I understand that it would ruin the story but why not shoot the target in the future and then just send back the dead body? Or with their legs broken? Or drugged?

It seems like a lot could go wrong with sending back live targets. If they escape they could kill those people trying to kill them before they're born or as children.

example rainmaker.

In the future they have that cool contact-less-taser. Why not use that, or some sleeping pills. They're sending them back gagged, a peg on the nose would do it!

  • Letting this question air out for a second chance. As such, comments have been purged.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 18:27
  • You already said it. It would ruin the story.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 7:45

3 Answers 3


They send them back because there is no evidence of any murder in the future if the person is sent to the past.

  • 3
    But there would be no evidence of drugging or breaking their legs...
    – Coomie
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 8:14
  • @Coomie: You risk the chance of getting caught, or leaving evidence. There may not be a body, but that doesn't mean that there's no witnesses, CCTV or evidence (e.g. bloodstains). I haven't seen the movie, but based on this answer's premise that sending people to the past is done to prevent a "current" crime; that would also entail avoiding any evidence as to a crime in the "current" time.
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:33

It all depends on statistics. Organized crime is, well, organized, and in many aspects acts just like a big corporation, so costs reductions is a never fading goal.

If in overwhelming majority of cases it's enough to just tie somebody somebody up - why make things more complicated and introduce some trickier procedures?


Writer/director Rian Johnson explained it to Slashfilm:

How does murder work in the future? Why can’t the mobsters kill there and what happens when Joe’s wife is killed?

The film mentions briefly mentions that, in the future, tracking technology stops murders from happening. But we explicitly see Joe’s wife murdered in the future. Johnson said this was one of several things he worked out in his head but didn’t put in the movie because it felt superfluous to the story. He instead explained it to us.

Everybody in the movie has this nano technology tracking in their body and whenever there’s a death, a location tag is sent to the authorities from this tracking material. So they can’t kill people in the future. But if they send them back, that is not triggered.” He continues, “The material is powered off the body’s heat and it has a two year life after the person dies.” As for the wife, that was a big mistake made by the mobsters and the reason we see the shot of the village burning is that’s their half-assed attempt to cover it up.

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