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Headscratchers / You Only Live Twice

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  • Blofeld just might be insane enough to destroy the world and no one would call him on it. You'd think Red China would have figured out that World War 3 would leave nothing left of the Earth to rule.
    • Not so strange if you recall that many people, including some in Ronald Reagan's administration, believed people could survive WWIII. Much Gallows Humor could be found in those days listening to these guys sincerely saying how if you just start walking away from a city for a few hours you would be safe from the nuclear blast.
    • Mao famously argued with his Soviet (at the time) allies in favor of launching WW 3, stating that 90% of humanity would die, but the remaining 10% would be communists.
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    • China has usually followed the line of reasoning that with such a vast population, it'd be impossible for another country to wipe them out. When an American negotiator, bluntly warned of this by his Chinese counterpart, took a demographic map of China and explained how a few dozen nukes could erase virtually every trace of strategic assets or infrastructure that China needs to remain functional as a nation, the Chinese delegation was floored by the reality check.
    • Bare in mind that this was the 1960's, and the full extent of the threat posed by all-out nuclear war was not common knowledge yet. Also, the American and Soviet nuclear arsenals, while still devastating, were not as vast or powerful as they would be later.
  • Who was filming the helicopter snagging the bad guys' car for Aki's car's monitor to play - or the SPECTRE spaceship swallowing up the capsule for that matter?
    • Precisely. Go check the imdb page,they're right there in the Goofs section. Goofs that would achieve Epic Fail proportions. This troper believes that would've been perfectly fine to have the POV of the SPECTRE Rocket's camera, and make the screen go static once Bond succeeds in destroying it.
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    • Someone stole Bond's jetpack from Thunderball... and reprogrammed it to be able to fly in space. Yes.
  • Okay, they fake Bond's death, openly bury him at sea, and put his obit on the front page of the newspaper. Why do they then allow Bond to walk around Tokyo, undisguised and answering to his own name? Did everyone miss the story of his murder only a couple of days earlier?
    • For that matter, why were Osato and Number 11 surprised when Blofeld revealed Bond was alive? Wouldn't they have recognized him the moment he walked into the office? And why did it take an X-ray of Bond's gun (previously established as standard issue for MI-6 and the CIA) to confirm his identity to Blofeld?
    • It's on the front page in Hong Kong. That doesn't mean it's automatically on the front page in Tokyo. Different news priorities. Chances are, Osato and Number 11 don't get the British newspapers and it was buried somewhere in the world news section in the Tokyo news. The story about Bond's death was also just to throw enemy agents off guard and give Bond some cover for his infiltration into Tokyo, it was probably never meant to be a long-term arrangement.
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    • Osato and Number 11 flat-out say that Bond's death was "in the newspapers", so obviously they do get those newspapers. Most likely they just didn't recognise Bond for the simple reason that they have never met him, and seeing his photograph in the paper wasn't enough for them to tell that the guy they were talking to was the same man.
    • For Hong Kong, it was a local story and probably got more coverage (including a photo on the front page). The Tokyo newspapers reported the story, but didn't bother with a photo.
    • Bond is a tall white man with black hair AKA exactly like a couple of billion other men. Its not that unlikely they wouldn't recognise him.
  • Tanaka's people are portrayed as being so efficient, what do they need Bond for? Especially when it comes to infiltrating Blofeld's island disguised as a Japanese fisherman.
    • They don't need him, but the British are conducting their own investigation, they asked the Japanese for help, and the Japanese said "yes" because they agree that some suspicious sh*t is going down on their shores so why pass up help from the great spy in the world? As it happens, if Bond hadn't shown up, then they wouldn't have gotten the information from Osatos' safe, which is what led them to the Ning-Po ship and later the island near Blofelds' secret volcano lair. Bond is also the one that floats the (correct) idea that SPECTRE and some other foreign power are the ones behind all of this. They likewise may not have "needed" him for the island infiltration, but once again it didn't hurt to have him there either, and in the end the fact that he was more inclined to investigate on his own than any of Tanaka's agents ended up literally saving the world.
    • Plus the British at the time were still very influential in the world (not up to the US or the Soviets true, but the Empire still had some teeth left in its mouth and a lot of territory in comparison to Japan). Having the 1960s MI-6 on your side is a fantastic asset to have.
  • Bond claims he's never been to Japan before, yet in From Russia With Love, Bond mentions some escapade that he got into with M (That M found highly embarrassing) in Tokyo. How does this work?
    • Judging by M's freaked out scramble to pause the recording and immediately dismissing Moneypenny from the room, the Noodle Incident in Tokyo is officially denied for one reason or another (FRWL suggests M finds it personally embarrassing). So it could be that the only time Bond went to Japan, was during an incident that is officially denied ever happened. In short, Bond was lying.
  • Can I ask how a 6 foot 2, CLEARLY Scottish former bodybuilder (who admittedly spoke Japanese fluently but not with the accent) could pass himself off as a poor Japanese fisherman? it always seemed to me like a pretty far fetched idea.
    • Reality Is Unrealistic There are indeed Japanese men in real life who are over six foot and have large muscles. The accent is a problem but he was only meant to be in this guise for a relatively short time, could avoid most problems by speaking as little as possible to as few people as possible and could easily claim to any normal passer-by that he has Scottish relatives.
    • In that decade, being of mixed Japanese and Western ancestry would be an entirely believable explanation to any Japanese as to why the guy in question is stuck doing a menial job in the ass end of nowhere. As to how a Japanese person ends up half-Caucasian, consider that if its the 60s that means the country was under American military occupation 20 years ago.
    • Bond is in his late 30's to early 40's putting his birth date to before the occupation and the war (late 1920's to early 1930's), unless he's playing someone younger than 24 (the movie was released in the late 60's)the Scottish ancestry explanation holds less water (though it is an excellent one), unless of course he is lying about his age and hoping no one notices.
  • Is there any conceivable, rational (i.e., non-Rule of Cool-related) reason why SPECTRE had to have its rocket "eat" the US/Soviet capsules? Since the sole aim of their space operations appears to have been disrupting those of the superpowers, simply destroying "Jupiter 16" and the unnamed Soviet craft should have been far easier and cheaper.
    • Any explosion powerful enough to leave no single chunks of wreckage visible to radar at that distance would be powerful enough that it would be easily visible. So, even the sensors of the time can tell the difference between "mysteriously disappeared" and "just exploded", either from spotting the blast directly or noting that wreckage consistent with an onboard explosion has been left behind. But the scenario of 'both sides lose a spacecraft, both sides blame the other one for their missing spacecraft, so World War III' doesn't work unless both sides can tell themselves "we're the only ones who really lost a ship; the other side's claim of losing one too is clearly just a weak-ass alibi". Just blowing the spacecraft in place thus ruins this plan, because both sides can publicly see the other side's claim of losing a spacecraft is actually true, and at this point both the US and Russia realize its a third party trying to play them both against each other and SPECTRE's life expectancy drops accordingly. So, the plan actually does require both spacecraft to not just be destroyed but to disappear entirely without evidence.
    • As to how the scenario can work when both sides can detect a spacelaunch but then the capsule disappears in mid-orbit, well, clearly that launch was just an unmanned missile carrying a radar decoy that then switched off, and the other side was just pulling a Capricorn One on you. It's a movie about Cold War nuclear paranoia, both sides will actually think like this.
  • Given what we saw of SPECTRE's operations in Thunderball, how do they actually benefit from an actual nuclear war? Whatever China's paying them couldn't compensate for what they'd lose due to Europe and North America being wiped out. It's one thing to threaten terrorist action as an extortion scheme, but another to simply manipulate two sides into global annihilation.
    • The film before, From Russia with Love establishes Blofeld's intention of baiting both the West and the Soviet Union into a war so he could take over in the aftermath. Considering the sheer amount of underground bases, mountain retreats, and other remotely located bases they own and fully staff it can be assumed they would use these to take over the world and thus become the most powerful person on Earth.
      • Actually, From Russia with Love was merely about exploiting tensions in a relatively localized area for profit, nothing more. The plan was to get the British to steal the Lektor, recover it, and sell it back to the Soviets. That's it. There was no plan for a war.
    • Remember, as discussed in the first point, that this was filmed in the 60s and most people didn't believe that nuclear war would 'result'' in global annihilation (given the relatively weaker state of both nations arsenals at the time, this may have been reasonable), but rather simply that both sides would be wrecked but survive. The idea is to devastate the two nations and make money out of it; it's up to China to do the rest on it's end, so SPECTRE will just be a very wealthy and powerful secret faction in the post-war world. The idea that their actions might result in The End Of The World never crossed anyones minds, even if in hindsight we can see that was a genuine stake.

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