It is a question that has been asked my many a movie fan since James Cameron’s hit movie Titanic was released 20 years ago: Could Jack Dawson actually have survived the fateful sinking of the iconic ship?
The puzzle has plagued mythbusters ever since the credits of the movie’s premiere began rolling in 1997, and debate around the issue has continued ever since, with Leonardo DiCaprio fans feeling particularly certain that the actor’s character could have survived until rescue.
But the theory has just been given all the more support thanks to scientist and StarTalk host, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, 59, who spoke out to claim that the much-loved character would have at least made more effort to survive, insisting that it is human nature to put up a much tougher fight for life in these kinds of deadly scenarios.
Could Jack have survived? Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson said that Jack’s survival instincts should have been stronger in the movie
A survivor: Because of Jack’s tenacious spirit, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character would have tried ‘more than once’
In an an interview with Huffington Post, Tyson took another angle when it came to to the Titanic debate and said that a person’s survival instincts would have been strong enough to try to get on the raft more than once.
Essentially, Tyson claimed that Jack would have – or should have – made more attempts to join his lover Rose DeWitt Bukater, played by Kate Winslet, on the makeshift raft that was keeping her afloat, instead of simply resigning himself to death by remaining in the water.
‘Whether or not he could’ve been successful, I would’ve tried more than once. You [don’t] try once, [and think], “Oh, this is not gonna work. I will just freeze to death in the water,”‘ the scientist said.
He added: ‘The survival instinct is way stronger than that in everybody, especially in that character. He’s a survivor, right? He gets through. He gets by.’
Tyson then took the opportunity to encourage more people to get involved in science by offering up another, slightly more extreme, scenario for how Leo’s character might have survived.
He suggested that if Jack had possessed the same skills as Matt Damon’s scientist character in The Martian, then no one have died because the Titanic favorite ‘would have made an outboard motor and saved everybody’.
‘This is how science can help you!’ he added, jokingly.
Tyson will get the chance to share his feelings with director Cameron in person in the coming weeks, as the director will be appearing on an episode of Tyson’s show StarTalk in its upcoming season, set to air on October 22.
Crazy fan theory: One of the theories swirling around is that Jack was a figment of Rose’s imagination
The science behind Titanic: James Cameron, the director for Titanic will be a guest on Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s show, StarTalk
Cameron has actually already addressed the issue of Jack’s proposed survival, noting that there is no way the young man could have made his way onto the door that was being used as the characters’ raft without killing both himself and Rose.
‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive,’ Cameron told the Daily Beast earlier this year, adding: ‘It’s that simple.’
There have been numerous theories surrounding the sinking of the Titanic made by scientists, researchers and fans.
Last year, a documentary claimed that a fire in the ship’s coalbunker caused serious damage to the Titanic’s hull – in the same area where the iceberg later hit – and is the real reason for the disaster.
Another theory, suggested by a fan on Reddit said that Jack actually never existed at all and in fact, Rose had a psychotic episode aboard the doomed ship and Jack was merely a figment of her imagination that helped her deal with the misery of her life.
The evidence? Rose hated Cal, the man she was being forced to marry, and she was quite possibly depressed when she attempted to kill herself before being saved by the mysterious Jack Dawson.
It’s not completely far-fetched but still, a Titanic without the beloved Jack Dawson wouldn’t be the same so needless to say, this is one theory we can sink.