Is 'The Cloverfield Paradox' A Sequel Or A Prequel?
WARING: This page contains spoilers.
The debris of the crashed Cloverfield Station, or perhaps even the escape capsule which we see descending to Earth at the end of 'The Cloverfield Paradox' could have solved a ten-year-old movie mystery.
At the end of the original movie there's a brief scene which shows an object falling from the sky into the ocean. This event happened about a month before the monster set off on its rampage in Manhattan.
Fans of the movie have spent the last ten years debating exactly what was seen crashing in to the ocean... A meteorite? A satellite? Perhaps even an alien space craft.
Since the surprise release of the latest movie in the series, which appeared on Netflix on the night of the Super Bowl, there are now a couple more options to consider.
In the new movie, 'The Cloverfield Paradox', there are two things that fall to Earth from space and splash down in the ocean. First there's some debris from the the Cloverfield space station...
And there's also the station's escape capsule which Ava and Schmidt return to Earth in during the final moments of the movie.
So, could one of these object be what we see falling in the first movie? It's possible, but I'm not sure how.
First let's think about the capsule which Ava escaped the station in. When this returns to Earth, the beast is already causing chaos on Earth. We know this because its head emerges through the clouds after the capsule passes. Therefore, the capsule can't be falling object that triggered the original 'Cloverfield' events, because they're already happening.
Plus we know from the movie's dialogue that the capsule lands off the coast of Delaware, not off of Coney Island as in the first movie.
So, could it be the space station debris? We know that all was well on Earth before the mishap with the Shepherd. After the accident we see in a news report that part of the station has crashed into the ocean. So the timeline adds up, the debris could have fallen into the ocean before the monster appeared.
But we also know that the version of Earth transmitting the news story is a different dimension. It's not the same reality that Ava and her crew were in at the beginning of the movie. No debris fell in the Ava's true reality. This would mean that in the first movie it is debris from an alternate-universe space station which crashes into the ocean and wakes Clover.
That theory seems to work, if it weren't for the fact that the level of technological advancement in the the new movie is much higher than the original. Which opens up another questions... Is 'The Cloverfield Paradox' a sequel or a prequel? ...given that it's a "paradox" it might be both.
The original 'Cloverfield' movie is set in 2008, we know this because the found footage is date stamped, May 22nd, 2008. The Cloverfield space station that we see in the third movie can't possibly be orbiting the planet in 2008, the technology just doesn't match up.
The above image shows a comparison between a 2008 mobile phone which is seen in the first movie, and a phone seen in the new movie. These films clearly don't take place in the same year. Or do they? It could be that the year 2008 in one reality is a lot more technologically advanced than the other. But we know that's not the case either as Jensen is from the crew of the second reality's space station.
The most likely explanation is that when the accelerator was first activated, it not only ripped holes between different realities, but also time. This could explain how the beast emerged from another reality in the past... but then wouldn't Michael remember a similar monster attack to the one he encountered happening within the last 15-20 years?
What's Actually Going On?
The Cloverfield movies are set in a multiverse, meaning none of the three movies so far exist in the same reality. What 'The Cloverfield Paradox' introduced us to was how space and time became fractured in the first place.
When this fracturing took place the monsters we've seen in the movies has been dragged from different realities into different times. In the original movie we see one relatively small beast attack Manhattan.
In '10 Cloverfield Lane' Earth seems to be under attack by a monster invasion force in a fleet of flying crafts, this is believed to take place at around the time the movie was released, 2016.
In 'The Cloverfield Paradox' there is one huge beast, so big that its end can be seen breaking through the clouds.
This will all become clearer in J. J. Abrams' next movie in the series, which is said to be due for released later this year. It's rumoured to be called 'Overlord' and is set in an alternative version of 1944. The story revolves around two American paratroopers who are shot down over Normandy in the midst of the D-Day invasion. They soon discover that the Nazis are using supernatural forces against them, presumably these powers some how relate to the monsters.