//Multiverses and time travel stories

Multiverses and time travel stories

What do stories about time travel or multiverses have that attract us so much?

BY: Esaka

I remember my childhood, too many Saturdays glued to the television, watching Back to the Future over and over; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the Time Machine (based on the H.G. Wells book); from that followed The Butterfly Effect The Matrix and more recently, X-Men, a saga which by it’s fourth movie in 2011 would reinterpret and modify for the first time the superhero universe. In the same saga we had Logan, a 2017 film with a “what if” element to say goodbye to the character. Further down this streak we explore time travel with The Avengers; the shifts in Arrowverse which in turn are a reinterpretation of the Flashpoint in The Flash comics; shows like Rick & Morty took the concept to the extreme and were followed by some episodes of Community.

This TV and film compilation speak of only a few decades behind us. We still haven’t touched literature, as much as science fiction as the legacy of Borges (still in the realm of fiction). In videogames we have the big tradition of unlocking different completion percentages to get alternate endings. More of this “what if” comes into play.

There is certain fascination for remedy, for considering different options, what could’ve happened, what could’ve been better or worse… or not. History has been viewed through different perspectives. Let’s imagine the Middle Ages, where we had a geocentric and anthropocentric view of the human being. This means we viewed ourselves as the center of the Universe “And yet it moves” comes to profoundly break a thought tradition, not only of religious character and the way we view ourselves in relation with a god: we had a rupture with solitude, like children who begin to grow, we realize that the center is not in ego, it’s not in “I”, not even on Us as a species. It’s somewhere else… or nowhere.

Now, right into the 21st century we have seen all kinds of crisis: Religion is not the answer, science is not the answer, the socialist model doesn’t have a solution, capitalism doesn’t either, and neoliberalism burned countries like Chile down. We had a series of crisis, economical, political, social which tell us how all models, all these stories and tales are for nothing, everything is real, and fantasy… and we have nothing left…

Maybe this is the way to escape a reality with a point of no return, and makes it easier to think what would’ve happened in the past than to make an effort and take decisions and actions for the present, of which maybe we will soon ask ourselves, What IF?