Those little details in films/books/games/etc that you just can't help but wonder about.

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The majority of things I wonder about are usually ignored within the context of accepting the universe that has been placed in front of me through said context. Even when I do try to find some logic behind it, it either explained at a later point in time, implied through the actions of the characters in said universe, or just plain accepted as "it's just fiction that is not similar to our form of reality".

The closest I had to wondering about something that's never truly explained in any form of context was during Kingdom Hearts. In each game, there are a set of world that you go to usually by Gummi Ship. With that said, the series has proven that there are other worlds that have not yet been engulfed by the darkness, yet they don't seem to be connected to other worlds that are also in this same predicament (unless a possible link is made within the game itself) or are presented as possible worlds to go to via Gummi Ship (usually by going over the checklist of what worlds have or have not been used yet) until the next installment at times, and even then the connections between them have changed from before.

Why are some world connected and others are not, especially when every world has the same amount of chance of being engulfed in darkness? And speaking of connections, if certain worlds are not actually connected, then how can the darkness spread between unconnected worlds without ripping the fabrics of space/time in the process? Does the darkness create these connections, or does the light do this and the darkness uses that connection to its advantage?

But, then again, this arc in the Kingdom Hearts series is not finished yet, so any of these questions can be "explained" in the next installment in the series *cough*kingdomheartsthree*cough*... so who's to say it won't be explained "perfectly" later on...

SonicWaffle:

Well, to keep in relevant to the moment, I'm going to single out Pacific Rim. Obviously the decision relies on making a cool movie, but from an in-universe perspective; why are jaegers and their defensive strategies so hopelessly badly designed?

Who decided that the ideal mecha to fight giant monsters should be human-shaped? We couldn't research anything better for fighting in the ocean? Did humanity really think the best defence against kaiju was punching them and occasionally using secondary weapons as an afterthought? Why aren't they bristling with guns and other weaponry when we've seen how effective (from the original monster attack, that one jaeger with a chest o'guns etc) they can be?

It seemed that those secondary weapons were most effective when the Kaiju had been weakened by blunt force trauma or other attacks. They seemed to most respond to simply being battered down or sliced up rather than being shot. I give you the humanoid design thing, but they seemed to be mostly at home in the water. Humans synchronize best with a humanoid shape, so the human design is what you have. And the human design isn't great at water. That's why the final attack was considered crazy.

Why is the jaeger program wholly reactive rather than constantly patrolling the dimensional rip? Hell, why isn't the entire area a mess of warships, submarines, giant robots and weapon platforms?

Maintenance. Having huge mecha constantly completely immersed in sea water is probably hellish on the Jaeger. You need a base to maintain and repair the thing. Conventional troops just get slaughtered.

Why are the defensive walls built to keep the kaiju out so piss-weak, and apparently unarmed? Why did nobody think to copy that giant gun from FFVII and just plop it on top of the wall, aimed at the sea? Why did nobody think to litter the rip with mines and depth charges, and do the same with coastal areas aside from specified shipping lanes?

They did seem to be armed, just not well enough. I always attribute to the existence of the obviously inferior wall to some kind of military industrial complex shenanigans, since it makes NO FUCKING SENSE otherwise. Some of the kaiju would probably just fly over the mines and defenses anyway. They're assholes like that.

Why is everyone celebrating at the end because they destroyed the defensive rip even after discovering that the pan-dimensional conquerors can make another at will and will more than likely be coming back?

I think the idea is that the invaders are sort of a path of least resistance type, and well just kind of say "Let's go where they don't have giant robots for a while" at least giving humankind a reprieve.

Humanity is so fucking dumb in that movie, they deserved to get wiped out.

A whole bunch of stuff doesn't make much sense, but perhaps these justifications I just ripped from the depths of my colon will help you.

Diddy_Mao:
Harry Potter:

How does the "magical ability" manifest itself? It's obviously genetic to a point because there are "Wizarding Families" but one of the main characters in the book is shown to be of Non-Magical lineage so it's unlikely to be strictly down to breeding.

I normally wouldn't bring it up or give it a second thought but Rowling makes a big damn deal about the whole "purebloods vs everyone else" thing so...yeah. What's the deal?

There are several possibilities.
-it's possible Hermione (and other muggle born witches and wizards) have some wizarding ancestry, but since they had children with non-magic users it didn't manifest in all of the offspring. Think of hereditary traits, it's possible magic is a recessive hereditary trait.

- it's a mutation of some kind that just happens sometimes. Magic users can have non-magic kids. There is a word for it in-universe, I don't remember what it is, but the caretaker in Hogwarts is one.

-magic is not genetic. It's possible whether you become a witch/wizard depends on something that happens to you in a womb or as a child. Let's say if a fetus gets magic-radiation in the womb they can develop powers. If the mother is a witch, they'd get that radiation that way, but a non-magic user could get in a situation where the developing fetus got the radiation as well. Or something more supernatural, even. Souls exist in that universe, so maybe whether you're a magic user depends on what kind of soul you have that has nothing to do with genetics, but using magic attracts magical souls, or souls choose where they want to be reincarnated or something.

- Those muggle parents actually have magical talent, but it was so weak it wasn't detected.

No matter what the reason, though, and whether the wizards even know what causes the magic, there would be people who'd go 'well, obviously if you want wizard kids, you should marry other magic users.', and there'd be a worry that people with muggle blood could produce muggle children. Or kids that aren't as strong in magic.

And they might be right.
As far as I know we don't actually know if Hermione, for example, is more likely to have non-magical children than a non-muggle born witch.

But the point in the books kinda is that the racist jerks who think muggle-born are 'mudbloods', are wrong.

Jolly Co-operator:
I have a question about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I accept that people can bend one of the four elements (fire isn't really an element, but whatever). What I want to know is how the element a person is able to bend determined? Is it genetic? If so, what happens when people from different nations (for sake of example, let's say someone from the earth nation and someone from the water nation) have a child? Is one element randomly selected as dominant? If so, how is it determined which nation it lives in?

It is completely genetic, and random to boot. It's even possible for two benders to have a non-bender child. Hell, according to The Legend of Korra, Aang and Katara managed to get all three flavours (Kya, oldest child and a Waterbender, Bumi, their oldest son and a non-bender, and Tenzin, second son and an airbender).

Although this does make me wonder if the avatar could only pass on their native element, or possibly any one of the 4.

Leemaster777:
Here's a big one: The Death Star.

Okay, I can buy that the Empire built that thing in space, and managed to keep it a secret. But WHAT did they make it out of?

What I mean is, where in the HELL did Empire dig up THAT much metal? The Death Star is the size of a moon. That is a freaking metric fuck-ton of metal, plastic, and assorted other materials. Where did it all come from?

You could say that they found some metal-rich planet or something, but even IF (and that's a pretty massive if), they found a planet that contained enough metal to create an entire moon, how did they go about extracting it all? Even if they had every clone in the army working that planet, it would take a FREAKING LONG TIME to mine an entire moon's worth of metal. And that's ignoring transporting that much metal from a planet's surface to space. And the smelting process.

Really, if they wanted to build a spacestation the size of a moon, they should have just found a moon made out of metal, and hollowed it out. Would have taken a helluva lot less time and effort than making one from scratch.

As someone has mentioned before: asteroid mining and just stripping planets while using the entire system's population as slave labour. Alternatively, they just take all the metal that's already mined and processed from one of the several established junkyard planets where they dump old and broken starships and droids and such. Just a matter of melting them down and casting the parts.

Also, while the Death Star is a massive project, you really shouldn't underestimate the manpower and technology available to a galaxy-wide empire. It probably wouldn't be a problem to just enslave a few million workers, make them work themselves to death building the Death Star, and then dumping the bodies in a star to keep the secret.

Jolly Co-operator:
Good to hear. Without any deep spoilers, can you tell me if Zuko's ending line "Where is my mother?" is ever followed up on?

Technically it is followed up on in one of the first scenes of the first episode, but that's the only mentioning of it.

Austin Manning:
In the Metal Gear Solid series, why isn't your radar always jammed? Really, your enemies know there is an intruder in the facility, they can easily jam your radar and they don't use it themselves so they would be unaffected by the jamming. Though, if the reason why involves spoilers for anything past Solid, please don't answer as I'm still playing through those games.

The in-game reason they didn't jam everything IS a MGS spoiler. But in just pure game mechanics way, the soliton radar was an easy soultion to the problem "how do we make the game hard on the highest difficulty setting?" Rather than ramp up the AI or enemy damage or sightline... they just remove the Soliton radar.

Ooh, I love the smell of nerdy debate in the morning. It really sets me up for the day :-D

Ftaghn To You Too:

Who decided that the ideal mecha to fight giant monsters should be human-shaped? We couldn't research anything better for fighting in the ocean? Did humanity really think the best defence against kaiju was punching them and occasionally using secondary weapons as an afterthought? Why aren't they bristling with guns and other weaponry when we've seen how effective (from the original monster attack, that one jaeger with a chest o'guns etc) they can be?

It seemed that those secondary weapons were most effective when the Kaiju had been weakened by blunt force trauma or other attacks. They seemed to most respond to simply being battered down or sliced up rather than being shot. I give you the humanoid design thing, but they seemed to be mostly at home in the water. Humans synchronize best with a humanoid shape, so the human design is what you have. And the human design isn't great at water. That's why the final attack was considered crazy.

At one point a Kaiju is wounded by a flare gun to the eyesocket. Perhaps not critically, but enough so to feel the pain and take notice. From my recollection this particular Kaiju hadn't engaged in any battle before that point (due to its special ability - I'm sure you remember the one I mean, to avoid posting spoilers for those who don't) and hadn't sustained any blunt force trauma. From this, we know two things; the monsters have pretty big, obvious and easy-to-hurt weak points sitting right in their giant faces, and that we can damage them with firearms. Even if battering with physical attacks is the best way to slow them down, why does the jaeger program not double-up on everything? Every robot battle is attended by a fleet of helicopters, yet nobody seems to have thought to load them up with missiles and have them rain fire down on the Kaiju after the jaeger lands a few solid hits. Hell, the jaegers are big enough that - even accepting the whole psychic-link control mechanism - you could add firing stations separate from the main systems where gunners could sit, not a part of the two-person control scheme but entirely independent, and blast missiles or machine guns whenever they see an exposed weak point.

Ftaghn To You Too:

Why is the jaeger program wholly reactive rather than constantly patrolling the dimensional rip? Hell, why isn't the entire area a mess of warships, submarines, giant robots and weapon platforms?

Maintenance. Having huge mecha constantly completely immersed in sea water is probably hellish on the Jaeger. You need a base to maintain and repair the thing. Conventional troops just get slaughtered.

A base like an aircraft carrier, say? Or a bigger ship built to purpose? Hell, with the resources which should, if not for the artificial stupidity enforced by the movie on the governments of the world, be available you can afford to build artificial islands and bases to sit around the rip. Any kind of early response system has got to be better than the whole world twiddling their thumbs until a Kaiju appears off the coast.

Ftaghn To You Too:

Why are the defensive walls built to keep the kaiju out so piss-weak, and apparently unarmed? Why did nobody think to copy that giant gun from FFVII and just plop it on top of the wall, aimed at the sea? Why did nobody think to litter the rip with mines and depth charges, and do the same with coastal areas aside from specified shipping lanes?

They did seem to be armed, just not well enough. I always attribute to the existence of the obviously inferior wall to some kind of military industrial complex shenanigans, since it makes NO FUCKING SENSE otherwise. Some of the kaiju would probably just fly over the mines and defenses anyway. They're assholes like that.

I didn't get the impression that the wall was built to be inferior; more that the materials to hand just weren't strong enough to do more than slow a Kaiju down. However, that still doesn't explain why it performs no task beyond keeping them out when it could be fitted with missile batteries up the wazoo. I grant you that some Kaiju would fly over the walls (which is why you also put anti-air defenses on them), but they aren't going to be able to fly over sea mines which litter the entire ocean around the dimensional rip. If the entire area can be booby-trapped, any monster coming through is going to be swimming into a minefield. Perhaps it won't kill them, but by the time they come up against a jaeger or non-robotic defensive force, they're going to look like a battered old suitcase that just fell off a moving train.

Ftaghn To You Too:

Why is everyone celebrating at the end because they destroyed the defensive rip even after discovering that the pan-dimensional conquerors can make another at will and will more than likely be coming back?

I think the idea is that the invaders are sort of a path of least resistance type, and well just kind of say "Let's go where they don't have giant robots for a while" at least giving humankind a reprieve.

They don't really have that luxury, though. The film itself states that they consume everything at a current location before moving on, and the Kaiju attacks are the second time they've come to Earth. I get the impression that if they had any better options, they'd have tried them first without resorting to see whether Earth had become habitable yet. That's a risky move, and one you don't take if you don't have to. If anything, it seems like they'd be more desperate to conquer Earth, and the next time they'd go for massive overkill rather than the lazy, slow invasion they tried in the movie.

Ftaghn To You Too:

Humanity is so fucking dumb in that movie, they deserved to get wiped out.

A whole bunch of stuff doesn't make much sense, but perhaps these justifications I just ripped from the depths of my colon will help you.

Well, not really, but it's fun to talk about!

Lieju:
- it's a mutation of some kind that just happens sometimes. Magic users can have non-magic kids. There is a word for it in-universe, I don't remember what it is, but the caretaker in Hogwarts is one.

Squibs, yo.

Lieju:
But the point in the books kinda is that the racist jerks who think muggle-born are 'mudbloods', are wrong.

Interesting word use. Are they racists? Bigots, certainly, but their prejudice is based on something more than just dislike of skin colour or national culture. They don't even simply discriminate against muggles, they also hate on muggle-borns, so it isn't just their ancestry that they think makes them superior; it's active ability to do magic PLUS wizarding ancestry.

If both Frank and Gretchen are the "Manipulated Dead" in Donnie Darko, why is that there are apparently two Franks in the same universe, Donnie is the only one that can see the dead Frank, and Gretchen doesn't seem to share the same properties as the dead Frank that only Donnie can see? Not to mention how Donnie seems to have some kind of pseudo-precognitive ability at certain points in the film (e.g. asking Frank what happened to his eye before turning away and laughing when Frank doesn't give an answer, saying "Deus Ex Machina; our saviour" right before alive Frank arrives in his car and scares away the bullies). Actually, you know what, most of the stuff in that film crumbles down when you really think about it, even with that guide that you get in the Director's Cut DVD.

So, Fullmetal Alchemist. I understand that you need to have extensive scientific knowledge of the elements and the transmutation circle to perform alchemy, but since the author Arakawa was apparently more interested in the philosophical applications of alchemy rather than the practical, how is it that they can draw a perfect circle every single time and that just being a brilliant scientist with a transmutation circle in your hand allows you to tap into some kind of energy to perform alchemy? I mean, yeah, at least they actually explain it as best as they can (unlike some other forms of pseudo-magic...Harry Potter, anyone?), but...still.

I've been reading a lot of Berserk lately, but what do the God Hand actually do? Granted, I'm only up to Volume 16 at the moment, but the whole "Idea of Evil is because humans needed a reason for suffering", while interesting, seems kinda...I mean, I get it, but at the same time, I...don't? They manipulate causality, but other than when we saw the Apostle Zodd (who is not a member of the God Hand, by the way) toss Guts a sword in that battle, what do they do the rest of the time, in that alternate dimension they live in? Just...do evil stuff? Feast on humans?

SonicWaffle:

Lieju:
But the point in the books kinda is that the racist jerks who think muggle-born are 'mudbloods', are wrong.

Interesting word use. Are they racists? Bigots, certainly, but their prejudice is based on something more than just dislike of skin colour or national culture. They don't even simply discriminate against muggles, they also hate on muggle-borns, so it isn't just their ancestry that they think makes them superior; it's active ability to do magic PLUS wizarding ancestry.

I think 'racist' is kinda applicable here. We don't know if magic use is genetic, but usually magical people have magical children and muggles have muggle kids, so they can be considered to be 'races', to the extent the word is used in colloquial speech.
Those who are proud of being 'pureblood' certainly think they're superior to those of mixed ancestry, similar to how certain groups are obsessed with 'racial purity'.
I don't know what you mean by 'not simply discriminating against muggles', they discriminate against muggle-born because they're related to muggles.

I used the word, though, because they are an analogy for racism, and I was thinking of the message of the books.
'A bigot' might have been a more fitting word, though.

Relish in Chaos:

So, Fullmetal Alchemist. I understand that you need to have extensive scientific knowledge of the elements and the transmutation circle to perform alchemy, but since the author Arakawa was apparently more interested in the philosophical applications of alchemy rather than the practical, how is it that they can draw a perfect circle every single time and that just being a brilliant scientist with a transmutation circle in your hand allows you to tap into some kind of energy to perform alchemy? I mean, yeah, at least they actually explain it as best as they can (unlike some other forms of pseudo-magic...Harry Potter, anyone?), but...still.

I'm not sure what you're asking. How they can draw the circle perfectly? A lot of practise.
And as I understand it, the better understanding of alchemy you have, the less accurate the circle has to be.
Alfonse uses the same circle for a lot of different stuff, and Ed can make one just by putting his hands together.

BattleStar:Galactica

why the hell were the corners cut off of everything that would traditionally be square/rectangle?

Lieju:
I think 'racist' is kinda applicable here. We don't know if magic use is genetic, but usually magical people have magical children and muggles have muggle kids, so they can be considered to be 'races', to the extent the word is used in colloquial speech.

They aren't separated by anything so trivial as minor biological differences, though. In one group a natural ability above and beyond the grasp of muggles is presented. In the X-Men franchise the exact same thing happens (mutants are more likely to have mutant kids but there's a chance they won't, and non-mutants obviously have mutant kids occasionally) yet there the difference is attributed to a difference in species. Are wizards still human despite their obvious natural differences from muggles?

Lieju:
Those who are proud of being 'pureblood' certainly think they're superior to those of mixed ancestry, similar to how certain groups are obsessed with 'racial purity'.

Much like the aristocracy, but that doesn't make them a different race. I mean, they are, they're all interdimensional lizard beings here to feed on our soul energy, but that isn't a result of their elitism. Historically speaking, if nobility is passed down from the parents but can sometimes skip a generation (the black sheep of the family) or outsiders can be brought it (in admittedly rare cases), there is an element of blood purity but no indication of being a race separate from the poorer classes.

Lieju:
I don't know what you mean by 'not simply discriminating against muggles', they discriminate against muggle-born because they're related to muggles.

Yes, that was my point. They don't just discriminate against muggles, they discriminate against people who share their natural mutation (to run with the X-Men example again) just for being descended from muggles. It's like the KKK beating one another up because their prehistoric ancestors originated in Africa.

SonicWaffle:

Lieju:
I think 'racist' is kinda applicable here. We don't know if magic use is genetic, but usually magical people have magical children and muggles have muggle kids, so they can be considered to be 'races', to the extent the word is used in colloquial speech.

They aren't separated by anything so trivial as minor biological differences, though. In one group a natural ability above and beyond the grasp of muggles is presented. In the X-Men franchise the exact same thing happens (mutants are more likely to have mutant kids but there's a chance they won't, and non-mutants obviously have mutant kids occasionally) yet there the difference is attributed to a difference in species. Are wizards still human despite their obvious natural differences from muggles?

Obviously their differences are bigger than any differences between real human 'races', or what are labeled as races, but it kinda gets in terminology here. Humans don't even agree on real life how you define a race, or whether humans can even be divided to different races, so any discussion about terminology when it comes to those worlds becomes cague and kinda pointless.

Take the mutants, for example. I do not understand how biology and evolution works in that world, since evolution apparently has a specific direction or something in the Marvel universe. Plus you have things like supernatural beings that can also breed with humans.

SonicWaffle:

Lieju:
Those who are proud of being 'pureblood' certainly think they're superior to those of mixed ancestry, similar to how certain groups are obsessed with 'racial purity'.

Much like the aristocracy, but that doesn't make them a different race. I mean, they are, they're all interdimensional lizard beings here to feed on our soul energy, but that isn't a result of their elitism. Historically speaking, if nobility is passed down from the parents but can sometimes skip a generation (the black sheep of the family) or outsiders can be brought it (in admittedly rare cases), there is an element of blood purity but no indication of being a race separate from the poorer classes.

There's still the idea of one population of humans being better/different than others.
It's just a matter of where you draw the lines.

SonicWaffle:

Lieju:
I don't know what you mean by 'not simply discriminating against muggles', they discriminate against muggle-born because they're related to muggles.

Yes, that was my point. They don't just discriminate against muggles, they discriminate against people who share their natural mutation (to run with the X-Men example again) just for being descended from muggles. It's like the KKK beating one another up because their prehistoric ancestors originated in Africa.

Rather like KKK beating up someone who has a white skin colour but is of mixed ancestry.

Or the Nazis discriminating against someone because their grandmother was Jewish.

Think of what they call them. 'Mudbloods'. It's not just that they have muggle relatives, it's that they themselves are not as good as purebloods because of their heritage.

Lieju:

Relish in Chaos:
So, Fullmetal Alchemist. I understand that you need to have extensive scientific knowledge of the elements and the transmutation circle to perform alchemy, but since the author Arakawa was apparently more interested in the philosophical applications of alchemy rather than the practical, how is it that they can draw a perfect circle every single time and that just being a brilliant scientist with a transmutation circle in your hand allows you to tap into some kind of energy to perform alchemy? I mean, yeah, at least they actually explain it as best as they can (unlike some other forms of pseudo-magic...Harry Potter, anyone?), but...still.

I'm not sure what you're asking. How they can draw the circle perfectly? A lot of practise.
And as I understand it, the better understanding of alchemy you have, the less accurate the circle has to be.
Alfonse uses the same circle for a lot of different stuff, and Ed can make one just by putting his hands together.

I know, but...how exactly can they channel the energy to perform alchemy in the first place?

BleedingPride:
In the Dark Knight Rises there's a timer on the [SPOILER], why would there be a timer on it?

What makes it worse is that's it's a

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