Time Travel – What have we learnt from the movies?


A couple of days ago a news report broke, that I cannot believe I missed until today, an Iranian scientist claims he has invented a machine which can see into the future, the original news report can be seen here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9985757/Iranian-scientist-claims-to-have-invented-time-machine.html). Legitimacy of this claim aside, it does bring up the topic of time travel, would it be good or bad for our society? The best place to look for evidence either way would in the various films that have been released over the years.

Back to the Future (1985)One of the most memorable time travel movies of all time, for this article we will forget about the fairly unfulfilling sequels and stick to the original. The basic plot to this well know movie is fairly simple, Marty Mcfly along with his friend Doc use a delorean fitted with a ‘flux capacitor’ to travel to 1955 where Marty meets his future Father and falls in love with his future Mother, therefore getting in the way of them meeting and causing his existence to become a paradox, shown through the fading of himself on a photo. Eventually everything turns out for the best with Marty and the Doc returning home to find they did alter the future, but for the best.

Even with a happy ending I believe back to the future teaches us some very serious lesson, that must be remembered. For starters the characters in this film were responsible, they saw what they were doing and did everything in their power to rectify this, but in this modern day in age, if time travel was available to the masses, would everyone be that responsible. The answer to that is an unequivocal no, we live in a world where people post videos sucking tampons, and other stupid things. There are stupid people everywhere, always have been and always will be, imagine if one of these, ‘stupids’ I’ll call them, went into the past, they wouldn’t care what they do and before you know it we will all be living in mud houses being led by rabbits (unlikely, but this is time travel anything is possible).

The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator shows another use of time travel which has links to more modern films such as Looper (2012). This films shows how time travel is used in the future by homicidal robots to assassinate or ‘terminate’ members of the future resistance before they even become part of that resistance. Luckily for the main target of these terminators, the humans also have this technology so send back one of their own to fight Arnie before he can read his goal.

What does this teach us? Robots, seriously killer robots will come. It’s going to happen. Well maybe not, but what it does show is that time travel will not only be used for people that want to go and see what life is like in the future, or want to go back and stroke a T-Rex. Time travel could very well be used for assassinations, whether this be good or bad, it’s still a frightening concept which I would say has more downfalls than it does benefits. Although who wouldn’t take the opportunity to go and teach Hitler and lesson or two in his younger years.

I’ll be honest ,when first writing this article I thought I would try and keep the arguments either way fairly even, but finding a time travel movie without any kind of good message towards time traveling is a difficult endeavor. There is a lack of films which show time travel as the unfilled experience we expect it to be. Even comedy films such as ‘Austin Powers – The Spy who shagged me (1997)’ show that time travel has dire consequences.

So from this authors opinion, don’t hope for time travel, it might seem all fun and games when you go and get next weeks lottery numbers, but it will not end well.

The best way to prepare yourself for this apocalyptic nightmare we may well be entering would be do your research so here is a list of must see films for anyone wishing to survive.

  • The butterfly effect (2004)
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  • Donnie Darko (2001)
  • Hot tub time machine (2010)
  • Timecope (1994)

There are many more so feel free to comment, give your opinion on time travel and any other films you feel should have been noted.

The Arc Reactor

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2 Responses to Time Travel – What have we learnt from the movies?

  1. wildfire567 says:

    Omg, can’t stop laughing! “stupids” “stroke a dinosaur”


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