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What Happened to the People in the 'Cars' Universe? 'Cars 3' Cast Offers Theories

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

With this week’s release of Cars 3, we’re now 11 years and a full trilogy into Disney-Pixar’s hit series, yet (spoiler!) one burning question remains unanswered: In this world where anthropomorphic automobiles rule the Earth, what happened to all the humans? Are we in a post-apocalyptic scenario? Was there a rise of the machines?

There are plenty of theories, and the debate has long raged online. So we decided to take the question straight to the experts — the stars behind the new threequel, which finds an aging Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) struggling to keep pace with next-gen racing stars.

“If they are the reason for our extinction, that just makes me sad,” series newcomer Kerry Washington, who voices racing analytics expert Natalie Certain, told Yahoo Movies (watch above). “So I just think it’s an alternate universe.”

Wilson took a more soulful approach: “It’s sort of the dark secret [of Cars]. And you see it happening again with driverless cars. It’s coming again,” he joked. “No, I like to think that our spirit went into these cars. And that’s why they’re so human.”

“The cars ate [the people],” responded Armie Hammer, who voices Lightning McQueen’s hotshot new rival Jackson Storm. “Now cars run on people fuel instead of fossil fuels.” (Editor’s note: Hammer recently confessed to us that he frequently tells people who, after seeing his dual roles in Social Network, think he has a twin that he ate his brother, so there’s a trend developing here.)

Cars 3 opens Friday. Watch the trailer:

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