Going back to my old Tom Baker Dr. Who days on a black & white 10-inch TV in my room in the early 1980s, I’ve always been a sucker for anything time travel and have used the device in a few different short stories over the years.
So naturally, I had to watch The Tomorrow War, in which the losing military of 2051 catapults back in time to today to gather hastily mustered and invariably untrained conscripts to send forward 30 years, where they will lend their mass to try and defeat some very scary alien creatures that have all but overrun the planet.
Lots of issues. Spoiler alerts ahead.
First, instead of coming to get draftees to serve as cannon fodder in a future in which they are already dead (so as not to bump into yourself in the future), why not just send an intel package back to the current age detailing all that is known about the aliens to include future dates and locations of their initial strikes and biological research/samples to develop an insecticide (yes, they are big bugs) against?
Even if you go with the so-called “Let’s Kill Hitler Paradox” which erases your own reason for going back in time because if the traveler were successful, then there would be no reason to time travel in the first place, and you still had to go with the standby of getting future-deceased draftees to come to 2051 and fight aliens, at least give said draftees a fighting chance.
In the film, most of the humans face off with the “White Spikes” armed with short-barreled 5.56 NATO weapons, to ill effect. A vet of two past jumps, meanwhile, runs a 12 gauge tactical shotgun to better success while a grizzled old man with an AR10 lays out several in short order.
The guns in The Tomorrow War, have…some issues
The solution? Send these poor devils to the future with 7.62 battle rifles such as the HK G3/HK91, AR10, FN FAL, and M1A1/M14. There are surely a few million in storage or in local gun shops around the world and more could be cranked out very rapidly.
Yes, they have a learning curve, but not an impossible one. Remember, the conscript millions of NATO infantry trained in the 1960s-80s carried such beasts with, in many cases, only a modicum of instruction.
If they can’t figure it out, give em a shotgun. I can vouch that I have run one-day tactical riot gun courses with great success for novice users.
Anyway, more on my feelings on The Tomorrow War-– which is actually a fairly good if confounding sci-fi film– check out my piece at Guns.com where I talk about the on-screen weapons.