Minor BTTF Part Two question

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It' been a while since I saw BTT, Part II. But didn't they go back to 12th November 1955, and not the 5th?
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Here's sort of the thing with how we're shown Time-Travel works in Back to the Future movies. As said above there is no "Earth 2", "3", etc. because we're shown that it's always the same timeline it just gets altered. In fact you can even watch these alterations take place, as we're shown throughout the movies on photographs and newspapers changing to reflect the new timeline.

    (This is also one of the beautiful things about Biff and the almanac, as he gets richer and his power has its own impacts on things any alterations he may make to the world as a result of his wealth, and thus could impact sporting events, the almanac will change to reflect this as well. The almanac will always be useful, unless Biff ever made a change that will impact the existence of it.)

    But there IS a problem with the end of Back to the Future, the original movie, with as we're shown how time travel works. We know from observation of the movies that there's no such thing as the "predestination paradox." The past CAN be changed, as well as the future. We're shown evidence that the 1985 Marty arrives in at the end of the first movie is now different from the 1985 he left. (The Lone Pine Mall sign.) This means that the Marty we see leave this 1985 doesn't have to leave in order for the changes to take place. They've already happened. They're not dependent on HIM. They're dependent on "our" Marty and cannot be altered. Theoretically that Marty can travel back in time to witness the new story of how his parents met and fell and love. Which at the end of the movie he does.

    Which means he SHOULD travel back to 1955 and crash into himself.

    "But, Trekker!", you say, "that's the point! He's supposed to go back there and make the changes!"

    No, no he's not. Again, all because of how we're shown how time travel works in the movies. The changes are dependent on our primary Marty, the one we follow throughout the trilogy. Not that Marty. So, yes, there is a "second" Marty McFly somewhere and he never returns. We can probably assume, I guess, that the timeline is able to "correct" itself in order to avoid universe-ending paradoxes. Meaning when the "real" Marty of the altered 1985 leaves the "present" he just vanishes, consumed by time. Possibly displaced by instantly appearing at the exact same time and place as "our" Marty. Since they can't appear at the exact same time one gets pushed out of the way into lord knows where and when. Which might make for an interesting story, actually.

    So we have "our" Marty who we see arrive on the Twin Pines Ranch in 1955 and makes the changes he does, at that exact same instant a point in space we have the end of the movie Marty arriving at the ranch in 1955. They both can't appear at the very same time and place so one simply gets displaced. (I'm operating under the theory there has to be a "connection" between two time periods in order for time machines to work. Whether cosmic-strings or some other crazy thing, there needs to be something the time machine uses to travel between points in time.)

    The time machine in the displacement suffers irreparable damage and arrives at some greatly distant time in the past (since that was the "direction" it was traveling.) And because we have to be SURE that things will unfold the way they "should" it's the better-off Marty that is displaced. So "our" Marty goes back thinking his father is a schmuck and knows the original story of how his parents met. The actual Marty of the altered-1985 would have heard a different story and may not have been as motivated to make the changes he needs to believing it's someone else who'll take care of, even more so considering his parents seemed to credit Biff with their meeting. (Oh, Biff, and his near-rape! Ha-ha!)

    What time should he arrive in? What adventures would he have and deal with stuck in a time-period without Doc to repair the DeLorean.
     
  3. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    I'll preface this by saying the BTTF trilogy is my favorite movie trilogy. I'm willing to follow the "rules" that each film/trilogy/universe/etc wants to set up for itself; for example "Terminator rules, that is, it's one way only and you can't go back. This is in contrast to, say, Back to the Future rules, where back and forth is possible, and, of course, Timerider rules, which are just plain silly."

    That being said, one of the things that I was unable to rectify is how Marty (and Jennifer) are able to meet their future selves in 2015. By traveling into the future, they no longer exist in 1985, and therefore do not grow old to exist in 2015. You can't visit your future self, but you can visit your past self.

    I don't accept the answer that the Starlog article posits, because of the fact that I don't agree with how he thinks alternate versions of Marty and Jennifer pop up to replace the ones that travel to the future. He also makes a lot of assumptions about the motives of Marty II.
     
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually, it would be possible for them to meet the future Marty and Jennifer, since from the future time point, Marty and Jen have already arrived back in 1985, thus completing the circuit, and just leaving the younger time travelling selves the opportunity to come forward and visit them without appearing to have disappeared.

    As Captain Janeway said once, time travel gives her (and us) headaches.
     
  5. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Except, as pointed out in the article, Marty and Jennifer would have remembered their future visit and would be anticipating their future arrival (unless you explain it away by saying Jennifer was drugged out half the time and thought the whole thing was a dream).

    In either event, I still maintain that going to the future effectively fast forwards time, and you don't exist in the interim. (i.e., if I freeze myself and wake up in the year 3000, everyone would think I just disappeared for 1000 years.)

    I also believe that I could go back to the past and kill my past self (or my grandpa) and I would continue to exist, since I come from a place where my past self (or my grandpa) did not get killed by a time travelling me. If I were somehow able to then return to my own time and universe, it would be like I didn't exist (a la It's a Wonderful Life). The BTTF movies don't follow this logic, because Marty starts to disappear when it becomes likely that his parents don't get married.

    One other complaint is that the life that Marty assumes when he goes to the new and improved 1985 (the one with a truck and successful parents and Biff is a mechanic), he's assuming the life of some other alternate Marty, one whom he knows nothing about. His family and friends would think its odd that he doesn't have the same knowledge and experiences as the alternate Marty. He'd show up to school the next day, and probably be in a whole bunch of different classes or something.

    Anyway, like I said. These are my favorite movies. They don't have to make sense for me to enjoy them, and I still watch them all on the regular.
     
  6. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I read that Starlog article- it all seems to hinge on this "figure" he thinks he can see near the start of the movie in the carpark.
    Now I've probably seen BTTF over 20 times and have never noticed this, so I got out the blu ray and tried to spot what he's talking about...... jesus you could watch that film a thousand times and never notice that. I *think* there's someone there I guess, for about 2 frames. It's obviously certainly not intentional.
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With BTTF 1, we see the START of the loop. Ever since then, Marty always went back to 1955, helped his parents get together, and then returned. That 2nd Marty at Lone Pine Mall we see at the end of BTTF1 taking off with the Delorean, that's part of the never ending loop. That Marty had successful parents who met because of some mysterious guy called Marty helping them in 1955. So that 2nd Marty is trapped in a predestined loop.

    But we, as the audience, always follow the very first Marty who started the predestination "paradox". He got the Delorean from a Doc Brown who never ever met Marty in 1955.
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    But that's not how time-travel works in the movies, there ARE no pre-destination paradoxes. Mart didn't have to travel back into time that night the past wasn't dependent on him and his travel back into time ENDANGERED things. So the same would apply to "the other Marty McFly." He doesn't need to travel back in time, his past isn't dependent on him.
     
  9. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I looked for "the other Marty" on my blue ray, but I don't see him. Can someone use a screen shot and circle him?
     
  10. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    He's not there.
     
  11. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's the Bill & Ted rules of time travel. "When we get back we'll put (whatever) right here so we can use it now," and there it is.

    Marty was only gone from 1985 if he didn't go back to the same time he left.
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was actually Eric Stoltz in the background planning his revenge because the producers were able to finally get Michael J. Fox to play Marty! He is truly the 'Other Marty Mcfly' . LOL
     
  13. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    Correct. That theory is from the old VHS days. When a person could not clearly pause on a frame.

    Its a classic case of believing you saw something because you want to think you are clever. Those articles predate the release of Part III. This was part of a theory that at the end of Part III Mary would learn he had been replaced in 1985 by this "other Marty". So he could not return to his normal life and would continue to time travel with Doc. Hence a setup for more sequels. Obviously none of that turned out of be true!
     
  14. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually I think thats more because there wouldn't be a temporal displacement device in 1984 to use for any potential trips forward in time and the one in 2029 was planned to be destroyed after sending Reese and the reprogrammed T-800 back in time, then any fundamental rule about time travel in the Terminator movies.
     
  15. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, that was a subtle quote from a South Park episode dealing with time travel.

     
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Plus weren't all the old VHS's released in 4:3 pan & scan, which actually provided more picture than the current widescreen DVD's and Blu-Ray's. (All three movies were shot in 1.37:1, but were filmed with a soft matte in mind for theatrical exhibition.). So people might've thought they saw something on "new" picture that wasn't seen in the theatrical exhibition.
     
  17. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Having got the Blu-Ray of the trilogy for X-mas, one of the things I noticed about part3 was rather odd.


    In part one, at some point over 30 years (but likely close to 1985) Do decides "what the hell" and reads the letter. However, on November 12, 1955, he's dead-set against it. so is it that the next day, he's not steaming mad - maybe at himself - when he learns of his own fate by reading his own letter.

    This makes me think that the theory of time travel in these films is comprised of separate layers. There is one reality in which no time travel ever happened. Then, layered through it somehow, is another layer wherein Mary travels to the past and meets Doc, and Doc refuses to read the letter until later, and that future resolves itself. The next layer assumes the other layer itself before Doc reads his own letter from 1885. My point is that Doc's decision to say "what the he''?" is not dependent on having read his own letter from 1885, and he would have come to that conclusion anyway, and the continuum would have assumed that that decision played itself out before mapping how Marty's return to see Doc the very next day might affect it. This works much like the logic of the second film, where in Mary and Jennifer can travel into the future but the time continuum assumes that they made it back to the present to grow up together and have kids.

    Oh gawd, my brain hurts. I love these movies.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Like he says, he figured "what the hell?!" once he knew the information he could then decide what to do with it. But he obviously must have read the letter in 1955 because it'd be hard to reassemble and tape together the letter without reading it. (But, I guess, not impossible.) It may have been the next day when things calmed down he figured there'd be little harm in it.

    It would have been nice if in 3 we had gotten a nod to the idea that Marty's plan will still work. With Doc picking the coat up off the ground (wearing it that morning in the cool California in November desert?), finding the scraps and getting a look of "You know..." in his head.

    It's also "possible" knowing the danger he was in Doc always WAS wearing the bullet-proof vest, Marty just never got the chance to see Doc survive the first time around because of the Libyans. (Doc remains on the ground, unconscious, in both versions of the time line through the DeLorean/Bus chase and time travel sequence. And in both cases Marty gives Doc a cursory check, the second time around "our" Marty apparently not noticing the lack of blood on the corpse or the bulky BP vest on Doc. So he must have "felt the same" as he did earlier.)
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Would those be the ... "travel back in time to the old west on a dirt bike and conceive your own grandmother with your incredible hot great-grandmother, then a helicopter shows up out of nowhere" ... rules?

    :)
     
  20. Argus Skyhawk

    Argus Skyhawk Commodore Commodore

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    I suppose its possible he kept the scraps together in an envelope and then reassembled them 30 years later, but not too likely though. So yeah, I always assumed Doc reassembled and read the letter in 1955.