‘Westworld’ Bosses Tease the Park’s Out-There Fan Theory
Only three episodes in, and HBO’s Westworld has no trouble stirring Redditors with every possible conspiracy theory imaginable. One particularly plausible suggestion takes a look at the physical park’s spacey location, though producers now seem to cast a bit out doubt there.
You’re warned of possible spoilers for the first season of HBO’s Westworld, but it was HitFix that most prominently proposed that the physical Westworld park might not reside on Earth at all, what with its expansive, untouched locations, and talk of “rotating home.” This past week’s “The Stray” might even support that theory, as we saw Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) calling home and mentioning the difficulty of an open line “out here.”
Entertainment Weekly had a chance to dissect the episode with co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, who declined to answer the question directly, but explained that the park would go to great length to cut itself off from the outside world regardless:
Nolan: I remember when [executive producer J.J. Abrams] called after watching the original film. In my memory I was conflated that hovercraft sequence when they arrive in the park with the space-hotel with 2001. And I said to J.J., “Is that park even on this planet?” The important thing for us was, when you come to the series you have no idea where you are. Disneyland is in a parking lot in Anaheim, but it’s spectacular and you forget where you are when you’re inside. By the end of the first season, if you’re paying close attention, you will know where it is. [There’s some offline chat.] Lisa disagrees with that, by the way.
Joy: Regarding the comms, regardless of where they are, the park is very, very vast, and you don’t rotate home often. You don’t have open communication where you can just pick up a phone. Even senior people have to go to the coms room – because [the park is] protecting their intellectual property. We’re hoping to paint a portrait of the culture of the corporation.
In particular, anyone at the park would have to surrender their phone (or equivalent device) well-before going anywhere near the actual attractions, so as to make it impossible to smuggle out code or intellectual property (not to mention record people’s actions during their stay).
There’s still seven episodes left with which to flesh out the theory (not to mention a dozen others), but how might it affect the story if Westworld itself isn’t actually on on Earth?