Direct Beam Comms #49
I’ve been thinking about the chronology of the Mad Max movies for a while now. At first I couldn’t make sense how they all fit together, it seems like while the fist three movies do fit together nicely the fourth Mad Max Fury Road does not. But I think it’s possible to figure a way for the all four Mad Max movies to fit together chronologically.
Let’s say that the first Mad Max movie takes place in year one of this timeline. In that movie let’s assume Max is aged 23 — or how old Mel Gibson was when he played that part. The next movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was released two years after Mad Max and I think this still fits well with a logical chronology. Here, we’re less than five years after the world’s fallen apart leaving some of the last remnants of humanity to fight over an oil refinery. The only question is if people would really start dressing the way they do in just a few years — the good group in mostly white and the bad in black leather. But stranger things have happened.
One question comes with the third Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. While this movie was released four years after the second film I feel that it takes place much further in the future than that. Here, gasoline has all been used up and people are forced to get around via animal power — be it via camel trains or powered by methane harvested from pigs. In the movie Max finds a group of lost children living in a desert oasis who are so far removed from civilization that they’ve forgotten what civilization even really is. They get their history via a View-Master with the last adult of the group having left/died years prior.
The thing is — to get to this point I feel that decades would have had to have passed between the time civilization crumbled, sometime between the first and second movie, and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. These kids would have had to have been alone for quite some time to have been young enough to have never been taught it. And since some of them now are supposed to be late teens early 20s it would mean decades at the oasis.
Which still fits with the overall timeline. This version of Max is a lot older and more grayer who could conceivably be a guy in his 40s even if Gibson in this movie still has a babyface and good looks.
So, if the first three films do fit together, where does Mad Max: Fury Road fit?
Actually, I think it actually fits quite well with the overall timeline. In this movie there are characters called the “War Boys” who have created their own language and worships autos as deities. And there are other characters who don’t know what TV was or what channels were. The main commonality in the movie is that both of these groups have people no older than 20-somethings in it. And if we assume that they were all born shortly after civilization fell, or sometime just before Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, we can assume that this movie takes place around 20 years after that or in the same general vicinity of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
If that’s true, Max in this movie would be a guy in his early to mid 40s which closely fits with Tom Hardy the actor playing him in Mad Max: Fury Road. Though Hardy wasn’t in his 40s then, he was in his late 30s, which still fits really closely to this fictional timeline.
So, I don’t think that this is a different version of the Max Max character than what’s come before or that this isn’t Max but the “Feral Kid” from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior now standing in for his hero. To me, in all the movies Max is Max is Max and is all supposed to be the same guy and this all fits with the overall timeline of the Max Max universe.
The Reading & Watch List
- Billy Bob Thornton on Bad Santa 2, Ungrateful Fans, and Why He Won’t Direct Anymore
- America has never had so much TV, and even Hollywood is overwhelmed
- Wizard World sues Stephen Shamus for $1 million
This week in pop-culture history
- 1953: Robert Beltran, Chakotay of Star Trek: Voyager and Night of the Comet is born
- 1963: Terry Farrell, Jadzia Dax of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is born
- 1977: Close Encounters of the Third Kind premiers in theaters
- 1990: The mini-series IT premiers on TV
- 1994: Star Trek: Generations opens in theaters