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The View Askewniverse Timeline Explained

Before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was another series of films connected by characters and locations. That world may not be as sprawling and complex as Marvel's cavalcade of heroes and alternate dimensions, but it is pretty epic. It's a fictional universe that begins with the creation of existence and carries through the ages of mankind, all the way to a little convenience store in a small town in New Jersey called Quick Stop.

This is, of course, a large portion of writer-director Kevin Smith's filmography. Named after his production company View Askew Productions, the world in which films like "Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy," and "Dogma" takes place is referred to as the View Askewniverse. A collection of personal stories occurring in a much larger and magical world than most films would suggest, this cinematic universe has a detailed continuity that can be best appreciated when viewing the timeline as a whole.

Of course, that isn't necessary in order to enjoy each film in its own right. Do you have to watch "Chasing Amy" in order to understand "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"? No. Does "Mallrats" only make sense if you've seen "Clerks"? Not at all. However, an awareness of their connections can enhance the viewing experience the same way watching the "Iron Man" films improves "The Avengers."

For newcomers and diehard fans alike, we are going to break down the surprisingly epic timeline of the View Askewniverse from the beginning of time to "Clerks III."

In the beginning

The View Askewniverse is steeped in Christian beliefs. This may be hard for some viewers to accept given everyone's penchant for vulgarities and blasphemous dialogue, but it's true. Without God (who is depicted as a woman) creating the universe, heaven, Earth, and hell, there would be no View Askewniverse as we know it. We won't dive into theology here, but it is important to know what elements from religion carry over.

So God creates everything. In heaven, she has her angels. They lead a life of servitude and worship, carrying out every order, while God fixates on humanity. In hell, demons constantly torture the damned, and Lucifer plots against God. An angel named Loki carries out God's wrath. Any major atrocity in the Bible that you've heard about was done by him. Another angel named Bartleby watches humanity and suggests to Loki that slaughter in the name of God is a bad idea.

While getting drunk, the two angels decide enough is enough. Loki turns his back on God. As punishment, the pair are sentenced to Wisconsin for the entirety of human existence. When the world ends, they will spend eternity outside of heaven. At some point, Jesus Christ is born and crucified. His parents have other children (Jesus was Mary's only virgin birth), resulting in a long line of descendants still kicking around the Earth today.

Jay and Silent Bob arrive

Centuries pass and mankind builds new civilizations. As the population grows, the species develops massive cityscapes and various forms of entertainment. There are so many people with needs that convenience stores are built to provide people with a one-stop-shop for snacks, drinks, and various other desires without having to visit a supermarket or a newsstand. One of these stores (the most important store as far as the View Askewniverse is concerned) is Quick Stop.

When it was built isn't revealed. However, we do know that in the 1970s, a very important moment occurs just outside of the store. Two mothers, who don't seem to know each other, leave their children outside of the store while they go off to get cheese and drugs. One mother loves to curse. The other is more of a quiet type. She gives her baby a baseball cap.

One baby picks up his mother's love for swearing and starts doing so himself at an early age. The other baby keeps quiet and continues wearing that cap. The children become friends and grow up to be none other than Jay and Silent Bob, two drug dealers who serve as the linchpin holding the entire View Askewniverse together. It is here that the cinematic universe we know and love is truly born.

Algebra, bad lunch, and infidelity

The next important gap in time is from the '70s to the early '90s. This is when most of the characters we would come to follow are born, grow up, and become disillusioned with the world. Most important is the high school period, as their experiences there would forge their adulthoods. Three of those characters, all friends – Julie Dwyer, Caitlin Bree, and Alyssa Jones – help kickstart the main events in the View Askewniverse. 

All we know about Julie is she has always been self-conscious regarding her weight, and that she briefly dated a kid named Dante Hicks. Her parents aren't particularly fond of Dante since they came home to find him intimately engaged with their daughter. Despite this awkward moment, Dante has mostly fond memories of his time with Julie.

Caitlin Bree is Dante's on-again, off-again girlfriend. Although he seems to adore her, she cheats on him constantly. She does this so often that later in life, he continues learning new names of people she slept with. One of those people is a popular jock named Rick Derris. Her friend Alyssa also has a history with Derris. Another promiscuous high school student, Alyssa gains a rude nickname after having sex with Derris and another student named Cohee Lundin. The name follows her into adulthood. In a way, these three women and their high school experiences are the trinity that sets everything into motion.

The death of Julie Dwyer

In the early '90s, as chronicled in the movie "Mallrats," a man named Mr. Svenning plans to launch a new take on "The Dating Game" called "Truth or Date." Julie Dwyer is set to be the first contestant, interviewing three bachelors with the hope of finding a soul mate. She mentions this to comic book enthusiast Brodie Bruce, who carelessly mentions that people tend to look heavier on camera. Worried about looking fat, Julie works out at the pool. Sadly, she suffers a brain embolism and dies.

T.S. Quint arrives the next day to pick up his girlfriend Brandi for a trip. She tells him about Julie and says she has to stay back and help her dad, Mr. Svenning, with the show. Furious, he accuses her of being a daddy's girl. They argue and end their relationship. At the same time, Brodie's girlfriend Rene (Shannen Doherty) breaks up with him because his slacker lifestyle (and selfishness) is holding her back.

T.S. and Brodie discuss their failed romances, with Quint commiserating and Brodie brushing it off. To cheer up his friend, Brodie suggests they go to his favorite place in the world: the mall. It's here that they meet up with Jay and Silent Bob and discover that this is the location where "Truth or Date" is set to be filmed. T.S. decides he's going to try and get Brandi back, but Mr. Svenning has other plans for him.

Snoochie Boochies

Svenning has mall security chief LaFours hunt down T.S. and Brodie and escort them off-site, in the hopes that Brandi will find a new guy who actually has something to offer while participating in "Truth or Date" in Julie's place. Meanwhile, Brodie finds out that his ex is involved with the toxic proprietor of a store called Fashionable Male with a reputation for using women for his own fetishistic desires. He can't help but try to keep her away from him, even though he's pretending like he doesn't care about her.

With the help of Jay and Silent Bob, the pair escape LaFours and visit a topless fortune-teller who inspires T.S. to go back and confess his love for Brandi. They sneak onto the "Truth or Date" set with a relative of Dante Hicks named Gill. Brodie wows everyone with a story about his cousin and T.S., winning back Brandi. Her father loses his chance for a successful TV show, Brodie gets back with Rene and becomes the new host of "The Tonight Show," with Rene as the band leader.

T.S. and Brandi get married at Universal Studios, while Jay and Silent Bob go on to have their own adventure involving an orangutan named Suzanne. That, however, is a story for a little later down the timeline. First, we head to Leonardo, New Jersey, and Quick Stop the very next day.

Dante's inferno

Quick Stop employee Dante Hicks is portrayed in the movie "Clerks" as a young man with a lot of potential but no drive. He's dating a woman who loves him named Veronica, but spending most of his time working or hanging out with his loudmouth friend and co-worker Randal Graves. Two days after Julie Dwyer's death, he gets called into work in order to cover for an ill co-worker. It's the worst day of his life.

He's pummeled by angry cigarette smokers, finds out Veronica has had way more sexual partners than he has (37, actually), learns that his ex Caitlin is marrying someone else (despite the time they've been spending talking on the phone), is fined for selling tobacco to a child (even though Randal did it), learns of Julie's death, and attends her funeral (which Randal screws up by knocking the casket over). Meanwhile, Caitlin (who he might get back together with) loses her mind after sleeping with a corpse in the Quick Stop bathroom. The worst part? He wasn't even supposed to be there.

By the end of this terrible day, he's somewhat optimistic that he can patch things up with Veronica (thanks to sage advice from Silent Bob reminding him that not every woman will bring you lasagna at work) but still isn't sure about his future overall. He's learned a lot about himself as a significant other (he's selfish) and as a human being, but still has a long, hard road ahead of him.

Holden's indecent proposal

In "Chasing Amy," Jay and Silent Bob have become the basis for "Bluntman and Chronic," a successful underground comic series from local creators Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards. While Holden is doing well financially, he struggles to find enthusiasm for the books because the stories they're telling aren't very rewarding. He yearns to be an artist but has nothing personal to say.

Another comic creator named Alyssa Jones comes into his life and everything flips. They grew up in the same area (she knew Julie Dwyer and the girl who had sex with a dead guy at Quick Stop), she's funny and he's immediately into her. Too bad she's gay. But he can't escape his emotions and confesses his feelings in the rain, while Alyssa (who initially doesn't want to hear it) gives in to her feelings as well.

Alyssa is sexually fluid and not strictly gay, but their love story is doomed anyway. Her lifetime of experiences makes him feel inadequate. Learning about her high school nickname and its origin has him reeling with jealousy. Jay and Silent Bob step in (before departing for Illinois) and relay Bob's own romantic hardships. The story of how Bob has never found anyone as great as his beloved Amy inspires Holden.

Holden suggests a three-way between himself, Alyssa, and Banky (who is in denial over his own sexuality). It forms a rift and all three go their separate ways. Holden turns his woe into a comic — finally having something personal to say.

Crisis of faith

In "Dogma," the angels Bartleby and Loki — having been banished to Wisconsin — learn of a church in New Jersey that will absolve anyone of their sins simply by walking through the front door. If they walk through, they will become human. Once this is done, they just need to die and they can go back to heaven. They head across the country, with Loki killing the wicked (like in the old days) along the way.

At the same time, Bethany, the last descendent of Christ, is charged with traveling from New Jersey with two prophets (Jay and Silent Bob) to stop the angels because defying God's plan will end existence. God can't handle this because she is trapped in the body of a human who was put into a coma thanks to the minions of a demon named Azrael. He's the one who told the angels about the church because he wants reality to end. That's how fed up with hell he is.

With the help of the 14th Apostle (played by Chris Rock, left out of the bible for being black) a Muse, and the drug-dealing prophets, Bethany travels to New Jersey, deals with her ancestry, kills God's human form, and effectively saves the entire universe. Healed by God (played by Alanis Morissette), she is now able to have children, continuing Christ's bloodline. At the same time, Jay and Silent Bob decide to pay a visit to the Quick Stop.

Jay and Silent Bob head to Hollywood

Following his fallout with Banky, Holden sells his share of "Bluntman and Chronic" to his former friend. Always ready to get rich, Banky sells the film rights to Hollywood. Director Chaka Luther King is hired to direct and Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek are cast in the title roles. While the movie is set to be a blockbuster, Jay and Silent Bob know nothing of it. As "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" opens, they're back at Quick Stop peddling their wares until Randal calls the cops.

Angry and with nowhere to hang out, they visit their old pal Brodie at his new comic book store. He's the one who (to his surprise) informs them that the characters based on them are about to become famous. Wanting to get paid, the duo visit Holden. After he gives them the rundown and shows them negative internet comments (after explaining what the internet is), the pair decide to go to Hollywood and stop the movie so people won't make fun of them anymore.

After hitching a ride with young people who resemble "Scooby-Doo" characters and a nun, Jay and Silent Bob encounter a group of lady diamond thieves posing as animal rights activists. More importantly, Jay meets the love of his life: Justice. He falls for her so hard that he agrees to help her in anyway he can. With a heavy heart, she gets him to unknowingly take the fall for her crimes.

Jay and Justice 4 Ever

Although it's not addressed onscreen, Jay and Justice do consummate their relationship at some point. It must have been before the jewel heist because she escapes while Jay and Bob rescue all the animals in a nearby pet store. While all the animals go free, one of them joins Jay and Bob on their journey: an orangutan that goes by the name of Suzanne.

This odd little family continues the quest to Hollywood while being pursued by a federal wildlife marshal. Finally making it to their destination, they successfully disrupt the filming of the movie (after knocking out Biggs and Van Der Beek) and wind up starring in the movie themselves. Justice and her gang show up and have a shootout with the police. They're arrested and Justice is sent to jail.

Jay promises he'll wait for her. Jay and Silent Bob use their money to beat up internet commentators and after the premiere of "Bluntman and Chronic" (which is attended by Dante and Randal, Alyssa Jones with her cousin Trish, plus Banky and fellow comic creator-lover Hooper X), there's a big party with Morris Day and The Time. God closes the book on the View Askewniverse — but the story isn't over yet.

Still clerkin'

Back in New Jersey, Dante rolls up to Quick Stop for another day of work only to discover it's on fire (thanks to Randal leaving the coffee pot on). One year later, they're working at the View Askewniverse's biggest fast-food chain: Mooby's. Dante's love life is in tatters yet again as he is about to marry a woman who is crazy about the opportunity to mold him into the perfect man, while his manager Becky won't admit that she loves him for who he is.

As Dante's wedding day approaches, Randal plans an epic bachelor party featuring an event that is best left undiscussed. Holding the party at the restaurant gets everyone arrested and Randal finally unburdens himself: he's going to miss Dante. He's his only friend and he loves him. Frustrated by everyone telling him how to live his life, Dante demands to know what Randal thinks he should do.

In a moment of raw power, Randal confesses he would buy the Quick Stop and reopen it himself. Their years working there were the best times of his life. Dante doesn't think they can afford it, but Jay and Silent Bob offer to cover the expenses as long as they get to hang out in front of it as much as they want. Dante proposes to Becky, they have a baby, their Mooby's coworker Elias is hired at the newly rebuilt RST Video (which also burned down), and Dante and Randal take their places behind the counter as masters of their domain.

The inevitable reboot

Roughly 18 years after the "Bluntman and Chronic" movie, Hollywood decides to reboot it — hence the title "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot" — with Kevin Smith directing and Melissa Benoist and Val Kilmer starring. Jay and Silent Bob learn of this after getting arrested for running an illegal dispensary. Naturally, they go on the road to stop the reboot. Most importantly, though, Jay meets up with Justice again and learns he has a daughter named Millennium "Milly" Falcon.

Milly learns Jay (whom she doesn't know is her father) is headed to Hollywood. She makes him take her and her friends with him. She wants to go to the "Bluntman and Chronic" convention Chronic-Con because her friend Shan Yu loves the old movie and wants to be an extra in the reboot. While there, Jay gets a lesson in fatherhood from Holden, who says being a dad is about the kid, not yourself. Turns out he and Alyssa are co-parenting because she and her wife wanted a child. 

Silent Bob poses as Kevin Smith to allow Shan to come up on stage. However, Shan is a Russian spy intent on infiltrating pop culture conventions. Things get crazy as guns go off and Silent Bob becomes Iron Bob. When the dust settles, Milly joins her dad outside the Quick Stop where he shares his life experiences so that she doesn't make his mistakes. Also, we learn that Suzanne (the orangutan) still sends them cards every Christmas.