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Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

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Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Old 02-10-24, 01:46 AM
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Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

I just recently rewatched parts 1 and 2, but haven't viewed part 3 on many years. Do they ever address Marty's memory of events after his first time travel trip? At the end of Part 1 he gets back to 1985, but his parents and siblings are quite different in personality from where they prior to Marty's time travel adventure. He was obviously confused when he first got back. But due to these changes, nearly every memory he has with his family no longer happened (at least the way they originally did).

Family vacations would have been different. He may have had different friends now than he did before, but even if they were the same friends, events would have occurred differently and he would have no memory of them. He still had the same girlfriend and they were still going camping, but a lot of things they did together in the new timeline would likely have been different.

It would seem to be very difficult for him to adjust as the people he knew no longer exist and are basically replaced with doppelhangers, unless he somehow eventually gains the memories of his new self. Was it ever discussed in the third movie or any other books, comics, or animated series?
Old 02-10-24, 02:34 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

No, this element isn't addressed in Part 3, because the movie ends before Marty returns to his normal life with his "new" family.

Apparently, this issue of Marty returning to a family that didn't experience the same life he did growing up because he changed the past is something Eric Stolz considered very seriously, making his performance a real downer because he was playing to the tragedy, which as we all know eventually got him shit-canned.
Old 02-10-24, 03:39 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

I think it's better not to think about it and it helps that the present is basically the same day in every movie and not a longer period of time. The first movie lightens the mood, since Marty's family members are all in a way better place than before his time travel adeventure.
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Old 02-10-24, 04:03 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Plus he never saw his father again.
Old 02-10-24, 06:15 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

I think they kind of touched on this topic in Frequency. I think the longer he stays within his time, the memories start to play catch up around him.
Old 02-10-24, 08:00 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by movieguru
I just recently rewatched parts 1 and 2, but haven't viewed part 3 on many years. Do they ever address Marty's memory of events after his first time travel trip? At the end of Part 1 he gets back to 1985, but his parents and siblings are quite different in personality from where they prior to Marty's time travel adventure. He was obviously confused when he first got back. But due to these changes, nearly every memory he has with his family no longer happened (at least the way they originally did).

Family vacations would have been different. He may have had different friends now than he did before, but even if they were the same friends, events would have occurred differently and he would have no memory of them. He still had the same girlfriend and they were still going camping, but a lot of things they did together in the new timeline would likely have been different.

It would seem to be very difficult for him to adjust as the people he knew no longer exist and are basically replaced with doppelhangers, unless he somehow eventually gains the memories of his new self. Was it ever discussed in the third movie or any other books, comics, or animated series?
This is by far the biggest flaw in what I consider to be an otherwise almost perfect movie. The same thing happens in X-Men: Days of Future Past and probably any number of other time travel stories that I can't think of at the moment. I just try not to think about it (even though I do every time) and enjoy the ride.
Old 02-10-24, 09:42 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Iím in the camp of not thinking about it too much. Iím sure it would be a huge adjustment in reality but his family was overall in a much better place. Maybe his memories with them werenít all that happy to begin with. Still though it would be weird not knowing everything in your life.
Old 02-10-24, 09:51 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by devilshalo
I think they kind of touched on this topic in Frequency. I think the longer he stays within his time, the memories start to play catch up around him.
They touch on the topic in the Butterfly Effect movie, which is what really made me think about it when rewatching the BTTF movies.
Old 02-10-24, 10:08 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

It makes you wonder about innate vs. learned behavior. Would Marty have still been as insecure as he was at the beginning of the movie? Marty had obviously inherited that from his dad and his dad was a teenager before he gained the self-confidence to succeed in life. So would Marty still be insecure because his dad was inherently insecure or would he have been more confident because he grew up with a confident dad?
Old 02-10-24, 12:06 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

I just always thought of Marty as a singular personality that lived his life already. Since he jumps back in time, changes stuff, and then jumps back to the future (and there aren't two of him), his memories are exactly the same as they always were no matter what he may have changed in the past. He is the same person he always was. He is still on the original timeline as far as his past is concerned and now only his future is uncertain. He gets to live it out as he normally would...unless he decides to jump to the future and fuck with that.
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Old 02-10-24, 12:11 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

It's also highly unlikely that Marty's parents would have had the same exact sex that produced their three kids. What if Marty was now missing a sibling when he came back? Of course, he was trying to prevent himself from never being born, but that still could have happened. Would his family even have lived in the same house? I guess his parents lives didn't change all that much and they had near the same level of success. It seemed to be that George's book was the first one to be published so he must have had another job all that time. It was probably the job that Biff had in the company previously. Also, if Marty's siblings are more successful, why are they still living at home? Marty may have never started hanging out with Doc Brown in the new timeline either.

I want to know if Uncle Joey still went to jail in this timeline. It would have be funny if the McFlys had actually named their first son Marty and Marty was now named Dave in the new timeline.
Old 02-10-24, 01:44 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by Spiderbite
I just always thought of Marty as a singular personality that lived his life already. Since he jumps back in time, changes stuff, and then jumps back to the future (and there aren't two of him), his memories are exactly the same as they always were no matter what he may have changed in the past. He is the same person he always was. He is still on the original timeline as far as his past is concerned and now only his future is uncertain. He gets to live it out as he normally would...unless he decides to jump to the future and fuck with that.
That's an interesting perspective, and one I haven't heard before. You should have faxed that to the two Bobs to save them from countless convention questions about the ending paradox.
Old 02-10-24, 02:08 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Yeah, this is why time travel stories are always messy.

Unless you're Doctor Who, who is from a civilization so far advanced that they move through the timestream as easily as we move through space and seem to sensitive or immune to various paradoxes and changes that result to meddling with the timestream. Essentially, as Arthur C. Clarke once said, science so advanced that it seems like magic.

At any rate, Back to the Future is very soft sci-fi, and we can't really expect it to deal with all of the details and philosophy of time travel, so I've always kind of given it a pass. Though that's probably why I'm not as enamored with it as most.


Old 02-10-24, 02:43 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

I want to know how Jennifer changes into a completely different person, and nobody notices it!!
Old 02-12-24, 12:52 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by windom
I want to know if Uncle Joey still went to jail in this timeline.
I say yes. The alternate 1985 timeline in BTTF2 would have still had the more confident George McFly character. And Biff specifically mentioned Joey was in jail.
Old 02-12-24, 12:59 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

The Marty who grows up with the yuppie Mcflys has a problem with people calling him chicken while the prime Marty we follow doesn't initially. He absorbs that attribute in the night he spends in the yuppyverse (just a term we're throwing around the office) at the end of part 1 before part 2 begins.
Old 02-12-24, 10:08 AM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by windom
It's also highly unlikely that Marty's parents would have had the same exact sex that produced their three kids. What if Marty was now missing a sibling when he came back? Of course, he was trying to prevent himself from never being born, but that still could have happened. Would his family even have lived in the same house? I guess his parents lives didn't change all that much and they had near the same level of success. It seemed to be that George's book was the first one to be published so he must have had another job all that time. It was probably the job that Biff had in the company previously. Also, if Marty's siblings are more successful, why are they still living at home? Marty may have never started hanging out with Doc Brown in the new timeline either.
I always took that as the idea that every single "choice" spins off a new timeline. Including timelines that are almost exactly the same as one another except for minor differences. Otherwise any change at all would create a completely new timeline that would never relate to another. Every time you turn left instead of right, it creates an entirely new universe. There have to be some that are almost exactly the same except for a variation or two. So there are timelines where the only difference at all between one and another is the fact that Marty has, like, blonde hair instead of brown.

In the movies, Marty goes back and changes things, which creates a new timeline, but that timeline still hit the same milestones (parents getting married, having kids, etc.) as the "original". And then...






Old 02-12-24, 12:55 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by Draven
I always took that as the idea that every single "choice" spins off a new timeline. Including timelines that are almost exactly the same as one another except for minor differences. Otherwise any change at all would create a completely new timeline that would never relate to another. Every time you turn left instead of right, it creates an entirely new universe. There have to be some that are almost exactly the same except for a variation or two. So there are timelines where the only difference at all between one and another is the fact that Marty has, like, blonde hair instead of brown.

In the movies, Marty goes back and changes things, which creates a new timeline, but that timeline still hit the same milestones (parents getting married, having kids, etc.) as the "original". And then...


m the event.
I've always felt even a very minute, minor change in an action will grow exponentionally the further you get from the action. For instance, when I was in my senior year of high school, I was leaving my school parking lot and there was a girl in another car trying to get into my lane so she could leave. I decided to be nice and let her into my lane that day, because I knew if I didn't she would have a long time to wait until there was no one else in my lane or someone else let her in.

It was an incredibly minor thing that I shouldn't remember more than thirty years later, but about ten minutes later when the girl got to the other side of the town she was stopped at a red light. When the light changed to green, she proceeded into the intersection and got hit by a large construction truck that couldn't stop because the brakes failed. She ended up in a coma for five months before she died.

When I was watching The Butterfly Effect, I had thought about this incident and how that one act of letting her in front of me altered a lot of lives and will continue to many times over in the future. Not only did her life end, but the children she could have had don't exist now, and their children and so on. Also, everyone that would have interacted with her or her children would be different because of it. I Then, if I didn't let her in front of me that day, the car behind her would likely have been hit by the truck killing the occupant(s) of that car affecting their lives, their families' lives, and anyone that would have interacted with them.

It's weird to think that no matter how insignificant someone thinks they are, they don't realize how much even their minor actions can affect the lives those around them. Deciding to go to a grocery store and pick up something could stop someone else from meeting the love of their lives if you end up in between them in line at the checkout preventing them from interaction.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:06 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by movieguru
I've always felt even a very minute, minor change in an action will grow exponentially the further you get from the action. For instance, when I was in my senior year of high school, I was leaving my school parking lot and there was a girl in another car trying to get into my lane so she could leave. I decided to be nice and let her into my lane that day, because I knew if I didn't she would have a long time to wait until there was no one else in my lane or someone else let her in.

It was an incredibly minor thing that I shouldn't remember more than thirty years later, but about ten minutes later when the girl got to the other side of the town she was stopped at a red light. When the light changed to green, she proceeded into the intersection and got hit by a large construction truck that couldn't stop because the brakes failed. She ended up in a coma for five months before she died.
It's a terrible thing that happened to her but it's important to remember that she didn't die because you let her in into your lane ... she died because the brakes on that construction truck failed. You weren't responsible for that.
Old 02-12-24, 01:10 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by movieguru
m the event.
I've always felt even a very minute, minor change in an action will grow exponentionally the further you get from the action. For instance, when I was in my senior year of high school, I was leaving my school parking lot and there was a girl in another car trying to get into my lane so she could leave. I decided to be nice and let her into my lane that day, because I knew if I didn't she would have a long time to wait until there was no one else in my lane or someone else let her in.

It was an incredibly minor thing that I shouldn't remember more than thirty years later, but about ten minutes later when the girl got to the other side of the town she was stopped at a red light. When the light changed to green, she proceeded into the intersection and got hit by a large construction truck that couldn't stop because the brakes failed. She ended up in a coma for five months before she died.

When I was watching The Butterfly Effect, I had thought about this incident and how that one act of letting her in front of me altered a lot of lives and will continue to many times over in the future. Not only did her life end, but the children she could have had don't exist now, and their children and so on. Also, everyone that would have interacted with her or her children would be different because of it. I Then, if I didn't let her in front of me that day, the car behind her would likely have been hit by the truck killing the occupant(s) of that car affecting their lives, their families' lives, and anyone that would have interacted with them.

It's weird to think that no matter how insignificant someone thinks they are, they don't realize how much even their minor actions can affect the lives those around them. Deciding to go to a grocery store and pick up something could stop someone else from meeting the love of their lives if you end up in between them in line at the checkout preventing them from interaction.
I think we've often thought of the potential "butterfly effects" in our lives that we've had no idea about, but you're the first person I've heard with a concrete example of something they know. Incredible story.

Originally Posted by Toby Dramit
It's a terrible thing that happened to her but it's important to remember that she didn't die because you let her in into your lane ... she died because the brakes on that construction truck failed. You weren't responsible for that.
Yes, he's not responsible, no question. What's fascinating about this story is not that his random choice caused a person to die, but that it caused a specific person out of a number of candidates "fated" to be in the path of the truck.
Old 02-12-24, 01:16 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

That type of thing is so hard to say. Interesting to ponder about the what ifs of various choices made but it can also drive a person mad. Could also just be fate/destiny meant for events to happen whether we understand why or not.
Old 02-12-24, 01:17 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Actually, she did die because he let her into the lane, but he wasn't responsible for her death because he had no way of knowing that doing that would cause it. Had he blocked her out, she may have lost those precious seconds she saved and otherwise not have been hit by that truck. Or it could have been a Final Destination thing, and she would have found her way to that intersection at that point by speeding rather than him letting her in and she would have died anyway. Or she would have been in a tanning booth later and a broom locked her inside that afternoon. But him letting her cut through helped her get to the tanning salon at just the right time for the broom to fall and trap her. Who knows?

I have often thought the way movieguru thinks and wondered what little decisions I made that either kept myself out of harm's way or caused others harm without ever knowing it. I wouldn't feel responsible or guilty, but at the end of the day, but you never know what ripples a three second decision caused in someone else's or your own life. Fascinating to think about.
Old 02-12-24, 01:55 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Man, that's a crazy story, and I think about things like that all the time. Life is full of decisions every day, very often minor ones, and even those could immensely change your life or others if you make a different decision. I try not to think about it too much, but that's all life is, not fate, not karma, not "God's will", just a bunch of decisions that can change nothing or everything.
Old 02-12-24, 02:16 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by cultshock
I try not to think about it too much, but that's all life is, not fate, not karma, not "God's will", just a bunch of decisions that can change nothing or everything.
If you really want to make yourself crazy, think about all the things that had to happen just for your grandparents to meet to have your parents so you could born.
Old 02-12-24, 02:23 PM
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Re: Back to the Future Question-- Marty's memories

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
If you really want to make yourself crazy, think about all the things that had to happen just for your grandparents to meet to have your parents so you could born.
Not much involved fro my maternal and paternal grandparents to meet since all four of them were first cousins, and then my mom and dad were brother and sister, so they just ran into each other and fell in love in the hallway to the bathroom.

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