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Movie Paradox that nobody mentions

posted by Rogers on - last edited - Viewed by 3.8K 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
  • @Tornreaper said: Since there is no real evidence to say that people remember time travel for that period of time all I can do is disagree.

    Why do you need 'evidence'? Its pretty OBVIOUS. Unless someone gets amnesia, they are BOUND to remember major events in their life from 30 years ago. And meeting a teenager from the future who claims that you invent a time machine 30 years later, and hell, actually SHOWS you that time machine...is DEFINETLY a major event, if not THE major event of your life!

    See, I can agree with George and Lorraine not really remembering Marty from 1955 clearly...but Doc not remembering Marty DESPITE knowing he's a time traveler from the future?! Not a chance!

  • @Tornreaper said: Since there is no real evidence to say that people remember time travel for that period of time all I can do is disagree.

    what do you mean by 'remember' time travel? Doc clearly remembers the 1955 events from the first film by 1985, he has the letter and clearly states in part II he helped Marty return to 1985. Biff witnesses time travel in 1985 (he just doesnt know it) and remembers that event in 2015.

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: what do you mean by 'remember' time travel? Doc clearly remembers the 1955 events from the first film by 1985, he has the letter and clearly states in part II he helped Marty return to 1985. Biff witnesses time travel in 1985 (he just doesnt know it) and remembers that event in 2015.

    Like I said, he remembers those events because he put the note together and read it in 1985. Plus Biff remembered seeing the time machine because when he saw it again in 2015 it was a reminder to him.

    Anyways I don't really think it's a paradox and I think you guys are trying to hard to find paradoxes. Saying it's a paradox that Marty can stop the conflict between his son and Griff simply because he could remember going to 2015 is just speculation. Unless you can provide me proof that this happened and that Marty did stop the event then it's not a paradox. Sure maybe he might remember the events but the details could be fuzzy.

  • @Tornreaper said: Like I said, he remembers those events because he put the note together and read it in 1985. Plus Biff remembered seeing the time machine because when he saw it again in 2015 it was a reminder to him.

    Anyways I don't really think it's a paradox and I think you guys are trying to hard to find paradoxes. Saying it's a paradox that Marty can stop the conflict between his son and Griff simply because he could remember going to 2015 is just speculation. Unless you can provide me proof that this happened and that Marty did stop the event then it's not a paradox. Sure maybe he might remember the events but the details could be fuzzy.

    Okay, let me get this straight. Are you suggesting, that if not for the note Marty had left behind for Doc to put together, Doc would have simply forgotten about the fact that-

    a) He spent a week with a kid from the future

    b) The kid came in a time machine he invented (or rather WOULD invent), which he not only clearly saw with his own eyes, but even WORKED upon

    And, after the events of BTTF3, we also have to take into account the fact that-

    c) He read a 70 year old letter, in his OWN handwriting, from his future self who was trapped in the past; and used the instructions in that letter, to locate the buried time machine and repair it

    I can definitely understand Biff, George and Lorraine forgetting about Marty over time...but for 1955 DOC to forget about it is impossible, barring a case of amnesia!

    And likewise, I really don't see how Marty would ever forget about the fact that he once traveled to the future and discovered that his son was a wimp...

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Tornreaper said: I don't think that would make a great plot? The conflict is removed by them waiting for the ripple effect to kick in? There has to be a way for them to exist out of their timeline. Unless of coarse they are all in the same timeline but at different ages.


    They aren't from the same timeline because one future Marty states that the timeline another future Marty was from was erased.

    It wasn't a cliffhanger for a second series, or the beginning of a plot for another adventure since Doc and 1986 Marty went off in the DeLorean alone to some entirely different time. The ending served as a message to Marty that the only thing that really matters is the present, and the future is what you make of it (as Doc said in Back to the Future III).

  • @sn939 said: Okay, let me get this straight. Are you suggesting, that if not for the note Marty had left behind for Doc to put together, Doc would have simply forgotten about the fact that-

    a) He spent a week with a kid from the future

    b) The kid came in a time machine he invented (or rather WOULD invent), which he not only clearly saw with his own eyes, but even WORKED upon

    And, after the events of BTTF3, we also have to take into account the fact that-

    c) He read a 70 year old letter, in his OWN handwriting, from his future self who was trapped in the past; and used the instructions in that letter, to locate the buried time machine and repair it

    I can definitely understand Biff, George and Lorraine forgetting about Marty over time...but for 1955 DOC to forget about it is impossible, barring a case of amnesia!

    And likewise, I really don't see how Marty would ever forget about the fact that he once traveled to the future and discovered that his son was a wimp...

    Again, they may remember those events but the details would clearly be fuzzy. I still think it's lame to call it a paradox. I'm not suggesting that they did or did not remember those events without the reminders. I'm simply stating that unless there is evidence that they did remember and furthermore evidence that they were able to prevent it then it's not a paradox. It's just speculation.

    Too get back on topic I think that Marty could be the original Marty in a way. But in a way he's also LP Marty making him a completely new Marty. So it's obvious he's the original Marty because throughout the movies we follow him closely. But consider this. The game doesn't take place directly after Marty returns from 1885 but a year later. So for all we know we we weren't playing as the original Marty. That would be an interesting plot twist for season 2. ;)

  • @Tornreaper said: Again, they may remember those events but the details would clearly be fuzzy. I still think it's lame to call it a paradox. I'm not suggesting that they did or did not remember those events without the reminders. I'm simply stating that unless there is evidence that they did remember and furthermore evidence that they were able to prevent it then it's not a paradox. It's just speculation.

    Too get back on topic I think that Marty could be the original Marty in a way. But in a way he's also LP Marty making him a completely new Marty. So it's obvious he's the original Marty because throughout the movies we follow him closely. But consider this. The game doesn't take place directly after Marty returns from 1885 but a year later. So for all we know we we weren't playing as the original Marty. That would be an interesting plot twist for season 2. ;)

    Except that Marty explicidly states that doc's time machine made things better, he also remembers Clayton Ravine and the significance.

    I don't know who's stating it's a paradox? Biff also clearly remembers crashing into the manure truck in 1985 and 2015 how do you explain that? Sorry but to claim the letter from marty is the only reason doc remembers the events ot november 1955 is absurd.

  • @Tornreaper said: Again, they may remember those events but the details would clearly be fuzzy. I still think it's lame to call it a paradox. I'm not suggesting that they did or did not remember those events without the reminders. I'm simply stating that unless there is evidence that they did remember and furthermore evidence that they were able to prevent it then it's not a paradox. It's just speculation.

    Too get back on topic I think that Marty could be the original Marty in a way. But in a way he's also LP Marty making him a completely new Marty. So it's obvious he's the original Marty because throughout the movies we follow him closely. But consider this. The game doesn't take place directly after Marty returns from 1885 but a year later. So for all we know we we weren't playing as the original Marty. That would be an interesting plot twist for season 2. ;)

    I think you've confused two totally different issues. No one claimed that Doc remembering Marty from 1955 would cause a paradox at all. And I agree, details may be fuzzy for George, Lorraine and Biff...but certainly not for Doc. In fact, in BTTF2 when they return to 1955, Doc clearly remembers EVERYTHING about the events of 30 years ago!

    As far as Marty in the game goes...even if he has the LP memories, he's still the original Marty in the sense that he remembers the original timeline, and remembers changing it. Marty is the ONLY person, as of the end of the game, who remembers the original timeline! His remembering subsequent timelines owing to the ripple effect updating his memory doesn't change that fact...

  • @Rogers said: 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.

    It's actually not a paradox bro
    Timeline A: Marty and Doc Goes to 2015 to Stop Marty Jr from joining the gang yada yada yada
    While Marty and Doc are trying to get Jennifer from marty's 2015 house, Biff steals the deloreon going back to 1955 giving the almanac to his past self
    This in fact creates timeline B:
    Timeline B: 1985: biff is a crimelord, owns hillvalley...Emmit is committed and marty's father is dead....
    Doc and marty then travel to 1955 to destroy the almanac before young biff can cause any damage (betting)
    Once this is done,
    The New Timeline Timeline C: Is created....
    The Deloreon is struck by lightning sending doc to 1885,
    Marty follows after repairing the time circuits making it to old west 1885 and getting over his Chicken phobia
    When he jumps back to 1985, This is timeline D which starts his new destiny from there...
    in common terms, he there wasn't a paradox because it was as if doc marty and jennifer never went to 2015 ... Doc, Marty and Jen remembers because they traveled through it....

  • @jaispeed2011 said: It's actually not a paradox bro
    Timeline A: Marty and Doc Goes to 2015 to Stop Marty Jr from joining the gang yada yada yada
    While Marty and Doc are trying to get Jennifer from marty's 2015 house, Biff steals the deloreon going back to 1955 giving the almanac to his past self
    This in fact creates timeline B:
    Timeline B: 1985: biff is a crimelord, owns hillvalley...Emmit is committed and marty's father is dead....
    Doc and marty then travel to 1955 to destroy the almanac before young biff can cause any damage (betting)
    Once this is done,
    The New Timeline Timeline C: Is created....
    The Deloreon is struck by lightning sending doc to 1885,
    Marty follows after repairing the time circuits making it to old west 1885 and getting over his Chicken phobia
    When he jumps back to 1985, This is timeline D which starts his new destiny from there...
    in common terms, he there wasn't a paradox because it was as if doc marty and jennifer never went to 2015 ... Doc, Marty and Jen remembers because they traveled through it....


    That's not how the movie rules work.
    The official different timelines are these:
    Back to the Future timeline

    It all works for me quite well except for the ripple-effect, that should exclude Marty, Doc, Einstein and Jennifer in 2015. Why should they fade/jump/merge from timeline 3 to timeline 4? No one else, who is "left behind from a time travel" does that: Neither George nor Lorraine in BTTF 1, neither Doc or Einstein in BTTF 1... it just happens in BTTF 2 in 2015.
    If every time travel to the past creates a new timeline that is seperated from the original one of the time traveller and if every time travel to the future is on the same timeline that you start from... this whole Marty, Doc, Einstein & Jennifer issue makes no sense at all.

    Or we set up the rule: every person that time travelled at least once isn't affected by changes that are done by a different time traveller in the past. These persons are just thrown (or rippled) to the new established timeline (That would mean that Einstein is still Two Pine Mall Einstein).

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