Tuesday, May 5, 2009


 Abe makes an ominous threat at the airport. He must still feel that he can outsmart Aaron. Abe could always commit a crime and frame Aaron. Just make sure your double has an airtight alibi. This has become a strategic battle for control, for power, for their individual success. This is like the game 'Magic: The Gathering.' RGWU is what first stood out to me. Researching it led only to Magic, the Gathering. The second clue is when Aaron mentions going to "Star City", the company who makes Magic.

Magic,the Gathering is an interesting two-player game. A game of power, spells, and strategy. Magic is a card game where each player is a wizard casting spells on his opponent, even spells to ward off spells. There are over 137 pages of rules. It is a complex game that appears very simple. Advanced players have complex strategies and counter-strategies. Every card has various conditions and effects.

In the game you can create and control a permanent player. You can create a repetitive loop, a series of events that has no way of stopping. ( resulting in a draw) Unless, the loop contains an optional action to break free. This inspired the basic plot of Primer’s time line. In the game, paradoxes have a way of working themselves out. If a played card requires an action that is impossible, then the new command must be ignored.

There are rules involving the replacement and prevention of permanent players, rules for infinite loops, even timestamps when entering a new zone (time line). Magic helps us to understand the infinite loop in the time line and the need for specific actions to break free.Do you remember the name of the stock they were buying? RGWU? RGWU is the code on a playing card in Magic, the Ink-treader card. Red, Green, White, and blUe (B is used for black). This card has the power to make copies of a spell. In a very similar manner, the box makes copies of the time line, even the time traveler himself. Like a spell, it affects everyone that comes in contact with the time traveler. For example, Abe travels back 6 hours and meets Aaron. Now Aaron is affected by the box. He spends the afternoon with Abe, unaware of his missed afternoon at work. The cards in the game of Magic are called "a box", just like the time machine itself.

This game is a special challenge due to its flexible rules; rules are updated, changed by new cards, or have strengths that can be blocked or reversed by new cards. Magic even has a paradox version called Unhinged. Magic has one unique feature, a mulligan which allows one player to reset the entire game. It is called 'a Paris mulligan'. This is the reason we see Aaron(2) working on his jumbo-sized box in France. He is said to be leaving for good but it is obvious that he is preparing to be able to reset the entire events that may occur in the next days, weeks, even months for Aaron(1), Abe(1), and Abe(2). A mulligan set in Paris. Magic.

I wish I could go back to that magical moment when I first viewed Primer. It's fun to watch other people view it for the first time. I would love to direct just a two minute sequel to Primer. Robert Redford and Paul Newman would play Abe and Aaron respectively. In old age, complete with gray hair, glasses, and a walking cane is Abe talking to Aaron. "If you promise to do the few small things that I ask…" Aaron replies, "I hope you’re not implying that any day of feeding these pigeons is unimportant." Abe and Aaron, still at it after all those years, perfect.