Starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, Bright is the first move from Netflix to insert a movie franchise in its already massive catalog of web media content. And, as the first installment of a franchise that some have already called the new Harry Potter or the new The Lord of the Rings , Bright leaves a lot more behind the curtains than what actually reveals. So if you are left with more questions than answers after seeing the rolling credits at the end of the film, do not worry, you are in the right place, because without further ado, we will begin with full discussion of Bright (Ending Explained).
1 ^ What is a Bright?
Bright is just the word that the writers of the film decided to use to avoid the words Witch or Wizard. A bright is a person who is naturally connected with the magical elements of the universe, so it is no surprise that most of them are elves, creatures connected with the song of the universe and its magic.
The Brights are the only individuals capable of holding a magic wand with their bare hands, without being shattered and burnt by its magic.
2 ^ What are the magic wands in the Bright Universe?
There are 3 magic wands in the Bright Universe, each one considered a weapon of mass destruction by the general public, given that its magic can be used for much more evil purposes than getting a trunk full of $100 bills.
The magic wands allows a Bright to connect with the source of magic, so they can cast spells. During the film we saw two spells, the first one, a resurrection and the second one, a deadly attack. The wand can bring both life and death.
For reasons that have more to do with ambition than any supernatural force, the wands has a generally negative effect on people who are close to it. After all, who would not want to have a magical device that make your wishes come true?
3 ^ Are Bright and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) set in the same universe?
No. Although the similarity between the races of the characters, it is quite obvious that Bright is not set in the same universe as The Lord of the Rings. To begin, the wars against Sauron took place in an era called «The Third Age», an age when magic was fading away from the world with no point of return. In fact, in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo’s final journey involved the disappearance of the Elves from the face of the earth, and with them any access to magic.
In contrast, Bright includes elves and magic, a lot of magic, so it is more than evident it is not sharing a Universe with the J.R.R. Tolkien Magnum Opus.
4 ^ What happened 2000 years ago? Who is the Dark Lord? Was he an Orc?
In the Bight Universe, 2000 years ago, an individual who called himself The Dark Lord wanted to submit the world to his authority and will, creating a realm where basically everybody, elves, humans, orcs, dwarves, were destined to be slaves, in the case they could survive to the massive genocide he was planning.
But, what about The Dark Lord’s origins? Was he an Orc? While the logical answer would be that, yes, he was an Orc, if we look closely to the murals that the movie shows in its opening minutes, we see the appearance of the Dark Lord and he is portrayed as an elf, or maybe, with a little imagination, a human with pointy ears.
However, the only race who joined the Dark Lord in his megalomaniac purposes were the Orcs. And yet, it was an unblooded Orc, called Jirek, who brought the nine armies and convinced them to work together to defeat the enemy.
5 ^ Who are the nine armies anyway?
With three major races existing in the Bright Universe, one of them supporting The Dark Lord (Orcs) it would be easy to say that the nine armies would have been, 5 armies of humans and 4 armies of elves; or 4 armies of humans and 5 of elves. But if we think a little about it, it might not be as simple.
Orcs : Yes, although the vast majority of the orcs supported the Dark Lord, the existence of Jirek implies that there was at least one dissident Orc army that faced him. Besides the fact that 2000 years ago, if an entire race supported the losing side, under the terms of the Dark Lord, it would have meant the total genocide. So, within the Nine Armies had to exist at least an army of Orcs.
Dwarves : Yes, although we did not see dwarves during the film, the orc leader we saw in the church proclaimed that he had grown up in Miami, with humans and dwarves, confirming the existence of that race in the Bright Universe, now the fact that there are so few, indicates a significant numerical difference with the other races. But we can confirm that there was at least one army of Dwarves.
Brights : Although the brights are not a race, but a group of individuals with certain skills, the fact that it is confirmed that the Dark Lord was destroyed by magic indicates that at least there was a faction or army with those powers, and it was that faction that actively participated in the destruction of the villain.
Elves : Now, you would expect that a large number of those who fought the Dark Lord to be elves. Given that elves can be of different ethnic groups in the Bright Universe (we saw Europeans, Asians and Hispanics), we could think there were at least three armies of elves facing The Dark Lord.
Humans : Like elves, given their numerical superiority and the different ethnic groups we can imagine that there may have existed at least 3 human armies in that war.
So to summarize the theory: there were 3 armies of humans, 3 armies of elves, one army of brights, one army of dwarves, and one army of orcs. Although something very different might be revealed in the next installments. It is just a theory.
6 ^ What is the Shield of Light?
It is a secret organization that affirms the Dark Lord’s return is inevitable and therefore preparations to face him must be done. The Shield of Light is made up of humans and elves, among which there are some Brights. The Shield of Light requires a kind of religious devotion. They believe in magic, destiny and faith.
7 ^ Who are the Inferni?
The Inferni are an organization that does exactly the opposite of The Shield of Light: they want to bring back the Dark Lord under any means. Of course, the easiest way to achieve that goal is to collect the 3 magic wands, but as this is almost impossible, the Inferni Leader, Leilah, went for the Plan B – feeding with a single wand a powerful magical source to bring the villain back to Earth.
8 ^ Who are the Magic Task Force?
It is an organization responsible for regulating the use of magic, especially magic artifacts such as wands. The simple fact that in the Bright Universe we can see the same kind of weapons that in our reality and all the other similarities, implies that the Magic Task Force has succeeded in maintaining the world free of magic.
9 ^ What does it mean for an Orc to be Blooded?
For Orc being Blooded involves recognition from a large group of individuals, preferably other orcs, but it could be an acknowledgment from other races, as in the case of Jirek.
At the end we saw Nick receiving recognition not only from a group of orcs, but also humans when he receives an award with Ward.
10 ^ Why did the Orcs kneel before Nick?
Because one of the prophecies of their religion indicates that a resurrected orc was the chosen one, the one to follow. And they saw that with their own eyes.
11 ^ Ward is a Bright? Why did he took the wand? Why did it turn red?
Of course Ward is a Bright. Although he had no idea about it and he was moved more by faith and heroism when he decided to touch the wand with his bare hands. His very selfless plan was to touch the wand and kill Leilah in the following explosion, but once he took the wand, it was clear he was able to hold it, and with the help of Tikka, he destroyed the elf villain.
Further evidence that Ward was a Bright are the words of Pollard -the crazy guy blocking a street – he told Nick in Elvish Language that his partner Ward was special, but hey, no one paid attention.
Now, why did the wand turn red? There may be three options here: the first one is that the wand turns red when the Bright holding it is inexperienced, as in the case of Ward, the case against this theory is that Tikka took the wand and she used it but the magical device remained blue. Another option is that red is the color that takes a wand when a human is holding it. And the third option would be the magic wands choose different colors, according to the personality of the holder. In the latter case, the red correspond to Ward’s personality. Something like the lightsabers.
11 ^ Why did Leilah come back to life?
Here we can imagine different scenarios. The first one would be that quick healing is an elves’ feature, but in that case, it is not possible Nick and Ward had left Leilah there to recover a few seconds later. Now, it could be that it is something related to Brights, but we did not see Tikka or Ward healing fast when they were wounded. So the most credible theory is that being Leilah connected to her wand, as Sauron to the One Ring, the wand allowed her to heal quickly, coming back to life.
12 ^ What was «the black shit» that covered Tikka’s face?
Although the film does not explain that clearly, there might be two reasons. The first reason could be that an inexperienced or not so powerful Bright suffers from significant physical damage when using a wand. This could explain why Ward was not damaged, assuming he is more powerful than Tikka.
Another reason could be that the wand has been cursed by Leilah, in the sense that anyone who dared to use her wand is condemned to a slow and painful death. This would explain why Ward suffered no consequences after using the wand. Leilah was dead, and she had no control over the wand anymore.
13 ^ What happened with Ward and Nick? Why so many trust issues at the begining?
As we all know, in the Bright Universe, orcs are seen as second or even third category citizens, however there are public efforts to integrate them into society, with Nick Jakoby being the first orc in joining the police force in Los Angeles. Now, the film begins the day when Ward returns to work after he was shot by an orc.
That day Jakoby lost the shooter, and instead found an innocent young orc in an alley. Thinking that the police would not hesitate to shoot the young orc, Jakoby helped him to escape. Ward blames Nick for not covering him properly that day. But the trust was recovered later when both of them, the man and the orc, had to open to each other in order to survive.
14 ^ What is the metaphor behind Bright? What does the final scene of the movie mean? Why were the pictures of the dirty cops in the award ceremony?
Obviously, the film tries to give a rather exaggerated perspective of racial issues in America. The elves represent what some call «white privilege» beautiful, rich and stylized people. Orcs representing minorities, African Americans and Latinos, who are stigmatized by their place of origin.
Although it is quite easy to say that it is unfair that elves have such a high standard of living, while the orcs live stigmatized and exploited only in sports for their strength, the issue is more a cultural asset. As we see, the orcs are generally grouped into very closed clans where they venerate the Dark Lord and pray for his arrival. This cultural system in which an external agent is expected to change their situation, is a true reflection of today’s society. Nick Jakoby decides to move away from their toxic culture and live under different standards, with his own efforts and sacrifice as a way to succeed, instead of waiting for ethereal external factors.
Now, the pictures of the dirty cops were in the award ceremony because the story that Nick, Ward and federal agents Kandomere (Edgar Ramirez) and Montehugh agreed was that there was a shootout between gangsters to get the wand, rather than the real version, that the four policemen attempted to assassinate Nick, Tikka and Ward to seize the wand and make their wishes come true. Had he told the truth, officially, Ward would have had to face trial and his reputation as well as Nick’s would be in tatters, despite their good deeds.
Bright is a fierce criticism of discrimination and inherited privileges that exist around the world, but I think we should be very careful in jumping to quick conclusions as «It is unfair that the rich are rich» and «the poor are poor because they are oppressed. » A critical viewer would go far beyond those simple propositions.
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