Thoughts on “Edge of Tomorrow” 

I watched Edge of Tomorrow recently. I watched the film initially when it was released in theaters a few years ago and I think I fell asleep during it. Now, I was surprised by how well of a science fiction/thriller/ action film it was.

The film is about an alien race invading earth and the military trying to unsuccessfully destroy them. Major William Cage, Tom Cruise, is suddenly thrown into battle and is ill-equipped to handle the battlefront. As a result, one of the alien’s blood gets all over him giving Cage a special ability to repeat the same battle, essentially being caught in a time loop. After realizing the repetitive nature of unsuccessfully dying, he finally starts to piece together a winning strategy and develops combat skills alongside famed soldier Rita Vrataski, Emily Blunt, to become closer on permanently obliterating the alien species.

Back when I saw this movie in 2014, I was somewhat confused (which was probably why I fell asleep). The time looping of Tom Cruise totally caught me off guard. Now that I own the film, I was able to watch the film again with a newer appreciation of the film’s motto “Live. Die. Repeat.”

As I mentioned, something that’s very confusing is the time loop of the film, the constant reliving an event over and over again by someone. I was first introduced to the concept of time travel by H.G. Wells popular late 19th-century novel The Time Machine. Even then in my teenage years, I found the concept confusing and potentially dangerous if abused improperly, as clearly demonstrated in the novel.

Fast forward, many more films that I enjoy revolve around the difficult topic of time travel/time loops/and even quantum realms such as The Terminator (1984), Back to the Future franchise, Final Destination franchise, Butterfly Effect (2004), Time Travelers Wife (2009), Inception (2010), Predestination (2014), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Ant-Man (2015), Doctor Strange (2016), and most recently in 2018 Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

At the end of the day, the conclusion I got from all these films: Time is something very serious and needs not be tampered with. Some of the films use time travel for seemingly good purposes like correcting wrongs of the past to make the future better. On the other hand, some use it for personal gain. Not sure what kind of world we’d live in if everyone arbitrarily manipulated time. Perhaps, unparalleled madness would run rampant. Consequently, this could interfere with events of the future possibly.

When exploring the complexity of time, I’ve often wondered how does man fit in. Time is all around us. We govern our lives by it in the form of age, days of the week, months, years, etc. Our lives even are a testimony to time, from our conception to death.

Even the Bible is focused on time of course. We have the creation account in Genesis describing six days of creation (will leave the time of these days for the young and old-earth creationist to debate). The Bible was written in a largely agricultural society, so allusions to harvest seasons are frequently mentioned throughout. Even the New Testament writers wrote about the kairos, appointed a fitting time for events to happen, to emphasize matters of faith (2 Cor. 6:2; Gal 6:9,10).

We Christians see time as linear, meaning it has a beginning and is just keeping forwarding. God created time (Gen. 1:4-5). By its attributes, God is eternal, existing outside of time and space. However, because God exists outside of time, he doesn’t hesitate to intervene in creation. God is very much interested in communicating to his creation that exists within the confines of time. Hence, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the eternal God becoming a man.

God created humans with choice, but yet we operate in the sovereignty of God daily (Ps. 139:7-12). God has foreknowledge, the awareness of the results of actions, but yet doesn’t interfere with us making our choices. This is a hard dilemma to grasp, human freedom and God’s sovereignty working compatibility together. Many have speculated over the centuries exactly how this occurs, but yet the dilemma is one usually wrought by emotional objections or attacks on God being all-powerful. All this in the context of time, one existing out of time vs. one enclosed by finiteness.

Edge of Tomorrow was a good film on the topic of time. It made me understand God’s creation more. This topic opened more healthy curiosities about how to relate to God and the vast creation that we live in. Even science is still doing this, so I guess me and science are on the same page Maybe?

Source: Warner Bros.

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5 comments

  1. About the last sentence or two: agreed, very much.

    If you are seeking truth, then yes: that’s what science does. Or is supposed to. Faith is supposed to do the same thing – – – seek truth. And the author of truth.

    That’s one attitude I didn’t have to abandon when I became a Catholic.

    (I very strongly suspect that today’s ‘science and faith are mutually incompatible’ assumption sprouted in the Enlightenment – – – which I see as a well-intentioned response to generations of warfare fueled by religion-themed propaganda – – – and got mixed up in Victorian-era English politics.)

    The idea that God gives us brains and isn’t offended when we use them isn’t new, but it’s quite ‘Catholic.’ What follows is a bit long for a comment, maybe; but then again maybe on-topic:

    “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Exodus 33:18; Palms 27:8–9; 63:2–3; John 14:8; 1 John 3:2….”
    (“Fides et Ratio,” Pope Saint John Paul II (September 14, 1998))

    “…God, the Creator and Ruler of all things, is also the Author of the Scriptures – and that therefore nothing can be proved either by physical science or archaeology which can really contradict the Scriptures. … Even if the difficulty is after all not cleared up and the discrepancy seems to remain, the contest must not be abandoned; truth cannot contradict truth….”
    (“Providentissimus Deus,” Pope Leo XIII (November 18, 1893))

    Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air…. They all answer you, ‘Here we are, look; we’re beautiful.’…
    “…So in this way they arrived at a knowledge of the god who made things, through the things which he made.”
    (Sermon 241, St. Augustine of Hippo (ca. 411))

    Liked by 1 person

      • Not from a ‘science’ viewpoint. I’ve mentioned what you discussed – that God is immediately present at all times and all places, but not ‘in’ space and time the way we currently are.

        You raise a good point. I’ve read discussions of the nature of time – from a science viewpoint. Not many, though. I could summarize their conclusions as “we don’t know.” 🙂

        What I think are the better-informed and well-analyzed ones very strongly indicate that we’re pretty sure time ‘happens,’ that it has some sort of objective reality. Exactly what time is, never mind how it works: I think that’s a warehouse-full of puzzles we didn’t know existed until very recently.

        The more – imaginative? – discussions by folks with a science degree are interesting too: at least for me. Folks who write them are, I think, very smart and well-versed in at least one of the physical sciences. They would, I also think, be well-advised to remember that human knowledge extends far beyond their specialized field.

        What they say about our current knowledge – and lack of it – regarding measurements of time helps me understand other, more science-focused, material.

        Their other speculations and conclusions remind me of what various natural philosophers have said. I think reviewing what the best minds of the last several millennia gave us is valuable. Even, arguably, necessary to understanding what we’ve learned since Aristotle stayed famous and Anaxagoras didn’t.

        I think there is also value in remembering that we *have* learned a great deal since then: and not just in the branch of natural philosophy we started calling “science” a few centuries back.

        There. That’s my long-winded way of saying “I don’t know. Yet.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • One more thing, shameless self-promotion or a useful link. On something completely different.

        You may or maybe haven’t read what I said about a science editor’s look at black holes, and how she responds to folks who wonder how someone can be a scientist and still believe the Catholic stuff. Basically, she’s a Catholic who understands what the Church has been saying – – – and believes it.

        http://brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/repeatable-results-that-arent/#science

        Liked by 1 person

      • Will definitely read this. I like how the Church has always protected, endorsed, and advocated the sciences. Even after barbarians tried to incorporate cultural retrogression, there the Catholic Church was advancing literacy and sciences. So great!

        Liked by 1 person

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