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The Biggest Unanswered Questions In The Kill Bill Saga

Of all the cinematic masterpieces that Quentin Tarantino has crafted, Kill Bill is quite possibly the one that left fans with the most unanswered questions. This enigmatic story is simultaneously satisfying and ambiguous, leaving fans to scratch their heads and scour the movie for hints so they can answer the burning questions left as scenes fly by in a whirlwind of blood and sword fights.

In both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, the characters we meet and the places the Bride visits are instantly fascinating. Part of what makes the world of Kill Bill so rich, textured, and alive (despite being very literally littered with corpses at times) is the fact that so many of the characters allude to different stories that led up to this one. And as a result, in this heightened world of ultra-violence, the unanswered questions about where characters came from or where they're going add a layer of intrigue that creates an endlessly fascinating story. From past grudges to inconclusive fates, here are the biggest unanswered questions in the Kill Bill saga.

What happened to Elle Driver at the end of Kill Bill?

One of the biggest mysteries in the Kill Bill saga revolves around one of its deadliest killers, Elle Driver, known in assassin circles by the code name of California Mountain Snake. For years, her ultimate fate has caused audiences to wonder what became of her.

Played to perfection by Daryl Hannah, Elle Driver is the arch-nemesis of our dreams. As a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she's beautiful, skilled, deadly, and absolutely hates our protagonist, the Bride (Uma Thurman). So when she finally gets the chance to battle her great rival — ironically, in a nasty, old trailer — Elle Driver doesn't pull any punches. The showdown between Driver and the Bride is one of the most gruesome scenes in the saga. But eventually, the hero emerges victorious, leaving Elle a bloody, brutalized mess. We know she's lost her one good eye, and now she's trapped blind in a trailer with one of the world's deadliest animals (there's a black mamba on the loose), so the odds of her surviving seem pretty dang slim.

But her code name is a shortened version of the California mountain kingsnake. Kingsnakes are naturally resistant to the venom of other snakes, and Elle is never officially declared dead, leaving plenty of room for speculation.

Did Nikki ever decide to get revenge?

The scene between Black Mamba (aka the Bride, aka Beatrix Kiddo) and Copperhead (aka Jeannie Bell, aka Vernita Green) is a riveting moment and one that truly introduces the audience to the explosive action and the excellent dialogue of the Kill Bill saga. Played by queen of the screen Vivica A. Fox, Vernita Green is a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, the group that the Bride defected from, which then hunted her down and tried to murder her in cold blood.

So when the Bride is back up and at it and ready for revenge, she gives her old friend Vernita a visit ... though it isn't exactly a friendly one. The Bride is there for revenge, but her plan is quickly put on hold by the arrival of Nikki Bell, the adorable little daughter of Vernita. Robbing a child of her mother is a hard blow for the Bride, but ultimately, her resolve that Vernita has to die is unchanged.

Nikki goes upstairs to her room ... and when she comes back down, it's to see her mother lying in the kitchen ... dead. The end of this scene is particularly enticing to fans because it clearly seems to set up a path for revenge for Nikki. The Bride tells her to seek her out one day when she's grown up if she wants vengeance herself. So what became of Nikki? Did she grow up to be a killer like her mother? Or did she uncover the bloody family history which led to Vernita's death and decide to let bygones be bygones?

What happened at the hospital?

The Bride's coma and subsequent stay in a long-term care facility following her attempted murder at the hands of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad is anything but restful. When she wakes up, it's into a reality more horrible than a nightmare. Menaced by rapists and the loss of a child, the Bride's new reality is a thing of true terror. But one thought animates her and gives her the will to carry on: revenge.

In one of the bloodiest scenes in one of the bloodiest movies of the 2000s, the Bride's first act of revenge is against a certain man named Buck who came to the hospital to, well ... utterly violate a woman in a coma. She brutally ends Buck, and when the long-term care orderly returns, she does him in too. With a door ... on the floor. As messed up as this sequence may be for a number of reasons, it's pretty clear to viewers that leaving a trail of bloodied bodies behind in a house of healing is going to attract some attention. So what happens to the hospital after she leaves?

Presumably, this isn't a high-traffic area, as she relearns to walk in a dead man's truck over the course of several undisturbed hours. But what happens when the authorities discover two dead bodies? Or for that matter, when they discover that a coma patient is mysteriously missing?

Who took over the yakuza?

The world of gangs, mobsters, and organized crime is endlessly fascinating for movie-loving audiences. And few crime syndicates have captured the minds and imaginations of viewers like Japan's yakuza, and in Kill Bill, this Japanese organization play an essential role.

Led by O-Ren Ishii (portrayed by American treasure Lucy Liu), the yakuza have been consolidated from several warring factions into one unified crime syndicate. But before her life as the most powerful mob boss of the most powerful mob, O-Ren Ishii was a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, with the code name Cottonmouth. And that means she's totally on the Bride's hit list. Eventually, Beatrix Kiddo comes to Japan and annihilates O-Ren's highly trained bodyguards known as the Crazy 88. Beatrix Kiddo tears the group limb from limb, figuratively and literally. Then she destroys O-Ren Ishii.

But what becomes of the yakuza after their boss is gone? O-Ren Ishii was relatively new to the management of the group, and there were internal rifts within during her rise to power. A sudden vacuum of leadership at the very top of a violent organization would've surely made for an intense power struggle that would've rocked the Japanese underworld to its core. Perhaps the title went to one of the family heads present at her coronation dinner, but in the volatile world of Kill Bill, it's anyone's guess.

Where's Sofie at the end of Kill Bill?

Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus), the beautiful protege of Bill's, meets a tragic but fitting end in Kill Bill. Except, it's not really the end for her. In the bloody, brutal world crafted by Quentin Tarantino, if a character isn't completely dead, then we have to wonder what became of them after the artfully done credits roll.

Sofie Fatale wasn't an official member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad as far as we know, but she did assist Bill with his dirty work, including overseeing the attempted execution of Beatrix Kiddo on the day of her wedding. And when the Bride takes her after massacring the head of the yakuza and her army of bodyguards, Sofie's fate is not one to envy. She has several of her limbs severed by Beatrix Kiddo as she tortures the woman who once laughed as Kiddo lay bleeding to death.

Director and writer Quentin Tarantino has hinted at a possible Kill Bill: Volume 3 at some point in the future, and fans worldwide have said they wouldn't be surprised at all to see Sofie Fatale making a return to the big screen. We know that she survived her multiple amputations, we know that she was in contact with Bill, and she gave Beatrix some, but not all, of the information she sought. But what became of Sofie after that, there's no telling.

How did Budd and Bill get into the killing business?

Most movies in the action genre are dominated by men, but Kill Bill stands out as a celebration of feminine power, ferocity, and tenacity with a dominating cast of female characters. But that makes the men standing behind and fighting alongside the women all the more intriguing, including the two biggest male leads, Budd and Bill. Bill (David Carradine), the head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, is a feared warrior who's made some powerful enemies. His brother, Budd (Michael Madsen), code name Sidewinder, was once a member of his team of highly trained assassins.

These two warriors have a long history, but we're only left with hints of their journey. How did these two brothers become involved in the world of international assassinations? How did Budd wind up working for his older brother in such a bloody business?

Budd is the only member of the squad to seemingly defeat Beatrix Kiddo during the course of her revenge rampage, but after he buries her deep underground in a wooden coffin, she escapes. He's later killed by her code name namesake, a black mamba, hidden in a suitcase. That's fitting enough, but how and why he and Bill walked a path that led to such a violent ending remains a mystery. We know Bill at least was raised partially by a Mexican brothel owner, but the leap from there to the man he is when he takes his last step is an intriguing journey indeed.

How did Beatrix Kiddo become the killer she is in Kill Bill?

One of the biggest questions fans of Kill Bill have been asking since the films initial release in 2003 is about Black Mamba. In the flashback sequences where she trains with Pai Mei, she seems like a naive kid, fresh-faced and open to the wonders of a world waiting to be discovered. But she's already well-trained, multi-lingual and knowledgeable about killing. How did she get like this?

The timeline of how she got linked up with Bill only has a few things to anchor it, like his ties to Hattori Hanzo, paired with the fact that she'd never met the master swordsmith. But that's precious little to go on. So how did a young girl come under the care of a hardened killer such as Bill? What wild childhood or deep trauma led Beatrix Kiddo to a life of high-stakes international assassination for hire? Fans have speculated that her backstory could be potential fodder for further installments in the Kill Bill saga, but for now, we're left wondering how she got her start.

Why does Hanzo have a grudge against Bill?

Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba) is a name spoken with reverence in the world of Kill Bill. Living in Okinawa, Japan, and hiding his true history by working as a sushi chef, Hattori Hanzo is one of the most intriguing characters in a saga full of larger-than-life assassins. Interestingly, he's named after an actual samurai, who's one of the most well-known warriors in Japanese lore. 

Besides the real-world history, he's such an intriguing character because of the intricate and heavy backstory that's hinted at in Kill Bill: Volume 1. Beatrix Kiddo goes to Okinawa with the express purpose of seeking him out, to entreat him to make her a sword. We learn that 28 years prior, he swore an oath to never again make a weapon that could take a life, but he breaks that solemn vow once he hears who she's trying to kill — his old student, the mastermind assassin known as Bill.

We know Bill and Hanzo have a complicated history and that Hanzo is willing to break a holy vow to help end Bill's life. Could their past be the key to why Hanzo vowed to stop making weapons in the first place? Sadly, we don't know the answer, but we're thinking it's got to be "yes."

What is Vernita's backstory?

Vernita Green, who by her own accounting should've had the code name Black Mamba but got stuck with the name Copperhead, is the first character besides the Bride we get to spend any real time with. And she helps the audience get acquainted with this world where daily life and deadly assassinations go hand in hand.

To the rest of the world, Green seems like your friendly neighborhood mom, but really, she's a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, the group that the Bride defected from, which then hunts her down and tries to kill her in cold blood. She's now living under the alias Jeannie Bell, but only a few years earlier, she was trotting the globe and going after high-value targets for vast sums of money. 

While it's easy to imagine how she came to the suburban life — perhaps she lost the taste for paid killing after the attempted murder of a pregnant woman who was also once a teammate — how she came to be a killer in the first place is a mystery left unexplored. And honestly, we wouldn't mind seeing an entire movie about her bloody background.

We want to know more about the world of Kill Bill

The world of Kill Bill is certainly enchanting and intriguing. And it's a world much different from ours. It's not just the physics of the place that are different, where blood sprays like a New York City fire hydrant and a few pressure points can stop a man's heart. Instead, Quentin Tarantino crafts a place with it's own lore and customs.

First off, assassins and warriors seem to be a big part of this world. Not only are there highly trained killers lurking around every corner, there are even signs within the world that they are accepted by society and catered to. The biggest and most obvious example is shown when Beatrix Kiddo takes that fateful flight and crafts her death list. Many audience members have noted the fact that she's carrying a massive katana on an airplane as pretty remarkable. Upon further examination of the scene, we see another sword carried by another passenger in the plane. Looking even closer, we can see that not only are swords allowed on the flight, they even have specialized holders for them attached to each seat.

What is the rest of this stylized Earth really like? Are there whole hotels just for assassins like in John Wick? Just how commonplace are these bringers of death in society? These questions have intrigued audiences for years, and they've left us all begging for answers.