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Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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Main Article Theories about
Jack Shephard
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Contents

Character representations

  • Jack has a major hero complex, and almost all of his actions can be explained by figuring out whom he's trying to save. (Shannon, Boone, Kate, Claire, Michael, Walt, Juliet, hoping to get everyone rescued if he can get off the island, etc..) Jack seems driven with the need to save everyone and will not sacrifice anyone else, though he will sacrifice his personal morals/beliefs. This will be one of his greatest conflicts with Locke, who will sacrifice others for his goals.
    • Jack and Locke share the same first name, only different variations. This represents the relationship they have as foils of one another.
  • The Jack/Ben story arc, where Ben hatches an elaborate plot to get Jack to operate on his tumor, is not central to any important mystery. The fact that Jack was originally meant to be killed early on indicates this.
    • However the decision to keep Jack alive was made before the series aired, so obviously Jack and whatever he does is central to the series.
  • Jack represents the benevolence and brutality of socialism. This is alluded to by the tattoo on his arm, which quotes a poem by former Chinese communist party leader Chairman Mao Tse-tung.
  • Jack will turn out to be the tragic hero of LOST. So far he shares a lot of common traits with that archetype. His tragic flaw is his stubbornness and compulsive need to fix things and his reversal of fortune was when he called Naomi's people.
    • His stubbornness caused him to call the Kahana, but his reversal of fortune comes when he encounters Ben at the funeral parlor and agrees to go back.
  • There is also evidence Jack represents the epic hero. He is on a cyclical quest, started out alone but has amassed allies along the way. His morals mirror that of current popular society. He has a sort of demigod status "he walks amongst you, but he is not one of you" He has no superpowers but an extraordinary skill (surgical) that he uses to help people. He has also returned to his home transformed.
  • All of Jack's actions of taking all responsibility for the safety of his group are driven by his absolute refusal to trust anyone else. This was first a response to his father's betrayal of his mother and compounded by his cheating wife.

Jack as the Chosen One

  • Jack was the chosen one brought to the Island. Over the course of his life, he has saved people who were not supposed to be saved. Jacob brought Jack to the Island after Christian's death to show him that miracles do exist. Jack, being a "man of science" must always have a logical answer to everything. Locke, on the other hand, has placed all of his faith in the Island. This faith has lead Locke to the cabin. Jack seeing his father in The White Rabbit was the first inclination that Jack is the chosen one, but Jack chose to not believe. That is why Christian and Claire (both relatives of Jack) were in the cabin. As told by Ben, and Jeremy Bentham (Locke) a lot of bad things happened when Jack left the Island. He was the one that was supposed to visit Jacob's cabin that night, not Locke.
    • This is why Jack got appendicitis. Rose speculated that there was something behind it, and Ben stated the Island made him sick. The Island could be attempting to keep Jack there.
    • This also explains why Christian told Vincent to wake Jack up because "he had work to do." in the webisode So It Begins.
  • Locke has convinced himself, along with Ben and Richard, that he is the "chosen one", but really, its a paradox that Locke created himself by telling Richard to visit him back in the 50s. Jack, who assumed the role of "leader" on the island at first, was convinced to do so by Locke. Jack has always been the "chosen one" for the island. This is shown with his dad and half sister hanging out with Jacob (not to mention the Biblical connection of Jacob as Aaron's great-grandfather) and having the island constantly "summoning" him back. Jack can't lead a normal life off-island, but on-island he's the most respected person there. Jack has slowly begun to realize his fate as he explained why he came back as it being his "destiny." Jack is the leader the island has always demanded, as we've begun to see that both Locke and Ben were never meant for that position.
  • The experiences Jack had on the Island before escaping were all a part of Jacob's plan to groom him as a Leader. During his time as the De Facto commander of the 815 survivors he was too often reactive, impulsive, obsessive, bull headed and dismissive. After escaping, he has come to realize those faults. Coupled with the crushing guilt he feels for leaving so many behind, Jack is now prepared and willing to accept his Island destiny. He has learned from the leadership styles of Locke, Ben and Sawyer and will employ methods they have used to establish himself as a more enlightened, well rounded leader. His ultimate test will be to confront Christian.
  • But Jack is still intent on "fixing" it so that the plane never crashes in the first place, by detonating the bomb. This is what he believes his destiny is at this point.
  • Jack will die and Jacob will take his place.......like Flocke did Locke. Jack has always been about the people like Jacob.... and Locke was always protective of the island like Flocke. Jacob has been prepping Jack for this transition should he (Jacob) die. Both Flocke and Jacob have been going in and out of different bodies for years. The two men we saw during The Incident have not always looked that way. These bodies are all just pawns for the real mission of these two characters (Jacob and Flocke). Jack is Jacob's "chosen one".
  • Jack is a candidate for the "pharoah" who will be a "fusion of the two deities" Set, the Dark Entity, and Horus, Jacob. Jack will "balance and reconcile competing cosmic principles" of the two universes that are being played out. He becomes a man of science and a man of faith, someone who can sometimes heal through his medical knowledge but can also heal through his other-worldly powers as seen with Sayid and Charlie. It will bring his own spirit together and allow him to be the fixer he has always wanted to be. At the same time he has to give up control and his absolute belief in science when he opens up to the island and accepts his fate and his healing abilities. As this pharoah, and in the process of resolving the two timelines, he changes the numbers in the Valenzetti equation.

Relationship to the Island

  • In "Further Instructions", the vision of Boone tells Locke that one of his projects is to "bring the family back together." This is referring to an agenda to bring Christian, Claire, Aaron and Jack together (and perhaps more relatives whose backgrounds we don't know). While this message is delivered by a dead person and is a hallucinogenic vision, the information given about Eko in the vision proves to be correct.
  • Seems to be somewhat like Jacobs enemy little faith and Optimisim and has many disagreements with Locke the exact opposite of Jack. Maybe Jack represents Jacobs enemy and Locke Represents Jacob.They are both replacements to take care of the Island for Jacob and His enemy

Why he wakes up so far inland in "Pilot, Part 1"

  • Jack had been on the island before he and the others crashed there on Oceanic 815, in the episode "Pilot, Part 1". When Ajira 316 came to the island, Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid were all transported/teleported off the plane and woke up on the island, instead of crashing on it in the plane like the others. This was because they had previously been on the island. That is why in "Pilot, Part 1", Jack wakes up far inland on the island as opposed to on the beach with the others. Ben, Sun, and Lapidus were previously on the island but didn't teleport with the others because..... Ben was a leader of the island and not supposed to return, while Sun and Ladipus didn't teleport off Ajira 316 due to them not completely replicating the details of Oceanic 815, as Eloise Hawking told them to. In the recap show Lost: A Journey in Time, D&C said that the reason not everyone teleported was because they weren't able to fully re-create Oceanic 815 on Ajira 316.
    • We know for a fact that Jack was on Oceanic 815, but we have been assuming that he survived the crash. Jack(the passenger of OC815 died in the original crash of Oceanic 815 and was in the jungle due to time travel.
  • Jack laying in the jungle is a point of time and space that lacks any reason. Think of Donnie Darko. Jack has recently traveled into the past to come back to the island. Jack will live in the past until reaching the point where the airline crashes. This will create a point of singularity that will correct the distortion of the original episode, explaining why Jack was lying in the jungle instead of ending up in the Ocean at the plane crash. It is a long time loop essentially. Jack is on the floor of the jungle because all the events prior to the moment lead him to lying on the jungle floor, he has just not lived them yet. This is further supported by Jack jumping up and with intent, made his way to the airline crash. He seemed to know where to go and what had happened despite simply waking up in a jungle. He knew where to go and what happened because he already lived a life in the past leading up to this point, he just can't grasp it because he hasn't existed through it yet.
  • Jack was simply thrown from the plane as it rolled through the jungle as Sayid mentioned.
    • In the flashback to the 815 flight, Jack does his seatbelt up once the turbulence starts. Ending up in the jungle without his seat still attached to him is unlikely.
  • Jack will eventually turn the FDW and this will cause him to move only in time, unlike Locke and Ben moving it time and space. This is when he will wake up in the jungle as seen in "Pilot, Part 1". Jacob will be the reason he turns the FDW and will erase his memory of everything that has happened to him since he got on Oceanic 815.
  • This opening scene of the show will also be the closing scene of the final episode.
    • In the first few seconds of the Pilot, as the camera zooms outward from Jack lying on the ground, Ben's baton is seen lying just to the right of Jack's head. Take from it what you will, but I believe that the show will come full circle to where the Pilot begins.

Jack will be Ilana's "candidate"

  • With Jacob gone, there needs to be a new leader on the island to head up the good side, combat the evil in Unlocke. Jacob knew that he was going to die before he was killed--notice how he doesn't bother to defend himself from Unlocke and Ben when they arrive, as well as when Ben approaches to kill him--and thus, instructed Ilana beforehand to find someone to replace him as the leader of the island to combat the darkness. That was the favor he asked of her during the flashback---he needs someone to become the new leader. That leader, the "candidate" to be elected, will be Jack. Jack's rise to island/moral leader is the perfect dramatic development for his character. He began as the flawed leader of the survivors, a "man of science", wanting to get off the island, and always against Locke's philosophies of "destiny". By the end of Season 4, he has left the island, left his leadership from the remaining survivors, and it eventually led him to fall into misery and depression back in the real world. Its the complete fallout of a leader, both intrinsically (within himself) and extrinsically (on the island). Soon enough, by the episode 316, his transformation begins as he begins to believe--no longer the "doubting Thomas." Once returned on the island, Jack still has no leadership role while in Dharmaville, so his rise to prominence has still yet to blossom. In "Follow the Leader", his intrinsic transformation has fully developed, seen when he argues with Kate about detonating the bomb, saying, "this is our destiny." Now, all he needs is to achieve this development extrinsically, and regain the title of leader of the Losties once again. When our two Lost camps reunite, they will need a leader, a "candidate", to unite them against the evil from Unlocke who, as he said himself, is seeking to kill the rest of the Losties. Jack will fill that role, once again becoming the leader of our Losties, and fight against Unlocke and the forces of evil that he commands. This is the war that is coming, the one Widmore referred to. Two sides... one is light, one is dark.
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This article uses material from the "Jack Shephard/Theories" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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