The reason given in the movie Looper for sending targets to the past is that it is difficult to dispose bodies.

From IMDb,

Thirty years into the future in 2074, time travel is invented, but is immediately outlawed. However, because by that point tracking technology has rendered it nearly impossible to dispose of bodies secretly, crime bosses turn to time travel to send their targets to the past to be killed using "loopers": hired guns paid in silver to kill whoever is sent to them.

When trying to capture old Joe, they kill his wife. So how did they dispose the body of his wife? Or is it difficult to dispose bodies only in US and not in China? And they came for old Joe only because the Rainmaker wanted to close the loops?

Could someone explain? What am I missing?

  • 3
    What happens at the end of Looper means that the murder of Old Joe's wife never happens. In fact, Old Joe and his wife never even meet. Lucky for her!
    – Shiz Z.
    Nov 6, 2012 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


In this video interview Director Rian Johnson addresses the killing of Joe's wife:

... that's an accident. That was not supposed to happen. And they made some half-assed attempt to cover it up with burning down the house. But the truth is, they're in trouble because of that...

He also gives some more details about the tracking method:

  • everybody has nano-technology tracking material in their body

  • whenever there’s a death, a location tag is sent to the authorities

  • but when they send people back in time that is not triggered

  • the police aren't constantly tracking everybody

(Rian Johnson also talks about a few other "plot holes" in the video)

  • Interesting that he even gives credit to the question. To me he should have just said "its not important to the story, I supposed they sent her back to a looper to dispose of her..."
    – sanpaco
    Nov 22, 2015 at 7:47

I don't believe they did dispose of her body. The reason for loopers is mainly so organised crime lords can make people disappear. Hard to argue that so and so was killed when you can't track a body. Joe's wife was what might be considered collateral damage. They most likely wouldn't get any blow back from anyone other than Joe so no need to dispose of her body.

Also, the Rainmaker was closing loops wholesale so he may have found other ways of disposing of bodies. The loops where closing over a matter of weeks for young Joe, but this may have been mere days for the Rainmaker in the future.

If I had to pick one answer though, I'd say she just wasn't important enough to have to disappear, dead was good enough.

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