About Groundhog Day, Space Dandy And Edge Of Tomorrow And What They All Have In Common.
Last night I started scrolling through a list of movies to entertain myself with. The past week I got in the habit of watching the movie series from a few of my favorite films, like Underworld and Divergent. As I was scrolling I thought about re-watching the Hunger Games series, but I came across Edge of Tomorrow featuring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise as the lead character instead.
Now I don’t consider myself a big movie person, but when I like the storyline of one, especially if one with a science fiction theme to it (i.e. Black Mirror), then I’m game.
It’s something about the mysterious, other world type of things that catch my attention. When you’re a person that lives in your head, this sort of attraction to things beyond this world is normal. But to carry on, as I began watching I kept getting this familiar feeling about the plot like I’ve seen it somewhere before but it didn’t sink in quite yet. For instance, Tom Cruise’s character finds himself in a battle fighting aliens aka mimics nonetheless. But here’s the spoiler: He kills one alien (including himself) they call an alpha that gives him their ability to reset the day — but with a catch.
Remember that familiar feeling I was speaking of earlier? Well, it turns out that this plot isn’t exclusive to Edge of Tomorrow.
Just a few weeks ago I was looking at the anime Space Dandy and there was an episode (S1:E10) where the characters are trapped within a time loop, basically re-living the same day over and over. To quote from Fandom, “It’s at this point that the Narrator steps in and explains that the strong magnetic fields generated by the pyonium energy in the calendar have twisted the space-time continuum and trapped everyone in a loop, forcing them to repeat the same day over and over.”
Get where I’m going with this?
Now these two pieces of art must be influenced by Groundhog Day, which was another film about a guy living the same day over and over. The differences between them all are small, and the premise of each remains more or less the same. In Groundhog Day the character (Bill Murray) goes to sleep and wakes up to the same day. What caused it? My guess is the snowstorm played a big part of it.
In Space Dandy the characters don’t really catch on to the loop for some time.
On the 88th loop, QT points out that every day feels the same, but Dandy shrugs it off, saying that it just seems that way because of the monotony of Betelgeuse.
Now here’s the catch I mentioned earlier. In Edge of Tomorrow they sort of flip it where the character has to die continuously. They never show him falling asleep or a moment where he doesn’t die. It’s almost like a video game for him where he spawns to the same checkpoint.
Where each intersect is when the characters realize what’s going on around them. It’s at this point you see this montage of repeating events where the characters go from one state of being to another while simultaneously learning more about themselves and the people around them in the process. Just imagine it. How sane could one continue being while experiencing the same rerun replay itself and know the intricate details of every second of it? You’d be like a god with powers of knowing the future (cause you’ve lived it and already seen what happens many times), but confined to that single time until some divine action occurs and frees you.
It sort of reminds me how in the real world, assuming it’s not a simulation, we technically go through this sort of continuous loop in time, granting us this same ability to make worst or best of each day until we inevitably die to possibly be reborn again. But to step back a bit, some days do feel like they run together and often repeat themselves. It’s like that ol saying about history. Maybe there’s something more to it. I’m sure of it.
But to get back on the subject, the concept gave me an interesting thought because it was familiar. What I liked in particular, however, was how the people experiencing the loop were the only ones aware of it. Sure, they could have told someone, but after the day is over (or one dies) only they would know about it while everyone else pretty much remains in reset mode.
I can’t explain the exact reason I found this plot a cool concept, maybe it was metaphysical or something, but I think overall it’s a bit of a mind-bender. You’re trying to wrap your mind around how someone trapped in a reality and then get themselves out of it. You get to see them over and over take advantage of time, and go through hell and back because of it.
However, in the end they all had to do something significant to eventually get out and that was something to really latch on. You saw this journey take place and it makes you think about yourself, at least it did for me, and what you need to do and become the master of your own day.