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What if Jack Dawson was really some guy from the future, sent back in time to keep Rose from killing herself? And what if his efforts drastically altered the course of Titanic's fate? One Titanic fan came up with a pretty clever theory about the truth behind Leonardo's wandering character.
On the surface, there's no evidence that suggests Titanic's lead character is actually a time traveler. But looking at a theory by Matt (last name hidden) on Facebook, and shared on K. Tempest Tumbles tumblr page, it certainly does throw a fun sci-fi spin on James Cameron's historical fiction. It begins as follows:
Jack from Titanic was a time traveler that was only there to save Rose from Committing suicide and altering the timeline. This may seem ridiculous but think about it for a moment... if Rose jumped to her demise then the ship would have stopped to look for her. The temporary delay would have lead to warmer weather and the Titanic would have never hit the iceberg. This is also why Jack made it a note to spend so much time with her, his job was to ensure her survival.
The above half of the theory indicates that Jack's main purpose was to save Rose from committing suicide, which he does. But the theory goes on to imply that in saving Rose, Jack prevented Titanic from having to slow down in order to search for Rose. Had the Captain halted the ship to do a search, maybe it wouldn't have been quite so cold when Titanic eventually arrived at the location of the icebergs. Or maybe the water wouldn't have been so still at that point. Conditions, at any rate, would've likely been different enough that perhaps the ship wouldn't have struck that iceberg. In an alternate timeline, Rose's suicide happens and perhaps Titanic makes it to the U.S.
It's an interesting theory, made even better when some of the film's mistakes -- or are they?! -- are applied to it...
Let's look at the evidence - Jack doesn't have any currency in this time period so he has to gamble in order to get the ticket in the first place. He mentions fishing in Lake Wissota, which is a man-made lake created in 1917, five years after the Titanic sank. His haircut seemed completely out of place for the era, furthermore that rucksack wasn't common until the late '30s. He claimed he will take Rose on a roller-coaster on the Santa Monica Pier, which wouldn't be built until 1916. How else would Jack have knowledge of these future places?
The evidence suggests that Jack has awareness of places that don't exist yet in this time period. Also his bag and hair are wrong for the time period, apparently.
I'm not sure how seriously we're supposed to take this theory, but I would still accept this idea over that alternate ending that made its way online. And man, do I love entertaining a good time travel theory, especially when it involves The Terminator.
The add-on comment to Matt's theory -- presumably from the original poster -- states that Rose "is, in fact, Sara Conner's grandmother."
It's a great way to use the time travel idea to tie Titanic in with James Cameron's Terminator, but the timeline element gets a bit tricky. But let's run with it...
Imagine if Jack Dawson's just another guy from the future, sent back in time to ensure Sarah Connor exists, by preventing her grandmother from killing herself on Titanic. The problem is, how would they know they had to do that to begin with? If the original timeline had Rose committing suicide on Titanic then wouldn't that mean Sarah Connor would never have existed in the first place? In which case, there's no John Connor and no reason to know that a woman named Rose needed to be saved in order for the leader of the human resistance to exist.
The theory could, instead, suggest that Jack's mission was only a general "keep Rose safe," and preventing her suicide is one of the things he did to fulfill that.
If we want to go deeper into the Terminator plot -- and this is where I'm throwing my own layer of complicated madness into this bizarre Titanic-Terminator plot collision -- maybe future-Jack was sent back after a terminator went back in time with the intention of killing Rose. But perhaps instead of killing Rose outright, the terminator decided to plot a more elaborate scheme to get Rose to die, by killing Rose's father and leaving Rose and Ruth with "a legacy of bad debts hidden by a good name." And Rose's desperation was all part of the machine's much-more-subtle plan to alter the future, forcing Rose into a situation where she had to marry Hockley in order to "insure our survival," as Ruth put it, thusly sending Rose into a desperate attempt to end her own life. Had she succeeded, no one would have ever suspected the machines, right? Just a woman in a pretty dress jumping off a ship. It'd be a very under-the-radar approach on the part of the machines, but they would have learned their lesson from the original Terminator's Sarah Connor-killing spree, which was all over the news. Too far-fetched?
But wait, if Jack Dawson is the Kyle Reese of this story, then does that make him Sarah Connor's grandfather? This is getting complicated.
That's ok though. The theory works well enough to make me want to re-watch Titanic with a closer eye on Jack Dawson. I'm already forming a theory in my head that his hairstyle is designed to resemble a young John Connor...
Jack is a nickname for John after all. Not suggesting that Jack is John Connor, because gross, but he could've chosen the name and the hair as a nod to the great John Connor... right?