Can anyone explain Saturn from "Beetlejuice?"

In the movie Beetlejuice, what is the sandworm infested Saturn supposed to represent? A ghost hell?

I wasn’t Saturn. It was another plane of existence - the ghost world. Presumably, the same one that holds the DMV of the Damned. The giant worms are, apparently, part of whatever passes for an ecology in the afterlife, and sustain themselves by feeding on the spirits of the departed.

Before the dead souls started moving into the Neitherworld, there was nothing but the sandworm infested plains of chaos. There is still vast areas of the Pit yet to be “civilized,” and those wastes are just beyond the artificial constructs the spirits have made to house themselves.

It’s Saturn.


Who refers to it as “Saturn,” specifically, in the film?

Betelguise. Can’t find the scene on YouTube, but he says something along the lines of 'You’ve been to Saturn? I’ve been to Saturn! Sandworms, huh? Hate ‘em!’

I don’t want to make a seperate thread for this, can someone explain the title of the film? I just realized :smack:its likely some kind of play on

What with the scene where they struggle to pronounce “Beetlejuice” but I have never in my life heard it pronounced like that. Always some variant of <BE tell geese> or <betel geez> so…

Here’s the shooting script

I’ll take that as sufficiently authoritative.

I have. In fact, learned it from the audio tape (yes, as in cassette) of Stephen Moore reading an abridged version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He said it just like “Beetle Juice”, when speaking of Ford Prefect’s home, “a small planet, somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse”.

Check the pronunciation guide in the sidebar on that article. The two pronunciations offered are:

Beetle Juice is a close (though not exact) approximation of the first. The other is approximately ‘bet till juice’.

Betelgeuse is also the star the planet orbits that they actually go to in Planet of the Apes (original novel). Not Earth of the Future.

From memory, I think the same joke was used in the radio series of Hitchhiker’s Guide, several years before the movie Beetlejuice.

So, having established that the sand worm place actually is Saturn (or Titan, at least, according to the script), can anyone explain it? I’m usually good for an off-the-cuff fanwank,* but I admit this one has me stumped. What do the moons of Saturn have to do with the afterlife?


Hmm. The bit I paraphrased, and the equivalent bit in the script don’t really match up.

The way I remember it matches Betelgeuse’s sort of patter better than the scripted version. So…did I ‘fix’ it in my memory? Did Keaton feel the same way and adlib a more Betelgeusey line? Did Burton feel the same way and rewrite it on the fly? Did someone realize the line wasn’t all that funny as written, whether it matched Betelgeuse’s* speech patterns or not, and write a better one after the script was finalized?

I think I need to rewatch the movie at some point.

  • After writing his name 3 times in this post, I wish it were spelt like the title (as it was in the cartoon) just so I could take to calling him ‘BJ’, like in the cartoon.

Let me lube up and give this one a good wanking…er

You know how there are things that the living cannot see? Like ghosts for instance, unless the spiritual beings exert great effort to be seen, so presumably there could be all kinds of crazy shit going on around well everywhere that the living cannot see.

Including on Saturn or its moon Titan, the worms are some kind of spiritual entity. Perhaps the spirit of some kind of extraterrestrial life that died millions or billions of years prior.

Nice one!

I’ve always wondered what exactly was waiting for the Maitlands after their 100 year wait in their house. They were only waiting because of a massive backlog, what happens when their number finally comes up and they can move tot he afterlife proper? Is there a Heaven (and/or Hell) after the waiting rooms, limbo, etc. Also how long do suicides have to work as civil servants; is it for eternity or just a couple centuries. Note that none of the civil servants seem to be from before the mid-20th century (unless those are the skeleton typists). The general rule seems to you look like you did when you died, but alot of the inhabitants clearly show signs of decay or damage that would’ve occured after they died (like the guy with the shrunken head or Miss Argentina). FWIF why did her sash say “Miss Argentina” and not “Senorita Argentina”. And most importantly why am I overthing this movie so much at quarter after 2 in the morning?:smack:


Anyway, to address your question the majority of beauty pageants use ‘Miss’, rather than whatever the equivalent is in the local language. (A handful of pageants do translate ‘miss’, but for the most part, if it’s not ‘Miss’, it’s something unrelated - ‘beauty’, ‘queen’, ‘princess’, or a translation of one of those. Or else ‘Mrs’ or ‘Ms’ to indicate a different focus for the pageant.) Both the Argentine pageants listed use ‘miss’. (They look to be the Argentine feeders for the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants.)

Perhaps it was a tie-in to Dune?

my two cents