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How was Marty in FCB timeline's 1931?

posted by Rogers on - last edited - Viewed by 1.4K 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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  • @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.

  • @Jennifer said: 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.



    I think its pretty clear, from BTTF2 AND from the Game,, that option 1) does indeed happen...the time travelers do exist in the period of time to which they time traveled earlier, provided their arrival in the past occurred BEFORE the point of divergence which created the alternate timeline (Marty arrived in 1955 before Biff got the Almanac, Marty and Doc were in 1931 before Edna and Emmett hooked up...).

    The questions which haven't been answered are-what happens to the time travelers in the alternate timeline if the time machine wasn't invented (or they simply didn't go back in time)? And, what happens to their counterparts in the alternate timeline who didn't time travel?

    The first question seems to have two contradictory answers between the Game and the movies. In the Hell Valley timeline of BTTF2, and in the Tannen Mob timeline of the game, it seems that Marty and Doc can exist indefinitely in the alternate timelines. They of course want to fix the timeline, but they never directly cite the possibility of their own erasure as the reason. True, Doc WAS in a hurry to go back to 1955 and fix things in BTTF2, but that could merely be because he didn't want to spend a minute more in that 'horrible place'.

    On the other hand, Episode 3 gives the two conflicting answers at the same time...Marty continues to exist (seemingly indefinitely) in keeping with the movie, whereas Original Doc is erased, suggesting that the ripple effect WOULD erase the time traveler...instantly! Adding to the confusion, in Episode 5, Doc and Marty hang around in the Burnt Hill Valley timeline in 1931 (a FAR bigger paradox than any other in the series!) and Doc claims they have an hour before the ripple effect catches up to them and erases them...

    Then there's the question of the alternate counterparts. BTTF2 simply avoids the issue by sending the alternate Marty to Switzerland and the alternate Doc to an asylum and they aren't mentioned at all after that. So whether there ARE two Marty's or two Doc's co-existing is never brought up at all! The Game also avoids this issue with Episode 2 similarly, but with Episode 3 again, they give contradictory answers-the alternate Marty is sent away to some math camp but he is referred to frequently unlike in BTTF2, whereas the alternate Doc is a major character in the Game! So I suppose it IS logical to assume that the alternate selves are always around...but the issue has never been tackled head-on...

  • @Jennifer said: 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.



    The big flaw is 1885, seems that trip gets erased during the FCB timeline yet the 1931 timelines remain. The only rationale being the 1931 travels are directly required for the FCB timeline to exist while 1885 is not.

  • The Delorean Marty is using is a duplicate of the original, it has it's own history. I doubt very much if an original disappears from existance, the duplicate will too.

  • @sn939 said: 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.



    Most likely Doc managed to get back before Edna had went back by mistake, remember that Marty spends a little bit of time explaining what happened to Doc then Officer Parker comes in. Later when Doc & Marty are making Edna remember what happened, it sounds like the chase didn't last that long so most likely Doc just got into the timeline right before Edna goes back which then it takes Parker a few minutes to come back to the school which then the ripple effect then takes place in 1931 and the reason why Doc & Marty have not been affected yet is most likely it was going to take a little while for the ripple effect to catch up to 1986.

  • Here's what I get from the "ripple effect";

    In BTTF1, one would assume Marty should fade-out instantly, after having interfered with George's "bird watching" and meeting Loraine. However this doesn't happen. Instead, we see the photograph of Marty and his sister and brother, begins to fade, starting with his brother. This is evidence of time "catching up", likely fading out the eldest (first-born) son first, with the youngest (Marty) last.

    Marty doesn't begin to fade-out, until the point-of-no-return is about to expire (George and Loraine's first kiss). Loraine of 1985 (before the 1955 trip), explained that she first realized she would spend the rest of her life with George, after kissing him on the dance floor. If the kiss hadn't happened, there goes the McFly's.

    Likewise, the notion of even creating a time machine was in Emmett´s (Young Doc) mind long before even encountering Marty. This was evidenced by his original creation of the "Rocket Car". It wasn't until after seeing Frankenstein, that Emmett decided to use electric rather than rocket propulsion, for his car.

    In the movie, Emmett explained that he first "invented" time travel on November 5th, 1955. He slipped on the toilet seat, hit his head, and when he woke up, he had a revelation about the flux capacitor. So although the game makes a ton of changes to 1931 Doc, the "point-of-no-return" isn't until November 5th, 1955. Despite any changes to 1931, there is no reason to assume that Doc's accident on November 5th, wouldn't still occur.

    I'd even suggest that the "FCB timeline" contained the November 5th accident, as evidenced by the usage of the flux capacitor "symbol" in 1986. The difference is, Edna being a presence in FCB's life around/after November 5th, 1955, and what FCB decided to do with his "revelation". As a result, in the altered timeline of 1986, time travel hasn't been invented. But any actions taken up until November 5th, 1955 would likely still have happened.

  • Sorry, FCB? What does this stand for?

  • @BountyHunter said: Sorry, FCB? What does this stand for?



    It means First Citizen Brown, the name of Doc in the Citizen Brown timeline of Episode 3.

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