DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Discussion, generally of an in-universe nature, regarding any aspect of the franchise (including movies, spin-offs, etc.) such as: techniques, character relationships, internal back-history, its universe, and more.

Moderators: Kanzenshuu Staff, General Help

User avatar
Cipher
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5466
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Nagano
Contact:

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Cipher » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:28 pm

Zephyr wrote:I think this part is the cause for the assumption that Cell's time travel created our Future Trunks' timeline. It just doesn't make any sense to me that Cell would jump into an already existing timeline by traveling further into the past, rather then creating a new splinter altogether.

If traveling to the past once created a new timeline, rather than altering the past of the already existing one, I don't see why Cell traveling to the past wouldn't also create a new timeline, rather than entering an already existing one.
Cell does create a new timeline though. It's just that, since Trunks has already altered events, that new timeline further splinters from those.

If someone were to travel back even further, a year before Cell arrived, they'd create yet another new timeline, but it'd be one that involves both Cell and Trunks arriving in the past. (Presumably, since Trunks goes back and forth to the future, it'd create another Future Trunks timeline as well.)

Now, here's the really crazy thing, based on how time-travel works in Dragon Ball: There could potentially be one timeline with multiple different Trunks arriving in it.

Since time travelers seem to enter the last altered timeline (once Cell changes the timeline, Trunks always goes back into that past, and Cell obviously enters the one changed by Trunks and splinters it further), if someone were to travel back further than Cell, they could both create another splintered timeline for Future Trunks (since things would go differently for him in the past) and be the timeline "our" Future Trunks would visit if he went back. You could wind up with two "different" Trunks both capable of traveling back and forth from this timeline.

We never hit that scenario in the series, since Cell kills Trunks in his timeline, but that's pretty wild.

EDIT -- Actually, I guess Trunks taking another trip back to any point he's already present in the past could do that. What a headache.

Zephyr
I Live Here
Posts: 3535
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Zephyr » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:18 pm

Cipher wrote:Cell does create a new timeline though. It's just that, since Trunks has already altered events, that new timeline further splinters from those.
It just doesn't make sense to me that it would splinter from the altered timeline, since he traveled into the past, to a point farther than where the first splintered timeline had splintered off in the first place. Cell traveled to a point in the past that was, at the moment in "time", a shared past between the original and the altered timeline. There weren't suddenly retroactively two versions of Goku fighting Freeza on Namek, Goku fighting Vegeta on Earth, etc. That would just be odd. Cell had to have branched off from the shared past, rather than a "new" past created by something that happened later. It just doesn't causally make any sense.

For Cell to create a new splinter timeline that is destined to have another Trunks travel to, there would have to be another Trunks traveling to the past. But Cell killed the only other one at that point.

If there is time loop stuff going on, and a Trunks will just always spawn at that point in the past, then it seems that there's just one single stable "past" timeline, continually being altered. But timelines can't be altered, otherwise Trunks' future wouldn't have hostile Androids and a living Cell to kill upon returning to his timeline.

Damn you time travel. :crazy:

User avatar
Cipher
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5466
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Nagano
Contact:

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Cipher » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:30 pm

Zephyr wrote:It just doesn't make sense to me that it would splinter from the altered timeline, since he traveled into the past, to a point farther than where the first splintered timeline had splintered off in the first place. Cell traveled to a point in the past that was, at the moment in "time", a shared past between the original and the altered timeline. There weren't suddenly retroactively two versions of Goku fighting Freeza on Namek, Goku fighting Vegeta on Earth, etc. That would just be odd. Cell had to have branched off from the shared past, rather than a "new" past created by something that happened later. It just doesn't causally make any sense.

For Cell to create a new splinter timeline that is destined to have another Trunks travel to, there would have to be another Trunks traveling to the past. But Cell killed the only other one at that point.

If there is time loop stuff going on, and a Trunks will just always spawn at that point in the past, then it seems that there's just one single stable "past" timeline, continually being altered. But timelines can't be altered, otherwise Trunks' future wouldn't have hostile Androids and a living Cell to kill upon returning to his timeline.

Damn you time travel. :crazy:
So what past should Cell arrive in, then? Why would it be anything other than the past that's already been altered by Trunks?

(It's technically a new timeline from the moment he arrives, but it's still going to have all the events of Future Trunks' travel as well. The Trunks he stole the time machine from had already been back and forth to the past, after all.)

I don't know how you can debate this, really. Trunks still arrives in the past altered by Cell -- that's what happens in the series. Hence, Cell is creating a further splinter from the past altered by Trunks. As soon as Trunks first changes the past, his arrival is going to be part of the timeline for anyone else going back into the past. Just as, if someone were to go back even further, both Cell and Trunks' arrivals would still happen, though it'd be a whole new timeline now involving the influence of three time travelers.
For Cell to create a new splinter timeline that is destined to have another Trunks travel to, there would have to be another Trunks traveling to the past.
It's the "same" Trunks he kills in the future, since his arrival is part of the past timeline. That Trunks is able to change his outcome in the future thanks to encountering Cell in the past.

I can't tell you for sure if that makes the most sense as a time-travel model, but it's what the series gives us. There's no causal reason a separate Future Trunks timeline would exist before he goes back into Cell's past, but there's every reason a different past would create a new outcome (and timeline) for Future Trunks.

Zephyr
I Live Here
Posts: 3535
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Zephyr » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:20 pm

Cipher wrote:So what past should Cell arrive in, then? Why would it be anything other than the past that's already been altered by Trunks?
The only past there is to arrive in: the shared past. Why would he arrive in an altered past that Trunks didn't go back to in order to alter? If Namek wasn't altered by Trunks killing Mecha Freeza, then "one year prior to Trunks killing Mecha Freeza" shouldn't be either. And there's no reason to assume that Namek was altered in any way, because that would make absolutely no sense.
Cipher wrote:It's technically a new timeline from the moment he arrives, but it's still going to have all the events of Future Trunks' travel as well. The Trunks he stole the time machine from had already been back and forth to the past, after all.
That's what makes it odd to call it a "new" timeline at all. He went back farther than Trunks did. What Trunks did should have no bearing at all on what happens next. If there's only one "past" to travel to, then I don't see how there can be anything other than one timeline. But we know that this isn't the case, because Trunks didn't return to a world where Uub exists.
Cipher wrote:Trunks still arrives in the past altered by Cell -- that's what happens in the series.
That much makes perfect sense. What's not making sense to me is how Cell can arrive in a past altered by Trunks, when Trunks was never even there.
Cipher wrote:As soon as Trunks first changes the past, his arrival is going to be part of the timeline for anyone else going back into the past. Just as, if someone were to go back even further, both Cell and Trunks' arrivals would still happen, though it'd be a whole new timeline now involving the influence of three time travelers.
Okay, I think I see what you're getting at now. That still doesn't make sense to me, as then there would still be an infinite supply of Trunks just spawning at a certain place at a certain time.
Cipher wrote:I can't tell you for sure if that makes the most sense as a time-travel model, but it's what the series gives us.
I understand that. It's just that what the series gives us doesn't really make....like, any sense to me. At all. Forget a model that makes more or less sense, I don't see how this works as a model at all. I'll agree to disagree with you there, though.

User avatar
Cipher
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5466
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Nagano
Contact:

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Cipher » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:32 pm

Zephyr wrote:
Cipher wrote:As soon as Trunks first changes the past, his arrival is going to be part of the timeline for anyone else going back into the past. Just as, if someone were to go back even further, both Cell and Trunks' arrivals would still happen, though it'd be a whole new timeline now involving the influence of three time travelers.
Okay, I think I see what you're getting at now. That still doesn't make sense to me, as then there would still be an infinite supply of Trunks just spawning at a certain place at a certain time.
Since it seems like we're kinda-sorta on the same page at this point, I guess I'll just tackle this:

The mistake is thinking that there's an "infinite supply" of different Trunks arriving at that point in time. Unless something happens to further alter the events of the past, it's just the same Trunks who first went there, destined to meet the same outcome when returning to his future. It's when Trunks has different events in the past that a different future would have to split off as well, as he won't be the same when he returns to his time.

Hence Cell's intervention leading to a different outcome for Trunks, and a new future timeline.

I can see what you're saying: If Cell creates a new timeline, why is Trunks still able to enter it?

But since we know that Trunks always enters the last-altered timeline (he's able to zip back and forth between the main series' timeline with Cell in it and his own future), it's consistent that Cell would enter the past altered by Trunks as well. Which ... has Trunks in it, obviously, and is going to result in a different future timeline when he goes back home.

User avatar
Speedster
Regular
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:15 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Speedster » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:52 pm

For the record here is my own revised timeline theory which has no contradictions!
The above follows Daizenshuu's time placement which is of course incorrect as it fails to explain Cell's 24 year line. But with my TRUE timeline-placement this is explained as well.

Zephyr
I Live Here
Posts: 3535
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Zephyr » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:52 am

Cipher wrote:The mistake is thinking that there's an "infinite supply" of different Trunks arriving at that point in time. Unless something happens to further alter the events of the past, it's just the same Trunks who first went there, destined to meet the same outcome when returning to his future. It's when Trunks has different events in the past that a different future would have to split off as well, as he won't be the same when he returns to his time.

Hence Cell's intervention leading to a different outcome for Trunks, and a new future timeline.

I can see what you're saying: If Cell creates a new timeline, why is Trunks still able to enter it?

But since we know that Trunks always enters the last-altered timeline (he's able to zip back and forth between the main series' timeline with Cell in it and his own future), it's consistent that Cell would enter the past altered by Trunks as well. Which ... has Trunks in it, obviously, and is going to result in a different future timeline when he goes back home.
Okay, I think I'm starting to see what you're saying. So, referring back to my chart here:

Image

Maintaining the idea that Green is the original timeline, Orange is Trunks shutting down the Androids, Green is Cell going back in time, and Pink is the Cell Games. Green is instead not "Cell hibernates, dies, Androids attack, Trunks uses time machine, etc.", but rather "Cell goes back in time", and had Trunks somehow not entered the past, things would have gone drastically differently. Then Trunks goes back in time on top of that, once again from Green, and creates what we see in the manga/anime.

That makes more sense. Cell doesn't enter a past Trunks created, he creates a new fork by going farther back. Trunks doesn't enter Cell's timeline, he makes another fork off of it. Basically nobody can enter Orange or Purple anymore.

Essentially the farthest line to the right is the timeline that one will enter if they travel to the past. If one travels to the past to a year prior to a fork, it will make an entirely new fork, toward the right. So, if someone went back to the year that the Saiyans attacked, and killed the Saiyans, the Z Senshi, and Freeza (for whatever reason, just bear with me), then Cell would eventually show up and burrow underground, and then Trunks would show up, with no Freeza to kill and no Goku to meet.

That's what makes the most sense to me, albeit a very delicate and fragile sort of sense. Am I following you now, or did I veer way off course?

Darknat
Beyond-the-Beyond Newbie
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:23 am

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Darknat » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:19 am

First, to understand this it's important that once you travel to the past, the time machine establishes a link between where it's used and that past. Thus, even if Trunks returns to the future, he goes to the splintered past instead of his own. This is what Cell does too.

Original Timeline (cell timeline) T1;

763: Goku defeats Freeza on Namek
764: Goku returns to Earth and defeats Freeza and King Cold. He later dies from the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767: The Androids appear killing Piccolo and almost everyone besides Gohan.
780: Gohan dies
784: Bulma completes the Time Machine. Trunks goes 20 years back into the past (to 764). T2 is created. He returns from T2 shortly after.
785: Trunks goes back again to T2 to help defeat the androids. He returns shortly after and uses the shutdown controller to defeat 17 and 18.
788: Trunks decides to go farther into the past to save T2 since he failed his first attempt (I assume that since he knows where the laboratory is he is going to kill Gero instead as he says to Goku he would have done if he knew where he was the first time they met). However Cell kills Trunks and steals the time machine. He goes back in time to T2, however since the machine is programmed to go farther in time, T2 splits creating T3 (main series).

Unseen Timeline T2:
764: Trunks defeats Freeza and King Cold. Goku returns to Earth. Goku survives the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767 The Androids appear. Trunks returns from the future (T1). Trunks finds the blueprints for the androids, however, and this is my assumption here, something happens in this time that makes Trunks want to go one year more back in time. Maybe the androids are defeated but everyone dies, or something. or maybe Trunks has to escape back to his own time with the blueprints/shutdown controller (T1).


Main Timeline (T3):
763: Goku defeats Freeza on Namek. Cell comes from T1.
764: Trunks defeats Freeza and King Cold. Goku returns to Earth. Goku survives the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767 The Androids appear. Trunks returns from the future (T4). Cell becomes perfect, The Cell games happen, with Gohan defeating Cell. Goku dies and Trunks returns to his timeline (T4). Trunks returns once again to tell everyone he defeated the androids (this may be Boojack's movie).
774: Majin Buu saga
778: Birusu appears on Bulma's birthday party.
779: Pan is born. Freeza ressurrects and invdaes Earth. Champa and Birusu establish a tournament between Universe 6 and 7. Trunks returns from the future (T4). Gokublack follows Trunks?

Trunks Timeline (T4): T3 needs a Trunks so this timeline splits from T1. Instead of going to T2, this trunks goes to the altered timeline created by cell, T3:
784: Bulma completes the Time Machine. Trunks goes 20 years back into the past (to 764). Instead of creating a new timeline, this time he goes to T3 already created by Cell. He returns from T3 shortly after.
785: Trunks goes back again to T3 to help defeat the androids. He returns shortly after with enough strength to defeat the Androids.
788: Trunks defeats his timelines Cell since he already knew about him this time around. He returns to T3 to tell everyone the news (Boojack movie may happen here).
???: Gokublack appears.
1 year later: Bulma gathers enough energy for one way trip to the past. Bulma dies, Mai dies, Trunks goes back to the past (T4).


This explains why Trunks wants to go 1 year farther in time. That way he can defeat Gero and free a timeline, which was one of the things Bulma wanted on the first hand. A timeline without the androids kiling everyone. He probably goes back in time one more year to avoid encountering himsefl or smething.
Regarding Cell telling everyone about Trunks defeatn Freeza and Cold, he is probably refering to the timeline he is currently on. After all, the robot insect that appears at that moment is the one from that timeline. It's stil weird he does that and I still consider it a plot hole.


There is also Tapion going back to the past on the main timeline if we count movie 13, but that just complitates things even more.
Also, there is Time Patroller trunks which in theory is T4 Trunks, but with the events of Gokublack that may not make sense.

Ricardolindo
Newbie
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: DBZ Alternate Timeline Theory Makes Absolutely no Sense.

Post by Ricardolindo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:38 pm

Darknat wrote:First, to understand this it's important that once you travel to the past, the time machine establishes a link between where it's used and that past. Thus, even if Trunks returns to the future, he goes to the splintered past instead of his own. This is what Cell does too.

Original Timeline (cell timeline) T1;

763: Goku defeats Freeza on Namek
764: Goku returns to Earth and defeats Freeza and King Cold. He later dies from the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767: The Androids appear killing Piccolo and almost everyone besides Gohan.
780: Gohan dies
784: Bulma completes the Time Machine. Trunks goes 20 years back into the past (to 764). T2 is created. He returns from T2 shortly after.
785: Trunks goes back again to T2 to help defeat the androids. He returns shortly after and uses the shutdown controller to defeat 17 and 18.
788: Trunks decides to go farther into the past to save T2 since he failed his first attempt (I assume that since he knows where the laboratory is he is going to kill Gero instead as he says to Goku he would have done if he knew where he was the first time they met). However Cell kills Trunks and steals the time machine. He goes back in time to T2, however since the machine is programmed to go farther in time, T2 splits creating T3 (main series).

Unseen Timeline T2:
764: Trunks defeats Freeza and King Cold. Goku returns to Earth. Goku survives the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767 The Androids appear. Trunks returns from the future (T1). Trunks finds the blueprints for the androids, however, and this is my assumption here, something happens in this time that makes Trunks want to go one year more back in time. Maybe the androids are defeated but everyone dies, or something. or maybe Trunks has to escape back to his own time with the blueprints/shutdown controller (T1).


Main Timeline (T3):
763: Goku defeats Freeza on Namek. Cell comes from T1.
764: Trunks defeats Freeza and King Cold. Goku returns to Earth. Goku survives the heart virus.
766: Trunks is Born
767 The Androids appear. Trunks returns from the future (T4). Cell becomes perfect, The Cell games happen, with Gohan defeating Cell. Goku dies and Trunks returns to his timeline (T4). Trunks returns once again to tell everyone he defeated the androids (this may be Boojack's movie).
774: Majin Buu saga
778: Birusu appears on Bulma's birthday party.
779: Pan is born. Freeza ressurrects and invdaes Earth. Champa and Birusu establish a tournament between Universe 6 and 7. Trunks returns from the future (T4). Gokublack follows Trunks?

Trunks Timeline (T4): T3 needs a Trunks so this timeline splits from T1. Instead of going to T2, this trunks goes to the altered timeline created by cell, T3:
784: Bulma completes the Time Machine. Trunks goes 20 years back into the past (to 764). Instead of creating a new timeline, this time he goes to T3 already created by Cell. He returns from T3 shortly after.
785: Trunks goes back again to T3 to help defeat the androids. He returns shortly after with enough strength to defeat the Androids.
788: Trunks defeats his timelines Cell since he already knew about him this time around. He returns to T3 to tell everyone the news (Boojack movie may happen here).
???: Gokublack appears.
1 year later: Bulma gathers enough energy for one way trip to the past. Bulma dies, Mai dies, Trunks goes back to the past (T4).


This explains why Trunks wants to go 1 year farther in time. That way he can defeat Gero and free a timeline, which was one of the things Bulma wanted on the first hand. A timeline without the androids kiling everyone. He probably goes back in time one more year to avoid encountering himsefl or smething.
Regarding Cell telling everyone about Trunks defeatn Freeza and Cold, he is probably refering to the timeline he is currently on. After all, the robot insect that appears at that moment is the one from that timeline. It's stil weird he does that and I still consider it a plot hole.


There is also Tapion going back to the past on the main timeline if we count movie 13, but that just complitates things even more.
Also, there is Time Patroller trunks which in theory is T4 Trunks, but with the events of Gokublack that may not make sense.
About Time Patroller Trunks, he, very, likely isn't the one from Super, he most likely is the one that was created by Whis going back to Future Trunks's timeline's past before Goku Black's arrival and warning Future Beerus about the Zamases' threat.

Post Reply