Grease is a classic film with a huge fan base. It's also the home to one of the more popular and interesting fan theories on the internet. Now, one of the film's stars is weighing in on it. It turns out John Travolta totally loves the idea that Sandy is actually dead the whole time. Well, maybe he doesn't love the idea, but he loves the creativity of the fans that leads to these interesting, and occasionally bizarre, fan theories. According to Travolta....
I love it; imaginations are awesome. These things are bound to happen to something timeless like this. It's so fun.
If you're somehow not familiar with this classic theory, it supposes that Sandy, the female lead of Grease played by Olivia Newton-John, is actually dying throughout the entirety of Grease and that the film is actually a fantasy created in her mind as she dies. There are two points, one at the beginning and one at the end of the film, that make up the theory. The song "Summer Nights" sung early in the film tells of Danny (Travolta) and Sandy meeting during the previous summer, and Danny sings a line claiming that Sandy nearly drown but he saved her life. Then, at the end, we see Danny and Sandy driving away and the car they're in begins to fly up into the sky. Since nothing quite that fantastic happens elsewhere in the film, the scene seems out of place, so the idea is that the movie ends with Sandy dying and floating up to heaven, following the drowning referenced at the beginning of the movie.
John Travolta is far from the first person attached to the movie to officially comment on the fan theory. Olivia Newton-John herself had previously made comments similar to what the actor says here, she finds the theory "hilarious" but thinks it's great that people still care enough about the movie to talk about it. Jim Jacobs, who co-wrote the original musical apparently found the theory less entertaining, claiming that whoever came up with it must have been on acid. He completely rejected the idea.
Of course, few if any were of the belief that the idea that Sandy was dead was some sort of secret message hidden within the story by the creators. Fan theories are rarely meant to be taken literally, especially for 40-year-old movies. Instead, they're just meant to get people thinking and looking at the material they thought they knew in new ways.
As dark as the theory is, it is certainly an interesting idea which could change the way you look at a movie like Grease even after you've seen it countless times over the last four decades. As John Travolta tells USA Today, it's a testament to the fact that Grease has stood the test of time.