Jumanji director Jake Kasdan has explained how time travel works in the game after fans spotted an apparent plot hole between the original and the reboot.
The world of Robin Williams’ epic 1995 movie returned to screens in 2017, when Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan teamed up to play characters in the video game version of Jumanji.
Though more than two decades passed between the original film and the reboot, fans of Williams’ performance have been quick to notice inconsistencies within the rebooted series, which consists of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and its sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level.
In the 1995 film, players Judy and Peter don’t remember anything about what happened in the game after they successfully finish it. However, in the 2017 film, players Spencer, Bethany, Fridge and Martha remember exactly what happened.
In the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, the new series is tied to the original as Judy and Peter’s aunt Nora makes an appearance. However, the discrepancies between players remembering the game left fans wondering: does Nora know about Jumanji?
As it turns out, she doesn’t – but director Kasdan explained why to Collider by reminding us of the events of the first film.
When Alan (Williams) finally wins the game, he finds himself back in 1969 with Sarah and they remember everything they went through in the game. They throw the game into the river, and the film jumps forward to 1995, when Alan and Sarah are married.
At a Christmas party, they meet Judy and Peter’s parents and recognise the children from when they played Jumanji in their ‘alternative’ lives, when Alan was stuck in the game.
Alan manages to convince Judy and Peter’s parents to cancel their upcoming ski trip, meaning they don’t die in a ski accident and Judy and Peter don’t go to live with their aunt Nora in Alan’s old house. In turn, they never find the game and never play it.
Are you with me on this? Basically, through remembering the events of the game, Alan managed to change the future and Nora never learned anything about Jumanji.
Kasdan said the creators had done their best to stay true to the events of the original film when rebooting the franchise, saying:
We’ve tried hard to stay kind of consistent with the set of rules that is started in the first movie, but… the design in the first movie does not take into account the weird reconception that would happen 25 years later, unsurprisingly.
[Alan and Sarah] are able to preemptively prevent the kids from having that experience in the first movie. Do you see what I’m saying?
There’s this moment at the very end where they alter the course of the present day in the original Jumanji, 1996 right?
The director admitted that it took a while for him to get his head around it, too, adding:
I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out, that exact thing… because it created this issue in the first movie where we really wanted to find a good organic connection.
But what made that so challenging was exactly the thing you’re talking about… the end of the original movie sort of undoes the events of the movie, so none of the characters other than the two have moved past that moment with the cumulative experience that they would remember.
Obviously, time travel is a complicated matter, so it’s probably best not to think too much into it. However, it’s nice to know that at least the director understands what’s going on – and that he didn’t leave a big plot hole in his reboot!
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