Movie Blog: BTTF – The Confusion of 2015

Everyone has seen Back To The Future. It’s one of those classics you can’t really avoid even if you try to. Somewhere, someone will bring it up during conversation and start a full-blown argument over how it was ahead of its time, yadda yadda. Yes, it’s safe to say that BTTF is one of those stories that keeps us captivated no matter how old or inaccurate it seems to get. I also don’t consider BTTF to be 3 films, rather, one long film divided into three parts. So, what I want to do here is focus in particular on Back To The Future Part II, where Doc & Marty travel to 2015.

There’s something in BTTF Part II that’s always bugged me and it’s not something obvious such as the flying cars, hoverboards or the blatant disregard for wearing clothing items that match. 

For those of you who don’t remember the films that well, let’s run through the events to start with, shall we?

In BTTF Part I, Marty McFly, who lives in 1985 travels to 1955 by accident, messes up the meeting of his parents and in essence, starts to vanish from reality. Since his parents won’t fall in love, they won’t get married and he would never be born. Quite a problem. A problem that he promptly remedies by having his dad kick the ass of the school bully (Biff), bada bing, bada boom, the parents are back together. Great. Marty travels back to 1985 with the help of 1955 Doc Brown, all is well.

Now, at the end of BTTF Part 1, Doc suddenly arrives with a modified version of the time machine that flies and tells Marty that there’s something wrong with the future. Marty has a problem with his kids in the future and has to come with him immediately. Marty does, and together with Jennifer, they travel to 2015. So begins BTTF Part II.

In 2015, Marty prevents his children from getting in trouble, saving them. However, in 2015 Marty picks up a Sports Almanac that details the outcome of all sporting events that took place between 1985 and 2015, a historical novelty of the time. In Marty’s hands though, the Almanac meant he could never lose a bet and could, in essence, become a millionaire overnight. Here begins the problem as the same bully from 1955 is still around (Biff), and he hears an argument about this Almanac that takes place between Doc & Marty which ends with the Almanac being thrown away. Biff finds it, and having recognized Doc from 1985 and figuring out what they were up to, later steals the DeLorean and travels back to 1955 to give the Almanac to himself during the events of BTTF Part I.

Doc & Marty, thinking everything is fine, don’t realize Biff stole the time machine, or realize what he had done and then attempt to return from 2015 to 1985. However, since this 1985 they travel to is, in essence, the future of 1955, and in 1955 Biff got the Almanac, suddenly, 1985 is hell on Earth with Biff basically being Donald Trump.

Our heroes promptly attempt to fix this by travelling back to 1955, to the exact week where BTTF Part I takes place and have to avoid their former selves in 1955 otherwise it would fuck up the entire timeline again. Doc & Marty fix 1955 by destroying the Almanac. At the last minute, the DeLorean gets hit by a lightning bolt and vanishes, setting up the events of BTTF Part III. The film ends with Marty running up to 1955 Doc, who just sent 1985 Marty of BTTF Part I back to his own time, ensuring the events would lead to BTTF Part II.

Okay, right there we’ll stop the recap. The events of BTTF Part III are not important as we’ll focus on BTTF Part II.

Let’s go back a little. Doc & Marty were in 2015. Biff stole the DeLorean and went back to 1955. This 1955 is the past of 2015. With me so far? Biff then accomplished his mission and travelled back to 2015 from 1955 with the DeLorean. In 2015 we see Old Biff break his cane and then stumble out of view, presumably dying quietly and vanishing from reality nearby. Okay?

Doc & Marty then travel from 2015 to 1985. This 1985 is the wrong 1985. This is Alternate 1985. They went from 2015, to Alternate 1985, a timeline Old Biff created.

So, what bugged me? This right here –

Old Biff travelled from 2015 to 1955, then he travelled back to 2015 where Doc & Marty were.

If he did give himself the Almanac in 1955, and that single event created Alternate 1985, should Old Biff not then have travelled to the future of Alternate 1985, in essence, Alternate 2015? Alternate 2015 would be the future in which Trump Biff was the bell of the ball. The Biff of Alternate 2015, would be the result of Alternate 1985 Biff.

Old time machine stealing Biff does not exist in Alternate 2015.

We know this fact because Doc later explains that if he himself and Marty are in Alternate 1985 and if they go to to the future from that point to stop Old Biff getting the Almanac, it would be the future of Alternate 1985, and not Normal 2015 where they just came from. In Alternate 2015, Old Biff as they know him, the one who stole the time machine, does not exist. So, they can’t stop him like that. They have to travel to Alternate 1985’s past, which is Normal 1955.

Let’s look at the timeline as it’s presented to us in BTTF Part I.

Before anything happens, the timeline looks like this –

1955 V1 | 1985 V1| 2015 V1.

Marty travels back in time, the timeline changes to –

1955 V2 | 1985 V2 | 2015 V2

Now, the events of BTTF Part II.

Doc & Marty travel to 2015 V2, the timeline changes  –

1955 V2  | 1985 V2 | 2015 V3

Old Biff steals the DeLorean and goes from 2015 V3 to 1955 V2, then travels home, the timeline changes –

1955 V3 | 1985 V3 | 2015 V4

Doc & Marty then go from 2015 V4 to 1985 V3, the timeline remains the same –

1955 V3 | 1985 V3 | 2015 V4

Doc & Marty then go from 1985 V3 to 1955 V3, the timeline remains the same –

1955  V3 | 1985 V3 | 2015 V4

Upon altering the events of 1955 V3, the timeline changes, with 1985 reverting –

1955 V4 | 1985 V2 | 2015 V4

So that right there, that’s how the films lay it out for us.

I think we’re a little confused though…

See, I think the 2015 we see in BTTF Part II was and always has been the way we know it.

It’s been 2015 V4 since the first trip Doc took to the future.

Old Biff could not and would not have travelled from Alternate 1985 to Alternate 2015 for the simple fact that Alternate 2015 actually never exists due to Doc & Marty.

Doc & Marty do fix the timeline and this fact is why I believe Old Biff is actually still around when we last see him in 2015. What we see of Old Biff stumbling out of the DeLorean is not him vanishing from reality as we all easily assumed. Old Biff was dying of natural causes here, probably due to all the excitement of travelling through time. Old Biff was meeting his natural demise in his own time.

The reason 2015 seemed to be exactly the same immediately after Old Biff returns the DeLorean and dies, is because Doc & Marty travel to the Alternate 1985, see something is wrong and fix it in 1955. They destroy the Almanac. This means that an Alternate 2015 never exists and that is why Old Biff could travel back home to his own time and does not end up being nullified by Trump Biffs existence in an Alternate 2015. This is 2015 V4. Old Biff is supposed to be in 2015 V4.

Sure, for the brief period that Alternate 1985 exists, there is an Alternate 2015, which is why Doc & Marty could not travel there to stop Old Biff. In that scenario, Old Biff no longer existed. This is because the events of Marty & Doc going to 1955 to burn the Almanac have not yet happened.

An Alternate 2015 only exists up until the point that Doc & Marty decide to travel to 1955.

That choice changes Alternate 2015 back into 2015 V4.

What we, in fact, see of 2015 during the whole movie, is the result of the final scenes of BTTF Part II. Marty & Doc themselves while in 2015 do not know that this is the eventual reality that only comes to pass after the end of BTTF Part II. The year, 2015, as experienced as a whole by Doc & Marty, is the result of Old Biff being a thief and they themselves once again changing 1955.

I propose that BTTF Part II takes place entirely in 2015 V4, the reality that Old Biff created. The first time Doc solo travels to the future, he travels to 2015 V4 which is the same future he kept returning to in order to spy on Marty’s kids and future. This is the same year he later returns to with Marty & Jennifer to change it. The entire film takes place in 2015 V4.

So does this make sense to you too or am I in fact crazy?

Tell me what you think in the comments!

Grand Moff Morris
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Grand Moff Morris

You know, this was supposed to be my day off. But nooooooo. Instead, you got me out here dragging your heavy ass through the burning desert, with your dreadlocks sticking out the back of my parachute.
Grand Moff Morris
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