Very important question

My question is, if doc and Marty where unable to travel back to the future to prevent the actions of future biff because his actions in the past skewed the timeline, then how was future biff able to travel back to the uncorrupted future from 1985?

Wouldn’t the timeline have been corrupted for him too or do I not understand how time travel works?

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Goddamnit I fucked the timeline up, hopefully someone out there knows what I’m trying to say.

The way i understand it is:
Old biff traveled back to the future before young biff did anything
(So the future remained the same)

Doc & Martey arrive after young biff did something
(So the future is now different)

It kinda plays off determinism, but it's good enough to suspend disbelief.

1. It's a movie.
2. Time travel is impossible.
There is no reason to overthink this.

I see. But if that’s the case then it would be possible that doc and Marty could travel back to 1955, and jump into the uncorrupted future in between the window in time when young biff got the almanac and before he did something to corrupt the future.

You don’t know that time travel is impossible, therefore we must prepare ourselves for when it is

Disregard, I've remembered the sequence of events wrong.

Apparently this issue was resolved in a deleted scene where Old Biff disappears, suggesting Doc & Martey transitioned into the alternate future without noticing (Since they where on a quiet street) before they went back. It's still speculative however.


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From that link

In all the Back to the Future movies, a major component of the plot is reality taking time to catch up to events. Typically, this is represented as pictures with gradually changing features, which the protagonists are trying to prevent from changing. Marty's family photo in the first movie, and the tombstone in the third are examples of this.

From this behavior, we can infer it takes time for changes to propagate to the future. Otherwise, Marty would have blinked out of existence in the first movie as soon as he pushed his father out of the street; and the rest of the movies would have been… different, to say the least.

So since old Biff returned to his present as soon as he interacted with his younger self, the changes hadn't had time to take effect, yet. This is also required for Doc and Marty to go back to the 50's. In the altered future, the new Doc and Marty would neither have had the ability, nor known about the change which needed fixing

I'd have to re-watch the series of events to have a further opinion.tbh

It would appear no matter what model you subscribe to (as your copy/paste is one several presented) there lies a paradox somewhere down the chain.

I don't have the movies fresh in my head right now to rationalize past Old Biff's return and fading out (If we hold a deleted scene as cannon), but i'm leaning toward the writers recognized this as a problem, and chose to ignore the paradox at it's earliest point. (rather than go down the 'rabbit hole')

Unless he’s from the future….

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The paradox is that future Biff, who delivered the almanac, would have never existed if he succeeded with delivering it. Therefore, he could have never delivered the almanac in the first place.

You think that's bad? Try Primer. I can't even get through the first 20 minutes thinking that I have to listen to each word the guy says.
Is it true that you need to re-watch more than 10 times to finally get it? That's impressive.

Quads confirm time traveler in a time traveling thread.

Old Biff should exist up until the point Young Biff actively begins changing the timeline, and not at the point Old Biff gives gives him the almanac. (This is shown by Martey stealing the almanac, thus restoring the future)

Old Biff jumps over the point he should no longer exist when he travels forward in time, and we see from the deleted scene he disappears shortly afterwards. (In the bttf universe 'reality' kinda rubber bands changes to the timeline, people don't just *pop* out of existence)

So up until now everything is ok, the paradox doesn't lie here. The question now is a matter of speculation, and how far down the chain the paradox is evident. re:

They are stuck in the "new" time line unless they reset it.
The dolerean cannot travel through dimensions, only timelines.

The problem is that old Biff would have never existed if young Biff used the almanac, because he is the old version of a Biff who never had the almanac. But young Biff can only get the almanac if old Biff exists to deliver it.

I understand, It's a re-imagining of the Grandfather paradox.

There is no reason you cannot go to the past, and give yourself something, The problem is what happens to the 'you' that traveled back after the event. Bttf just didn't expand on all the possible complications and moved forward:

The bttf is a self-correcting universe, so when Old Biff returns to the future (presumably the altered future) he vanishes (or more precisely is re-absorbed). Done. Paradox resolved. (So far as the movie is concerned)
There is no 'now he can't go back', that would result in a time loop

Another resolution to the grandfather paradox is a non self-correcting universe (Re: Terminator Franchise), where the original Old Biff wouldn't 'vanish', and go on living in the altered future parallel to the Biff of that timeline.

Again, the event itself isn't the problem (At least from a movie standpoint), the points we're contesting now is:
(Speculative) Layer 1: What happens to people around Biff, as the timeline shifts
(Speculative) Layer 2: What happens to people around Biff, who are also time traveling

Terminator Genisys (2015) takes a look into a non self-correcting universe quite well, where characters (human and machine) remain even after the events that created them are averted

Tl:dr: We're also ignoring the grandfather paradox (mostly)

Backward time travel isn't possible because of these kind of issues, also no one came to Stephens party.

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i missed it sorry

Are you a time traveler too like

You don't but more importantly neither did the writers of this movie.
There's your basic primer on if time travel was real how would it work

Doesn't apply:

The bttf universe is clearly that of alternative timelines, this is Science fiction, their universe, their rules. The writers imo did a good job averting the grandfather paradox by glossing over it (mostly) and redirecting to the alternate universe scenario (Being the actual plot point)

It's really down to the fact of Marty's unrepressed sexual feelings for his own 1955 mother tbh

i am ok with this tbh

I understand what you're trying to say and you've basically brought up the biggest problem/flaw in the theory of time travel.

To make it short, you are right. This makes no sense. It is a movie and thus its purpose is to entertain, not to establish 'valid' theories. The problem you mentioned arises from the fact that in order for the movie events to exist, there would have to exist an endless array of parallel universes, with the characters being able to exactly determine which universe to travel to each time, which of course is just as impossible.

Stephen Hawking (supposedly) worked on his last book together with other physicists who (supposedly) bring considerable facts that would speak for the existence of parallel universes. But that's probably a lot of hype along with his recent death in order to sell another book.

In case of the movies, it doesn't even matter of these universes exist or not, because even if so, it would be 100% impossible to enter the exact universe each time.

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The BEST time travel padadox film EVER is "Predestination" - no spoilers from me tbh

Indeed, Doc makes it clear that you can't go back to the original timeline once it has been changed.
You could argue that it takes some times for the new timeline to "propagate", and as Biff was quick enough he manages to come back.
There is a deleted scene where we see Biff fading out of existence (kind of like Marty's family in the first movie photo) after he brings back the Dolorean to the future ( This would however also raise the question of why Marty & Doc (which had their history changed as much as the vanishing Bill) are not fading out of existence, which is also a plothole.

At the end of the day, it's just handwaving to allow the plot to exist. If Biff can't bring back the Dolorean (or if he decides not to, after all he could have just stayed in the past or destroyed the car), then the movie stops there or you have to deal with an additional 10 minutes of movie (which would probably take a year in "movie" time) to have them build a new car. Which could have been interessting, but you would have to cut 10 minutes of something else (which you can't really because the movie is already tightly cut).

Have you seen the Special Extra Version cut of that DVD outtake bonus disk thing? The bit where Marty and him mom actually fuck in the car?

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At last I truly see.

Underrated post

No, I watched it once and understood it fully. If you have to watch it multiple times you're dumb