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The official "Back to the Future" series thread.
Started by: Adam Hussein

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Adam Hussein
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Back to the Future mistakes.

Sorry if this has already been done, but I've searched the forum and haven't been able to find anything on this, so I thought I'd start a new thread on it anyway.

I don't think I need to explain what this thread is about, as the title alone should say enough, but for all you BTTF fans such as myself out there, what mistakes did you notice were made in each film? What confused you?

Here are a few things I don't understand:

BTTF 1: Basically, when Marty goes back in time to 1955 and accidently bumps into his parents; causing his own mother to have the hots for him and not meet up with his dad, he prevents his own birth, therefore unless he gets his parents back together in just a matter of time he will 'erase from existence'. Hence why his siblings started gradually disappearing from his family photo. However, the Marty who carries the photo comes from a divergent timeline in which his entire family exists; he was born, he has his own life history and existence. So for as long as he exists these things will. Even if our divergent timeline approach is not the truth, a logical consideration of the matter will quickly dispense with any notion of these "symptoms" of the temporal anomaly being possible. Although it has not yet been determined whether his parents will get back together or not; he is in theory vanishing because his parents have not gotten together in the future which is his past. Because he is attempting to restore his families past there is still a chance they'll get married. He more or less real based on the likelihood of his birth, so it is not a percent of probability. Were that the case, he would become non corporeal, ghostly, and lose the ability to affect reality at all. At the moment he arrives in the past, he either is real or is not real, and he remains in that state until he either leaves the past or dies there. Which is why the vanishing picture thing made no sense to me, as it either exists or doesn't exist. How could the theoretical other picture even exist? No version of Marty McFly would be carrying a picture of that place with no one in it; nor would the picture make any sense if he were standing on one end, alone in the picture. And a picture of Marty's brother without his head is far more absurd! No, this Marty has a picture, and the picture does not change. Nor does he: he is who he is. He may have no future, but he has a past in an alternate timeline.

BTTF 2: Pretty simple this one, as the only one I can think of now is the fact that Marty and Jennifer went ahead to 2015 to see their own future. The future in which they have their own children and so on. But in reality, if they had both skipped ahead from 1985 to 2015 via the time machine, they wouldn't have been in their home town between that period of time, therefore they wouldn't have grown up to raise a family. So how could they possibly have gone 30 years into their own future to see themselves as a couple of middle-aged parents?

BTTF 3: In the photo Marty takes of the gravestone which shows Doc's death, it says "Missed by his beloved Clara". But Clara died in the ravine, hence it's name "Clayton Ravine". When Marty went back, Doc saved Clara, preventing her death. Therefore, in 1955, before Marty went back to 1885, Doc wouldn't have saved her, leaving her for dead, so how could she be Docs "beloved Clara?"

Meanwhile, if doc couldn't repair the DeLorean after it was struck by lightning and had to leave plans on how to fix the time circuits using 1955 componants, how did he build the time circuits for his train?


So, let me hear your queries. wink


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:02 AM
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PVS
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what always bugged me is this.

george mcfly knew that his wife had the hots for marty in 1955....then years later she has a kid that looks just like him and names it after him.

so wouldn't george's logic dictate that marty had paid a visit and did the nasty with her, leaving him cuckolded? think about that.

Last edited by PVS on Dec 17th, 2005 at 03:12 AM

Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:09 AM
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Dusty
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Adam Hussein

Here are a few things I don't understand:
BTTF 2: Pretty simple this one, as the only one I can think of now is the fact that Marty and Jennifer went ahead to 2015 to see their own future. The future in which they have their own children and so on. But in reality, if they had both skipped ahead from 1985 to 2015 via the time machine, they wouldn't have been in their home town between that period of time, therefore they wouldn't have grown up to raise a family. So how could they possibly have gone 30 years into their own future to see themselves as a couple of middle-aged parents?


I agree with you to an extent on your comments for the first movie. But here is something I have to say about your thoughts on the sequel. When something travels through time, They goes through to an entire new 'world' so to speak. So they are time traveling to an entirely different time span. Time repeats itself, over and over again. They just so happened to go into a different thread of time Ahead of them. Basically, We are just a repeat of what has already happened before. So they really saw their 'long set' path. A persons Long set path makes it so you are given an option when seeing your future. If one was able to see his or her future, they could change their lives. Because every living thing follows a long set path. A long set path cannot be changed, unless you know what that path consists of. Thus, 'Donnie Darko'. Albert Einstein, and Richard Kelly taught me most of the things I know about Time travel.

Time Travel is a extremely hard topic to discuss.

Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:17 AM
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Adam Hussein
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by PVS
what always bugged me is this.

george mcfly knew that his wife had the hots for marty in 1955....then years later she has a kid that looks just like him and names it after him.

so wouldn't george's logic dictate that marty had paid a visit and did the nasty with her, leaving him cuckolded? think about that.


Yes, that too.

Although he did claim that his name was 'Calvin Klein' to his parents, but I still find it a bit odd how they didn't see anything unusual in the fact that their son turned out to be an exact replica of their old high school friend whom they've never seen since they got back together at the school dance.


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:24 AM
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Adam Hussein
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mando
I agree with you to an extent on your comments for the first movie. But here is something I have to say about your thoughts on the sequel. When something travels through time, They goes through to an entire new 'world' so to speak. So they are time traveling to an entirely different time span. Time repeats itself, over and over again. They just so happened to go into a different thread of time Ahead of them. Basically, We are just a repeat of what has already happened before. So they really saw their 'long set' path. A persons Long set path makes it so you are given an option when seeing your future. If one was able to see his or her future, they could change their lives. Because every living thing follows a long set path. A long set path cannot be changed, unless you know what that path consists of. Thus, 'Donnie Darko'. Albert Einstein, and Richard Kelly taught me most of the things I know about Time travel.

Time Travel is a extremely hard topic to discuss.


Good point, would make sense.


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:29 AM
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actually she knew his name at the end, didnt she?

"marty...thats a nice name" or something like that

Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:30 AM
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Adam Hussein
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by PVS
actually she knew his name at the end, didnt she?

"marty...thats a nice name" or something like that


Yes, IIRC, he told her that Marty was just what everybody called him.


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 03:36 AM
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Dusty
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Oops, I forgot to move this to the Sci-fi thread.

Moving...

Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 04:18 AM
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Wolfie
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Do you really remember exactly what your friends looked like 30 years ago? Especially if you only knew them for a week? Marty took no pictures with anyone, so there is no lasting memory of Marty's appearance. When he was born years later, George and Lorraine saw their son grow up and it's not unbelievable that they don't notice that he looks like "Calvin Klein" from 30 years ago.

I thought it was kinda weird when Lorraine said "Marty, that's a nice name," and then they wind up naming their third kid after him.

And for your argument, the order of them disappearing makes sense, though they should have disappeared entirely one at a time. There was still a possibility of them winding up together years later and totally skipping the oldest brother, then the sister, and finally Marty. It would have been a paradox if Marty had disappeared though. If Marty never existed, he couldn't have gone back in time to push George out of the way of his grandfather's car. The disappearing head and hand deal was just a way to move the story along.

As for the BTTF 2 argument, if I'm understanding your argument right, it does make sense. Say if Biff took the time machine and never gave it back, then Marty and Jennifer wouldn't appear in the future. But when they went to the future, there was no risk of them not returning to the present and so time was going to occur the same accordingly.

Same goes with the BTTF 3 argument. It was already predetermined that Marty was going to go back to 1885 to save Doc and consequently save Clara. I can't really defend this because why didn't the tombstone change right away then? And the tombstone picture made even less sense than the picture of him and his siblings. Why would a tombstone be placed there with no name on it? And when it turns out neither Doc nor Marty were killed, why is the grave empty? Someone else would have been buried there.

And something they didn't put much thought into with Part 3. Okay, it makes sense that they had Michael J. Fox play Shamus McFly. But why did Lea Thompson play Maggie McFly? Lea Thompson's primary character, Lorraine Baines, isn't a McFly by blood so it doesn't make sense that one of George McFly's ancestors looks like his wife.


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 11:05 PM
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Deano
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balls, u would remember what someone looked like 30 years ago.

and another note..its just a movie.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 06:24 AM
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But to know someone for a week, have a child, and he grows up to look like him after 30 years? It's not hard to believe that they just didn't notice.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 07:39 AM
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Deano
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you would definetly notice for sure. unless you are braindead. marty played an important role in getting his parents together. im sure they id remember someone like that


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 11:19 AM
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These aren't actually 'mistakes' at all and it is a misnomer to call them so. It's like calling the rumble of Star Destroyers in space a 'mistake', or any blaster gun in a film, or the use of magic in fantasy.

It's nothing to do with science- it is style. BTTF has a style in which that if you destroy your own past, your existance slowly fades away. That is their stylistic choice. It's a film with a time travelling car, for God's sake- stop trying to apply some sort of logical rationale behind the time travel.

And you talk of 'alternate timelines' as if ANY of that was hard science.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 11:58 AM
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Adam Hussein
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Ushgarak
These aren't actually 'mistakes' at all and it is a misnomer to call them so. It's like calling the rumble of Star Destroyers in space a 'mistake', or any blaster gun in a film, or the use of magic in fantasy.

It's nothing to do with science- it is style. BTTF has a style in which that if you destroy your own past, your existance slowly fades away. That is their stylistic choice. It's a film with a time travelling car, for God's sake- stop trying to apply some sort of logical rationale behind the time travel.

And you talk of 'alternate timelines' as if ANY of that was hard science.


I wasn't saying that, I was just pointing out what struck me about the films. :/


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 12:30 PM
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Adam Hussein
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Ushgarak
These aren't actually 'mistakes' at all and it is a misnomer to call them so. It's like calling the rumble of Star Destroyers in space a 'mistake', or any blaster gun in a film, or the use of magic in fantasy.

It's nothing to do with science- it is style. BTTF has a style in which that if you destroy your own past, your existance slowly fades away. That is their stylistic choice. It's a film with a time travelling car, for God's sake- stop trying to apply some sort of logical rationale behind the time travel.

And you talk of 'alternate timelines' as if ANY of that was hard science.


I wasn't saying that, I was just pointing out what struck me about the films. :/

EDIT: I guess 'mistakes' was the wrong choice of words though. Perhaps 'questions' would've been better. Heh.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 12:32 PM
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SpyCspider
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I read this somewhere about BTF1.

We know the McFly's have quite the sh*tty life when we are at first introduced to them. Marty is sort of a delinquent, his dad is bullied at work, mom's a drunk, kids are total losers. Therefore, Marty befriends Doc as his escape from pressures of life.

Ok, then he goes back to time and changes his fate. When he comes back to the future, his family is all living well...everyone's got jobs, their house doesn't look like crap, etc. And when Marty comes back he sees his 1985 self at the Mall parking lot going back in time with the Doc that was just shot.

The question is, why would this new Marty befriend Doc as well after he's already traveled back in time and changed the McFly life? Unless Doc sought him out in order to see the events occur. I guess this goes along with "why did Lorraine name her 3rd son Marty?"


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 05:09 PM
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Well, we don't know that's the reason Marty became friends with Doc. They could've became friends by some unrelated event years before the movie began that we are just never told.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 06:42 PM
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Deano
you would definetly notice for sure. unless you are braindead. marty played an important role in getting his parents together. im sure they id remember someone like that

Well, neither of us are 30 so it's kinda hard to discuss this.

Remember, they're in high school. Shit happens in high school. I'm sure there were a lot of other teens that had significant roles on their lives at that point.

Now, I'm not saying they'll just totally forget what he looks like. But as time passes, the details of someone does fade. I knew people ten years ago that I couldn't point out in the street if I saw them again.


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Old Post Dec 18th, 2005 06:53 PM
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I can't even remember people I met last SUMMER, so I guess I can imagine that Marty's parent's might not remember him 30 years later.

Though PVS does raise a good point- I can imagine George perhaps wondering if Marty showed up again around the late 60's for about an hour when he was work... smile


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Old Post Dec 19th, 2005 07:45 AM
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Deano
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no. they would remember him 30 years later. he was very important to them when he went back in time. he got knocked down by his grandad, he got kissed by his mom. yeh trust me, she would defiently rememeber him. andso would george


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Old Post Dec 19th, 2005 06:46 PM
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