Time Travelling Through The Eyes Of Harry Potter, Mr. Scott and Marty McFly


Ever travel through time?  Me neither.  (Forgetting to ‘spring ahead’ or ‘fall back’ does not count.)  I have, however, watched a significant number of movies where time travel rears it’s head, and scientific questions ensue.  To answer said questions, I turned to three of the best relative theory minds I could find.

(I couldn’t get a hold of Keanu Reeves or Albert Einstein; Einstein’s LAN line has been busy for like an hour, he doesn’t have a cell and Keanu is busy talking up Bill and Ted 3…  ugh.  But yeah, if you need more information about time travel, I would consult one of those dudes.)

So, how does one travel through time, and if one does, are there consequences?  Let’s ask the experts:

Marty McFly, all 3 Back to the Future Movies

How does one travel through time?

You need a sports car equipped with a flux capacitor and enough room to get up to 88 miles an hour – unless your sports car can fly.  Otherwise, you’re good to go.

Are there consequences?

More than I can recall.  You ever seen that episode of The Simpsons where Homer had the time traveling toaster?  It’s exactly like that.  I strongly recommend that you do not travel through time, but if you do or if you have to, don’t touch anything, don’t do anything that might pollute the time stream… don’t fuck up, or else you will end up spending the next 6 hours (give or take) trying to put things back the way they were.  Unless Doc Brown tells you, “I figured, what the hell.”  Then it doesn’t matter and you can do whatever you want…  yeah, at the very end, just change all the rules.  It doesn’t matter, it’s the end of the movie right?  Ugh.

Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

harry potter hermione granger time turner

“I have no idea what’s going on.”

How does one travel through time?

You need this watch-on-a-necklace looking thing called a time turner, and you just turn it.  Exactly how many turns equals how far you go back, I have no idea.  I totally don’t get it.  If three turns set us back several hours, how does Hermione use it to just go back 45 minutes or so for a class she missed?  Is that like a half a turn, a full turn, three-quarters of a turn, or what?  No idea.  And it really begs the question – couldn’t we use that thing to go back in time and kill Voldemort before he gets too power, or at least use it to warn my parents…  Ugh.  Yeah, I don’t get that.  Maybe I could have had a normal childhood instead of living with my abusive aunt, uncle and cousin and essentially running for my life every day since my eleventh birthday… its bullshit!  Sorry, I got side tracked.  What?  Yeah, you just have to wear the time turner and turn it.  That’s it.  Its magic – poof, shiz goes backwards around you.

Are there consequences?

Uhm, sort of.  It depends.  I guess I can’t go back and time and save my parents or kill Voldemort because Hermione said, “Awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time,” and that’s all there is to it.  Right?  But remember when I saw myself casting the patronus, but I was too far away to tell it was future me, and I thought it was my Dad, back from the dead?  The second time, I had all the confidence in the world that I could cast an effective patronus charm because I’d already seen myself do it.  Once I figured that out, the rest was easy.  And what did it matter?  I must have done it successfully anyway, or else future me wouldn’t be there to cast the damn spell in the first place.  Doesn’t that bring a whole bunch of questions to mind concerning fate and free will?  I don’t know.  I am FUCKING CONFUSED.  And you know what the best way is to deal with confusion?  Dance!

daniel-radcliffe-harry-potter-how-to-succeed-in-business-without-really-trying expecto patronum

“Expecto patronum, mother fucker! And… scene!”

Mr. Scott, Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home

How does one travel through time?

Glad you asked me that, laddie.  First, you’ll need a ship capable of flight through space.

Will the space shuttle work?

How can I put this so that you’ll understand?  Uhm… no.  The space shuttle is an antiquated piece of garbage I wouldn’t take me mother to the grocery store in, not to mention the heat shielding problems, so no, the space shuttle is not going to work, because once we get into space, we’ll need to do a sling shot around the sun.

Why the hell does flying around the sun make you go back in time?

Because, laddie, when you sling shot around the sun,  time will reverse as the ship races toward the gravity of the star, then, as the ship breaks away, quickly run forward again. With precise navigation, the theory should work; however, braking is a problem, since a mistake could destroy the ship, or make you miss the preferred time period all together.


Didn’t you watch The Original Series?

I didn’t see that episode, that’s for damn sure.

Flying through space isn’t like dusting crops, laddie.  I’ll tell ya this; you travel through time and you’ll see some strange things.


Enough said.

star trek mccoy scottyAre there consequences?

No laddie, we’re all set to a preordained path.  Fate, laddie, is what governs us, our lives and the universe.  Remember when Doctor McCoy and I gave future scientific knowledge to the fella at Plexicorp?  McCoy was concerned that I was polluting the time line, but I wasn’t worried about that.  I told McCoy, “How do we know he didn’t invent the thing?” and since I was there, telling him how to do it, he probably did.  So I grew up with a technology that I was directly responsible for at the initial stage of creation, and my whole life lead up to that moment where I gave that fella the formula for Transparent Aluminum.  So what if it took them years just to figure out the dynamics of the formula’s matrix?  A few shots of some good Scotch, and before you know it, I helped invent a new technology that changed the world while I was busy saving the future.  Top that, Shatner!


So what’s the deal with time travel?

Uhm, I’m not sure.  I just asked three experts and got three different answers.  Who am I to argue?  I have zero time traveling experience.  Sure, I’ve seen both Bill & Ted movies and a whole host of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, but how do you know who to trust about this sort of thing?  Definitely not Marty and Doc Brown; they spend well over an hour freaking out about screwing up future events and the space-time continuum, but if it all goes out the window with a ‘what the hell,’ then we have to cross them off our listing of expert sources.  And Harry Potter’s friends seem to be willing to change some things and not others, so I don’t even know what that means.  I’d say it’s easiest to follow Mr. Scott’s carefree do as you please philosophy of time travel, because frankly, the other stuff is too much work and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anyway.

Whatever – apparently we’ll have the opportunity to ask these guys (below) in the next year or too – since they already know Einstein, they’ll probably just drop that dude off in my backyard for a beer and a discussion on temporal physics.  “Excellent!”  No guys; it’s bogus.  You’re 40 years old – have some dignity!

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on April 10, 2011, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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