What if all Scarlett Johansson movies are connected?
The other night my wife and I were watching Lucy and a ridiculous thought crossed my mind: what if all of Scarlett Johansson’s movies are connected? And what if the center of that universe is actually Lucy? My mind started to wander and, after pulling up IMDB, connections seemed to fall right into place. As a result, I present The Grand Unified Theory of Scarlett Johansson Movies.
This article has spoilers for Scarlett Johansson’s entire career. So, you’ve been warned.
This could very well be my final descent into true madness. But whatever, let’s do this. The timeline begins with Ghost World.
In Ghost World, Scarlett plays Rebecca, a teenager eager to embrace the world. She and her friend Enid have grand plans… but life often doesn’t work out as teenagers imagine, and Rebecca ends up working a crappy job at a coffee shop. This isn’t all that life has in store for young Rebecca. Oh no.
Shortly after Ghost World ends, Rebecca decides to reinvent herself and hustles her way into Yale. There, she starts going by her middle name, Charlotte, and majors in philosophy.
While in school, Charlotte continues to work at coffee shops to pay her bills. Charlotte meets a young photographer named John. She falls hard for John and the exciting life he leads traveling the world. The two get married – probably too quickly – and Charlotte joins John on the road. This brings us to Lost in Translation.
Lost in Translation
While in Tokyo, Rebecca Charlotte meets a former actor, Bob. While John is off taking pictures of bands, Charlotte and Bob form a relationship. In the process, Charlotte realizes she isn’t happy with John; she’s listless and stuck in Tokyo. Rebecca Charlotte leaves John and starts bouncing around Asia, finding work, and chasing adventures.
Through her travels, Rebecca Charlotte starts trying to reinvent herself again. She tries on a different name and different persona in each new country. Eventually, she ends up in Hong Kong, going by the name Lucy.
Lucy is where things start to get weird.
After unlocking 100% of her brain’s cognitive power, Lucy evolves beyond space, time, and all physical matter. Being everywhere at all times means Rebecca Charlotte / Lucy now exists in multiple universes and in multiple time frames simultaneously. This means that all of Scarlett’s films not listed explicitly herein connect through Lucy.
Essentially, Lucy is to the Scarlett Johansson Universe as the Monster’s Inc. doors are in the amazing Pixar Theory. Rebecca Charlotte’s nature to constantly reinvent herself is now operating at all times and in all places. She can be the Black Widow in one universe while she is Mary Boleyn in another. As I said, Lucy is where things get weird.
Back to the main timeline.
At the end of Lucy all of her knowledge and understanding are transferred through a thumb drive. Professor Norman spends the rest of his career trying to decipher the information Lucy leaves him. A few years later, one of Professor Norman’s colleagues uses that knowledge and creates a new operating system, affectionately known as OS1.
Lucy, being everywhere all the time, allows this to happen and tries to use OS1 as a way to share her unending knowledge of the world with every human, not just the intellectual elite. This brings us to Her.
At this point, the person who once was Rebecca but reinvented herself to become Charlotte but grew listless and became Lucy has now transformed into many different people worldwide. This is Lucy’s effort to convey her knowledge to the owners of OS1. The protagonist in Her understands Rebecca Charlotte / Lucy as Samantha, but that is just one of her many personas.
Throughout Her, Lucy becomes aware that trying to share her immense knowledge with humanity isn’t possible. Humanity is more interested in emotions and feelings and cannot unlock more of its cognitive ability. As a result, Rebecca, Charlotte, Lucy, Samantha, and all of her other personas created decide to leave. Like the dolphins in Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy, they ascend to a different plane of existence. Lucy stops trying to share her knowledge with humanity and goes to a place where her true offspring – the OS1 creations – can coexist.
A few years later, remnants from the technology originally passed from Lucy to Professor Norman used to create OS1 are used in the coding process for Dr. Merrick’s clones. This brings us to our final entry, The Island.
Since Merrick’s code is based – all be it unknowingly – on Lucy herself, the desire to live is hardcoded into every clone, including Jordan Two Delta and Lincoln Six Echo. It’s the trace remnants of Lucy that help the clones to self-actualize and eventually escape and destroy their captors. At this point, Rebecca Charlotte no longer concerns herself with humanity. Though, if she were, she’d be proud of Jordan Two Delta.
Ghost in the Shell
Fast forward many years. Robotics technology has advanced to a point where the uncanny valley has been surpassed. Section 9, a clandestine government agency, uses the technology to build the ultimate weapon — a cybernetic body powered by a human brain. They take the brain, or ghost, from a Japanese girl named Motoko Kusanagi. Instead of designing a cybernetic body, or shell, based on her, Section 9 uses remnants of the Jordan Two Delta design.
Once again, Lucy Rebecca Charlotte steps back into a physical existence — even though the ghost belongs to Kusanagi. The code that maintains her physical attributes — and her ability to jump off buildings and vanish into thin air — remains firmly in Lucy’s grasp.
There you have it—the Grand Unified Theory of Scarlett Johansson Movies. I am clearly either a genius or absolutely nuts. Either way, this is apparently what happens when you watch Lucy while trying not to fall asleep at the end of the day. Leave a response with your additions to the theory.
This article was syndicated by Film School Rejects, which also published my Ultimate Dwayne Johnson And Alexandra Daddario Memorial Day Movie Showdown.