Three Thousand Years of Nope

What’s a bad miracle?

Any question in a Jordan Peele movie comes with a plethora of possible answers. As such, for the characters in Nope, ONE of their bad miracles is the alien.

Why is it bad? Because it’s a freaking killer alien! 

And why is it a miracle? Statistically, the existence of aliens is the opposite of a miracle; they’re a scientific guarantee in an infinitely expanding universe.

The miracle is that this alien decided to set up shop above the characters’ farm. If they secure irrefutable media proof of the alien, then they can sell the evidence far and wide for millions of dollars, miraculously solving all of their financial woes.

BUT, it’s still a bad miracle. Which means, their purported happy ending — they manage to nab pictures of the creature! — is still a bad miracle.

As for why, let’s consult another recent movie: George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing, which understands that the history of storytelling is a history of cautionary tales about the dangers of getting exactly what you want, especially when it’s monetary.

The movie is a riff on the classic genie-in-a-bottle narrative. The wrinkle: this time around, the bottle ends up in the hands of a narratologist, a person whose vocation revels in the study of fictional narratives. Because she’s an expert in such yarns, she knows that her three granted wishes tend to bite the receiver in the ass. As such, she refuses to play the game.

She knows that the key to happiness is being content with what you got, and not wishing for more, even when such wishes fall in your lap. Strive to improve life? Yes, always. But realize that any apparent miracle could — and probably will — have downsides.

Which is why Nope’s ending might not be a happily ever after after all. They got what they wanted, but it’s still a BAD miracle. Which means, perhaps all of their problems haven’t been solved by their jackpot. Because in storytelling, and in life, apparent solutions raise new problems.

Which is why it makes sense that Jordan Peele plans to sequelize Nope; George Miller’s wisdom wouldn’t have it any other way.

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