Professor Paradox's Potential
This is another smaller topic that I wanted to cover here much like with my other recent topic pages where I address my issues with the Highbreed and the Original Series episode, Goodbye and Good Riddance, and whatsoever.
Professor Paradox is a decent and entertaining character in the Ben 10 franchise. He's one of the better aspects that came out of the sequel shows. He's a character that is quite clearly based off of The Doctor from Doctor Who. There's no doubt that both of these characters have some similarities to each other.
There is an issue that I have about Professor Paradox that recently came to mind for me and that is the fact that he's significantly inspired by The Doctor from Doctor Who; most especially the 10th Doctor as confirmed by Dwayne McDuffie. The issue is that because Professor Paradox is so significantly inspired by another character to the point that he feels like he's a clear reference of said character, I don't find him to really be that interesting, unique, subtle, and mysterious because of this. That doesn't make Professor Paradox a bad character though. Like I said, he's a decent and entertaining character. He's a funny character with an entertaining personality. There are some aspects about him that are pretty interesting. I just think that Professor Paradox has the potential to be a more interesting character if he had more originality and was less inspired by The Doctor. I just think that he could use some changes and improvements to him that would make him an even better character.
What I have in mind for Professor Paradox comes from a Ben 10 fan-made story called Little Moment: Stone in the River by Erico, a companion piece that acts as a prequel to the Little Moments Ben 10 fanfic story by shadows59 and to the episode Ben 10,000 from the original Ben 10 show. This will contain spoilers so if anyone reading this hasn't read Erico's prequel chapter, I highly recommend checking it out and reading it first if you don't want for some of the story to be spoiled. Here is the link to the story if anyone reading this wants to check it out. Even if you're not into the Bwen shipping, I still highly recommend this story because it's such a brilliantly well-written story. You have been warned of spoilers though.
In Little Moment: Stone in the River, an adult Gwen Tennyson and an excavation team, that consist of a mix of both regular people and magic-casting mages, uncover an underground cavern in the Sahara Desert. When Gwen first enters the cavern, while examining some writings on a wall, she catches a glimpse of a white light in the shape of a humanoid in the corner of her eye before it disappears, leaving behind an obsidian tablet that Gwen spends months of studying through the chapter. Later on in the story, Gwen manages to translate the text on the walls in the cavern and it's here that she and her team learns of the history of the society that lived within that very cavern. That the members of said society were mages that came from the lost city of Atlantis and another civilization called Logos. Logos' High Magus was Bezel and Logos once had possession of the Charms of Bezel before they went missing. This was during a time when a war broke out between Atlantis and Logos. Much of the Logosians fled and Gwen believed that their descendants were the citizens of Ledgerdomain. The war ended with both civilizations having destroyed themselves and most or all of their magic being drained.
The society that Gwen uncovers consisted of Atlanteans and Logosians who were against the war and were determined to create a time traveling spell and use the Charms of Bezel, that they took from Logos, as a power source to open up a time portal so that they could change the past and save their civilizations and the world since that the war resulted in a world void of all hope in their eyes. One of their own was picked to be the traveler and they only had one working copy of the time traveling spell but things went wrong and both the spell and the traveler were lost to the river of time. When I read that scene for the first time, the first thing that came to mind about it was the scene from Alien Force where we saw Professor Paradox's space-time continuum experiment go wrong and Paradox himself was lost within time.
In this chapter, time was portrayed much like a river. A river that resisted change because, as explained in Gwen's translations, Paradox was the river's guardian. This made Gwen think back to the humanoid white light that she caught a glimpse of during her first visit to the cavern. Maybe it's the lost traveler. Maybe it's the river's guardian, Paradox. Maybe the lost traveler became Paradox. Considering the similarities to Professor Paradox, I believe there's no doubt that this is the Little Moments universe's version of Professor Paradox; a version of Professor Paradox that I find to be so so much more interesting, unique, subtle, and mysterious than the version of him that we got in the actual sequel shows. This is such an interesting take on the character himself and the lore that surrounds him, portrayed in a way that really sends chills down your spine. It's some of the most fascinating Ben 10 related material that I've ever read so far and it blows my mind that it came from a fan-made story. I say that this is the version of Professor Paradox that we should've got instead. That this version of Professor Paradox is a much much greater improvement over the version of him that we got from the sequel shows.
Again, this is another smaller topic that I wanted to cover here. Those are my thoughts Professor Paradox and the potential that I think he has in the Ben 10 franchise. If anyone has any thoughts on this and/or on how you think Professor Paradox should be portrayed as in the Ben 10 franchise, feel free to leave a comment down below.
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Oh yeah. What's also great about Little Moment: Stone in the River's version of Professor Paradox and time itself is that it significantly helps to bring back the magical side of Ben 10 in such an interesting, unique, and chilling way. The Original Series opened up a gateway to a lot of potential and that includes the magic aspects as well. Then Alien Force and Ultimate Alien came along and pushed more towards the Sci-Fi elements of Ben 10 and away from a lot of the magical elements of the show (such as making Gwen half alien, which really did not work well for her character), which contributed to a more bland universe in those shows due to the imbalanced and reduced variety that was contributed from it, among many other factors to take into account of as well. Omniverse tried to I say equalize the Sci-Fi and magical fantasy and did succeed in some areas but then they really overdid it with the multiverse elements. Going back to Little Moment: Stone in the River, after reading up on this new take on Professor Paradox and how time works much like a river, it really made things feel refreshing. Again, it's such an interesting, unique, subtle, and mysterious take on the Ben 10 characters and lore and it's great to see someone be able to bring back this side of the Ben 10 franchise in such a brilliantly well-written way.
I think Paradox, or Professor Retcon as I've called him, could have been an interesting character but it seemed to me that he was there not to expand the Ben 10 universe (or multiverse) but to narrow it.
Fans suggested the idea of multiple realities as a way to deal with continuity errors and allow for stories that take things in a different direction.
It seems that CN tried to pour cold water on that with paradox and his idea of a "Prime" timeline. The others are just off shoots and of less importance than the prime. (The lives in those timelines are less important to I suppose.) With this they were saying that there is only one Ben 10 and this is it. Don't like it...don't watch.
Even when they showed other timelines they really didn't get very creative with it. I could name several ideas of interesting alternate versions of Ben 10 that fans might enjoy.
I think he could have worked if he were done in a different way. Perhaps he was a time traveler lost in the stream of time (Not too far from canon) and he now travels the multiverse trying to get to his own reality, (Somewhat like Sam Beckett from "Quantum Leap")
@car54 Well, your response was certainly a whole lot better than what Mortie-10 decided to go with. Those are some pretty interesting points you made there. There were fans out there that suggested for Ben 10 to have multiple realities? The reason why does make some sense but I'm not really much of a fan of having a multiverse. To me, it's so easy for things to get really messy that way and Omniverse and those time related bits of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien is good proof of that. I'd mostly rather keep things grounded in one timeline only. Sure, having 1-3 alternate timelines is arguably fine enough as nice little what-if moments but no more after that.
I think if I were in control of the canon version I would make some reference to other realities just as a nod to fan writers. Doing that validates the worlds created by fan fiction writers and I think helps keep a fan base interested.
I see your point about the messy nature of a multiverse or time travel but you really don't want us condemned to nothing but the AF/UA timeline do you.
@car54 Nice little nods to fan writers could work. And no, which is why I still prefer to make a new reboot that acts as a new sequel to the Original Series, ignoring Alien Force onwards and focusing on a different direction. I don't mind reusing certain elements of the sequel shows for a sequel reboot just as long as they're the good elements and they work well for it. After all, that's what shadows59 did with Little Moments and Breaking Point. Still, it really would be better to ignore Alien Force, Ultimate Alien, Omniverse, and the current 2016 CN reboot and make a new sequel that fulfills the very potential that the franchise still has. Disney ignored the Star Wars Expanded Universe and despite the backlash they got, their Star Wars films are still doing really well. Granted though, Disney and Star Wars is in quite a snag considering The Last Jedi and EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2. James Cameron and Deadpool director, Tim Miller, are currently making a new Terminator film that ignores Terminator 3, Salvation, and Genysis and is acting as a new sequel to Terminator 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back (of course) and the original Sarah Connor actress, Linda Hamilton, coming back to reprise her iconic and famous role. Making a sequel reboot can be an ideal direction to go and I say that it's the best direction that can be taken for the Ben 10 franchise.