Time Travel discussion

Just for Fun > How would Marty McFly, Jennifer (Marty's girlfriend) and Doc Brown all reconcile the fact that they have more memories of events that never happened than they do of events that have?

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message 1: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Ng (joshuatj) | 9 comments Found an article on Quora discussing "as title". Really quite fascinating.

The timelines are quite comprehensive

message 2: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
Wow, that's very interesting. I like the way the creators of "The Butterfly Effect" deal with this issue. As the main character (Ashton Kutcher) changes his past, his mind is flooded with a whole bunch of new memories when he returns to the present... yet his old memories are still intact because he is aware that things have changed. Eventually, these alternate memories start to cause brain damage (perhaps both mental and physical), which I suspect would become life-threatening if he were to continue to alter his past.

While we are on the subject of "Back to the Future." I have a hard time understanding how Marty and Doc jumped from 2015 in the first timeline to 1985 in the third timeline (actually I think the jump would have been from two to three, but I digress). In my mind, they should travel back along the same timeline. They only way they could end up in a divergent timeline is if they were to travel back prior to when the split occured. Am I way off base on this?

message 3: by Tej (last edited Nov 02, 2011 03:47AM) (new)

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Regards to the Back to the future timeline changes, I always saw it as there being a delay in the timestream as the new timeline slowly "washes" over the old one. So the current timeline that Doc and Marty leaves in 2015 remained the same but the "wash" already reached 1985 resulting in the alternate 1985 they find themselves in. Also, when playing the BBTF game, this rule seems to be consistent in the new storylines.

Excellent article on the psychological effects btw. But it wont be fun BTTF if they delve into sort of thing, lol. But as John points out, it was the focus of Butterfly Effect which was a more serious and disturbing film...but a great film.

message 4: by Bobby (new)

Bobby (renegadebs) | 5 comments I don't buy it. When old Biff went back and gave the Almanac to his younger self, he should have come back to the new version of the future where he was a bigshot.

message 5: by Todd Fonseca (new)

Todd Fonseca | 11 comments Renegade has a good point regarding Biff coming back to the future where he is a bigshot. This jumped out at me the first time I saw the movie which would mean the wash theory would not work. Unless there is some time period that it takes for the wash out to happen. So that future they went to in movie 2 was eventually going to wash away as well and but some critical event had yet to complete in some timeline? My head hurts...

message 6: by John, Moderator in Memory (last edited Dec 04, 2011 12:25PM) (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
I have a couple of theories about the apparent error in future one not changing when old Biff returns. The first is that the neighborhood where old Marty lives may have been unaffected by the change. In other words, the neighborhood ended up the same in both time lines. Theory two is that the rich Biff from 1985 eventually got arrested (perhaps in 1986) by the FBI for his criminal activity, and Hill Valley cleaned up its act and got rid of the casino and tower hotel, making the future from that timeline look much like the future from the original timeline. Hope that makes some sense.

message 7: by Todd Fonseca (new)

Todd Fonseca | 11 comments John, yeah, your first explanation is how I have made peace with that scene.

message 8: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Paradoxes a bit crazy. Interesting article.

message 9: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
My big question with this type of scenario always is: What happened to the Marty that grew up in the "new and improved" timeline? Did those memories get overridden by the original Marty's thoughts or was the other Marty still there? Original Marty is not in the new 1985 very long before Doc comes back to scoop Jennifer and him up for the next adventure. Is it possible that another Marty was walking around Hill Valley at that moment and our Marty stole his girlfriend?

message 10: by David (new)

David Haws | 102 comments Everyone is spinning off in their Many-Worlds.

1955(a) is already in the past, and Marty1 becomes Marty2 when he first leaves 1985(a). From the perspective of 1985, the 1955, 2015, and 1885 elements of the movies (or the 1955(c) elements from Biff2’s 2015 perspective) transpire instantaneously, and in a predestined way, so as to avoid paradox. Marty2 inevitably returns from 1955(b) to 1985(b). Marty1 continues his timeline without a discontinuity, and is (apparently) never heard from again. Only Marty2 is aware of the discontinuity, because he is the only one to have experienced it.

In 1985(b) Marty2 (whose Dad is working the management track, and writing SPA-SPAM) goes to 2015 and sees Marty2 as a middle-aged manager whose job has just been outsourced. Biff2 becomes Biff3 when he takes the almanac from 2015(b) to 1955(c) changing Marty2 to Marty3 (without Marty or Doc recognizing the discontinuity, because this time they didn’t time travel) and returning to 2015(c) where Biff3 (hopefully) croaks. Marty3 returns to 1985(c) where his Dad is no longer writing SPA-SPAM. Marty3 becomes Marty4 when he travels from 1985(c) to 1955(d) where he is predestined to retrieve the almanac and return to 1985(d). Doc4 becomes Doc(i) when he goes to 1885(i) and gets himself killed by not-Biff. Marty4 becomes Marty(i) when he goes back to 1885(i), saves Doc, changing 1885(i) to 1885(i+n) (this was all clearly a fantasy where Marty(i) reverses the greenhouse effect by plunging a dirty locomotive into Clayton/Eastlake Ravine, and enabling the early development of cold fusion).

Unfortunately, we’re all stuck in 2014(d) where Marty2 is about to get fired, and where we’re all stuck reading the increasingly senile ramblings of George4 (George2 if we gave up after the first movie—which in unlikely—or George3 if we gave up after the second movie—not that hard to imagine).

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