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WMG / Yesterday (2019)

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The reason Jack remembers the Beatles
During the 12-second blackout, Jack is hit by a bus and probably would have died had he not been wearing a helmet. This means he came close to death at the exact moment the world changed. So maybe the shock associated with such a traumatic incident is what allowed him to retain the knowledge of the Beatles (and other things that no longer exist), as opposed to the rest of humanity who were just going about their daily lives. Of course, the fact that Leo (from Moscow) and Liz (from Liverpool) also remember the Beatles suggests that they experienced some sort of trauma during the blackout too like a heart attack or a car accident.

Jack goes on to write Harry Potter after the end of the movie
After giving up his music career and getting together with Ellie, Jack mentions that he feels like Harry Potter after he defeated Voldemort. Ellie responds, "Who?" prompting Jack to realize that Harry Potter doesn't exist in the new timeline. It's played as a throwaway gag, but it's easy to imagine Jack reasoning that being a writer, even one as rich and famous as J.K. Rowling, is not nearly as demanding as being a music star, and furthermore that writing is a career he could easily do from Lowestoft (other than book tours and such). Admittedly, there is no proof Jack remembers Harry Potter as well as he does The Beatles, but he could definitely have given in to a lesser temptation.
  • Unlikely as he probably would feel the same remorse and the same fear of getting caught.
    • Also, how can you memorize everything in seven books? Song lyrics are easier to memorize because of the way they are arranged and the tune that goes with them. You don't quote books like you sing songs. Jack most likely wouldn't be able to write the books the way Rowling did, even if he wanted to.
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  • An alternative ending has the same scene with the roles reversed: Ellie brings up Harry Potter and Jack responds “Who?” It’s easy to believe that Jack would let it drop after what he’s been through but you have to wonder if such a dedicated schoolteacher would be willing to deprive the children of the world of the Harry Potter books.
  • Maybe one of the other people who were transferred to the alternate reality has memorised the books and will go on the same journey as Jack.
In reality, this is a movie about what would happen if cigarettes didn't exist
Someone wished, for the sake of health, that cigarettes disappeared from the face of the earth. The wish came true, and "cigarette" is nothing more than a town in France. The health-conscious wisher also wished Coca-Cola out of existence, but forgot about Pepsi and other soft drinks.

So how would this affect everything else? Smoking is a social event. People strike up conversations on their smoke breaks. The members of The Beatles probably bonded a lot over cigarettes, so they no longer had that same camaraderie. If J.K. Rowling was a smoker, she might have come up with the basic idea for Harry Potter on a smoke break. Just as the now little-known John Lennon was never shot, the millions of people who died from smoking-related illnesses never got lung cancer in the first place.

  • So, this "someone" must have won the Karma Houdini lottery and avoided any persecutions once the changes made by the 12-second blackout somehow wore off after the film's events.
  • Funny you should bring up Rowling and smoking. She was a smoker, and gave it up - she crewed gum a lot to handle the urge.

Cigarettes did exist in the new timeline.
They just were called by another name and people stopped smoking earlier than in the original timeline.

George Harrison is also alive.
He moved to America so he wasn't found by the people who found John Lennon.

-George Harrison died of lung cancer in real life. Cigarettes don’t exist in the movie. The odds of George being alive are very good.

Jack will be sued by his greedy manager.
He deceived her after all.

Either the woman from England or the man from Russia remember the "Eleanor Rigby" lyrics
At least, the parts Jack doesn't. They'll help him reassemble the complete song.

The 12-second blackout and the rest of the film's plot was All Just a Dream
The rest of the film takes place during Jack's coma as he was in the hospital recovering from being hit by the bus. The blackout, in reality, was caused by a thunderstorm and only lasted 5 seconds without changing history as we know it, but in Jack's coma dream it lasted 12 seconds, and for some reason in said coma dream he believes that half of pop culture no longer exists and decides to start "repairing" things by making people re-remember that The Beatles existed. He'll probably awake from his coma disappointed that people still remember The Beatles and Coca-Cola and Harry Potter and stuff.

It's a dream and an Inception
Jack's friends knew he wasn't Star material, and didn't want him throwing away his life chasing a dream that won't come true. So they arranged this dream for him instead. Advanced hacking was used to cause the blackout, and the bus driver was paid to hit Jack to put him in a coma. From there...
  • Ellie, as Jack's closest friend and manager, is the Architect. She plotted a scenario and universe that would set Jack going in the direction the team needed him to. She deleted the Beatles, and other significant parts if his life (his past with smoking, his favorite soda) from this universe; she designed the crowds, Lennon's beach home, and the rest, to manipulate Jack's emotions during this dream.
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  • Rocky, Jack's mischievous and sketchy friend, is the Chemist. He arranged the drugs used to put everyone under for this mission.
  • The final two friends in the group are the Forgers. They play themselves, Jack's parents, Ed Sheeran, Paul and Ringo, John Lennon, Deborah, and the other two fans who remember the Beatles.
  • The inception is completed when Jack tells the truth to the crowd, and chooses love over fame. Ellie lets the dream continue a bit though, to let the inception sink in and take hold.

Where the other three are
Ringo Starr had a notable career with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and influenced drumming as in our timeline. (Hence why rock music doesn't seem to be too heavily affected by the Beatles never existing.) He was notable enough to catch the attention of the woman in charge of "Thomas the Tank Engine," and since his voice is cute and soothing in any universe, she still begged him to be narrator. He now wanders the globe as a random hippie, often via trains, spreading Peace and Love.

Paul McCartney was briefly a famous musician in Liverpool, until a tragic car accident reportedly killed him. However, there is a popular conspiracy theory believed by many of this minor artist's underground fans: Paul's Not Dead. Many believe that Paul may be living secretly in Canada, under the false name of William Shears Campbell.

George Harrison is alive and well, thanks to a world without cigarettes. He accompanied John sailing the world, and found spiritual enlightenment in India while John "found the woman he loved." Since his musical career didn't take off, George became a religious leader instead.

  • Don't forget Pete Best (the Trope Namer for The Pete Best, as we all know). Pete Best became a famous musician with The Pete Best Four, and continues touring with his group to this day.

Jack was transported to the same universe/timeline as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Both universes are almost identical to ours, with minor alterations, including a famously murdered celebrity instead getting a happy ending in relative obscurity.

Other discrepancies between Jack's new timeline and the one he left:
  • The "Thomas the Tank Engine" franchise was not successful.
    • When Thomas was exported to the U.S. to create Shining Time Station, Ringo Starr wasn't considered famous enough to be the first actor to play Mr. Conductor, so the role instead went to Paul Reubens. This crashed and burned when Mr. Conductor was caught "shellacking his smokestack" on set, destroying the entire franchise beyond repair.
      • Thus, Thomas' failed sister series TUGS was instead a huge success in this timeline and spawned mass amounts of merchandise.
  • Texas is an independent nation, and the biggest cliche in Alternate History fiction is "what if Texas lost the Alamo?"
    • Instead of Texas, Massachusetts would be the home base for FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks, and Boston would be the filming location for the first RoboCop film, Walker, Texas Ranger and Barney & Friends.
  • The main character of the original Star Trek was Captain Christopher Pike, and the show pioneered women's rights with Number One, the female first officer. Spock's character was much weirder than in our universe, though.
  • Chuck Norris was the 45th president of the United States, while Stephen Colbert was the 46th president.
  • Peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches are now normal cuisine
    • ...because without the Beatles to interrupt, Elvis Presley's influence continued longer.
  • The tallest building in the world is an art museum located in Croatia.
  • The Titanic and the Hindenberg were both fine, but Stonehenge was obliterated by bombings in WWII, and the Apollo 13 situation didn't have a happy ending.
  • Quentin Tarantino works for PBS, and maintains a very strict "no shirt, no shoes, no admittance!" rule on set.
  • Barney & Friends continues to be a Long Runner in this timeline despite falling out of that status once it was "cancelled" in 2010 in our timeline. In addition, it gained the same amount of respect as Sesame Street (which is still respected hugely in this timeline) instead of suffering through a rabid hatedom during it's heyday.
  • Dream Bunny (as reviewed by Brutalmoose) was a huge success and spawned a multimedia franchise.
  • Blockbuster Video lives on while Netflix crashed & burned due to the dot com burst.
  • The Bigfoot team never quit Monster Jam, in addition Dennis Anderson never sold Grave Digger to Monster Jam.
  • Arrested Development was a huge success, while Malcolm in the Middle only lasted 4 seasons but was revived as a Blockbuster Original Series.
  • Citizen Kane was a huge failure both critically & commercially and became a So Bad, It's Good Cult Classic while The Room became the greatest film of all time.
  • The first Harry Potter novel bombed despite critical praise (hence why Ellie was confused when Jack said he felt like "Harry Potter after he defeated Voldemort"), leading Redwall to become the major critical & commercial success with not just a TV series adaptation as in our timeline, but also movies, video games, merchandise & spin-offs.
  • The Islamists never came out on top in the Iranian Revolution, and Iran enjoys a peaceful democracy to this day.
  • The Jim Henson Company never sold the Muppets to Disney.
  • Space Shuttle Challenger never blew up, and Christa McAuliffe became a New England legend for being the first teacher in space.
  • Kaliningrad is still part of Germany as Königsberg.
  • Pathfinder was targeted towards disgruntled Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition fans, instead of disgruntled 3.X edition fans.
  • When Clone High came out, it was an immediate hit both critically and in the ratings, becoming MTV's most successful animated series since Beavis And Butthead. As a result, MTV decided not to close their animation department.
  • All the members of Metallica survived the September 1986 bus crash. Meanwhile, Jason Newsted (known in this universe as Jace Roxx) instead replaced Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, who didn't survive his heroin overdose, and was replaced by Robert Trujillo after Jason quit. Also, Vince Neil stayed fit and healthy instead of degrading into "Vince Meal", as he was the only member of the band who was a teetotaler (as a result, Razzle of Hanoi Rocks is still alive in the timeline Jack entered).
    • As a result of The Beatles not existing in the timeline Jack entered, Beatallica are instead "Backstreetallica", and mock Grunge instead of Hair Metal.
  • Hair Metal was able to survive past the early 90s, while Grunge didn't stand a chance at destroying it and crawled back to the alternative radio market after Nirvana's third album flopped, causing the band to break up mid-tour and being so unsuccessful that it killed both DGC Records and Sub Pop. Instead of committing suicide, Kurt Cobain went into rehab for his addictions, took marriage counseling with Courtney Love, and then switched careers and became an acoustic folk singer.
  • All the artists Piero Scaruffi likes are popular.
  • The 90s boy bands and girl groups (and Menudo, New Edition and New Kids on the Block) are mostly the same in this timeline, except for *NSYNC staying reunited after their VMA reunion and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC surviving the car crash in Honduras.
  • The Rolling Stones originated the basic boy band idea instead of The Beatles (they're otherwise the same as in the timeline Jack left, other than for Bill Wyman staying).
  • Justin Bieber is an infamous grindcore artist in this timeline.
  • In this timeline, Milli Vanilli's Rob & Fab actually sung on the group's songs.
  • Vanessa Carlton's career was much more successful after "A Thousand Miles" in this timeline.
  • Attila were much more successful and well-respected than in the timeline Jack left. Plus, Billy Joel encountered Breakup Breakout after Attila broke up, instead of Attila being an Old Shame for him.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers only lasted for one 40 episode season and was so unsuccessful that it killed Saban Entertainment.
    • As a result, Turtlemania continued for another few years.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller was an Acclaimed Flop that was so unsuccessful on the charts that it killed Epic Records.
  • Lady Gaga got her start in an Alternative Metal band (a la Rob Zombie getting his start in White Zombie). As a result, The Fame was a Nu Metal album, best described as "Evanescence on anti-depressants", instead of a electropop album, which in turn caused the pop/rap/EDM takeover of the early '10s to instead be a pop/rap/nu-metal takeover.
  • The disco backlash ended before Disco Demolition Night could happen, as people recognized the bigoted reasons for it much quicker than in our timeline.
  • The Sex Pistols' Nevermind The Bollocks Heres The Sex Pistols was such a flop that it killed Punk Rock (though Post-Punk, New Wave Music, Pop Punk and Ska Punk all still exist, but Post-Punk, Pop Punk and Ska Punk exist under different names). Without punk rock for critics to negatively compare them to, Arena Rock acts like Journey, REO Speedwagon and Toto were critically respected from the start.
    • Also, Progressive Rock continued being popular into the mid-80s since punk wasn't there to interrupt it's reign in the rock world. As a result, Yes' 90125 sounded very different than in our timeline.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 only lasted 1 season (not counting the KTMA season), and was so unsuccessful that it killed riff culture.
  • The Simpsons ended after it's 11th season while Futurama is still running to this day.
  • Firefly was a huge ratings success, lasting for 5 seasons, but most of its' fans wished that they'd stopped making it after season 1 due to the latter seasons suffering from a huge case of Seasonal Rot.
  • Sky High (2005) became one of Disney's most successful franchises, even crossing over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Without the Fab Four to perform there in 1966, Nippon Budōkan never establishes itself as the go-to-concert stadium for artists and bands worldwide, and the venue is torn down to make way for a new stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • The WWE's flagship event is called the Colossal Tussle in this universe.

The alternate timeline, and the events of the film, were caused by Alien Space Bats
Given how it's usually recognized that the Beatles were just that influential on popular music alone that everything else would certainly not be the same without them in ways the film would not normally portray, this would have to be a sign of some intelligence manipulating the timeline. When you factor out that Coca Cola and even cigarattes apparently don't exist, even more so. It's likely the Alien Space Bats are also responsible for the main character's crossing between timelines. They just picked him out as he was a struggling singer to use as part of an experiment in "what would happen if this guy appeared to be responsible for all the Beatles' songs?".

The events of the film were caused by one of Timmy Turner's more absent-minded wishes.
This is a spin on the "In reality, this is a movie about what would happen if cigarettes didn't exist" theory. Timmy was in a health-conscious mood, and wished that cigarettes and sugary drinks would never exist. Unfortunately for Timmy, smoking was once seen as a social event and thus things created over smoking, including The Beatles and Harry Potter, stopped existing.

The Beatles genuinely never existed in this universe
Jack went insane after being hit by the bus, everything before this is false memories. He wrote all the songs himself and invented a fictional band who he thinks created them.