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The Big Question That Has Alita: Battle Angel Fans Scratching Their Heads

When looking at 2019's movie slate, a handful of incredible titles likely spring to mind. Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Joker, and more dominated the pop culture scene, alongside more than a few smaller features that didn't generate quite as much buzz. For instance, 2019 saw the arrival of Alita: Battle Angel on the big screen after spending ages in development limbo. While it made a decent chunk of change — $405 million on a $170 million budget, to be exact — and provided moviegoers with plenty of entertainment, director Robert Rodriguez's project failed to make the impact he and his team hoped for.

At the same time, Alita's premiere helped spawn the Alita Army, a fan group dedicated to supporting Rosa Salazar's cinematic alter-ego in all of her endeavors. Members from around the globe have spent year after year curating their own corner of the internet to discuss everything relating to their favorite cyborg, building a positive environment to do so all the while. This has given Alita: Battle Angel fans of all backgrounds the chance to learn more about the character, her fictional universe, and the source material they stem from. 

However, for as helpful as this has been, there are still questions about the movie that remain unanswered in the fandom. Here's one that continues to leave Alita die-hards baffled.

Who's responsible for Alita becoming a cyborg?

Screen Rant notes in a 2019 article that, despite Alita: Battle Angel's best attempts to flesh out the titular character, it misses the mark on more than one front. That includes explaining who is responsible for putting her in her cyborg form. When Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers her remains in a junkyard, it's shown that she's just a mechanical casing with a human brain housed inside the head. No explanation is ever given as to who removed her brain and placed it in a new body, and why they performed such a procedure.

According to the manga series by Yukito Kishiro, Battle Angel Alita, on which the theatrical film is based, readers are given some insight into Alita's past. It's explained that she was turned into a cyborg over time, reaching the form viewers see her in by the age of three. Baron Muster is the man behind this unnatural metamorphosis, using Alita as a weapon to end the reign of a Martian Princess before apparently discarding her. 

It's an inhumane and rather tragic tale that wouldn't fit in Alita: Battle Angel, but perhaps it could see life in a potential sequel down the line. However, considering how unlikely such a project is at this point, the question of Alita's cinematic origins will remain a mystery for the time being.