Science fiction thrives on suspension of disbelief. When you watch a movie or read a book about space battles and time travel, you're actively cooperating with the story to make it hold up. But when the story takes a sudden, nonsensical swerve, your suspsension of disbelief can turn into a savage retaliation. Here's our guide to the weirdest and least sensible plot twists (Ape Lincoln?!) from scifi books, movies, TV and comics. Major spoilers ahead, naturally.
Planet Of The Apes (Tim Burton version): Wait, what now? Abraham Lincoln is an ape? This ending sort of follows the original Pierre Boulle novel, but sadly makes no sense whatsoever because nothing in the preceding film sets it up.
Screamers: So the nice girl turns out to be a killer cyborg as well, but she's a good killer cyborg, sort of. And then there's a killer cyborg teddy bear on board Peter Weller's spaceship. Oh noes! The end.
The Thirteenth Floor. Whoah dude. What is reality? How did that guy who died in the 1990s suddenly turn up in 2024? Is anything really real, or is it all just a simulation within a simulation within a simulation?
Titan AE. The captain of the ship is our friend. No, wait, he's an evil traitor. No wait, he's actually changed sides again and now he's sacrificing his life to save our heroes. Plus, the good guy knows all about dolphins despite having been raised among aliens.
Android. Klaus Kinski is working to create androids on a hidden space station.... but then it turns out he's actually an android himself! Whoah!
Every M. Night Shyamalan movie ever. That guy is dead, hey? And the aliens are allergic to water, so they decided to invade a planet that's mostly water. And the village is now. Whoah!
Battlestar Galactica, "Epiphanies." And then it turns out the half-Cylon hybrid fetus blood is magically the cure for the president's cancer. Wha? Why?
The 27th Day. Aliens show up and give five capsules that will destroy the world to five humans. All the humans have to do is avoid opening the capsules of mass destruction for 27 days and the world is saved. But oh noes! The Soviet Premier gets control over one of the boxes and wants to use it to hold the world to ransom and attack the United States. Good thing it turns out at the very last minute that you can modify the capsules to slay "only the enemies of freedom." All WMDs should be that discriminating.
The Mist. The army shows up... just a moment too late!
I am Legend. The cured plague victim's blood is actually a vaccine! (This makes sense in the Heston version, but isn't really explained or fleshed out in the Smith version.) And Alice Braga and her kid can survive a huge explosion, as long as they're locked in an airtight vault. Plus, the village is now! I mean, the village is real!
Mission To Mars. Not only is there life on Mars, but it's incredibly goofy. And it turns out they seeded Earth with life. And now they want to meet Gary Sinise, so they can tell him how much they loved Forrest Gump.