Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
David Lynch stated that when the series ended, he was not ready to leave Twin Peaks behind just yet. He was wanting to explore the Laura character more closely, and thus wrote this prequel exploring her life and the events leading to her death.
If Fire Walk With Me had made money, more movies would have followed which would have resolved the shows numerous cliffhangers. However, the film did not earn sufficient money to do so.
Despite being a prequel, the film does, however, offer an explanation of what happens to Dale Cooper at the end of the series. Because the events of the Black Lodge are non-linear, Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham) appears to Laura in her bed one night, telling her that "the good Dale" is trapped in the Black Lodge, can't leave, and that she should write this in her diary. This suggests that the Dale Cooper inhabited by BOB seen in the bathroom in the final episode of the series is the evil doppelganger that chases Cooper through the Black Lodge. It can also be surmised that in warning Laura, Annie was attempting to stop Dale Cooper becoming trapped in the Black Lodge in the first place. This eventually plays into the 2017 series, Twin Peaks: The Return.
Mainly because they had little or nothing to do with Laura. Despite this, most of the actors from the series did shoot scenes for the film. For issues of length, most of these were removed; however, they finally were released as a bonus feature (and not re-integrated into the film) in the Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery Blu-ray set.
Three regular actors from the series definitely did not appear; these were Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn.
Richard Beymer's character Ben Horne did appear in the script, but the actor later confirmed that none of his scenes were shot. One reason given was that he found his scenes exploitative - in one scripted scene Ben tells Laura he will give her a bag of cocaine if she kisses him.
There was much speculation as to why Lara Flynn Boyle pulled out. Initially it was rumoured that she did not want to do the nudity which was required, but in fact scheduling conflicts prevented her taking part. In either case, her character Donna Hayward was integral to the plot, and so was recast with Moira Kelly.
It was originally thought that Sherilyn Fenn also pulled out because of schedule conflicts; she apparently gave Lynch advance notice of her unavailability, as no scenes featuring Audrey Horne appear in the unabridged shooting script. She later stated that she had chosen not to take part, due to feeling disappointed by the second season of the TV series.
Many fans have said that it is David Lynch making a joke out of the fact that Twin Peaks fans will try to examine each and every small detail of the show to decipher the unanswered plot details. Dialogue from the shooting script (missing from the film) has Agents Desmond and Stanley talking about it, with Desmond saying that Gordon is just being cautious because he talks so loud, on top of the fact that he just enjoys using code for the fun of it.
No, not directly. Chet Desmond states only that "I can't tell you about that." He never states if he does not know what the blue rose symbol means, or he is not at liberty to explain it. Later, after Desmond vanishes, Cooper says to Diane, "This is one of Gordon's blue rose cases." The most common theory is that the blue rose is Gordon's way of telling agents that a case is somewhat of an "X-File," meaning that it involves unexplainable phenomena (as a blue rose is not a naturally ocurring phenomenon). The term "blue rose" could possibly refer to Project Blue Book, discussed in the series, which deals with the investigations of UFOs. A few scenes of the TV series are lit with blue light in which the color blue symbolizes mystery or suspense.
Garland Briggs, Bobby's father, is a Major in the US Air Force, and worked on Project Blue Book sometime between the 1970s and the start of the series. In the second season, he presents Cooper with a top-secret transcription of a transmission that the Air Force picked up, which is encoded with Cooper's name and a phrase spoken to him during a vision of one of the Lodge Spirits. Briggs informs Cooper that the Air Force did not pick up the transmission from space, but rather from the woods outside Twin Peaks. The source is apparently the Black Lodge.
The 2017 series Twin Peaks: The Return eventually confirmed that the blue rose was both a reference to Blue Book, and a reference to the unnatural. Cole began the Blue Rose Task Force to follow Blue Book after it was shut down. Phillip Jeffries, Chet Desmond, Albert Rosenfeld, and Dale Cooper were the only four agents affiliated with the program-though presumably, not all at the same time, as Cooper only knows of Jeffries by reputation.
Those who remember Agent Cooper's famous dream in the shows early episodes will remember that "Let's Rock" is the first thing that the Man From Another Place says to Cooper. This is how we know he is involved the events of the film. It could also be suggesting that Chet Desmond was taken to the Black Lodge.
Garmonbozia is the physical manifestation of people's pain and suffering and is represented by creamed corn, which the Little Man From Another Place then consumes. BOB, apparently, is responsible for obtaining garmonbozia for the Lodge inhabitants to dine on (in the series, Mike informs Cooper that BOB was his "familiar," a term used to denote an evil spirit which is enslaved by a human being well versed in magic). However, BOB went rogue at some point and stole a quantity of garmonbozia belonging to Mike/The Man From Another Place. Thus, the conflict between the two spirits arises from Mike/MFAP trying to reclaim his share of human pain and suffering to dine upon.
Formica is a brand of plastic, often used to make kitchen table tops. According to the Formica website, it was invented in the USA in 1913 by two electrical engineers, Herbert A Faber and Daniel J O'Conor, who were searching for a replacement for the mineral mica as an insulator.
"And Miss, the look on her face...there was a stillness. Like a formica table..." -Mike, the One-Armed Man. Take from that what you will.
In the film, just before Phillip Jeffries appears in the FBI office, there is a scene where Dale Cooper stands staring into a security camera in a nearby corridor, then goes into the adjacent office to look at the camera's live monitor, showing the empty corridor where Cooper was just standing. He repeats this action several times, for apparently no reason. Then the seemingly impossible happens - Cooper sees himself on the monitor. On reviewing the footage with Gordon Cole after Jeffries disappears, Cooper sees the former FBI agent in the corridor moving past him, which did not happen.
Effectively, for the moment that Jeffries arrives Cooper appears to be in two places at once. This references the fact that Cooper is also in the Black Lodge, (which Jeffries has visited) where events are non-linear. It could therefore be inferred that the Cooper on the monitor with Jeffries is in fact the Black Lodge version of Cooper trying to communicate with him.
Actor Kyle MacLachlan did not want to appear initially, out of fear of being typecast, but later agreed to appear in a smaller role than originally intended. The script originally featured Cooper going through the investigation in Deer Meadow; the Twin Peaks tie-in book, Autobiography of Dale Cooper, features a retelling of the Teresa Banks' murder investigation from Dale Cooper's point of view.
Issue #60 of "Wrapped in Plastic," the semi-official Twin Peaks fanzine, featured an extensive essay by John Thorne which offered the theory that the first half-hour of the film is actually a part of the dream which Cooper mentions the first time we see him on-screen, and that Chet Desmond is actually a Doppelganger/stand-in for Cooper in this dream. By Thorne's admission, it proved to be extremely divisive amongst fans.
There is the point though that the two agents have the same initials, only reversed. Indeed, the town of Deer Meadow itself is like a reversal of Twin Peaks, with its corrupt police and old, unfriendly waitresses.
While the choice of this particular sound is, like so many things connected with Twin Peaks, wrapped in an enigma, the association of a sound with this character serves to clue the audience in on his presence at multiple points in the film. Both Chet Desmond and Dale Cooper seem to hear the sound emanating from the electrical pole in the trailer park where Teresa Banks had lived (another likely example of Lynch's oft-used association between electricity and spirit phenomena). Laura Palmer hears the sound reverberating through her house following her dream, and it is also heard as the One-Armed Man chases down Leland at the intersection, indicating that he is possessed by the Man From Another Place, who is addressing BOB, not Leland himself, in his ensuing spiel.
The monkey says (very quietly) "Judy," a reference to earlier in the film when Agent Philip Jeffries walks into the FBI Office and says "We're not going to talk about Judy. We're not going to talk about her at all, we're going to leave her out of it," right before sharing his experiences in the Black Lodge.
Given that Phillip Jeffries declined to talk about Judy, or even identify her, her identity has been the subject of much speculation over the years. The name Judy occurs once in the series under unusual circumstances, after Major Garland Briggs has been kidnapped and drugged by Windom Earle. As he later recovers at the sheriff's station, he seems not to recognize his name and questioningly replies "Judy Garland?" However, it should be remembered that this was the name of the actress who played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (which was heavily referenced in Lynch's then-most recent feature, Wild at Heart), and probably not meant as a reference to a character in the later film.
In the recently released feature The Missing Pieces from the Twin Peaks Blu-ray set, a longer version of the Phillip Jeffries scene is found, which contains a few additional clues. Jeffries is seen checking into a hotel in Buenos Aires, whereupon the hotel clerk gives him a letter left for him by Judy. Later, when he mysteriously appears at FBI headquarters, his line "I found something...and then there they were" is expanded into "I found something, in Seattle, at Judy's...and then there they were." The scene as it appears in the finished film is intercut with the scene of the various otherworldly characters (such as BOB and the Man From Another Place) in such a way as to imply that these beings are the "they" of which Jeffries is speaking. One could therefore infer from the longer version of the dialogue that the convenience store was in some way connected to Judy. It is uncertain if Lynch considers the Missing Pieces to be canonical.
In an interview with the Twin Peaks fanzine Wrapped in Plastic, co-writer Robert Engels stated that Judy was meant to have been Josie Packard's sister, who was involved in dealings with Agent Jeffries and ex-Agent Windom Earle in Buenos Aires. This plot thread would have apparently been expanded upon had there ever been any subsequent Twin Peaks movies.
In the 2017 series, Twin Peaks: The Return, episode 17, Gordon Cole revealed that Judy was a corrupted form of the older name "Jowday," which he described as a "strong negative force." Jeffries had become aware of this entity prior to his disappearance. Later, Major Briggs contacted Cole in reference to this being, and the two of them, along with Agent Cooper, put together a plan to find Judy. It is not clear if Cole knew at the time that the entity Briggs named as Jowday was the same being Jeffries was referencing previously, or if he made the connection later. While not confirmed in the series, the ghostly creature seen in the first episode of The Return (along with a few subsequent appearances) is suspected by many viewers as being Judy.
The drug dealer Bobby kills is, in fact, the Deer Meadow Police Deputy that had a run-in with FBI Agent Chet Desmond earlier in the film. The murder is only briefly referenced in the pilot, when James is telling Donna of his last night with Laura. There is no further explicit reference made to the event in the series, although curiously in one episode Bobby is seen briefly reaching out seemingly in desperation to a crucifix on a wall before being disturbed. It could also be inferred that Bobby's difficult relationship with his father Major Briggs during the series may have something to do with Bobby's angst over the killing, to which he cannot bring himself to confess.
Since the film's release in 1992, there have been many petitions and movements to try and get a new DVD with the missing footage produced. David Lynch stated many times that he was keen, but he did not want to extend the film, just include the extra scenes as a bonus feature in a future release.
In November 2008, David Lynch stated in an interview with WYNC.org that he had spoken to MK2 in France, (who hold the rights to the footage) on several occasions, the last being only two months previously. At the time he said there were at least 17 scenes he wanted to utilise, but that the then-current financial crisis could put things on hold for a while.
On July 29, 2014 both the film and television series were released in a definitive, Blu-ray box set. This release includes "The Missing Pieces," ninety minutes of scenes cut from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. As David Lynch has stated before that "the theatrical edition is my cut," the scenes are not reincorporated into the film. They are, however, finally seeing the light of day, all of 22 years later.
Shortly after the release of the Blu-ray set, the Missing Pieces were reincorporated into the film via Q2, an editor who previously trimmed down the entire series into a film-like format, which was in turn supported by CBS. While the extended version is currently not available on home video, it can be found online. Some have suggested that Lynch may follow up on season three, to air in 2017, with some aspects cut from the film due to Lynch's strange method of editing the deleted scenes into something of a standalone film. In other words, Lynch may continue to expand upon plotlines shown in the Missing Pieces due to the deliberate nature of how the deleted scenes were edited and presented.
There are many theories as to the presence of the ring and its meaning. One of the most popular is that it allows for the bearer to teleport through space and time. This explains why Agent Jeffries appears and then vanishes from the FBI office, why Chet Desmond vanishes after taking it, why Cooper is able to communicate with Laura in the Black Lodge and how Annie is able to tell Laura about Cooper being stranded in the lodge.
Another theory is that the ring protects the wearer from being inhabited by Bob's spirit.
There is also the possibility that the ring is a physical reference to the events of Twin Peaks being caught in a circle, or ring, and destined to repeat themselves. Also of note, the symbol on the ring is the same symbol seen in one episode of the TV series on a Native American cave painting. This may be connected to the fact that Dale Cooper is trapped in the Black Lodge, where events are non-linear.This is actually suggested in the final episode of the TV series, where a scene between Bobby and Shelly at the Double-R Diner plays out exactly the same as a scene in the pilot. Another reference to this idea comes from a line of dialogue spoken by the Man From Another Place, cut from the film's convenience store scene: "And everything will proceed cyclically."
The 2017 series Twin Peaks: The Return showed the ring as being a conduit to the Black Lodge. Anyone who died while wearing the ring would appear subsequently in the lodge, returning the ring to its home.