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Movie Paradox that nobody mentions

posted by Rogers on - last edited - Viewed by 2.7K users

I have kept this to myself for about a year, mostly because the semantics necessary to describe this are beyond me...but here it goes.

From movie 2 onwards, there is an atrocious paradox. This is because of the trip to 2015, and the subsequent events that was caused by this. Basically, we have the following events happen in sequence:

-Doc and Marty go to 2015 where Future Marty was in a car accident.
-Old Biff goes to 1955, Doc and Marty follow and get the Almanac back,
-Lightning sends the Delorean to the old West, Marty follows.
-Marty overcomes his "chicken" phobia in the West and goes back to 1985
-Marty with new experiences does not get in a car accident.

This means that the 2015 from movie 2 is erased and Future Marty is no longer a loser. This means Marty Jr. will grow up better and there is no need for Doc to bring Marty to 2015. Biff never sees the almanac/time machine and he doesn't go to 1955 to meet his younger self. This means Marty doesn't go to the Wild West and never gets over his "chicken phobia", but this means that the 2015 with loser Future Marty DOES exist...

So, this is a complete paradox, as bad as there being a Carl Sagan in FCB's timeline.

91 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Jennifer said: I love Frequency, and never really had a problem with the two memories plot line. The way I see it, the atmospheric interference that gave him the ability to communicate with his dad via HAM radio in the past is very localized since only that particular radio that seems to be affected. So it's the localized atmospheric interference around the radio that created the bubble effect for him. No one else was in the vicinity of the radio, so they retained only new memories.

    I agree. In a sense those radio waves are traveling through time and Jim Caviezels character (named John) is the one sending them.

  • http://www.mjyoung.net/time/ this is a great site for that sort of thing. Essays exist for most of the things discussed in this thread. Some may argue that it's unfair for him to enforce his own "rules" on all time travel movies, even though different movies seem to present different models of time travel, but he does a good job justifying it for the most part.

  • @LuigiHann said: http://www.mjyoung.net/time/ this is a great site for that sort of thing. Essays exist for most of the things discussed in this thread. Some may argue that it's unfair for him to enforce his own "rules" on all time travel movies, even though different movies seem to present different models of time travel, but he does a good job justifying it for the most part.

    Sorry to dismiss it this early dude but I haven't even read it. There's basically 2 main time travel theories; pre destination and post destination
    pre destination implies there's only been one timeline (see the 12 monkeys, terminator 1, or the time travelers wife) which has already had all time travel entrenched in it and thus makes it impossible to change the timeline.
    post desitnation implies that the timeline CAN be changed as time travel is not entrenched in the timeline as we see in BTTF.

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: Sorry to dismiss it this early dude but I haven't even read it. There's basically 2 main time travel theories; pre destination and post destination
    pre destination implies there's only been one timeline (see the 12 monkeys, terminator 1, or the time travelers wife) which has already had all time travel entrenched in it and thus makes it impossible to change the timeline.
    post desitnation implies that the timeline CAN be changed as time travel is not entrenched in the timeline as we see in BTTF.

    He analyzes both the Terminator and 12 Monkeys, you should check those articles out. In his model, the "predestination" model is effectively an illusion created when the timeline resolves into a self-consistent loop. Basically, every time travel story must have an original timeline that leads up to the initial time travel departure, and most stories do end up in a consistent self-resolving loop, and so the main difference between the apparently different models is just, which iteration is the movie showing us? BTTF-style movies tend to show the first iteration with more drastic changes, and Terminator-style movies tend to show a late iteration with more self-consistency, but every story must have an alpha timeline in its past, and the fascinating parts of his articles are his attempts to piece those alpha timelines together.

  • @LuigiHann said: He analyzes both the Terminator and 12 Monkeys, you should check those articles out. In his model, the "predestination" model is effectively an illusion created when the timeline resolves into a self-consistent loop. Basically, every time travel story must have an original timeline that leads up to the initial time travel departure, and most stories do end up in a consistent self-resolving loop, and so the main difference between the apparently different models is just, which iteration is the movie showing us? BTTF-style movies tend to show the first iteration with more drastic changes, and Terminator-style movies tend to show a late iteration with more self-consistency, but every story must have an alpha timeline in its past, and the fascinating parts of his articles are his attempts to piece those alpha timelines together.

    I'm a great admirer of MJ Young's site, though I agree that he is a bit TOO rigid in his analysis-applying his own 'replacement theory' on every movie analyzed. Then again, that's his prerogative.

    MJ Young's analysis of the BTTF movies is quiet interesting insofar as it highlights most of the logical paradoxes in the movies, BTTF2 and 3 in particular. According to Young, BTTF1 is more or less plausible as per his theory, as he believes that the timeline will eventually resolve into a self-consistent loop indistinguishable from a predestination paradox (basically, we'd end with Marty going back to 1955 and becoming the 'Calvin Klien' he'd heard about all his life!) This even answers thew age-old TP/LP argument by simply stating that Twin Pines Marty would simply cease to exist in the next iteration of the timeline and would be completely replaced by Lone Pine Marty.

    BTTF2 and 3 understandably fall apart in his analysis. He points out no less than TWO anomalies associated with Marty and Jennifer's initial trip to the future, and dismisses the whole Almanac and 1985-A subplot as being paradoxical enough to destroy time completely. And he believes the tombstone paradox would simply kill the logic of BTTF3.

    So obviously, his theory is not the best theory around to explain the logic of most time travel movies like BTTF, but it IS an interesting explanation for the creation of stable time loops.

  • Some people who are wondering "which Marty is the other one in 1955 in part II and when did he come from" should consider the following;
    This Marty seems to go through the exact same tribulations as our marty did in the first film;
    Remember when Marty sees George punch out biff in part one, he likely would have left the school and go to the clocktower immediately if not for the picture fading. Because his siblings are still faded he realizes he needs to ensure music is played to dance to. And we do see 'Marty I' still looking at the picture several times in part II. So this likely explains the so-called 'tombstomb paradox'

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: Some people who are wondering "which Marty is the other one in 1955 in part II and when did he come from" should consider the following;
    This Marty seems to go through the exact same tribulations as our marty did in the first film;
    Remember when Marty sees George punch out biff in part one, he likely would have left the school and go to the clocktower immediately if not for the picture fading. Because his siblings are still faded he realizes he needs to ensure music is played to dance to. And we do see 'Marty I' still looking at the picture several times in part II. So this likely explains the so-called 'tombstomb paradox'

    Agreed. I've often believed that the fact that BTTF1 Marty's photograph of his siblings was ALSO obviously fading in BTTF2 indicates that he is Twin Pines Marty.

    In fact, the way I rationalize it, in BTTF2, 'our' Marty is Lone Pine Marty and the other Marty is still Twin Pines Marty. Because our Marty is Lone Pine Marty, he doesn't start fading when George and Lorraine almost don't kiss, because their almost not kissing before they finally do owing to Twin Pines Marty is the way HIS personal timeline is supposed to be! Whereas George and Lorraine almost not kissing is NOT part of Twin Pines Marty's personal timeline, and so his existence is endangered. The moment George and Lorraine DO kiss, Twin Pines Marty essentially becomes Lone Pine Marty in terms of causality. But the 'original' Marty in 1955 in BTTF2 is definetly Twin Pines Marty in terms of memory.

    MJ Young doesn't factor this into his discussion because he simply dismisses the fading photographs/newspapers as being too 'unrealistic' (well, he's right...but they're damn realistic when it comes to BTTF's own 'rules')

  • In the Citizen Brown timeline, Artie stood up to Kid, but George did not stand up to Biff.

  • @BttF_LttP said: In the Citizen Brown timeline, Artie stood up to Kid, but George did not stand up to Biff.

    Not sure the relevance of that here lol but yes you are right, George claims he does not stand up to Biff in episode 3. And it does make sense as george and lorraine act more like they did in the first timeline. Lorraines drinking, she doesn't get along with George, he's a peeping tom (to a different extent though).

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: Not sure the relevance of that here lol but yes you are right, George claims he does not stand up to Biff in episode 3. And it does make sense as george and lorraine act more like they did in the first timeline. Lorraines drinking, she doesn't get along with George, he's a peeping tom (to a different extent though).

    The real reason George and Lorraine reverted back to their TP versions is because Marty's original 1955 trip was erased from the timeline. This is explicitly stated by Marty in Episode 3.

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