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Movie plotholes/ The only thing that doesn't add up

posted by Dangeresque on - last edited - Viewed by 7.1K users

This is the greatest trilogy ever made (i dont consider the godfather a trilogy cause 3 sucked). everything in this movie was well thought out, all the events and the going back and forth were perfect (especially if you watch them around 15 times each and pick up all the small details :p )

the only thing that think didnt add up in this movie was the fact that Marty's parents doent remember him. i mean sure its 30 years later (speaking of the 1st movie) but even if for only a week he was still a huge influence in both their lives right? when he started getting older wouldnt they start saying, hey wait a minute, this guy looks really familiar.

Worse yet wouldn't george suspect loraine of cheating on her with marty? i mean calvin marty in the late 60s?

just a stupid point. it might make no sence but its something that popped to my head and figure i'd share it. of course dont mean no offence to the trilogy

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  • @Chyron8472 said: Plus, the time circuits have been acting up anyway (he has to hit it to get it to stop flashing "Jan 01 1885") so he might have just thought it was another malfunction.

    That hasn't been happening yet though, that doesn't start until just before they leave biffhoric 1985 for 1955 and then again in 1955.

  • @sn939 said: I used to believe that too...and yet, we're seeing a reality in which Marty and Jennifer DID leave for 2015 from 1985. Old Biff remembers seeing the flying Delorean. This means, logically, that 2015 Marty was in the car and traveled to the future. But this Marty did return to 1985, obviously, but he certainly did not go through the remaining adventures of 'our' Marty in BTTF2 and 3, since he had not learnt how to deal with the chicken problem and instead raced Needles and injured himself.

    As far as LP 2015 goes, according to the linear chronological timeline, Marty disappears in a flying Delorean on October 26th 1985 at around 10:40 AM in the morning. He returns at some point later in the day. Presumably he and Jennifer go to the lake and spend the night there. Marty may have dropped Jennifer off at her house the next morning, October 27th 1985, and while driving away, at around 11: 30ish, encounters Needles, gets into the drag race with him, and breaks his hand. He then spends the next thirty years 'feeling sorry for himself', marrying Jennifer, raising two less than perfect kids, and ending up working in a dead-end job with Needles. Then, on October 21st 2015, he is sitting in his house getting fired while teenage Jennifer and his own younger self are roaming about, seemingly unknown to him.

    But now, let us attempt to reconstruct the PERSONAL timeline of that Marty. From this Marty's POV, he's in the Delorean with Doc and Jennifer on October 26th morning, the Delorean accelerates to 88 miles per hour in mid-air and he travels to 2015. THEN what?

    Okay, let us assume that just as we see in the movie, Doc explains his scheme to save Marty Jr. from being arrested. Marty takes his son's place, faces off against Griff, the hoverboard chase happens and Griff gets arrested instead. Fine, this part is clear.

    But now we get to the point where, in the actual movie, Marty gets the idea to buy the Almanac. Does THIS Marty ALSO see the Almanac? Logically, assuming the events in 2015 HAVE played out exactly as we saw in the film, the Clocktower guy SHOULD inadvertently give Marty the inspiration to win at gambling with the Almanac. Nothing in this Marty's personal timeline would logically be different from that of 'our' Marty. Then, in that case, Doc would return to fetch Marty and Old Biff should see the flying Delorean and remember it disappearing thirty years ago! Just like in the movie, he would learn about the time machine and the Almanac, and get the idea to steal them. And just like in the movie, Jennifer would be found by the cops and taken to Hilldale...NOTHING could possibly be different from the timeline we see in the movie.

    You see where this is going...don't you? If events progress like they do in the movie, then Old Biff would successfully steal the Delorean...which means that it would be impossible for this Marty to return to LP 1985, and get into the accident with Needles on October 27th (which, according to the linear timeline, we've established he DID get into). In fact, this Marty would go through the remaining events of BTTF2 and 3, and eventually NOT race Needles...which means he is indistinguishable from 'our' Marty. And that means, we still don't know where the Marty who returned to LP 1985 and raced Needles came from!

    In order for 2015 Marty to exist, as we see him, it is necessary for the events in 2015 (which took place in HIS personal past) to in some way and at some point diverge from the events experianced by 'our' Marty in 2015. Either this Marty never got the idea to use the Almanac, or Old Biff didn't steal the Delorean...SOMETHING had to be different such that it was possible for Doc to return Jennifer and Marty to LP 1985 such that Marty got into the accident with Needles the next day and grew up to become the 2015 Marty we see in BTTF2.

    its complicated but the way i see it is marty goes forward to 2015, buys the almanac then biff takes it from the rubbish bin, then goes back in time, marty then finds out by going to hell valley, then him and Doc changes the biff timeline to the original timeline by travelling to 1955. Now back in 2015 nothing changes because biff fails in his mission to rewrite his history, so marty and doc return to 1985 and find nothing has changed, also not expecting anything to change, then marty lives his life, breaks his hand due to his chicken complex, gets depressed and doesn't remember when his past self will go to the future or even cares because hes depressed. The fact now is there is a marty in 1955 who travelled back there because the future was messed up, then changes the future back to how it should be, then goes to 1885 to follow doc, gets over his chicken complex, goes back to 1985 and replaces the marty that originally comes back from 2015, and doesn't race with needles, hence he doesn't break his hand, then he meets doc again and the future is changed for the better, but doc leaves for 6 months and the games begin

  • Then again, as I read previous posts, it has also been said that the reason why future Marty exists in 2015 is because the ripple effect hadn't caught up yet. This is to say that had Marty stayed in 2015 for a significant period of time, it would have changed to a future where he never returned to the past. I tend to believe this more.

    Actually, I still believe that. I think, if they had stayed in the future for more than 24 hours, then their older selves (and children) would disappear - and the timeline would be as if they were missing for thirty years. I actually got that idea from Mike Mahoney, and I think it makes sense.

    As for Biff '15 remembering the DeLorean, that is the confusing part. The best explanation I can come up with is, if you had asked him about a flying DeLorean from thirty years ago prior to the event, he would think you were crazy. However, the moment he saw the DeLorean, I think it was a convergence of the two timelines.

    I just don't like the idea that Marty's life would still end up in ruins, even after having gone to the future.

    Of course, the whole thing could've been avoided - if Doc had just told Marty about what he saw. Then Marty would have thirty years to change things. But, I understand the out-of-universe reason of why they did it that way. The Bobs had ended the first film with no plans for a sequel.

  • @bttf4444 said: Actually, I still believe that. I think, if they had stayed in the future for more than 24 hours, then their older selves (and children) would disappear - and the timeline would be as if they were missing for thirty years. I actually got that idea from Mike Mahoney, and I think it makes sense.

    As for Biff '15 remembering the DeLorean, that is the confusing part. The best explanation I can come up with is, if you had asked him about a flying DeLorean from thirty years ago prior to the event, he would think you were crazy. However, the moment he saw the DeLorean, I think it was a convergence of the two timelines.

    I just don't like the idea that Marty's life would still end up in ruins, even after having gone to the future.

    Of course, the whole thing could've been avoided - if Doc had just told Marty about what he saw. Then Marty would have thirty years to change things. But, I understand the out-of-universe reason of why they did it that way. The Bobs had ended the first film with no plans for a sequel.

    I've recently come up with a longer slightly more complex explanation for the presence of the future selves.

    This is the way I see it. When Marty, Doc and Jennifer 'first' go to 2015, they end up in a reality where they've been missing for thirty years. Realizing there's nothing they can do about this, they return to 1985, and then Marty breaks his hand in the accident with Needles, Marty Jr. gets into trouble etc.

    So now that a 'precedent' has been established and the space-time continuum 'knows' that there is a high probability that Marty, Doc and Jennifer WILL return to 2015 and lead pretty much the same lives Doc had originally seen them lead, the 'final version' of future they arrive in is one where their future selves are present and appropriately aged, having returned to 1985.

    This theory would provide an explanation not only for the future self's presence, but also their memories...the future selves would remember arriving in a future where they were missing.

  • @bttf4444 said: Actually, I still believe that. I think, if they had stayed in the future for more than 24 hours, then their older selves (and children) would disappear - and the timeline would be as if they were missing for thirty years. I actually got that idea from Mike Mahoney, and I think it makes sense.

    As for Biff '15 remembering the DeLorean, that is the confusing part. The best explanation I can come up with is, if you had asked him about a flying DeLorean from thirty years ago prior to the event, he would think you were crazy. However, the moment he saw the DeLorean, I think it was a convergence of the two timelines.

    I just don't like the idea that Marty's life would still end up in ruins, even after having gone to the future.

    Of course, the whole thing could've been avoided - if Doc had just told Marty about what he saw. Then Marty would have thirty years to change things. But, I understand the out-of-universe reason of why they did it that way. The Bobs had ended the first film with no plans for a sequel.


    Once Biff sees the DeLorean in 1985 that event is now part of the space time continuum.

    @bttf4444 said: I've recently come up with a longer slightly more complex explanation for the presence of the future selves.

    This is the way I see it. When Marty, Doc and Jennifer 'first' go to 2015, they end up in a reality where they've been missing for thirty years. Realizing there's nothing they can do about this, they return to 1985, and then Marty breaks his hand in the accident with Needles, Marty Jr. gets into trouble etc.

    So now that a 'precedent' has been established and the space-time continuum 'knows' that there is a high probability that Marty, Doc and Jennifer WILL return to 2015 and lead pretty much the same lives Doc had originally seen them lead, the 'final version' of future they arrive in is one where their future selves are present and appropriately aged, having returned to 1985.

    This theory would provide an explanation not only for the future self's presence, but also their memories...the future selves would remember arriving in a future where they were missing.

    The timeline must know the characters intentions. I think the timeline stays the way it was unless a junction point is changed or something happens threatening it. For instance the timeline of 2015 seems to be the same with 1985 Marty showing up there until he actually changes something. Something would have to happen to threaten to change it for it to start changing; for instance if the delorean gets damaged or let's say Marty finds out about his car accident then we'd see it changing.

  • @Michael J Fox is Canadian said: Once Biff sees the DeLorean in 1985 that event is now part of the space time continuum.

    The timeline must know the characters intentions. I think the timeline stays the way it was unless a junction point is changed or something happens threatening it. For instance the timeline of 2015 seems to be the same with 1985 Marty showing up there until he actually changes something. Something would have to happen to threaten to change it for it to start changing; for instance if the delorean gets damaged or let's say Marty finds out about his car accident then we'd see it changing.

    You know, that's actually interesting. In BTTF3, the photograph of the tombstone kept changing based on Marty's intentions in 1885. For instance, when he decides to fight Bufford Tannen, the photograph 'ripples' into the Clint Eastwood tombstone.

    Now if the reality of 2015 is, like the photograph, the projection of the 'most likely future', then ideally, a change in Marty's intentions while in 2015 should bring about a change in reality. So, for instance, if Marty and Jennifer broke up while they were in 2015, then the reality should morph around them to one where Marty and Jennifer broke up thirty years ago, and are probably married to different people.

    This idea was reflected to a small extent in the original script for BTTF2, where, any pain felt by the past self who was in the future was 'transferred' to the future self as well. So, when Young Jennifer pricked her thumb, we see Old Jennifer suddenly reacting to a pain in her thumb! (Strangely enough, the memories don't get 'transferred'...)

  • I'm still going with the 24-hour theory. If Marty was to go, "Screw it! I'm staying here in 2015!" - I don't think the timeline would change right away. Also, if Marty was to suggest spending a week's vacation in the year 2015, it seems a bit too far-fetched to think the timeline would remain intact for that long.

  • @sn939 said: You know, that's actually interesting. In BTTF3, the photograph of the tombstone kept changing based on Marty's intentions in 1885. For instance, when he decides to fight Bufford Tannen, the photograph 'ripples' into the Clint Eastwood tombstone.

    Now if the reality of 2015 is, like the photograph, the projection of the 'most likely future', then ideally, a change in Marty's intentions while in 2015 should bring about a change in reality. So, for instance, if Marty and Jennifer broke up while they were in 2015, then the reality should morph around them to one where Marty and Jennifer broke up thirty years ago, and are probably married to different people.

    This idea was reflected to a small extent in the original script for BTTF2, where, any pain felt by the past self who was in the future was 'transferred' to the future self as well. So, when Young Jennifer pricked her thumb, we see Old Jennifer suddenly reacting to a pain in her thumb! (Strangely enough, the memories don't get 'transferred'...)

    In the original script 2015 Jennifer does leave Marty but I can't recall if 1985 Jennifer sees it. Would be interesting if she did and figures she may as well break up with Marty seeing what he becomes. The pain transferrance was silly, it also happened in 1967, 67 doc had a window fall on his hand and 1985 Doc grabbed his.

    Clarification though; the tombstomb doesn't immediately change from 'Emmet Brown' to 'Clint eastwood', Emmets name disappears after the festival (as we find out, this is when he originally gets shot but Marty averts this hence why the name is removed). Marty is carrying his gun and likely prepared to go through with the gun fight until he sees his alias on the tombstomb (somewhat of a paradox as this is likely when he changes it).

    @sn939 said: I'm still going with the 24-hour theory. If Marty was to go, "Screw it! I'm staying here in 2015!" - I don't think the timeline would change right away. Also, if Marty was to suggest spending a week's vacation in the year 2015, it seems a bit too far-fetched to think the timeline would remain intact for that long.

    I think there simply has to be a junction point preventing 1985 Marty from eventually becoming 2015 marty. It's not so much how long he stays as he can always return when he left but what happens when he does stay. Let's say marty decides to stay, the timeline would likely fast forward to see what happens; if it finds 1985 marty does in fact stay time displaced, 2015 marty would disappear but if it finds marty eventually decides to return to 1985, it would keep itself intact.

  • That just doesn't make sense, though. Marty could simply decide to do the opposite of what the timeline suggests he'll do, just for the hell of it.

  • @bttf4444 said: That just doesn't make sense, though. Marty could simply decide to do the opposite of what the timeline suggests he'll do, just for the hell of it.

    well he does; the timeline suggests he goes through with the duel so he amends things.

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