Titanic Film Theory: Jack Is A Time Traveller!?

Wait, is this Titanic or Terminator?

Titanic Time Travel
Paramount Pictures

James Cameron’s Titanic is still among one of the most impressive box office smashes of all time. Grossing an unprecedented $2 billion at the box office and the second film ever to take a clean sweep of evelen awards at the Oscars, it’s no surprise Titanic is still avidly discussed and dissected over twenty years since its release.

Looking back on the 1997 film, based on the infamous 1912 disaster, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Jack and Rose’s bow kiss scene? The Titanic smashing into the iceberg? The elderly couple kissing goodbye on the bed? Poor old Fabrizio getting crushed by the falling funnel? That darned Celine Dion song?

What about time travel?

Yes, what if, far from the romance/drama you thought it was, Titanic was a tale of a time traveler who went back to sink the unsinkable ship? What if Jack, our beloved, handsome, nude art enthusiast was far from the charming scoundrel we thought we knew, and was in fact a man sent back from the future?

Sound crazy, right? Well, not as much when you start to explore...

3. How Do We Know Jack Is A Time Traveller?

Titanic Time Travel
20th Century Fox

First things first, we need to examine the evidence that Jack is indeed a time traveler. At first glance, he appears nothing more than a happy-go-lucky resident of the early twentieth century. Upon closer inspection however, cracks in this carefully nurtured image begin to shine through, suggesting there’s a lot more to Mr. Dawson than meets the eye.

Firstly, Jack has access to information he shouldn’t have. At one point he mentions fishing in Lake Wissota, a man-made lake created in 1917, five years after the sinking of the Titanic. He also promises to take Rose on a roller-coaster on the Santa Monica Pier, which wouldn’t be built for another four years! How could possibly Jack have been to these places, or even known about them, unless he has access to information from the future?

On top of this, Jack very much has the appearance of a man out of time. His haircut, devastatingly handsome as it may be, is radically out place in twentieth century Britain. Furthermore, the rucksack wasn’t in common usage until the 1930s, yet Jack’s slinging one around like it’s totally normal.

But the question remains, if Jack truly was a time traveler, why did he go back?


Writer, editor and presenter for WhatCulture, also a resident musician at NU. I know I'm not as funny as I think I am, please stop pointing it out...