The Time Travel Paradox of Looper

30 May 2023

 "Looper" is a science fiction film directed by Rian Johnson, released in 2012. The movie delves into the concept of time travel and explores the potential paradoxes that may arise from altering the past

Here's a detailed explanation of the time travel paradox in "Looper":

In the film's premise, time travel exists in the future, but it is illegal and only available on the black market. Criminal organizations in the future send their targets back in time to be killed by assassins called "loopers." These loopers are individuals who are aware that their future selves might be sent back for assassination.

The primary paradox in "Looper" revolves around the relationship between the present self (young Joe) and the future self (old Joe). When a looper's future self is sent back, it is their job to kill their future self to close their "loop" and earn a final payout. This ensures that there is no evidence left behind in the future.

Joseph gordon levitt looper

The paradox arises when old Joe (the future version of the looper) manages to escape his execution and goes on a mission to alter the future. He intends to kill a child named Cid, who grows up to become a powerful crime boss called the Rainmaker in the future. However, young Joe realizes the consequences of this action and attempts to protect Cid, leading to a conflict between their future and present selves.

The paradox becomes apparent when the film explores the idea of changing the past to affect the future. Old Joe's actions in the past directly influence young Joe's motivations and choices. If old Joe succeeds in killing Cid in the past, it would prevent the rise of the Rainmaker and alter the future. However, this would also erase the reason for old Joe to travel back in time in the first place.

This paradox raises questions about causality, free will, and the potential for creating paradoxical situations. The film suggests that altering the past can have significant consequences, but it also hints at the idea that some events may be predestined and difficult to change.

One way to understand the time travel paradox in "Looper" is through the concept of a causal loop or a closed time-like curve. In this scenario, an event in the future causes an effect in the past, which ultimately leads to the same event in the future. The loop perpetuates itself, creating a paradox where the past and future become inextricably linked.

In "Looper," the paradox arises from the attempt to change the future by altering events in the past. However, the film also suggests that certain events are destined to happen, and attempting to change them only leads to unintended consequences.

It is important to note that the time travel mechanics in "Looper" are not extensively explained, and the focus of the film is more on the characters and their motivations rather than providing a comprehensive scientific explanation of time travel. The film uses time travel as a narrative device to explore themes of fate, identity, and personal responsibility.

In conclusion, the time travel paradox in "Looper" revolves around the complex relationship between the present self and the future self. Attempting to change the past to alter the future creates a paradox where cause and effect become intertwined. The film raises questions about free will, destiny, and the potential consequences of altering the past.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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