Season 2 of dystopian sci-fi series Westworld is upon us, and it’s still largely shrouded in secrecy. And that’s despite the announcement by showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy that they would release all the spoilers ahead of time. The promised video turned out to be an elaborate Rickroll. Thank goodness. But, also, ugh, how annoying.
One thing that isn’t a massive joke – at least we think it isn’t – is the website Delos Destinations. A marketing tool for the series, not only does it reveal the identity of the founder of the company that runs Westworld – James Delos, played by Peter Mullan — but it also confirms the name of one of the new worlds we can expect to see in Season 2. And even teases four additional parks – all of which are accompanied by the words: ‘Reservations are closed to the public’. Piecing together clues from the website, trailers, and movies upon which the series is based, here are the new worlds we could see coming up in Westworld:
Beginning with the only confirmed new world, Shogun World is teased on the Delos Destinations website thus:
‘For those for whom Westworld is not enough, the true connoisseur of gore can indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana. Modeled after Japan’s Edo period, Shogun World offers a chance for guests to embrace their inner warrior, in a landscape of the highest beauty and darkest horror. Let your true self take shape in the land where self-discovery is an art form.’
So if Westworld itself wasn’t bloody and brutal enough, it sounds like Shogun World will up the stakes.
We caught sight of this new world at the end of Season 1, when Maeve stumbled upon a roomful of armoured hosts. But we’ve also seen glimpses of it in the trailers for Season 2 – notably a shot from behind of a figure clad in Samurai armour walking along a banner-lined thoroughfare. As well as Thandie Newton’s Maeve dressed in geisha clothing.
We also know that actor Hiroyuki Sanada is playing a character known as Musashi, a Shogun World host. But what we don’t yet know is how he figures into the wider story. And could we also see tigers here? Tigers once existed in Japan, and in the trailer, Bernard finds a dead tiger robot washed up on a beach.
Way back in 2016, Jonathan Nolan said we wouldn’t see the two other worlds from the original film. Medieval World was one of those. But then, at the 2017 Vanity Fair Summit, he was asked during a panel why the worlds were omitted in Season 1. His response? “We had to save something for Season 2.” Which suggests that we could potentially glimpse Medieval World this season.
A 13th century Europe-themed park, Medieval World experienced the same issues as Westworld in the original film, yet it was present in the sequel, Futureworld.
In the 1973 film, Medieval World is described like this:
‘A world of chivalry and combat, romance and excitement. Our teams of engineers have spared no expense in this re-creation, precise to the smallest detail.’
In the sequel, it’s described as follows:
‘An exact reconstruction of 13th century Europe, where you may live like an absolute king.’
We also know that the series has referenced the original film before. In Season 1, there was an Easter Egg of Yul Brynner’s gunslinger. This suggests more possible nods to the films down the line.
The other park in the original film, Roman World has a Pompeii setting and incorporates the glory years of the Roman Empire. It wasn’t seen much, but here’s how the world was described in 1973’s Westworld:
‘A lusty treat for the senses in the setting of delightful, decadent Pompeii. Here the traveler experiences the sensual, relaxed morality that existed at the peak of the imperial Roman Empire.’
And in Futureworld:
‘A lusty treat for the senses, where beautiful robot women are yours to command and robot gladiators die at the point of your sword.’
If Roman World does feature, expect sex, treachery and debauchery to be its defining features.
The sequel in 1976 introduced two more worlds to the franchise – and Futureworld took centre stage. Futureworld would be an enticing addition to the series – and if you’ve been looking closely, you might have seen and interpreted allusions to the presence of a futuristic park.
Firstly, in the trailer you’ll see Delores standing looking out over a futuristic cityscape complete with white box-like structures. While this could be the setting of the time period the show takes place in, and therefore the ‘real world’, it could equally be a new world – Futureworld. Her attire and the location seem to match a black-tie party that we see Logan attending. But this doesn’t really tell us any more about whether this could be an official Delos function, or part of a park adventure.
The other hint is more oblique. If you read the Delos Incorporated page of the Delos Destinations website where it introduces the park founder, you’ll notice language alluding to outer space. Phrases including ‘fighting gravity’, ‘take off’ and ‘fabric of our universe’ are used. Could this be teasing a space-themed world?
The original Futureworld of the movie was based on an orbiting space station and is described thus:
‘Futureworld, where you will be transported throughout the solar system, commanding your very own rocket ship, enjoying the favours of robot women of weightless beauty, soaring through space like an astronaut.’
Futureworld, according to the movie, is three times bigger than Westworld and uses the Ares II Space Shuttle and Voyager Starship as settings. Guests can go on spacewalks and explore the Moon and Mars.
Futureworld also introduced Spa World, described as ‘a garden of pleasure, where old age and pain have been eliminated.’ But of all the worlds, this seems least likely to transfer to the series. With five seasons reportedly mapped out already, we may not see all these new worlds in Season 2 – if at all – but it’s exciting to think about where the series could go beyond 2018.
Westworld Season 2 hits screens on April 22.