Cell does create a new timeline though. It's just that, since Trunks has already altered events, that new timeline further splinters from those.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.
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.