Based upon a 1959 short story titled All You Zombies by sci-fi writer Robert A.Heinlein, Predestination (2014) is a stylish time-travel movie exploring the paradoxical nature of time and time travel. With its intricate chronology of events, this cerebral sci-fi thriller navigates through multiple twists of fate as the story’s tragic key character is gradually revealed to be a self-created entity trapped within a closed loop in time.
This excellent sci-fi thriller stars Ethan Hawke (“the Barkeep”) as a temporal agent who stops crimes before they happen, Sarah Snook (Jane/John) as an androgynous writer known as “The Unmarried Mother, and Noah Taylor as the Temporal Bureau’s mysterious boss Mr Robertson. It was written and directed by the Spierig brothers.
What is the Predestination Paradox in the movie?
The Predestination Paradox alluded to in the movie’s title indicates that any attempt by a time traveler to change events in the past would result in that person playing a role in creating the event they are trying to prevent. In other words, events are predestined to happen the same way over and over again.
One example of a predestination paradox in the movie is John wanting to save Jane from all the heartache caused by her mysterious lover leaving her, but instead falling in love with Jane and becoming the very mysterious stranger he was trying to save her from.
Another example is the Barkeep inadvertently causing the accident which leads to John being burnt and surgeons giving him the new face of the Barkeep. By the surprised look on the Barkeep’s face, he realizes it was he who causes the distraction which delays John from disarming the bomb in time, leading to John burning his face. Ironic, but that’s the concept behind a predestination paradox. However much you try to alter the past, the event has already taken place resulting in your current timeline, and is therefore predestined to happen.
This is all necessary because despite their sadness over the decisions they make, if either Jane/John/Barkeep/Bomber make any decisions other than the ones that they were predestined to make then their very existence would be nullified. In this way, they all depend on one another to make the same choices they make throughout the movie in order to exist, making the character a predestination paradox from beginning to end.
Is there a Bootstrap Paradox in Predestination?
The movie also presents an example of a Bootstrap Paradox, a temporal phenomenon in which a time traveler (person, object or information) is a self-created entity existing within a closed loop in time. In this movie, for example, John is the cause of his own birth and has to travel back in time and have sex with himself (Jane), who then gives birth to a child who subsequently travels back in time and grows up to become them. The result is a bootstrap paradox that takes the ‘chicken or egg’ causality dilemma to a whole new level.
John’s his own Parents and Granda
As John is the source of his own birth, he is his own father, mother, and grandfather. In fact, John’s very future depends upon him traveling back to 1970 and persuading his 25-year-old self to travel back to 1963 and impregnate his 18-year-old female self (Jane). To complete the loop, he must then drop the 9-month-old child (granddaughter) off in 1945 at the orphanage, where she could grow up to become them.
John is forced to repeat the process over and over again inside an endless loop, or else cease to exist. This temporal loop is symbolized by the Ouroboros mentioned in the movie, an ancient Greek symbol of a snake eating its own tail, signifying infinity and the eternal cycle of birth and death. A brief outline of the dilemma facing Agent Doe can be found on wikipedia, which states:
“He tells John that he needed John to meet with Jane in order for her to become pregnant and give birth to a child that would eventually grow up to be them and that he deceived John as he had no intention of getting him to kill the Fizzle Bomber. If the temporal agent had not kidnapped the child and transported her back to 1945, or had not set up John and Jane, all of them would not exist. John states that he doesn’t want to leave Jane, but the temporal agent insists it has to be.”
Who is the Fizzle Bomber?
Only after following a lead to the laundrette given to him by Robertson does The Barkeep discover that the elusive Fizzle Bomber was actually an older version of himself all along, driven psychotic and delusional in later life because of the temporal the Barkeep’s continued use of the time machine which failed to deactivate on his retirement to New York City in 1975.
Therefore, Jane, John, the Barkeep, and the Fizzle Bomber all turn out to be the same person caught inside a closed time loop, with the Barkeep becoming the Fizzle Bomber in the 1970’s part of that cycle. This all, of course, is facilitated by the invention of time travel in 1981.
The Fizzle bomber explains that by bombing the people who would have gone on to commit terrorist attacks he was preventing even more people from being killed, regardless of the collateral damage he incurs in the process. In other words, he was using a tragedy to stop countless other tragedies from happening, and it’s worth remembering here that to the Fizzle bomber’s warped way of thinking he is doing good. As an agent, after all, the Barkeep was originally tasked with stopping disasters from occurring by traveling through time.
By subsequently killing the Fizzle Bomber in the Laundromat, the Barkeep ensures he will continue the cycle by becoming him over time, and that his (now the Fizzle Bomber) actions will eventually give John the reason he needs to eventually travel back in time to halt the Fizzle Bomber. Thus, the loop sustains its succession of events and remains unbroken for the cycle to start over again.
Time Agent gets his Face Burnt
In the very first scene of the movie, we see our main character descend upon a New York building in 1970 from 3 different timelines (or different stages along the time loop). We see John from 1992 enter the building before trying to defuse the bomb, we see the Fizzle Bomber try to stop John, and while John manages to contain most of the blast within his field kit, his face is badly burnt. Struggling to survive, the Barkeep arrives on the scene in time to give John his time-travel violin box and return him to 1992 in for treatment and reconstructive surgery where he becomes the Ethan Hawke character. The Fizzle bomber escapes.
Meanwhile, near the end of the movie, we then see that the Barkeep’s presence was due to him making a jump to the same location in one last attempt to stop the Fizzle Bomber. The Barkeep’s decision seems based upon the advice of a recorded message left to him by his future self saying “if you ever want to stop the Fizzle Bomber you will never get another chance”.
The Barkeep then arrives on the scene before John and sees the Fizzle Bomber complete planting his bomb. The two of them then have a fight and the Barkeep is knocked unconscious in another part of the building. In the meantime, John arrives to defuse the bomb and after a shoot out is delayed from sufficiently diffusing the bomb in time, thus leading to his horrific burns. The Barkeep recovers in time to push John his time travel device.
The piece of the bomb John recovers from the scene and hands to Robertson provides information allowing the Barkeep to track the Fizzle Bomber to the laundrette and eventually kill him, thus assuming his part, and so on. Robertson’s decision to hand the Barkeep the information would seem to indicate he is ensuring that all events inside the loop continue to play out exactly as they already happened.
Time Loop vs. Split Timelines
At the movie’s end, we never find out if the time loop continues as a predestination paradox, or whether the Barkeep manages to break the loop and split it into alternative timelines (many worlds theory). In one version the Barkeep is stuck in a temporal causality loop after killing the Fizzle Bomber before succumbing to psychosis and then becoming him; while in another scenario, the paradox unravels and is split into two separate but concurrent timelines, with the Barkeep living the rest of his life out from 1975 on, while John is in 1992 and now moving forward with his life outside of the time loop.
Both theories can be supported. On the one hand, a predestination paradox states that if time travel were possible, it would be impossible to change the past, and any attempt to do so would become the precipitating event for the change we are trying to make. An example of which being a time traveler going back in time to save a friend from being hit by a car, only to discover he is the man driving the car that killed his friend. On the other hand, the “many worlds” theory would say that every time you travel back in time and actually manage to change events, you are only ever managing to create a new alternate timeline.
The Bureau’s Involvement and Mr. Robertson
Head of the Temporal Bureau, Mr. Robertson views Jane/John/Barkeep as a unique and unexpected gift to the world. He is also fully aware of his importance to the Bureau, as having no family ties makes him a perfect under-the-radar agent, while possessing two sets of sexual organs means he can procreate with himself, resulting in a self-sustaining agent with no historical ties.
It was likely Robertson’s intention to create a paradox involving the agent’s origin so as to have a temporal agent capable of operating from both inside and outside the loop at the same time, possibly needed to help the Bureau carry out its mission of preventing disasters from happening. While no further details are given as to how this may work, one imaginative speculation proposed by online poster Not-Now-John, is as follows:
“It seems to me that there is a single timeline that has been edited (perhaps we are seeing the “final” version) and they must be intentionally creating loops. Its the only way to prevent disasters in the future. Think about it, if you go back and kill Hitler, in the new timeline, there is no Hitler, so there’s no reason to go back and kill Hitler [Let’s Kill Hitler Paradox]. But if you create a loop where someone has knowledge of the alternate future, they can go back to kill Hitler, while being the only ones aware of the need for this to happen. What better way to do this, than to create someone that only exists within the edited timespace.”
While the Fizzle Bomber may have been an unintended consequence of the paradox, Robertson seems at ease with the situation, stating as he does that “we all learned things from him, he’s made us better at our jobs,”, explaining that the Fizzle Bomber has helped the organization grow.
Interestingly, Robertson even seems to give Barkeep all the encouragement he needs to carry on using his decommissioned time machine after his retirement to New York in 1975, stating how much more he believed the Bureau could accomplish if it had an agent working free from constant bureaucratic controls. Robertson gave this advice despite knowing how affected the agent had become from his numerous time jumps, indicating he most likely needed the Barkeep to become the Fizzle Bomber to continue the loop. As Robertson tells the agent before he is retired:
“You are here to create history and influence what is to come. Understand, you are more than an agent, you are a gift given to the world through a predestination paradox. You are the only one. Free from history, ancestry. You must complete your mission. You must lay your seeds for the future. We’re counting on you.”
How was the Paradox Created?
As far as Predestination is concerned, we do not see the original timeline which actually started the causality loop, and the movie only ever shows us the timeline of events that unfold in the loop once its actually been created. In other words, there is no beginning to the events in the movie because we do not see the original timeline but only observe a closed time loop.
Even though there may be no explanation as to why such a phenomenon may have spontaneously occurred, just like we may never know what caused the Big Bang, for the sake of this movie we can still allow ourselves to speculate as to possible causes.
While there may be many ways in which the original loop may have been created, one possibility is that in the original timeline Jane was born in 1945, became pregnant by some other man (not John) leading to the operation in which she became a man.Or it may be that surgery became necessary at some stage in her life due to medical problems connected to her having both sets of reproductive organs. Either way, Robertson could have then recruited John for Space Corp, while planning to devise a plan in which he uses John’s “hermaphroditism” to create a predestination paradox in which John travels back in time and impregnates Jane.
The reason for Robertson wanting to create such a paradox is unclear, although he does seem to indicate having an agent freely operating outside of normal time inside a closed time loop represented a vital part of the Bureau’s operation.
“The By-Laws of Time ” Quotes
“Never Do Yesterday What Should Be Done Tomorrow.”
“If at Last You Do Succeed, Never Try Again.”
“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine Billion.”
“A Paradox May Be Paradoctored.”
“It Is Earlier When You Think.”
“Ancestors Are Just People.”
“Even Jove Nods.”
The Timeline of Predestination
1970, John has face burnt whilst trying to stop the ‘Fizzle Bomber’ who manages to escape. The Barkeep appears and helps John activate his portable time machine.
1992, John travels forward in time to the Temporal Bureau, an organization founded in 1985 after the invention of time travel, and has reconstructive facial surgery. We later find out that the Fizzle Bomber killed 11,000 people in New York in 1975.
1970, The Barkeep goes back to New York posing as a bartender and seems keen to engage a man calling himself ‘Unmarried Mother’ in conversation. The man explains he was originally a girl called Jane who was left at an orphanage in 1945. In 1963 Jane fell in love with a mystery man, who then disappeared. Jane had a baby who 9 months later was stolen. She then had a sex change operation and became a writer called John.
The Barkeep says he suspects the mystery man was the Fizzle Bomber and offers John the chance to go back to 1963 and kill the man who ruined his life. In return, he insists John must then join the Temporal Bureau. They then travel back to 1963 together.
1963, John accidentally meets his younger, female self Jane, falls in love, and impregnates her with a child that eventually would grow up to be them. Meanwhile, the Barkeep travels to 1970 to confront the Fizzle Bomber and help badly burnt John. The Barkeep then travels to 1964 and takes Jane’s baby and drops her off at an orphanage in 1945. The Barkeep then drops John off in 1985 to enlist in the Temporal Bureau.
1975, The Barkeep then retires to 1975 but he still retains the use of the time machine which fails to deactivate itself. The retired agent soon tracks down the Fizzle Bomber, who actually turns out to be himself in the future. He seems to have become insane from using the non-deactivated time machine too often as he sought to travel in time and avert disasters from occurring. However, his actions actually caused thousands of other untold deaths to happen in the process, and so disgusted with his future self, the Barkeep shoots and kills the Fizzle Bomber, thus ensuring he becomes him.
Why isn’t the title, “A One Man Show”?
because he is predestined to live his life like this forever to ensure his own survival
It was a joke 🙁
I hate u.
you know you love me for spoiling it for all!!!
The person below who questioned me. Not all opinions are equal dude…. So, you can have youe own opinion, but you can’t have your own facts. The truth is often annoying to those who do not grasp it. Now fuck off.
Harsh? I hate pseudo-know it alls under the age of 25 with no life epxerience. They irk me. Some opinions are facts, In fact, matching the two up is when an opinion becomes a fact.
As I read these explanations from those who try to define the paradox. It seems these explanations are a paradox. In which the movie itself, has given each of us who have written, the same paradox that we are each trying to explain.
it is a paradox because you can not recruit your younger self to join your time travel agency because if you did then you would never make it to the future and come back to recruit your younger self
That is true unless it is defined that you have to remember each time you reach that older age, that on that same day to go back at that specific time in your life and tell yourself. So you establish that the first time that you did time travel. Then each time in your life you must do the same thing. Remember you can not disrupt the past in time travel.
So after your first time travel back to the past, the recruitment is just the action of doing so, not an actual recruitment.
They made a mistake, plastic surgery doesn’t change a person’s height. Hawke is taller than John.
thats because john is actually a woman underneath playing john
Now that this movie is on amazon prime there may be a few posts “from the future”. Anyway, I cannot get past the simple fact that even if a sex-changed version of Jane (John) impregnates Jane (and the zygote is viable and not horribly disfigured), there are now two distinct entities. Even Heinlein apparently would like to assume that if a person impregnates themself, they will give birth to themself. That’s obviously nonsense. Even if the genes were exactly the same, they would be a clone, and would not be bound to travel the same path in time.
they would follow the same path if yourself from the future came back in time to try to manipulate you to do things the way your future self would want you to
As far as I know, the original to the original has never been made into a movie, although there have been two audiodramas.
This is odd. “By His Bootstraps”, 1941, could be thought of as the Time-Travel equivalent of Einstein’s Relativity: a look at the central paradox of time-looping that came fully-formed and rationally argued out the mind of Heinlein, to the point that all further time-travel stories were nothing more than elaborations.
The movie is a well-done take on “All you Zombies”. All the core elements are present, the acting is good all round, and it’s a skillful mix of SF, drama, thriller, slasher, pathos, action genres, all of which aspects are good representations of their respective genre. In other words, it’s an A (or A-minus at worst) in all those categories, and altogether.
Claims the biology is impossible is overblown. First, the real situation is that super-secret science is at work, including access to super-secret medical breakthroughs not available to the hoi poloi science world. This is standard sci-fi fare, quite legitimate. Second, hermaphroditism is not a myth. The idea of potentially functioning genitalia could be brought out by advanced surgery and hormones is a trivial accomplishment in science fiction. After all, once you’ve made the jump to time-travel via violin-case portables, everything else pales. May as well diss TT itself. I mean realistically, does anyone think its possible. Or to conventionally invoke a temporal Fermi’s paradox: if time-travel is possible, where are the travelers? They haven’t appeared, so it don’t happen, quod erat demonstrandum.
if you took your younger male self back in time to have sex with an even younger self who is a female and they make a baby together who would that child you give birth to be?
It’s not a closed loop as after being shot he would then be conceived. It appears to be an infinite number of concurrent time segments which are out of phase with each other – thus in the laundrette the two Hawkes are present but in different parts of each of their segment.
I find the main puzzle being why John left Jane for her to go thru hell, just to have everything explained to him by Mr Robertson! Curiosity overcomes true love?
it is a closed loop because the bartender is his own mother his own father his own grandpa after being shot he is not then concieved he was concieved in the 1960’s then kidnapped and taken back to 1945 and dropped off at an orphanage. the two hawks in the laundry mat are the same person one that is younger than the other john left jane to go on to be a time travel agent that was the deal if the bartender let john shoot to kill the fizzle bomber jane had to go through hell to ensure the survival of the bartender because once the bartender killed the fizzle bomber the bartender had ended his own life and to ensure that the bartender would survive killing himself he spent the whole time through out the whole movie making sure the bartender would survive in the end by taking john back in time to screw himself when he was still a woman to make a baby and kidnap that baby of himself and drop it off at an orphanage in 1945 to make sure he survives killing himself the fizzle bomber
I just know one thing.. This one’s a crazy ass film and my wife wanted to kill me after me made her watch it thru..!
But what I don’t get is why the Bartender needed to place Jane’s and John’s daughter (a.k.a herself/himself) back to the orphanage. If he had already appointed the current John to be a part of the mission, why does he have to deliver the baby back if he knew it will restart a new loop?
he takes the baby that is himself back to 1945 to ensure his own survival after he kills himself the fizzle bomber
How did baby jane reach the orphanage at the first place I mean even for a time loop it has to start from somewhere if the baby would not have been dropped at orphanage there will be no jane ,John, fizzle bomber etc.
baby jane was kidnapped by the bartender and taken back in time to 1945 to be dropped off at the orphanage
How did baby jane reach the orphanage at the first place I mean even for a time loop it has to start from somewhere if the baby would not have been dropped at orphanage there will be no jane ,John, fizzle bomber etc.
What might really throw you for a loop is that the whole thing was a story from his book titled, “The Unmarried Mother.” And the whole time, he was a schizo/manic/ delusional guy trying to realize truth by means of thought that is time travel and a predestination paradox. I know this idea is far fetched and really not even relevant to the discussion of understanding the probabilities of the events taking place, but there is some evidence to support this theory. For instance, of one of the last scenes when he was typing on the type writer and kept typing over his name (the author) from “John” to “Jane” to “John Doe” wherein none of these things were real, just pschotic dilusions being written in a book titled “The Unmarried Mother.” And i know that name was only presented as his tag name for his writings in those magazines, but in a separate sense, this whole paradox was just a fabrication of his mind. I mean, at least in this way, we can come back to Earth and see the impossibility of one person (hermaphrodite) having sex with himself, to give birth with himself. Even in science fiction, and in well founded scientific theory, this type of reproduction could never happen, and even if it could biologically that child would look Chunk from the Goonies. Just sayin
your wrong its from a book called all you zombies written by robert a hienlien in the 1950’s
Sure, he was growing deranged, but that derangement was part of the book, as well as the movie. There is nothing in the book that suggests that idea. It was definitely and time-loop story, literally.
I understood almost the whole of the story except the last part. It shows the Bomber is an old Hawke. Having a time machine, he could travel to any point of time without getting old. Unless he has been doing it for decades and it turned out (as the movie director wants it) that he was going to bomb N.Y. at that old age. The movie fails to explain the reason of him bombing N.Y.(unlike other bomnbing events that he explained using the newspaper cutting).
Another loophole is that if the younger Hawke realises he would eventually becomes the bomber in future, wouldn’t he know that he would be eventually killled by himself in N.Y. and why did he choose to travel back in time (when he becomes the bomber at older age) only to be killed and allowing the loop to go on forever (when it’s evident that he didn’t want to be the bomber in the first place)?
As some may suggest, the plausible reason (which doesn’t make sense to me) is that the bomber is trying to convince Hawke not to kill him, likely so to stop the loop. But wasn’t it easier if the bomber just choose not appear there in the first place (because he knew he would die there).
Any taker on this?
you still get old as you live life traveling through time yes old hawke was going to bomb ny city old hawke explains to bartender when the dust settles bartender will understand. because bartender doesnt know that going insane later will change his mind bartender doesnt know that later he goes crazy and craziness makes him think that convinceing the bartender is just a crazy enough idea to try to stop the time loop
While it’s not explained in the movie, two motivations come to mind as to why he opted to show up:
He was addled and psychotic and thought he could break the loop by arguing against his death.
He had orders to show up and by this time had learned to acquiesce to the judgement of Robertson; perhaps he was told this was the point where the end-point (sub-)loop could or … would be broken by showing up and arguing. Being deranged, he probably wouldn’t have enough sense to see through the reasoning, and able to recall by his own memory Hawke’s determination, anger, and very cogent rationale as well, that the bomber had to be killed.
In other words, because the movie doesn’t employ one of the few theories that would make time travel to the past logically possible (such as parallel universes, etc.), it doesn’t make sense.
A self-sustaining time loop like the one shown in the movie cannot exist.
Not to mention that you can’t procreate yourself. You cannot carry the very sperm inside you that would create you.
it can if your a time traveler like mr robertson said he wants someone who lives outside of history that no one knows about you can procreate your self if your a time traveler
As the reviewer makes clear, the story makes no effort to resolve the paradox. On the contrary, Heinlein apparently wanted to elaborate the ‘impossible’ loop as fully as possible, taking his original (and rather compact but comprehensive) 1941 story By His Bootstraps to the limits, the very title of which short story slyly suggesting itself the impossibility.
“This is all necessary because despite their sadness over the
decisions they make, if either Jane/John/Hawke/Fizzle make any decisions other than the ones that they were predestined to make then their very existence would be nullified”
Can someone explain to me if john had not left jane how both of them would not exist in their time?Only thing is that the loop would be broken.But only barkeep cares about loop(because his agency wants the loop) So how could the barkeep convince john to leave jane and why john agreed to it?He was happy with her..
because as you seen john wanted to know if the life of a time traveler had meaning and hawk said you will have meaning as a time traveler if he had not left then he would not have tried to stop the fizzle bomber at the begining of the movie you see hawk was ensuring his own survival by doing everything he did through out the whole movie because if you shoot your future self then you will not survive
Great explanation though I didn’t understand two basic logic:
Fizzle bomber recognized Hawk, John recognized Jane, How could not Hawk remember his own past & face as John while pretending as bartender and keep listening john’s story with full curiosity like he’s an unknown person – there was no memory loss mentioned post face burn (I.e from becoming John to Hawk)?
b). Why does Hawk thinks mistry man is actually Fizzle bomber? Where it came from?
Nonetheless movie was great.. just a thought.. wouldn’t one be curious to know their own future first while joining a time travel team rather than fixing past??
you have it all wrong hawk went back in time to his younger self john to recruit his younger self to join the time travel agency he recognized him but john did not recognize his future self hawk pretended to not know who john was hawk had no memory loss hawk does not think mystery man is fizzle bomber it came from hawk trying to ensure his own survival after he killed hawks future self the fizzle bomber he wasnt fixing the past he was ensureing his own survival after killing his future self but yeah sure john would like to know his future before joining the time travel agency but if john knows the future then that will mess up hawks plan to ensure his own survival
Ok Kirk, so Bartender recruited John by persuading him to take revenge from the one who sleep with herself (Jane), betrayed & ruined his life right?
Don’t you think John would recall & recognise his own face in the mirror that he actually sleep with herself as Jane specially when her entire life she never found love/affection except this one?
yes now to answer the second question john tells the bartender his life story and tells the bartender that he stopped looking at her self in the mirror and that she hated herself then john tells the bartender he has no photos of himself as a young girl and john says he doesnt even remember what he looked like as a young girl he says its more of a feeling now and the bartender says you look better than i do then john says who cares how a bar keep looks and then john says boys want girls with powty lips and golden hair if you watch that seen you will see that john does not remember what he looked like as a young girl then it goes onto a seen were jane is going to join the space academy check it out you will see what i mean
I see. One more question: say, oldie BT appears atleast 10-15 years older than matured Bartender who retired in 1975 just before major 11k NY casualties where he faced & kill himself (oldie). Since both Bartenders couldn’t time travel anymore post retirement (fail-error-fail) since 1975, what was the duration mature BT spend years to become oldie assuming many bombs were exploded in 1970 as well (notice bomber news on TV while young John talk to BT in the bar) besides major incident bound to happen in 1975? Shall we assume a parallel timeline of bomber going on when John tells story to BT in 1970?
older bartender is fizzle bomber fizzle bomber and bartender can still travel through time because the bartenders time travel device said fail to decomission. i dont know how much older the fizzle bomber is compared to bartender. no there is no parralel time line john bartender and fizzle bomber are all three at the same place at the same time when the bomb blows johns face off. when john tells his life story to bartender john the bartender and fizzle bomber are all existing at the same time and same city together
I find it ironic that with all of that time travel the ONLY thing he managed to do was affect his own life! Didnt stop one crime, catch one bad guy! That was what she/he was commissioned for in the first place!
thats were part 2 of this movie will be very interesting to see what happens because at the end he was crazy in love with his younger female self and thats were part 2 will have to start off at
The only way to prevent him self becoming them fizzle bomber was to kill him self in the laundromat and not his older self. Because he killed his older self he can still become the fizzle bomber
or in part 2 maybe not
One of the flaw in logic that hawk and john are same that John/jane started writing articles under name ” Unmarried Mother” when she was working as maid after being his her baby was stolen and also being refused to be recruited in the agency. While hawk started writing after retiring as agent in 1975 after completing the mission.
How can they be same person then? Is that means a new timeline is created and loop is broken ?
thats because every person through out the movie is the same person but all at different stages of his life all dressed up to look like different people
I understood, well I like to think I did, can someone tell me who is the John that enters the bar and then goes to impregnate him/herself. That’s the only thing that didn’t make sense to me.
he starts to write because hes retired now looking for something to do while hes retired. no the john that enters the bar is not a millionaire but why would you ask that?
But the John that enters the bar identifies himself as a writer, with the nickname the “unmarried mother” or something before the face surgery. He tells him his story of how he started to write for women and how those were succesful because he was a woman himself.
well his succesful unmarried mother writings make him enough to make it through life like anyone else but the idea of a man writing as the unmarried mother is just suppose to trip you up because it would be unusual for a man to be writing as the unmarried mother its just suppose to make you think like hey whats going on here thats all. and the older ethan hawk the bar tender is writing again after he retires because hes looking for something to do in his retirement and that scene too is suppose to trip you up too because its suppose to make you think hey is the bartender the older version of john the unmarried mother and yes ethan hawk the bartender is the older version of john the unmarried mother heres the point your missing if you invent time travel and a time travel agency and you go on multiple missions through time your going to have mutiple yous all at the same time travel agency all at the same time so now your going to be talking to your future selves and one of your future selves is going to stray from the mission and try to save people through out past history and become the fizzle bomber but that future self is going to lie to the younger self and say no i have not strayed from the mission so the younger self has to make multiple jumps through time to try to figure out who the fizzle bomber is and stop the fizzle bomber you get it now?
…”and the older ethan hawk the bar tender is writing again after he retires because hes looking for something to do in his retirement” That’s it. that was the key word “again”. No need for the other arguments, but if they help to make the point clear, that’s fine too. Thank you very much.
no the key word was that you realize at that point that ethan hawk bartender is john the unmarried mother
not all successful writers turn into millionaires
Well, I got that impression from him. Point taken.
i figured out predestination if you just think it through you will figure it out he was born with a male and female parents he invents a time travel device in 1981 then opens a time travel agency in 1985 then when he goes on one mission through time say back in time then comes back to the same time and place as the time travel agency in 1985 now you will have two of the same person in 1985 at the time travel agency so now you would be talking to yourself at the time travel agency now after you go on multiple missions through time and come back to the same time and place as the time travel agency is in 1985 now you will have multiple yous all in the same place at the same time now if your at the library looking at history back in 1985 and you see history is showing 25000 people being killed in new york and your from the origonal time line that doesnt show 25000 people being killed in new york then that sends a red flag up in your own mind saying that your future time travel self is now killing 25000 people because you know when you first grew up you didnt hear of 25000 people being killed in 1975 in new york so ethan knew that his future time travel self was no longer following the mission so ethan travels back in time and first creates a baby of himself first then drops it off in a orphanage because ethan knew it was his future self after going on multiple time travel missions that was killing all those people back in 1975 so ethan knew ahead of time that he was going to have to kill his future self but he knew that if he kills his future self to stop the 25000 people from being killed he knew that he would first have to create a baby of himself with his two younger selfs getting together first to create a baby of himself to ensure his own survival after killing his future self
You can argue to the cows come home about the sense that’s been followed by the events, there’s only enough logic there to hang story lines on, The story about him trying to give himself the love he never had and how that lack of love made him the eventual fizzle bomber. All attempts to try and correct that himself, had by the end of the film just failed. So saw the whole film as lots of analogy’s to the relationships involved. Had to be that or a film about the cold logic of this sequence of time travel just wouldn’t be made for a broader audience and hence no decent funding. It was the writer playing with these structures to tell a human story in the end, so wouldn’t lose sleep trying to work out about his idea’s on time travel, they didn’t take it seriously enough themselves in the first place. A good watch though as it’s not too silly a theory and passes if you don’t think about it too much, just suspend belief for this theory and enjoy a GOOD STORY.
he was a time travel agent time travel agents know like police that they could die in the line of duty so as a time travel agent he knows that he could die chasing after the bad guys and so while he chases bad guys he takes advantage of time travel to ensure his own survival if the day ever comes when he dies in the line of duty and so uses time travel to create a baby of himself with his two younger selves and if he dies one day in the line of duty he wont be dead in the end because he created a baby of himself with his two youngers selves ensuring his own survival even if the bad guy in the end is his future self and he kills him and even if he shoots his future self to death he still wont be dead because of the baby he created of himself
it is possible to have more than oneself?
through time travel yes all your different selfs at different stages of the same life can all meet up at the same place and time
why john were sex with jane?
he was a time traveler that was trying to stop the fizzle bomber that was his future self but to save himself after killing himself at the end he had his younger self have sex with an even younger self without knowing it to ensure he survives at the end after killing his future self
why the fizzle bomber wants to kill innocent people?
to save many other people who previously died in past history so the janitor had to die to make sure 3000 other people would survive by blowing up the building to make sure
3000 people didnt show up to work the next day and get killed by those terrorists
why the temporal agent stole the baby and kept it under the doorstep of an orphanage and why temporal agent became the fizzle bomber
he stole the baby to ensure his own survival after killing his future fizzle bomber self. temporal agent became fizzle bomber to save thousands of peoples lives who had died already in past history
i wonder where does sarah hook come from?
she comes from herself
Source at Digestive Pyrotechnics
The story doesn’t work. Period. Under no conception of time travel can a person give birth to their own SELF. Everything else works, even mating with yourself, but not giving birth to your own self. I don’t understand why Hollywood always gets time travel wrong. They’ve never gotten it right, not once. Even though it’s easy as pie.
who told you this ? how can you prove it wrong ? why cant someone give birth to one self ..
Rishi, I’ll try to walk you through this. Hang with me here. If someone’s birth is defined as the first moment in time when they exist, then a person doesn’t exist prior to their own birth. If you don’t exist prior to your own birth, you don’t exist to give birth to yourself and your own birth never happens. Even if you throw time travel into the equation, you can’t travel back in time to give birth to yourself. Why? Because existence is a prerequisite to using time travel. You can’t travel back in time unless you already exist. We can use time travel to come up with all kinds of interesting plot lines, but about the ONLY thing you can’t do is go back in time and give birth to yourself.
I understood your point … but here we are talking about “time travel” .. you cannot restrict time travel to one`s existence … if machine permits – you might travel to ice-age and i can leave you there and come back … coming back to movie .. the birth took place when the mother existed … the child never took birth in past .. she was taken back in time … hence it is one of mind-bending paradoxes … 😉
No, I still disagree on that. I can go back in time and mate with myself. But I still can’t give birth to myself. It’s not a paradox at all. It’s just impossible.
you are not able to prove here … it is just that your brain don`t want to accept it … that it is possible .. 😉
Well, if you think it’s possible, then the burden is on you to go back in time and give birth to yourself. Don’t put the burden of proof on me here. I will concede when I see the birth certificate. Don’t be like Obama and hold back on the birth certificate. (Yep, I just made this political.)
it does work if you want no one knowing your a time traveler but yourself
the bartender could have came from another demension and cloned himself into a boy and then cloned himself into a girl had the cloned self of a boy and the cloned self of a girl make them have sex and now he has a baby girl all with the same dna as himself and then take the cloned self boy while sitting at a bar take him back in time to have him now have sex with the little girl that was born between the two clones and then take that new baby girl back in time to the orphanage
I tend to steer away from the “multiple timelines” theory because it just doesn’t fit with the overall idea of predestination. I think Robertson recruited Jane/John (“We were born into this job”), and created the closed loop in some manner that is not shown in the movie. The purpose of this, as Robertson himself alluded to, is to have someone operate from outside the boundaries of the bureau. Jane/John/Barkeep becomes the Fizzle bomber, and although crazy, he does actually save thousands of lives. So the Fizzle bomber does have a point when he mentions this in the laundromat scene. While not ethical, Robertson is actually using time travel for good.
The mention of how the initial loop began in theory I believe is this. The entire thing began when Robertson told her she would not be chosen to be an agent. When in fact aware of the ability to be an asexual being I believe they made her an “agent” without any consent. Making her predestination begin with the time travelling experiment. The mission was the purpose in which by human nature we need to thrive when really what was being executed was how many sequences of time can we control and not control and if it splits into other dimensions of time space; what loops would occur in that occurance with the subject being JaneJohn? This was the mission the entire time.
I think that the
most important question to be answered is why Robertson begins to
create such paradox. Robertson seems to know who
the Fizzle Bomber is and he is the
one who motivates Jane/John/Hawke in each timeline to take decisions
that will ensure Jane’s/John’s/Hawke’s existence. So why to ensure
the existence of the fizzle bomber in the
first place if
he want him to be killed? My
the existence of
‘fizzle bomber’ was what inspired the agency to develop the program
in the first place.
They need the fizzle bomber in order to
prevent other crimes and save many other lives. Hawke’s REAL mission
is not to kill the bomber but to ensure his existence. And
he will do that by killing the bomber-self and becoming the fizzle
bomber leading to the agency’s existence. Brain-f*cking.
if the fizzel bomber doesnt exist no one will exist
Okay, since I don’t have to worry about spoilers, this seems like a good place to post this. There’s a glaring hole in the plot. When John goes back in time to kill the man who caused his problems, he runs into Jane and they hook up. Okay, so how is it that John doesn’t realize he was the guy who ruined his life before this? He knows what the guy who ruined his life looks like. He’s standing there looking for the guy who ruined his life in the exact spot where he met the guy who ruined his life wearing the same clothes with the same face, and somehow he has no idea he’s the guy? In the months leading up to that day, every time he looked in the mirror he’d see the face of the guy who ruined his life.
Also, Sara Snook is not a convincing man. She’s adorable, just not convincing. When she says, “When I was a little girl,” and we’re all supposed to think, “Holy sh*t, that’s a woman?” It was more like, “Holy sh*t, we were supposed to think that was a guy.”
Other than that, not a bad flick.
How does john release he is the barkeeper?
I mean, he tell john something like “and I guess you should now guess who I am”. But how is that she can guess? or she release just after his face became barkeeper’s face?
They both have the same lighter in the bar!
This movie is so weird. I’m still not sure if I liked it or not.
The main question I was confused about you didn’t seem to answer at all.. Or maybe I misunderstood something. When he retires in 1975 and confronts himself.. He says to his older self ” your next attack will kill 11,000 people”. This implies the fizzle bomber didn’t bomb NY yet.. If he kills himself before he got to bomb NY.. than doesn’t that change everything? The whole movie was based on him stopping this one huge attack on ny.. and it seems like he did stop it.. So what does that mean? If he is still part of the loop than does it mean the fizzle bomber wasn’t the one to blow up ny in the first place? Or does it mean the fizzle bomber went back to 1975 using the time machine at some unknown point.. So killing the older version of himself wouldn’t matter because he already did the bombing because he used the time machine.. Or again.. Maybe the organization was doing the bombings and because the fizzle bomber was killed prematurely.. he couldn’t stop the larger attack on NY.. He did say that he saved lives from “terrorists”. ANyone following what I am saying?
Mr.Robertson was kind of G-Man of Half-Life series jumping between dimensions here timeline here.
Yes you can meet yourself in the same time, you just have to meet yourself of the future in your present, which means in the future you will be able to come back to the past and meet yourself in the past. But always the first thing that must happen is that you meet the you from the future.
“How was the paradox created” in order for Roberson to create the paradox on purpose, he had to already know that Ethan would fall in love with female younger self. good movie though.
John is taken from 1970 to 1963. Then, he is taken from 1963 to 1985. Then, he is sent from 1985 to 1964. Then, he takes himself from 1964 to 1992. When the barkeep says “seven years will have passed” in his 1964 recording, is he talking about John’s journey from 1985 to 1992? The reason I ask is that he leaves 1985 in August and travels to 1992 in February, a difference of about 6 and 1/2 months. Inquiring minds want to know!!
Regardless of time travel I don’t see how one could give birth to themselves. If you transport my child back in time that child doesn’t become me.
If you contributed both sets of chromosomes to the child, maybe it would be you. It would be like virtual cloning.
Sorry, but I just don’t understand how retired agent John killing Fizzle Bomber John in the laundromat sets in motion the events that determine the creation of the Fizzle Bomber. Of all events in the film (including John impregnating Jane, and John kidnapping baby Jane from the hospital and delivering her to the orphanage) the killing of the Fizzle Bomber in the laundromat seems to have the loosest link as a predetermining event. Can anyone explain this?
yes i can explain the fizzle bomber says if you shoot me you become me which is dead later in johns life. if you dont shoot me we survive what he means is the ethan hawk born with a male and female parents origonally would survive if john doesnt shoot the fizzle bomber. but if john shoots the fizzle bomber then ethan hawk born with male and female parents dies and the new baby john survives watch this is how predestination part 2 will turn out
Obviously Robertson is also Hawke…. Jane -> John -> Hawke -> Robertson -> Fizzle Bomber
Ok, so I understand the paradox, but what confuses me is that when young Hawke kills old Hawke, its BEFORE the 1975 bomb, but when male Snook gets his face burned off young Hawke is fighting the fizzle Bomber (old Hawke) even though he killed him in the past at the end. Therefore the paradox must be broken because there is no Fizzle Bomber to go set the 1975 bomb, right? Please comment on this.
your right the new baby hawk created gets to survive in predestination part 2
Good analysis! I understand all of this and agree with the paradox but there is one thing that I don’t see being discussed here and I think it’s a key point that could change the analysis.
At some part in the beginning of the movie, when they are introducing the Fizzle Bomber, Hawke says that they can’t catch him cause the attack occurs on May 1974 but “he keeps changing the date”.
That leads to two important conclusions:
1_ Somehow the loop is broken somewhere in the future allowing the Fizzle Bomber to elude Hawke and conclude the attack and producing the cascade of events that follows the attack. It hurts to think how this can happen, imagine a scenario where the attack occurs for example on may 3rd, then Hawke would come back to that date only to find out that the date changed, how is this possible? The predestination paradox says that this is not possible, that the events can’t change and if you go back you would only find out that somehow your visit and interaction was always part of that event. So this refutes the paradox theory.
2_ From what Hawke says I assume that he tried more than once to stop the attack from happening and every time he failed. This would mean that the past keeps changing every time he jumps or that the future self (FizzleB) after each Hawke jump would jump to a different date to do the attack (different on every loop).
So the only option to avoid the attack is to meet himself before Fizzle jumps back to do it and that was what he did on the laundry. That leads to think that that was the end of the loop and that this particular Hawke will not become FizzleB.
Don’t know if all of this make any sense, it’s hard to put on paper. Any thoughts?
yes once he kills himself the new baby hawk is the one that survives
The fizzle bomber says “We are Robertson”
Phew! Thanks for that! 🙂
The truth or nature of the movie is, ironically in such a complex film, a love story that is doomed. Rather than the drive to avert disaster and do good. Pointed dialogue about how Jane wants a “purpose” over love sets the hero arc up as plausible… But later we hear from Hawke how, and I am paraphrazing: “You say you don’t care for love, when it is all you ever think about.” Ethan Hawke reveals the emotional state that will undo him again and again and again. NOT the urge to stop the Fizzle Bomber – that is the desire of the Temporal Agency and even then that is a lie. The Fizzle bomber is their raison d’etre.
He cannot love her (literally) and he cannot stop loving her. Ignore all the hard, cold science and look upon it as one who has been heartbroken and not moved on (only a few of you will know this state of mind) or as a writer… He travels to avert his brokenness, not to save lives or anything so noble. The deluded killing to save lives psychosis comes after repeated discovery of being without her every time. The last line is crucial and signposted as such with its dramatic cut to credits, “I miss you dreadfully.” Carefully chosen words for a reason. In the end, he will travel again, because he cannot be without her… himself. And dreadfully is a strong word.
Also, on another matter, I also wonder if the double sexual organs comes about from a person having sex with themself and the genetic mash-up. Rather than the repeated suggestion here that it just happens that she has this condition and therefore would be great for using to create a person with no ancestry / identity. I also believe the film has a plot hole or two… which can happen when a short story if stretched out and exposed so fully. The article glosses over this issue as if the film is watertight. It is not. Unless of course the original narrative has only John, but it cannot as John has come about from Jane… and so on and so forth. The endless plot hole that devours itself, forever and ever. Superb film regardless… keep making films for smart people? There’s enough crap for the masses… and then some.
Why did Hawke steal the baby from Jane?
Because that baby has to grow up to become Jane, so the baby has to travel back in time to 1949 and be left at the orphanage where Jane grew up.
he stole the baby to ensure his survival after hawk kills himself in the end
so the most obvious flaw with this whole movie would be this .. Unless he was a clone .. there would not be a way to replicate himself over and over again because of genetic mutation .. so for every time he was conceived and born the genetics would have to line up perfectly for things to be the same .. otherwise there would be enough genetic drift to make the 4th or 5 iteration of himself to be different
That being said .. the idea that there has to be a reference point (the bomb in 1975) that would enable the jumping back in forth in time.. otherwise chaos theory would negate the ability for time travel …. each time jump backwards would create enough possibilities to change the initial state and thereby negating your own initial existence unless of course you had a frame of reference to base the initial timeline from ..
So with that, the Initial state of the loop, would only have to be that once time travel was established.. Identifying a time in which was so unusually unique from such a unique person, that all you had to do was replicate that condition over again by sending that person back in time to impregnate himself .. so the first iteration of himself already had to have occurred .. and they replicated the process over and over again .. but like I said .. he would have to have been a clone for no genetic mutation to occur (and even then, the process would have to tightly controlled to eliminate any possibility of variance )
but if your your own mother and your your own father and your your own grandpa then no genetic mutation can occur
This is an utterly beguiling film that does exactly what any good time travel tale should do. Which is to make the mind wriggle trying to accommodate the strangeness when our conceptions of cause and effect get messed about.
The decision to set the story in its original 1950’s science fiction world view (women astronauts as concubines for the real heroes, how very Heinlein!) struck me as odd, but then when it became apparent that preventing terrorism was a major plot device I could see why they didn’t want to make it contemporary. Also, the anachronisms help create a sense of an alternate universe and lend weight to the idea that this might be some kind of loop [bubble?] that could be a resource for a time-manipulating organisation. Possibly only one of a number – 1 of 12?
So many possibilities. If they do a sequel I hope they avoid the traps the Matrix ran into. Maybe let a decent science fiction writer loose on the plot.
predestination part 2 will be the baby of himself hawk created surviving in the end
thanks for the explanation. it helps put things in perspective. the 1 thing i didn’t get though was: how can the fizzle bomber, who is an old version of ethan, exist in 1975, if ethan himself was created in 1992 after giving john reconstructive surgery?
his future self time travels too but his future self strayed from the mission
I always liked Heinlein’s provocative work but the movie failed me in one major way. Taking the physics aside I had a real issue with the physical presentation of the Jane/John/Ethan characters on screen. This has nothing to do with the actors; I thought Snook and Ethan were both fine but rather something much more superficial.
First, I never bought Jane becoming John, Snook always looked like a woman even
at the bar. In fact the first second I saw her I said to myself that’s a woman
pretending to be a man. So right there you have the seeds of disbelief planted
within the viewer. Now keep in mind I never read this particular short story
and when the director had the grand revelation of Hawke as Jane/John with the
visible scars I had a real WTF moment. It had nothing to do with the story but
everything to do with my eyes telling me Jane is not a real John and there is
no way John could become Ethan over time even with a face transplant. Facially,
Ethan has a typical male look and Sarah is a pretty woman, bones don’t change
with a simple skin transplant. And never mind the sex change, the body types
lack congruity because both actors have average heights and body types for their respective sexes. I know this sounds terribly superficial and this was a low budget movie but I wish the directors had did a better job of suspending my disbelief with the
visible presentation of the characters.
As to the time paradox I didn’t get too perturbed about the supposed ramifications.
I don’t see how a finite system such as a block universe, postulated as
early by Olbers’ paradox and Edgar Allen Poe and to be explained with the
Big Bang Theory, can spinoff an infinite, parallel universe with no beginning
or end. The universe doesn’t hide the truth from us, we just choose not to see
the truth. By the nature of our physicality we’re basically captives of entropy and we can only move forward with time in one direction. As to having sex with your future-self, I just write that off as an advanced masturbation technique.
The rooster part is actually very significant. In the bar, John tells Hawke that he had just found out that he ‘was no longer firing blanks’. Despite this information being fresh in his mind, and knowing that the cause of Jane’s ruined ambitions and the cause of the painful transformation into John, when John goes back to 1963, he still sleeps with Jane causing her pregnancy!
Hawke states that ‘no-one is innocent’. Jane was. Hers was just a tragic story. As was John’s. Hawke creates the loop when he takes John back to 1963 and deceives him into meeting Jane (to kill the man who ruined her life). He further perpetuates the loop by taking the baby back to 1945.
It is the Temporal Bureau and its agent who cause the problem.
John, Hawke and Fizzle each want to change events to make things better.
John wants to stop the stranger ruining Jane’s life. Hawke wants to stop Fizzle and Fizzle wants to convince Hawke not to kill him.
Each knows what not to do (don’t sleep with Jane, don’t exceed the safety limit on time jumps, don’t provoke Hawke into shooting) but does it anyway.
the way I see it and something that has not been addressed by this forum (maybe it has and I have not read all posts) is that the agency is keeping Hawke as an internal agent to exist by having him relive his past present and future over and over again while simultaneously using him as an external agent to prevent crime in the future. The fizzle bomber, despite his problems, is really a hero for the agency by having stopped multiple crimes that will come to exist. Hence, the agency keeps Hawke in the loop to use him to stop future crimes which is evidence by the fizzle bomber’s album. Thus there was a real purpose to his existence.
yeah so the time travel agency can learn how to run a time travel agency better
thank you for all the explanation!! great movie!!
João from Brazil!
Ok so hear me out. The rooster could be a foreshadowing reference to a separate party from the chicken and egg (the rooster being Robertson). Robertson could have easily created the loop. Keep in mind the line “[Robertson] is setting up the dominos, we’re just watching them fall” or something like that. He goes back, steals Jane (born from a mom and dad) first from her crib, and carefully impacts her life to get the loop started. Kind of like how you have to very carefully place dominos before starting the reaction.
He also kept Hawkes time machine working and provided him information on the laundromat. Also stating many things like about how Hawkes a gift and how much the Fizzle Bomber has helped. I feel like there are more hints but I can’t list them all. I’m under the impression that Robertson is fully aware of all events and has planned them that way.
Hmmmm… Sigh…. That’s the difference between being smart and being a genius. A genius has a sense of humour. *-)
You can creat an army of yourself (who agrees with your present self) just by ploting it deep into the future and jump back together one more at a time
My problem with the whole thing is this:
Sarah gets impregnated by this mystery man who seems to understand her inside and out.
The man leaves, and she is stuck thinking about him for over a year while giving birth and having the surgery.
She then looks up into the mirror and sees THAT MAN’S FACE!!! but somehow does not recognize it even though it is the biggest thing that has ever happened to her, and she has been dwelling on this mystery guy for over a year!!
How would she not recognize that face??
at the begining of the movie john says i dont have any pictures of my self when i was younger and john says he cant even remember what he looks like when he was younger
Oh…and great entry, by the way, Astronomy Trek!!!!! XD
Here are my two cents…I believe this movie to be very original and captivating in its designed and creation…but the Paradox has a flaw, in my view: I do concur that Mr. Robertson, in the original timeline, (or the powers that be, for that matter), could in fact manipulate John, to go back in time and impregnate her/himself…BUT there is NO reason to believe or postulate that that manipulation would, in any way, develope into a fetus of Him/Herself! The is no causality to hold that fact true, thus, i believe the moment John falls in love with Jane and impregnates her/himself, the actual child to come of that union would be a completely different entity, thus splitting the Paradox timeline into two very distinct ones. There are my thoughts, now, LMK what U think! 🙂
A clone is an exact replica created by removing the genetic material from an egg and implanting it with genetic material from only one parent. So the baby born of Jane (who is John) and John (who is Jane) would also have only one genetic donor.
If a time machine was ever built you couldn’t travel back in time before it was first created. Therefor there couldn’t be a predestination paradox. Fun concept though and very entertaining. I recommend this movie to anyone who liked watching Time Cop and Minority Report.
“If a time machine was ever built you couldn’t travel back in time before it was first created” why is that?
So there are 3 of him at the bombing. The old one with long hair. Ethan Hawke fighting himself with long hair and John who gets his face burned off. And all three of them are time jumpers.
Each jump to continue the loop would create more copies of himself. so conceivably there are a number more of him living normal lives? Or eventually there are dozens of himself at the bombing site all fighting each other?
When Robertson and Hawke are standing outside john/janes “hospital” room. They are two separate people? Further emphasized in the scene when the case malfunctions on Hawke in 1975 there is a shot of John looking at the clock reading 1985. So that John can’t become Hawke because Hawke already exists. When they both end up at the bombing it is Hawke handing himself, (John), the case, plus of course the long haired Hawke (fizzle bomber), is there also.
It seems to me he is creating another version of himself each time he goes back to put John in front of Jane. I guess there could be an incalculable number of John’s in the loop? Or the movie we see is the final version of the loop?
If it’s a loop how does jane/john not know she is talking to her/himself?
“If you kill me, you become me.” What? Why? …because this would be the first act of his intended altruistic crusade? If he didn’t kill him, why wouldn’t he become him, just the same? His brain would still have been affected by all the jumping (he’d be just as “paranoid,” etc.), he’d still know (believe, rather) that future events could be precluded by his actions, and the older, crazier version of himself would simply die–so what? Further, his convenient retirement date of *days before the 11,000 dead bombing* (what a coinkydink…) was *days before the bombing*. If he killed the older version of himself to prevent that action, he wouldn’t “become him.” He’d have headed off the 11,000 dead bombing, and therefore *not* become the man who caused said disaster (until later on…?). Allowing him to live, on the other hand, would have caused him to become him (if you allow 11,000 people to die, you obvious agree with the motive and the perpetrator). Logic, where are you?
Same as why john mate with jane (oneself) which is survival, if there is no fizzle bombing then jane, john, hawke in the movie may not exist. Thus, the fizzle bomber knows that hawke might want to ensure his existence so have to use time machine to make sure history is not changed
Male John (not Hawke John) doesn’t know that he needs to mate with himself to ensure his survival, *at the time of the copulation*. He knows only that he’s in love with the “girl” (who he clearly knows, but somehow discounts, is himself), then mates with her out of love. Not survival. You’re talking about Hawke, not Seducer.
Your second statement doesn’t address what I’ve written–we’re not talking about old Hawke (Fizzle). We’re talking about younger Hawke. No matter what, because he’s kept the time machine (as pointed out by older Hawke), he will become Fizzle, whether older Fizzle lives or dies. This is a logic error that could be remedied by simply removing the line “if you kill me, you become me.” If old Hawke lives, he keeps on committing acts while young Hawke presumably travels around in time, becoming crazier, *becoming older Hawke in the process*. If old Hawke dies, the same is true. It’s “predestined” that Hawke becomes old Hawke, no matter what.
Problem: he knows it’s “himself” he’s falling in love, and mating, with, correct? I hope I’m wrong–this is a logical dealbreaker, for me. Had he not known it was himself, and “accidentally” fallen in love with his earlier female version, then great–but isn’t it obvious that that is not the case?
The answer to why mate with one self is survival. If john does note mate with jane then he thinks he would not exist, remember john has jane as his history, if jane is not pregnant then john would cease to exist.
The problem is that he falls in love with himself. Further, he doesn’t yet know at that point that he needs to mate with her to ensure his own survival.
I have a pretty basic question here.. just because Sarah was a hermaphrodite, why does that mandate that her child would also be a hermaphrodite? there’s no genetic link for hermaphroditism, and the incidence of true hermaphroditism is super rare. So, aside from all the other paradoxes here, I actually think this is where the story line ceases to make sense.
I think you’re missing a point: it’s a cause-effect loop…nothing has an origin, everything is self-sustained and self-caused by necessity, contingency has little role (Robertson). If you ask “why does that mandate that her child would also be a hermaphrodite?”, you are implying there’s some sort of beginning somewhere, or a stochastic event which may or may not lead to the birth of a hermafrodite. Fact is, everything is repeated exactly the same by necessity. The birth of Jane as hermaphrodite is not the primordial cause, because, as I said, it’s a loop. Jane HAS TO be hermaphrodite, because the conditions and the events that lead to her birth are ALWAYS the same, repeated over and over again. In your question you are implying that the development of that foetus would be, each time, a stochastic event governed by probability. But it isn’t. It’s an event which is repeated as all the others within the loop timeline and will lead to the very same results. Each time.
I have a headache.
Can someone explain… How john didnt understand that the older man actualy hehimself ? I mean… He rememberd the way he looked, and now he looks the same(at the begining when he tells his story) . So thats kinda weird…
loved the movie, don’t know if it was discussed above, but I am theorizing that Mr. Robertson is another incarnation of Jane/John. lets say he is two parent Jane/John. Mr. Robertson ask John at one point in the movie how many unauthorized jump he has made to which John replies only 1. This means that all the other jumps by John/Jane made where he seduces himself, leaves himself on the orphanage door step, and recruits himself were all missions assigned to him by Mr. Robertson. The way I see it is Jane/Robertson is raised by a normal set of parents and is also a hermaphrodite. And at some point past 1985 Robertson travels back to the 60’s and starts manipulating Jane’s life. At some point Robertson recruits Jane (at this point John) to go back in time seduce himself and thus the loop starts.The only real evidence of this is when Mr. Robertson quasi praises the fizzle bomber saying that he makes the agents better. I believe this to be Robertson end game. The combination of the same DNA produced a physically superior being. Jane/John was stronger, had more stamina, and was smarter than normal people. I believe that Robertson was trying to produce a super agent by using himself as lab rat. Another factor that leads me to believe this is every time we see Robertson he is roughly the same age.
RE Mary: John Doesn’t Recognize himself
I believe John (unmarried mother) not recognizing himself as the man who seduced Jane can be explained by their presumably short encounter, not looking in the mirror, and memory’s fading over time. Also, John (seducer) would have been several years older than he was in the bar when he impregnated Jane.
RE King James: John/Jane/Mr. Robertson
Great thought there, King James. Mr.Robertson is so suspicious a character in Predestination that it would have been nice if more light could have been thrown on his role in the whole story. I enjoyed your speculation that Mr. Robertson could be another incarnation of the Jane/John character, and agree it’s entirely possible. After all, in the Laundromat at the end of the film The Fizzle Bomber does say:
“We are all puppets. We are Robertson. He is setting this all up. He is playing us for fools and laying us out like dominoes and watching us fall.”
Sure, but this doesn’t explain why pre-Hawke John suddenly can’t remember his former female self upon travelling back in time and making contact with her. He recounted his entire childhood in the bar, moments earlier–surely, he has some inkling of what he looked and acted like as a female (not to mention the fact that she is exactly where he was when he met his male lover). I mean, aren’t we supposed to believe that he doesn’t know who she is, and “accidentally” falls in love with *what he doesn’t know to be* his former self? If not, I’d say the film (and story) is pretty sick–falling in love with what you know to be yourself, sure, but copulating with yourself? Literally? 🙂
John DID recognize Jane as himself, whereas Jane DID NOT recognize John as it was their first encounter. Several years later, after Jane becomes John he does not recognize himself as the man who seduced Jane because of the reasons mentioned. i.e. brief encounter, aversion to mirrors, memory fading, and John (seducer) having been quite a few years older than he
was in the bar when he met Jane for first time. Hope that helped..
When he’s talking to Hawke in the bar, he hasn’t yet seduced anyone. In Seducer’s timeline, those events haven’t happened yet. When he soon thereafter (not years–moments) travels back in time to (for reasons unknown and implausible, unless he’s a pure sadist) commit murder, he bumps into his former female self, *who he immediately recognizes to be his former female self*, right (“you’re more beautiful than I’d ever imagined you’d be,” or something to that effect…)? He then proceeds to fall in love with and copulate with himself, *knowing that it is his former female self*.
This kills the movie, for me, given how perverse (and convenient) it is–I mean, if you went back in time and met your female self, would you fall in love and copulate with her, knowing that it’s you? I didn’t think so. 🙂 (The intent, I believe, is simply to display the most perverse form of masturbation imaginable.) Anyway, he later claims to have been “set up,” but he wasn’t–this is a plot error. He knew what he was doing and who he was doing it with. There’s no logical explanation that would account for him not knowing who he was mating with, given that the events occurred mere moments after recounting his entire female life in the bar (he may not recall that he’s the man who impregnated his female self–not likely, but OK…fine…but he remembers what he looked like as a female, does he not?).
Great film, minus this one gaping plot error.
I do See a causality failure!?
How is it possible, that Jane is pregnant with herself, there can be same persons from different timelines at one Palace, but not the same person growing up in its own elder versions stomach, not the same Person in one timeline? The baby must be an other Person, cause its grow up from the womans egg to a whole New human, while Jane is the whole time with that baby!?
How Was The Paradox Created you ask?
“As far as Predestination is concerned, we do not see the original timeline which actually started the causality loop”
… because there is no original timeline. This IS the timeline. The loop always existed.
“While there may be many ways in which the original loop may have been created, one possibility is that in the original timeline Jane was born in 1945, became pregnant by some other man”
… No, because Jane/John cannot exist unless Jane and John exist to create Jane/John.
Other than that, your analysis was terrific.
Hi Tim, thanks for your comments and I’m glad you enjoyed the analysis. Without a doubt one aspect of the film which seem to have attracted the most attention is whether the time loop was created or whether it always existed. Just like the universe may have had an origin (Big Bang theory), or might simply have always existed in a state of “quantum potential” with no obvious beginning, similarly the time loop in Predestination needs no initial cause as inside the temporal loop both cause and effect precede and follow each other in a continous circle. As I mentioned in the article,
“Even though there may be no explanation as to why such a phenomena may have spontaneously occurred, just like we may never know what caused the Big Bang, for the sake of this movie we can still allow ourselves to speculate as to possible causes.”
In conclusion, just as physicists currently lack parameters in their model of the universe to fully comprehend how its initialization phase occurred or whether it always existed, so too are fans of Predestination divided as to how the phenomenon was created or whether it always existed. Like most paradoxes in fictitious time travel tales, however, its safe to say that they are usually initialized by the author of the story 🙂
What I don’t understand is if the concept behind the movie is that history cannot be altered and it is doomed to repeat itself than why does the fizzle bomber have newspaper clippings of events that he prevented therefore changing history. There was an alternate reality in which these events happened and he has the newspaper clippings to prove it so that means you can go back and change things?
In the movies time travel typically results in one of two paradoxes, either a grandfather paradox type situation where altering the past changes the future (Back To The Future), or secondly the variety where a time traveler intending to change history simply causes the events which cause it (Predestination).
In Predestination while The Bureau is apparently tasked with preventing crimes before they happen, there is no evidence that any change in the time loop actually occurs. Therefore, Mr. Robertson, who would already know everything, may simply be telling Hawke that he is altering the past, whilst in fact he is ensuring events play out exactly the way they are supposed to do, hence giving Hawke the location of the Fizzle Bombers whereabouts at the end of the movie.
Every decision The Bureau makes to send a temporal agent back in time must have come from information it received from the future telling them where their agents were sent and for what purpose. In this way The Bureau (not the agents) can be seen not so much as stopping a crime, but ensuring a crime continues not to happen in the first instance. Therefore, all the temporal agents may have been tricked into believing they were altering events that already happened, but the Bureau bosses who tasked them with those missions must know everything that they were sending to them to do had already taken place. In other words, The Bureau has a list of things they need to do so as to maintain history the way it is.
Going by the “predestination” premise of the movie that events that have happened cannot be altered, while the Fizzle Bomber has his collection of newspaper clippings of events he claims to have prevented, the clippings could be fake and collected from the previous Fizzle Bomber by Hawke before then becoming him, much like we see Hawke do at the end of the movie.
Spoiler alert. You can’t make something from nothing (Big bang theory excluded) If you start from the beginning..there is a baby “Jane” that is left at an orphanage… If this baby is the product of Jane and John, a meeting that happens in the future….. but because the future hasn’t happened yet, the baby can never exist to start with…
To elaborate on this…Jane/John cannot exist in the first place…because….Jane can’t be handed in to the orphanage unless she is born….to be born she needs to be conceived…to be conceived Jane must meet John….to meet John she must become John by conceiving and giving birth (Therefore she can’t meet or become John if she doesn’t get pregnant first…because he can’t come back from the future if he/she hasn’t been pregnant and then become John first) And therefore Jane cannot be conceived which makes the whole story impossible……
Tried to read all comments and threads and not sure if this has already been covered but…what would have happened if younger john shot himself in the launderette instead of his older fizzle bomber self…if the loop continues because he does inf act shoot older then in shooting himself that would have broken the loop surely.
Mr. Robertson is part of the loop or he shows up just once to convince an hesitant Hawke to take the baby back to 1945? If he does every time, he is intricate part of the loop. Otherwise Hawke may have second thoughts and end everything. The other think is the fact that the doctor examines baby Jane and did not realize that she is an hermaphrodite. Unless he never did a thorough examination. What about the nurses bathing baby Jane? Would they realize that she was different? Well, she is a pseudo male with the external female genitalia, which allowed to sex change to happen. It is much easier to transform a penis into a vagina, but not so easy the other way around.
I think he had to shoot himself, not the older version of himself, to break the loop.
Not doing so, and continuing the loop however, is essentially immortality.
To break the loop he had to not shoot anyone in order to live on. I don’t understand how it can be immortality if he eventually becomes older version of Hawke and dies of old age later in his future life.
Who noticed the first edition of ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ on Johns desktop?
Well spotted, Raptor Jesus. The Spierig brothers sneaking in another homage to American author Robert A. Heinlein, who wrote the science fiction novel ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ in 1961 telling the story of a human born and raised by Martians on the red planet before coming to Earth in early adulthood and having to adapt to terrestrial culture.
Does it even matter if John killed the Fizzle Bomber? It seems to me that the only thing he needs to do to continue existing is deliver himself to the orphanage. After that, his mission is complete and all he has to do is die and the baby he delivered to the orphanage will grow up to be him.
Thanks Keith M for your kind comment. I truly enjoyed every bit of this lovingly enhanced adaptation of the book. Confusing in places? Yes. Enjoyable? You Bet! One of the most thought-provoking and fascinating time travel movies ever made.
I loved the movie, which not only stayed incredibly faithful to the storyline, but a large portion of the dialog was taken directly from the original story, verbatim. It’s even more amazing when you consider that Heinlein wrote it in a single day, back in the late 1950s. It’s actually a very short story, which can be read right in-line, by googling the original title, “All You Zombies.”
I considered this movie to be the best movie adaptation of of Robert A. Heinlein’s writing, who, for those who aren’t familiar with his work, was known by the title, “The Dean of Science Fiction”.
Those who found the concepts presented in this movie bizarre are probably not familiar with some of his other work, such as “Stranger in a Strange Land”, which I doubt could ever be brought to film, mainly because, among other things, not only rationalizes, but actually goes so far as to romanticize cannibalism as a means of honoring your loved ones.
Something i don’t get having sex with yourself let you get a baby who looks exactly like you?
And what is the Term of having Sex with yourself Masturbating!?
There is one thing I don’t get: How come Hawke is not able to stop the Fizzle Bomber since he knows exactly when and where he is gonna set the bomb?! He has a time machine, he can jump at the exact location a few minutes before the Fizzle Bomber arrives and kills him! (I know the loop would then end, but Hawke doesn’t know that, he only wants to stop the bomber)
How come he never tried that?!
I really enjoyed this movie, it was a nice little treat. The entire thing was an allegory to “the chicken and the egg” and infinity theory. It’s a paradox orchestrated by those at the temporal bureau. The point was that John is set in his path and is predestined to follow the events that occur, all we’re seeing is that play out. The point is the original timeline doesn’t matter, only the events that occur. The break in the chain so to speak would be the decommissioned time machine that fails to decommission, ensuring John would travel too often, get lost in his dementia/psychosis as a side effect of too many jumps and thus in his own warped way fulfill his own destiny. It’s actually pretty well done, I liked it!
Ethan Hawke kills himself at the end and to me it is safe to assume he stops the NY massive bombing from taking place. It appears at this point the paradox has ended. The story can have multiple endings from this point. He can become the delusional Fizzle Bomber or he can can go back home and destroy the time travel kit and end the cycle. That is why the final scene he is sitting at the machine contemplating. He implies that he loves Jane and wants to see her/him again thus continuing the time travel and thus becoming the Fizzle Bomber.
Sidenote..for those saying that Jane was orphaned by someone else the first time need to remember the joke, which came first the chicken or the egg? Answer the rooster. You are basically asking the same question. Hence the paradox….
Great movie – thought provoking to say the least.
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What my partner and i are having trouble understanding is how he was created in the first place
Anyone able to help explain how its possible or is this movie too impossible to ever actually happen/be real
Think about the genetics. If you fuck yourself will your child be exactly the same as you are. NO! So this paradox could never happen. This movie sucks.
Is there a precedent that proves you correct?
makes sense now. just watched it. greatmovie
If I recall correctly Hawke makes what was considered an “illegal jump” by Robertson, this event actually sets Hawke up to become who he is- John is burned and becomes Hawke, Hawke becomes the Fizzle bomber, The Fizzle bomber is the reason Hawke has to make an “Illegal jump”. This “Illegal jump” is itself part of the time loop. So when was the original “illegal jump” if the “Illegal jump” is the reason he even has to make an “Illegal jump”(Fizzle bomber would not exists if he doesn’t make an “Illegal jump”)? What would be the purpose of him ever having to make the unauthorized time travel? Also if “Space corp” wants events to play out the way they did, then why would an integral part of the “Time loop” be considered ‘Illegal” by them? I don’t believe this was an engineered time loop and Space Corp is working outside of the time loop since the loop only exists because Hawke does something considered illegal by “Them”- A loop in which Robertson and Space corp are a part of as well. My only explanation is the whole thing is the result of time travel experimentation and nothing we see really exists outside the time loop. No real “Space Corp” that time travel to prevent crimes. It would make sense that scientists experimented to try and study time travel paradox and this time loop is one great deviation from an original sequence of events with numerous alterations. If you think about it the whole story just seems “Loopy”(Bad joke?) with the whole “Space Corp” “Fizzle bomber” type notion’s it’s a fictitious fantastical evolved story altered over the course of time becoming more and more silly and seemingly expedient seeing it from our point of view for the first time.
I think illegal jumps makes it harder for the bureau to fix any mistakes. As how can you fix it when you dont know what/when/why the agent did it.
Thats what makes mr robertson think that an agent without ancestry, family is best. As hawke only have baby/jane/john/barkeeper/bomber, he only will prioritize his existance, his way of life, and his reason of existance. thus, if hawke is a decent guy, he should become the best agent as he could, knows that if his future self is not worthy the younger self will not approved.
Fizzle bombing is the reason of his existance. Jane/john/barkeeper exposure to the bomber are:
1. Several small casualties bombing b4 1975 bombing (from news & bureau)
2. Failed bombin where john got his face burned and barkeeper got whacked
3. Laundermat 1AM
4. 1975 bombing 10K casualties (newspaper & bureau)
Now in the end of movie hawke has to make sure those exposure keep happening or he might alter his own existance. ensuring your existance vs Stopping fizzle bomber, what to do? Hes stuck.
Okay…question: If it is all predestined the New York explosion that kill 10,000 must be predestined. Who did that? It happened on that day so who did it? And how is that bomb so much bigger than the others? And why would he blow up 10,000 people….to save who? Even as a crazy fizzle bomber he believes that killing is for the greater good, so he wouldn’t just kill 10,000 people just because. There is a reason that happens. To me that is the most important detail of the movie. I believe it has something to do with the zero point limit because that is the only thing still left hanging at the end. What happens when you go beyond the 106 year limit? Is it a large explosion. But what would motivate John Doe to go beyond that limit? What would he be looking for? A way to break the chain?
What would happened when you go over the limit? Your mind cant take it and u might change the history too much, at least thats what the movie try to say. I dont believe it cause a large explosion, it may make hawke dillusional and really bomb 10k. Never know.
the limit might be just a rule to make sure a temporal agent predestination loop does not collide with an important event that bureau need to maintain. Again no definite answer.
How can you create yourself? It is most idiotic thing in the movie. It just cant be done. Because the result having a baby with yourself will never be yourself it will be a diferent person.
Don’t be fooled like the bar keep in the movie!!! There’s a reason why this movie storyline made this way, its to fool us the viewer and rattling our brain. The explanation to the creation of THIS predestination loop may be simpler and it is possible.
One scenario explained before that DNA cloning might be one possible element
My scenario: Mr Robertson pulled a fast joke or twist on barkeep (of course this means the author tricks us also) to make him think he is his own creation thus the loop paradox
The movie does not explained many things for a reason and its beautifully done. If i am mr. Robertson and want an agent that think that he is his own creation and only can live for the beureu than i will do this:
0. Find the seed, must be double gender. Genetic altering can be one way, or as mr.robertson said a gift to the world as he find the seed. Not only it has to be double gender, it has to have the profile too (superiority complex, phisically and mentally capable).
0-1 “PUT” the seed in an “orphanage” who’s to say its not under government manipulation
0-2 Nurture and. Cultivate the seed to become better
1. Manipulate the seed life so sex change happens, impregnates oneself, birth of oneself
2. Manipulate the matured seed (agent) to be involve in his own creation
3. Finally pull a fast one. Swap the his REAL Daughter with step 0-1 thats why i use “PUT”
Thus the illusion of no origins created. No telling how many trials and errors are performed to create this “perfect” temporal agent or agents he may be the first, one of many, dont want to go deeper. He might also be the one to undone the loop thus breaking his invisible illusion chain created by his twisted and manipulative creator.
This movie has infinite or at least more than one explanation because of its genius design. Welldone.
Oh before i forget, my scenario can be contested and reanswered by focusing on mr.robertson as the evil manipulative mastermind.
For example, the offspring may be a boy or a girl (REAL offspring of barkeep) …… Okay then Jane did not know that her baby sex. Other temporal agents might have been sent to swap it with a fake JANE baby which later will be swapped again by Barkeep when she is still a seed (step 0-1)
Find peace with an answer or ur mind will be stuck in a loop hehehehe cheers hope some people find closure in my explanation
*swapped again by agents with barkeep when she is still a baby seed (step 0-1)
Ok stop making your own stories and watch what movie tels us.
It is infinitive posibilities if you are thinkings what culd have hapened and wasnt shown in the movie. Try to make sence from the data that movie gives you. I also cant make sence from the fact movie clearly shows a person who create a baby with himself and brings that baby into past starting his own life. And then we know all the story what happens to his death. By his death i mean dying as a fizzle bomber by his own hand. All the movie has a perfect sence to me except he is his own creation i think this is kinda forced thing in the movie to fool us the viewer saying what the f…. it culd be done diferently and the movie wuld still be good.
As you see Jure Slegel is thinking how can you create yourself. I offer a possible explanation that this might not be Predestination Paradox as Mr. Robertson wants you to believe.
The question is how to create the ROOSTER? from chicken and egg.
Well the movie is designed beautifully to allow infinite answer.
My story is just ONE possible way to create ROOSTER.
Try contradicting my story if you think its false. … remember its just ONE of many possible explanation
The whole point is think outside the box or you will be trap in a loop.
John believes he is dropped in the orphanage, barkeep finally know that baby/jane/john/barkeep are the same person. Why? because he put the baby himself in the orphanage under order of Mr. Robertson.
Is it really hard to believe that Mr. Robertson pulled a switcheroo of the baby without JANE/JOHN/BARKEEP knowing? I mean do you remember what u do when you are 0-2 years? Really???
Thus, only Mr. Robertson know the Rooster, JANE/JOHN/BARKEEPER still puzzles by which come first chicken or egg?
As to why jane/john/fizzler easy to manipulate? They think they superior right, the idea of some one smarter manipulating them does not even compute, their life is groomed to make them feel superior or even geneticly chosen.
lastly if u feel superior what better lover than yourself lols. Sick. The older self will feel pity to the younger one. Who is best at manipulating john? Well john himself as he knows the most about himself. Mr. Robertson just need to point john in the right direction, he will executes.
As for why barkeep kill his own older self well, the young one must be in awe with the old ones or will be dissapointed *HINT
Who can deny this theory: is 11k casualties really true or manipulation tools to motivates john/barkeep/bomber, it might be false info to force barkeep be better than his future self. Maybe fizzler bomber only kills 12 in reality lols barkeep is the “perfect” slave for the beureu now.
Fizzler bomber didnot confirm or deny he killed 11k
Finally the end of the movie might give birth to a sequel, he is in a loop and with the fizzler bomber fate. Will he be able to break free thus creating an alternate timeline(straight or different loop). The question is would u kill urself? Or keep trying?
So far we know fizzler bomber did manage to save 3700 ppl. If the 11k is false then what would u do? Does 1 life justifies for 3700 liives see thats the whole point of time travel u are playing god. But for Barkeep, even if in the end he knows he is being manipulated by robertson, he will keep going back saving people until he die. Because he too likes to play god + love self too much
Best ending in my opinion is that barkeep at the end of movie realize how to accept his fate or present “predicament” then strive to create his dastiny thus become a master of his own destiny.
What would. You do if u are barkeep in the end of the movie?
Me will be to stop the 1975 bombing if it infact happened, i still believe that some conspiracy can be made to preserve the loop, keep doing what i was born to do, fake the 1975 bombing (this need collaboration with the beureu mr robertson) and finally grow old to meet the barkeep in laundermat and make peace with ur death. Yikes in the end even though i was created by higher manipulation, i accept my destiny then finish it however i like. Maybe old fizzler is making peace with his death knowing this is how he chose to live his life and at peace
i dont know, since it was made by both a male and female version of themselves it might create a clone of some sort?
OK, take a step back. Go back to biology class. When the sperm meets the egg, the egg is fertilized with all the chromosomes from both parents and are picked out for the baby’s DNA. So, because not one person is different from another, then there will be a genetically unique baby. If two of the exactly the same people have a baby with all the same genetic DNA (real life example- clone mating with original person) you would get a baby with all the same DNA and chromosomes as the parents (example clone baby, lol). But if the baby was raised in a different environment (example, different caregivers and different teachers/schools) and not sent back to the orphanage by Hawke, then the baby will not necessarily be exactly the same as the parents because it will have a different personality. But since it was sent back to the orphanage by Hawke, therefore its life events will play out as they were “predestined” (example- having the same caregiver, same school/teachers and same jobs) and eventually leading to become the same person.
But I do agree, it is extremely unethical for someone to have sex with themselves and have a baby that becomes the same person. It could have maybe been played out better by not including that awkward part but all in all, the movie turned out to be a new and interesting type of movie. I liked it other than that part.
No, she was originally born normally but was taken advantage of by the bureau. Basically you need to reward the film, reread this article and maybe reread the bottom section of the article a few more times after that. She was born, then because it is possible for her as a male to impregnate herself as a female when she is younger the paradox begins, so in a sense she becomes her own father and mother after already being someone else’s child. Then because the new version of herself (cloned technically but from the same timeline meaning she is the same person, but her parents are different) is sent back to the beginning of her life she grows up to become her parents again.
What if we see them as different versions from.different time lines but ultimately with the same origin?
You do realize time travel doeant exist so the entire movie isn’t actually possible. The fact that this is where your disbelief becomes unsuspended is crazy.
It’d be you fertilising yourself…in other words, it’s called cloning…
You dont understand this article, it means there is already an original timeline but because an unknown temporal agent make a mistake, it affects the main character’s existence so which we do not know, John/Jane has to do something in order for him/her to exist and that is what we don’t know.. haha
I agree. No matter how cool and convoluted the plot is- Your own sperm cell would NEVER create YOU. It’s ridiculous.
Not really, no. If you mix your own gene pool with your own gene pool, you can only get the same gene pool. And this “could” happen, if you had the hermaphroditism condition from the beginning, changed sex and then you traveled back in time to impregnate yourself. Easy xD
But if you have sex with yourself you’ll be putting in two set of chromosomes that are actually both from you, thus you’re creating you because those two sets are the exact sams as your current chromosomes.
well i have to note that in the scene where jane and john are about to meet, they hint at the original timeline guy that knocked jane up, he is plane faced and pulling a book from his bag, and if john wasn’t there thats the guy i believe she was intended to meet originally.. but then according to genetic theory if john and jane have sex, same genetic material would either result in the same person being born, or a malformed kid, maybe hence the hermaphroditism. but thats just my best guess to be honest it hurts my brain.
hahahaha … and who told you this ? do you have any theory to prove your point –> ” the result having a baby with yourself will never be yourself it will
be a diferent person because you created a new life get it.” ?
Yea i have a theory it is called my theory. Now we dont know how originaly he was created and how he or she come to that he had sex with himself the first time because what we see is a loop he creating himslef puting himslef in the past and the loop goes in a loop.My point is the first time he created himself that person was not him and that diferent person then again created himself and that is the loop we see in the movie.
Now imagine you go to the past create yorself with yourself put youself in the past again as a baby then this person is diferent because in the past there one of you already exist or will originaly be created so this shuld be diferent past so this diferent person shuld create himself again and put himself again at the right pleace in the past where he was puted originaly now 2 of him are at that place or this is again a diferent timeline now this kid of yourself of youself of yourself and the loop goes on so the kid you create with youself is always a diferent kid in a diferent timeline if you want this to become possible.
please watch the movie once again .. you seem to be confused .. with yout theory … “different past” “different person” “different kid” … on what basis you are saying the person is different in any given timeline …
For the sake of argument, I will propose that Hawke’s character at the end does in fact NOT become the fizzle bomber, and instead works to decommission the Space Agency and the invention of time travel in 1981. Because in our world, these things do not exist. Well done John, you saved us all!
What if Robertson just made up stories of the fizzle bomb to create this character?
Jane will remember the face of her mysterious lover. so when she become John.why didnt she/he recognize that he himself the lover of his past????
Came here with just one question: How did the “second” John get burned, why was he there? And I still don’t know the answer
John was trying to diffuse a bomb left in a building when he was discovered and shot at by the Fizzle Bomber, leading to him only partially containing the blast within his field kit before getting his face burnt. Towards the end of the movie, we discover that it was Hawke’s illegal jump whilst trying to track down the Fizzle Bomber which caused the delay which resulted in John not diffusing the bomb in time, being burnt, and needing constructive surgery to become Hawke. A classic example of a predestination paradox in which events inside the time loop are predestined to happen, and must happen.
Sweet post! nicely done, the years help.
Here’s an illustrated timeline with can further the understanding of the overall picture:
Saw this movie last night, it’s amazing! Everything flows well… the only thing that bugs me is Mr. Robertson. So just to clarify…. Mr. Robertson IS part of the loop right? His own words and actions are “predestined”… just as Jane/John/Barkeep’s fates are inevitable?
Robertson is indeed a mysterious character, and as head of the Bureau most likely orchestrated the whole situation leading to the time loop. However, according to predestination paradox theory, a time loop exists outside of normal time, and so while a version of Robertson exists inside the loop, normal time is running outside the loop and the Robertson we see is probably one who only time travels to inside the loop on special occasions when he needs to communicate with John/Jane for some important reason. Because they technically do not exist in his timeline outside the loop, Robertson can communicate with her/him through time without worrying about causing paradoxes.
Made my head hurt … in this timeline.
Everything explained well, however I just wanted to elaborate a bit more on why Jane/John were able to give birth to Jane/John to clear up some confusion.
At some point, yes, originally Jane/John were born from another couple. The theory here goes that Robertson find’s John, and send’s him back in time to reproduce with Jane. Now why does that start creating more Jane/John’s? Because in theory, coming from 1 genome, you will create a clone of yourself.
This isn’t like identical twins being a bit different. An egg splitting and DNA combining always has minute alterations. In this movie, there is only 1 set of DNA reproducing with itself from its own singular set of reproductive organs at the exact same time, every time (the loop theory). Unless we had a time machine to test it, no hermaphrodite’s today can bang themselves to create a baby for any of us to see if that’s how it plays out. So since it can’t be disproved, the writers go with it.
That’s just my opinion, of course, but it worked for me.
I believe agent breaks the loop at the movie’s conclusion; here’s why. In 1992, agent has surgery and gets Hawke’s face. There is a note on the ceiling above his hospital bed that says “If at last you succeed, don’t try again.” We also learn in 1992 that 11,000 people were killed by fizzle bomber in 1975. But when agent “retires” to 1975 and kills fizzle bomber in the laundrymat, the 11,000 people have not yet been killed. And with fizzle bomber dead, they will not be killed. Agent is adamant that he will NOT become the fizzle bomber, and he’s a smart guy. If he heeds the advice from the note above his hospital bed, he has broken the loop.
As further evidence for this conclusion, the other note on the hospital ceiling said “don’t do yesterday, what you can do today.” I understand this to mean don’t continue to time travel to try to kill fizzle bomber earlier, it will only make you more psychotic. Since agent is retiring to 1975, this is his final timeline, this is his today.
The entire premise of the movie is the loop is predestined, therefore killing the old fizzle bomber would not end the loop. Barkeep’s killing the Fizzle Bomber doesn’t necessarily mean that the bombing has been stopped. An older Fizzle bomber may have been killed by Barkeep. A younger Fizzle Bomber who is not as lost could be responsible for the New York event. After all the Fizzle Bomber also has the ability to travel through time as he pleases.
Also bear in mind that Barkeep does not report the time device he is unable to de-commission, this indicates he’s going to keep using the device. So it’s fair to say because of the effect the time device has on the user with continued use that Barkeep does indeed become the insane older Barkeep/Fizzle bomber we saw in the launderette
I just finished watching the movie and have been reading this thread. I think a lot of things clicked for me when you said how the Fizzle Bomber also has the ability to travel through time as he pleases and I will give it more thought. But for now, I was trying to come up with reasons why Barkeep would continue to use the time machine. I mean, logically, if he truly believes he’s killed the Fizzle Bomber then there’s no real reason for him to continue to travel. Except, like you said, killing old Fizzle Bomber doesn’t guarantee that the New York bomb won’t happen, so I was thinking, maybe Barkeep goes forward in time to 1992(the farthest he’s ever been into the future) to check whether it worked or not and discovers the bombing DID occur thus continues to travel back and forth to ensure it doesn’t, continues to fail, grows old, becomes the old Fizzle Bomber = NY bombs.
One thing I don’t understand is that so the whole time hawke knew that john would burn, so at the bar he knew the outcomes ???? Meaning that hawke let himself John get his face burnt so in reality hawkes knew what was going to happen up until john was burnt?
So does that mean as soon as john gets his fac e fixed after the burn she would know the exact future and that she has to talk with his olderself john????
Why would she do that??????? I DONT GET THAT POINT.. THIS MOVIE IS FRYONG MY BRAIN
The older one has the memory of what the younger one does, but the younger one doesn’t have the memories of what the older on does. I think?
I’m saying that if john and Ethan both knew that the face of john will be burnt why would they let it happen? Why do they have to comply with it… Because they know its going or happen then why do it????
I don’t think John knows yet because it didn’t happen to him yet. Ethan knows and went to try to stop it. That’s why he’s there to push the violin case/ time machine over to his burned self. He just didn’t make it in time.
Agreed, John didn’t know how his face would get burnt after being recruited by Hawke to the Temporal Bureau, although Hawke did. However, Hawke didn’t know it was he who caused the accident to happen just before retiring when he followed the recorded instructions left to him by his future self saying “if you ever want to stop the Fizzle Bomber you will never get another chance”. Hawke then tries to stop the Fizzle Bomer near the end of the movie, but only delays him, leading to the distraction which prevents John from disarming the bomb in time, and so burning his face. In other words, events are predestined to happen, and the predestination paradox continues.
I still maintain that the notes above the hospital bed are the most important plot device and the key to how the story concludes. The story goes out of its way to tell us Jane/John is exceptionally smart. He has decided at which point it is in his best interest to exit the loop. He puts the notes up there so next time he’ll know. There is no other reason for the camera to pan in to let us read these notes.
But the notes are taken straight from the original short story whic does not contain the burning episode.
What I don’t get is how could you be attracted and fall in love with yourself? knowing it was you pre op? Surely seeing yourself as you were wouldn’t be a major surprise considering you grew up seeing yourself?! and seeing the younger you as a woman would a disturbing experiencing? to contemplate having a sex with yourself, knowing it was a younger you is even more disturbing…
-Shouldn’t the fizzle bomber look like John since he was the original person to plant the bomb and wouldn’t have burnt his face……until the second version of the loop occurs.
-Wouldn’t John remember meeting Hawke in the bar if this was the second version of the loop
-Jane would never remember John because she is the origin of the loop.
-Richardson must be the Old John in the 1st version of the loop (face is not burnt so he continues as old John.) He continues to guide the next versions of himself. Several cues from the way he smokes. His knowledge of Janes dual sex organs
Awesome movie. Only thing I don’t think is explained is why john doesnt realize that he looks exactly like the man that ruined his life when he was Jane. You could argue that it starts Over every time so he never knows until Ethan tells him but then he wouldnt remember what he was thinking at dinner as Jane. If he can remember what he was thinking as her at the table with him then he should remember what the guy looked like and realize it’s him.
If Sarah and Ethan are the same person, then why is Ethan taller than Sarah?
I don’t really think the film (or Heinlein’s tale) uses alternative realities. The key point is the ouroboros: you don’t have a beggining, you don’t have and end. The paradox exists because it exists. Of course, you can imagine what you want —
Yeah.. I’m done with this.
… so disgusted with his future self, the agent shoots and kills the Fizzle Bomber, thus ensuring he becomes him.
This statement is wrong sorry… the loop of this movie… it is not a loop. The movie follows a character, not an event. The bombing never took place because John took out his older self. For all we know he goes back to the apartment and destroys his time machine and really just retires after this, hence creating a new timeline where he does not go crazy anymore. If the movie had gone on 5 more minutes in where John returns to his apartment and makes a new jump THAT would have closed the loop.
It is also quite possible the Error Fail Error was a set-up… if you think beyond this you could even think Roberts made it so his time machine would not decomission. For this theory think of the part in the movie where Roberts said “If it wasn’t for the Fizzlebomber this agency would not have grown the way it is now”. Roberts also hardly ever makes jumps but does so to assist John and Jane.
Hi Nate, thanks for your comments. The Predestination (paradox) alluded to in the movie’s title refers to a “causal loop, causality loop, or closed time loop”, so I believe its fair to assume the story involves a time loop. Furthermore, Predestination is based upon the short story by Robert A. Heinlein called “All You Zombies”, and as an extract of an article by the heinleinsociety.org explains:
“This story along with “Bootstraps” and “The Door Into Summer” are examples of what are called “deterministic” or “unchangeable timeline” stories. In other words, All of the events take place on time loops, but there is no change in what happens each time through the loop. Events are “fixed”
I belive I deal with the possibility of a new timeline being created after Hawke kills the Fizzle Bomber in the section called ‘Causal Loop Or Split Timelines?, and the Fizzle Bomber could also have jumped to 1975 to plant the bomb before being killed by Hawke.
Finally, I agree when you say Robertson’s boss was possibly orchestrating the whole scenatio, and as I mention in the section ‘The Bureau’s Involvement’ : “Robertson even seems to give Hawke all the encouragement he needs to carry on using his decommissioned time machine after his retirement to New York, stating how much more he believed the Bureau could accomplish if it had an agent working free from constant bureaucratic controls.”
I agree. There was a loop. It may have repeated many times. But the movie shows the breaking of the loop. I believe Robertson created the loop and wants it to continue. That’s why the time machine doesn’t decommission.
can’t get it still now….
The first thing I thought of when I finished watching their movie: I see why they brought up the chicken and the egg. Time travel is fascinating but the loop. There must have been an AT (alternate timeline) created in order to even start the loop in the first place, considering Jane didn’t appear originally out of thin air. So saying this is only one loop is impossible because there must be a reality where Jane is actually just a normal orphaned child, who lives in a world where the fizzle bomber doesn’t exist. On the other hand, we have the looped world. So my main question is, how many worlds had to be created to make this loop? And where could it even start? Does Jane grow up to discover she’s a hermafidite, then create a time maciene, falls in love as John with Jane to make the basic first layer of the loop? Then another alternate timeline must be created where Jane doesn’t create the timeline, instead is hired to work with a time machine which has already been created, and so on until the loop keeps going. Or is the loop even done? When Hawke killed the Fizzle Bomber, was that part of the whole original plan to expand into many alternate timelines, maybe this loop hasn’t even fully cycled more than once without changing, so it’s not even a loop even though it appears to be.
it all depends on the interpretation of ‘time’
we perceive time as we go through our lives…
but what if the world we know was like a book that has already been written with a beginning and an end.
if this was case then everything exists simultaneously and ‘we’ just perceive the world relative to where we are in the book.
the dilemma for the John/Hawke/Fizzle Bomber (Jane is never aware) its that he becomes aware of this scenario and realizes that all his actions have been predetermined and he has to do them
he has to procreate with his younger self or he ceases to exist
he has to carry to full term to become john
he has to distract himself to become Hawke (illegal jump)
he has to keep the time traveling kit to become Fizzle Bomber
btw this would also answer the chicken and egg riddle… both — they came into existence at the same time on different pages
Here’s my two cents on a plausible beginning of this paradox and may i
reiterate that this is just a theory that i came up with in order for my
fickle mind to come into terms with the story (i may be wrong this and i
gladly concur to that). Here it goes:
1. There is timeline where an original Jane/John/Barkeep/Fizzle has already existed.
– It could be that our protagonist was born but from different
parents, having the same medical anomaly and then falling in love
–whether it be through quoting Abram Lincoln or another way–, getting
pregnant, discovering the uniqueness of her situation and losing her
child (and in no way will I say that the child is our newborn
protagonist; remember this is the origin).
– The failures and
loses, her metamorphosis and the feeling of having no sense of purpose
would eventually drive her delusional and provoke her somewhere along
the way into becoming a bomber. Which leads us to:
2. The creation of the Time Machine and the Agency.
– The time machine was purposely invented with the intention of
preventing or correcting the events (bombings) that have already
occurred in this timeline; this in turn births the establishing of the
Agency that Mr. Robertson works for and eventually the
Jane/John/Barkeep/Fizzle character we see in the movie.
Agency captures/kills the bomber and in order for them to correct what
happened creates a baby from DNA samples they have of the bomber ( at
this point I’m justifying this for myself lol! ) this prompts the origin
of Jane in the orphanage.
– An agent goes back to 1945 bringing the seed for this paradox which is the baby and everything begins.
– The agency created this paradox in order for the bombings and the Fizzle character to be “self-contained”.
This corrects the future, and contains the action of the Fizzle
bomber in an never ending loop of events that has been “predestined”.
– Mr. Robertson is the man assigned to oversee that this loop will never be broken thus ensuring the safety of the future.
(I know there are lots of plotholes here, but if anyone can add more to this that would be great!)
in my opinion…
I believe John/Jane can only change events that don’t affect his loop
He/She is required to travel his/her closed because his fate is predetermined (predestined)
And nothing he/she does can change that
furthermore there is nothing he (Hawke) can do prevent to prevent himself (Fizzle Bomber)
this would be due to that all of his actions as Hawke would be memories for the Fizzle Bomber and as such could adjust accordingly (like in Looper)
which would further support why the Fizzle Bomber constantly eludes himself (Hawke)
while he (as fizzle bomber) does die prior to ’75 bombing he knows this will happen also
which would indicate that his trip to the Laundry Mat is his last Time Travel event (hes dead)
but two possibilities…
1. at some point in his personal timeline prior to traveling to the Laundry Mat he travels to ’75 slightly in the future and completes the bombing of NY
meanwhile Hawke (retired) realizes is fate and takes the fizzle bombers scrapbook and eventually becomes the fizzle bomber
2. Hawke kills himself (fizzle bomber) takes scrap book and gleans some insight into the why and that is his 1st bombing (from his point of view… time traveling would place other bombings further in the past)
I’ve got a left-field theory that while John in two separate future timelines becomes both the bomber (which we see in the film) and possibly Robertson. (Which we don’t see, but is sort of almost hinted at.)
I only say this because it some of Robertson’s dialogue seems purposefully cryptic, and he also the only other character that helps to maintain the closed loop. That- and the film ends ambiguously. Just my two cents.
Thanks for your post..only after reading it did I give the Robertson theory much consideration. I’ve managed to read quite a bit of the discussion. for whatever reason your two cents very quickly made me realize that other than they cryptic dialogue, hawke does indeed rock some lovely lip fur for a decent amount of time in the film…just like ol’ Robertson.
I believe I understand why the Fizzle Bomber became this crazed person, just imagine being your own mom, your own dad, your own grandpa, and repeating that over and over, that can make you pull your hair out and everybody else’s hair too. Thanks for this site, as weird as it seem, I understood that John and Jane was the same person, and Hawke and the Fizzle bomber were the same person, but this site helped me see all four was actually the same including the baby. You have to be a genius to think up something like that. Like movies that gets me wondering, probably need to see it again since things are clearer now. Good movie!
Thank you Le for the quick explanation, and for your kind comments. Predestination is definitely one of those movie that seems to yield further insights after another viewing.
I completely understand the idea behind the closed time loop etc, but the physics just doesn’t work. First off, there’s no way if you could travel back in time and have sex with yourself, that it would create you. Having a child with someone doesn’t change who their parents are. You might create a weird inbred freak of time and nature, but it wouldn’t magically erase history and make you your own parent. That just makes zero sense. Even in a time travel conversation.
Basically what I’m saying is… Any theoretical time loop would have to begin at the end, as time moves in one direction. You couldn’t “change” things and be the cause of what already happened, because it already happened to begin with. In fact, any changes -at all- that you caused, could only make the timeline increasingly different than the original… totally contradicting this film’s entire idea. This movie tries to come off like it’s genius, but the theory behind it doesn’t work. You can’t create something that existed before you created it, even with time travel.
In the real world Jane would have had an abortion 😉
My thoughts exactly@ Dima
This is a movie about how you fuck yourself (like a boss).
thanks sire, that cleared some things up for me. Excellent movie!!!!
Glad you enjoyed this mind-bending time-travel thriller, which is one of those great movies that when you finish watching it, you want to watch it all over again.
I understand almost of the story but we know like what Ariana said, almost is never enough. So I get this the whole loop thing, so it’s about one person, meeting himself to fix the past and in the past meeting the person which is again, himself, having a baby, and the baby is taken to the past, to be this one person again and it will always be repeated.
I just dont get the purpose of finding and stopping fizzle bomber. I mean, if he knows that fizzle bomber is himself, why doesnt Hawke shoot the fizzle bomber and after that shoot himself so then he will not become the bomber in the future.
or, just let john stays with jane and let them taking care their baby so then John will not have a grudge to kill a man that caused him to change his gender, not meeting himself (Jane) in the past, then not be taken to the future to become an agent and doing all this repeated things. or why Hawke doesnt kill John if he knows that John is actually himself in the past and the one who will make Hawke become like he is right now? what’s the purpose of making another himself doing the same thing over and over again?
We should think logically, actually there is no time travel at all, it is only our illusion, past time now has dissapeared (it is become an illusion) , future time still not exist (it is still illusionary) , the only existence is thing (or something) at this present (now) time.
Time cannot be travelled, because it is not exist (or not an existence) , it is only a way of communication to explain relative position or measurement of thing (or of the physical existence) , to explain how thing looks like 25 year ago (as a baby) , or as adult (today) , or as old man (in the next 25 year) , so just relax , do not take too much concern on it.
I agree, so does Julian Barbour, but this is a movie. lol
The crime for abusing the time machine was death, who knew it would be at his/her own hand
Great film and I figured it out as soon as they jumped and he handed John the gun, this was a great article!
GUYS …GUYS…EVERYONE JUST CHILLOUT AND STOP THINKING ABOUT THE MOVIE…JUST ENJOY ITS STORY LINE THAT’S ALL NO NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT AND BREAK UR HEADS ….THIS ALL IS IMPOSSIBLE
BUT I HAVE ONE DOUBT….IF HAWKE WAS (JANE &JOHN) WHY HE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE STORY TOLD BY JOHN OR JANE IN THE BAR
Hi Abhilash, its not that Hawke doesn’t recognize the story John tells him in the bar (he does), its just that he is giving John the chance to open up about his life so he can then offer him the opportunity to travel him back in time and kill the mysterious man who ruined his life. As we find out, Hawke’s plan is actually to have John fall in love and impregnate Jane so Hawke can then take the baby back to the orpahange in 1945 to keep time loop entact.
The paradox in the film is impossible for a simple reason: When Hawke takes the baby and jumps back in time, there would already be a baby and a Hawke in that point in time for every previous loop. It wasn’t the first loop either because Hawke already had attempted to stop the bomber more than once. So simply not possible.
Also, if we accept that Hawke has to kill his older self at the Laundry for the loop to survive, then his older self never gets to plant the bomb the next day that kills thousands. So how does he get to fight with himself the day of the bombing if the bomber always dies the day before?
The bombing where they fought wasn’t the final one (1975). It was one of the random bombings (1970) that the fizzle bomber got his name from. Also, im pretty sure the bomb that killed thousands never happens and only happened once in the original timeline before the loop was created.
After the Bartender kills the Bomber, he slowly goes crazy and becomes the bomber. Years go by as he jumps through time and does several other bombings before coming back to 1975 for the big one.
You miss a possibilty from outside the movie, but alluded to: they can jump forward or backward in time 50 years from 85… so, what if, in 2030, genetics is advanced and so Robertson, in some other, unseen timeline, was assigned to plant a test tube hermaphtodite (the original baby) in order to create this particular paradox we see in the film? We dont see a lot of jumping back to the future by Hawke, but the clippings in fizzles book show he lived through a lot of tragedies and finally decided to become this bomber with his undeactivated violin… the bomber who dies the day before is a preemptive jump of an older bomber., not the first bomber. So, when Robertsons creation turns into the bomber, he is tasked with fixing it. Which he has tried many times before. However, it has never worked because he tries to manipulate Hawke into not becoming himself… they eventually learn a lot about travelers and jumpers, and use that knowledge to createthe rules for other agents. This loop happens outside of real time, and is Hawkes own private hell, created and sustained by Robertson, who thinks working outside the guidelines can be good… However, at some point, Robertson becomes part of it, being predestined to always make the same mistakes which always repeat the cycle. Predestination.
What if shouldn’t be a reason this movie would work. lol
I thought the same thing as you regarding the possibility of Robertson’s use of genetic engineering to artificially create the hermaphroditic baby. By interacting with the baby as it grows up, he ensures that this artificially created human perpetuates itself through time and eventually becomes a terrorist that is extremely challenging to catch for the crime-prevention agents in order to improve their efficacy at their jobs. Presumably, he calculated that doing this has saved more lives in the long run (or has fulfilled some other goal of his).
I had not considered the possibility that the man he meets in the laundromat is not the fizzle bomber presently perpetuating the bombings in 1975, but rather an even older version of himself. It seems like a plausible explanation to me, and definitely an interesting one!
Jason, a “what if”, if plausible, IS a reason this movie would work (if by “would”, you mean “is a possible way it could function and make sense”). A “what if” certainly doesn’t prove that this interpretation is the objective truth, but until disproven, it cannot be ruled out as a way that the movie would work.
it is very possible.remember time travel makes your mind go crazy.his older self the bomber tells him to live together and he says ‘i will not become you’ so he kills his older being.so you say he kills himself(in this case the bomber) before everything happened.yes he does it but by time he goes crazy.after that day (the next day)the bombing event will not take place in this time.when he goes crazy(maybe 20 years later) remember he still has time travel kit and he can go back to the day after(which is he killed his older version) and bomb the city. if 1 exists with a time machine or travel kit so to say,there is an unlimited version of paradox happens.
That is why this movie is not a loop but just an alternate time line… it follows a person and not a time based event.
People, there is NO “starting point”…that’s the entire problem with time travel and “effect before cause” and why it’s so hard to figure out….the “starting point” you are looking for occurred in the FUTURE. Jane had no “normal parents” because that is the entire point of the movie!
Baby Jane, Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke cannot exist without a point of Origin to begin the Cycle. Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke cannot exist without Baby Jane. Baby Jane cannot be conceived without Mother Jane and Father John. Which is a Loop in itself. Therefore it is not possible, even if Time Travel was.
The Baby Jane that was conceived by Jane and John was born a Girl. However when Hawke jumps back in time with Baby Jane, the jump alters Baby Jane into a Hermaphrodite. Which the Original Baby was also. Suggesting the two were the one and the same, which is impossible as nothing can create itself. For it to even be possible the Original Baby Jane would have to be conceived/Created by someone else as a point of Origin to begin the Loop.
Hawke is told he has not beginning or end. Everything has a beginning, Point Of Origin otherwise it is not possible to exist. And he has an End when he kills his future Self. He knows his own Future/End.
It was one Timeline that actually had multiple Loops. One being Baby Jane, Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke. Second: John, Hawke and The Fizzle Bomber. Third: Hawke and his Future Self. There are others if you delve deeper, but they are the primary ones.
Even with the Snake that eats it’s own tail. It has to have a point of Origin (The Head) and an End (The Tail). The Head has to exist first to be able to swallow it’s Tail to create the Loop.
In short as the movie goes, even if Time Travel was possible. The Paradox Loops could not possibly exist as there was no Point Of Origin/Beginning to create the Cycle/Loops.
Baby Jane, Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke cannot exist without a point of Origin to begin the Cycle. Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke cannot exist with Baby Jane. Baby Jane cannot be conceived without Mother Jane and Father John. Which is a Loop itself. Therefore it is not possible, even if Time Travel was.
The Baby Jane that was conceived by Jane and John was born a Girl. However when Hawke jumps back in time with Baby Jane, the jump alters Baby Jane into a Hermaphrodite. Which the Original Baby was also. Suggesting the two were the one and the same, which is impossible as nothing can create itself. For it to even be possible the Original Baby Jane would have to be conceived/Created by someone else as a point of Origin to create the Loop.
Hawke is told he has not beginning or end. Everything has a beginning, Point Of Origin otherwise it is not possible to exist. And he has an End when he kills his future Self. He knows his own Future/End.
It was one Timeline that actually had multiple Loops. One being Baby Jane, Mother Jane, Father John and Hawke. Second: John, Hawke and The Fizzle Bomber. Third: Hawke and his Future Self. There are others if you delve deeper, but they are the primary ones.
Even with the Snake that eats it’s own tail. It has to have a point of Origin (The Head) and an End (The Tail). The Head has to exist first to be able to swallow it’s Tail to create the Loop.
In short as the movie goes, even if Time Travel was possible. The Paradox Loops could not possibly exist as there was no Point Of Origin/Beginning to create the Cycle/Loops.
Another person who says something is impossible because their small mind can’t figure it out. Granted, “effect before cause” is a toughie. Maybe checkers is your thing.
Wtf upscaleman? Actually they’re 100% correct. I think YOU need to stick to checkers… Time travels in one direction, therefore any loop must begin at the END. There isn’t “effect before cause”. That’s the entire point, even in this ridiculous movie! If there was effect before cause, there would be no need to travel back in time, since you could change the past from the present. You can’t suggest time travel is theoretically possible, or even interesting, without acknowledging that. Way to be the only guy that “understands” something that isn’t correct lmao.. You must be getting your Nobel this week for proving Newton and Einstein wrong…
We are all dumber for having read your post. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
WTF Steadman? Since you’ve confused time itself with time travel, you don’t even understand my argument, let alone “effect before cause”
Enjoy your stupidity.
You’re wrong mate. Jason is right. Look up some stuff about time travel told by Stephen Hawking, he explains stuff pretty good.
lmao… You completely missed my point. I didn’t confuse anything… Time flows in one direction, therefore changing it can only alter time in that same direction. You can never begin a sequence from the end point of a different timeline. It’s nonsense.
Honestly I don’t believe time physically exists, I was just humoring it for sake of the discussion. But calling people “stupid” in a conversation about physics obviously makes you correct, so carry on. I’m sure you’ll tally a lot of debate wins that way.
“Everything has a beginning, Point Of Origin otherwise it is not possible to exist.”
The origin of the universe remains extremely murky at best with Big Bang theory attempting to describe the moment of change from nothingness and no existence to a universe filled with spacetime. However, just like the origins of an infinity loop, it is still unable to answer the fundemental question of whether the universe has always existed like we see it now, or whether it somehow just came to be.
What a splendid film, wonderfully shot, directed and acted, with a fabulous, challenging plot that allows you to go as deep as you care to, with all sorts of really nifty twists and serpentine logical mazes. (Spoiler alert below!)
I am not sure that I agree that the time loop is predestined to force Hawke to continue jumping after he has killed the crazy fizzle bomber version of himself, thus ensuring he will become delusional and evolve into the Fizzle Bomber. By killing his older self, he has prevented the bombing from happening within a day or two. The then-current Hawke would have to literally jump out of that time and place immediately to allow himself the potential to spend the years becoming that delusional older self. With an endlessly functioning portal, he would, in fact, be able to prevent all the other “disasters” from the future from happening; but, in fact, the very existence of the book of clippings suggests that Hawke always prevents the fizzle bomber from succeeding, because those events did happen, and he does not stop them, so the loop is logical – Hawke can exist from 1975 forward happily and have killed the Fizzle bomber version of himself, preventing the massive bomb from exploding, as he always has, while allowing the other disasters to happen, which is inevitable, and not things the Agency necessarily needs to intervene with. He does not have to become the crazy older version again in this new timeline, he gets to live out his life.
Meanwhile, John the newly recruited agent in 1985 wakes with a smile and a purpose, knowing that he will lead a life of purpose, as he must complete every single mission that always fills in the search for the Fizzle bomber – the first mission is as important as the last – an exciting and fully engaging use of his “superior” “elite” intellect and abilities. The list of suspects and their routines suggests he becomes one of many busy agents collecting clues to the fizzle bomber’s persona and location.
The open questions for me are why the machine reactivates — is this the Agency’s way of retaining his services for unauthorized interventions, or a necessity under general relativity? Also, he is deeply in love with himself (the young John version), the only person who really understands him. Will he live on from 1975 and seek out the agent in 1985? Or will he understand that to tamper with that iteration of himself risks undoing the entire timeline that created him (or more accurately allowed him/her to create him/herself!)
This was a really fun and engaging film, visually stunning, with a spectacular performance from Sarah Snook, who is a hottie in either version, and the homoerotic subplot is brilliant. The only film I’ve seen recently that had that extra cerebral “oomph” was “The Babadook” – a movie that makes you think and that you can talk about for hours trying to satisfy yourself with how things turn out – or trying to rationalize a version that you want to be the “right” one!
Kudos to Hawke for finding a great script to work with – the guy can be irritatingly pretentious, but he just might be that rarity – an actor who keeps trying to prove he’s not just another dumb pretty face, and actually isn’t. He’s made too many really good movies for it to be happenstance, and maybe he really did deserve to take Jude Law’s spot in “Gattaca” because he actually has what it takes! (lol)
If changing an event of the past is impossible, how could the paradox been created in the first place? For example, if the original event was Jane meeting a man who is not herself and then have a baby with him, (which causes her to have to change sex) how could the first John have travelled back in time and prevented Jane of meeting the other man and instead fall in love with himself?
Interesting question. I would assume that according to the theory the movie is based upon, as the past is immutable (predestination) any attempts to change it would lead to a predestination paradox or circular loop in time like the one(s) seen in the movie. Trying to break such a loop is the stuff time travel movies are made of, although Hawkes main goal is actually to keep the loop intact or else cease to exist. It’s also mentioned the importance of continuing the paradox for the Bureau, but unfortunately not how.
Just watched this movie and loved it….but now my brain is so fried that I want to go back in time to before I watched it…and kill myself before I get a chance to watch it.
Lol! naaaaah. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you smarter!
Could it be possible that in the end when Hawke takes the
baby back to the orphanage that that baby does not grow up to be the same
Jane/John, but a different Jane/John, thus, creating more agents for the bureau?
And the older Jane/John continues on the same path until he gets killed when he
becomes the Fizzle Bomber, because this entire loop is caused by the bureau to
make Hawke purposely go crazy so that he ends up being the bomber who kills a
lot people because THIS was the ONLY way to prevent the death of many more
people.. just like he said to Hawke in the launderette: “We’re just puppets. We are! Robertson, He set the whole thing up. He played us for fools. He’s
laying out the dominoes. You know, we’re just watching it fall.”
Or maybe the times that they might have tried to break the
loop, it goes to hell, so they go back in time and do it all over again, and that
is how the Fizzle bomber knew personal stuff about the girl in the gallery. And
after all the failed times at breaking the loop, he, in the end, tries to make
Hawke angry by agitating him, to get Hawke to kill him, and thus, maintaining
Hi Reem, I like your theorizing, and there certainly seems to be any number of different scenarios which might help explain the events in this mind-bender of a movie. In this comment section, mcsnugggles has touched upon your idea of the possibility of the 11 agents mentioned working for the Bureau possibly being different John/Jane/Hawkes stuck in closed time loops of their own. Its not clear, however, why the paradoxes are necessary for the Bureau’s operation, only that Hawke’s mission is critical to its success.
And like you say, the mysterious Mr Robertson seems content to see Hawke driven crazy within the time loop and become the Fizzle Bomber, as this ensures the loop continues to exist. One interesting theory I’ve heard is that while Robertson tells Hawke he is changing the past, perhaps, it wasn’t Hawke but the Fizzle Bomber who was successfully stopping the crimes the Bureau was claiming to have stopped, but he couldn’t tell Hawke because he wouldn’t be ready for that fact, yet? By Hawke killing Fizzle and becoming him, Roberston is then assured the loop will be maintained.
What kind of a sick person would make this kind of movie? How do you even come up with all this? The mother of the twins must be proud. Very proud. I get 65% of the movie but still confused.
The Australian Spierig brothers’ Predestination is a movie adaptation of a time paradox short story by Robert A. Heinlein’s called “All You Zombies”. Interestingly, the story was initially rejected by Playboy, before being published in ‘Fantasy and Science Fiction’ magazine in 1959.
Best comment in the movie
” You’re a son of a bitch. ”
That’s when I knew assuredly everyone, was one.
Yes, only when the agent eventually retires to New York in 1975 does he finally discover that he is the Fizzle bomber. Remember, he is an agent tasked with stopping the bombing, and if he had known before he was the Fizzle bomber then he might have chosen an alternative method to stop the bombing, possibly by killing himself like in the movie Looper. The agent’s boss Mr Robertson gives him the location of the Laundromat the bomber was last sighted, where he then sees that the Fizzle bomber is an older version of himself. We can therefore assume that the agent continues to use his time device after retiring, leading to him becoming delusional and after many years becoming the Fizzle bomber. Its important to note here that the Fizzle bomber believes he is doing good and preventing more deaths by blowing things up.
No, this doesn’t make sense, because he has chosen to go to New York just a very short time before the big blast. There would not be “enough time” for him to become that delusional and grow that hellabeard. In my take, Hawke has created a new timeline, and he gets to live on in 1974 (or 5) and the bombing now never takes place. This is supported by the book of clippings of all the other disasters “caused” by people or events that survive because the huge blast finally does not ever happen… he has succeeded. His tapes of instruction to young John now in 1985 remind him that he has a happy new life and purpose, to fulfill every mission he always has, that collect the clues and information to get Hawke/John to that Laundromat just a bit before the big blast to shoot old, crazy Hawke/John.
He does have time. If he uses the device and continues to travel (and grow his beard), and then travels back to a point near the time he killed his psychotic self, he could have lived another 3 years in other times and grown that beard in the process of becoming psychotic from these missions. As stated above, the fact that the articles exist means that those events do end up happening.
Knowing what he knows, and the fizzle bomber being the creation of the Agency, wouldnt the whole point be to undo the disaster they created? That is their purpose. Once this is accomplished, i believe John Hawke settles down, and writes longingly of how he misses young John/jane the only person he has ever loved. There is no reason for him to jump except to be woth her/him, of which there is no evidence., and he says he doesnt have to become the bo,ber before he shoots him. The timeline was created by the agency, and it has undone the worst part of it.. Im sticking with my happy, purposeful, but lonely ending.
John/Jane is stuck in a closed time loop, for one reason or another. The origin of the time loop or time travel is unknown. So what I noticed was that at the end, Jane wakes up in a hospital bed listening to a tape John previously recorded for Jane. There was no event in any year that left Jane to be in that bed; therefore, I believe that after John killed his future self, the Fizzle bomber, the time loop reverted to a period where John wakes up as Jane, putting an end to the time loop. I’m not sure if this makes it more clear or more confusing but I think it makes sense. I feel that this is a movie you need to watch about a hundred times to somewhat understand..
… I think John killing his future self put an end to the loop and started his life over as Jane, stopping the Fizzle bomber, or preventing him from happening. I think John/Jane was created as a hermaphrodite for this reason, possibly for Robertson and the company to experiment with time travel, such as a test run, in order to have an alternate option of closing the time travel loop, which the alternate option was the alternate sex of John/Jane.
I just took a moment to think of it all again and I think there are too many unanswered questions. Such as why were the villain and the agent the same person? How did the one character come to have both sexes? Why did we never see any other agents, was there only one? I think for proper explanation this would have had to been a three or so hour long or so movie. Not sure, could be wrong.. the purpose could have been to simply have people think Wtf? At the end of it all.. I don’t know. Would be nice if the writer/directors came out and explained it..
Not sure if that all makes sense, but think in just made myself very sick and a migraine that may take time travel to heal..
Jane/John wakes up in a hospital bed because he/se travels 22 years into the future when he/she is not used to
Just saw the movie. Just read this article. Now I’ve read these comments and I literally have a headache.
I’m feeling the same and I still don’t understand
This movie is very confusing, right? Other time loop movies like Timecrimes (2007) http://www.astronomytrek.com/timecrimes-2007-explained/ are weird, but Predestination takes weirdness to a whole new level!
Confusing, that’s for sure. Just watched the movie. Not a physics expert, but as a movie vote thumbs down.
Same 🙁 What I can’t figure out that’s bothering me is there had to be a beginning at some point and if Jane and John conceived a baby there is no way that it could turn into Jane and John, it just couldn’t, could it? Unless we are looking at some type of cloning going on?? Ugh lol
There was no genetic diversity so technically it was just his/herself
In the real world an exact copy of the parents would not be produced. Within the close time loop in the movie, however, the circumstances are different as John is both his own mother and father with one set of genetic codes, whose existence doesn’t seem to originate from anywhere. Being a special case, as the loop repeats itself and fertilization occurs, the same genome would be produced leading to the baby being born in the exact same way.
Nah, still makes no sense. You would have to be born and grow up before you could (time travel and) have a baby with yourself, so you could never be your own parent. Time loops would have to start at the end. Genetics codes wouldn’t make this even theoretically possible. Maybe there’s Disney magic involved that they didn’t tell us about. lol
What if originally Jane/John was born from two parents. He/she happened to be a hermaphrodite. Mr. Robertson wants to create a time loop, so he hires Jane. He convinces her to be turned into a male, John. He sends John back in time where he falls for Jane. Now their baby is basically a clone. The baby is stolen and taken to the orphanage. This would be one way to start the loop.
Time travel movies in general can be quite challenging, and Predestination is certainly one of the more complicated explorations of the concept. They are invariably filled with interwoven, overlapping timelines, paradoxes and plots that never end, and are often intentionally designed to confuse the viewer and leave them with a myriad of unanswered questions which they are then asked to solve themselves. All this, despite the fact there is no uniformity of time travel theory amongst scientists, with many believing that time travel to the past itself is not possible, and others believing any attempt to do so would be fatal.
In the meantime, those people interested in the concept of time travel can at least get to experience some of the challenges theoretical physicists face through watching movies, and reading books on the subject. Needless to say, it’s a special film that gets better with repeated viewing and in my opinion Predestination is such a movie. Anyone in the game for watching the most complex time travel movie ever made, I recommend “Primer”, after which I guarantee you will change your opinion about Predestination. I have provided a post on Primer (2004) here for anyone looking for some after explanations on the movie.
Same here! I saw the movie and now Reading these comments giving me a feeling like wtf is happening after watching the movie… Am i gone insane?
Pardadox? Jane? Time? Oh yeah! 4-5 hours are gone and still i am figuring out about that movie? Totally Awesome.
1981 – time machine invented
1985 – Temporal Bureau created 11 Temporal Agent, one of them is our hero john/jane/bartender
Our bartender have last mission before retired – to create himself but he do mistake….
1. After jump to 1963 send john to meet jane, next mission is to 1964 to take baby but he do ilegal jump
2. In the moment he fight with fuzzle bomber, he get new clue about device from bomber bomb, in this time there are event when he get burn, this moment is relate with his ilegal jump, think…. he lose fight and the bomber get weapon from him, then young john get interupted by someone and get burn, so our bartender realize that his action is cause his accident, but he get new clue, looping is break
Ok so we go to 1975 when old john get retired, he get order to find clue from device he get, and find the bomber is future himself, well u know Looper right…. when our young one take action then old one know , i dont know in this event what happend to future john aka fuzzle bomber realize or not but we can think that he get sick/mad and his memory become mess
Our john have choice… when he do ilegal jum he create new timeline, he change future, he change his face, and now he kill himself to prevent thousand people kill but wait….
1993 – agent john get burn and get plastic surgery, he looking to old newspaper and found that 1975 still happend and so what happend then…
I think that after john kill himself, he become crazy, he continue bomber job, snake eat his tail infinity
Temporal agent must go back in time after killing the Fizzle bomber to become old by 1975.
Wouldn’t there be two Janes, two babies, when John takes baby Jane back to 1945? At least in the first loop, there would have been original baby Jane and manufactured baby Jane existing at the same time unless John or the Beurau took action to prevent original baby Jane from existing, killing the original, or by changing original baby Janes entire life (say by moving her to a different orphanage). Original baby Jane would have completely different parents.
This is the only thing I could think of that couldn’t be reconciled in my mind.
the original baby is the created one. nothing is original or fake in a loop.
That’s my thoughts, too. There is only one baby when Hawke transports her back to 1945 because baby Jane was not born in 1945 but 1963, so there is no reason for there to be a baby in 1945 until Hawke drops her off.
I understood everythin except: why did the agnet decide to become the fizzle bomber? Was it becosue he got insane? Did he prevent even moe crimes with bombing? We are left by him sitting at the table deciding on if what?
I guess he tries to go to the past to prevent the bombing that the fizzle member has already done. With every jump he becomes crazier.
When the fizzle bomber shows you the clippings of all the lives he saved, that shows that he made a lot of jumps. That is what made him crazy,
No, the existence of those clippings shows that John always finally succeeds in erasing the big bomb and stopping his old crazy self from ever setting it off. That iteration of him still goes nuts, but the young John who wakes up in 1985 will compete every necessary mission to get Hawke to that Laundromat to kill him.
No, its living without the fizzlebomber and watching all that happen in this timeline that makes him decide to become the bomber, you see… after killing a man, to stop the fizzle bomber, he learns to justify the other killings after all…
Just don’t see it that way. If the fizzlebomber ever succeeds, then all those other disasters never happen, so John always kills the older version of himself, EXCEPT in the original timeline that allowed the fizzlebomber to succeed. In that timeline, before the Agency comes into being, John never goes back and interrupts Jane’s life, she is a discreet and unique person. Once John goes back and seduces her, he takes the place of the man in her life, and creates himself. That child then is abducted, jumped back, and brought to the orphanage. So, instead of Jane becoming John who becomes a jumper agent who goes crazy and becomes the fizzlebomber, Jane becomes John who loops back to make himself the father of the baby that becomes him, and then, uses all the clues he has amassed in all his jumps to locate himself and shoot the crazy old dude before he can blow up the City. It’s an awesomely constructed paradox that gets to the heart of the impossibility and mental puzzle of time travel. After killing the fizzlebomber, John doesn’t make any more jumps. He has already had a fulfilling relationship (with his female self) and it will only be 10 years or so until the younger him arrives to begin his career as an agent. The loop is permanent, and there will be no endless repetitions and iterations of him, unless he gives in – but he states that he misses her, with no implication he will. There are no other Jane/Johns left straying through time. Mission accomplished.
Awesome take on the movie. I think your comment is the most well rounded that I have seen so far.
I really liked this explanation, as I couldn’t figure out where would the burns and the fight come from, if the fizzlebomber was killed right before the event. On the other hand, where would the paper come from to motivate John in seeking the fizzlebomber, getting into a fight with himself, as well as getting a new face. I still feel like he just broke the loop by shooting himself.
This is a brain teasing film depicting the predestination paradox.This is a crazy and awesome movie which constantly plays with brain and mind.This film reminds me of ‘The Terminator’ where Kyle Reese (from future) is the father of John Connor.But this film takes the ‘chicken or egg’ paradox to a whole new level.But there are a few things that haven’t been clarified.
How could Jane forget the face of John? Wearing a coat and a hat can be that deceiving?
After becoming a man John/Jane should have recognized himself (as the man from 1963) while he was looking at the mirror.
Even after meeting Jane at the college,John could have avoided the situation…When Ethan met his older self, he came to know that if could break the chain by not killing his older self (he killed his older self and became the older Ethan, i.e. Fizzle Bomber)…but I guess some things are predestined. 🙂
Hi there, as I understood it Jane doesn’t recognize John because from her perspective it’s the first loop and she never met himself/herself before that moment. She will herself become John later, after she had John’s baby and the sex change. John indeed recognizes Jane as himself before the operation. Gosh, one really has to be careful about wording when talking time travel, it’s really easy to get the exact concepts off kilter ;o)
Psychology 101 could explain the memory loss. Such as, the mind doesn’t allow connection, that he/she was her own lover, because of how absurd it is or PTSD from losing a baby and becoming a man.
Certain plot points could explain it as well:
– 7 years pass between last interaction between John and Jane
– Jane/John rarely examine themselves in a mirror so the baseline to recall from is near nonexistent
– John has never seen himself in a coat or hat because the style is out of fashion by the time the full female to male conversion is complete (so yeah, a bit deceiving)
– They’re only seen together at night or in low light (in so far as I recall)
– They may have only spent a few hours together total, a specific amount of time isn’t indicated, which would explain the night time only scenes
Agreed, like you say the John which Jane met must have been a few years older at that point (unmarried mother in the bar) than how Jane would have looked when she first became a man. The rest, as you say, can be explained by memory fading over time, the brevity of their encounter, and an aversion to looking in the mirror.
Jane would never forget the face of the only man she ever loved and now truly hates. Their encounter was not brief either, Hawke only came back to take John with him a year later
When Jane becomes John and saw the reflection in mirror it reminded him of the mystery lover…
Also a quote prior to the meeting of Jane and John is “strange, every time I looked in the mirror I was reminded of the bastard that ruined my life”.
He didnt enjoy looking in the mirror, even as Jane. I’m guessing that quirk continues astute her sex change
so…after killing the crazy old self, the only way for Ethan to break the loop n put an end to this cycle is by making a report of his malfunctioned time travel device ?? ….. if that was me, i’d do that, i mean f**king urself literally over n over again, n wondering who the heck is ur parents forever n killing urself again n again, that’s no way to live, man………
anyway, THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME !!!! i was really entertained by it…..by far the only movie related to timeline featuring a single person f**king himself xD hahahahahaha
ohh, and this article is good too, good explanation OP 🙂
Movie was’t bad it was nice in fact but doesn’t make any sense most of the time travel movies doesn’t make sense because it’s not possible to time travel to the past
Hi Rahul, you may find some of the explanations behind the various time paradoxes here useful http://www.astronomytrek.com/5-bizarre-paradoxes-of-time-travel-explained/
Thanks for the link but I can’t agree with everything it has to say… Especially for grandfather paradox… Gun wouldn’t fire doesn’t make sense but you can’t go back to past does.. Maybe I can go to future but not past…
Yes you can. Einstein proved it. And if we could go to the future, why the heck shouldn’t they be able to go to the past.
Because time isn’t a “thing”. The past doesn’t exist, nor does the future. Time is simply an abstract, arbitrary concept of motion relative to other objects.
It is possible to “travel” into the future because time is relative. By traveling at the speed of light, or near/in a black hole, time somewhere else (let’s say Earth) moves at a different rate.
You cannot go into the past because the past doesn’t exist. As far as we currently know, timelines don’t exist and there is nothing to suggest they do.
Although violating the law of cause and efect, there is nothing in Albert Einstein’s theories of general and special relativity to rule out time travel to the past. Many physicists may not like the possibility on account of the paradoxes it may throw up, like the ones mentioned here, but even these have ways in which they can theoretically be avoided or resolved.
Amongst the methods which have been proposed as possible are travelling faster than the speed of light, or using black holes, or traversable wormholes to create a closed timelike curve allowing the traveler to travel and return to his own spacetime. You might find this article interesting if you’d like to read more on the posibilities of backward time travel..
You could go back with a wormhole (which most likely don’t exist).
Or travel faster than the speed of light (which will never happen), but if you could then time would run backwards relative to your view.
Wait. What? Really?
This is purely theoretical.
Yes, it is possible to time travel to the past or, at least, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE (see, Einstein, a guy WAY smarter than you).
The time travel movie does not make sense to you because you have a pitiful understanding of temporal mechanics. Specifically, “effect before cause” and the predestination paradox.
Don’t worry, however, because this is complicated stuff and not for the average Rahul.
Read harder, my friend, it will come to you. FYI, the grandfather paradox is easily solved by the multiverse theory.
Do you really know anything about Einstein’s theories. He said you could never travel back in time. To achieve this you would have to violate the speed-of-light barrier. And this is not possible according to relativity theory. and many scientists dismiss time travel into the past as an impossibility. Even Stephen Hawking clearly says that time travel to past is impossible.
Well then, it must be so. We should all listen when people tell us we can’t do things because this is how progress is made, right?
Except the multiverse theory explains nothing as its just another layer deeper. Likely that multiverse is a subset of another multiverse. Eventually you’ll go so deep and come to a halt like the zooming of pixels on an hd television. Or, it is infinite, thus the paradox.
Although it seems like time travel it really isn’t. When you are far away, it would appear that you went back in time when you look back at earth, but it is only an appearance. If you were to continue your journey back to earth after traveling faster than the speed of light you are still in the same time.
Rude and high and mighty comments by some people, pathetic.
So you view a comment as “high and mighty” and refer to them as “pathetic?”
Are you way too effin stupid to realize that your comment, in itself, is “high and mighty” and, therefore, pathetic?
God bless the stupid people of the Earth, but don’t try and get into a pissing match with me, son, cause your dick, your brain and/or your fist is no match for mine, loser.
I think this movie was based more on human psychology and the idea of true narcissim than than the nature of time travel. I also think that some peoples comments reassure this notion and the idea that ones intelgents and total being could be more important than another’s. But the time travel and self fu king is a lot of fun.
Wanna point out everything else in every movie that isn’t possible?… It wont take you…
Doesn’t make sense to me yet, how does the agent when old get burned by the bomb, but somehow he also is killed by his younger self? Where is the loop? Assuming he breaks the loop by shooting him older, still how does the loop go on with both alive? And where is the agent conected to John/jane? There has to be more then 1 loop going on in this movie, which makes things too easy right? And in a way seems impossible for Robertson and space Corp to control many loops going on at the same time, the movie would probably have to be extended by a lot of hours, and still I don’t see how things could fit perfectly.
dude… you completely didn’t understand the movie
Maybe stick with a nice comedy buddy. This movie is not meant for your level.
omg this is too funny
You just created yourself a loop mate, its over, let go..
In this movie there are four versions of the same character existing at different stages along the same time loop, with Jane becoming John who in turn is burnt and becomes Hawke, who after retirement then becomes the Fizzle Bomber. Hawke completes the loop by 1) taking baby Jane back in time to grow up and become the main character 2) Hawke causing the delay which resulted in John getting burnt and needing surgery, before retiring to 1970’s and shooting the Fizzle Bomber before then becoming him.. Time travel is then invented in 1981 making the whole scenario possible.
As for Robertson controlling many loops at the same time, its possible the Temporal Bureau exists on one timeline with many time loops branching off of it. Why should that be the case? Well its all a matter of speculation, maybe the Bureau created a causality loop each time they tried to interfere with time resulting in these time loops; maybe they were necessary to avoid a ‘Let’s Kill Hitler Paradox’ in the Bureau’s own timeline, or maybe they were needed in some other way for preventing crimes from happening.
If we follow all the stuff about time travel, the thing that i cant understand is the child being borned from itself (John & Jane), should be a new person, not Jane, not John, not Hawke. You could have a child from yourself, but not be born from yourself!
Could be because John/Jane is a special person because he is in a loop-knot paradox in which he is his own mother and father, meaning in the movie’s timeline his DNA comes from nowhere.
That doesn’t make it magic DNA that can create the exact same person though.
You’re right, in the real world, never the exact same person. The movie is in a closed loop, with no beginning and end, and the point is made with the chicken and egg joke. The answer was a rooster.
Since Jane was born with both male & female she/he has sex with himself after being sent back in time. So we are looking at 1 set of genetic code, the odds off the chromosomes working out exactly the same way are infinitesimally small (including the same condition). So genetically they have the same code, but there would be variations at the recombination and epi-genetic level resulting in slight appearance changes etc (like real identical twins) this would not really impact the plot, however.
The movie was telling a story of a paradox you can’t ask it to explain how it’s possible. It is after all fiction, and the movie never broke its own laws.
But in the spirit of predestination theory and the movie: the moment that baby was born fertilization happened a particular way, resulting in a particular genome. So naturally, when we come full loop, the baby will be born in the exact same manner.
Your cells replicate all the time… why would two identical beings with the same exact DNA not generate the same being? There is no mix of new DNA from either side.
even if two beings had the exact same DNA (which is statistically impossible, but let’s say it’s true because the person traveled back in time to meet him/herself), the way that reproduction and joining of the sperm/egg works and splitting of the cells makes it statistically impossible to generate a third being with the same “expression” of DNA, even if the actual DNA is the same, the “expression” of DNA would be different, even if the two parents are identical because they are the same person from two different times.
you don’t really get to understand this until at least 2nd or 3rd year genetics in university, but trust that you can’t generate the same being even if there’s no “new” DNA from either side. but this is too technical, it’s science fiction, time travel itself can’t be done either so don’t over think it 🙂 even i’m just showing off my background in genetics, haha. i liked the movie, plot holes and all.
The film is tightly based on a book written in July 1958….before the concept of DNA came into the public’s consciousness. That would explain this seeming discrepancy. Yes, DNA had been discovered but the intricacy of how it works was unknown to all but a few specialized scientists in the 50’s.
As tiger tiger stated above: ” the movie, which not only stayed incredibly faithful to the storyline, but a large portion of the dialog was taken directly from the original story, verbatim. It’s even more amazing when you consider that Heinlein wrote it in a single day, back in the late 1950s. It’s actually a very short story, which can be read right in-line, by googling the original title, “All You Zombies.””
Mayra as i understand it, its because that child (lets pretend no identity right now) was taken back to the orphanage to become them, so whatever child was born ended up being her/him by being taken back to the orphanage. Look confusing because you cant pinpoint a start. i came to find answers but im just getting more questions too.
Taking a baby to an orphanage doesn’t make it have the same genetics as you though. It is genetically impossible to give birth to yourself, even twins arent exactly the same.
Thats true but I get where Ozy is coming from. In the movie, it spans across all the babies showing how alike they are at that moment aside from gender (just little crying nameless souls waiting to be nurtured). We are all never more alike than when we are all just born. Its our experiences that actually change us. Therefore, when Jane decided to name the baby Jane, she had triggered/began to continue the paradox, had she named the baby Tina, it would have altered the story/timeline. Hawke continues the paradox by taking the baby to the same orphanage where Jane herself had grown up; thus, placing the baby back in the same environment to go through the same bad experiences to become the same lonely young lady.
If that baby is you, it would. You can buy the time travel but not the even less outrageous biology?
“It is genetically impossible to give birth to yourself,”
It is also impossible for a male version of oneself to have sex with the female version of that same person by going back in time before a sex change… It’s seems this movie might not be a documentary.
Predestination Theory states that if a time traveler goes back in time to stop his friend from dying in a car accident he can’t actually stop the accident from happening, he merely changes HOW the accident happens. The time traveler will/might discover that instead of the original person killing his friend in the accident it was instead HE who was driving the car that killed his friend. This is due to the law in Predestination Theory that the event is destined to happen no matter what but if someone was to try to stop the event they would only be changing HOW it happens not IF it happens.
So Jane will always be the baby at the orphanage in 1945, the bartender is merely changing HOW she got there, regardless of who conceived her.
Predestination Theory states that if a time traveler goes back in
time to stop his friend from dying in a car accident he can’t actually
stop the accident from happening, he merely changes HOW the accident happens. The time traveler will/might discover that instead of the original person killing his friend in the accident it was instead HE who was driving the car that killed his friend. This is due to the law in Predestination Theory that the event is destined to happen no matter what but if someone was to try to stop the event they would only be changing HOW it happens not IF it happens.
So Jane will always be the baby at the orphanage in 1945, the bartender is merely changing HOW she got there, regardless of who conceived her.
Thoughts? That a lot of theories are ridiculous…. like sayings, there is always a contrary and assertive opposing example. making not just one nonsense, but both.
There is no way to reconcile this for me. It is genetically impossible for that to happen.I agree
Genetics are are a bunch of random codes. No matter how improbable an identical person could be born. Its just extraordinarily low….
And just go with it, it’s just a movie.
time travel is impossible to if you’re looking for something realistic this was not the movie to see
The not quite perfectness of it only ramps up the mind-f**kery… and that is not such a bad thing. I think the film is a bit like Stairway To Heaven…. written in a day and full of things to criticize that fans do not want to see because their love is too invested in it. That’s not such a bad thing either.
I choose just to love Predestination anyway… Stairway to Heaven is not in my heart, so I just rip it to sh**. The same is happening here with Predestination. Those who love it forgive it. But, objectively-speaking, it is not a perfect film in terms of logic.. only in an argumentative, no beginning no end way.
The film insists upon this ‘truth’ (the snake that eats itself forever and ever) to make the film perfectly work. But I believe what I believe and I do not believe in the snake theory or predestination theory, so I examine the time travel plausibilities, fixate on the ‘order’ and find holes. C’est la vie.
I was about to write a long post about this! You are right! It’s impossible that every time Jane and John had sex, the same egg got fertilized by the same sperm, and even if so I guess there would be differences! For me this is the only big plot hole I can find and one I can’t wrap my head around.
But if genetics are random events that happen every time. Would it not be conceivable that the same “random” event would happen if it repeated itself in the same moment in time. Thus ensuring that when John and Jane procreate in the same manner and in the same time period then the same random genetic anomaly will happen. Making it part of the events that are predetermined.
what about the big plot hole that is time travel? The movie is obviously not made to be realistic, enjoy it for the story tells
Not to throw a whole new discussion into this forum (which is awesome), try this one out…in an original timeline (one that exists outside of the loop), Robertson is the original baby, a non-hermaphrodite. He invents time travel, is able to go back in time to replace his actual father with himself as the father. This allows for the beginning of the loop and explains why the baby was born with two sets of organs (because of the similar DNA). The new baby is manipulated by Robinson, and he is able to create the paradox by manipulating events from there. There are a few holes in this idea (Robertson’s age, for one), but I think they can be explained away. Thoughts?
I’ve been trying to figure this out myself and came to the conclusion that the baby taken at the hospital is not the same baby at the orphanage. There’s mention of 11 agents working for the agency these agents are the occurrences of babies taken from the hospital. There is only one baby Jane!
I think they created 11 agents (11 babies), the baby that is taken from the hospital is not the same baby that is left at the orphanage
It is passed off as plausible as there is no beginning nor end in the film’s ‘truth’… Which is nonsense. High concept over logic. Still great film though. Those who think the Universe is everywhere and always will think Predestination is perfect and watertight…. those who think the Big bang expanded it and surrounding it is nothing, which is more logical, will find holes in the plot as it mus have an ‘order’. Simpe as that.
Maybe after becoming a man, John didn’t recognize himself as the man who dated Jane because his mind blocked out the bizarre, unnatural thought of having impregnated himself. He even said he didn’t like looking in the mirror, possibly for the same reasons.
This is the one thing that possibly ruins the movie for me. Hopefully there is an explanation, otherwise it comes across as a writing error.
Or obsessive fans pouring over it instead of enjoying it… lolz, jokes
…but when he meets her, in person, he clearly knows that it’s his earlier, female self. How could he not have known who he was looking, talking, and interacting with? So, it really doesn’t matter that he remembers the “meeting” or not–when they copulate, he *has to know* that it’s his earlier, female self.
I think it’s because no one else really showed the care or love all their lives’ so 2 speak and that may have been a way of not being lonely. John at the time was not planning to leave Jane and try to correct his wrongs even though Hawke would always convince him not to do so. The copulation with yourself is a bit weird but that also may result from the loneliness/unloved factor (remember this is when John and Jane are still ignorant of the truth of Hawke and the fizzle bomber and trying to save the world and so on).
Look…. the biggest HOLE is the fight between the two Hawkes. They are face to face… there is light, at times bright and they are in close combat. He must see it is himself…. the suggestion otherwise is not just convenient, it is preposterous and ridiculous.
ok, why didn’t Jane (as she turned into a man) freak out because she looked just like the man she fell in love with? or am I confused. Some places on the web are saying that a hermaphrodite could be the result of incest now,if true..hmmm
i thought the same thing!
Jane doesn’t recognize John as for her it’s the first loop and she had never met John before that moment. After the operation Jane may not have recognized herself as John as the John she originally met would have been older than the one she is now by a number of years. Besides she said she rarely looks in the mirror. Its also unclear how many nights John and Jane stayed together, and its possible it may have been just the one night we saw in the movie, and so its natural for her recollection to then fade over time.
There’s also the line that the Unmarried Mother tells the Bartender that whenever John looks into the mirror he is reminded of the man that left him when he was Jane.
But John remembers everything he was thinking at dinner when he was Jane…
This is the problem: John knows it’s his earlier, female self he’s falling in love and mating with–this is revealed the moment he bumps into her, so it seems. That doesn’t work, for me. Ruins the whole movie, basically. What kind of f__ked up individual would proceed to fall in love with and *mate with* him/herself? He/she wouldn’t–film destroyed.
I dunno, I’m kind of hot. I think I might fu** my brains out!! Most people are most attracted to those that are like themselves… so the most attracted you would be would be to literally yourself if gay, or literally the exact female version of yourself (if a man) if not. Trippy.
I’m wondering why in the beginning, John gets burned who then is transformed into Ethan Hawk. Who understands that he now has a new face, which to me means he remembers his old one. But what Im wondering is shouldn’t have John knew immediately that he was Hawk as right after he sees Hawk pushing the time machine towards him, he gets reconstruct, resulting in looking exactly like Hawk. Knowing this shouldn’t he know as Hawk not to make the illegal jump that would result in a distraction to John that would leave him to getting burned.
So in order to break the loop that is John turning into Hawk, He could have upon recognizing after the surgery that he was indeed the one who pushed the case to John, he as Hawk should have never made the jump and there the bomb could have been properly disarmed and John would have lived on in I guess a different timelines from that of Hawk who never made the jump, he could have lived on in a different one.
Im not sure I make sense but I was wondering if anyone can explain why this wasn’t he case or why it could not be.
Yes, you are touching on some of the holes I spoke about. The disadvantage of writing something in a day and something that was short but ultimately fleshed out and exposed.
Or it could be the plot is not watertight.
Pete has the right answer, but most importantly, after Jane has finally become John (while telling the story to the bartender) that whenever he/she looks in the mirror she is reminded of the man who left her. So there’s the hint, but memory just did not work that way for them.
Exactly! I just posted this before reading yours.
Well, it is the result of sleeping with YOURSELF. More precisely. 😎
so, what exactly is meant by illegal jump going back to the time where he have been and trying to change the event? Alright, another conclusion.The thought that came across my mind is if the temporal agent did not save john from the burning due to improper detonation,’new agent’ (john) should have died, therefore no older temporal agent which means no explosion that cause 10000 people to die for nothing.This just bringing us to a fact that this crazy time loop is triggered by the illegal jump.
so, two mistakes done by temporal agent that would trap him inside the time loop. But who cares, same time but different soul.
1) illegal jump
2) did not report the time machine error
This movie is flawless, cant find any mistake thou, unlike back to the future, they mixed up the grandfather paradox and parallel universe theory both.
And the penalty for an illegal jump was death right? The person ceases to exist I think he said. So Robertson is the enforcer making sure John has removed himself from the regular timeline and has put him in the loop, so he effectively ceases to exist and keeps ultimately killing himself in the loop.
It has holes.. unfortunately.There must be an original sequence of events… and this creates the holes. Only a scientific try-hard there is no beginning and no end interpretation allows for the holes to disappear. Convenient. Loved the film though… LOVED it!!
Just to add it will go on and on. No beginning.
I just fancied seeing if there were any discussions on google about this film, and come across this site. I took from it that there are 11 different ethan hawkes. From his point of view its happening once but as viewers were seeing 11 perspectives. theres 11 agents temporal agents. Just to keep the agency alive. The ‘rooster’ is Classic cliche but masterfully executed.
Interesting observation from the part where Robertson? says there are 11 agents working for the bureau.
That’s intriguing. From the one child, set up multiple additional loops which each result in a “new” temporal agent. Would be interesting to see a sequel showing them juggling that 😀
can you please explain the rooster joke. so lost!
Predestination leaves viewer pondering the origin of the Jane/John character, especially as Jane and John together produce a baby which is transported back in time and grows up as Jane before later becoming John. A classic chicken and egg paradox, albeit inside a time loop. The only way I can help you understand the coarse joke mentioned in the movie is that the rooster (John) must have “come” at some point, to impregnate the chicken (Jane).
Thanks Pete, that was very helpful.
Sorry Pete, I wrote my answer before reading yours. didn’t mean to be redundant.
Not at all, I liked your answer too, lol.. interestingly the chicken and the egg joke in Predestination was not mentioned in the original short story by Robert A. Heinlein, and was an inspired touch added by Peter and Michael Spierig.
Then that was a mis-step. As the egg came first. That is why, odds-on, a writer is smarter and more forward-thinking than a film-maker! 😎
Again, as stated further above, I know what you are trying to say.. but please do not reference the chicken and the egg scenario? The egg came first. This has been established now. It is fact.
Gen, I’m not so certain it is a joke, in and of itself. It’s more of a way to potentially divert one from worrying about which came first, “the chicken or the egg”.
By introducing the rooster into the equation, one no longer has to be concerned with which came first (egg or chicken), but now must accept the rooster as a satisfactory answer, or might wonder, then where did the rooster come from. I’ll leave you with that potential understanding of the rooster joke as I interpret it.
What a great place this is!
Thank you for your explanation. 🙂
Im quite sure it is a joke, it sounds like the classic Double Entendre of a Rooster ‘Coming’….
Just my opinion, of course.
Dear God!! Did you misplace your sense of humour!? It means the Rooster CAME (i.e. ejaculated) first!! I mean Hey Zeus!!
It’s a play on the multiple meanings of the word “came”. In the original question, the meaning of the word “came” is basically, “came into existence”.
However in sexual terms, the word “came” means that one has achieved sexual satisfaction, or orgasmed, which is the meaning used in the answer.
So, which came (ie., orgasmed) first? the chicken or the egg? … The rooster.
Phew! Someone gets it! But, yeah, the egg came first. Google it (if you must) or just think about it… think BEYOND the deep thought that brought about the riddle…. A saying invented and put into circulation BEFORE scientific knowledge answered the question literally.
You are wrong Nikko, stop applying your view as fact, some people might find you annoying by doing that.
What I can conclude is that Robertson is behind all these things and that what he is trying to do is to experiment with the time machine and its effect on humans, time continuity and events. Somebody please explain to me what are the illegal jumps that Robertson repeatedly spoke about.
Robertson asks the temporal agent how many illegal jumps he made, to which Hawke says only one, which presumably was the one which created the original time loop.
For me the only one illegal jump is when he tries to kill again the fizzle bomber and is here when the bomb burns his face. It was not part of the mission, the mission was to continue the loop not to kill the fizzle bomber.
So, how did the first baby exist in this time loop, since the past event is inevitable to change, then why is it still necessary for somebody from the future to set up John and Jane together. Because, even if he let the time flow, he still exist,.. Haha this is the craziness of time traveling. Maybe this story is trying to tell us that time traveling is bad.
If Jane kept the baby, and she was never taken back to 1945 and left at the orphanage then Jane would cease to exist leaving no one to give birth to the baby. If the loop is broken and Hawke, John, Jane, and baby all cease to exist, then all the work done for the Bureau thus far would be undone.
Lolz… Basically, yes. The message of the film is simple…. Stop yourself making a mistake BEFORE it happens. For some errors cannot be undone AND/OR the human condition is to need and want love…. Without it, we can become something different, something monstrous. That’s the irony of such a scientific and smart film… it has the simplest and most romantic of messages. What I don’t see many people doing is questioning the film’s brilliance. And we’d all be right not to! In fact, if I hear they want to ‘do a sequel’, well, I will personally ensure this does not occur. Even if I have to use my time ma – oh, hang on…
This movie is crazy as it gets!!
I think the first hermaphrodite baby existed and continued normally as agent, changed to Ethan Hawke by using a random facial transplant and died as Fizzle bomber by his creation… Ethan Hawke. In the mean time, Ethan Hawke goes back, finds himself and RE-Recruits himself in order to send himself back to reproduce with the hermaphrodite. Then comes out the first baby born inside a time loop witch can follow the same storyline, and have the same face transplanted again, but always have to kill itself when decomissioned. The question is what did happen to the first baby. The first Baby (outside the loop) should have been somewhere when Ethan abbandoned the second (born inside the loop). And he can’t have vanished it because is essential for the loop to exist. So may be the first baby was left in a different town istead of the town that the loop is going on and on. (he started the loop in a different area in order to allow the babies (outside and inside the loop) to coexist for a period of time.
Maybe Robertson is the first baby and by that he makes up everything
Wrong. By it’s very essence, the loop is infinite. That’s literally what it is. It’s a paradox. There is no ‘first baby’. If the baby was by different parents, it would have been a different person, not Jane. Or it would have been Jane and when Jane impregnated herself THAT would have been a different baby that was not Jane. The point of the plot is that it is infinite. Hence the chicken and the egg. There is no first chicken or first egg. It’s infinite.
You are half right. If you start from the beginning..there is a baby “Jane” that is left at an orphanage… If this baby is the product of Jane and John, a meeting that happens in the future….. but because the future hasn’t happened yet, the baby can never exist to start with…
I disagree. In the logic of this story they don’t say the only possible way Jane could have been born was to reproduce with herself, that is just how she is an anomaly that she can in effect clone herself since she has both sets of reproductive organs. So theoretically, Robertson just finds the original Jane born of normal parents after time travel is invented and runs experiments artificially inseminating her and out comes an exact genetic clone of Jane. It is once they create this exact genetic clone of Jane that they through her into 1945 to start the loop.
I also think that the fizzle bomber in the first timeline before time travel is invented has to be a totally different person, but because of the predestined paradox to prevent the fizzle bomber from blowing up New York they create the Jane we know in the perfect loop to stop the fizzle bomber by becoming the fizzle bomber and killing himself.
EXACTLY!! Uroboros- The snake eating its tail forever!! They even quote this in the movie!! THERE IS NO BEGINNING, get that out of your heads- There is always a future, and even if there was a “first time through” then John came back in time and impregnated Jane. That’s it. Like coolguy said, it’s infinite with no beginning- that’s the whole point- to create someone with no natural origin.
The reason it hurts our brains is because it’s a paradox. (Think about the universe going on forever in all directions. This is a fact, but the brain cannot conceive of forever.)
Actually a universe going on forever is easy to conceive. Try thinking of a universe that has an end on all sides. That’s really inconceivable.
Nope. That’s called a box. I’d say an infinite amount of matter in an infinite space is a bit trickier to picture than a box, no?
More than tricky, it is nonsensical and impossible. Think about it. Or was the big bang always!? Nope. We might not know it, but it has a date. Before that date? Our version of nothing. The nothing that the Universe has shifted, but not replaced…. Oh, hang on…. brain just explod— &%$#^ dhnaljt gkdsl……
No, THE BIG BANG was not always…
But the stuff that went BANG!!!… was. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, therefor, there was ALWAYS something. When it went BANG! is irrelevant.
Your argument just ate itself. If there was only matter/energy before the Big Bang expanded it…. then there was nothing to expand into. If there was empty ‘space’ then it cannot be fully filled out, just expanded and sent further afield. I am happy to know that it is unkowable and that we will never know, but can logically assess it without doing so. You are saying we will know when we know… which gets us NOWHERE as we never will. By your logic, we should not even be discussing Predestination… but look what everyone here is doing. We were given brains to think so we could know, not know so we could think. You’re all arse-to-front…. Like anyone debating that the chicken came before the egg when the egg factually came first. Why do we now know this? Because, as expected, we become MORE intelligent and have greater and greater insights… even the other half of humanity’s masses seems to dumb down in an equally proportionate manner. Sigh.. No matter, we forge ahead anyway.
Wrong. the universe is expanding, or not, but either way it is not forever. Or else, what existed before the big bang if NOT nothing… the nothing that still exists on the ‘outskirts’ of the universe. It is human’s fear of what that means that makes you think forever is the inconceivable, when the opposite is true. It is easier to believe it is unending… and for our purposes, it is anyway as we cannot catch up with its expansion or reach its end..
And the idea that the time-line of the movie has no beginning nor end and that is plausible, well, this exists to avoid the many plot holes that occur if you conceive differently…. So, um, well done writers.
It holds up less-strongly to other assumptions or truths, such as an original truth / reality that has been warped in a successive way. Also, she is not an hermaephrodite in an equal sense… she has underdeveloped male organs, as these secondary organs were brought about, IMHO, by the union of self with self. She is a ruined woman… but ruined by her future male self.
As soon as this is accepted, there are plot holes. It was originally a short story after all. Great stuff though! Loved the film. I knew that Ethan was the fizzle bomber and called it early.. but the ol’ Hawke is actually EVERYONE moment!?? Sheer brilliance and could not stop grinning. I know this will sound arrogant, but what the hey…. You gotta be on the ball to pull one past me and make me see what you want me to see and not what I want to see per se…. and this film straight down-trou’d me! I was like, SNAP!! Touche! 😎
This is shortsighted. To say there is no end implies that we have discovered said outer limits of the universe. Even if we had, and there was nothing (a void) on the other side of this ‘wall’- that void is still a part of the conceivable universe, and thus…the universe has no end.
Tell me- what is the edge of the universe like? What is beyond?
Who cares what is beyond? And, no, we will never discover it as it is too far away….earth will die first and we will never reach it on a ship due to fuel requirements. To know nothing about something, does not mean that it does not exist. I am humble and know nothing about the nothing, just that it must logically exist. Are you saying there was always something always and it is everywhere?? ‘Cos that is just fu**ing ridiculous. Think about it… if your head does not blow up first/ Shortsighted? That is the pot calling the kettle black.
I’ve just seen this movie and I’d like to contribute to the conversation with my thoughts. Let’ start by the end: since Fizzler Bomber dies in 1975 before the mass murdering bombing, the only one who could have placed that bomb is Hawke himself, an act that states the fact he accepted the Bomber role. But I think that HawksFizzler Bomber role goes farther than that. I think that Fizzler is the one who gave to Robertson’s agency the time machine: Robertson says that thanks to Fizzler Bomber they have learned a lot, and the only answer I can think of is Time travelling. Time travelling has been invented in 1985, and it caon only be used 53 years before and 53 years after this date or otherwise our dmension will collapse. I think that this detail is strictly connected to Sarah/John/Hawke/Fizzler life span. It cannot be used out of this lapse of time simply because out of this time belt, the Anomaly cannot exist, which means also that the Anomaly activity extends up to 53 years before and 53 years after the invention of Time travelling. So, why not believing that the Anomaly created the future tragedy that Fizzler Bomber tried to avoid? According to Robertson, the Anomaly is the only one who can intervene on history without making it collapse, that’s because the Anomaly is just intervening on himself in a strict, unavoidable pattern. Too late to keep thinking, buy I’d like to read your thoughts about this interpretation.
I started reading all these comments because what bothered me is the question of who had placed the bomb of the mass murdering. I like your thought about Hawke giving the time travelling device to Robertson’s agency because that would explain his motive. If the motive was only about saving lives it would’ve made no sense because in the end the fizzle bomber caused the massive terror attack just to keep the loop ongoing.
And about the “dust settling in”, I believe that the main reason why it was worthwhile is to give his own anomalite life a reason and to meet his own self in the future once more. Which is weird, because one of the things that gave him purpose is the fact he was saving lives, but in order to do so he had to kill many others. if you count the big attack he made I’m not even sure he saved more than he killed. Which leaves us with the only purpose of not being alone, even if it’s only for one last time meeting his younger self, the one that will kill him minutes later.
Um, hate to do this, but the chicken and the egg ‘paradox’ has been solved. The chicken evolved from an egg-laying amphibeous creature… thus the egg came first. Hatching to become the first chicken. 100% fact. So, the loop may be infinite, and thus impossible to ‘paradoctor’… but, it is no ‘chicken and the egg’… which now has a specified order.
Then, what came first? The egg-laying amphibious creature, or the egg? It has to start somewhere. I hope you’re not going to tell us that it’s a 100% fact that the amphibian was hatched from caviar or something. : )
By the way, how many amphibian/chicken eggs were hatched before we got the perfectly operational chicken prototype? There must have been hundreds (millions?) of trial eggs until we ended up with the legs, wings, digestive system, eyes, beak, etc, all working and tuned correctly go give us a walking, squawking chicken. Or, did it just emerge fully functional from the very first chickenized amphibian egg? I wonder what mechanism would trigger an amphibian to begin creating chickens? Hey – Was Col Sanders around back then? Such a deviously clever old coot! And, I wonder what Ms. Amphibian had to say when she saw her little progeny? And how she fed baby chickie? And refrained from eating the cute fuzzy little thing? Or drowning the baby in the swamp, inadvertently. I guess evolution (or old man Sanders?) somehow had that all mapped out in advance, or it just wouldn’t have worked. Turns out evolution is quite the intelligent designer! : )
No, it is very simple. I say again, the creature was evolving…eventually into the chicken (scientific fact)…. at one point in time, chronologically FIRST, it laid an egg…inside was the creature evolved the tiniest bit further and labelled as what we would term ‘a chicken’. So the egg came first… the chicken was inside. It is not verbal trickery, but scientific fact. It’s not a big deal and not being argumentative. It was on QI – Quite Interesting – a programme with a reputation for statin only incontrovertible fact. Look, we learn and we evolve… so does the information we are privy to. Chicken and the egg is an old and now superceded proverb. A riddle for the uneducated. That is that. Be hapy to know. Cheers.
Whilst your sprawling questioning might be humorous, it ignores that the difference between the previous creature at the end of its evolution and the actual chicken is the equivalent of a freckle. They would seem the same to each other. But to us, by definition, a chicken is a chicken. But once upon a time it was not… It just laid an egg that would be. It’s not a riddle… or even that complex. It was a saying…. why be surprised it was not foolproof and ended up being debunked? Most sayings have an opposite anyway…. “no regrets…” / “Learn from your mistakes”….. So, largely, sayings are nonsense anyway.
What’s humorous is your interpretation of an analogy as literal.
We’re not talking about the chicken species or eggs as a reproductive faculty.
The question is asking what comes first, a creator or the created?
(considering that the creator must have somehow been created itself)
The joke is that the rooster (or pre-evolved creature) “cums” first in order to fertilize an egg to create a chicken to begin with, but the serious posit to the philosophical question is that there is an ultimate being that has always existed and seemingly has come from nothing.
Neither mother nature or what she produces, but rather, father time.
why it has to start somewhere? Just look at it – you never saw starting anything in you whole life, yet you assume there must exist such a thing. Everything you can saw has casual effect before, and that before and before…You cannot trace back even start of your own consciousness, yet you assume it must exist? It is only limit of the mind not to be able to comprehend infinity. But if you start digging into it, this whole existence is completly incomprehensible by mind. You can get a great insight into causal effects, but if you take existence as a whole in time and space, it is just incomprehensible. So no need to think about it. It is idiotic to look for invisible man with your eyes, so is idiotic to think unthinkable…
It’s really not so incomprehensible. Look at things that are created by humans. Great creativity. Great creations. Complex designs, mechanisms, artistic patterns, works of literature. How? Through intelligence. Through the will to create things of beauty and purpose. Now, look at the natural world and all that’s in it. Everywhere, there is abundant evidence of far greater creativity – the results of a prolific creative will. The existence and activity of God is not incomprehensible to those who are willing to open their eyes and hearts to it. One must realize that perhaps man in his pride does not really have all the answers, and that arrogantly and blindly eliminating God from the equation is a gigantic mistake.
Infinity is incomprehensible. What you are talking is not what i was refering to, and your explanation is, of course, comprehensible. But I was not talking about explanations….God is comprehensible, if your image of it is comprehensible…But when you look through eyes instead of your mind (which is in fact blind) even trees are not comprehensible, so how can be God? If there is anything comprehensible, it si just your image in you mind, not the real thing. Your model can somehow resemble the reality, like computer model of molecule can resemble properties of real molecule. But it is just a model. Model is comprehensible, molecule is not. That is how it is. Most of the people are ignorant to source of their knowledge, but when you will enquire from where it came, you will find out that most of the thing you believe in are just creation of your mind to hide incomprehensible reality behind comprehensible models and have no direct contact with reality…..and to next order of business: It is very arrogant of a man if he thinks he created something significant through his intelligence. Every significant creativity is spontaneous and out of the comprehension of his “intelligence”, so can be the creativity of the nature. It can be spontaneous and does not need to be govern by som intelligence. Water falls down, does that mean there is some angel telling her it should go down? It is just the way it is…So is the with everything. And even if there is some angel, how can you know for sure? And if you think you know, just look from where that knowledge come from?
Can you comprehend the image of your own mind?
Not your brain, your mind.
Our limited perception is a microcosm of the macrocosm of infinity.
It doesn’t matter why the water falls, only that it falls.
You could say that it is an angel, God himself, poseidon or gravity.
The reason is ultimately always the same: to be.
You can explain it however it makes most sense to you in your limits.
It doesn’t need an explanation because we already know it to be.
Consciousness encompasses every being as the supreme being itself.
Always existing because nothing is impossible.
The answer to the question why is there something rather than nothing (which seems much more likely from our limited perspective) is because counter-intuitively nothing is impossible (which seems much less likely).
If you had nothing, nothing would exist, meaning nothing could be possible, meaning we wouldn’t exist in any sort of semblance of this conversation… but clearly we do; I think, therefore I am.
It’s the only truth known to man that is seemingly incomprehensible…
nothing is impossible; the possibilities are infinite.
The REAL paradox is that not even a metaphysical notion of either could exist without the other.
Consciousness couldn’t exist without the metaphysical concept of there being “nothing” as an impending consequence of being itself.
In turn, the idea of “nothing” couldn’t exist without us here to think it…
I mean clearly. It’s quite obvious. Ontological paradox.
“Only things I preach are things that should never have to be said.”
It was the eventual evolution of a single celled organism, that eventually laid a egg first. came about by a genetic mutation if you like
A genetic mutation changes – very slightly – an existing organism. A mutation does not create an entirely different organism or creature. It does not create new devices (wings, talons, etc). Two amphibian parents do not contribute two sets of amphibian DNA to an egg, to find upon hatching that a chicken has been produced. Millions of years? Billions of years? No amount of time can account for the totally different creature with its own features and functions, perfectly operational. And once a chicken has somehow arisen from the ranks of lizards, where will he find a mate? He will have to wait another billion years or so for another like him – and really hope that chance brings him a female this time. And by then, he would probably not be up for it any more. Maybe chickens were designed as chickens from the get-go. Seems a lot more plausible.
lol You’re killing me bro.
I understand where your doubts are coming from, but think about it like this if you like… the chicken WAS designed as a chicken from the get-go down to the exact MOMENT it would evolve. HAHA.
Nothing in this universe except for the universe itself appeared seemingly magically out of nowhere. Everything since the big bang has had a cause.
In terms of biological evolution, what happens is your parents (amphibians if you will) give birth to you and all your brothers and sisters over different generations (they’re a freaky pair) and while MOST of your siblings retain the same attributes and characteristics, some are slightly different… as time goes on some of those new novel characteristics are favoured by other distant cousins in the genepool and when they mate they create whole NEXT generations of that particular unique trait that sets them apart from all the rest of their aunt’s and uncle’s families who remained mostly the same as their amphibian parents. Then eventually over a LOOOOONG LONG time those organisms from the unique gene-pool change again and again and again creating new pools of unique organisms until finally an iteration of the species is so physically different from the original amphibians that it can no longer physically mate with those so distant cousins, sometimes the change can be so significant that it becomes genetic (hence the chicken). Since we don’t classify species over 1, 2, 5, 50, or even 100 generations, but by their ability to reproduce with one another, you can consider the overall tree of life to be made up of one single “holy spirit” if you will, or family that creates connections and relationships with its own “kind” to the point where we have the diverse array of life you see today. The only significant division between the species being that they can only interact to reproduce with their own specific kind.
It’s not until we see clear divisions like this over expansive time periods can we classify them as individual species, although, we can always trace it back to the era of origin, it would be nearly impossible to narrow it down to the exact single characteristic in one particular organism that started the “path” of evolution for the species because again all the paths overlap and our class system is just a comfortable way of comprehending the differences we see between ourselves.
Technically each person is a new generation of species that could evolve into it’s own, but science won’t label you as such until you’re ultimately so different from what we know as humans that your kind (offspring) can no longer mate with their original source kind. Get it?
The last line (in the timeline) is wrong i think. Before killing his old self, his old self asks “want to know what we will do tomorrow?” He immediately shoots him after that…because that shows that his old self didnt pull the trigger when he had the chance. At least thats what i got from it. He didnt know he was the fizzle bomber. As long as the current ethan doesnt continue traveling through time there will not be another fizzle bomber and the new agent can chase new bad guys as long as he sets up his birth. Man its trippy shtuff.
My interpretation is that the retired temporal agent did not want to become the Fizzle Bobber and so killed his future self in the launderette. However, broken, alone, and also missing the past versions of himself he later starts using the non-decommissioned time machine to travel in time and stop the Fizzle Bomber, but slowly succumbs to psychosis as a side effect of excess time travel, and eventually becomes the Fizzle Bomber. Its also hinted that his boss Mr Robertson may have arranged for the the time machine not to decommission properly so as to ensure that Hawke becomes the Fizzle Bomber, John has to ytavel back in time to catch him, and the closed loop continues to function.
Interesting thought. We see when John wakes up in bandages that he sees two notes, one of which reads “If at last you do succeed, never try again.” Perhaps this was foreshadowing that after the retired temporal agent kills the fizzle bomber in the laundromatte, he would then use the non-decommissioned time machine to try and stop the fizzle bomber earlier and earlier in time until he finally succumbs to psychosis and ultimately becomes the fizzle bomber (again). What I don’t really understand, however, is if this is a closed time loop where everything happens in the same sequence and order, why doesn’t the fizzle bomber know when he is about to be assassinated by his younger self? I know he’s crazy and all, but wouldn’t he know where and when his younger self catches up to him since he went through the exact same experience?
Neat thoughts there, Drew. As to the Fizzle Bomber going to the Laundromat, he does indicate that he had preempted his encounter with retired temporal agent Hawke, but in his advanced delusional state it does seem the Fizzle bomber genuinely believes he can now persuade Hawke to chose another path and not kill him. Remember he say to Hawke something like “You can end this, love me!” Therefore, it seems that as the Fizzle Bomber slipped further and further into madness from loneliness, his plan was to persuade Hawke to not kill him like before, but to work together. A naive idea from a now delusional and desperate man. Needless to say, his plan did not work out too well at all.
That would certainly explain why the fizzle bomber had his book of newspaper clippings with him (to convince his younger self to join him instead of shooting him; I doubt he carried that with him all the time). It’s just that it seemed that the fizzle bomber was surprised to see his younger self when he came through the door, which led me to believe that the fizzle bomber didn’t see it coming, but I may be wrong. I need to go back and re-watch that scene.
I agree, I think that due to the reoccurring nature of the paradox, the fizzle bomber did not see him coming every time the timeline reached this point. And perhaps this was exactly how Mr. Robertson intended it to be to ensure the paradox continued. However, (my interpretation) was that when the fizzle bomber said Hawke could stop it by loving him, Perhaps it was a way out of the paradox loop. I feel like everything has a loop hole or exception to the rule. It was a way out of the paradox just by giving the poor crazy guy the same love he never had due to his lonely life. Yet, instead of picking up on the way out, he believes the fizzle bomber is just trying to fool his way out of death and Hawke kills him, thus restarting the whole story over by going lonely, then mad from time travel abuse to becoming his (and others) own worse enemy aka Mr.Fizzle bomber.
basically long story short, this movie could be interpreted in so many ways. haha
Moral of the story….love means death
I believe mr Robertson was in his own loop as well
That can be true when they make the sequel about Robertson’s story..
And you also have to remember the rule that two of the same entity can’t exist at the same time, so it would’ve created a paradox if both the fizzle bomber (future demented John) and John both existed at the same time, in order for the future to progress John had to kill himself to move forward in time. Was the Fizzle Bomber really insane though? Yes and no. In a way yes, because his bombings caused hundreds if not thousands of civilian causalities. And in a way no, because these bombings had a purpose in that they were to prevent even more horrendous crimes from happening in the first place (hence keeping the clippings). John just wasn’t too precise about it though. If I were him I would’ve invested in some sniper rifles (lol) but in doing the killing the way he does (due to time travel dementia and loneliness), he gets his name/label (fizzle bomber) and fulfills his predestined role
Jermac said, “remember the rule that two of the same entity can’t exist at the same time” The first time I encountered that concept was from a movie called “Time Cop”. Not knowing anything about such things, I just accepted that as a “true” rule because the movie script said so.
Now having seen “Predestination” and reading the wonderful comments thus far made, and having explored such things as “Can There be Spatially Coincident Entities of the Same Kind?” and other links related to the concept, that rule no longer seems absolute to me. Not that I have anything to offer in the way of a more lucid concept of whether that rule is so, or not, I just wanted jump in the swim with you folks. Thank you for being!
You guys forget what he says to baby Jane/John, my future needs a rest. The only real way for the paradox to end would be for Hawke to kill himself after killing the “fizzle bomber” that would allow John to travel back in time with the same mission to make himself, himself without EVER having to chase the bomber because after Hawke kills him, IF he killed himself, game over. ALSO there are literally 3 Johns at that point in time at the beginning of the movie, the young unaltered John, Hawke, and the aged Hawke. I’d add more, but the sleeping pills are kicking in.
“my future needs a rest” should be quoted as he says it to baby Jane/John/Hawke.
Close but not correct.
This whole thing starts because of the fizzle bomber. If Hawke kills himself after the fizzle bomber then the fizzle bomber would never exist because Hawke becomes the fizzle bomber.
If Hawke kills himself, or decides not to become Fizzle Bomber by not jumping time again, then it doesn’t mean that Fizzle Bomber wouldn’t exist. Before being killed the Fizzle Bomber shows a list of things he has already done – chemical factory, something in Germany, etc. etc.
Which means that in a non-screwed up timeline he had already existed and left his mark with these activities.
He hasn’t deployed the bomb in NY though killing 10-11k innocent people yet though (which Hawke is afraid of).
So Hawke has successfully averted the NY bombing and it is up to him to continue as a bomber or not. This is open to imagination on whether he continues as a Fizzle Bomber or not. Can stop himself from further travels, can kill himself, may marry the girl who sold him typewriter and live happily. Infinite possibilities in future.
I believe Hawke can’t, and simly doesn’t want to, kill himself after shooting the Fizzle Bomber. Remember, the Fizzle Bomber is the purpose of John’s life: if Hawke kills himself, he would be taking away John’s purpose of life… And he remembers all about living without one. Actually, I believe he does know he has to become the Fizzle Bomber.
This, plus all you guys said…
Also, I do believe that, in order to know the kind of tragedies that happened when he didn’t exploded that bomb, there must have been a timeline in which Hawke didn’t kill his future self, and didn’t become the Fizzle Bomber… However, seeing that exploding it would be a “less harm”, he leaves the fold somewhere in the future in order to see that he MUST commit that disaster. That’s why the Fizzle Bomber takes it with him from then on, to prove jo Hawke he was doing good. But with this, proving he can not be spared.
” it would’ve created a paradox if both the fizzle bomber (future demented John) and John both existed at the same time, in order for the future to progress John had to kill himself to move forward in time. ”
No, that’s not right. There is no reason to believe that any such mechanic is in play in “Predestination”.
But how though? He can’t exist on the same plain of existence twice can he?
If by that you mean two or more copies of him (at different ages) overlapping in the world at the same time, then, yes, of course. It’s essential that this is the case: John has sex with himself (as Jane), so obviously two versions of him are together at the same time.
He does though. He’s right there in the story twice and sometimes three times at once. (4 times if you count that Jane is pregnant with Jane when barkeep John comes to pick up younger John at the park with Jane). What – you have no problem with him being his own mother and father but this is impossible? He has a fist fight with hisself. He has sex with herself, She give birth to herself. That’s a whole lot of co-existing.
“the rule that two of the same entity can’t exist at the same time, ” That’s only a rule in some stories. it’s nowhere a rule in this story. Through much of the movie there are 2 Johns. Jane and John are the same person and they coexist along with a second John for a while too. Jane is literally pregnant with herself for 9 months. That “rule” has no application at all here, since it not a thing unless the author says it’s a thing
Thanks, I try. Lol
lol, I’m sorry, this really reminded me a guy on another discussion channel who went around deleting other people’s posts and his own posts, then one point in time things got changed and reversed and almost every post and effort he made got deleted. He could not understand why it was happening to him, but he forgot he was the one who started the whole deleting process in the 1st place and everyone else was just imitating his behaviour. 😉
We only see the edited timeline but I believe Mr.Robertson setup the loop to get an agent who can work inside & outside the timeline. He encounters Jane and instantly knew the unique opportunity she could be by sending her male version to empregnant her & create the paradox he needed. Also, that kind of Paradox, if possible, would be the result of experimentation and not something that happened naturally.
Mr Robertson seemed the same age at every point in the loop, so in his propertime, he was manipulating across decades all in a day or week.
HIS story needs to be told. Did the loop always exist or was it created? How would one even start such an enterprise?
What if it was all a lie? These were all clones or Robertson and Jane’s sex-change was a fake and a lie, her consciousness was implanted in a male clone.
All the deaths were terror acts. The time travel was real but there were several temporally distinct clones of Robertson.
Robertson was Al Qaeda.
You’re are not the only one to come up with the idea, but that doesn’t really quite work. Simply sending John back to impregnate Jane just creates a baby. It’s a unique baby as it really only has one parent, essentially a clone of Jane. But the baby would not be Jane, but a new person. If you took the baby back to 1945, you would find Jane was already there too, since the two are not the same person. If you swapped the two, the replacement would be genetically identical, and in the same environment might grow up in a similar (but not identical) way, but what would be the point? You already have the original there. If there was an original Jane, born of two ordinary people and you need Jane to be pregnant with herself in the scenario you suppose – How do you create that? I can’t think of a way. This is not meant to be a thing created, but a boot-strap paradox, that can’t be explained by an outside cause. Self-caused, uncaused. It always was, it always will be.
I only rented this movie for one night, and don’t have access to it anymore. But somewhere is a discussion about the date of the bombing, in which the Fizzle Bomber “keeps changing the day”. So maybe there are some slight variances in the continuum, especially when making jumps with a malfunctioning time machine (remember “error”) that the Fizzle Bomber doesn’t know the exact moment of Ethan’s arrival.
But is he so crazy at that point that he WANTS his younger self to kill him in the laundromat, because he knows it will perpetuate the cycle? He even knows exactly what to say to his younger self to provoke him into shoot him.
It is mentioned early in the film that the Fizzle Bomber “keeps changing the day” of his 1975 attack. Perhaps the Temporal Agent, also having access to a working time machine, keeps changing the day of his arrival at the laundromat, thus confusing his older self as to the day of their ultimate meeting.
Yeah the whole idea was that he “preempted” him.
Preempt doesn’t mean “know about before they come”.
It means “to act in advance of someone to prevent them from doing something”.
He says “I preempted you… and you’re HERE!” in astonishment.
Meaning that the fizzle bomber knew HE killed the previous fizzle bomber as his former self, so in an effort to prevent the agent from catching him he changes the day, but the point is that regardless of whatever day the fizzle bomber chooses (it could literally be any), as the best temporal agent of all time, his former self WILL find him.
How is it possible? With the help of Robertson.
The whole movie is about the joke.
“What came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Meaning what came first the mother or the child?
The joke is the “rooster” or male “cums” first in order to fertilize the egg.
The meaning is that our entire existence is predicated on a supreme being… a state that we achieve at the end of time that is powerful enough to create the existence that we live and learn from. To essentially “know thyself”.
The character in the movie is not only the chicken and egg, but also the rooster as is pointed out in the kidnapping scene. Mr. Robertson has the same time traveling device as the agent. Comes seemingly out of nowhere in the agents life, directs their path through spacecorp, in the agency and even out of retirement. It is my impression that Roberston represents the meaning of “God” who created the agent in his own image, gave him purpose, love and caused himself great suffering in order to have any sort of existence at all.
It’s said there are 12 agents, 11 other than the bartender.
The end scene shows 13 shots in the culminating montage.
Bear with me here.
0. A hand strokes Jane as a baby in a manger.
1. The baby Jane in a crib. (never sick)
2. Jane as a child realizing she has no past. (envied kids with parents)
3. Jane as a teen realizing her unique desires. (sex confused me)
4. Jane as a young adult realizing her natural talents. (Robertson recruit)
5. Jane as an adult falling in love. (bumping into her older male self)
6. Jane after she was pregnant going through a sex change into John.
7. John while working as the Unmarried Mother. (telling his story)
8. John while working as a new temporal agent. (finding her purpose)
9. John with his face blown off. (bumping into older self again)
10. John changing into the veteran agent with his new bartender face.
11. The agent just after killing himself near the end of the movie.
12. The fizzle bomber’s blood splattered across the words:
“WHEN WILL HE STRIKE AGAIN?”
First of all, it has to be stated, that it turns out, physicists have done the math on the physical existence of our reality and it turns out that consciousness as we stand is made up of 12 dimensions and we as human beings clearly experience the 3rd dimension from our perspective. That being said, there is still a theoretical “zeroth” dimension, that is so hard to put into words that it’s hardly explainable.
Essentially the zero dimension is a single point… a singularity.
Now, if you see what I’m getting at here… I think that the gloved hand stroking the baby in the first shot is originally Robertson’s hand or “The hand of God” (if you will) who started off the whole actual existence of the 12 agents or dimensions in question. This is interesting to me because in all future loops the hand becomes the agent’s (when they both meet at the hospital during the kidnapping scene with time travelling devices), so INDIRECTLY, “they” are robertson, or in other words our human perspective of reality was created in the image of God. We just experience one dimension of our ultimate reality (the 3rd, where Jane discovers SELF-LOVE which ultimately becomes their whole purpose or reason for being… hence the hand stroking the baby.
Also, in the same scene where the agent is explaining to John about the agency, John asks “so where is Robertson” as in ‘if all this crazy shit is actually real then prove it by letting me see God, where is he???’ and the bartender says to him that he is “AT THE POINT OF ORIGIN” at “ZEROPOINT” or the INVENTION of time travel that “will be in 1981”. The reason why you can only travel 53 years before or after that point and the time distortion field will disintegrate is because that is the timeline of the violin box itself. The time machine is from that era.
When he says “the bureau” doesn’t allow for “deviations from the mission” and it will result in the “termination of your life” it means that to travel outside the existence of the timeline time-travelling exists in would end their entire existence, but clearly this is impossible because they exist… if it were to ever happen they would have never existed.
Take a second…
September 20th 1945 is farthest back he goes (36 years).
April 3rd 1991 is furthest forward he goes (10 years).
Time-lapse: Creating time-vortexes using a violin box.
Paradox: Self-sustaining people who travel back in time.
child Jane/Jane: The Barkeep before giving birth to child-Jane.
John/new agent: The Barkeep after giving birth to child-Jane.
The Barkeep/vet agent: John after time-lapsing to 1993.
The fizzle bomber: Nature’s creation in response to time-lapsing; John himself.
Mr. Robertson: Architect of the time-lapse paradox; head of the agency.
The whole “bureaucratic” control is the natural laws and consequences of being and logic which are the rules that God or Robertson ‘the causal time loop architect’ bend when using time travel to prevent terrorism or lessen suffering. Essentially it’s an answer to the question “If God exists, why does suffering exist?”. Robertson facilitated the path of the fizzle bomber (the terrorist representing evil) because it was the only way to allow Jane to come into existence as a baby at all, considering the fact that the invention of time travel by the agency came from the fizzle bomber himself going back to 1981 and giving Robertson the time travelling device prior to the 1975 incident where he meets his demise. For proof of this try and count the number of time travelling devices there are in the film. It was an act of love that caused Robertson to originally kidnap Jane’s baby by convincing the bartender to do it to himself. In the same way, the fact that good can only exist if it casts a shadow of evil, Robertson did all this because the Fizzle bomber himself had always (indirectly) been a part of his existence.
Therefore I think Robertson is the 0 shot or 0 dimension or ultimate key.
During the kidnapping scene he lights his cigarette, which up to this point he has only held and not lit, but he lights it with the same lighter that the bartender uses when the same one that the unmarried mother had was out of fluid and when the vet agent/bartender asks Mr. Robertson what he’ll do when he has to live without knowing his future, Mr. Robertson replies, “You’ll just have to take it one day at a time like everyone else” implying not only that since Robertson ALSO has use of the case, that he is not everyone else, so also in some way the same, but that regardless of their perpetual time travelling they will have to take it one day at a time all the same… just over and over with small changes in an effort to reduces suffering a little every time.
Finally, I think the significance of not showing the fizzle bomber in the last shot is to illustrate the idea that the shadow doesn’t actually exist, only the good is there to cast it. In the same way you can’t cover a light with a shadow. It has it’s purpose, but in the end that’s not what mattered. Ultimately it was Robertson and his Love for his only begotten child and creation that he gave up for his humane agency.
In that same scene, John asks his older self:
“So I get to be one of these temporal agents?”
Meaning of course there would no longer be 12, but then 13 and who knows who “other agents” would be recruiting so he wouldn’t have mentioned the specific number of 12.
The vet agent answers: “If you PROVE yourself.”
Meaning if he does what he has to as he’s always done before in order to remain existing up until the point he has to make those choices… then he will be able to prove not only to the bureau and ultimately himself that he deserves it, but essentially he will “establish the validity” or truth of himself and his very existence… It’s insane how a human being fit this entire concept into a short story sometime in the 50s.
Also too how the brothers who directed it extrapolated no doubt.
Again same scene, he says, “I’m starting to suspect he [the mystery man who bumps into Jane] is the fizzle bomber. The only thing that’s clear is that he’s the main obstacle that’s held you back.”
The irony is REAL.
The fulfillment of nothingness, yet parturition of gratification.
The good created the evil.
The suffering allowed for the love.
…and all this came from nothing… but only because it’s always been.
If the intention of the bureau was to prevent attack of bomber, why the need of creation of janeband john arose?
Exactly what I thought! But there are other lines that are contradictory to it. Such as “If you kill me, you become me”.
Maybe the fizzle bomber had ideas for what they could do tomorrow, instead of knowing.
Yes, of course that is what is occurring. The truth or nature of the movie is, ironically in such a complex film, a love story that is doomed. He cannot love her (literally) and he cannot stop loving her. Ignore all the hard, cold science and look upon it as one who has been heartbroken and not moved on (only a few of you will know this state of mind) or as a writer… He travels to avert his brokenness, not to save lives or anything so noble. The deluded killing to save lives psychosis comes after repeated discovery of being without her every time. The last line is crucial and signposted as such with its dramatic cut to credits, “I miss you dreadfully.” Carefully chosen words for a reason. In the end, he will travel again, because he cannot be without her… himself. And dreadfully is a strong word.
Also, on another matter, I also wonder if the double sexual organs comes about from a person having sex with themself and the genetic mash-up. Raher than the repeated suggestion here that it just happens that she has this condition and therefore would be great for using to create a person with no ancestry / identity. I also believe the film has a plot hole or two… which can happen when a short story if stretched out and exposed so fully. The article glosses over this issue as if the film is watertight. It is not. Unless of course the original narrative has only John, but it cannot as John has come about from Jane… and so on and so forth. The endless plot hole that devours itself, forever and ever. Superb film regardless… keep making films for smar people? There’s enough crap for the masses… and then some.
“I also believe the film has a plot hole or two…”
“The article glosses over this issue as if the film is watertight.”
I’m not really sure if you grasp the concept of a paradox.
Relating to the ‘what we’ll do tomorrow’ line, I was under the impression that he was talking about what younger John was going to do with the non-decommissioned time machine. Just before that, he was talking about the lives he’d saved.
I think he ends up semi-consciously becoming the Fizzle bomber. First, note what the bomber says to him when he walks in the laundromat: “I’ve missed you!” The last scene shows John sitting at the table staring at the violin case, presumably thinking back on his life and his realization that he was alone from this point forward. I think he weighed all the options, and realized that he wanted to see Jane again. The very last line of the film after fading to black is ’75 John whispering “I miss you.”
Coupled with his guilt over shooting himself, and with full knowledge that he would be perpetuating the loop, he allowed himself to fall into the bomber’s rationale. “When the dust settles, you’ll see the light.”
Lovely explanation. I think you’ve got it.
Yeah, but, it’s “I miss you dreadfully…” and, from memory, and the differences are important, it is “When the dust settles, you’ll see I’m right.” Peace and love 😎
Time travel invented in 1985. So what was the first action by bureau? How did the loop began??? If we say the its a loop then it has to begin somewhere. It must be after invention of time travel only.
Where does a circle begin? Where does it end? Google “bootstrap paradox”
I actually understood everything you wrote , but the one thing that I couldn’t understand: When in the timeline does “Ethan Hawke” become “Sarah Snook” ??
Sarah Snook becomes Ethan Hawke when “she” gets facial reconstruction, I believe.
Sarah Snook becomes Ethan Hawke, not the other way around.
Try ALTERNATE dissapointing scenario of the movie but may lead to a better ending.
you are an absolute genius
Did we just get punked? 😛
The timeline loops forward thus sarah snook becomes Ethan hawke and not the reverse. In the timeline sarah snook gives birth to the baby sarah, which helps in looping .
Jane becomes John becomes the Barkeep becomes the Fizzle Bomber. Simple.
Ethan Hawke never becomes Sarah Snook. Hawke dies and Sarah is recreated when guy Sarah conceives with girl Sarah.