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The Goku Black Theory That Could Solve The Dragon Ball Super Timeline

The timeline of the "Dragon Ball" franchise can be extremely confusing. Thanks to the advent of time travel, originally introduced during the Androids Saga of "Dragon Ball Z," keeping track of which future timeline that time travelers originate from can be a huge hassle. This, combined with the series' multiverse, results in a confusing web of alternate timelines and parallel universes. The Androids Saga alone implies that there are at least three alternate timelines created by Trunks and Cell abusing their time machine, all of which are completely independent of the 12 universes. In other words, each timeline has its own alternate set of 12 universes, each with their own versions of the same characters.

This confusion only compounds on itself during the Future Trunks Saga of "Dragon Ball Super," which adds more time travel and alternate versions of characters than ever before. Thankfully, some heroically sharp fans have managed to decode the web of timelines created by the "Dragon Ball" writers, developing a theory surrounding Goku Black, the main antagonist of the Future Trunks Saga, that could definitely solve the timeline as we know it.

Goku Black is from the same timeline as the original Trunks

This theory comes courtesy of u/thebigvas on Reddit, who managed to do the mental math required to parse through each of the timelines created throughout "Dragon Ball Z" and "Dragon Ball Super." Between the Androids Saga and the Future Trunks Saga, four separate timelines are created. Of these four, Goku Black originates from the second, while the events we see occur primarily in the third. This is the timeline created when, after training with the Z Fighters in the past and returning to his future, Trunks is killed by Cell, who then travels back in time to jumpstart the Cell Saga. While this may seem confusing, other fans quickly replied with some supporting evidence.

"This is possible if Goku and Vegeta achieved Super Saiyan God in this timeline. Trunks would have prevented Goku's death from the virus, and they would have defeated the androids but never encountered Cell," wrote u/gecko-chan. "As long as the lack of Super Saiyan 3 doesn't change anything vital, then the events of the Majin Buu arc — and 'DB Super' — would likely proceed generally as normal. So yes, it's feasible that this is the timeline in which Zamasu encounters Goku and steals his body [to become Goku Black]." Thanks to the sleuthing of these fans, the rest of the "Dragon Ball" community has at least a slightly better idea of where characters originate from in the various branching timelines of the franchise.