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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 11:48pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Deadpool 2 Spoiler alert

This is the latest movie to get time travel wrong.

Cable comes from the future and appears in our time,
no problem.

But towards the end of the movie he wants to go back
and correct something he did moment ago. So he uses
the last of his juice to do it, making it so Deadpool
doesn't die.

The problem: He goes back to a point where he was
already there, so there would be two of him.

Star Trek did this same thing in that movie with the
nexus when Kirk died. They decide to go back to the
same point where they got put into the nexus. But
there should be two of each of them there.

Back to the Future did it right at least, where Marty
had to avoid his earlier self from seeing him there.

Maybe there is an alternative rule where if you go
back in time to a point where you are already there,
your consciousness merges with that body. But if that
were the case with Cable, he would no longer need to
use up the last of his juice at the end of that loop
and still be able to go home.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 29 May 2018 at 11:51pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Decades ago, Robert Silverberg wrote a novel, UP THE LINE, in which time travel had become so cheap and easy, it had become a popular vacation getaway. The hero of the novel was a commercial time guide, who took people to various places and times they wanted to visit.

One of the most popular of these was the "Crucifixion Run". Every year, thousands of people went there, and, as the guide pointed out in the first person narration, since time travel was cumulative, each time he went he saw all his previous visits.* He mentions, in fact, that because of this effect it had been estimated that there would soon be more people at the Crucifixion than had lived in the Holy Land at time.

This was one of the few times I had seen this effect in a time travel story.

_____________________

* But not the ones he'd yet to make.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Time travel is a tricky subject to debate, because while it's conceivable, the process and results are not. Perhaps Cable just merged with already existing form and had to continue the time line from that point. 

Perhaps when he time traveled back, he literally obliterated his previous self at that time... a most gruesome form of suicide. (I recall that Mr. Byrne did something very vaguely similar in one of his Gary Seven stories.)

Possibly, if we posit infinite realities, he did not go back in his own past; he transited to a reality where that Cable suddenly had just spontaneously disappeared or was grabbed from time by Kang or Immortus.

There are a lot of different theories - and since there's nothing to establish any facts, any of 'em are possible.

Your question is entirely legitimate, and your points are well made. And we'd have to ask.. what is the effect of taking a time machine through time? Does it use up a charge, or only after that specific chronal point? Maybe time travel is an infinitely capable process, providing that you keep going backwards in time before the "next" use of the device.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Deadpool is pretty open about the plot pitfalls and
makes light of them as part of the comedic element.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 12:32pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

They did a riff on this in the Timewalker comic.  They went back in time to kill Hitler at several points in his life, and everyone they ran into at each stop was also there to kill Hitler.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I wish writers would get it into their heads that Hitler was not the problem. He was a symptom of the problem.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 8:01pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Hitler as the catalyst and the influencer.  The Nazi Party was the strong arm thug. The S.S. were demons in human skin.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I wish I could remember the name, but I heard of some book years ago, that sounded interesting but I just never got around to checking out. It was about some time traveler(s?) who went back in time and either killed Hitler or I think figured out a way to stop him from being born in the first place, and when arriving back in the present everything was worse. It turned out that some other German demagogue rose in Hitler's place, and this guy had all of Hitler's evil-ness, but was a far more competent military strategist, and therefor didn't make the various military blunders that Hitler did in our history, and so was far more successful and destructive.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 9:37pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I wish I could remember the name, but I heard of some book years ago, that sounded interesting but I just never got around to checking out.

——-

MAKING HISTORY by Stephen Fry?
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:38pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Decades ago, Robert Silverberg wrote a novel, UP THE
LINE, in which time travel had become so cheap and
easy, it had become a popular vacation getaway. The
hero of the novel was a commercial time guide, who
took people to various places and times they wanted to
visit.
One of the most popular of these was the "Crucifixion
Run". Every year, thousands of people went there, and,
as the guide pointed out in the first person
narration, since time travel was cumulative, each time
he went he saw all his previous visits.* He mentions,
in fact, that because of this effect it had been
estimated that there would soon be more people at the
Crucifixion than had lived in the Holy Land at time.

This was one of the few times I had seen this effect
in a time travel story.

_____________________

* But not the ones he'd yet to make.

---
That is a strange rule, not seeing the ones he'd yet
to make. I think Marty in Back to the Future hiding
from his other self made it so that he was there in
the first movie, we just didn't see him.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

eadpool is pretty open about the plot pitfalls and
makes light of them as part of the comedic element.

---

True.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I can't remember Bill and Ted's all that well, but the
one part that stuck in my head was when they needed some
keys to unlock something, so they said "After this is
all over lets travel back to this area and put the keys
behind that bush over there." They go to look behind the
bush and there are the keys.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 30 May 2018 at 10:45pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 June 2018 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

That is a strange rule, not seeing the ones he'd yet to make. I think Marty in Back to the Future hiding from his other self made it so that he was there in the first movie, we just didn't see him.

•••

The very premise of BACK TO THE FUTURE requires cumulative time travel. Each trip is added to the timestream in turn. Were that not the case, there would have been no need for Marty to go back at all, as he would already have done so.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 1:19am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Marty 2 was likely not there throughout the first BACK TO THE FUTURE. He only showed up after the events of that first movie. The second one is overwriting the events of the first, and so he must be careful not undo or cancel out anything that took place previously. Just as the time travelers in UP THE LINE only see the previous visitors because those from the future haven't shown up yet to once again write over the top of the scene taking place at the moment. 

Time travel in these stories is dynamic, with changes occurring with each visit back to the same period, and more possible with each new visit made. A past in which all future visits backwards have already occurred and every traveler who will ever appear on-site is already there, whatever period they arrived from, makes the characters merely puppets playing through a series of predetermined outcomes of which they may or may not be aware. It's static and offers little in the way of storytelling excitement. 

It's a fine, if boring, model for time-travel, as there's no real possibility of change occurring as a result of anything "new" happening. The past is already shown in an immutable form, time travel notwithstanding. 

I compare time travel stories with vampire tales. Each new one usually has a scene where the characters explain what the rules are this time out; which rules from previous stories do or don't apply, and everyone basically just gets to cherry-pick the options that best suit them. Very few time travel or vampire shows avoid this tendency.

One of my favorite vampire movies is DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS in which one of the classic legends about vampires is casually referenced twice, but never explicitly stated. A vampire tries to leave her queen and is told she isn't going anywhere. It's raining. Later, the character does any and every thing she can to avoid being put under a running shower. Both scenes acknowledge the old-style European legend that you can escape a pursuing vampire by dashing across a river because vampires cannot cross running water. This rule also plays a large part in Marty Pasko's Swamp Thing story that takes place in the town of Rosewood, Illinois, as well as Alan Moore's follow-up to it later in the series. 

The idea doesn't make it into many vampire movies or television shows, but being European, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS clearly knew of it, as did Pasko and Moore. There's a fun X-FILES episode in which Mulder is able to stop a teenage vampire by scattering rice in front of him, which compels the vampire to stop and pick up each grain individually, another Old World form of vampire protection that doesn't get referenced often. 

Time travel in fiction similarly picks and chooses which tropes it will abide by and which it will not. Cumulative encounters is one of the better ones, but like all of them, it has to be done correctly.

I haven't seen DEADPOOL 2 yet, but it almost sounds as if the ending is a reference to the ending of the original SUPERMAN from 1979, which also did not feature two cumulative Supermen appearing at the same time to save Lois. We're left to assume that either the Superman from the "present" somehow sees the one from the future arrive and chooses not to interact with him, or somehow the presence of the new one cancels out that of the original, leaving us to wonder if the new one actually saved all the same people the original did the first time around before showing up to greet Lois. It's not a flaw so much as an element that raises questions. For emotional impact, I think the film plays it just right, questions be damned, but again, the "rules" here are different than those in other films, and we are gratefully spared too much exposition in making it all work. 

In the BTTF franchise, the exposition and setting up of the "rules" is all part of the fun, time travel being the point of it all. For SUPERMAN and DEADPOOL, the time travel isn't so much the point as it a necessary plot point to be struck and moved past. 

Odd to think that this film's visitor-from-the-future Cable, Josh Brolin, not only appears as Thanos, complete with a time-traveling Infinity Stone in INFINITY WAR but also appeared a few years back as the younger incarnation of Tommy Lee Jones "K" from Men in Black. Some people just can't get away from time travel no matter how far they run.


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 June 2018 at 1:27am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 6:59am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The fun thing about time travel. since it does not actually exist (so far as we know), i that writers can do pretty much anything they like, as the only rules are the ones they create. They must, of course, be true to those rules!

The philosophical considerations of time travel are manifold, of course. From the "Grandfather Paradox" (what if we change the Past?) to the questions of Free Will (if we can travel to the Future, doesn't that mean it already exists, and we have no choice but to follow a pre-ordained path?)

Add a twist to the Grandfather Paradox: go back and BECOME your own grandfather. What does that do?

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Has anyone seen the children’s film SAVING SANTA? An interesting time travel story that is very true to its internal laws.

If you do watch it, pay particular attention to the opening scene with the train.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 2:13pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

My favorite Time Travel scenario is Groundhog Day and,
More recently Edge of Tomorrow

The fun thing about time travel. since it does not
actually exist (so far as we know), i that writers can
do pretty much anything they like, as the only rules
are the ones they create. They must, of course, be
true to those rules!


When trying to think of how time travel works (or
can't work) and on a grander scale, how the universe
works and how "if god is real how does he see it all":

What if all of time is like a record on a record
player, and the 'present' is where the needle is.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 10 June 2018 at 2:24pm
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 2:29pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I feel like the original Terminator movie got it right. Every other sequel after it, including T2) messed that up though.

I do feel multiple visits to the same moment in time is where time travel stories can so often go astray. (As fun as BTTF2 was at the time.)

Vonda McIntyre did a nice Star Trek novel on that subject, (The Entropy Effect,) but I struggle to think of a movie that has explored it well.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 5:17pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The very premise of BACK TO THE FUTURE requires
cumulative time travel. Each trip is added to the
timestream in turn. Were that not the case, there
would have been no need for Marty to go back at all,
as he would already have done so.

---

I guess I find it hard to wrap my head around that
from the perspective of the non traveler. In the
previous example at the crucifixion, if I were a Roman
soldier standing there, which result would I see since
I am only there once?

If it is the final result, wouldn't both Martys be
there the first time, from my point of view.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 10 June 2018 at 5:38pm
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 6:22pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Another rule I was thinking of, and maybe it has been
done:

If you are in a situation that would alter the
timeline, you are invisible and cannot interact. The
'observer rule' or "if a tree falls in the forest and
no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

If they have no memory of seeing you, then they can't
see you if you go back and try to change that.

If there are no observers to record a memory of you
there, or for you to alter their memory, you could
interact with non observer matter as long as it
doesn't screw with anyone observing that matter later
on down the line.

Would probably work better with an invisible viewport,
can see, but can't touch.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 10 June 2018 at 6:29pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 June 2018 at 6:27pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

My favorite Time Travel scenario is Groundhog Day and, More recently Edge of Tomorrow

•••

I don't consider either of those to be time travel stories in a true sense.

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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I don't consider either of those to be time travel
stories in a true sense.

---

Was thinking about that. Maybe they are "hyper psychic"
movies. Where they have to ability to run psychic danger
room scenarios and not realizing it is all in their
head, but with actual data.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 8:06pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

My favorite Time Travel scenario is Groundhog Day and, More recently Edge of Tomorrow

•••

I don't consider either of those to be time travel stories in a true sense.

******************************

Definitely not time travel.  Time loop.

And, IMO, one of the best representations of a time travel story is the novel LIGHTNING by Dean Koontz.

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 7:45am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Kevin, i read Lightning in the late 80`s, i loved it, i
must read it again!
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I enjoyed the film "Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel" and its interesting take on the genre. 
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