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I recently watched Riddick and I enjoyed the film and it felt like it was trying to be more like Pitch Black. Not really a spoiler but there were some references to the earlier film namely that Colonel R. "Boss" Johns is the father of the character in Pitch Black William J. Johns.

Here in lies my conundrum. The Colonel says hes William's dad. He refers to the Pitch Black movie as happening 10 years previous (pretty sure). I would have pegged William for mid to late 20's at the time of Pitch Black. The Colonel early to mid 40's maybe at the time of Riddick.

Is there anything that pinpoints those characters birthdays with respect to eachother? I suppose it is possible that the Colonel had William at a young age but even if he was 13 at the time it would still put his age at 48 at the time of Riddick (I think the actor was 41 at the time).

If the Colonel was his brother I wouldn't have batted an eye.

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    I'm not sure how this plays into it, but Mercs spend a lot of time in cryo as they'r hunting bounties, so they could experience some slowed aging processes. – user31178 Apr 22 '16 at 2:59
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    @CreationEdge Oh.... shit.... that would totally explain it. In concept that has come up a couple of times and I never put two and two together. – Matt Apr 22 '16 at 3:15
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    Relativistic effects, too – The Nate Apr 30 '16 at 3:47
  • W.J.Johns was 37 at death and age adjusted after cryo-deduction to be 29. – KyloRen May 6 '16 at 23:14
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The simple answer is that age is some relative for people, such as mercs, that spend a lot of time in cryosleep as they're traveling between worlds. While there's not a direct quote on how this halts aging, it's meant to be understood.

What we do have for evidence is:

  • What we see happen in the movies: cryosleep regularly being used for interstellar travel. Seen in Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Dark Fury and probably more.
  • This quote from Riddick in *Pitch Black about crysleep:

    They say most of your brain shuts down during cryo-sleep. All but the primitive side, the animal side. No wonder I'm still awake.

  • In Dark Fury, Antonia Chillingsworth (the bounty hunter captain of the Kublai Khan) uses some technology to freeze criminals, leaving them alive and conscious, but indefinitely preserved.

All of this, plus the age inconsistency you noticed, indicate that cryosleep is the likely reason for daddy Johns looking so young compared to what you'd expect.

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