The Last of Us’ biggest Easter egg is its smallest shot

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2003 was a helluva time, some for our world and nan world of The Last of Us. Reality sewage The Return of nan King, the Iraq War, and nan completion of nan Human Genome Project. The Last of Us-verse sewage a zombie pandemic and nan 2nd installment successful a Twilight ripoff. You mightiness miss nan second for nan erstwhile successful each nan hubbub, but section 7, “Left Behind,” surely nods to nan in-universe lore of nan (we’re guessing) awesome franchise Dawn of nan Wolf pinch a tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter egg.

As Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and her friend and would-be paramour Riley (Storm Reid) spell connected their tipsy escapade that Riley has prepared for them, there’s plentifulness of specifications to respect astir nan Boston promenade they’re wandering in. That includes a movie poster and marquee for Dawn of nan Wolf Part 2, a movie that — for illustration immoderate portion of media referenced successful conscionable astir immoderate portion of media — feels important. But besides important to this story: It’s not a existent movie.

Dawn of nan Wolf Part 2 (and astir apt Part 1, if I had to guess) is simply a wholly in-universe movie for nan world of The Last of Us, seen successful glimpses of nan poster aliases billboard. In nan crippled Ellie and Joel have a short discussion astir 1 of nan billboards, pinch Ellie skeptical of nan movie, and Joel waving it disconnected arsenic a “dumb teen movie.”

When The Last of Us was successful improvement astatine Naughty Dog backmost successful nan precocious 2000s, nan biggest “dumb teen movie” successful nan world would person been nan Twilight franchise. And nan movie series’ last installment, Breaking Dawn - Part 2, opened successful theaters successful 2012, nan twelvemonth earlier Sony released The Last of Us. Though nan relationship doesn’t magnitude to overmuch — nan title, a motion to nan vampire/werewolf fever sweeping nan nation; nan implied YA melodrama; etc. — it’s surely 1 fans latched onto astatine nan clip nan crippled came out.

And who tin blasted them? Look, we each miss nan halcyon days of having different Twilight movie to look guardant to. The movie franchise is simply a rich | matter of everything from young, eternal and chaste emotion to werewolves carrying pants astir for erstwhile they transform. Each caller section is its ain manic masterpiece, and I, for one, would gladly soak up more.

In 1 way, this Easter ovum is conscionable different mini motion to a larger beingness beyond nan bounds of this show. But successful another, it’s an incredibly typical one, 1 that tells america (as players aliases viewers) thing astir almost each constituent of The Last of Us: To Ellie, it intends very little, a relic from a bygone era she’ll ne'er beryllium capable to know. To Joel, it’s a memory of his clip pinch Sarah (who, successful nan game, had a poster for nan first movie successful her room) and nan life wholly mislaid to him. Put together, that poster feels evocative of the ending coming up connected them really fast.

In nan clip play of nan game, it’s some an easy potshot astatine a 2013-era dense hitter and a ocular motion to nan enslaved betwixt our protagonists. As a relic from HBO’s The Last of Us’ 2003 popular culture, it’s a spot of an anomaly (the first Twilight book wouldn’t beryllium released until 2005, astatine slightest barring a Cordyceps-driven zombie plague), but not extracurricular nan bounds of reason. Like so galore specifications connected nan show, it communicates truthful overmuch pinch truthful little. And yet it’s each conscionable different measurement that normalcy — wrong their world aliases ours — feels truthful disconnected arsenic to beryllium unrecognizable.

Imagine if we only had nan first 2 Twilight movies — who would play nan Batman then?