- Jake demonstrates artistic skills with drawing that border on professional. This hints at his shining level of intelligence.
- It also foreshadows his potential as an apprentice gunslinger, able to memorize by sight.
- It may also foreshadow him being a composite character of the original Jake from the novels and Patrick Danville, who also had these two skills.
- When Walter says they don't have chicken where he's from, perhaps it's not just literal. It's metaphorical that Mid-World is short on cowards.
- Or perhaps in alternate worlds nothing Tastes Like Chicken?
- It's also a reference to Eddie's complaints in The Drawing of the Three that Roland kidnapped him to a world without heroin or even Popeye's fried chicken.
- How does Roland ultimately defeat Walter? Well, not with his gun. He hasn't "forgotten the face of his father".
- Specifically, he defeats Walter (shooting a second bullet to ricochet the first into Walter's heart) by using his head, by using his mind.
- He also shoots Walter for the first time in the heart, because Walter is so accustomed to Roland trying to shoot him through the head. Once caught off guard, Roland had an open shot shooting everything else, and then the head.
- What makes it especially poetic is Walter's normally one to demean things like "goodness" and "heart" as weaknesses that hold the good guys back. Ironically, he didn't take into account that his heart is just as mortally vulnerable to a bullet as any other human heart. What's more, perhaps he's neglected to remember that just because he doesn't have a figurative heart doesn't mean he lacks a literal heart.
- Mechanically speaking, it's been noted in many places that it defies physics to use a bullet ricocheted from an angle to deflect another fired first as it would never catch up. But if the secret of Walter's Bullet Catch trick is to actually slow the bullets slightly in flight, then his concentration on the first bullet would give the second full-speed projectile the edge in velocity, thus allowing Roland's trick to work.
- Here's a fun fact about the brain: even if the heart dies, the brain still functions for a little while longer. Twisting the knife has always been Walter's specialty. In a way, Roland repays him with a Karmic Death by keeping him alive to feel all those other shots before he kills him with a headshot.
- There are lots of complaints that Roland doesn't act like he did in the first book when he lets Jake fall to his death in order to chase the Man in Black and take another step towards the Tower. However, given that this is a sequel rather than an adaptation, it makes perfect sense that he wouldn't have the same motivations as he did the last time around especially since he has the Horn of Eld this time, implying that this is the last time Roland will be in this loop.
- Speaking of loops, there's one point where Walter mocks how Roland's routine of protecting the tower then fighting him is no different than "a dog playing fetch over and over again". In a sense, Walter is Leaning on the Fourth Wall at how the Dark Tower franchise is a loop in itself.
- Also, the movie being a shorter, streamlined version of the books' plot can also be explained as being part of the last loop; Roland may not possess all the memories of his loops beforehand, but he could have some inclination as to what he must do to make it through the movie relatively unharmed.
- When Deschain uses a tarantula as a representation of the things that would invade reality if the Tower falls, maybe he was not just being methaphorical. After all, there is a character of Stephen King that also gets a film this year and has both the shape of a spider and an origin beyond reality.
- It may cross over into Fridge Horror, but it's strategic when Walter killed Deschain's father right before his eyes. He knows the Gunslinger motto is to never forget the face of one's father. And what does Walter do? He makes it that the last time Roland sees his father alive, he's lying on the ground scared whilst Walter's spell suffocates him. That way, it would be too traumatic for Roland to remember the face of his father.
- The reason this Roland is so unRoland-like is that the Walter of this timeline never felt the need to mess with him. Marten never provoked Roland into taking his trial early, Roland was never sent to Mejis, he never met Susan, never encountered the glass, never had the vision of the Dark Tower, and in turn never became obsessed with reaching it. Instead, he remained in Gilead until an even more one sided Jericho Hill occurred with his father at his side, the man in black killed his father and fled across the desert, Roland followed but because Walter wasn't particularly invested in him the gunslinger wound up wandering aimlessly without a lead. It fits and explains a lot of the major character differences.
- It was unclear in the Coda to Book VII how exactly Roland could have regained the Horn of Eld, having lost it at Jericho Hill, if the loop starts every time with him walking in the desert years later. Also, his father is clearly stated to have been poisoned and the implication is that it was long before that battle. It's obvious many liberties were taken with the books and if the film is going to be considered canon, we just have to accept that some force, maybe the Tower, perhaps King himself, since he is a character in the series, rearranged things to bring Roland to the point that he could have a final ending, defeating Walter and then continuing the adventure with his symbolic son as the first in a new generation of gunslingers.
Fridge / The Dark Tower (2017)