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Old 08-13-2006, 07:06 AM   #26
Rod The Raider
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Back to the Future Trilogy: Paradoxes

Just thought I'd start a thread where people can point out Paradoxes within the film series and put forth their own answers as to how these can be solved. This is just for fun really. I think this trilogy is up there with Star Wars, LOTR and Indiana Jones.

Before I continue, I know these films have been around for a long time but if there are people who haven't seen them before and don't want them spoiled, don't read any further. What will be discussed herein are spoilers.

Marty goes to the future with Doc to 2015, at the beginning of Back to the Future II. When Old Biff returns to 2015 after changing the past in 1955, Marty and Doc return to 1985 to find it is an alternate reality. They then travel back to 1955 to set things straight.

At the end of Back to the Future II Doc and the Delorean are struck by lightning and the time circuits were set to 1885. Marty receives a letter from Doc explaining where he is and what he's doing. Marty then goes back to the 1955 Doc, who has just sent Marty's other self to 1985.

Now here is where a paradox comes in:

Marty and Doc discover Doc's grave. The 1985 Doc dies back in 1885. Now how is it possible for the 1955 Doc to exist when his future self is dead in the past?
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:08 AM   #27
Jay R. Zay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod The Raider
Marty and Doc discover Doc's grave. The 1985 Doc dies back in 1885. Now how is it possible for the 1955 Doc to exist when his future self is dead in the past?

you gave the answer youself. because his 1955 self isn't dead yet, the dead one is his "future self". time, in these movies, could be compared to a spatial dimension. doc, the man, will die many personal (!) years later - just at a different place that we call "past". he isn't dead because he hasn't reached his personal age of death yet. the surrounding time is depicted independent from the personal age.

if this was not so, people who'd travel 30 years into the future would necessarily grow 30 years older during the travel. which actually wouldn't make it so much of a time travel but just a waste of time. and on the other hand, doc would never be able to tavel back to the wild west because he wasn't born back then.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:04 AM   #28
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Well, I guess that answers that eh...

Heh
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:03 PM   #29
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Back to the Future is my second favorite movie of all time (next to Raiders of course). One paradox (or inconsistency) that has always bugged with the series is in Part II.

In the first movie Doc explains how Einstein "skipped over that one minute to arrive at this point in time." Which makes sense. Einstein disappears with the DeLorean and Marty and Doc continue to exist as that one minute passes and Einstein reappears, the trip being instantaneous to him. That is a full-on explanation of time travel.

Now in the second movie, Marty, Doc and Jennifer travel 30 years into the future and see older versions of themselves ( I can't remember where Doc is in 2015 though). Based on the explanation in the first movie this shouldn't happen. Whether you are traveling one minute or 30 years into the future the theory is still the same, you skip over that time and arrive at the designated point in the future. Marty, Doc and Jennifer should not have older versions of themselves because they skipped over that 30 years causing the older versions of themselves to be nonexistent.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:10 PM   #30
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"Marty, Doc and Jennifer should not have older versions of themselves because they skipped over that 30 years"

Only if at some point they don't go BACK to the original departure time, and live out the rest of their lives.....

I do recall hearing that Back To The Future was only made because Robert Zemeckis wanted to make a Western and the only story he could come up with took two prequels to set up.....

The are fun enough movies in my book, but I wouldn't expect the 'science' in them to be hole-free....
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:14 PM   #31
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My biggest pet peeve with the trilogy is that when in Part II, old Biff takes the book to his younger self, he returns to the same future reality he left from, not the one he altered (unless, of course, this future was the one Marty and Doc managed to re-alter but oh well).

Another minor one is Doc not remembering his past self dressing up Marty as a "cowboy" in Part III, but that one can be allowed to slip the mind as human mind does work in mysterious ways...

Anyway, the above one has still bothered me, and this far I've yet to find an explanation that would fully explain it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon
In the first movie Doc explains how Einstein "skipped over that one minute to arrive at this point in time." Which makes sense. Einstein disappears with the DeLorean and Marty and Doc continue to exist as that one minute passes and Einstein reappears, the trip being instantaneous to him. That is a full-on explanation of time travel.
This doesn't, however, explain how exactly are you able to travel into past...
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:17 PM   #32
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You can get a headache trying to figure out the whats and hows of time travel. I love time travel stories and it's always interesting to see different takes on the concept.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:20 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
My biggest pet peeve with the trilogy is that when in Part II, old Biff takes the book to his younger self, he returns to the same future reality he left from, not the one he altered (unless, of course, this future was the one Marty and Doc managed to re-alter but oh well).

Another minor one is Doc not remembering his past self dressing up Marty as a "cowboy" in Part III, but that one can be allowed to slip the mind as human mind does work in mysterious ways...

Anyway, the above one has still bothered me, and this far I've yet to find an explanation that would fully explain it.


This doesn't, however, explain how exactly are you able to travel into past...

When Biff comes back to the future in Part II you just see that street corner in the subdivision. It can be explained that the future is the Biff-altered future, you just don't see it.

And Doc could have just forgotten he gave Marty those clothes since 30 years and change did pass before he asked that question.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:35 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintonHammond
I do recall hearing that Back To The Future was only made because Robert Zemeckis wanted to make a Western and the only story he could come up with took two prequels to set up.....

this seems very unprobable for a certain reason. BTTFIII tells the audience that doc always loved the wild west and that he, for this reason, always wanted to time-travel there. but i don't recall any mention like this in the two prequels. wouldn't it be likely that doc's character would have a line like that in the first part, if the whole series was supposed to be leading towards the wild west? but no - and at the end, doc doesn't travel back to the wild west, he is interested in the future. if doc had decided to visit the wild west at the end of part one, they could have saved the money for part two just stepping forward to part three. but they didn't.

why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Another minor one is Doc not remembering his past self dressing up Marty as a "cowboy" in Part III, but that one can be allowed to slip the mind as human mind does work in mysterious ways...


this might indeed be a goof but i don't find it unlikely. after all, it was many years ago and he might have remembered his outfit more realistic than that. many things that i've seen during my childhood surprise me when i see them again today because i remembered them much different.
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Old 08-13-2006, 04:07 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon
When Biff comes back to the future in Part II you just see that street corner in the subdivision. It can be explained that the future is the Biff-altered future, you just don't see it.
Still, how come Marty and Doc still exist there (as things have most likely gone differently for them, Doc should be dead for Pete's sake) and don't notice anything odd around them?
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:04 PM   #36
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One can aruge that the reason why the far future didn't become "Biff-ed" was because of the actions that Doc and Marty took in their re-visit to 1955. However, the same arguement can be used to say that the Biff 1985 shouldn't of ever happened. Hmmm, perhaps this is the paradox of the films?

Perhaps, one can explain this by saying that time isn't linear and changes to the timeline might take time to catch up to the future and that Marty and Doc escaped the soon-to-be "Biff-ed" 2015, where perhaps they would meet their fates? So by traveling to Biff 1985 they missed those changes thus saving their lives.

Of course this is all based upon the idea that Einstein was wrong about E=mc2.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:59 PM   #37
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I remember reading an interview with Bob Gale where he addressed the problem of future Biff altering the past. It was something along the lines that is takes time for the future to catch up to the changes in the past. I also remember seeing a deleted scene where future Biff is "dying" because the changes of the past affect him first.


Quote:
I do recall hearing that Back To The Future was only made because Robert Zemeckis wanted to make a Western and the only story he could come up with took two prequels to set up.....

I don't think so, in the original theatrical release there wasn't a "to be continued". It was added later.
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Old 08-13-2006, 10:14 PM   #38
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" I do recall hearing that Back To The Future"

As a matter of fact, it was in a Starlog magazine interview with Zemeckis
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:51 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron H
Of course this is all based upon the idea that Einstein was wrong about E=mc2.

i don't really see the link between time travel paradoxes and e=mc˛.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:56 AM   #40
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Well for one, E=mc˛ says you can only move forward in time...not backwards.
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:01 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe Vayoda
I remember reading an interview with Bob Gale where he addressed the problem of future Biff altering the past. It was something along the lines that is takes time for the future to catch up to the changes in the past. I also remember seeing a deleted scene where future Biff is "dying" because the changes of the past affect him first.




I don't think so, in the original theatrical release there wasn't a "to be continued". It was added later.

Yeah there was no plan for sequels at the time the first movie was released. In the DVD commentary Bob Gale says, "If we had known there was going to be a sequel we never would have put the girl in the car."
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:02 PM   #42
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funny how some threads always sem to be born again!
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:20 PM   #43
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Relative Newbie Bumping the Thread....

First off... I love these movies... It's wierd how so many great movies and bad movies came out of the eighties and early nineties. Now we don't get so many great ones, and not so many bad ones either... just somewhere around the middle most of the time...

In any case, I think that time did change, it's just that Doc and Marty left in such a hurry, they didn't notice the change of time. Plus I think they are protected somewhat because they might have travelled back just as the changes were taking effect on the space time continuum. My favorite line?

"I thought, what the hell."
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:24 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon
Heck Part II violates the entire speech Doc gives in Part I explaining time travel. In Part I where he uses Einstein to test the DeLorean, Doc explains that Einstein "skipped over that minute to arrive at this point in time." Einstein wasn't with Marty and Doc for that minute. He arrive one minute later "and as far as he's concerned the trip was instantaneos." Well in Part II, Marty, Doc and Jennifer skip 30 years but still run into themselves. According to Doc's speech the three would never have been around for that 30 years so they wouldn't have met their older selfs in 2015.

Whoa, mind bender... ok, so what happened to that was... time is based on, in these films, intentions. If they intend to come back, that effects how time is going to be, therefore they are there in the future... Einstein left, but he came back too fast to meet himself in the future where he would have intended to come back to. It was just too fast a time interval... but thats just me spewing crap...

What it really is is the visitation of different dimensions of reality, which seem the same but really are not and effect each other in different decisions made... just read Timeline, and learn about Quantum physics... throw it all together slipshod, and it all works out.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:00 PM   #45
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There is bad news on the BTTF end of things at Universal Studios Orlando. The long beloved ride based on the trilogy is being removed from the park and replaced by a yet to be unnamed ride. This news was officially released by the Orlando Sentinel back in Oct.

I'm defintely not happy about it as a long time fan of BTTF. Added to the fact that the park is considering adding in The Simpsons in its place.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:31 AM   #46
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Oh man, this is heavy! That's a classic ride, and one of the best in the park.

It's a shame to see to leave.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:17 PM   #47
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Considering I don't live in Orlando, but have sources that are always updating on both parks -- not affilated with either park officially to be honest since I love in Louisville, Kentucky. As far away as you can get from Florida.

The ride is still open at the moment, but their taking down the theaters and sections in halfs. The park is currently taking down the left side of the ride as we speak.

I really hate to see it go since it's one of the founding components of the park.

First, it was King Kong, which was replaced by The Revenge of The Mummy, then it was Ghostbusters which was replaced by Twister Ride It Out! and now, BTTF.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #48
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Back to the Future

Which BTTF film is your favorite and why? Also, do you think they should have made a 4th?
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:23 PM   #49
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My favorite? They are all equally good! But the first is probably the best. Maybe. I dunno, I think it's some kind of tie! lol.

A fourth? No. I actually think it has a perfect ending. We've seen enough. Sometimes another brush stroke ruins the painting. I actually thought that about the Indiana Jones series too, but... what the hell.

But it seems like more of a stretch. Doc would probably not still be using a 1985 De Lorean anymore for a time machine and Marty would be pretty old. Plus since it deals with the future, I mean, We aren't THAT far away from 2015. It just wouldn't work. Best left in the past.
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:45 PM   #50
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I'm a big fan of BTTF (as you can tell from this stand-up routine of mine

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1fubTiXNVPk

Warning: The audio stinks!


I think the first movie was the best.
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