I’m so sorry, but I’m a Cars truther now.
It’s been fairly well-documented at this point that I and James Whitbrook have a few questions about the world of Cars. Okay, we have a lot of questions. We’re basically Daleks yelling “EXPLAIN” with every new movie.
But the one we really, really want to know is: where do the cars come from? Cars’ creative director Jay Ward gave a sort of answer that has me more confused than ever.
Screencrush’s Matt Singer asked Ward where the cars come from and here’s his answer:
If you think about this, we have autonomous car technology coming in right now. It’s getting to the point where you can sit back in the car and it drives itself. Imagine in the near-future when the cars keep getting smarter and smarter and after one day they just go, “Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down. It’s just extra weight, let’s get rid of them.” But the car takes on the personality of the last person who drove it. Whoa. There you go.
Guys. GUYS. Cars might be a future where we gave AI to cars and they killed us. And then our personalities were absorbed by the cars. That’s almost impressively messed up. And fitting for a series where the second movie almost ended with a car genocide.
Under Ward’s theory, the Car Pope must be the last car the human pope drove before he was murdered by the cars. And I guess he has followers because of all the cars owned by Catholics before the great car purge of humankind.
And yet, Ward’s theory (which is not officially Cars canon even though Ward wrote the “The World of Cars Owner’s Manual” that Pixar uses to establish the rules of Cars) doesn’t explain where the new cars come from.
And for anyone saying there are no new cars, I call BS. The whole premise of Cars 3 rests on the idea that Lightning McQueen is old and that there’s a brand new car with all sorts of new technology taking over. The new car, called Jackson Storm, has been described by director Brian Fee as someone who thinks the old timers have had their day. SO HE MUST BE A YOUNG CAR.
And if all the humans are dead, where do the new cars get personalities from? The trailers imply that they’re built, since McQueen could get modified to be as high-tech and fast as Jackson. Maybe. So is the younger generation just really into body modification and wearable tech? Sure, I’d go with that except I still don’t know where the young cars come from. Is there a factory churning out cars?
Because there’s a mom in Cars 2. Except that, apparently, she’s the only one because they’ve intentionally chosen to not create families in Cars.
So maybe it’s like a thing where a car is built by the factory and given to a deserving family to raise? Which would make Cars the ultimate in planned societies.
Except they might be kind of organic, if another quote Ward gave Singer is literally true. “You’ll never see the doors open,” he said. “Because the brain and the eyes are in there, we don’t want anything falling out of the side.” So maybe they are organic and they can have babies? HELP ME UNDERSTAND. DID THEY STEAL THE BRAINS OF THE HUMANS THEY KILLED, IS THAT WHY THEY HAVE THEIR PERSONALITIES? Because they can’t have had that stuff inside if they were once used as cars by people.
Here are some questions. Where do the mooing tractors come from?
The only theory that works is that tractors didn’t need advanced AI like cars did, so they’re more like livestock. Either that or the last thing that drove them was a cow, so they got that personality. Okay, sure.
But then where did the bug cars come from?
Is there some Island of Doctor Careau shit going on in Cars? A dude shrinking cars and putting wings on them? Is he stunting their growth? That would imply that the cars are grown like organics. Why do this? Who is making these things? I mean, I know this is a joke pun, but it’s. Not. Helping.
There is no explanation of the universe of Cars that will not keep you up at night. Even if it’s an alternate universe where cars just...evolved into a dominate lifeform and there weren’t ever any humans...that makes no sense...no one evolves wheels...you’d need to have a conception of roads first...and you wouldn’t have doors.
The internal logic of Cars, a world where cars ride inside other cars, is impenetrable. I will figure out how to travel in time before I understand Cars.
Anyway, here’s another option that Ward gave Screencrush, and it’s the one I’m going with: “[Cars 3 production designer] Jay Shuster did a great drawing a long time ago of a meteor hitting the earth. And all the humans are gone and all of a sudden the cars start rising up and moving around.”
It sound so relaxing to just go out in a meteor hit. So much more relaxing than living in a world of Cars.