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The following contains minor spoilers for Bill and Ted Face the Music.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is as solid an ending to the trilogy as fans could have hoped for, especially after waiting so long for it. It gives the characters a satisfying ending and it also contains all the great franchise references that we would expect to see at the end of the story, meant for all the fans who have been there from the beginning to appreciate. But it turns out that Face the Music also included at least one reference to another popular science fiction film outside the Bill and Ted franchise, one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A fan noticed a strong similarity between one particular sequence in Bill and Ted Face the Music and 2001: A Space Odyssey, as both movies include scenes where characters find themselves looking upon themselves, as elderly men. Now, Alex Winter has taken to Twitter to seemingly confirm that this was no coincidence, but rather an intentional reference to the Stanley Kubrick classic.
In Bill and Ted Face the Music the modern-day versions of the characters are finally forced to write the song that is supposed to unite all of time and space, but since the two have had no success writing the song previously, they decide the only way to do it is to use time travel to go forward in time to a point after they have written the song, and get it from their older selves. This plan is, probably unsurprisingly, not as simple or successful as Bill and Ted expect it to be.
Bill and Ted Face the Music certainly isn't the first movie since 2001 to have a time-traveling character come into contact with their older self, but looking at these shots side-by-side it's basically impossible not to see this as an intentional reference. Older Bill and Ted could have been found anyplace, they didn't need to be nearly immobile in their beds, and that decision appears to have been made specifically to reference a classic science fiction film.
Of course, realizing that this was a direct reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey also makes the moment that much more hilarious. Taking a classic moment from a movie many believe is the greatest, and most cerebral, science fiction film of all time, and making it a moment where a couple of aging slackers show up looking for a piece of rock and roll music, is somehow the most Bill and Ted thing ever.
Of course, now I need to go watch Bill and Ted Face the Music again and see if I can find any other references to popular science fiction films. Are there any others you've noticed? Let us know in the comments.