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In the pilot episode of HBO's Westworld series there is mention that there hasn't been an "incident" with the robots in 30 years. The Man in Black character played by Ed Harris also mentions several times that he has been coming to the park for over 30 years.

The original movie was filmed in 1973 which I realize is actually 43 years ago and not 30, but it got me wondering if the "incident" that they are referring to are the events of the original film and the series is a continuation of that universe set 30 years later?

  • 1
    Right now, we don't know but it's doubtful. I suspect the reference to an incident was a 'nod' to the original movie but nothing more than that. Unless I'm wrong, of course...we're only two episodes in. – Paulie_D Oct 12 '16 at 6:22
  • This has all happened and will happen again. So say we all. Also, Blade Runner. – cde Oct 12 '16 at 15:11
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    FWIW in one episode there was an out of focus cowboy host in a corner of an office that was dressed A LOT like the Yul Brynner robot, which I think is a subtle little easter egg. I want to say it was the first ep with the young Anthony Hopkins, down in the 'field office' below the chapel. The fact that there are early robotic hosts and upgraded organic ones is also a nice nod to the film. – Jason K Aug 16 '17 at 17:40
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Entertainment Weekly asked the showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy about this:

When we’re told in the premiere that the park “hasn’t had a critical failure in 30 years.” Are we supposed to take the events in the 1973 movie as canon — that everything in the Westworld film happened in this universe – or was that reference not meant to literally be to the film’s events?

It’s playful but not meant to be literal. We wanted to connect to the ideas in the original film, but also take a look at this place as a cultural institution that is not new – because these ideas aren’t new. They stretch back to when Crichton was playing with them.

We wanted to consider the park in that capacity, as a cultural institution in the manner of a Disney World. We feel like there’s a long story here. Like there’s something so pointed and sad for us about the idea that Dolores, this sort of evergreen frontier girl next door. She’s been that plucky heroine for 30 years.


Jonathan Nolan has also shared this tidbit about producer J.J. Abrams:

It starts with J.J. Abrams who I’ve been collaborating with going on six years.

J.J. sat down with Michael Crichton two decades ago. Crichton wanted to talk to him about remaking the original film. J,J, couldn’t crack it at that point. Neither could the rest of the town. How do you remake the movie? Yul Brenner’s performance in particular is so iconic.

Fast forward two decades later, it occurs to J.J. it’s not a movie, it’s a series. A key aspect is you take the narrative and invert it, make it about the hosts.

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It is. The scene in the pilot in the basement with the decommissioned or 'parked' bots has in it a rusted globe with the letters "DELOS" which was the name of the company in the original Westworld. I couldn't get a good framegrab (at work) but the moment is around the 1:04:30 mark of the pilot episode.

Sources: http://HBO.com and the Decrypted:Westworld podcast

  • That could be an Easter egg, a wink/nod to the audience. Any official source that explicitly or even jokingly states it? – cde Oct 12 '16 at 15:13
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    Not that I know of, but if you take the sum total of an old decrepit basement with park detritus from its former glory, the man in black stating he's been playing for decades, and the actual logo on the globe I think it goes beyond a callout to a 45 year old movie. It feels very much designed to appear that the current park was built on top of the park from the movie – MattCole3 Oct 12 '16 at 15:18
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    The company in the new series is also named Delos though: Westworld: A Delos Destination – Oliver_C Oct 14 '16 at 8:38

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