February 17, 2006 at 10:22 pm (Sortofgeeky)

That is the sound of my head exploding.

I am generally speaking a fan of sci-fi and fantasy. However, there is one staple of the genre (espcially sci-fi) that every time I run into, I feel as though my head is going to explode: time travel. I just can’t wrap my puny mind around the concept. And to make matters worse, not every sci-fi series has the same concept of time travel.

For instance, take the Back to the Future series. In this, it is quite obvious that history is changable, because they do change it. Not only that, but it appears that there is a point in the line of time at which they jump back, for the first time, and begin the cycle, or as the professor explains it, create an “alternate reality” time line. In the second movie history gets messed up, and they have to jump all around and fix it. Oh, that one made my mind spin.

But on the other hand, take the second Dragon Lance trilogy, the Legends trilogy. In this one, the concept is that time cannot be changed. If you go back in time and do something, you haven’t changed anything at all, because in the past you did it anyways, and you are merely repeating what you have already done. (I can feel the pressure building in my head.) Only kender and some other race that I can’t remember have the ability to change time, because they were created outside of the flow of time (this is fantasy, not sci-fi).

But then there’s Star Trek. They’re always floating back and forth through time doing this and that, stopping the Borg, saving earth, all the stuff. It’s not quite clear whether time can be changed or not. They don’t explain it. I think the possibility is there, but time isn’t changed because the Enterprise always comes to the rescue.

And now, the most recent sci-fi/drama that Calvin and I have gotten into is Star Gate. Fascinating show, and I like it because it actually has depth and thought, not just people going around blowing things up, which is just pointless. But, we just watched an episode (we have Seasons 1-3 on DVD, we don’t actually have cable) where the team gets sent back to 1969 by a solar flare, and they had to get back to their own time. Except there was a note, and General Hammond knew, but he wasn’t a General, and then they went foward, and it was Cassandra, and Carter had told her in the real time, no their time, and sent them back! All this to say, that in Star Gate it appears that time is an infinite loop, because there always had to be the note in the past and there always had to be Cassandra in the future or it would have never happened…meaning unlike Back to the Future, my theory is that it goes on eternally, no point at which someone goes back or foward, they just always have.

Kinda like in HP book 3, the Prisoner of Azkaban – Harry was already there fighting off the dementors when he collapsed and saw himself, and when he actually went back he took the place of who he saw, and fought off the dementors. So he had to have already been there or he wouldn’t have been rescued. So he always was, and always had to be. Because he did. AUGH!


I guess I’ll never be one of those physicist people.


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