Updated: Mar 29
Hey everyone and welcome to the first episode of The World According to Movies – where I pose a question and use the pantheon of information that is our collective pop culture knowledge assembled over the years. For the first episode I decided to tackle the question:
What form of travel is more dangerous - Space or Time travel?
If you want to weigh in, feel free to comment down below or on my socials. Now let’s dive right in.
Space. The final frontier. The daunting and expansive chasm that is the cosmos has fascinated humans since the beginning of time, but for thousands of years, it remained little more than a fantastical dream for our species.
That all changed in the 20th century with the Space Race as the US and USSR raced to enter space and take our first fumbling steps into the universe.
The USSR won the battle in 1961 when they sent the first human, Yuri Gagarin into space (they’d also been the first to launch the first artificial satellite in 1957) however, in 1969 the US claimed domination of space when Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Apollo 11 lander and uttered his immortal words.
Now jump to the present and we’re landing rovers on Mars to search for signs of life. We’ve also had roughly fifty years of science fiction films showing just how deadly and dangerous travelling in space can be.
First off, there’s the travel itself. Unless you’re lucky enough to be born in the near future where all the ships have hyperdrives or lightspeed capabilities you’re shackled to the laws of physics just like everyone else.
So, you’ve launched into space successfully without exploding into a ball of flames and you’re heading for the nearest celestial body – let’s say the moon. Let’s say you get about three-quarters of the way there and you flick a couple of switches just like the procedure tells you..
Well, Apollo 13 shows us just how wrong this can go when the ship explodes, leaving the crew running out of power, oxygen, and time as they try to get back home without the cold vacuum of space claiming them.
But let’s suppose your ship doesn’t explode on the way to your destination. Let’s suppose this is the near future and you’ve got AI controlling most of the ship. I guess then all that’s left for you to do is chill out and watch the vastness of space from a comfy chair, right?
That’s as long as the AI doesn’t decide you’re a danger to the mission and straight-up murder you in your cryo sleep. Even if you survive a homicidal AI, there’s always the chance that you’ll enter a wormhole, be blinded by a supernova, or turn into a space foetus… yeah 2001 is a weird movie.
Of course, the real kicker with space is that even if you get to your destination you can just be left for dead by your crew and left stranded with a depleting source of food, water, and oxygen.
And let’s be real, 9 times out of 10 you aren’t going to be Mark Watney, botanist extraordinaire. You’re going to be yourself and likely die out within the year, well before anyone ever finds out you were left behind to die.
Gotta say at the moment, space is putting up a good argument. You’re just putting yourself in peril as soon as you step on that ship as well as the lives of anyone under your command…
but it’s not like you could destroy humanity as you know it right?
Dropping into the fight in a DeLorean hauling the Tardis, time travel’s here to argue its case.
Just like its adversary, time travel has been the subject of debate and thought by some of humanity’s greatest thinkers and intellectuals.
The concept of time travel is pretty much when people move between certain points in time in a similar manner to how people travel through space.
While time travel is prevalent in movies and television, real-world technology hasn’t quite caught up yet. When technology does catch up, we’ll have to be sure to follow the rules.
What rules you ask?
Well after extensive research on the subject, here’s what I’ve found…
Time travel is way too confusing.
Each piece of pop culture concerning time travel seems to have its own unique take on the subject and as a result, I couldn’t come up with a set-in-stone list of rules without finding something else that contradicted the other stuff.
After a couple of fruitless days trying to develop a list here’s what I’ve come up with; just don’t do it.
If you’re lucky during your stumbling misadventure through time you’ll only end up erasing yourself and your entire family from existence just because you inadvertently stop your parent from getting together a la Back to the Future. That’s just if you’re lucky.
If you’re unlucky, you’ll be trapped in a time loop, reliving certain events over and over again till you go insane, destroy the world by stepping on the wrong butterfly, or being tasked by a bunny rabbit to save the world by killing yourself in the past.
Of course, this is just looking at the time traveller themselves. Imagine if you lived in a world where time travel not only existed but there were people actively meddling in the timeline.
You’d be so busy worrying that someone somewhere was messing around in the past and affecting the future you wouldn’t get anything done.
Now imagine that those people aren’t people and are actually an advanced AI hellbent on destroying the human race.
Now imagine you only found this out when one of their future murder bots (that looks like a bodybuilder) pulls a gun on you and some random guy in a trench coat fights him off and tells you your future child is the target of time travelling assassins.
And that’s all just in one night out!
I thought this was going to be a close competition when I started writing this but once I started researching, there’s a clear winner and it’s not the one where no one can hear you scream.
Yes, time travel takes the inaugural World According to Movies because you’re not just putting yourself at risk, you’re moulding the future with every step you’d be taking when you go time travelling (and that’s just the people that know what they’re doing).
But what do you think? Do you agree?
What should I do for my next episode of World According to Movies?
Let me know down below or on my socials.
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