into either timeline.
    • Notarile made another fan film, which depicts Freddy Krueger captured by Pinhead sometime after his death in Freddy vs. Jason. He is then tortured by Jason Voorhees, the mind of Michael Myers, and the presumably deceased soul of Leatherface, with Pinhead telling him "Your reign of evil is now over." This contradicts Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash and its sequel, but these are an alternate sequel to Freddy vs. Jason itself; the "main" sequel, Jason X, can't take place after Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash 2: Nightmare Warriors because history is altered to prevent Freddy's transformation into a dream demon, thereby preventing him from resurrecting Jason at the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
  • In The Boondock Saints fanon, it's generally agreed that Connor is the older twin.
  • High School Musical fanon:
    • If Chad is not dating Taylor, he's dating Ryan 99% of the time. Probably has something to do with the sexy baseball scene in the second movie. Even fans who don't ship Ryan/Chad assume something went down in the locker room after that baseball game, not helped by the fact that they're wearing each other's clothes in the next scene.
    • Sharpay often has a cutesy nickname that her mother calls her by, to go with Ryan's "Ducky".
  • Many Quentin Tarantino fans theorize that the events of his several films are linked together in some way.
    • One popular theory is that at least some of the events of Pulp Fiction occur on the same day as the bank heist in Reservoir Dogs. In particular, the reason why there are no cops around to stop Jules and Vincent while they're driving around covered in blood is that they're too preoccupied with the heist and its disastrous aftermath.
    • Another theory is that Pulp Fiction is a direct sequel to Reservoir Dogs. This theory suggests that the the mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction contains the diamonds from the heist in Reservoir Dogs. This has some basis in fact, as Word of God has confirmed that the briefcase was supposed to contain diamonds in the original draft of the script.
    • The theory that Kill Bill is an action movie that Mia Wallace starred in during her time as an actress — possibly even a reworked version of her failed Fox Force Five TV pilot — has recently caught on with Tarantino fans.
  • Many viewers of Avatar believe Eywa is manipulating both sides of the conflict to achieve her ends of getting rid of the RDA. This is based on absolutely no canonical evidence whatsoever. She doesn't even visibly interfere until Jake takes some time to explain the situation to her, and the Na'vi are about to lose their decisive battle, when she could've just Zerg Rush'd the RDA at about any time.
  • Star Trek (2009) caused some issues in that timeline, as Word of God was explicit that it was an alternate timeline. Fans have their own ideas as to how those timelines differ.
    • One theory is that Kirk was sent to Tarsus IV after the "car incident" and thus was present for the massacre on the colony, just as the Kirk of the "main" Star Trek timeline was. It's not unusual for this to be a profound influence on his character in fic. The notion has also crept in that nu!Kirk studied under Hoshi Sato, who was said to be on Tarsus IV at the time of the massacre.
    • The vast majority of reboot fanfic writers depict Kirk's stepfather as an alcoholic, ultra-abusive, and even a child molester. His mother is also often written as depressed and emotionally distant.
    • Fanon also suggests that Kirk is allergic to a large percentage of medications, basing it on both timelines; we see his allergy to eye medication in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and we also see his strange reactions to everything Bones gave him in the 2009 film.
    • Overlapping slightly with Writer-Induced Fanon and The Ship's Motor, it appears that a great many K/S shippers have adopted the pendant that Spock Prime would have shown his counterpart in the unfilmed ending scene into their own headcanons - whilst it has never been referenced in canon, we don't know for sure that it doesn't exist at all.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe has so much "headcanon" that there's Avengers a whole site dedicated to this trope.
    • The character Hawkeye, though, attracts the most theories, many still inspired by the mainstream comics. They include that Clint was a Circus Brat with a criminal record (like in his comic backstory), served in the U.S. Army or else some kind of law enforcement division, is a single father with a young child (which was shot down somewhat following Avengers: Age of Ultron, is or once was dating (or even married to) Bobbi Morse, that Bobbi Morse is the mother of the aforementioned child, and many more. Some fans of The Bourne Legacy even invoke the Actor Allusion to suggest that this film is Hawkeye's origin story; both characters are played by Jeremy Renner.
    • Additionally, the vast majority of fics featuring Black Widow as a major character give her the same backstory as her comics character; agelessness and all, making her a product of the Red Room, a rough contemporary of Steve, and having a past relationship with the Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, despite their very limited on-screen interactions (though her "Don't you recognise me?" line in Captain America: Civil War was pounced on by fans). The latter ship, variously known as Buckytasha and Winter Widow, is tagged on over 4000 fics on Archive of Our Own. The canonical Brutasha (Bruce Banner/Natasha Romanov), by contrast, has less than half that number.
  • Planet of the Apes: It's widely accepted that Zira and Cornelius coming to the past and Caesar's birth there altered the 'verse's history, greatly speeding up the ape revolution and making it happen much earlier than the one that led to the events of the first film. This may also mean that the aftermath of Battle is different from the one in the original timeline, and that the world might not have been destroyed as it was in Beneath. A "closed loop" theory also suggests that anger at Caesar led to him being erased from ape history later on, leading to the scrolls Zira and Cornelius read having Aldo as the first to say "no".
    • In the same way, followers of the first theory believe that the new timeline changed The Lawgiver from vengeful and hateful to humans, to tolerant and a promoter of friendship between the two races. Followers of the "closed loop" theory, on the other hand, believe that The Lawgiver's teachings were originally like this, but that they were misinterpreted or altered by the Orangutans later on. The fourth film (where The Lawgiver appears) is intentionally ambiguous, and ends with a shot of a Caesar statue crying a tear. Naturally, the former interpret this as Caesar crying out of joy for succeeding in securing peace, while the latter believe that he cries out of sadness because he knows his efforts will fail.
  • A common theory regarding the Continuity Snarl between X-Men: First Class and X-Men: The Last Stand is that the Xavier who visited Jean Grey was, in fact, a psychic projection.
  • In Bill & Ted fanfics, if either of boys' biological mothers' whereabouts are mentioned, typically Bill's left him and his father, and Ted's mom is dead, going along with the fanfic trend of making him a Woobie.
  • Godzilla
    • In fan works and non-canon Expanded Universe stories, it's fairly common to portray Biollante as an example of Gaia's Vengeance with an empathic connection to the Hive Mind of the Earth itself. In the actual films, this was never the case; Biollante was just a single mutated plant with individual sentience, thanks to being cross-bred with the DNA of a human girl.
    • Fan works tend to portray Anguirus as the oldest Kaiju in the Godzilla universe, and it's not uncommon to portray him and Godzilla as being Vitriolic Best Buds with a grudging respect for each other, reflecting their long history together. This has some loose basis in canon: Anguirus was the first Kaiju that Godzilla ever faced (back in Godzilla Raids Again, the second movie in the series), he was said to be a mutated dinosaur from an extinct species, and he and Godzilla did team up on a few occasions in the Shōwa series. Still, nothing in the series ever indicated that he was actually physically older than any of the other monsters, and his relationship with Godzilla never seemed to be especially close.
  • Several Indiana Jones fans seem to consider it canon that Indy becomes immortal following the events of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade after drinking from the Holy Grail. Among other things, this provides a handy explanation for how he survives the infamous fridge-nuking in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and how he manages to survive into the present day as seen in the framing sequences in Young Indiana Jones.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The franchise’s growing paleontological inaccuracies are commonly explained as being the results of InGen using modern animal DNA to complete the dinosaurs’ genetic sequences. This idea has been acknowledged in Jurassic World, and more extensively in the tie-in website, but has never actually been confirmed.
    • It’s commonly accepted that the raptor threatening Grant and company for most of the climax of Jurassic Park—the one from the kitchen that didn’t get locked in the freezer—is the Big One, the lead raptor that killed all but two of the others as stated by Muldoon earlier in the film. It’s also held that the Big One was the raptor from the opening scene that killed Jophrey the gate-keeper, and that it’s the one that killed Muldoon in part because of repeated moments where it seems to just wait to see the fear in people’s eyes before it attacks, (repeated in the control room scene where it looks into Grant’s eyes before trying to open the door) which also means that it’s the last raptor to die in the film. (The second raptor from the climax, which entered the Visitor’s Center from under the tarp after the skeleton display fell, is the one that was in the shed, and is the first one killed by Rexy.) With all that said, there’s no hard evidence for any of this.
    • A common fan-theory for The Lost World: Jurassic Park is that the man who approaches Malcolm on the train while he’s going to meet Hammond is supposed to be Richard Levine, a character from The Lost World novel that the film was adapted from, and a persistent Jurassic Park 4 fan-script from before Jurassic World came out ran with this idea. The man is officially unnamed and there’s nothing to really suggest that he’s Levine.
    • At one point, it was a popular idea that the brown raptors in the first film were all female—which is canon—and the tiger-striped raptors in the second film were all male, which is not.
      • Besides changing their coat patterns again, Jurassic Park III introduced blue, striped, narrow-nosed, feathered male raptors and brown, spotted, broad-nosed, featherless female raptors that were more similar to previous iterations, seemingly establishing that all raptors previously seen in the franchise were female regardless of coloration. However, it’s still a common fan assumption that these new features appeared in the raptors as a result of losing some of the non-dinosaur DNA with each new natural generation and, as a result, previous generations had included male raptors that resembled females. Others think that the Jurassic Park III raptors are actually a different genus such as Deinonychus or a new version created off-screen by InGen. (Or Masrani, in light of Jurassic World.)
      • Another theory, with more acceptance among the fandom, is that the raptors are all part of the same genus but the ones from Jurassic Park III are a different subspecies, while those from the first two films are another species. These species are classified by fans as Velociraptor antirrhopus sornaensis and V. a. nublarensis, respectively, but the exact reasoning for why there are two species is debatable, one possible reason being that the sornaensis were an earlier iteration which was abandoned because they were too intelligent and so the nublarensis was created, but were unintentionally made more aggressive, but it could just as easily be that their unhampered aggression is because they were abused in captivity in the first film and just outright feral in the second rather than being violent by nature. (This is at least partially supported by the Raptor Squad in Jurassic World, who are much better-behaved than previous incarnations of the raptors due to being more properly socialized from birth.) Some reports seem to indicate that Universal likes this theory, and is at least vaguely supported by the confirmation in viral marketing that each of the raptor squad was engineered slightly differently with genetic stock from different modern animals instead of just being copies of each other, but as-yet it’s still unconfirmed.
    • The decorative Spinosaurus skeleton in Jurassic World is an obvious Take That! to the previous film, but it’s never confirmed if it actually is the skeleton of that specific spinosaur as some fans believe. The revelation that a spinosaur—possibly the spinosaur—was considered to appear in Fallen Kingdom in place of the Carnotaurus hurts the theory a bit, but there’s no direct statements in either direction, which is probably for the best. note 
  • The idea that Mad Max: Fury Road is a sequel to Mad Max (with Toecutter surviving his crash and becoming Immortan Joe) and a prequel to The Road Warrior (with Rictus Erectus surviving his crash and becoming Lord Humungus). Jossed by the official comics, based on the backstory George Miller created but had no space to film.
  • The Wizard of Oz:
    • For those who think Oz was All Just a Dream, Glinda's real world counterpart is often depicted as a kind schoolteacher of Dorothy's.
    • Glinda as the true villain of the film, or at minimum not being as innocent as she seems, is a popular fan-theory. Fans find her suspicious, from her appearing right after the Wicked Witch of the South's death to her getting Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the East without telling Dorothy how the Ruby Slippers work. These issues come due to an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole resulted from Glinda adapting two separate characters, but fan consensus is that she's a morally ambiguous Witch who gets Dorothy to kill her political opponent. Her attitude and demeanor doesn't help the way she looks either.
    • Dorothy is a teenager. She has a Vague Age, being played by a teenager with her chest bound but being a little girl of 6-to-10 in the original books, but many interpret her as Judy Garland's age. This helps the Coming-of-Age Story element of the film.

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