Bond Continuity Theory: Octopussy’s backstory is possibly linked to Bond’s first mission and DAF
I admit this theory might be a bit of a stretch to believe and probably lies in the realm of deep fan-fiction but it might explain Octopussy’s connection with Bond and why she has so much admiration for him.
Upon meeting Bond in the film, she asks if he remembers her father Major Dexter Smythe whom Bond encountered in a mission unseen in any movie. This scene here in Octopussy is unusual since Bond and Octopussy go into a bit of detail to explain the events of what happened. There are very few other scenes in the Bond films where Bond explains a previous mission in detail without it being shown on screen.
Just to give some historical context, I am aware that the narrative of Major Dexter Smythe is lifted from the Fleming short story Octopussy and is meant to represent Fleming’s obituary. However it’s unusual to have such a lot of detail from the short story told in the film considering it’s never shown and never mentioned previously or after. Here’s my theory on how it could relate to Bond’s past and how Octopussy’s life is related to DAF:
The mission Bond explains in the film going after Smythe was actually his first field assignment as an agent for MI6 (or at least one of his first). Let me give you some context.
I propose that Bond joined the secret service following the end of World War 2. He did standard intelligence duties and then around 1952 or 53 he goes after Smythe on a field assignment. I am theorising that Bond is armed with a Beretta. This is based on the reference in DN as Bond says he used the gun for 10 years at that point. I guess Bond is armed with it from 1952 onwards but has so far not got any kills (I will theorise about another time how he gets his first kills).
Bond does not kill Smythe. But why must this mission happen in 1953 and why is it possibly Bond’s first assignment? When Octopussy first asks Bond about Smythe he immediately knows who he is. I imagine that this mission has some kind of special relevance to Bond so making it his first assignment would explain how he remembers it so well. If this is too specific to be believable, I will maintain that this mission must have happened before any of the films since it is never mentioned elsewhere so might not necessarily be his first assignment but possible one of his first missions.
Why specifically 1953? Well assuming Octopussy’s birth year is the same as Maud Adams, the actress who plays Octopussy, she was born in 1945. So she would have been 8 at the time of the incident – 8, octo get it? I also surmise that her father may have been abusing her which would explain why she has the name she has. She seems thankful that Bond did not kill her father and gave him the option to take his own life. I guess that she is thankful that her father realised his wrong doings and decided to take his own life for what he had done to the guide and to her.
Following this event she probably traces Bond from her young age and is too young to take any kind of vengeance and instead holds admiration for Bond. It is implied that she does not have any physical contact with any male partners which can be explained if you think her father abused her in the past. It is more ironic when you see how Bond forcibly kisses her because it`s possible that she might have been the victim of something similar but at the same time she wants to be physically involved with Bond.
It is implied on their walk in the garden the next morning that she lived off her father’s gold. (There could be a subtle hint that she traded gold with Goldfinger in the early 60s but that is really pushing it.)
She then says she was offered a commission to smuggle a consignment of diamonds. I theorise that she was part of the diamond smuggling operation in DAF. She would have been 26 in 1971, young and innocent enough to get by as a smuggler. Following Spectre’s demise in 1971, she probably had the opportunity to recruit her lost girls to build up her organisation and fill the hole that Spectre left. Also the logo that she uses looks similar to the octopus used on the Spectre rings from the Connery films so that could also be a subtle clue that she formed her own version of Spectre.