Who or what are the beings from the future?

from Movie FAQ – Donnie Darko on Rap Genius

Meaning

Director Richard Kelly speaks of the beings of the future several times on a commentary track on the Director’s Cut.

These technologically advanced beings from the future are the ones that accidently caused the appearance of the jet engine into Donnie Darko’s universe at the beginning of the film.

They utilize advanced technology to manipulate and watch events of the past. Further, they have been shown to be able to predict the actions of others in the past. They are the ones that manipulate Donnie Darko and the citizens of Middlesex to set up a chain of events that they hope will get Donnie Darko to make the choice that will save all of reality. They use the Messenger as their ambassador in communicating with Donnie Darko.

Although the beings from the future have always been a part of the Donnie Darko universe, their presence is more pronounced in the Director’s Cut of the film.

Several scenes in the Director’s Cut show images and information displayed on Donnie Darko’s eyes, almost like he is processing information like a computer.

These are examples of Donnie Darko as the Living Receiver receiving transmissions from the beings of the future. The beings from the future are never shown in person and who or what they are remains unknown.

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