superman: the movie is one of the most iconic and beloved films in cinema and the comic book movie subgenre. Not only did he retain that title over the decades, but he also showcased one of Superman’s most impressive feats on screen, the ability to change history. For decades, audiences have watched the character literally time-switch to save Lois Lane’s life, and the mere spectacle of it was enough to ignore the logic behind such a feat, but one theorist may have finally figured it out. an explanation that, while convoluted, offers a nearly foolproof answer to Superman’s time travel.
In the film, Lex Luthor enacted a plan to set off a huge bomb on the San Andreas Rift to sever the West Coast of the United States and capitalize on the land as free real estate to claim. At first, the plan went almost without a hitch, but Lois Lane, trapped in a crack in the Earth, was suffocated and buried under the rubble. Enraged, Superman flew into the air, defied Jor-El’s warning about tampering with human history, and reversed time early enough to save his love. However, the Reddit theorist Cilarnen believed that Superman had never turned back time. Instead, he traveled back in time to reverse what had been done.
Although confusing to decipher at a glance, the physics are explained to show that Superman exceeded the speed of light to pull off his plan. Physics also explained that any object traveling at this rate would technically travel backward on time; therefore, things went backwards the faster he flew. This is why he traveled back in time rather than reversing it, as the world and its population would never survive the Earth’s rotation if it stopped and reversed.
As for the rotation, it’s explained as an optical illusion as Supes traveled through time. For the public, his time travel is perceived as a step back in time, similar to that of Jules Verne. The time machine. Everything happens at an accelerated pace towards the viewers, but Superman is only looking for the perfect point to stop traveling. This is why, when shown going in the opposite direction, the planet does not return to proper rotation. Instead, he’s in a new moment and he uses his remaining speed to find Lois and help her before things go wrong.
The film then showed Superman rescuing Lois and apprehending Lex Luthor, but he seemingly averted the disaster that took place earlier in the film. It’s a slightly confusing moment, but one that could have happened before other issues arose. Thanks to Superman, he now had more time to save lives, like Lois’s, and stop Luthor from succeeding with his plan. While this is the one aspect of the theory that makes the least sense, thankfully debunking it entirely isn’t enough, as that could open up bigger inconsistencies in the story.
Superman being a time traveler isn’t a title he’s worn in movies before, but the idea he felt was appropriate for that Man of Steel era. Even better is the idea of the physics behind it. It maintained the integrity of the film, but it also added another level of entertainment for many fans of the classic and further amplified how clever this iteration of Clark Kent is, thanks to its time in the Fortress of Solitude. . Ultimately, the theory completely changed the idea of why Superman is the man of tomorrow.
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