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How was Marty in FCB timeline's 1931?

posted by Rogers on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K users

This seems like a paradox to me. When Edna prevented Doc from seeing Frankenstein, it created a timeline where Doc never invents the time machine. This means that all of the time traveling adventures should have been erased, including all of Marty's interactions with 1931. But we see in Doc's office that there is a picture of old Doc and Marty in 1931 still.

How is this possible? The problem is that this whole timeline without the time machine can only exist as a result of the time machine. Technically, the universe should have imploded at this point. :confused:

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  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: that's the only logical explanation I can come up with; while the trilogy's time travels led to the FCB timeline in a round about way they weren't actually NEEDED. Doc could have gone to 1931 from the getgo (mind you marty needed to know how the time machine works). But the 1931 time travels were essential for that time travel. If they get erased so does the timeline.

    By that logic, Marty's original trip to 1955 should have been erased in BTTF2, because it only led to Old Biff's trip to 1955 in a 'round about way'.

    I think my explanation of the timeline being seriously f#cked up because of Emmett's timeline being altered makes more sense.

  • Of course, the other thing I don't get is how older Doc could have shown up after Edna took off for the past.

    Although, I must admit that it was a neat way for Marty to have worked himself out of being stranded in the past. However, if that actually works, then Marty could have just done the same thing in the first film - when he was stuck in 1955. It also makes you wonder what became of Harry/Michael/Sonny during that time.

    Quite frankly, I think the last two episodes really screwed everything up.

  • @bttf4444 said: Of course, the other thing I don't get is how older Doc could have shown up after Edna took off for the past.

    Although, I must admit that it was a neat way for Marty to have worked himself out of being stranded in the past. However, if that actually works, then Marty could have just done the same thing in the first film - when he was stuck in 1955. It also makes you wonder what became of Harry/Michael/Sonny during that time.

    Quite frankly, I think the last two episodes really screwed everything up.

    Yeah I admit, that was another thing which didn't make much sense as per what was established in the films.

    In BTTF2, when Doc gets struck by lightning and sent back to 1885, almost IMMEDIATELY after (not more than a minute certainly on-screen), we see the Western Union man coming down the road. That implies that the ripple effect is instantaneous...the MOMENT Doc is zapped back to the past, Lone Pine 1955 transforms into Shonash 1955.

    Whereas in the Game there seems to be a sort of 'lag' between the time when Edna goes to the past and the time when the ripple effect transforms 1931...which logically doesn't make sense. Once someone is in the past, the only reality in the present should be one extrapolated from that person's arrival in the past. The idea of it taking TIME for the changes to 'catch up' to the present makes zero sense...but that seems to be what the Game implies.

    Which begs the question-what was the fate of Edna in the timeline the new Doc came from? He obviously didn't remember Edna having married Kid Tannen...so what DID he remember as Edna's fate? Did he just remember her having disappeared in 1931 on the day of the Expo?

  • @sn939 said: Yeah I admit, that was another thing which didn't make much sense as per what was established in the films.

    In BTTF2, when Doc gets struck by lightning and sent back to 1885, almost IMMEDIATELY after (not more than a minute certainly on-screen), we see the Western Union man coming down the road. That implies that the ripple effect is instantaneous...the MOMENT Doc is zapped back to the past, Lone Pine 1955 transforms into Shonash 1955.

    Whereas in the Game there seems to be a sort of 'lag' between the time when Edna goes to the past and the time when the ripple effect transforms 1931...which logically doesn't make sense. Once someone is in the past, the only reality in the present should be one extrapolated from that person's arrival in the past. The idea of it taking TIME for the changes to 'catch up' to the present makes zero sense...but that seems to be what the Game implies.

    Which begs the question-what was the fate of Edna in the timeline the new Doc came from? He obviously didn't remember Edna having married Kid Tannen...so what DID he remember as Edna's fate? Did he just remember her having disappeared in 1931 on the day of the Expo?

    i thought of that, the doc that left 1986 came back to a different 1986 that he remembers, but only one with edna marrying kid and ending up being a step mom to biff, i wonder tho if edna simply disappeared in 1931 in doc's timeline, then he went back and the ripple effect happened, i mean in doc;s timeline edna would have still gone back in time in the delorean, but who knows

  • @sn939 said: By that logic, Marty's original trip to 1955 should have been erased in BTTF2, because it only led to Old Biff's trip to 1955 in a 'round about way'.

    I think my explanation of the timeline being seriously f#cked up because of Emmett's timeline being altered makes more sense.

    Well without the original 1955 trip, part II likely doesn't happen; Marty probably doesn't get into the car accident in the original timeline since he has no truck, Biff is not doing auto detailing (which is what put him at the cafe 80's in the first place and likely makes him a bitter old man).


    I kind of wonder if the trip to 1955 makes Marty more bitter in this 2015 timeline; at the beginning of part I marty is lamenting how he'll never get to play in front of anyone. At the end of the film he does but it seems this is the last time as he breaks his hand and gives up his music. It's almost a Kingpin scenario (for anyone who hasn't seen it, a rookie bowler wins the championship his first year then gets his hand cut off ) You can imagine what that can do to a person if they only get a brief glimpse of their dream before it's gone forever.

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: Well without the original 1955 trip, part II likely doesn't happen; Marty probably doesn't get into the car accident in the original timeline since he has no truck, Biff is not doing auto detailing (which is what put him at the cafe 80's in the first place and likely makes him a bitter old man).


    I kind of wonder if the trip to 1955 makes Marty more bitter in this 2015 timeline; at the beginning of part I marty is lamenting how he'll never get to play in front of anyone. At the end of the film he does but it seems this is the last time as he breaks his hand and gives up his music. It's almost a Kingpin scenario (for anyone who hasn't seen it, a rookie bowler wins the championship his first year then gets his hand cut off ) You can imagine what that can do to a person if they only get a brief glimpse of their dream before it's gone forever.

    Yeah, but in the Hell Valley timeline, ultimately, the time machine itself isn't invented, so it wouldn't make a difference if Marty had a truck or not!

    The reason why the second Marty is present is because the divergence in the timeline produced by Old Biff's trip occurred AFTER Marty's arrival. Marty arrived on November 5th 1955...Old Biff arrived on November 12th 1955, after Marty had been around for a whole week. So his actions couldn't change the fact that Marty was already present in the past and preparing to go with Lorraine to the Enchantment under the Sea dance. Had Old Biff traveled back to, say, November 4th 1955, the night before Marty arrived, and gave Young Biff the Almanac, then Marty wouldn't have arrived the next morning at the Peabody farm.

    Likewise, it makes sense for the 1955 trips to be undone because of Doc and Marty's trips to 1931, because they occur AFTER the point of divergence caused by those trips. However, the 1885 trips occur BEFORE the divergence in 1931...

  • I think the reason why Doc got back to 1931 before Edna messed it up was because Edna had not gone back in time as Doc came to 1931 in ep 5 then Edna went back in time and made Hill Valley

  • @ryannumber1gamer said: I think the reason why Doc got back to 1931 before Edna messed it up was because Edna had not gone back in time as Doc came to 1931 in ep 5 then Edna went back in time and made Hill Valley

    That's my guess as well...and yet, from the POV of 1931, the most likely future is one where Edna goes back in time...which means that logically there COULDN'T be any future for that timeline.

    Its just like how no time travelers can from from the 2015 of the Twin Pines timeline, because the Twin Pines timeline logically ended when Marty went back.

  • I would take Captain Janeway's advice at the end of 'Timeless' episode.

    JANEWAY: My advice in making sense of temporal paradoxes is simple. Don't even try.

    Simples... Lol.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    In the hell valley timeline of Back to the Future Part II, the 1955 trip happened even though Marty in the DeLorean in that version of 1985. So, there's two ways to look at this (both of which have been brought up on this forum before):

    1) time travelers exist in the part of time they traveled, as a way of the universe correcting itself, even if the time travel didn't happen.

    2) the time ripple effect hadn't yet caught up to them, so they still exist out of place until time catches up with itself.

    Either answer works until if/when we get an answer from Bob Gale about how paradoxes work in the Back to the Future universe. The second option works because even though Doc and First Citizen Brown are in 1931 for a long time (six months in FCB's case), Marty slowed down the ripple effect by getting Citizen Brown to invent the flux capacitor. At that point, the major paradox (Doc never built a time machine) is fixed, so the minor paradox (Citizen Brown and Marty never traveled to 1931 during the first week Doc and Marty went there) catches up to itself slower, since the possibility for it to happen still exists since there is a DeLorean and there is a Doc Brown and Marty to take the trips.

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