A Theory About the Origin of Cars

ScreenCrush‘s Matt Singer was one of the many reporters attending the big press day (along with myself) for Cars 3, and he was able to get an outstanding, though ultimately still perplexing and even disturbing, answer about the origins of the world of Cars. Here’s what Jay Ward had to say:

“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.”

So humans are the ones responsible for making the Cars sentient, and much like countless sci-fi movies about sophisticated artificial intelligence and robots, they turn on humanity and get rid of them. As a final nail in our coffin, they take on our personalities and carry on as if the world was their own. That’s pretty dark.

Keep in mind, this is nothing more than a theory from Jay Ward and not meant to be taken as the definitive explanation for where the world of Cars comes from. But since he’s responsible for an internal document at Pixar called “The World of Cars Owner’s Manual,” he’s easily the most trusted source on the matter.


More Questions Than Answers

Though this explanation is somewhat satisfying, it still raises more questions than answers. For example, even though cars are getting smarter with advanced technology inside of them, how does a character like Mater exist then? Clearly his tow truck wasn’t a smart car, so how did the tow truck come to be sentient?

Furthermore, if Cars just suddenly took over the world from humans, how long did it take them to adapt the world to their own needs? Cars don’t have opposable thumbs and they surely couldn’t access certain parts of the human world without drastically revamping them simply so they could fit.

Plus there are still the questions that have been asked since the beginning of the Cars franchise regarding the existence of other living things on the planet like animals. It looks like cows have an equivalent in the form of brainless tractors, but how did those tractors even come to exist in this world? Does every animal have a car equivalent? We see a Volkswagen Beetle and several other cars as bugs in the Cars world’s version of A Bug’s Life, but does that mean bugs are also cars in this world?

There are planes who have been to war in the world of Cars. Just what kind of wars have these planes fought and what were they about? Are planes the only vehicles that go to war? There’s an Army Jeep that lives in Radiator Springs, so is he a veteran of these wars?

Seriously, there are endless questions about how the world of Cars operates, and while we certainly won’t get any definitive answers to them from Pixar, but it’s still fun to think about all the unanswered questions there are about this world of sentient vehicles.

Will Cars 3 end up raising even more questions? We’ll find out when the sequel arrives on June 16.

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