Click to Reveal Spoilers: Questions About What Happened in Rian Johnson’s “Looper”

by Gordon Elgart on September 28, 2012

I’ve warned you. Put this post down! Don’t you dare read it before seeing the movie!

Please don’t read this post until you’ve already seen Rian Johnson’s excellent film, Looper. I’m about to spoil the heck out of it. There are some lingering questions about this movie (most of them crazy theories) that I want to discuss with someone, so I’m asking you, the Internet, to discuss it with me. If you click to read more, I’m going to assume you’ve seen it. Click below to reveal spoilers.

Jeff Daniels playing opposite … himself?

Are Jeff Daniels and Kid Blue the same person? There’s an odd relationship between these two characters, as if Ray, as played by Jeff Daniels, is a father figure to Kid Blue. But why won’t Jeff Daniels kill him? Is it because he IS him? There’s a physical resemblance, and they do dress similarly. Plus, when Jeff Daniels finally bites it, Kid Blue shows a bit more emotion that I would have expected otherwise. So I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be the older and younger versions of each other, with Jeff Daniels trying to mold himself into the himself he would later become.

What’s with Emily Blunt brushing Joe’s hair at the end there?Why does she know he likes that? Joe told Piper Perabo (hooker with a heart of gold but not really) that his mother used to brush his hair like that, so she does it for him. Then, at the very end of the movie, Emily Blunt’s Sara is brushing his hair the same way. Are we to think that Sara is Joe’s mom? Is Cid also Joe? Are they both the Rainmaker? Why is Joe dressed in a similar outfit to the people who eventually take him away? What if Joe is HIS OWN DAD? I mean, how many different circles and time lines could there be? There could be TONS. This stuff is never explored, because it’s ultimately not the point of the movie, but it’s sure fun to think about.

Emily Blunt may not be as innocent as we’re led to believe.

Or maybe Emily Blunt is the Rainmaker? When she finds the money at the end, and picks up the watch, I was thinking that maybe she becomes the Rainmaker, and it’s not the kid. There’s a discussion about whether or not it’s man or woman, and of course if there’s no Rainmaker, there’s no money in that truck. Therefore, the Rainmaker still has to exist. Right? Why couldn’t it be Emily Blunt? Sequel!

Isn’t that “BE AT” bit awesome?C’mon, when you got to that scene where Bruce Willis sees “BE AT” sliced into his arm, you were sure there was going to be some sort of scene at the evil surgical center where the old version of Paul Dano met his end. That’s a nice payoff for people who pay attention at the movies.

Isn’t this the same jacket the baddies are wearing in the scene they take Bruce Willis away from his home? Or is it just JGL looking a lot like Keanu ?

Find me a better montage. I dare you. OK, that’s not a question, but the montage of the thirty years after the version in which Joe actually closes his loop is totally awesome. Beautifully shot, great music, just fantastic. And then the montage of all the loops being closed and Joe collecting his silver is nearly as good. No movie has had a montage this good in ages, and this movie had two of them.

Why is everybody getting this wrong? I read multiple reviews of this movie after seeing it that got the setup entirely wrong. For example, Roger Ebert wrote “The shotgun guy is known as a ‘Looper.’ He has been sent back into time to be the trigger man.” Zach Baron wrote that it was about “hit men from the future who travel back in time to kill their victims,” before he corrected it based on a tweet I sent him. (He’s good that way.) So I wonder. Is this movie that confusing? Am I going to have diagram it with straws for people? I thought the movie does an excellent job of explaining itself, of letting you know that multiple timelines exist in much more clever ways than have been done in the past. Am I wrong on this one?

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Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

seasonticket September 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

no one is asking- how was sara so effing knowledgeable about time travel, loopers and the rain maker? i think it is a big hint she has a time travel journey. also, did any one else notice there were two sara’s at the end? and the one we get if joe kills himself is now ‘mommy’ Cid made it very clear. Sara is lying, she’s not his mom. I think the bookcase story was a clever lie and Cid was talking about not being able to protect her about the future where Old Joe shoots her. Cid invents time travel and sends a woman back to birth him in a happy time line and the same woman to protect him in the oh noes orphaned time line?
probably why times tables are so important to her.
i agree about abe and kid blue. very much.
if killing the young one makes the old one evaporate, what’s with the mutilation scene?

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Ryan Unger September 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I thought about your question, and i think they might have just included that to better illustrate the ways time travel works, and how the two are connected. To show the butterfly affect. Whatever present joe does, future joe experiences, or rather loses other experiences.

After my friends and i saw the movie, i suggested that maybe Joe was his own father, and they all laughed at me and called me an idiot, not letting me explain time paradoxs and such. Thank you for whoever wrote this review, you just proved my point.
You dont mess with time travel. Its serious shit.

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Ryan Unger September 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Also, another reason to point that hes his own father, is why did they add the sex scene? There was no previous romance, they just had sex because the chick was in the mood. It added nothing to the movie, but they added it for a reason. I mean, nobody NEEDS a reason for sex, but usually in movies it serves a purpose when you only have 2 hours and that scene takes up 5 minutes.

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Mikey P October 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

At first my friend suggested that joe may be his own father, but i dismissed it completely. I’ve had some time to marinate on the subject and it may be plausible. But how did he loose his TK power or does he just suppress the ability. And for the mutilation scene. Its the fact that the surgeon never did any thing fatal to the man in the present, he only cut off fingers and legs and such, thus leaving the future man to be horribly disfigured but it was happening real time–one of the coolest time travel related things ive ever seen in a movie.

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exdemon October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Joe cannot be his own father because Joe was born before time travel was invented. remember in his time there is no time travel. the only way that could happen is if a future Joe went back further than the 30 year cap and impregnated his mom. i don’t see how that started when present Joe is from the present not the future. since the only joe to time travel was future joe and he didnt sleep with anyone he is not his own dad.

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GP October 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I just saw the movie (only once, so maybe I’ll close this question ‘loop’ on the next viewing) — but like Gordon, I also thought for sure that we were expressly led to believe that Sara was Joe’s mother. The aforementioned hair-stroking bit was pretty strong — but also if you notice at that moment, the music being played is baby lullaby music. I thought they were trying to hit us over the head with it, screaming out that Sara was Joe’s mom somehow. I was also thrown by the sex scene, trying to figure out if Joe was somehow his own father through Sara. Spent the whole drive home trying to make any of these premises fit into the plot & ‘rules’ — to no avail.

Having read several thorough explainer interviews with Rian Johnson, he never suggests that Joe & Sara are related. (I wish someone would ask him!) He also explicitly says in one interview that the sex scene had no greater plot impact than two people in a stressful situation seeking intimacy.

Then why the hair-brushing & baby music??

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Gordon Elgart October 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I’m strongly on the side of Sara being Joe’s mother, but I don’t think all the evidence is there. Just enough to make me wonder. But Rian Johnson has been stating in interviews that everything is meant to be taken at face value. I can’t believe this is actually the case, though. His movies have all had a puzzle aspect about them, and I can’t believe Looper is different. So I’m sticking with the Sara as Joe’s Mom theory.

I’ll need to see the movie again, too.

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GP October 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

I suspect that this movie is carefully laden with layer upon layer of easter eggs & misdirects and ambiguity that open up multiple possibilities (timelines) for sequels. I think everything in this movie had a purpose — every scene & line of dialog, even if not a purpose that could possibly be deciphered from this first installment. Way too many questions about who Sara was or wasn’t, Joe’s mysterious parentage & history, the identity of the Rainmaker (‘not sure if it’s a man or a woman’), etc. I think Rian Johnson is too careful a filmmaker to put these in haphazardly or just to give us something to talk about. Kind of reminds me of Lost — there were so many unexplained little oddities all along the way that, as the producers have said themselves, since they were just making it up as they went along, they could go back and use any of them to serve their purposes as they went forward & made the story..

Thoughts?

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Dave October 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hiya.
I didn’t consider the idea of Sara being Joe’s mum, and I’m not convinced. I think the sex scene between Joe and Sara was to introduce the possibility of Young Joe settling down with Sara and becoming a father figure to Cid, and thus guiding Cid away from becoming the Rainmaker. It also allowed an intimacy between Joe and Sara, permitting her to show off her TK ability with the Zippo lighter.
Joe settling down with Sara and being dad to Cid, who he certainly relates to: This is the tantalising happy ending that the film appears to be heading towards, before it dramatically doesn’t, adding to the emotional impact.

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dominic October 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm
Nat king October 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Okay I’ve just been laughed at for my take on the movie, firstly I want to lay all evidence on the table relating to joe being CID. Or sara being joes mom.
Okay joe says he can’t remember what his mom looks like, no memories. He says she was a junkie. During parts of the film Sara is playing with imaginary cigarettes as if she desperate or getting over an addiction, she speaks of partying in city and suggests she knows a thing or two about over coming addiction when she ties joe up.
Is there not reference to joe on a train when he ran away when he was young, CID is seen doing this is a vision of what will happen if Sara dies.
She strikes his hair like mother and lullaby, while scene switches to CID in bed. If young joe dies at mid 20s then his younger self would continue until his destiny at age 20s?!
It was quoted that rainmaker could take down men single handedly with no problems, just like old joe did with abe and all the men!?
When Seth shows off his special ability, joe seems unimpressed and plays it down as nothing special. This could be taken as grandiose, although we never see joe has a power maybe he’s unimpressed for he is far more advanced?!
I’m pretty sure (need to see again) but I’m sure during the first scene of old joe appearing there is 3 diffrent views. Could this suggest they traveled 3 time lines and are actually in little joes time/ cids time?!
Young joe is self indulgent and bitter. A trait old joe tells him he has to drop in order to beat the rainmaker.
Also there’s a scene while doing the count to 30 years in future when joe is running riot on the streets of china taking people out single handedly in a black Chinese jacket with red buttons… He dressed like a head?! Just a thought.
I’ve been pondering this over and over and I don’t get the sex scene, or the idea of being his own father. Butttttttt CID doesn’t see Sara as his mom he believes his real mom died! Maybe joe doesn’t see Sara as his mother?! Possible? Orrr maybe Sara is a lier, imposter. Hence why she knows so much about space travel, is she acting mom and isnt? I thought the story of CID not accepting her as his mom was important. It seemed to be mentioned and that was end of that Sara said she is, end of never questioned again. Is she a protector. Is rainmaker still going to be since in his head he still watched his mother die?

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John October 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Just watched the film tonight and was really impressed with the layered time lines and story telling, and think it definitely holds it’s ground as a plausible plot for time travelling. Just to pount out a few points above I agree with almost all the stated interpretations although there is one that many are disregarding as not possible that fact that Joe is his own father.Not that I believe this to be the case 100% but there is still a possiblity If Sara is Joe’s mother.

I.e Possible Theory 1) Cid creates time travel, and 2) He travels back with Sara’s kid after she maybe dies during child birth or other 3) He wants the kid to have a better chance at changing fate a possibly stopping Sara dieing
etc. 4) So he remembers when someone called Joe taked to him about not knowing his mother, abandoning him in the slums and someone saving him handing him a gun and giving something to him he could call his 5) The child grows up not knowing his mother or father, Abe takes him on as a young Looper – However unlikely and teriibly the story could be is it still possible; regarding Joe fathered himself with Sara as the mother.

P.s Also gotta say I loved the layered effect wth the fact that the rainmaker killing Older joe’s wife, then resulted in lder joe travelling back, saving younger joe multiple times, resulting in younger joe saving Cid life through his sacrifice – That and the fact that without The rainmaker coming to be; time travel wouldn’t even exist (presuming Cid is the creator – after all the wealth of those Gold bars) – Quite mind-boggling – 8.9/10

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Jeremy November 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

If Cid becomes the evil Rainmaker because old Joe kill Sara, why does he send him back at all?

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Kiki November 20, 2012 at 1:28 am

I think that the most odd thing that is left unexplained is Sara’s character and how she knows so much about time travel and the exact meaning of the numbers…almost as if she had traveled back in time to assure herself of the identity of Cid. I think Cid is most definitely the rainmaker because we saw him explode the looper at the house. Sara however I think could possibly be the daughter of the prostitute, because we never actually see her get killed do we? He gets captured and brought back to the mafia office. Sara could be from the future and have been the one to create time travel in order to go back in time to protect Cid who would grow up to become older Joe unless Cid thought that his mom had not abandoned him, and old Joe would have tried to kill young Sara and succeeded had she not gone back in time. That rules out the incest and explains why she would stroke his hair and the cuts back and forth between Cid asleep and Joe dead…because she knew Joe was future Cid. This can’t be right though because otherwise the prostitute would have potentially had the TK ability to pass on to Sara and older Cid (Joe) would have the TK ability as an adult.

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James November 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

“This can’t be right though because otherwise the prostitute would have potentially had the TK ability to pass on to Sara and older Cid (Joe) would have the TK ability as an adult.”

Actually, it’s reasonable to suggest that Joe has exceptional control of his TK due to the way he was raised to work with it from a very young age, as Cid, under the tutelage of Sara.

There are a couple scenes that support this notion… like when Seth is practicing TK at the beginning on the way to the club and Joe says girls aren’t impressed by that… he says it in a very knowing way, rather than a jealous way. This suggests that he has the ability but is humble enough and/or smart enough to not show it off.

So, working with that, I think it’s okay to work with models that suggest Joe should have TK as an adult. I believe he DOES have TK, but doesn’t flaunt it. This is why he’s able to kil so efficiently as an adult.

Joe is Cid is The Rainmaker.

Joe is the Rainmaker.

He is a self-fulfilling prophecy dictated by his choice of pursuit of “the rainmaker” which he as erroneously misconstrued to be someone other than himself. Think about it… at the beginning, everyone claims “the rainmaker” is a guy “closing all the loops”–which, from the SUBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVE OF JOE, WHO IS A GANGSTER AND A HITMAN–is a bad thing… but in the bigger picture of things, it becomes his PURPOSE, as Bruce Willis does, even within the context of the past, proceed to close every loop except his own… which he does not close out of selfishness, much like Joe’s original motivation. Only instead of cash and drugs, now his motivation is his selfishness towards getting his wife back.

In the bigger picture of things, I almost see the rainmaker as a hero figure… closing the loops is not a bad thing, because all loopers are crime-syndicate mob figures and hired killers. What is the harm in closing those loops, if you are viewing it from the progressed perspective of older Joe who understands love and holds contempt for young joe’s choices?

This movie is about shadow boxing, largely. It is about how we are our own biggest obstacle. This is why Joe closes his own loop at the end. He IS the rainmaker. The only way to win, is to eliminate himself.

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Suzanne December 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm

My impression on leaving this movie was that Joe, Cid & the Rainmaker were all the same soul. The reference to Joe running away by train and the absence of his junkie mother were happening or potentially going to happen for Cid.

I thought it was a creative interpretation of Buddhism. Rather than a linear progression of a soul through multiple lives toward enlightenment, several run concurrently with the ability to interact and effect progress toward that goal.

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Jeff January 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

@Suzanne this

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Angie January 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

Ok, so I just watched this movie and was searching for the meaning of Sarah running her fingers through Joe’s hair and cutting back to Cid in bed. There had to be significant significance because of the close-up shot. My first thought was that Joe was Cid. But I do not think along the lines of most of the comments here! lol I did find all these posts quite interesting and they seemed to raise more questions with me than give answers. For example. When Seth shows off his TK powers and young Joe says that girls don’t like that. After the sex scene with Sarah and Joe, she says the same thing. Sooooo could Joe have said that to Seth because of what Sarah told him? Or is it because he really is much more advanced and not impressed by Seth? Also could Sarah really be Joe’s mom/Rainmaker? I ask because what if she, like Joe’s mom, abandoned Cid for the party life/drugs and regretted it. If she’s the Rainmaker, could she not loop back(explaining how she knows so much and maybe have created time-travel/looping) and try to raise her son (Cid/Joe) herself? I’m confused, but happily so.

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loop January 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

i’m quite surprised that almost everyone hints at the sex scene but no one mentions what happend immediately before: Did no one notice how Sara was uncertain to push the frog (=alarm device)?

As if she was thinking: I know what will happen when I sleep with Joe. (Keep in mind: They know each other for only a couple of hours and had everything else than romantic moments in that span of time) Now there’s a chance to stop it!

Nevertheless she sleeps with him.

And here we come to another interesting point: Remember what Sara says to Young Joe, when he’s determined to kill Cid? Something like: Imagine what good things he(=Cid) could do with his powers?

So, let’s sum up:

- Sara knows unusual much about about time travelling, loopers and the Rainmaker. especially for someone from the present (=Young Joe-timeline). Therefore she must be from the future, who knows a lot about the Rainmaker and the loopers, or at least someone gave her all the informations (don’t ask me who or even how*cough*answeredinasequel?*cough*).

- All of a sudden (=with absolutely NO indication) she WANTS sex with Joe but is uncertain for the above mentioned reasons.

- She sees the great potential in Cid.

- Young Joes memories about his mother are notabely similar to the stories, which Sara tells. Plus the way she brushed Young Joes hair.

- Why is the Looper in Saras house so curious about her child (especially his age?) and the father? Why is she lying about Cid not being at home? And why does the Looper wants to check her answer with the central (=Abe, the guy from the future who works for the Rainmaker! seems as if the Rainmaker in the future made preparations to save his ass in the present…)

Conclusion: Joe is Cids father and therefore Cid is Joe. Freaky? Remember John Connor from Terminator and the story that lead to his birth… (I know, John Connor is not Kyle Reese, but the “Guy from the future bangs a woman in the present and meets the “result” in that time”-story is the same).

Therefore, Young Joe is Cid from the “Old Joe shoots Sara and Cid becomes evil”-timeline (=bad ending).

I know, the stuff above seems very confusing at first but then it makes sense.

However, it will get a little bit more complicating because of the different timelines. First of all, we get to know that events in the present alter the future.

One timeline seems to be: Old Joe kills Sara –> Cid gets evil

another one: Young Joe kills himself –> Old Joe vanishes and therefore never existed

Nevertheless, there are some things I can’t explain to myself:

When Young Joe seems to be Cid (train reference, etc), how does it come that Young Joe is – compared to Cid the Rainmaker – a quite good guy, although they both share the same bad childhood?

Im general, how is it possible that Old Joe and Cid the Rainmaker share one timeline? do we have to cope with a time paradox? What caused it?

Even more, when Joe seems to be Cids father and therefore Cid seems to be Joe, how is it possible that Cid already exists when Joe sleeps with Sara in the present?

geez, the more I think about it, the more it’s getting weird. ^^

I really hope for a pre- or sequel which will answer the open questions (who was and what happend with the child, which was Old Joes second target?).

all in all, I really enjoyed Looper!

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loop January 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Another bit: I only can explain the fact that the Rainmaker and Old Joe / Young Joe and Cid exist at the same time because of a screwed up timeline. Again I want to point at Terminator. Remember T2 when Miles (=the black guy) died? His death should have prevent the events which lead to the existence of Skynet and therefore Terminator 1. However, a new timeline was created (story of Terminator 3).

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cc January 14, 2013 at 2:39 am

Has no one touched on the fact that Cid has brown eyes and Joe/Older Joe have blue…?
So how could Cid be Joe..?

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Matt January 20, 2013 at 1:28 am

The hookers kid is a girl right, what if that is Sara? The reason of Sara brushing Joe’s hair is because the hooker knew it calmed Joe down, so she started doing it to her daughter, and her daughter found comfort in it so Sara travels back in time, having SId or whatnot, as a mother she does it to Sid, and to comfort and respect Joe she does it to him in the end?

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Matt January 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

If Joe is the rainmaker, that means he kills his wife, meaning two Joes existed at the same time, not possible, unless Joe as a freak split personality.

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nick January 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

TOO EVERYONE SAYING JOE IS HIS OWN DAD: The movie is not that complex. Cid, Sara and Joe are all from the “present” time line. If you had sex with your mom right now and she got pregnant, would that baby somehow be you? No. It would probably just be retarded like your theory.

Seriously though. Looper was badass. While I wouldbt want a sequel, it would be sweet to see some more content from the universe Rian has created.

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David Graham January 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Just watched Looper an excellent movie, the plot seems confusing as it’s about time travel but it’s quite easy to follow it’s basically about an assassin(Joe) who kills targets from the future, then he has to kill his old self who happens to be one step ahead of him, this is one evil killer who is willing to kill children to save the woman he loves, these are not nice people, as for Sara and the Cid the Rainmaker one psychopathic kid who grows up to be a assassin who happens to be taking out the other gangs in the future.
So why is the Rainmaker taking out Loopers well that’s easy it was a Looper who shot his mother Sara and this is a personal vandetta remember this is one screwed up kid, is he Joe as a lot of people surmise, well no he isn’t remember crucial part of the plot is that time machines won’t be invented for 30 years, we never get to see the Rainmaker in the future, the one thing i would say is that Joe is Saras father and she is from the future,she the real kingpin if you think about most criminal masterminds don’t get their hands dirty by doing their killings themselves they stay in the background, remember she knows about loopers, ok i have stated that Cid seen a looper shoot his mother we are led to believe this killed her but what if she survived, any way to sum it up Sara’s the main villain who’s taking over the other gangs in the future and using Cid to do it so in the end it doesn’t matter if Joe kills himself the future still going to be the same.

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norman March 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Ok in looper cid is the hero and old Joe is the villain ,the only reason old Joe came back in time was to save his wife that’s it,it wasn’t for anything else old Joe didn’t care about young joe. It was up to young Joe to figure out the truth about cid and his mother , and about young Joe making the right decisions for cid’s talents and for a better future.

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angus ubangus March 18, 2013 at 1:21 am

ANYONE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT CID CREATED TIME TRAVEL? I HAD THAT THOUGHT IN THE MOVIE AND WAS SURPRISED WHEN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. REMEMBER HOW BRIGHT HE WAS AND THE GADGETS HE CREATED. INTERESTING THOUGHT.

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Danny g May 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I think people are thinking to deep into this. Here’s my simple answer for most things.

Note that I just finished watching this movie an hour ago.

The way I look at time travel (at least in this movie) is that all events and people are dots on Paper and if the dots are connected it’s all part of the same story. If the dots are not connected then they are not. So let’s look at a few things.
-Sara brushing Joes hair
This is more of a symbol of Sara being a good mother. A good memory that Joe has of his mother is the way she brushed his hair back. One of the times his mom was a good mother. This could symbolize that she will be a good nurturing mother towards Cid.

-the gold being in the back of the truck.
Just as I explained about the dots on paper. If they aren’t connectedthen it ddoesn’t exist in the storyline. If Cid becomes the rainmaker then the gold will be there. If he did not then there would be no gold. We can only assume that for the gold to still exist in this story then the rainmaker must still exist.

-Abe* and the gatman
There isn’t anything that says they are the same people. The gatman was incompetent and clumsy. It doesn’t seem that he would grow up and the mob would trust him to go back in time to gain control of a gang of gatmen let alone a city. If anything the kid looked up to Abe and only wanted to impress him.

What I think happened is that Cid grew up knowing that one day there will be time travel. He might hate the concept of looping. And one way to stop it is to close all looping contracts. To do so he hunts down all future looters and has them sent to the past to be killed and close all remaining contracts. Thus ending the looping era. That would be why the gold is still in the truck.

For things to exist from the future in the past then the future still needs to happen. Who knows maybe Cid grows up to be who he is supposed to be. A terror as the rainmaker. Maybe he just hates loopers. Or maybe someone else tried to stop him and killed his mom.

Everyone is thinking way to deep into this. Yea it might be fun but it’s causing a lot of confusion.

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Austin May 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I have a possible theory for the end of the film. Is it possible that Joe is actually Cid? As a a child, Cid sees his mother killed by his older self and as a result becomes the Rain Maker. However, when time travel is invented he decides to travel back in time in order to protect his toddler self and mother from his older self. However, he is again not able to close his own loop as he may want to live more than 30 years because of how powerful he is as the rain maker. This causes old Joe to escape. Young Joe simply wants to protect his toddler self and mother, therefore he never takes a good shot at old Joe even when he has the chance. When old Joe is about to kill Cid’s mother, young Joe realizes the only way to save his younger self is to kill his current self and let his mother and toddler self live. He kills himself, ultimately killing old Joe as well. It is in this final scene that Emily Blunt’s character recognizes young Joe as her son, and understands he is trying to protect her. This is why she strokes his hair at the end of the film. Just a theory, I’m not sure if it’s correct

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andre May 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Okay, I just saw Looper in DVD an hour ago. Here’s what I think and what proves it:

Fact 1: Cid (Kid Joe), Joe, Old Joe and Rainmaker are the same one person.
Proof: There is one way to wake Cid and Old Joe that is by rubbing their right foot. Joe’s wounds are Old Joe’s scars. In the sephia scene Joe remembers it all. Cid got the jaw wound which – if not got looked at – will be the Rainmaker’s synthetic jaw and hatred for loopers.

Fact 2: There is one circle of loop (whatever kind of timeline triggers it) that then repeats itself over and over again, that is Old Joe goes back to the past -> wounds Cid’s jaw and kills Sara (while Joe stand watch and doesn’t shoot himself dead) -> Cid then become Rainmaker.
Proof: Director shows it, by Joe who realized it and called it a Bad Circle so he changed it by shooting himself dead.

Fact 3: There is only one present Joe, that is Cid who might or might not be the Rainmaker. Joe was brought back from the future into the present (before 2044) together with Abe. And Old Joe is not the older Cid. Old Joe is the older brought-into-present-with-Abe Joe.
Proof: It is Abe who found a slightly younger Joe and – though not said so – they both were sent into the present. This explains why Rainmaker is in the same future as Old Joe and why Joe is in the same present as Cid.

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Julian August 9, 2013 at 1:06 am

One thing that really blew my mind, which hasn’t been discussed here, was a cinematography trick that was very easy to miss. There are certain parts of the film where Joe locks eyes with a character, gives a quizzical look, and he hesitates. This happened in these scenes throughout the film:
1) When Joe is high with his friends, driving his car and almost hits a lost boy on the street
2) When Joe almost kills Old Joe in the field
3) When Joe chases down and is about to kill Cid, also in a field.

What I believe this represents is Joe seeing himself in a character, whether he consciously recognizes it or not. Number 2 is widely agreed upon, number 3 less so, and number 1 even less so. However, I believe it gives the movie the necessary cohesion for the Joe-is-
Cid theory to fly. Number 1 hinted to me that there was more to the time travel than even Joe was aware of, that time travel had gotten out of control, that somehow multiple versions of himself were around town.

So, in conclusion, I believe there is yet another version of Joe in the movie, adding up to a total of four; young Joe, early teenage Joe, adult Joe, and old Joe. This would then show the urgency that Joe break the cycle at the end of the movie, because it could get crazy if each version of Joe kept going back in time and making the same mistakes.

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Lola Rose August 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I originally thought Sara was Joe’s mum, but then I realised what he said.

It is all based on a loop, he spoke how he turned out the way he had because he had no mother, she sold him. He said he wondered if he could find her and rip the men apart etc. Well that was exactly what he did but only for the little boy. Joe protected Cid’s mother because in the past he could not protect his own and if he could come from the future to do it he would, but he can’t, so instead he did it for Cid. Furthermore, the future Joe said he wanted to protect his wife but he couldn’t, he wanted to protect the woman that he loved. Thus, Joe having just slept with Sara could see her as his potential; future wife (maybe?) and thus wanted to protect her from being shot and killed. This meant he accomplished two goals and a third goal by preventing the loop and possible further scenarios by shooting himself. The obvious to point out is that Joe’s name is Joe and Cid is Cid’s, wouldn’t they be the same?
The reason Sara strokes Joe’s hair is because he just saved her sons life and is allowing her to be the mother that he never had, thus she strokes his hair as a thank-you for giving her a chance to raise Cid, which Joe’s mother was unable to do for him.

It is likely the rian man won’t exist at all because the rian man wanted to get rid of the loopers and those aware of time travel because he created it with his T-K. All the mafia bosses had been wiped out, present and therefore, future but it does not mean he will not use the power for harm, that all depends on Sara and the chance she was given.

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Javier March 1, 2014 at 12:23 am

NO.

Wrong. Sorry.

Horrible script. They’re trying to make inception again. Not working.

If Joe is the Rainmaker, who sent the henchmen that killed his wife and took him back to the past? He? He can’t be, he’s having a nice little life with the asian woman.

Everyone says he’s the Rainmaker, but the rainmaker was in the future sending loopers back and being the mob kingping when Joe was lying in bed all day kissing his wife.

So the Rainmaker was someone else. That’s the plot hole. Huge plot hole.

It falls apart pretty easily. They wrote the screenplay to play with people’s heads, ala inception.

It fails to make sense. It’s just hint after hint but without any explication and LOTS of plot holes.

Mediocre film, mediocre acting, mediocre plot.

3 out of 10, just because it had corn in it.

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