How Taylor Swift's 'Ready for It' Video Relies on Science Fiction
I'm not sure anyone is ready for cyborg Taylor Swift.
Last week, we got acquainted with Taylor Swift’s burgeoning interest in science. This week, whether we’re ready for it or not, she’s all about science fiction. Swift’s latest music video for “…Ready For It?” paints a techno-futuristic dystopia by leaning heavily on popular sci-fi franchises with nods to Ex Machina and Ghost in the Shell, among others.
The video, which was dropped on Thursday night, features skin-tight suits, glass cages, and lightning powers — uncommon themes for a T-Swift music video. The lyrics of the tune are a bit more on-brand: “In the middle of the night, in my dreams / You should see the things we do, baby.” There’s even some Halloween vibes with spooky lyrics like “Knew he was a killer first time that I saw him / Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted.”
While the meaning of the video is still up for interpretation, those references to our favorite science fiction and fantasy worlds didn’t go unnoticed. Here are all the best Easter eggs in the new video. Are you ready for it? (Last time, promise.)
1. Taylor Goes Super Saiyan
Joseph Kahn, who directed the video, teased on Tuesday that Taylor would go “Super Saiyan” in the video. Sure enough, we get several versions of Taylor that glow with some ethereal powers deeply reminiscent of Goku, Vegeta, and other golden Super Saiyans from Dragonball Z. Kahn has called the video a “homage to anime” leading up to its release, and final product delivers homages to more than just anime.
2. Taylor Goes Ghost in the Shell Major
If there’s one blatant rip-off in the video, then it’s the skin-tight suit worn by one of the Taylors. In Ghost in the Shell, this thermoptic suit is worn by the cyborg Major, and it allows her to turn invisible. No such luck for Major Taylor, however, because she’s already trapped in a glass prison.
3. Oh hello, Ex Machina
You can’t trap an android in a glass prison these days without drawing obvious connections to the fantastic Ex Machina.
4. Taylor Becomes the Black Ranger
The rad suits in the latest Power Rangers movie featured alien metals that grew across their bodies like skin. The Taylor Android goes through a similar transformation in the video into what looks like the Black Ranger, complete with a sword-gun-arm. Nice.
5. Taylor the White Gets Her Own Shadowfax
Perhaps the most random and out-of-place transformation, Taylor somehow gets a horse in her prison. All-white clothing on an all-white horse makes this equestrian Taylor look like a wizard back from the dead à la Gandalf the White from Lord of the Rings.
6. Taylor Steals an Infinity Stone
In the TCU, Taylor has the power to reshape the Tesseract from the MCU into an orb shape of great power. This, in turn, supercharges the other Taylor swift into something else. Go figure.
7. Taylor Goes Tron
In a few sequences from the “…Ready For It?” video, Taylor’s skin-tight suit gets some glowing accent lines that look straight out of Tron.
8. Cloaked Taylor Is the Goddess of Death
With a single touch against the glass, black-cloaked Taylor confirms she’s the Goddess of Death. Don’t worry: The other Taylor will be okay, and she’ll keep the obscure Thor: Ragnarok references coming.
9. Taylor Goes Thor
This one’s super timely considering Thor: Ragnarok comes out next week, in which the real God of Thunder displays some cool new lightning powers. But in “…Ready For It?” Taylor puts on a truly electric performance.
“…Ready For It?” appears on Taylor Swifts new album, Reputation, which is due out November 10, 2017.