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New infographic explains Looper's convoluted timelines

Illustration for article titled New infographic explains emLooper/ems convoluted timelines

Noah Iliinsky, an expert in data visualization and communications, has put together what he calls a "spoiler-ific timeline" for Looper in which he charts all the various paths taken by the film's characters. But as Iliinsky notes, it also shows how the film defies standard time-travel conventions. Now, the diagram does indeed contain spoilers, so you have been duly warned.

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Iliinsky argues that there are basically two kinds of time-travel stories, those that feature an immutable past (where events cannot be altered) and those that feature a malleable history (in which previous events can be altered, thus spawning an entirely new set of timelines).

Illustration for article titled New infographic explains emLooper/ems convoluted timelines
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But Looper, says Iliinsky is a time-travel movie that "keeps us guessing with aspects of both archetypal plotlines." He writes:

Regardless of how we classify it, the key question Looper presents is: Can modifying the past significantly affect the future, or are some outcomes inevitable? While some aspects of the film clearly indicate that we can change our futures by changing our pasts, the open question we're left with is whether Joe really is able to successfully alter a probable future?

Source: UnderWire.

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DISCUSSION

Someone explain to me why when young Joe killed himself, old Joe disappeared, that this didn't cancel out the situation that caused young Joe to kill himself in the first place, thereby causing young Joe to NOT kill himself, meaning that old Joe does indeed get sent back in time, causing the situation in which young Joe DOES kill himself, meaning old Joe never comes back, which in turn means young Joe never kills himself, which in that case causes old Joe to be sent back in time, which... eh.... what was I saying?