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Headscratchers / Yesterday (2019)

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  • If Ellie became Jack's biggest fan and eventual manager because of watching him play "Wonderwall" at the talent show, and Oasis doesn't exist anymore along with The Beatles, what song is he supposed to have played at the talent show to get her to still become his manager? Does she just not remember? Considering they made a specific point to mention "Wonderwall", and that Oasis no longer exists, and then had the flashback to the concert where he played "Wonderwall" after the blackout - it seems like something is missing.
    • I believe the film ends up implying that "Wonderwall" was an original song Jack wrote as opposed to a cover of Oasis.
    • The flashback was Jack's memories of playing "Wonderwall", an event which happened in the Earth we see in the beginning of the film, not in the Earth where most of the film takes place.
  • Okay, so no English rock band consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr became superstars under the name "The Beatles" in this alternate history. Fine. But is it really plausible that nobody else, in nearly 60 years of alternate music history, ever hit upon the same pun on "beat"-plus-insect to name their band? Not even some rubbish garage-band or cheap-hire bar trio?
    • Maybe they did, but there have been hundreds of un-recorded bar bands who aren't found by Google.
    • Say Google did turn up an obscure failed band called the Beatles. He'd look at their discography or their names and he'd still know that the 'real' Beatles didn't exist anymore.
  • When Jack went to Liverpool why didn't he look up the Beatles members?
    • Maybe because he was afraid they would accuse him of plagiarism, as the dream sequence implies.
    • Because he was trying to remember the song lyrics in a short space of time to get them written before he went back to LA. Then he discovered Ellie there, and got distracted spending time with her.
    • Ringo Starr currently lives in Los Angeles and Paul Mc Cartney in New York City. Jack might not know that, and certainly can't Google it if they're not famous in this timeline, but he had no reason to assume they'd still be in Liverpool.
  • Without 'Helter Skelter' was there no Manson Family murders or was Charles Manson inspired by another song?
    • Most likely the latter. Manson was a psychopath and was certainly capable of murder with or without Helter Skelter.
  • By revealing who actually wrote the songs at the end, didn’t Jack potentially makes Lennon’s life a bit more complicated? Surely, the music and fan communities are going to want to find the people who actually wrote the songs. And there's nothing in Jack's conversation with Lennon that suggests he was ever in a band in this world. Or for that matter didn’t he just make every poor sap who happens to share names with Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr lives a little complicated?
    • Liz the woman who found John said she had to do a lot of digging so it's possible the public won't think of a 70-something recluse as a genius song writer. There may be possibly several similar named guys now coming forward trying to pretend they are those guys.

  • From the first trailer, it's not entirely clear whether this is a world where the Beatles never existed or if they were forgotten by everyone, but if it's the former, wouldn't John most likely be alive?
    • Confirmed. John Lennon is still alive in this universe.
  • How would Jack deal with the Unintentional Period Piece aspects of some of the songs? "Taxman" would be especially problematic.
    • He could be a retro-singer or simply skip the ones that date badly. Most bands only have a few hits and can reach epic stardom while he can mine literally dozens without ever running into a dud.
    • The "intentionally retro" approach is bolstered when Jack sings "Back in the U.S.S.R." to a crowd in Moscow and they go wild for it. Ed Sheeran comments that Russia hasn't been called that since before Jack was born.
      • Jack could have explained that the title was shout-out to Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A."
  • The trailer established that the world had a power outage. While it's possible that all the digitally-stored information on The Beatles got lost (as Jack searched for The Beatles and John Paul George, and got results for beetles and Pope John Paul II, respectively), it doesn't explain why they were forgotten by all but one man. What happened to the physical copies of their records and CDs, the posters of them, or any music-related magazines that mentioned them by name? And why is it that only one man remembers them? Did their fans suddenly lose interest in them or something?
    • They've been retroactively erased from existence. In the same scene where Jack searches for information, he also checks his own record collection and finds his Beatles records having disappeared. The rest is never elaborated upon, however. Though Jack doesn't turn out to be the only person remembering them, there's at least two other people who also remember them.
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    • I think it's best understood as Jack's consciousness having moved to another version of himself in a parallel world/alternate timeline where Beatles, cigarettes, Coca Cola and Harry Potter (and possibly others) either never existed at all or quickly disappeared before they were well-known.
  • Ellie first fell for Jack when he played a cover of "Wonderwall" when they were in school. If Oasis doesn't exist in this new reality either, how did they meet?
    • Presumably he played some other song they both loved.
    • Maybe he did play the song but Ellie just thinks it was something original he wrote.
      • That would mean that for at least 10 years Jack has been aware of the songs of Oasis and the Beatles in a world where they hadn't happened, and never noticed before that they had no presence in this world other than his memory.
  • How is the music industry basically the same if the Beatles weren't around to found Apple Records in this alternate timeline?
    • Apple was not a particularly influential record company. Ten years after it was founded, most of its output was Beatles solo record. Now it focused on remasters and iTunes. But it hasn't done anything to change the way music is marketed or produced.
  • Debra introduces herself to Jack as being Ed Sheeran's manager. Is she also an executive of the record company? That was never explicitly stated in the film, but many reviewers and commenters say that she is a record company executive. That would be quite a conflict of interest.
  • It's made clear early on that in this timeline, The Rolling Stones still exist. Their first hit was "I Wanna Be Your Man", written by Lennon and McCartney. If the Beatles don't exist in this universe, then how the hell did Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Co. get to the same level of fame in our timeline without their influence?
    • Yes, particularly since that inspired them to write their own songs. For that matter, the success of the Beatles, and also Decca's embarrassment at having rejected them, is what lead to Decca signing the Stones to a record contract.
  • How would Jack have handled the more experimental and instrumental songs like Revolution 9? Would he have just not done them or would he try to make his own version?
  • If The Beatles' later day albums didn't exist and as a result, didn't become influential with other musicians, what would've taken their place? Maybe Pet Sounds and a finished version of SMiLE, both by The Beach Boys?
  • Why, during the power cut, was it night-time everywhere in the world?


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