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I'm a little confused as to the timeline of Savitar. Spoiler alert for season 3 episode 20. This is what I've come up with:

  • Post 2024 Barry becomes Savitar

  • Goes back in time to 2021, gets trapped in the speed force

  • Wally frees him in 2017, he then goes on to kill Iris, etc

However, this isn't consistent, as

the 2024 Barry doesn't remember that he is Savitar (in the next episode, Cisco attempts to stop Barry from making new memories, but the 2024 Barry seemed to remember everything else about his past, and nobody else from the future warns 2017 Barry that he is Savitar, such as Cisco).

This timeline I have also means that the Savitar we see now is the latest one, and will presumably roam free and won't be stopped.

So does Savitar have a consistent timeline?

  • Tempted to VTC for future works. I feel pretty certain that we're going to get more details regarding this revelation in the remaining episodes. – phantom42 May 3 '17 at 19:43
  • That 2024 Barry does not know Savitar identity is either a huge plot hole (resolved by inconsistent time travel system), or by some kind of memory wipe. – Kamalen May 3 '17 at 22:32
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    If you allow me a theory based on nothing, resolving everything, I believe Savitar is actually the original Barry from Flashpoint, that Earth-1 Barry somehow removed when creating it and taking its place – Kamalen May 3 '17 at 22:44
  • I am confused: didn't Savitar came back in 2017 (not 2021) the fist time. IIRC the depressed 2024 Barry said it took 4 years to find a way to trap Savitar. – Taladris May 7 '17 at 7:50
  • It's very confusing. Savitar is trapped in the Speed Force, escapes in 2017, kills Iris. Barry eventually traps Savitar in the Speed Force in 2021. Which Savitar is that? The one BEFORE Iris was killed? if so, why did he bother going back to 2021 to begin with? If 2021 Barry traps post-killing-Iris Savitar in the Speed Force, how did 2017 Savitar get in the Speed Force?!? – scott.korin May 9 '17 at 13:53
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It is complicated, but I think I have it. Some of it is supposition.

So, let's start with the moment following Savitar's imprisonment in the Speed Force since that is the starting point of the information in the show.

  • Savitar is imprisoned in the Speed Force and looks for a way to escape in 2020
  • Savitar uses Wally to free him in 2017
  • Now freed, he goes on the fight Barry with plans to kill Iris
  • Barry creates several time remnants to save Iris
  • Savitar kills Iris and all but one time remnant

Ok, here is the supposition on my part:

  • Savitar then uses his speed to travel back in time, further than Barry ever traveled.
  • Savitar hops through history becoming the cult-like figure, building the Savitar legend and myth.
  • Nearing the end of his very human life span he jumps forward to 2019 He meets up with the emotionally destroyed time remnant
  • Savitar informs the remnant he can be a god among men, he can have a life. All he has to do fight Barry with the Savitar armor.
  • Savitar steps out of the arm, a very old man, gives it to the remnant before dying.
  • The time remnant, in the Savitar armor, attacks Barry.
  • Barry assumes this is the Savitar that killed Iris.
  • Savitar is imprisoned the speed force and looking for a way to escape in 2020.
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The key is Flashpoint, which affected the timelines of all versions of Barry. In the original timeline, Savitar was a time remnant. In this timeline, he lives in a closed time loop. Let me explain.

1) In the future of the pre-Flashpoint timeline, a villain called Savitar appeared in 2021. Barry created time remnants of himself to fight him, and they imprison him in the Speed Force. One time remnant survived, and was shunned away by the team (including Iris). Driven by envy over the other Barry's life, in the years that follow he becomes progressively mad.

So he travels back in time, acquires the philosopher's stone and has the crazy idea of becoming the very same villain that he helped fight, hoping to change his fate and trap Barry in the Speed Force instead.

However, that attempt was futile to begin with, since the Speed Force exists outside of time, so he was destined to become trapped in it, which is what happens.

2) Flashpoint was a massive distortion to Barry's life since he creates a timeline in which he doesn't even become the Flash! Savitar Barry senses this from the Speed Force. Now he can't possibly have an origin within the Flashpoint timeline, yet his existence is protected by the fact that the Speed Force prison exists outside of time.

3) Eventually, Barry changes his own past again. As of 2016, Savitar is free to craft his own origin within the new timeline. However, oddly enough, he won't have an origin, this time he will exist in a closed loop: Freed from the Speed Force in 2017, he kills Iris to make this Barry suffer as much as he did. Then he will travel back in time to acquire the Philosopher's Stone once, create the Savitar cult, then in 2024 he will fight Barry, who traps him in the Speed Force from which he escapes in 2017.

The memories of him as a time remnant, and his driving motivation, come from the original timeline which has now changed. Slowly, those memories would've been replaced like Barry's did during Flashpoint. Yet we never get to see that, because Barry changes the new timeline I just described at the end of the season.

So to answer your question, no, Savitar never really has a consistent timeline. He is basically a relic of a pre-Flashpoint future, whose existence was preserved by the Speed Force.

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We are in the habit as a species of seeking explanations. Story-tellers are in the business of taking advantage of this both in the story telling and in authoritarian responses to questions. That being said...

Barry generated an original false timeline. Everything after that can be paradoxical that is the advantage - from a story tellers point of view - of time travel. Its like dividing by zero and hiding it under algebra. The final answer is whatever you want it to be. Do go re-visit the original black hole solution in General Relativity. Its not science. Its an exercise in mental mastur...

ok, n.m. Barry fought Remnant Barry in a closed loop because Barry made a larger closed loop with Flash Point. He tried to end that false future and ended up stuck in the paradox he made to begin with. All other paradoxes will end when the original Barry chooses NOT to make Flash Point happen. Which, in the story, never happens properly.

Go ahead. Divide by zero. To Infinity...and Beyond!!!!!!

  • This is rather hard to understand. Could you edit it to be a little more clear, preferably with some citations from the show? Also, the original black hole solution in GR, while flawed, made a correct (though inexact) prediction, so pretty good. – Adamant May 25 '17 at 4:27
  • My point, exactly. Paradoxes are not just hard to understand. They are irreversibly self-contradictory. – User-Maat-Re May 27 '17 at 17:04
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    That doesn't mean that your answer needs to be unclear, though. – Adamant May 27 '17 at 18:03

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