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    Time Travel in Film: Does it Interfere with Pathos?

    It is no surprise that time travel has been used in so many films. The use of time travel in film, as well as in television and books, has allowed for interesting scenarios for characters. It is also a means for the protagonist to gain a second chance or prevent a horrific event from happening.For example, X-Men: Days of Future Past uses time travel in this way. The writers used time travel not only for the benefit of the characters, but also for the writers themselves. They were able to change everything from the previous films just by this one plot device. While the film was a hit, and many fans welcomed the changes caused by the film, others argued that it could lower the stakes in other films in the franchise. If something horrible happens in a film, and time travel is force existing in the film’s universe, then the protagonist can go back in time as a means to prevent the event from happening. But does this create more complications?

    • I think this question is actually super interesting. Can stakes possibly exist in a world with time travel? I'd say a good reference against this theory is the show/game; Stein's Gate. This is a story with a lot of time travel, and a lot of "undoing" or "redoing" horrible events to make things better. However, this show keeps the stakes by always having a balance. In one reality, a character may have their dead father back - but as a result their friend dies in this new timeline. The characters have to choose between the two realities, and ultimately go back to the "original reality." Reliving trauma and ideas of equivalent exchange are excellent ways to balance stories about time travel. Having a drawback or repercussion of time travel is a great way to have the characters question whether altering time and reality is for the best. ... however, the X-Men movies haven't really touched on this much. It ends up being more of a plot device to keep the franchise going rather to explore characters and time travel in a meaningful way. As an x-men fan, I appreciated the way they "fixed" the mistakes of the past movies, but also it does detract from the overall meaning and stakes of the movies. If they want to keep exploring/using time travel as a plot device, I would really want them to learn from stories like Steins; Gate that explore it meaningfully. – Dimitri 6 years ago
    • Time travel does seem to take away existing stakes in the ways you mentioned. However, remember that it comes with it's own stakes as well! "X Men" did not touch on this much, but if you look at "Back to the Future," time travel created all of the stakes Marty had to face for the duration of the first movie. Because he went back in time, he messed up the sequence of events that would erase his siblings and himself from existence, and those screw ups could only be fixed if he recreated the timeline himself and went back to his own timeline by way of a freak storm with one shot of getting it right - which is a lot at stake. Yes, time travel in "X Men" really did seem to eliminate the stakes in a lot of regards, but there is more to time travel than just righting a wrong. – Sara L. 6 years ago
    • Great topic! I certainly didn't feel the pathos I think I was supposed to feel toward the end of Avengers: Infinity War. (SPOILER ALERT, probably wholly unnecessary at this point----->) The one-by-one dissolution of our beloved heroes didn't move me much at all. After all, we saw the time stone used just a bit earlier in the film to rewind time and essentially undo an act of extreme sacrifice. – JamesBKelley 6 years ago
    • In Days of Future Past, time travel was portrayed as a complicated process, which helps with the stakes. Time passes synchronously in the present and past, so if the robots kill Time Travel Girl before Wolverine can change things, the mission fails. Also, only Wolverine can survive the trip; next time, if Wolverine is unavailable, everyone else is out of luck. The stakes were treated in similar ways in Back to the Future. Even if Marty McFly changes history, he requires 2.21 gigawatts of electricity and 88 mph speeds to get back to his present to enjoy the changes. Now in, say, Doctor Who, time travel is portrayed as pretty easy, so problems can be fixed without much pathos. Indeed, whenever something can't be fixed by time travel, many fans cry "plot convenience." – noahspud 6 years ago
    • Not much more than any other plot element would. The power of time travel to move and shape (or reshape) events is probably no different than the death of a pivotal character, the effect of a natural disaster on story outcome, or a protagonist triumphant foil as an uncompromising twist to the ending, seems to me. Time travel is just mayhem and haywire to the extreme. – L:Freire 5 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    It is both strange and also understandable as to how dystopias are far more commonly written then utopian fiction. Any story, whether taken place in an Orwellian future or in the present day, is created through conflict. The whole of the formation of a corrupt, dystopian society is built off of conflict. Also, dystopias mirror concerns of the author, as well as fears that writers and readers could have about the future. For instance, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 highlight’s the author’s concern regarding censorship and how that could lead to a lack of individual thought and discussion. ironically, Fahrenheit 451, as well as many other dystopian classics, have been heavily challenged in many schools around the country.

    I find that dystopian fiction tends more around science fiction, and includes technological advances that can be hard for people to imagine ever existing. However, I was very intrigued with your inclusion of A Handmaid’s Tale in the dystopian fiction genre. The lack of technology in that piece actually shows how history can repeat itself, and how some society’s resort back in time. I also find this interesting, because this also makes the dystopia in A Handmaid’s Tale to seem more like a present dystopia. it also shows that even without technological advancements, corruption and suppression can still occur. Fascinating piece and i would recommend others read this.

    What is the Purpose of Dystopian Literature?

    Truly, the idea that animation is another word for ‘kids’ movies” is an idea that has been proven to not be of the case. I like how you brought up the television show South Park, as it was possibly the first animation that was close to normalizing adult animation in the public consciousness. Since so many easily associate animation with children’s programming, the creators and script writers for many adult cartoons rely on crudeness and violence to such an extent were it almost becomes a crutch. Instead of relying on deep and thought-provoking scenarios that could grab audiences of all ages, this crutch simply restates that “cartoons are for kids” when its purpose is to disprove the idea.
    In South Park, there is a sense that the creators have something to say about an aspect in society, so they do so by mocking society. In Rick and Morty, the characters go through creative dimensions and discuss relationships. it isn’t just the crudeness that makes the humor work, its just that the humor works and so happens to be crude. The Walt Disney quote at the end of your article really sums everything up perfectly, and animation is more. So much talent, skill, and creativity goes into animation. Thanks for such an intriguing article.

    The Double-Edged Stigma Faced By Western Animation

    This article is a very intriguing read. it is always great to see a stronger awareness for female representation in all forms of media, including comic books. I like how you pointed out how comic books in the past, were more targeted towards a male demographic and how that shows in how many of the super heroines were costumed as. In recent years, comic books are becoming more and more popular in mainstream culture, thus leading to a wider demographic of both male and female readers. Comics do not seem to be as a niche as many of the most successful blockbusters are based on the medium.
    With both critical and financial successes of films such as DC’s Wonder Woman, a public interest in female super heroes is at such an uplifting high. Young girls want a figure to look up to. growing up, I had issues of Super Girl and Wonder Woman.I loved these heroes and wondered why we didn’t see as much of them staring in their own Hollywood films. Times are changing, and even how comic books are viewed is also changing. No longer are they just simple entertainment, but major story pieces with engrossing mythical elements. It is a major impact that the costuming of female heroes in comics are beginning to be more practical, as to be inclusive to girls who are looking for their own role models. overall, fascinating piece, from a female comic book fan!

    Sexism, Impracticality, and the Hopeful Future of Costuming