Echoes of Time Travelers

edited February 2013 in General Discussion
There are many instances, particularly in Parts 2 and 3, where Doc or Marty travel to the past to accomplish some goal, but when they succeed in that goal, they eliminate the original purpose of going back. (Going to 1955 to retrieve the almanac, saving Doc from the west and destroying the tombstone, the list goes on.) This would seemingly be a variation of the Grandfather Paradox, as we are led to believe that BTTF exists on one constantly evolving timeline. But even though there is only one timeline, we have several different "realities" or "versions" of that timeline. (1985a, Twin Pines 1985, future where Marty gets in an accident)

The problem is that once one of these alternate realities get erased, people in
that reality aren't supposed to affect the timeline anymore. Take 2015 where Biff steals the almanac. If Old Biff from 2015 goes to 1955, only to create an alternate reality where Doc and Marty don't show up in 2015, how can he go back in time with the almanac? The answer, I think, is that no matter how many times you alter the timeline, an "echo" of older versions of time travelers must still exist to complete whatever action they are meant to complete.

To illustrate this more clearly, let's look at Part 2 when Doc and Marty go back to 1955. They see Old Biff hand over the almanac, an almanac from a version of 2015 that no longer exists. The Old Biff they see can't possibly be who Biff grows into anymore either, because once he gives Young Biff the almanac he creates 1985a. Doc and Marty would have had to take the time machine to 2015a in order for that Old Biff to even have a chance of using it. Therefore, this Old Biff should not exist. BUT HE DOES...He exists as an echo, a remnant from a destroyed reality. As soon as Old Biff drives off from 1955 at 88 mph, he'll just cease to exist because there's no timeline for him to go back to.

There are several "echos" present in the series. Once Marty goes back home in Part 3, the version of him in 1955 who travels to the Wild West must also be an echo. In BTTF the Game, there is a Citizen Brown timeline where the time machine was never invented, yet we still see Doc and Marty in a photo taken in the 30s. They were echoes.

Any thoughts on this theory?
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Comments

  • edited March 2012
    Rogers wrote: »
    There are many instances, particularly in Parts 2 and 3, where Doc or Marty travel to the past to accomplish some goal, but when they succeed in that goal, they eliminate the original purpose of going back. (Going to 1955 to retrieve the almanac, saving Doc from the west and destroying the tombstone, the list goes on.) This would seemingly be a variation of the Grandfather Paradox, as we are led to believe that BTTF exists on one constantly evolving timeline. But even though there is only one timeline, we have several different "realities" or "versions" of that timeline. (1985a, Twin Pines 1985, future where Marty gets in an accident)

    The problem is that once one of these alternate realities get erased, people in
    that reality aren't supposed to affect the timeline anymore. Take 2015 where Biff steals the almanac. If Old Biff from 2015 goes to 1955, only to create an alternate reality where Doc and Marty don't show up in 2015, how can he go back in time with the almanac? The answer, I think, is that no matter how many times you alter the timeline, an "echo" of older versions of time travelers must still exist to complete whatever action they are meant to complete.

    To illustrate this more clearly, let's look at Part 2 when Doc and Marty go back to 1955. They see Old Biff hand over the almanac, an almanac from a version of 2015 that no longer exists. The Old Biff they see can't possibly be who Biff grows into anymore either, because once he gives Young Biff the almanac he creates 1985a. Doc and Marty would have had to take the time machine to 2015a in order for that Old Biff to even have a chance of using it. Therefore, this Old Biff should not exist. BUT HE DOES...He exists as an echo, a remnant from a destroyed reality. As soon as Old Biff drives off from 1955 at 88 mph, he'll just cease to exist because there's no timeline for him to go back to.

    There are several "echos" present in the series. Once Marty goes back home in Part 3, the version of him in 1955 who travels to the Wild West must also be an echo. In BTTF the Game, there is a Citizen Brown timeline where the time machine was never invented, yet we still see Doc and Marty in a photo taken in the 30s. They were echoes.

    Any thoughts on this theory?

    Well, this isn't exactly a new theory...in fact its pretty much the most commonly accepted theory among the BTTF fandom. And really, its the ONLY plausible theory when explaining paradoxes like the entire plot of BTTF2!

    I do agree with this theory for the most part, except that I'm really not comfortable with the terminology of 'echo theory'...simply because I feel that time travelers from erased timelines DO have an existence as flesh and blood entities who CAN affect reality. They exist as long as the most likely future doesn't preclude their existence...the moment the probability of their future existence drops to 0, they get erased.

    So when Doc and Marty travel back to 1955 in BTTF2 and see the Marty from BTTF1, it would be easy to term that Marty as an 'echo' of the original Twin Pines Marty (since the 'most likely future' at the time is 1985-A, where the time machine wasn't invented and Marty was in Switzerland)...but THAT Marty is still every bit as real as he was in the context of the first film. He's not just some hologram or some illusion, or a puppet walking down a set path...he's every bit as real as 'our' Marty, and has free will. That is why Doc and Marty take particular pains not to interfere with him and let the chain of events unfold as they did originally.

    This becomes especially important when we consider situations where 'our' Marty and Doc end up in alternate timelines where the time machine wasn't invented. Say, consider the Citizen Brown timeline. Owing to Marty and Doc's actions in 1931, an alternate timeline is created which results in Doc having a radically different life, never meeting Marty and never developing the time machine. Doc is erased from existence the moment they touch down in the new alternate 1986, but Marty continues to exist and explore this new alternate world. Now, you can argue, in this timeline, the Marty and Doc who were in 1931 (as seen in the photograph) were 'echoes' who briefly existed simply to avoid a paradox. And yet, that Marty is very much alive and in existence after returning to 1986...and indeed, capable of making further time travel trips. So 'our' Marty is far more than just a mere echo.

    But honestly, the game totally confused the issue with regards to alternate timelines and alternate selves, by erasing Doc, and not Marty, when they arrive in FCB 1986. Why would the rules work differently for Doc, and not for Marty? Original Doc gets erased as soon as FCB comes into existence, FCB Doc gets erased as soon as the final timeline comes into existence...but Marty remains constant throughout...
  • sn939 wrote: »

    But honestly, the game totally confused the issue with regards to alternate timelines and alternate selves, by erasing Doc, and not Marty, when they arrive in FCB 1986. Why would the rules work differently for Doc, and not for Marty? Original Doc gets erased as soon as FCB comes into existence, FCB Doc gets erased as soon as the final timeline comes into existence...but Marty remains constant throughout...

    The rationale is the age gap; Marty is relatively the same age in 1986 with and without time travel but doc is decades apart if you remove time travel, lets say old doc lived for 100 years, you cant have a 100 year doc in a 1986 without time travel if he was born in 1913. Likewise old doc did not go to 1931 at age 73 without time travel hence old docs return.
  • edited March 2012
    The rationale is the age gap; Marty is relatively the same age in 1986 with and without time travel but doc is decades apart if you remove time travel, lets say old doc lived for 100 years, you cant have a 100 year doc in a 1986 without time travel if he was born in 1913. Likewise old doc did not go to 1931 at age 73 without time travel hence old docs return.

    I've heard that explanation before and I really don't buy it. Why would the timeline erase Original Doc based on a prediction of the life span of his alternate self. If the future isn't written, then on what basis would the timeline decide that FCB Doc won't live beyond a certain age, and moreover, transfer this assumption to the Original Doc who HAS already lived beyond that age?!!

    Okay, let us assume Original Doc is chronologically around 100 (I seriously doubt that, but just for the sake of argument). Now, FCB Doc may very well not live to be 100...but how can the timeline KNOW that?!! The future isn't written...so FCB Doc could die the very next day at age 72 by being run over by a car. Or he could die at age 80. Or with VERY GOOD advancements in health care (likely under the sterile regime of Hill Valley in this timeline), he could potentially even live to 120 for all anyone knows!!! It all depends on the choices he, and others around him, make. Human life span isn't predetermined...it has fluctuated, sometimes to extremes, and the space-time continuum really can't predict it.
  • sn939 wrote: »
    I've heard that explanation before and I really don't buy it. Why would the timeline erase Original Doc based on a prediction of the life span of his alternate self. If the future isn't written, then on what basis would the timeline decide that FCB Doc won't live beyond a certain age, and moreover, transfer this assumption to the Original Doc who HAS already lived beyond that age?!!

    Okay, let us assume Original Doc is chronologically around 100 (I seriously doubt that, but just for the sake of argument). Now, FCB Doc may very well not live to be 100...but how can the timeline KNOW that?!! The future isn't written...so FCB Doc could die the very next day at age 72 by being run over by a car. Or he could die at age 80. Or with VERY GOOD advancements in health care (likely under the sterile regime of Hill Valley in this timeline), he could potentially even live to 120 for all anyone knows!!! It all depends on the choices he, and others around him, make. Human life span isn't predetermined...it has fluctuated, sometimes to extremes, and the space-time continuum really can't predict it.

    But the point is that Doc should not be that age in 1986. He's lived at least 10 years away from his timeline and probably closer to 20. 18 year old Marty should exist in 1986 either way whereas docs age should rely solely on whether or not he has time traveled.
  • edited March 2012
    But the point is that Doc should not be that age in 1986. He's lived at least 10 years away from his timeline and probably closer to 20. 18 year old Marty should exist in 1986 either way whereas docs age should rely solely on whether or not he has time traveled.

    Okay, let me put it this way...

    FCB Doc is 72, has never time traveled...

    Original Doc is closer to 90 (a more reasonable estimate), but looks younger because of an early trip to the future...

    Now the way I see it, Original Doc would get erased because his very existence is an anomaly in this timeline...why would he get erased based on whether or not a specific incident in his alternate self's timeline occurred?

    Again, for your theory to work, one needs to assume that-

    a) The exact age at which FCB Doc will die has been pre-determined by the space-time continuum i.e. an element of predestination DOES exist in the BTTF-verse (which squarely contradicts the 'future isn't written' argument.

    b) That the space-time continuum would erase the Original Doc, NOT because he's an anomaly who logically shouldn't exist anymore, but based on its predictions about the maximum possible age his alternate self would attain.
  • edited March 2012
    The way I see it if Doc's age changed he would fade INTO a new looking a Doc instead of fading OUT.

    The reason why Doc faded was because he never time traveled. But why Marty didn't fade is beyond me. Even if someone else made the time machine using Doc's FC ideas he should still fade because Marty's reason for time travel is mostly with the help of Doc. If Doc didn't get stuck in 1931 then Marty would have no reason to go there.

    But I still think the theory about his age is absurd.
  • edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    The way I see it if Doc's age changed he would fade INTO a new looking a Doc instead of fading OUT.

    The reason why Doc faded was because he never time traveled. But why Marty didn't fade is beyond me. Even if someone else made the time machine using Doc's FC ideas he should still fade because Marty's reason for time travel is mostly with the help of Doc. If Doc didn't get stuck in 1931 then Marty would have no reason to go there.

    But I still think the theory about his age is absurd.

    I'm inclined to think that Doc fading out faster than Marty in the Citizen Brown timeline is just a plothole, which doesn't bother me very much because its not part of the main trilogy. I still like to take things from the game into account, such as Emmett's backstory and Kid Tannen because they seemed like they were intended to expand the BTTF-verse. I am just more forgiving with mistakes in the writing and the general silliness when it comes to the game.

    As far as this age theory goes, I don't really buy it either. It seems awfully contrived to me. I suppose it's better than any explanation I've heard though, if you really want to resolve the discrepancy.

    With this kind of stuff, it makes it easier for me to think if I use simple examples. Let's say Joe from the year 2000 spends 15 years building a time machine, and finishes it in 2015. He goes to 1985, and gets stranded when the time machine breaks. He then waits until the year 2000, when the parts he needs become available, but winds up taking the only parts that his 2000 self can use to build it in the first place. When he goes back to 2015, no time machine should exist. Does that mean he would instantly lose his memories and be some failed scientist? (Even weirder, does this mean that the time machine itself would still exist because its fadeout process was slower?)

    This is the logistic equivalent of Citizen Brown timeline if the age theory was true. And it just begs the question...why would the age be such an important factor when the time machine itself doesn't even fade away? I thought the whole point was that time machine should be gone, as long as its still there there's no reason why Doc should have faded away faster.
  • edited March 2012
    Rogers wrote: »
    I'm inclined to think that Doc fading out faster than Marty in the Citizen Brown timeline is just a plothole, which doesn't bother me very much because its not part of the main trilogy. I still like to take things from the game into account, such as Emmett's backstory and Kid Tannen because they seemed like they were intended to expand the BTTF-verse. I am just more forgiving with mistakes in the writing and the general silliness when it comes to the game.

    As far as this age theory goes, I don't really buy it either. It seems awfully contrived to me. I suppose it's better than any explanation I've heard though, if you really want to resolve the discrepancy.

    With this kind of stuff, it makes it easier for me to think if I use simple examples. Let's say Joe from the year 2000 spends 15 years building a time machine, and finishes it in 2015. He goes to 1985, and gets stranded when the time machine breaks. He then waits until the year 2000, when the parts he needs become available, but winds up taking the only parts that his 2000 self can use to build it in the first place. When he goes back to 2015, no time machine should exist. Does that mean he would instantly lose his memories and be some failed scientist? (Even weirder, does this mean that the time machine itself would still exist because its fadeout process was slower?)

    This is the logistic equivalent of Citizen Brown timeline if the age theory was true. And it just begs the question...why would the age be such an important factor when the time machine itself doesn't even fade away? I thought the whole point was that time machine should be gone, as long as its still there there's no reason why Doc should have faded away faster.

    Faster? Marty and the time machine didn't fade at all!
  • edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    The way I see it if Doc's age changed he would fade INTO a new looking a Doc instead of fading OUT.

    The reason why Doc faded was because he never time traveled. But why Marty didn't fade is beyond me. Even if someone else made the time machine using Doc's FC ideas he should still fade because Marty's reason for time travel is mostly with the help of Doc. If Doc didn't get stuck in 1931 then Marty would have no reason to go there.

    But I still think the theory about his age is absurd.

    Logically, it makes sense that Doc faded because FCB Doc never time traveled, and therefore the time traveling 'rejuvenated' version of Doc simply cannot exist. But then, in the Hell Valley and Tannen Mob timelines too, the alternate Docs never time traveled, and yet, 'our' Doc didn't fade! And that still didn't account for Marty...the alternate Marty's certainly didn't time travel in ANY of these alternate timelines, and yet Marty never faded...
    Rogers wrote: »
    I'm inclined to think that Doc fading out faster than Marty in the Citizen Brown timeline is just a plothole, which doesn't bother me very much because its not part of the main trilogy. I still like to take things from the game into account, such as Emmett's backstory and Kid Tannen because they seemed like they were intended to expand the BTTF-verse. I am just more forgiving with mistakes in the writing and the general silliness when it comes to the game.

    As far as this age theory goes, I don't really buy it either. It seems awfully contrived to me. I suppose it's better than any explanation I've heard though, if you really want to resolve the discrepancy.

    With this kind of stuff, it makes it easier for me to think if I use simple examples. Let's say Joe from the year 2000 spends 15 years building a time machine, and finishes it in 2015. He goes to 1985, and gets stranded when the time machine breaks. He then waits until the year 2000, when the parts he needs become available, but winds up taking the only parts that his 2000 self can use to build it in the first place. When he goes back to 2015, no time machine should exist. Does that mean he would instantly lose his memories and be some failed scientist? (Even weirder, does this mean that the time machine itself would still exist because its fadeout process was slower?)

    This is the logistic equivalent of Citizen Brown timeline if the age theory was true. And it just begs the question...why would the age be such an important factor when the time machine itself doesn't even fade away? I thought the whole point was that time machine should be gone, as long as its still there there's no reason why Doc should have faded away faster.

    Honestly, I think the only possible explanation is that Original Doc faded because it was a drastic change to HIS past which altered the timeline. Emmett Brown, as the inventor of the flux capacitor, is the lynchpin of the space-time continuum...rewriting his ENTIRE life (from age 17 onwards at any rate), such that he never even developed the IDEA of time travel screwed up the timeline SO badly, that not only was the Original Doc instantly erased, but the Delorean itself began to malfunction. Notice how the Delorean seemed to be affected by some kind of storm when Marty and Doc left 1931 at the end of Episode 2...it never really happened before. Its probably a clue that the timeline was REALLY f#cked up!!!
  • sn939 wrote: »
    Okay, let me put it this way...

    FCB Doc is 72, has never time traveled...

    Original Doc is closer to 90 (a more reasonable estimate), but looks younger because of an early trip to the future...

    Now the way I see it, Original Doc would get erased because his very existence is an anomaly in this timeline...why would he get erased based on whether or not a specific incident in his alternate self's timeline occurred?

    Again, for your theory to work, one needs to assume that-

    a) The exact age at which FCB Doc will die has been pre-determined by the space-time continuum i.e. an element of predestination DOES exist in the BTTF-verse (which squarely contradicts the 'future isn't written' argument.

    b) That the space-time continuum would erase the Original Doc, NOT because he's an anomaly who logically shouldn't exist anymore, but based on its predictions about the maximum possible age his alternate self would attain.

    Then how do you explain Marty fading in part I? The timeline should logically be correcting itself now that time travel has been erased. There was also much more that changed with Doc than Marty. For instance doc's biology itself changes quite a bit between timelines.
  • edited March 2012
    sn939 wrote: »
    Honestly, I think the only possible explanation is that Original Doc faded because it was a drastic change to HIS past which altered the timeline. Emmett Brown, as the inventor of the flux capacitor, is the lynchpin of the space-time continuum...rewriting his ENTIRE life (from age 17 onwards at any rate), such that he never even developed the IDEA of time travel screwed up the timeline SO badly, that not only was the Original Doc instantly erased, but the Delorean itself began to malfunction. Notice how the Delorean seemed to be affected by some kind of storm when Marty and Doc left 1931 at the end of Episode 2...it never really happened before. Its probably a clue that the timeline was REALLY f#cked up!!!

    I don't buy that either. Remember that in this timeline Marty is a nerd, doesn't like music, and even his name changed to Martin! That's a significant change to his life. Plus I honestly don't think how significant a change is should matter.

    Also Doc did invent the idea for the time machine. In episode 3 it is shown that the flux capacitor is the only thing that wasn't erased in his note book.
    Then how do you explain Marty fading in part I? The timeline should logically be correcting itself now that time travel has been erased. There was also much more that changed with Doc than Marty. For instance doc's biology itself changes quite a bit between timelines.

    Is that a real question? Marty faded (Or started to fade) in episode 1 because he would cease to exist! It has nothing to do with age!
  • edited March 2012
    Then how do you explain Marty fading in part I? The timeline should logically be correcting itself now that time travel has been erased. There was also much more that changed with Doc than Marty. For instance doc's biology itself changes quite a bit between timelines.

    Marty starts to fade out because the probability of his very EXISTENCE is coming precariously close to 0 when George and Lorraine almost don't kiss. Its really that simple...

    The argument you're making for Doc is far more convoluted...

    Okay, let us assume the age-related argument for Doc is true. Now imagine this scenario-

    Original Marty is at least a little over two weeks older than FCB Marty, because of all the time travel he's done in the movies and the game so far.

    Now let us assume that at some point while he's in FCB 1986, Marty decides to kill off his alternate counterpart. So he hires an assassin and gives that assassin PRECISE instructions to kill his alternate self exactly ONE WEEK later! The assassin has a 100 percent success rate and essentially, there is absolutely NO CHANCE in hell that FCB Marty can avoid getting killed. His fate is sealed. The most likely future is one where FCB Marty is DEAD a week from now.

    Now, by your logic, the moment Original Marty gives the assassin the instructions which seal his alternate counterparts fate beyond a shadow of a doubt...he should fade from existence! Why? Because if FCB Marty is X years old, and Original Marty is X+2 years old...then Original Marty cannot possibly exist any longer because the timeline KNOWS that FCB Marty is not going to live beyond X+1 years...never mind the fact that the killing is scheduled for a WEEK later!

    You can see now how illogical and convoluted this argument is...
  • sn939 wrote: »
    Marty starts to fade out because the probability of his very EXISTENCE is coming precariously close to 0 when George and Lorraine almost don't kiss. Its really that simple...

    The argument you're making for Doc is far more convoluted...

    Okay, let us assume the age-related argument for Doc is true. Now imagine this scenario-

    Original Marty is at least a little over two weeks older than FCB Marty, because of all the time travel he's done in the movies and the game so far.

    Now let us assume that at some point while he's in FCB 1986, Marty decides to kill off his alternate counterpart. So he hires an assassin and gives that assassin PRECISE instructions to kill his alternate self exactly ONE WEEK later! The assassin has a 100 percent success rate and essentially, there is absolutely NO CHANCE in hell that FCB Marty can avoid getting killed. His fate is sealed. The most likely future is one where FCB Marty is DEAD a week from now.

    Now, by your logic, the moment Original Marty gives the assassin the instructions which seal his alternate counterparts fate beyond a shadow of a doubt...he should fade from existence! Why? Because if FCB Marty is X years old, and Original Marty is X+2 years old...then Original Marty cannot possibly exist any longer because the timeline KNOWS that FCB Marty is not going to live beyond X+1 years...never mind the fact that the killing is scheduled for a WEEK later!

    You can see now how illogical and convoluted this argument is...

    Well there is no proof an alternate marty still exists. In fact there's proof it doesn't work this way; the eastwood timeline is an alternate timeline for marty (who is from twin pine). He's been there for 6 months and there's clearly no eastwood Marty lurking around.

    There is proof the timeline can predict the future without time travel; in part II when Marty burns the almanac, the newspapers from 1973 and 1983 immediately change. Not unreasonable at all to predict FCB does not live to age 90.
  • edited March 2012
    Well there is no proof an alternate marty still exists. In fact there's proof it doesn't work this way; the eastwood timeline is an alternate timeline for marty (who is from twin pine). He's been there for 6 months and there's clearly no eastwood Marty lurking around.

    There is proof the timeline can predict the future without time travel; in part II when Marty burns the almanac, the newspapers from 1973 and 1983 immediately change. Not unreasonable at all to predict FCB does not live to age 90.

    The Eastwood timeline MAY be an 'alternate timeline' in the technical sense, but it differs very much from the kind of alternate timeline we're discussing here (Citizen Brown, Hell Valley etc.) in one very pertinent way...the fact that Eastwood Marty, UNLIKE FCB Marty or Hell Valley Marty, time traveled. From Doc and Marty's POV, it doesn't matter what changes...as long as a few basic facts stay the same (Doc coming up with the flux capacitor, inventing the time machine, becoming friends with Marty, the experiment at the mall, Marty getting sent back to 1955 etc.) happen, they still consider it the 'normal' timeline, albeit with a few changes.

    There is no way Hell Valley Marty OR FCB Marty ever time traveled. So, if you claim there is no alternate Marty, then the question arises...WHAT happened to the alternate Marty? He clearly existed...people in the FCB timeline have memories of him...did he simply cease to exist the moment 'our' Marty showed up in 1986? What sense does that make really? If at all a Marty was to be erased, shouldn't it be 'our' Marty? (since that's clearly what happened to 'our' Doc)

    As far as your second point goes...true, the timeline has always been able to predict the 'most likely future' based on the current status quo, but consider the kind of predictions it has made. The timeline has 'predicted', as of November 12th 1955, that without Biff having the Almanac, George McFly will be alive and well in 1973 and win an award. A plausible enough prediction to make, given the current status quo (George having just gained confidence by punching out Biff is likely to become a writer, and Biff can't do a thing about it!) But remember, the only reason this prediction has manifested itself in a material form is because a material piece of the future is in the past...namely, the newspaper. The newspaper is intrinsically 'linked' to its time period of origin and as such is a window to what will happen at that point of time along the current timeline. Its not the timeline itself making the prediction. Also, other predictions, like the probability of Bufford killing Marty in a duel, or Griff being arrested for vandalising the Courthouse are pretty straight-forward predictions to make. But predicting the total life span of a person, given the MILLIONS of factors that affect that, is another matter entirely...

    What I'm trying to point out also, that its not the continuum ITSELF predicting the future, as much as objects linked to the future by virtue of their origin giving a window to a certain time period...
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    I think Doc faded because the old Doc couldn't exist in this timeline without the rejuvenation treatments he received in 2015. Since the trip to extend his life took place in 1985, and the event didn't occur in the new timeline, he faded out.

    It makes sense in terms of the movies if you take into account that Old Biff faded out in 2015 because he would have been killed by that point in the Hell Valley timeline.
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    I think Doc faded because the old Doc couldn't exist in this timeline without the rejuvenation treatments he received in 2015. Since the trip to extend his life took place in 1985, and the event didn't occur in the new timeline, he faded out.

    It makes sense in terms of the movies if you take into account that Old Biff faded out in 2015 because he would have been killed by that point in the Hell Valley timeline.

    That still doesn't make sense. He doesn't need those treatments to survive. He'll just fade into a new Doc.

    I give up. There is no reason for Doc to fade out and not Marty. It's just a plot hole because of shitty writers. TTG ruined Back to the Future.
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    That still doesn't make sense. He doesn't need those treatments to survive. He'll just fade into a new Doc.
    But Old Doc isn't actually from 1986. He can't just fade into his 1986 self. That's not how it works in the Back to the Future universe, or else Marty would have faded into Switzerland Marty in Back to the Future II because Marty was a week older than he should be. Citizen Brown is the 1986 Doc. He already exists. 21st century Citizen Brown doesn't exist, so Doc can't either.

    It doesn't mess with the message of the future isn't written, because it still falls within the rules of the Back to the Future universe. Doc's message to Jennifer and Marty in Back to the Future III is more like the future in any particular timeline already exists (or else there wouldn't be a Marty and Jennifer in 2015 in Back to the Future II), but it still can be written to how they want it because they haven't lived it yet.

    The reason Doc faded is a matter of the time ripple effect. The ripple effect catches up to people faster if they go past the time period where the error that caused them to not exist had occurred. Because Doc went past 1931 (where the changes to his life occurred that caused him to not live into the 21st century), he couldn't beat the ripple effect to save his life, just as Biff couldn't beat the ripple effect when he went past the 1990's (since Bob Gale said it was intended that Lorraine killed Biff in the 1990's in the Hell Valley timeline).
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    But Old Doc isn't actually from 1986. He can't just fade into his 1986 self. That's not how it works in the Back to the Future universe, or else Marty would have faded into Switzerland Marty in Back to the Future II because Marty was two weeks older than he should be. Citizen Brown is the 1986 Doc. He already exists. 21st century Citizen Brown doesn't exist, so Doc can't either.

    It doesn't mess with the message of the future isn't written, because it still falls within the rules of the Back to the Future universe. Doc's message to Jennifer and Marty in Back to the Future III is more like the future in any particular timeline already exists (or else there wouldn't be a Marty and Jennifer in 2015 in Back to the Future II), but it can be changed since they haven't lived it yet.

    The reason Doc faded is a matter of the time ripple effect. The ripple effect catches up to people faster if they go past the time period where the error that caused them to not exist had occurred. Because Doc went past 1931 (where the changes to his life occurred that caused him to not live into the 21st century), he couldn't beat the ripple effect to save his life, just as Biff couldn't beat the ripple effect when he went past the 1990's (since Bob Gale said it was intended that Lorraine killed Biff in the 1990's in the Hell Valley timeline).

    I agree...it makes perfect sense for Doc to fade because his timeline was drastically changed after 1931. What we're trying to make sense of here, is why did Doc fade and Marty and the Delorean NOT fade?!!

    In the Hell Valley timeline, and the Tannen Mob ruled timeline in Ep 2, both Marty and Doc didn't fade. Even if you assume the Citizen Brown timeline messed up things SO badly as compared to the other two timeline, then why didn't BOTH Marty and Doc fade?!!

    Honestly, the only workable theory IMO is that Doc is fundamentally different from any other time traveler in that he's the inventor of time travel, and so changing his past critically tends to scr#w things up more and have unpredictable effects!
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    sn939 wrote: »
    I agree...it makes perfect sense for Doc to fade because his timeline was drastically changed after 1931. What we're trying to make sense of here, is why did Doc fade and Marty and the Delorean NOT fade?!!
    Doc's changes led to the end of his life, so the ripple effect hit him quickly. Marty and the DeLorean weren't unaffected by the ripple effect. They were just affected at a slower rate because Marty is still alive in 1986 in the Citizen Brown timeline, and the DeLorean that the time machine was made from still would have been manufactured in the Citizen Brown timeline (as would the base components that made up the gadgets inside of it).
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    Doc's changes led to the end of his life, so the ripple effect hit him quickly. Marty and the DeLorean weren't unaffected by the ripple effect. They were just affected at a slower rate because Marty is still alive in 1986 in the Citizen Brown timeline, and the DeLorean that the time machine was made from still would have been manufactured in the Citizen Brown timeline (as would the base components that made up the gadgets inside of it).

    Bullshit. If Doc faded instantly then Marty and the time machine would at least fade in a couple hours.
  • edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    Bullshit. If Doc faded instantly then Marty and the time machine would at least fade in a couple hours.

    Speaking of the Delorean...an interesting point we've all overlooked is that Citizen Brown spends about 6 months repairing the Delorean before traveling back to pick up Marty in Episode 4. Which means that, in one version of the FCB timeline, the Delorean actually lasted for SIX MONTHS without fading!

    This leads me to wonder if Marty would have faded AT ALL in any of the alternate timelines...
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    Bullshit. If Doc faded instantly then Marty and the time machine would at least fade in a couple hours.
    Marty didn't fade in a couple of hours in 1955, despite the fact that he eliminated the chances of his birth. It took a week for him to fade because he was still in the right time period to fix the discrepencies.

    There's two ways to look at this:
    1) Marty and the DeLorean were in 1986 when Emmett Brown (Citizen Brown) was still alive, so they were in the right time period to fix the discrepencies.

    2) Marty put the spark in Citizen Brown's mind about the time machine, so time was still being written in regards to the DeLorean.
    sn939 wrote: »
    Speaking of the Delorean...an interesting point we've all overlooked is that Citizen Brown spends about 6 months repairing the Delorean before traveling back to pick up Marty in Episode 4. Which means that, in one version of the FCB timeline, the Delorean actually lasted for SIX MONTHS without fading!
    Once Citizen Brown fixed the time machine, the discrepancies in the timeline (that being that the DeLorean never could have existed since Emmett Brown never built it) were repaired.
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    Marty didn't fade in a couple of hours in 1955, despite the fact that he eliminated the chances of his birth. It took a week for him to fade because he was still in the right time period to fix the discrepencies.

    There's two ways to look at this:
    1) Marty and the DeLorean were in 1986 when Emmett Brown (Citizen Brown) was still alive, so they were in the right time period to fix the discrepencies.

    2) Marty put the spark in Citizen Brown's mind about the time machine, so time was still being written in regards to the DeLorean.


    Once Citizen Brown fixed the time machine, the discrepancies in the timeline (that being that the DeLorean never could have existed since Emmett Brown never built it) were repaired.

    What? You can't fix something that DOESN'T EXIST! No amount of repairing can stop something from fading out of existence. It's not possible.

    The reason why it took a week for Marty was because the dance was the junction point. The junction point for this change is the science expo which was long ago. Plus there is no reason for time to catch up with Doc instantly but longer for Marty.
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    What? You can't fix something that DOESN'T EXIST! No amount of repairing can stop something from fading out of existence. It's not possible.
    But the DeLorean did exist. It was still manufactured by the DeLorean motor company, regardless of Doc's intervention. The stuff that didn't exist was the Doc Brown invented gadgets, which is why the DeLorean broke down upon arrival in 1986. Although the base parts would still exist (such as the glass tubes in the flux capacitor for instance. They still exist in the Citizen Brown timeline so that's why it looks like the flux capacitor, but isn't the flux capacitor, since the Doc Brown invented stuff that actually makes it the flux capacitor hasn't been invented). Once Citizen Brown invented the time travel gadgets and installed them into the DeLorean, he fixed the discrepancies in the timeline, since at that point the DeLorean was no longer just a DeLorean, but was a time travelling DeLorean.
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    Plus there is no reason for time to catch up with Doc instantly but longer for Marty.
    The changes in 1931 led to Doc's death so he faded quickly just as Biff did in Back to the Future II. Marty and the DeLorean still existed in 1986, so the ripple effect took longer to catch up to them.
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    But the DeLorean did exist. It was still manufactured by the DeLorean motor company, regardless of Doc's intervention. The stuff that didn't exist was the Doc Brown invented gadgets, which is why the DeLorean broke down upon arrival in 1986. Although the base parts would still exist (such as the glass tubes in the flux capacitor for instance. They still exist in the Citizen Brown timeline so that's why it looks like the flux capacitor, but isn't the flux capacitor, since the Doc Brown invented stuff that actually makes it the flux capacitor hasn't been invented). Once Citizen Brown invented the time travel gadgets and installed them into the DeLorean, he fixed the discrepancies in the timeline, since at that point the DeLorean was no longer just a DeLorean, but was a time travelling DeLorean.


    The changes in 1931 led to Doc's death so he faded quickly just as Biff did in Back to the Future II. Marty and the DeLorean still existed in 1986, so the ripple effect took longer to catch up to them.

    The time machine broke because it crashed into a fucking billboard!

    There is no proof that Doc died. We also have no idea how old he really is.

    It's a plothole. Plain and simple.
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    The time machine broke because it crashed into a fucking billboard!
    Regardless, the DeLorean still would have existed in that time period as I stated above.
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    There is no proof that Doc died. We also have no idea how old he really is.
    We do know old Doc is. Telltale foreshadowed his death by letting the player know that he's older than he should be. He says in It's About Time that he's almost 100.
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    Regardless, the DeLorean still would have existed in that time period as I stated above.


    We do know old Doc is. Telltale foreshadowed his death by letting the player know that he's older than he should be. He says in It's About Time that he's almost 100.

    Honestly, I don't think Doc's precise age was stated at any point in the game. According to the game, he was born in 1914, which would have made him 71 in 1985. He spent over 10 years trapped in 1885, so that made him around 81 chronologically. We don't know how long it has been for Doc in Episode 1 since he last met Marty...but I certainly don't think its been twenty years, or even ten (!)
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    Regardless, the DeLorean still would have existed in that time period as I stated above.


    We do know old Doc is. Telltale foreshadowed his death by letting the player know that he's older than he should be. He says in It's About Time that he's almost 100.

    So that explains why it still had flying parts or that it still had the ability to time travel before the crash? This is a huge hole in your logic.
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    sn939 wrote: »
    Honestly, I don't think Doc's precise age was stated at any point in the game. According to the game, he was born in 1914, which would have made him 71 in 1985. He spent over 10 years trapped in 1885, so that made him around 81 chronologically. We don't know how long it has been for Doc in Episode 1 since he last met Marty...but I certainly don't think its been twenty years, or even ten (!)
    Doc said "if I live to be 100, which I almost have" in It's About Time.

    He also said Jules and Verne are going to college, which would mean that 19 years had passed since their conception. That would make Doc 90. Add in the amount of time it took Doc and Clara to be married, and the time it took to conceive a child, and the time definitely lines up with Doc's statement that he's almost 100.
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    So that explains why it still had flying parts or that it still had the ability to time travel before the crash? This is a huge hole in your logic.
    The DeLorean had the ability to time travel before the crash because the time ripple didn't catch up to it yet since Doc didn't fade from existence until after they traveled through time.

    As for the flying parts, they still exist in the timeline in 2015 (and as I mentioned before the future already exists as evidenced by Marty and Jennifer living in the future despite the fact that they hadn't lived it yet), since Doc Brown wasn't the one who invented them. Since they still exist, the time ripple took longer to catch up to it, as it had with Marty and the DeLorean itself.
  • Jennifer wrote: »
    Doc said "if I live to be 100, which I almost have" in It's About Time.

    He also said Jules and Verne are going to college, which would mean that 19 years had passed since their conception. That would make Doc 90. Add in the amount of time it took Doc and Clara to be married, and the time it took to conceive a child, and the time definitely lines up with Doc's statement that he's almost 100.


    The DeLorean had the ability to time travel before the crash because the time ripple didn't catch up to it yet since Doc didn't fade from existence until after they traveled through time.

    As for the flying parts, they still exist in the timeline in 2015 (and as I mentioned before the future already exists as evidenced by Marty and Jennifer living in the future despite the fact that they hadn't lived it yet), since Doc Brown wasn't the one who invented them. Since they still exist, the time ripple took longer to catch up to it, as it had with Marty and the DeLorean itself.

    good point. Doc does state in the first episode he visited Marty and Jennifer in 2011 so the future does exist (as we also see at the end of the game)

    the critical junction point of the FCB timeline is Emmett avoiding seeing Frankenstein. He avoids it at basically the exact same time Doc and Marty go back to the future. I don't know why people find it so inconceivable that Doc wont live as long without his rejuvenation.
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    Doc said "if I live to be 100, which I almost have" in It's About Time.

    He also said Jules and Verne are going to college, which would mean that 19 years had passed since their conception. That would make Doc 90. Add in the amount of time it took Doc and Clara to be married, and the time it took to conceive a child, and the time definitely lines up with Doc's statement that he's almost 100.


    The DeLorean had the ability to time travel before the crash because the time ripple didn't catch up to it yet since Doc didn't fade from existence until after they traveled through time.

    As for the flying parts, they still exist in the timeline in 2015 (and as I mentioned before the future already exists as evidenced by Marty and Jennifer living in the future despite the fact that they hadn't lived it yet), since Doc Brown wasn't the one who invented them. Since they still exist, the time ripple took longer to catch up to it, as it had with Marty and the DeLorean itself.

    But that would cause a paradox. It doesn't matter how long it takes to catch up with it. You seem to forget when something fades, it fades from existent. Not from that point on. Once the parts for time travel didn't exist it would be impossible to return from 1931 let alone get there, regardless if he got there before it faded.

    I can sort of consider the age thing now. But it's just plain speculation. But I still can't see why Marty didn't fade. If time travel never existed then it would be one paradox after another which once again, makes it impossible for Marty to return from 1931. Same goes for every other time travel.
  • edited March 2012
    good point. Doc does state in the first episode he visited Marty and Jennifer in 2011 so the future does exist (as we also see at the end of the game)

    the critical junction point of the FCB timeline is Emmett avoiding seeing Frankenstein. He avoids it at basically the exact same time Doc and Marty go back to the future. I don't know why people find it so inconceivable that Doc wont live as long without his rejuvenation.

    The question about whether or not the future 'exists', and in what form does it exist, in the BTTF-verse, is an interesting debate in itself, and surprisingly not one which I've seen much discussion about in the fandom yet. The way I see it, the future does EXIST in the sense that there undoubtedly WILL be a future, which logically follows on from the events of the present...but the future really can't exist in the same way the past does. That's what makes it different from the past...

    Now, when you add time travel to the mix, things get REALLY complicated, because then it becomes a matter of perspective. Personally, I feel that when a time traveler is in the past, the future he came from doesn't really 'exist' for him anymore than it does for anyone else...and let, HE is living proof that there IS a future.

    BTTF honestly plays with this both ways-we're told in BTTF3 that the future isn't written...it's a blank slate which is constantly shaped by the actions of the present. On the other hand, the changing photographs and newspapers seem to give the impression of the future existing in some concrete sense...but being in a constant state of flux depending on the actions of time travelers in the past.

    I think Jennifer being left behind in 1985 while Marty and Doc are gallivanting about in the past is an interesting study in perspectives-on the one hand, while they're in 1885, Doc says that the future isn't written and can be 'whatever one wants it to be'. Hell, the changing picture of the tombstone clearly indicates that the events of September 7th 1885 are not yet set in stone...let alone the far future. And yet, Marty and Doc talk about Jennifer, who was left behind on the porch in 1985, in the sense of her being someone they've left behind in a clearly definable place which they can easily return to. They also speak of Marty burning the Almanac in 1955, almost as if '1955' was a country Marty had recently visited, before moving to 1885! The truth is that going by the 'future isn't written' philosophy in the strictest sense...NOTHING is set in stone yet! If the outcome of Marty's confrontation with Bufford Tannen on September 7th 1885 hasn't been 'written'...then how can one even speak of someone being left behind on a porch in 1985, or someone burning a book from 2015 in the year 1955, in any absolute sense?

    The characters have a tendency to refer to different time periods as places, which is what leads to this whole idea of the future 'existing' in some form. When Marty tells Jennifer at the end about how "Doc's never coming back", he speaks in terms of Doc being trapped in some place, with the time barrier merely being like a wire fence preventing him from getting back home. He simply doesn't think in terms of the fact that Doc would logically have been dead for DECADES already...so any question of him being 'trapped' somewhere or not 'coming back' is a moot point already. But I guess time travel being as troubling to logic as it is, requires this kind of rationalization as the only sane way to deal with it!
  • sn939 wrote: »
    The question about whether or not the future 'exists', and in what form does it exist, in the BTTF-verse, is an interesting debate in itself, and surprisingly not one which I've seen much discussion about in the fandom yet. The way I see it, the future does EXIST in the sense that there undoubtedly WILL be a future, which logically follows on from the events of the present...but the future really can't exist in the same way the past does. That's what makes it different from the past...

    Now, when you add time travel to the mix, things get REALLY complicated, because then it becomes a matter of perspective. Personally, I feel that when a time traveler is in the past, the future he came from doesn't really 'exist' for him anymore than it does for anyone else...and let, HE is living proof that there IS a future.

    BTTF honestly plays with this both ways-we're told in BTTF3 that the future isn't written...it's a blank slate which is constantly shaped by the actions of the present. On the other hand, the changing photographs and newspapers seem to give the impression of the future existing in some concrete sense...but being in a constant state of flux depending on the actions of time travelers in the past.

    I think Jennifer being left behind in 1985 while Marty and Doc are gallivanting about in the past is an interesting study in perspectives-on the one hand, while they're in 1885, Doc says that the future isn't written and can be 'whatever one wants it to be'. Hell, the changing picture of the tombstone clearly indicates that the events of September 7th 1885 are not yet set in stone...let alone the far future. And yet, Marty and Doc talk about Jennifer, who was left behind on the porch in 1985, in the sense of her being someone they've left behind in a clearly definable place which they can easily return to. They also speak of Marty burning the Almanac in 1955, almost as if '1955' was a country Marty had recently visited, before moving to 1885! The truth is that going by the 'future isn't written' philosophy in the strictest sense...NOTHING is set in stone yet! If the outcome of Marty's confrontation with Bufford Tannen on September 7th 1885 hasn't been 'written'...then how can one even speak of someone being left behind on a porch in 1985, or someone burning a book from 2015 in the year 1955, in any absolute sense?

    The characters have a tendency to refer to different time periods as places, which is what leads to this whole idea of the future 'existing' in some form. When Marty tells Jennifer at the end about how "Doc's never coming back", he speaks in terms of Doc being trapped in some place, with the time barrier merely being like a wire fence preventing him from getting back home. He simply doesn't think in terms of the fact that Doc would logically have been dead for DECADES already...so any question of him being 'trapped' somewhere or not 'coming back' is a moot point already. But I guess time travel being as troubling to logic as it is, requires this kind of rationalization as the only sane way to deal with it!

    The future (in BTTF) is similar to the past in the sense that it can not be changed without time travel; look at 2015; doc clearly maps out what will happen on that day and everything happens on schedule. It's not just a possible future, it is part of the timeline as the same events occur until they are changed by time trave; the newspaper of the next day still exists as do the almanac and biffs cane. also the fax of marty being fired; this functions similar to photos and newspapers that we see change; they change when the junction point causing them changes; All Marty's life (up to 2015) he has the flaw of not being able to back down when being called chicken. The events of the old west make him start to believe he shouldn't care what others think; any combination of Seamus brother Martin getting killed by being like him, the fact that Doc wouldn't have been stuck in the old west if Marty backed away from Biff, and that using logic over emotion (cheating in the duel with Buford) prevails leads him to that conclusion. The car accident was a critical point in Marty's life which led to the future we see in 2015. But in that timeline Marty did not have the events of 1885. Once Marty avoided it (again showing him that backing down clearly was the better choice), the fax erases.

    Now there's many reasons the fax could erase. One being that if in that situation again in 2015, Marty wont reply to Needles calling him chicken but also that he does not give up on his music (as the car accident does so).


    It is difficult to get a good gage on what you're saying because the only time travel during the films or games that we do see on screen which doesn't end up changing the timeline is Einstein going one minute into the future. But the 2015 experience is a good indicator on how the timeline plays out.



    So in episodes 2/3 the delorean still exists in the FCB timeline for the same reason the almanac and cane from the future still exist in Hell valley; they weren't erased from existance.
  • edited March 2012
    The future (in BTTF) is similar to the past in the sense that it can not be changed without time travel; look at 2015; doc clearly maps out what will happen on that day and everything happens on schedule. It's not just a possible future, it is part of the timeline as the same events occur until they are changed by time trave; the newspaper of the next day still exists as do the almanac and biffs cane. also the fax of marty being fired; this functions similar to photos and newspapers that we see change; they change when the junction point causing them changes; All Marty's life (up to 2015) he has the flaw of not being able to back down when being called chicken. The events of the old west make him start to believe he shouldn't care what others think; any combination of Seamus brother Martin getting killed by being like him, the fact that Doc wouldn't have been stuck in the old west if Marty backed away from Biff, and that using logic over emotion (cheating in the duel with Buford) prevails leads him to that conclusion. The car accident was a critical point in Marty's life which led to the future we see in 2015. But in that timeline Marty did not have the events of 1885. Once Marty avoided it (again showing him that backing down clearly was the better choice), the fax erases.

    Now there's many reasons the fax could erase. One being that if in that situation again in 2015, Marty wont reply to Needles calling him chicken but also that he does not give up on his music (as the car accident does so).


    It is difficult to get a good gage on what you're saying because the only time travel during the films or games that we do see on screen which doesn't end up changing the timeline is Einstein going one minute into the future. But the 2015 experience is a good indicator on how the timeline plays out.



    So in episodes 2/3 the delorean still exists in the FCB timeline for the same reason the almanac and cane from the future still exist in Hell valley; they weren't erased from existance.

    Its true the future is shown to be just like the past in BTTF2...with events unfolding the same way until they are changed by the time travelers intervention. Okay...maybe that reasoning is a bit flawed. But at least in the case of the past, it was made amply clear in BTTF1 that the past wasn't just another room where you went, made changes to, and returned to the present like nothing happened. The causal link between past and present is clearly illustrated in BTTF1, with virtually EVERY action caused by Marty's presence in 1955 has some repercussions in 1985...from the smallest ones (running over the pine tree causing the mall name to change) to the biggest ones (George's confidence which translates into the McFly family's success).

    But this causal link becomes a lot less clear with 2015 though. Because, every second Doc and Marty spend in 2015, they change not only the future, but also the PAST. Because both Doc and Marty are from 1985...every action they take, which wasn't taken in the previous timeline, affects 1985 as well, and consequently, 2015 should logically be changing, even imperceptibly if nothing else, every second as well. Everything 'our' Marty sees in 2015 is something he hasn't seen 'before' (in the previous timeline), and so he his very presence in 2015, by changing HIS timeline and therefore the timeline of 1985, should be changing 2015 as well! But instead, 2015 seems to be like this parallel universe or possible future, which Marty and Doc can observe and interact with to change stuff directly, but which has seemingly no causal connection to them.

    The original 'Number Two' script, despite its flaws, actually did attempt to illustrate this causal connection between 1985 and 2015...when 1985 Jennifer pricks her finger on a thorn, we see 2015 Jennifer experience some residual pain from that. Now personally, I'm glad this 'pain transference' thing didn't make it to the finished film, but at least it illustrated the fact that the future Jennifer was causally dependent on the present Jennifer, and her past was changing in some sense with every action of Jennifer's in the future.

    You do make a good point about the newspapers and the Almanac. In fact, that's one of the peculiar points about causality in BTTF. The information contained in objects from the future change based on the time traveler's actions in the past (relative to the origin point of those objects), but the objects themselves are never erased, even if the causal chain which leads to their presence in the time traveler's hands, is erased. So, the 'GEORGE MCFLY MURDERED' newspaper changes into the 'GEORGE MCFLY HONOURED' newspaper when the Almanac is burnt, which makes perfect sense given that the future has changed...but the newspaper itself still exists in Marty's hands in 1955, despite the fact that the chain of events which LED to the newspaper's presence in his hands has been erased. Which makes me wonder...could the same apply to the Delorean? Can the Delorean still exist, even if the chain of events which led to its creation has been erased?
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    Tornreaper wrote: »
    But that would cause a paradox. It doesn't matter how long it takes to catch up with it. You seem to forget when something fades, it fades from existent. Not from that point on. Once the parts for time travel didn't exist it would be impossible to return from 1931 let alone get there, regardless if he got there before it faded.
    In the Back to the Future universe, objects exist until they completely fade out, or else Biff wouldn't have been able to time travel back to 2015 since he faded from existence due to having died in the 1990's in the new timeline.
  • sn939 wrote: »
    Its true the future is shown to be just like the past in BTTF2...with events unfolding the same way until they are changed by the time travelers intervention. Okay...maybe that reasoning is a bit flawed. But at least in the case of the past, it was made amply clear in BTTF1 that the past wasn't just another room where you went, made changes to, and returned to the present like nothing happened. The causal link between past and present is clearly illustrated in BTTF1, with virtually EVERY action caused by Marty's presence in 1955 has some repercussions in 1985...from the smallest ones (running over the pine tree causing the mall name to change) to the biggest ones (George's confidence which translates into the McFly family's success).

    But this causal link becomes a lot less clear with 2015 though. Because, every second Doc and Marty spend in 2015, they change not only the future, but also the PAST. Because both Doc and Marty are from 1985...every action they take, which wasn't taken in the previous timeline, affects 1985 as well, and consequently, 2015 should logically be changing, even imperceptibly if nothing else, every second as well. Everything 'our' Marty sees in 2015 is something he hasn't seen 'before' (in the previous timeline), and so he his very presence in 2015, by changing HIS timeline and therefore the timeline of 1985, should be changing 2015 as well! But instead, 2015 seems to be like this parallel universe or possible future, which Marty and Doc can observe and interact with to change stuff directly, but which has seemingly no causal connection to them.

    The original 'Number Two' script, despite its flaws, actually did attempt to illustrate this causal connection between 1985 and 2015...when 1985 Jennifer pricks her finger on a thorn, we see 2015 Jennifer experience some residual pain from that. Now personally, I'm glad this 'pain transference' thing didn't make it to the finished film, but at least it illustrated the fact that the future Jennifer was causally dependent on the present Jennifer, and her past was changing in some sense with every action of Jennifer's in the future.

    You do make a good point about the newspapers and the Almanac. In fact, that's one of the peculiar points about causality in BTTF. The information contained in objects from the future change based on the time traveler's actions in the past (relative to the origin point of those objects), but the objects themselves are never erased, even if the causal chain which leads to their presence in the time traveler's hands, is erased. So, the 'GEORGE MCFLY MURDERED' newspaper changes into the 'GEORGE MCFLY HONOURED' newspaper when the Almanac is burnt, which makes perfect sense given that the future has changed...but the newspaper itself still exists in Marty's hands in 1955, despite the fact that the chain of events which LED to the newspaper's presence in his hands has been erased. Which makes me wonder...could the same apply to the Delorean? Can the Delorean still exist, even if the chain of events which led to its creation has been erased?

    Well the chain of events leading to the deloreans creation have no relevance to Doc Brown or time travel, it was DMC and John Delorean. Presumably the parts that eventually become the time circuits still exist in some respects. I can't remember the date George McFly is murdered/honoured, i think around March 15th 1973 but either way there still would be a newspaper printed that day (although admittedly Marty would have no reason to grab it and bring it to 1955)
  • edited March 2012
    Well the chain of events leading to the deloreans creation have no relevance to Doc Brown or time travel, it was DMC and John Delorean. Presumably the parts that eventually become the time circuits still exist in some respects. I can't remember the date George McFly is murdered/honoured, i think around March 15th 1973 but either way there still would be a newspaper printed that day (although admittedly Marty would have no reason to grab it and bring it to 1955)

    Which begs the question...in all probability, there is ANOTHER Delorean out there somewhere in FCB 1986 which is IDENTICAL to the time travelling Delorean (but stayed as a 'normal' car)? So do both the FCB Delorean and the 'Original' Delorean indefinitely co-exist? Or eventually...will one fade from existence?

    Also, there's one other thing with regards to the Delorean we've ignored...its a 'temporal duplicate' of the original...so the question is, what exactly counts as THIS Delorean's 'creation'? Being manufactured by DMC in the 1980's and modified into a time machine in 1985...or being struck by lightning on November 12th 1955? If the latter...then the Delorean should logically have been erased, since that event never happened in this timeline...
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited March 2012
    sn939 wrote: »
    Which begs the question...in all probability, there is ANOTHER Delorean out there somewhere in FCB 1986 which is IDENTICAL to the time travelling Delorean (but stayed as a 'normal' car)? So do both the FCB Delorean and the 'Original' Delorean indefinitely co-exist? Or eventually...will one fade from existence?
    If the First Citizen Brown timeline wasn't rewritten, one of the DeLoreans would fade from existence. We saw Edna's DeLorean fade from existence in OUTATIME.
    sn939 wrote: »
    Also, there's one other thing with regards to the Delorean we've ignored...its a 'temporal duplicate' of the original...so the question is, what exactly counts as THIS Delorean's 'creation'? Being manufactured by DMC in the 1980's and modified into a time machine in 1985...or being struck by lightning on November 12th 1955? If the latter...then the Delorean should logically have been erased, since that event never happened in this timeline...
    Good question. I'd say it's creation was in the 1980's based on what I've read about temporal duplication in other literature (that being that the temporal duplication would make it the same car at two different points in time).
  • edited March 2012
    Jennifer wrote: »
    If the First Citizen Brown timeline wasn't rewritten, one of the DeLoreans would fade from existence. We saw Edna's DeLorean fade from existence in OUTATIME.


    Good question. I'd say it's creation was in the 1980's based on what I've read about temporal duplication in other literature (that being that the temporal duplication would make it the same car at two different points in time).

    'Temporal duplication' in the conventional sense simply refers to a situation where two of the same person or object, originating from different points of time, co-exist (the two Marty's in BTTF2 and Ep 2 of the Game, young Emmett and Doc in 1931 etc.)

    However, in this case, when they're talking about 'temporal duplication', they mean the Delorean was LITERALLY duplicated, such that the two cars had an existence independent of each other.

    Case in point, if you consider all the Deloreans in Hill Valley on November 12th 1955...each one is dependent on its 'predecessor' for its existence. One couldn't tamper with, say, the Delorean Old Biff brought with him from 2015 without affecting the Delorean Marty and Doc brought from 1985-A, or the one buried in the Delgado Mine.

    But the Delorean in the Game had an independent existence of the Delorean in BTTF3. One went to 1885, stayed in a mine for 70 years, went back to 1885 AGAIN, returned to 1985 and was destroyed. The other went to 2025, later (presumably) made a few time jumps, before going to 1931, and then returning to 1986 at the start of the game.
  • sn939 wrote: »
    'Temporal duplication' in the conventional sense simply refers to a situation where two of the same person or object, originating from different points of time, co-exist (the two Marty's in BTTF2 and Ep 2 of the Game, young Emmett and Doc in 1931 etc.)

    However, in this case, when they're talking about 'temporal duplication', they mean the Delorean was LITERALLY duplicated, such that the two cars had an existence independent of each other.

    Case in point, if you consider all the Deloreans in Hill Valley on November 12th 1955...each one is dependent on its 'predecessor' for its existence. One couldn't tamper with, say, the Delorean Old Biff brought with him from 2015 without affecting the Delorean Marty and Doc brought from 1985-A, or the one buried in the Delgado Mine.

    But the Delorean in the Game had an independent existence of the Delorean in BTTF3. One went to 1885, stayed in a mine for 70 years, went back to 1885 AGAIN, returned to 1985 and was destroyed. The other went to 2025, later (presumably) made a few time jumps, before going to 1931, and then returning to 1986 at the start of the game.

    I'd think it follows the same rules as a clone; i've never seen a story involving clones and time travel. You go back in time and kill a clone before the cloning (or prevent it from being born) both die.
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