A timeskip is a narrative device that is commonly used in the telling of epics or sagas. It allows the storyteller to quickly age characters or develop events without getting bogged down in irrelevant or uninteresting details. Though time is commonly fast-forwarded in small amounts, timeskips usually refer to periods of several years or decades, wherein a pronounced change can be measured against the same characters, such as a child becoming an adult.
Examples of timeskips
- Dragon Ball Z: Gohan is portrayed as a child early on, but after a timeskip he becomes an adult and father.
- The Transformers (TV series): Prior to The Transformers: The Movie, Spike is portrayed as an adolescent. The movie introduces a timeskip, and Spike is now a full adult. In the intervening years, the Autobots have established large bases on Earth as well as normalized communication with Cybertron.
- Beast Machines: This series introduces a large timeskip between the events of the end of Beast Wars and the assault the Maximals are seen fighting against in the very first episode of the series. Ironically, the events in the timeskip are actually very important to the series, and the full scope of events that occur between the end of Beast Wars and the desperate battle that the Maximals find themselves waging to reclaim Cybertron are not fully revealed until roughly mid-way through the first season of the show.
- Fable (video game): When the game starts, the player character is a small child. After the introductory gameplay sequence, a timeskip occurs and the player character is now a young adult.
- MechWarrior 4: In the original game, the player character (Ian Dresari) is a noble fighting to liberate the planet Kentares IV. The expansion pack takes place an indeterminate number of years later, with Dresari now the corrupt ruler of the planet, and the player in control of a mercenary squad that assists the local independence movement.
- Naruto Shippuden: Jumps from when Naruto leaves with Jiraiya to train, to when he comes back. He is the only Genin from prior to the timeskip who remains at that rank as most of his comrades have been promoted to Chunin, and one of them (Neji) has since become a Jonin, while Gaara, an enemy turned ally from another village has become the leader of said village by this time.