“If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t. It’s like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don’t hurt it. Not even major surgery if it’s done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.” Douglas Adams
Time travel is one of those things that if I think about it, it gives me a headache. I believe that time travel is possible. I also believe that there are many different timelines. Think about it, every decision you have made there could be a timeline where the other choice is made. So who says that time travel hasn’t been invented in one of those other timelines? Millions of people making millions of choices daily means billions of timelines. Some may cross each other some may end abruptly and some may circle back onto themselves.
Time travel in movies is always fun. It is interesting to see what kind of rules they have to follow: time paradoxes, stepping on a bug may kill your grandpa, meeting yourself will make you crazy….etc. Here are my top five favorite time travel movies in no particular order. (spoilers…maybe)
Back to the Future Trilogy (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd 1985, 1989, 1990)
Who would not want to travel around in time in a stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 with their gull doors and shiny exterior? This car was rad and turning it into a time machine made it most excellent.
I love that this movie series creates and alternative 1985 because of someone (Biff) going back in time and changing a few things. But if you think about it, Marty changed things when he let Doc Brown know about the time machine. It became self fulfilling prophesy. What if Doc Brown didn’t want to create the time machine, but since Marty visited him in 1955 he felt he had to make it. Talk about pressure.
And, maybe Doc Brown needed to die in 1985 so that another major event could happen. Like Marty marrying someone who was not Jennifer and their offspring figured out world peace? Just a thought.
Arrival (Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner 2016)
I was surprised with the twist in this movie. I have always thought time did not move linear, but in a circle. This movie had action, drama, adventure, science fiction, time travel, and aliens. It has a very satisfying ending. It is a thinker, though. It reminds me of the theory of time travel that there are fixed points in time that cannot be changed.
What if Louise and Ian had Hannah and Louise chose not to tell Ian about what will happen? Would Ian have stuck around? Since Hannah’s death is a fixed point in time, did Louise need to tell Ian. Couldn’t they have more children? Also, since Louise learned the language of the heptapods, couldn’t Ian learn it? Did anyone else learn the language?
Peggy Sue Got Married (Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage 1986)
I, personally, would love to re-do high school with the knowledge I have now. Change a few things, try some new things, be a bit bolder. What do you have to lose if you know what will happen. I also love that Peggy wanted to change things because her marriage to Charlie didn’t work out, but she realized without Charlie she wouldn’t have Scott and Beth. She did change a few things. She befriended a nerd who became her best friend, she took a chance on the dangerous boy, she created more memories with her grandparents and was ‘real’ with her parents. But in the end, she stayed on the path that she already knew because she needed Scott and Beth.
Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure (Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter 1989)
WILD STALLIONS RULE! The idea of two teenage head-bangers becoming the solution for world peace is fantastic! Bill and Ted had to pass their history final or the Wild Stallions will never save the world, so Rufus comes from the future with his time traveling phone booth (it’s bigger on the inside) so they can go back in time and learn their history. I’m assuming Bill and Ted are hands on learners. There are no time paradoxes in this time traveling tale, but a lot for Ted to remember to remember to do. (If you understand)
Star Trek : First Contact (Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes 1996)
Star Trek is the best thing ever!
Now that I got that out of the way, anyone who is familiar with Star Trek knows that there is a lot of time traveling going on. They don’t like to do it because of chance of changing things, but if the Borg are involved (or a whale) they make sure they get involved.
Think about it, there may be intelligent life out there and they are waiting for us to do something amazing before they make contact. We have to be worthy of meeting them. But the Borg come along and assimilate the Earth. What needs to happens happens sooner than 2063 and the Vulcans never make contact. In fact, they probably are avoiding Earth as it is covered in Borg.
Captain Picard and his Enterprise crew follow the Borg into the past and destroy them. But the Borg destroyed the small town in Montana where Zefram Cochrane (The creator of the warp drive) was. So Picard and his crew “blend” in with the villagers to help Cochrane fulfill his destiny. Without the Warp Drive, The Enterprise will never be.
Honorable mention: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint 2004)
I know this movie isn’t about time travel, but it does have it in it. Hermione uses a time turner all year so she could take all the classes Hogwarts has to offer. Her and Harry also use it to rescue Buckbeak and Sirius from death.
I would like to have a time turner, too bad they were all destroyed. (I do not accept the one in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. That story sucked and it did not follow the proper potterverse rules.)