The Latest Cars 3 Trailer Still Has Us Asking Disconcerting Questions About the Reality of the Cars Universe

Mainly, how the hell does any of this work? And secondly, what does the Cars Pope have to say about all this?


This time, it’s not a dark tone that has us wildly confused, but more about the essential premise of Cars 3, which we get to delve into a little more in this extended look at the film compared to the last trailer. Basically, series hero Lightning McQueen faces obsolescence as a race car when a new generation of souped up, high tech supercars lead by the excellently named Jackson Storm shows up on the racing scene, threatening to put an end to McQueen’s legacy.

If we already put aside the daunting question of how a Car is birthed into the Cars universe, we have to at least attempt to address the concept of a new generation of car beings who are explicitly harder, better, faster, stronger than the ones that came before it. These are, in this universe, living beings. If a new car is made, or born, or whatever dark acts are required to make a new Cars character, does designing it specifically with being a better standard of living being count as Cars eugenics? Even more so, if it’s other cars making these cars—making their new offspring literally a better species than themselves.

Even more peculiar, is the fact that the trailer implies that Lightning himself can be souped up to rival this new breed of superior car—modified enough that, while not on the same level, he can compete with Jackson and the others. Is this the Cars equivalent of body enhancements like cybernetic limbs, performance enhancing drugs, cosmetic surgery, or something more? He’s artificially enhancing himself in order to rise above his genetics, his own sense of self, to compete. This is almost darker to contemplate than that initial trailer.

We’ve asked these questions before, because when you think about it for a few seconds beyond “they’re those cars that talk” the Cars universe is one of the most fundamentally terrifying pieces of fiction in the modern era. But seriously though: what is the Cars Pope’s stance on self modification or increasingly better generations of sentient car beings? What does Holy Cars scripture have to say about the impact this has on a Car’s very soul?

Cars 3 hits theaters June 16. Maybe our heads will stop hurting by then.

James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



Quick question for the readers: does anyone besides a few six-year-olds ever contemplate the reality of the Cars universe? Or a better question might be: do you think the writers of Cars 3 really put that much thought into it?

I pretty much love most of the Pixar movies, but I just can’t get into these. No matter how intricate they (or others) attempt to make their universe seem.