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"What happened, happened" Questions..

posted by Gelbs on - last edited - Viewed by 487 users

For those of you that have watched "LOST." The time-travel there, was what happened, happened. But in Back to the Future, that clearly isn't the case. For example, in the film version, Marty's mum and dad, met in a different way originally. It wasn't until Marty went back in time, that he CHANGED what originally happened. So which theory would be correct, there must be what appears to be, two different types of time-travel theories.
Like in the game, for example, where Marty is hiding behind the tree from himself. This isn't originally what happened. If it had, we would of played the character seeing Einstein near the tree in Episode 1. If you see what I mean.
This has always bugged me since I started watching LOST. Then compared it to Back to the Future. And I imagine the game itself is going to contradict itself, with the shoe in the DeLorian from the past.

22 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Gelbs said: I re-watched all BTTF movies the other week. Technically speaking, what happened did happen.
    Hard to explain. But when the movie starts, Marty's parents met with Marty's dad being a wimp. Obviously, Marty went back in time and altered things.
    But because the time-line changed via the events, in the memories of his mother and father (only Marty would remember how they initially met), they would only know it as Biff getting hit. So really, that is what always happened. If you catch my drift.

    P.S. Not to mention that Doc would know every single thing that would of happened as Marty went back to the 50's to see him.
    Never understood the start to 2nd movie neither. Was pointless to go into the future because of Marty's kids being in trouble. It hadn't happened yet, and Doc could of just warned him without going and setting off all the bad events that eventually happened.


    According to director commentary they only did this because at the end of the first film there was never supposed to be a 2nd film and the 1st film's ending was a silly joke or just for effect or something. It was said that they wished they hadn't put Jennifer in the car or talked about their kids at the end of the 1st film because if they hadn't then the 2nd film could have been about anything they wanted in any time period.

  • @Scnew said: Back to the Future would have been kind of boring if changing history wasn't an option.

    I agree. :-)

  • @Gelbs said: If you went back in time, does the present you currently left behind, stop, or would it continue parallel to you in the past? Like at the end of BTTF 2, Marty receives the letter from doc stating he has been living in the 1880s for 8 months. Which doesn't make sense as no time, apart from a couple of minutes hardly passed.

    I'm not sure I understand. Actually, 70 years has passed. This example from BTTF 2's ending seems to suggest that time changed around Marty. Doc's existence and death in 1885 didn't change the timeline enough to create a paradox and have Marty erased or wake up in 1985 with no memories or etc, but the ripple did catch up to his time period, meaning that in this instance in the films Marty (1955) and Doc (1885) were in the same reality instead of parallel realities. BTTF 2's Alternate 1985 seems to suggest it is an alternate 1985, but the ending of BTTF 2 seems to suggest what actually happened was that the Alternate 1985 was the real and only 1985 in that the original 1985's that had been before Doc and Marty's time traveling were erased. If they had stayed in tact in a parallel reality then Marty and old Biff would not have been in danger of being erased from existence. They instead would have remained in tact as their original origin timeline was not changed and they were simply out of place in reality, not unlike the TV series "SLIDERS." In Sliders we are dealing with parallel realities, not time travel according to BTTF rules, and because of this obviously there's no reason for a character to be erased being in a parallel reality with a different history or different versions of themselves. It seems more so that the original time lines in which Marty and etc came from were erased and replaced. If no Marty or etc existed then they were also erased. If they existed although in a different way they would remain. It is still uncertain why Marty and other character's memories do not change with the new version of reality. It is possible stepping outside of their proper space/time continuum makes them immune to memory distortion, but the more likely answer is dramatic narrative via the writers. ;-)

    Thanks for reading. I was bored, ha ha.

    Perhaps you were confused because other BTTF movies show a slow ripple effect in which Marty and characters must prevent the past from being changed before they are erased? And yet Doc's letter comes mere minutes after he left to 1885? I think the reasons for this are 1) Marty's parents still existed and it was still not written in that current present time as to whether or not Marty would be born. It all hinged on the kiss during the dance to make sure Marty was born. Had his parents gotten together earlier or later on their first child might not have been Marty, still erasing Marty from the future. 2) Marty in 1955 was still technically in the future as compared to Doc in 1885 and thus the damage to the timeline in 1885 had already happened. There was still a ripple effect but instead of having to go into the "pond's" future to erase a time-traveling Marty from the past or etc, Marty instead is hit by the ripple in real time. The postman delivering the letter from Doc can be seen as a physical embodiment of the ripple effect, Doc being the rock that splashed into the "time pond" or "time stream" in 1885 that produced that ripple. To Marty it was thus an immediate effect because it happened in the past (1885) instead of in the present (1955).

  • Lol. I know 70 odd years had passed. Hard to explain, but the point I'm making is for example, say you're with a group of friends, and you went back in time on your own, say, 10 years. What would happen to the friends in the present/future you came from? Would time like freeze, or would they carry on their life without you in the future. Whereas you're in the past.
    Comparing to doc in the 1880s, it's like saying he was still alive the same time Marty was in the 1950's. Sounds contradicting I know lol. Or like I am typing to you now, and I went back to the 1880s. You'd be still sitting online, whereas I'd be somewhere in the past. Like it's running along next to each other.

  • This one seems to kill every single one of the threads concerning the functionality of time travel here, but I'm still hoping to keep at least one alive for an inspiring theoretical discussion, so here goes nothing:
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23050&page=3
    Here I have quoted the whole theory of the member Flah, and also tried to analyze it in more detail. It involves a complex stable time loop. Marty's time loop, starting from the first time travel in the original trilogy, didn't end yet if it exists, and might never (because that requires the time travel to cause itself), and from that perspective it resembles a linear time travel. Anyhow, what's discussed in Flah's theory is a (smaller?) loop that's limited exclusively to the events of our beloved video game and might be happening, with the self-cause most probably being very related to the burning down of Hill Valley's first speakeasy.

  • There's actually a pretty funny scene between Miles and Hurley in the episode "Whatever happened, happened" where BTTF is referenced and the different rules of time travel are explained.

    [quote]
    [Miles looks at Jack and points at Kate, emphasizing her point. Miles walks over to the table where Hurley is inspecting his hand.]

    MILES: What the hell are you doing, Tubby?

    HURLEY: Checking to see if I'm disappearing.

    MILES: What?

    HURLEY: "Back to the Future", man. We came back in time to the island and changed stuff. So if little Ben dies, he'll never grow up to be big Ben, who's the one who made us come back here in the first place. Which means we can't be here. And therefore, dude? We don't exist.

    MILES: You're an idiot. [Takes a seat at the table]

    HURLEY: Am I?

    MILES: Yeah. It doesn't work like that. You can't change anything. You're maniac Iraqi buddy shot Linus. That is what always happened. It's just...we never experienced how it all turns out.

    [Hurley looks at Jack, confused.]

    HURLEY: This is really confusing.

    MILES: Yeah, well, get used to it. But the good news is that Linus didn't die, so that means the kid can't either. He'll be fine.

    KATE: Didn't look like he was gonna be fine. What if you're wrong?

    MILES: Well, if I'm wrong, then I guess we all stop existing, and none of it matters anyway then, does it?[/quote]

  • @CartoonistWill said: Actually, Einstein kept staring at a tree and barking in episode 1. I kept wondering why but just thought he must have cornered a squirrel or something. In episode 2 we find out a time-traveling Marty is behind the tree.


    I really dont like this logic because at no point in the bttf universe has a future time travel been visible in the present (if it were then there'd be no possibility for alternate timelines). In part I, we'd be able to see part II's marty climbing the ladder over the stage and on the other side of the door talking to Biff but we dont so clearly those events have not happened yet.

    @CartoonistWill said: According to director commentary they only did this because at the end of the first film there was never supposed to be a 2nd film and the 1st film's ending was a silly joke or just for effect or something. It was said that they wished they hadn't put Jennifer in the car or talked about their kids at the end of the 1st film because if they hadn't then the 2nd film could have been about anything they wanted in any time period.

    Yeah and they said they never would have done the future had they planned the entire trilogy. Though I'm glad they did, it was my favourite part of the trilogy, we got to see martys parents and biff as seniors and teenagers, martys children, biffs grandson. And lastly it sets up for the happy ending that the gloomy future doesn't happen and allows marty to have a character arc.

    @CartoonistWill said: Lol. I know 70 odd years had passed. Hard to explain, but the point I'm making is for example, say you're with a group of friends, and you went back in time on your own, say, 10 years. What would happen to the friends in the present/future you came from? Would time like freeze, or would they carry on their life without you in the future. Whereas you're in the past.
    Comparing to doc in the 1880s, it's like saying he was still alive the same time Marty was in the 1950's. Sounds contradicting I know lol. Or like I am typing to you now, and I went back to the 1880s. You'd be still sitting online, whereas I'd be somewhere in the past. Like it's running along next to each other.

    You have to think of it fourth dimensionally; at the end of part I, marty goes to the future 30 years and the changes he made have already transpired (low pines mall and dog wearing a bullet proof vest). Basically in part II, shortly after the delorean gets struck by lightning, all the changes in 1885 should occur; docs picture in the library, his tombstone, the ravine name being changed, the delorean appearing in the mine, and yes the western union agent. This is also why whenever we see newspapers or pictures change (all of which depict the future at the poin in ttime they are in), it happens shortly after the events triggering them change. Ie. burning the almanac in 1955 changing the 1973 and 1983 newspapers.

  • it hasn't happened yet, so marty can not be hiding behind the tree, thats how it works in bttf. There is no other marty in episode 1 hiding

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: I really dont like this logic because at no point in the bttf universe has a future time travel been visible in the present (if it were then there'd be no possibility for alternate timelines). In part I, we'd be able to see part II's marty climbing the ladder over the stage and on the other side of the door talking to Biff but we dont so clearly those events have not happened yet.

    Yeah and they said they never would have done the future had they planned the entire trilogy. Though I'm glad they did, it was my favourite part of the trilogy, we got to see martys parents and biff as seniors and teenagers, martys children, biffs grandson. And lastly it sets up for the happy ending that the gloomy future doesn't happen and allows marty to have a character arc.

    You have to think of it fourth dimensionally; at the end of part I, marty goes to the future 30 years and the changes he made have already transpired (low pines mall and dog wearing a bullet proof vest). Basically in part II, shortly after the delorean gets struck by lightning, all the changes in 1885 should occur; docs picture in the library, his tombstone, the ravine name being changed, the delorean appearing in the mine, and yes the western union agent. This is also why whenever we see newspapers or pictures change (all of which depict the future at the poin in ttime they are in), it happens shortly after the events triggering them change. Ie. burning the almanac in 1955 changing the 1973 and 1983 newspapers.

    When did a dog wear a bullet proof vest?

  • @Zamot said: There's actually a pretty funny scene between Miles and Hurley in the episode "Whatever happened, happened" where BTTF is referenced and the different rules of time travel are explained.

    I don't remember which episode it's in, exactly, but one of my favorite moments from that season was when Hurley was writing his own script for The Empire Strikes Back to send to George Lucas with a few changes he'd like to see.

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