Time Travel in Fiction Rundown

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For ages I’ve been thinking about doing a video analyzing time travel in fiction and doing a comparison of different fictional time travels – some do use wormholes, some relativistic/faster than light travel with time dilation, some closed timelike curves, some have essentially “magic” or no consistent rules that make any sense, or TARDIS’s, or whatever. This video is an explanation of how time travel functions in different popular movies, books, & shows – not how it works “under the hood”, but how it causally affects the perspective of characters’ timelines (who has free will? can you change things by going back to the past or forwards into the future?). In particular, I explain Ender’s Game, Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Primer, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Back to the Future, Groundhog Day, Looper, the video game “Braid”, and Lifeline.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. I think my favorite example of time travel is Date a Live season 3, as it’s the most confusing shit ever.

    Characters involved:
    – Origami, a girl who joined a task force to get revenge on spirits, who killed her parents. Obsessively in love with Shido.
    – Shido, the MC, whose job is to pacify spirits
    – Kurumi, an evil spirit with unknown objectives

    So, after being almost killed, Origami obtains spirit power to defeat the other spirits. Later she visits Kurumi and tells her to send her back in time to the day her parents died. Kurumi does, curious to see how things play out.

    In the past, Origami finds the spirit she saw that day and fights it. It retreats after she uses her ultimate attack, which is actually what kills her parents. Her mental state deteriorates and when she comes back she’s basically unconscious, but her power lashes out at everything around her.

    In an attempt to fix everything, Shido goes to Kurumi and she sends him back to the same point in time. With his illusion powers, he disguises himself as the young version of himself, and upon finding young Origami, though a little late, tries to comfort her. This results in her letting go of all emotions except anger, creating the original Origami who went back in time to begin with.

    Seeing that it didn’t work, Shido finds the Kurumi in the past and gets her to send him back AGAIN, but further back so he has more time. He rushes over to where the attack hits Origami’s parents, and pushes them all out of the way. Due to him kinda being unkillable the attack doesn’t kill him, but he is brought back to the present, and Origami and her parents believe he died saving them.

    Back in the present, Insane Origami no longer exists, and instead she’s a normal girl in terms of personality, but had still joined the spirit hunters and her parents still died, but in a car crash.

    She meets Shido and he goes with the lie that he is the younger brother of the one who saved Origami’s parents.

    After they meet and go their separate ways, Kurumi appears to chat with Shido, but Origami notices and her spirit form activates, turning her back into her insane version. The two timelines of her had ended up merging into one entity, with the timeline Shido stopped being part of Origami’s subconscious, ever present and activated upon seeing spirits.

    Some shit happens and Origami’s normal girl side ends up letting the spirit version become the main personality after it becomes more pacified. So then the original timeline’s Origami is the normal one, but she can switch to the “nice girl” Persona at will.

    It’s so fucking confusing and I love it.

  2. If one travels back in time to a month ago, do you arrive at the same location on Earth one month prior to when you left? Or do you end up somewhere in space due to the orbit of the Earth and the movement of the Solar System?

  3. I think we’re just looking at time travel wrong. Maybe time isn’t linear that progresses from cause to effect as we like to imagine, maybe time is better described as “a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey wimey stuff” and everything that will happen has already happened, and everything that already happened are yet to happen. And that the past, present, and future don’t exist and are just human creations.

  4. You should explain the “time clones” (I don’t remember what they’re called) of The Flash
    I just don’t get it. How are you supposed to be able to kill them without killing your past self??

  5. Actually the problem with time traveling to the past like in the Harry Potter movies is that there is no origin to the loop (which Harry saved the first Harry?) so it is in fact not logically consistent but I have to admit it gets closer plus there's magic <3… I believe the only way you can have time travels to the past logically consistent is by having multiple dimensions created with every decision made differently than in the original time line without this one being altered by those decisions.
    What I mean is, okay, your friend died in your timeline but you can go to the past and save him but by doing that you are creating a new timeline where he lives.
    Kind of like in the series Fringe.

  6. Then back to the future two broke it's own time travel rule when the old man returns to the future to return the time machine

  7. Harry Potter time travel is actually the least logical because it creates a causal loop. Harry would’ve had to pass the incident without his future self intervening the first time. His survival is dependent on his future self intervening… meaning you have to either adopt many worlds theory or believe in naturally occurring non-linear time (both not widely accepted as “logical”)

  8. Great video. My favorite timetravel novel is by far. The End of Eternity (Isaac Asimov). They don't travel in years but in centuries. Great story.
    Other great timetravel – 12 monkies (funny he didn't mention it here. ). I came here I suppose because google now know that I'm watching "Dark" and is time travel serie.
    Witch I love season 1 and 2 because was consistency travel, then season 3 is multiunivers and thats just baghh.

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