Study Guide

Time Bandits Versions of Reality

Versions of Reality

WALLY: Where are we?

RANDALL: I don't know.

WALLY: Well, look at the map.

RANDALL: It's not on the map.

Kevin's bedroom is apparently a very special place if it's on the map or on the path of the map's route. In retrospect, it's most likely the case that God has given the dwarves a little push toward someone who could help them.

RANDALL: We made trees and shrubs. We helped make all this.

KEVIN: Whew! That's not bad.

RANDALL: Yeah. But did we get a thimbleful of credit for it? No! All we got was the sack. Just for creating the Pink Bunkadoo.

KEVIN: Pink Bunkadoo?

RANDALL: Yeah. Beautiful tree, that was. Og designed it. Six hundred feet high, bright red, and smelled terrible.

We're not sure where that Pink Bunkadoo is, but wherever it is, it's not in this reality—we can tell you that much. This conversation also suggests that creativity spawns its own version of reality.

EVIL: If I were creating the world, I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, 8 o'clock, day one!

Evil's reality certainly feels different from ours…or does it? Our obsession with gadgets and technology hasn't made us any happier. In fact, we might be a lot closer to Evil's reality than we'd like to think—something the movie pretty clearly warns us about.

KEVIN: I must wait. You see, I'm with friends. You see, if I lose them, I may never be able to get back.

AGAMEMNON: Get back? To where?

KEVIN: I'm not really sure.

This passage suggests that Kevin's old life may have been just as much of a different universe as the place he's occupying now. Reality is what you make of it, perhaps?

RANDALL: The Time of Legends.

KEVIN: The Time of Legends! There's no such thing.

RANDALL: But there is. You just got to believe in it. Otherwise, Horseflesh wouldn't have put it on the map.

Belief creating reality...now there's an interesting thought. Evil is planning to make it so, anyway, and so is God. God just wins out because he simply has more ammo in his corner, in terms of power.

WINSTON: Look at all this bloody fish! There used to be a time when you could be sure...of catchin' old boots, cans, hat racks, boxes. Now it's prawns all the bloody time!

Even though this happens in an entirely different version of reality, we love this line because the characters who live here still have day-to-day problems and complaints. Some things never change...

GAME SHOW HOST: Here they come! So let's give 'em a big welcome! Trevor, Diane—oh, don't they look lovely!

KEVIN: Mom! Dad!

This is one of the most sinister parts of the film. We get the suggestion that Kevin's parents are as much a part of Evil's reality as Evil's scuttling minions. Why? Because they're materialistic, and that's something that is linked with Evil. Not exactly something to make Kevin sleep easier at night…

WALLY: Fidgit, Fidgit's dead!

SUPREME BEING: Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

The Supreme Being can change reality as he wishes, which is one of the perks of the job. Note how he can alter reality here, but under the excuse that he's making his own plans happen (i.e., he doesn't want an employee slacking off). When reality is changed, he makes sure it's according to his rules.

FIREMAN: You all right?

KEVIN: Yeah. I think so.

FIREMAN: You're a very lucky boy.

Was it all a dream, or not? We'd say so, but with that fireman who looks a lot like Agamemnon, we can't be sure. Could it be a dream bleeding over into waking life? Or did Kevin really travel through time? There's evidence to back up either interpretation.

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