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21-09-2006, 00:19   #1
BlitzKrieg
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marty 2

Some people might have read this before, but I found it very enjoyable and makes me want to dig out the back to the future films again.


Quote:
The following is from an article titled "The Other Marty McFly?" by Bruce Gordon published in Starlog #108 (July 1986):

"Our mysterious voyager, the tale begins, appears in Back to the Future for just a fleeting second, on screen for only a handful of frames. Cast your thoughts back to the film … back to the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. The terrorists have arrived, and they're aiming their machine guns right at Doc's heart. Their van is parked at the screen's left-hand side, and Doc is standing to the right, holding a pistol in his hand. He raises his arms into the air, and then, just behind Doc - between him and the truck - we can see a spot of light from one of the nearby stores. Watch that light.

At the very instant that Doc tosses his pistol to the ground (and all eyes in the audience are following its path across the pavement), a silhouetted figure steps into that light. Less than a second later, the figure is gone, Doc has been shot and the chase is on.

Who was that figure? Where did he come from? Why was he there?

The answer to the first question is easy: The figure was Marty McFly, of course. Where did he come from? He had just returned from 1955. And why was he there? Let's find out!

… Send your thoughts into the past again, this time towards the film's end. Marty runs to the mall, and arrives just in time to see Doc shot again, and to see another Marty hop into the DeLorean and drive off through time. So, there are two Martys during that climax - one arriving from Town Square, and one departing for 1955.

Logically, then, if there were two Martys in the mall at the film's end, then there should have been two Martys in the mall at the beginning . . . one arriving, one departing. The silhouetted figure in the light must be the 'arriving' Marty.
Let's see if we're right. Taking a look at the accompanying chart, we find two pathways. The pathways represent two parallel worlds - each existing simultaneously in different dimensions of time. Each step in a path is a specific event that's shown, told, or implied somewhere in the film. The white steps (Note - unable to reproduce the chart) represent the actions of our Marty McFly, and they trace the exact story of the film. The grey steps (Note - unable to reproduce the chart) follow the journey of the other Marty, the mysterious figure we saw - or probably didn't see - silhouetted by the light. (From here on, let's call this mysterious figure 'Marty II'.)

Naturally enough, we begin at 'Start,' which is where the movie opens. We'll call this path 'Our Dimension.' The first item we find reads, 'The Ledge is Not Broken.' In the scene where Marty and his girl friend Jennifer are sitting on the bench in town square, planning their big weekend, the concrete ledge on the clock tower is intact. Doc's foot hasn't broken it off because Doc hasn't climbed up to fix his cable. Not yet - and in this dimension, not ever.

Following down the chart, we see the terrorists arrive at the mall, followed a moment later by the mysterious Marty II, silhouetted in the light. Then, Doc is shot and our Marty escapes back to 1955. Notice that our Marty not only goes back in time, but it looks as if he switches over into the opposite dimension! Actually, what happens I is this: Our Marty's leap to 1955 and his interference in history causes the split that creates these parallel dimensions!

Our Marty arrives at Twin Pines Ranch, crashes into the barn, and while escaping in a hail of shotgun fire, runs down one of Peabody's twin pine trees (more about that later). Marty prevents his parents from meeting, but manages to get them back together just before his rendezvous with Doc at the clock tower.

Marty also gives Doc the all-important note that warns him about the eventual terrorist attack. Doc finds the note and starts tearing it up when a tree branch falls and pulls apart Doc's cable. Doc sticks the note in his pocket (you weren't distracted by all the other action, were you?) and climbs up the tower to fix the cable. He slips and breaks the concrete with his foot.
Now, here's where the plot gets tricky. This is where we leave the movie's story for a moment, and take a look at the 30 years between 1955 and 1985. Marty and the DeLorean make contact with the lightning and leap over those decades in an instant, but everyone else - including Doc, George, and Lorraine - have to live them out one day at a time.

During those 30 years, George and Lorraine become a popular and successful couple, thanks to our Mary's involvement. In a few years, they get married, and before long, they have a son. And who is their son? Why, he's Marty II, of course - the other Marty! After all, our Marty is already 17 years old and leaping through time in the DeLorean.

Over the years, Marty II grows up. He and Doc become friends. But remember - Doc spent a week with our Marty 30 years ago, so Doc already knows everything that's going to happen. He knows about the DeLorean, time travel and Marty's escape back into time. And somewhere along the way, he tapes Marty's note back together, and finds out about the terrorists.

So that brings us back to October 26, 1985 as our Marty arrives in Town Square and crashed into the theater. He has returned to 1985, all right, but he's still in the opposite dimension! As the helicopter hovers overhead, we see that the ledge on the clock tower is broken. When our Marty sees the terrorists drive by in their van, remember that we're in the other dimension, and Marty II is already down at the mall with Doc, testing the DeLorean. Our Marty runs to the mall and grabs onto the big sign . . . which now reads 'Lone Pine Mall.' (Remember how Marty ran down that pine tree in 1955? That was the end of the Twin Pines breeding experiment!)

Our Marty watches in horror as Doc is shot and Marty II drives off in the DeLorean. But Doc is OK - he has taped Marty's note back together, learned about the terrorists, and put on a bullet-proof vest.

Doc and Marty rescue the stalled DeLorean from Town Square, and Doc drives Marty home. But what does Marty find? He finds new parents, a new brother and sister, and a new 4X4 Toyota truck parked in the garage. How is this possible? This is Marty II's family! In this opposite dimension, Marty I has traded places and stepped into the life that was being led by Marty II. It's Marty II's father, mother, brother and sister - and that's Marty II's truck parked in the garage!

Where, then, has Marty II gone? He has time-warped out of the shopping mall and gone back to 1955! Let's chase after him now, starting at the top of the chart and following the grey steps. Notice that Marty II has also wound up in the opposite dimension - the dimension where Marty I used to be.

Marty II arrives at Peabody's Twin Pines Ranch, only this time he doesn't run down one of the pine trees. (Remember, the off-road Toyota 4X4 parked in the garage belonged to this Marty . . . maybe he drives better than our skateboarding Marty. So, the pine trees survive, Peabody's Twin Pines breeding experiment continues, and 30 years later, the big sign at the mall reads 'Twin Pines Mall' - just like it did at the movie's beginning.

Marty races out of the Peabody field and stops on the road in front of his home-to-be. He gets out of the DeLorean, reloads the plutonium, and returns to 1985.

'Now, wait just a minute,' everybody moans. 'Where did Marty II get the extra plutonium?' That's easy - Doc loaded it into the DeLorean. Remember that Doc had met our Marty 30 years ago, so he already knew Marty II was going to go back in time, and he knew that Marty II would get stranded without any plutonium for the return trip. Now, Doc may not be willing to alter history by trying to stop Marty II from going back in time, but he is willing to gamble on a little insurance. So, the first thing he does when he takes the DeLorean down to the mall is to load that spare plutonium.

'Well, OK,' someone says. 'But why does Marty II turn around right away and return to 1985?' Remember the speech that Doc gave our Marty when they first met at Doc's house back in 1955? 'You must not see anybody, you must not talk to anybody,' Brown warns. 'To do so would have serious repercussions on future events!' Our Marty had already broken that rule, so it was too late for the warning to do any good - but it wasn't too late to warn Marty II. So, it's logical that when Doc was showing the time machine to Marty II, he would explain how important it was not to interact with anyone in the past, and to get back to the present as quickly as possible. We know that Marty trusts and respects Doc, and so we can assume he follows the instructions to the letter, reloads the plutonium, and jumps back to 1985 - without meeting anyone.

We'll also assume that Marty II set the DeLorean controls to return minutes early in an effort to save Doc. Unfortunately, he's not going to be any more successful than our Marty was.

Now, it's Marty II who's jumping over the 30 years between 1955 and 1985, just as our Marty did. And just as before, George, Lorraine, and Doc live those 30 years one day at a time - only this time, it's without the 'benefit' of our Marty's involvement. Let's keep following the grey path and see just what happened during the 30 years that Marty II skips over. This part is easy, because the whole story is recited by Lorraine over dinner at the film's beginning. It goes like this: George gets hit by the car, he and Lorraine fall in love at the dance, get married and have a son named Marty. Our Marty. Marty I.
Over the years, our Marty grows up and becomes friends with Doc. Only in this dimension, Doc never met Marty back in 1955. Doc doesn't know about the DeLorean, or about time travel. He doesn't have a note to read, so he doesn't know to protect himself from the terrorists. When Doc goes to the mall on October 26, 1985, he's not wearing a bullet-proof vest, just his open shirt and his cotton underwear. And finally, back in Town Square, the clock tower ledge isn't broken, because no one was ever up there.

You'll notice by our chart that we're back to the start of Back to the Future but we're looking at it from a whole different perspective! When Marty II appears as a silhouette in the light, we know who he is this time, and where he's coming from.
And while our Marty came running up to the sign because he was coming from Town Square, where the Delorean was stalled in the street, Marty II didn't reappear in Town Square, because he never went there. He stayed on the highway near his home-to-be. So, when Marty II reappeared in 1985, he was coming from another direction. That's why he ran in front of the light, instead of over by the sign.

Our next step along the grey path says that Marty II runs to Doc and finds him killed. Doc never had the warning from Marty in 1955. He wasn't wearing the bullet-proof vest. Doc is dead.

From here on out, believe it or not, things get worse. Marty II heads home alone, and finds he has a brand new family. Just like our Marty, he's traded places - only now he's stepped into the life that was being led by our Marty. Now, his father is a failure, his mother is an alcoholic and his brother and sister are nerds. And the Toyotat 4X4 that he left parked in the garage the night before has turned into a skateboard, and even that got left in the parking lot back at the mall! (It's a sad ending. No wonder they filmed the other version!)

Now we've finally reached the end of our chart. But wait, our story's not over. Marty II still has the DeLorean and extra plutonium - maybe he can go back in time again, and try once more to save Doc's life. What a sequel that would make!

Bruce Gordon, an Imagineer at WED Enterprises, is involved in the future development of Disneyland. He co-authored 'Tomorrowland 1986' in Starlog #98-99. Assistance on this essay was provided by Chris Tietz and David Munford, who made substantial contributions to solving and explaining the mystery of Marty II.
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21-09-2006, 00:28   #2
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Impressive theory. Makes me want to watch the films again alright.
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21-09-2006, 00:32   #3
BlitzKrieg
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it has 2 sequels, but their not as good (the theories not the films, they are good)

Quote:
The following is from the article "The Return of the Other Marty McFly" by Bruce Gordon from Starlog #154:

"Now, at long last, it's time to join us once again, out here in the parking lot of Lone Pine Mall, as we sort out the new adventures of Marty McFly. So find yourself a comfortable spot, pull your pockets inside out, and prepare yourself for temporal displacement.

Please be forewarned: If you though our last trip through time was insane, wait till you find yourself in the middle of this one! We'll not only be searching for multiple Marty, we'll be seeing alternate futures, alternate presents, alternate pasts, alternate alternate futures, quadruplicate DeLoreans, umpteen Einsteins and more Doc Browns than even we can keep track of!

Best of all, this time, we promise we'll really meet Marty II - and he'll be much more than just a tiny image fleeting by in the background. He'll be bigger than life, filling the screen right there in front of us. In fact, if you've seen Back to the Future Part II, you've seen Marty II - without even realizing it was him. Ready? Let's track him down.

We already know what happened in 1985 (at least we think we do!) so we'll start our search for Marty II at the next logical stop, in the year 2015. Let's zip on over to the McFly home at 3793 Oakhurst Street, in the heart of a ritzy neighborhood called Hilldale. As the sign on the corner says, it's 'the address of success.'

On our way, let's take a look at a key line of dialogue that Doc delivers at the first film's end (a line which was carefully repeated at the second's start). When Doc convinces Marty and Jennifer to return to the future, he assures them, 'You and Jennifer both turn out fine. … it's your kids, Marty. Something's gotta be done about your kids!'
'You and Jennifer both turn out fine,' he said. Yet when we arrive at the future, we see that the Marty McFly of 2015 is far from fine - everybody in Hill Valley know that Marty McFly is the town's biggest loser.

Even the once-ritzy Hilldale suburb has turned into a dump. Look closely at the Hilldale sign in the background - Hilldale graffiti mongers have spray-painted over the 'c' and 's' in 'success,' and now the sign reads 'the address for suckers.' The kind of suckers, perhaps, who react to being called 'chicken'.

Of course, our Marty is impressed to find out that he grows up to live in Hilldale - after all, it was the place to live back in 1985. He has no way of knowing that this Hilldale is nothing more than 'a breeding ground for tranks, lobos and zipheads.' Not exactly the kind of place where you would want to raise your family.

So what happened between the time Doc, Marty, and Jennifer left 1985 - when everything was 'fine' - and the time they arrived in 2015, when their lives had been turned upside down? And what in the world has all this got to do with our search for Marty II?

Be patient, fellow time travelers . . . he's closer than you might think.

Our visit to 2015 also provides us with some important information: The Marty that lives here has just been fired from his job, after getting involved in some vague, undefined (but improper) scheme with a co-worker named Needles.

Needles? Who is Needles?

The game is afoot here in 2015. To understand all of this, we must first take a look at what we know about the science of time travel itself, courtesy of Doc Brown.
Think back to the time line chart that Doc drew on the blackboard in the middle of Back to the Future II. (We wondered if maybe he got that chart from an old copy of Starlog he found in the library when he was looking for those newspaper!)

'Imagine that this line represent time,' Doc explains as he starts to draw his chart. He shows how the line of time he just drew runs along nice and straight, until someone alter something in the past. Then, a second, alternate time line branches our - 'skews into a tangent,' Doc says - traveling parallel to (but different from) the original. There are now two different realities existing at the same time.

Now, we come to the important part
.
Doc's drawing of two time lines can only lead to one conclusion: At the moment a second time line is created, everyone and everything that existed in the original time line is duplicated, and now exists in both the original and the alternate time line - at the same time.

Without this assumption, Doc's explanation of the two parallel time lines makes no sense. Unless everything is duplicated, there can't be two time lines, or else there would be nothing and no one to fill them up!"

Now that we understand how events changing in the past can create an alternate - and duplicate - reality in the future, let's get on with the search for Marty II.

Here's the key question: If the kind of time line duplication that we've just been looking at is possible, then can the two time lines merge back together when something else is done or undone?

And is it possible that this time line merging is finally going to lead us to Marty II? Well, let's see.

Lorraine McFly, Marty's mother, tells us an interesting story. 'About 30 years ago,' she says to Marlene (as George hangs upside down in his Ortho-Lev back brace) 'your father tried to prove he wasn't a chicken, and he ended up in an automobile accident.'

'Oh, you mean with the Rolls Royce,' Marlene interrupts.

Lorraine continues, 'That accident caused a chain reaction that sent Marty's life straight down the tubes. If not for that accident, your father's life would have turned out very differently. The man in the Rolls Royce wouldn't have pressed charges, Marty wouldn't have given up on his music. And he wouldn't have spent all those years feeling sorry for himself. I think the real reason your mother married him was because she felt sorry for him.'

It's a pretty sad picture of Marty McFly all right - and it came to be due to an accident that happened 30 years ago in 1985. But wait, our Marty wasn't even in Hill Valley in 1985 - he went to the future with Doc and Jennifer and us!

If you travel forward in time - skipping over minutes, days, or years - time continues on without you. That's exactly what happened when Doc sent his dog Einstein one minute into the future. Einstein skipped over that minute, while Doc and Marty lived on through it. So, the same thing happened when Doc, Marty, and Jennifer went 30 years into the future to 2015 - they skipped over those 30 years, while the world went on without them.

So, how could our Marty have been injured in a car crash in 1985, when we know he skipped over the rest of that year, and was here in the future with us all the time?
Because the Marty who was injured in the car crash - the Marty in the house in Hilldale - isn't our Marty.

He's a second Marty.

Let's look at this another way.

Say you were a time traveler who went 30 years into the future, then returned to the present day. Thirty years later, when the future date you time-traveled to finally came around, you would still remember your time travels, and you would be ready and waiting for your younger self to arrive.

If all this is true, then it follows that the adult Marty living on Oakhurst in 2015 should know that his own younger self would be arriving on this particular day - because it was he himself who did the time traveling in the first place!

But wait, the adult Marty we meet in 2015 is totally oblivious to the impending arrival of his younger self.

Something doesn't make sense here . . . until you realize that the adult Marty we meet in 2015 isn't expecting anyone to arrive, because it's not he younger self who's coming to visit.

Once again, we come to the inescapable conclusion: This guy in 2015 can't be an older version of our Marty - he must be a totally different Marty!

This adult Marty - the town loser of Hill Valley - must be Marty II.

Right there in front of our eyes.

This adult Marty is the time-traveling Marty we watched jump into the DeLorean at the first film's end, as our Marty watched from up on the hillside at the mall.
But how did Marty II get here?

Before we answer that, we have to ask an even stranger question than that one: Never mind how the adult Marty got here, how did the adult Jennifer get here?

Since we know that Einstein the dog could skip over a minute in time, we also know that Marty I, Doc and Jennifer must have skipped over 30 years between 1985 and 2015. As we just saw, that's why Marty I can't be here.

But Jennifer can't be here either! She skipped over 30 years with Doc and Marty. Hmmmm . . . that means there has to be a second Jennifer!

There are other things wrong with this reality, besides the unexplained presence of a couple of people who ought to be missing.

Consider this: Doc is constantly fretting about Marty and Jennifer meeting their alternate selves, and causing the entire space-time continuum to unravel. When Doc and Marty return to 1955, Doc's very first concern is not running into his alternate self. Yet, in 2015, Doc wasn't the least bit worried about it - he never even mentions his alternate self.

Maybe that's because there is no alternate Doc here - maybe that other Doc was killed by the bullets of a Libyan terrorist back in 1985!

How come George and Lorraine - although still successful - have become such bumblers? It's hard to reconcile the hip, tennis playing George and Lorraine we saw at the end of Back to the Future with these two fumblers!

Any why is the 78-year-old Biff we meet in the Café '80s suddenly so nasty? When we saw him the last time in 1985, he couldn't wait to show his friend Marty the new matchbooks he had printed up. Now, here in 2015, he's banging Marty over the head, acting like the Biff we knew in 1955.

To quote the exact words of the ever-eloquent Biff, 'What the **** is going on here?'

Well we may not know what's going on here, but we think we know what happened.

Once more, let's take a look at something from the first Back to the Future. The film shows us two versions of 1985 - two different realities. The first is the original reality we saw at the film's beginning, with Marty's nerdy family. We will tastefully call this 'The Nerd Reality'. The second would be the altered reality we saw at the film's end, with Marty's hip family - 'The Hip Reality'.

As the time chart Doc drew for us clearly shows, even though we only saw the 'Hip Reality' at the film's end, both realities continued to exist - since nothing happened to bring them back together again.

At least, not yet.

What if the day of Marty's crash in 1985 is another one of those 'temporal junction points' for the entire space-time continuum? What if the unknown events surrounding that car crash merged the two realities - Nerd and Hip - back together?

That would explain just about everything.

If everyone existing in the Nerd Reality merged together with everyone existing in the Hip Reality - to create one new, combined reality - we would have the answers to all of our questions.

But can two realities actually merge back together?

Of course they can. Remember, Doc and Marty left Jennifer sleeping on the porch in Evil 1985. But not to worry, says Doc, 'this alternate 1985 will be changed back to the real 1985, instantaneously transforming around Jennifer and Einy!' So, even though the alternate reality changes back to the original reality, the 'population' of the newly merged reality is a combination of the people in each reality. If this were not true, Jennifer and Einy would have vanished along with the Evil 1985!

This 'combining of realities' settles a whole load of complex issues. It explains the presence of Marty II and Jennifer - who were missing in one reality, but living their lives in another. And it explains the absence of a second Doc - the Doc from the 'Hip Reality' was saved by the bulletproof vest, but the Doc from the 'Nerd Reality' wasn't. Even more, it would explain why George and Lorraine are such a strange mixture - successful and wealthy, but nerds nonetheless.

And it might explain where the mysterious 'Needles' came from. He appears nowhere in the first film - yet Jennifer (who's hiding the bathroom) clearly recognizes the name when she overhears Marty II answer the phone. Why does Jennifer know who Needles is? Why don't we?

And finally, it also explains our paradox with Biff: How can he be the nasty Biff from the Nerd Reality, when he remembers seeing the flying DeLorean from the Hip Reality? Simple. The two realities have now merged. All the players are present and accounted for, exactly where they should be. Except for one thing: Marty's life has gone straight down the tubes. And something must be done.

But what exactly happened? Who called him chicken? And who was driving the Rolly Royce? Who was in the Rolls Royce? . .
.
Another question revolves around the key scene that most often goes overlooked. We're talking, of course, about the scene where Biff steals the DeLorean to give the Sports Almanac to his younger self.

The last time we see Biff in 1955, he's calmly walking out of the garage, talking to his younger self. But think back to earlier in the film, when we saw Biff returning the DeLorean to 2015. Instead of the spry old Biff we saw moments before, we see him crawling slowly out of the car. He's obviously in pain. He has been shot, knifed, or he's having a heart attack. He falls to the ground, behind some trash cans, and that's the last we see of him.

What happened to Biff between the time he walked calmly out of the garage in 1955 and the moment he returned - near death - to 2015? Rich Biff himself tells us he never saw the 'old man' again after he gave him the book in 1955!

We get only one clue about what happened - on the time display inside the DeLorean. When Doc and Marty depart 2015, take a look at the bottom row of numbers - the one that shows the DeLorean's most recent departure date. It shows Biff returned to 2015 directly from November 12, 1955 - the night of the lighting storm - at 6:38 p.m.
That was before the lighting storm hit - but nearly eight hours after he gave his younger self the book.

What went on? The mystery remains. And so do the questions."

Bruce Gordon, a production designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, is part of the team developing the new Tomorrowland for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. His previous mythos, 'The Other Marty McFly' appeared in Starlog #108. David Mumford, Chris Tietz, and Tony Baxter provided special assistance and creative input for this essay.

Just to let you know, the original essay was three magazine pages. What I just posted is about 3 1/2 magazine pages. If anyone is interested, there are about three other pages to this essay. I will post the rest only if people are interested.
and the 2nd part of it (sorry for delay)

Quote:
If anyone wondered about Bruce Gordon's comment about "alternate futures, alternate presents, alternate pasts, alternate alternate futures, quadruplicate DeLoreans, umpteen Einsteins and more Doc Browns than even we can keep track of", the following is the rest of the article "The Return of the Other Marty McFly" from Starlog #154 (May 1990):

"What we do know is that somehow, as the result of the car crash in 1985, Marty I and Marty II have both wound up on the same time line - and all the world know Marty McFly is a loser. Loser with a capital L. It's a problem that has to be resolved.
There's only one question whose answer must be for certain in this mixed-up universe of time travel. When all is said and done, and the universe is put back together, there can only be one character who turns out to be the hero.

No, it's not Marty. It's not Doc. It's not Jennifer. Who's left? It has to be Biff. The villain must be reformed.
If Biff never learns a thing from all of these adventures, if he never changes for the better, if he never grows as a person, if he never makes a sacrifice to help his fellow man, then all the Back to the Future fireworks have been for naught.

But there's only one way to find out. Once again, only time will tell!

So far, we finally found Marty II, hiding out in the future year 2015. His life is a ruin, his career is over, and he has been fired from his throughly mundane job.

But finding Marty II is only half the story. There's something much bigger going on here. We can't leave Marty McFly and his family all messed up in the future!

Doc and Marty have to set reality straight again - back to the time when there was just one Marty McFly, the successful rock star he was always destined to be. So, what are they going to do?

Well, we're going to have to leave a lot of the problem-solving to the sequel . . . and to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the guys who came up with the answers in the first place. This whole thing is like the game show Jeopardy . . . they're giving us the answers, and it's up to us to come up with the questions. So, let's start coming up with some questions, to be all the better prepared for Back to the Future Part III.

One question: . . . What went wrong with the older Jennifer, Marty II's wife? She seems to be in less than ideal shape.
'I'm not sure where Jennifer is, Mom,' says Marty as they begin dinner without her. 'She should have been home hours ago, but I'm having a hard time keeping track of her these days. She's in one of those moods, I guess.'

'Aren't you and Jennifer getting along?' Lorraine asks.

'Oh yeah, great, Mom, we're more like a couple of teenagers, you know?'

Marty and Jennifer getting along like teenagers, eh? Boy, that sounds like something we've seen somewhere in the past.
Our next question: When Marty gets the letter from Western Union in 1955, he goes straight to Town Square to find Doc. But what about the hoverboard - the skateboard he brought back from 2015? The last time we saw it, Marty had left it hovering next to the billboard. As far as we know, it's still there. Now, we can't allow an object from the future that's as technologically sophisticated as a hoverboard to remain in 1955. If someone found it and figured out how it worked, we would have yet another alternate future on our hands! Does Marty go back to get it, or was it left behind because of - gulp! - sloppy filmmaking?

Say it isn't so!

Next question?

When Doc Brown gets hit by lightning in the flying DeLorean, he vanishes - along with the DeLorean. A puff of smoke appears in the sky, leaving a 'backwards 99' floating in the clouds. Presumably, Doc has been sent back to 1885 - but we don't trust anyone anymore.

First off, Doc has always told us that the DeLorean has to reach 88 miles per hour in order to time travel. Doc may not need any roads where he's going, but he still needs to go 88.
So just how fast was Doc going when he was hit by the lightning bolt? He wasn't even moving. He was hovering, perfectly still. So, how could he have gone back in time? Did Doc really pop back to 1885, or did something else happen first?
The questions continue.

What's the deal with Marty's sudden psychopathic reaction to being called 'chicken'? Nothing in the first film ever let us in on this odd facet of the McFly personality. Yet we're told that being called 'chicken' is what caused the car crash that ended Marty II's career in 1985. And it's not just Marty II who has been affected - Marty I reacts the same way at Café '80s in 2015, and again at the high school dance in 1955.

There is one little clue to be found, however - in how Marty acts whenever someone calls him chicken. He takes on the classic stance of a wild west gunman, ready to draw his guns. In fact, he looks just like the computerized gunman video game. He's quite a crack shot, that Marty.

And speaking of wild west gunmen - note the scene from A Fistful of Dollars that Biff is watching in Evil 1985: It's a direct corollary of the bulletproof vest scene at the end of Back to the Future. Is this just a clever acknowledgement of their 'source material', or is this scene foreshadowing events in Back to the Future III?

This next question should be considered an extra credit bonus. Deciphering this one is a matter of choice. It won't help you understand anything that happens in the film - but it's a fascinating opportunity to extend the Back to the Future mythology.
What happens if we take Doc Brown's time line theory about what happened in the past, and apply it to what must have happened in the future?

If we apply Doc's time line theory to the events in BTTF II, we find there must be two 1985s, exactly the way Doc drew them on the blackboard. First, there's the original time line - the real 1985 that we know and love. And second, there's the alternate time line, leading to the evil, corrupted 1985 created by Biff.

Logically, then, if we extend both of those time lines out to the future, we must arrive at a matching pair of 2015s. There's the normal 2015 - the extension of the normal 1985 - and the corrupt 2015 that grows out of Biff's corrupt 1985.

So, what does all this mean? It means, of course, that if there are two, duplicate 2015s, then there must be two time-traveling Docs, two Martys and two DeLoreans, all standing on the streets of two Hill Valleys.

Now, if we follow Doc's time line theory even further, something very, very interesting happens.

If the Evil 2015 truly is an extension of the Evil 1985, then that means Lorraine is - or was - married to Biff. It also means that George McFly has been buried in the Oak Park Cemetery since 1973, shot by Biff on March 15. And, even stranger, it means that Marty probably never met Jennifer since he went to school in Switzerland, not Hill Valley. (And yes, this means the Switzerland Marty would be Marty III.)

But most importantly, it also means that Doc has been committed to an insane asylum - before he could even invent the DeLorean time machine!

So, Doc, Marty and Jennifer have traveled to the future in a time machine that was never even invented!

The occurrence of the Evil 1985 is the type of paradox that Doc Brown most feared - since its very existence depends on a time machine that was never invented.

It's exactly the major paradox that Doc has been fearing all along.

And it's all happening right here in Hilldale, as Doc and Marty drag Jennifer's unconscious body back to the DeLorean - to a DeLorean that shouldn't even exist, since, in this reality, Doc never invented the time machine in the first place!

Now, the fact that the DeLorean doesn't begin to fade away in front of their eyes - the way Marty's snapshot did back in Back to the Future seems, in itself, a contradiction of the very theory Doc just explained to us. Remember, though, that while Marty's snapshot began fading away almost right away, Marty himself didn't start to fade until the very last minute, when he was up on stage at the dance. Perhaps Marty, Doc and Jennifer escape 2015 in the DeLorean just in time - before it begins to fade away.

In time travel, anything can happen!

We might assume that all these problems aren't significant, because they're all resolved when Marty burns the Sports Almanac at the second film's end.

Or are they? It sounds too simple. . . .

Whatever the resolution, now we're stuck with an extra pair of Martys, and an extra pair o'Docs.

Paradox jokes aside, what exactly do we do with these guys? Well, we know exactly what happens to the first pair - they're the ones we follow for the rest of the movie. But what happens to the other Doc and Marty - the ones existing in the normal 2015?

For once, the answer is easy. Remember, on their time line, everything is still OK. Since they're already rescued Jennifer from the house in Hilldale, they hop into the DeLorean and head back to the normal 1985. They drop Jennifer off on her porch, Marty heads back to his house - which really is his house this time - and Doc goes back to his lab and dismantles the time machine. And that's the end of their adventures.

It's easy to see why the movie follows the other pair!

Let's take a moment to mention a couple of points that help us appreciate the real brilliance that lies behind the work of director Zemeckis and screenwriter Gale.

Notice how they continually foreshadow the action in the films. For example, they let us know the final lightning strike is going to hit the DeLorean by making the streamers hanging out of its door look like the tail of kite. We all know what happens when you fly a kite in a storm - kablooey! Just like his scientific predecessor Ben Franklin, Doc discovers electricity. In fact, he discover 1.21 jigowatts, to be precise.

And speaking of foreshadowing: Notice that the entire plot of Back to the Future II is established at Twin Pines Mall in Part I, when Doc asks Marty whether he would like to know the outcome of the next few World's Series. Notice, also how this contradicts Doc's remarks about not inventing the time machine to win at gambling: Seems he has had a little stab of conscience, since he realized what the implications of time travel really are!

Besides everything we've talked about so far, there are still more ways to look at what has been happening to the characters in Back to the Future, beyond what we've shown on the screen. For instance, by the end of BTTF II, Doc's biggest wish has already come true: He has already gotten his wish to live in his favorite era, the Wild West. In 1955, it has already been 70 years since he wrote his note to Marty, and he has been living in the Wild West that whole time. However, there's one sad point.

Doc is dead when Marty reads the note.

If Doc were still alive in 1955, when Marty received the letter from Western Union, he would have to be at least 120 years old. (Even with his 'rejuvenation' - a brilliant gimmick to avoid having to deal with all that old-age makeup! - he would be more than 90.) But regardless of his age, if Doc were alive in 1955, he would have delivered the letter to Marty I personally. Unless Doc is being held prisoner somewhere in 1955, he's no longer with us.

So, it looks like it's up to Marty to go 'resurrect' Doc from 1885. In fact, Marty may be resurrecting more than just Doc. He may be resurrecting our whole future. Recall the most tantalizing scene in the trailer for Back to the Future III - the shot of Doc and Marty building the clock tower in Town Square!

Let's explore our last question (finally) by checking the status of all our DeLorean time machines. We immediately discover one thing: There are far too many of them.

When Doc and Marty I arrive in 1955, old Biff is still there. Now, if old Biff is still there, that means his DeLorean is still there (though where parked it, we don't know). Not only that, but Biff, Doc and Marty I are all there during Marty I's original visit! So that means there are actually three DeLoreans in 1955, all at the same time.

Now, during the course of the second film, we start to get rid of some of our excess DeLoreans - but we can hardly get rid of them fast enough before more start to show up.

One of the ones that's still out there, of course, is the DeLorean Marty II was driving through the mall at the first film's end. No matter what dimension Marty II eventually wound up in, we don't know where his car is, and probably never will.
The last DeLorean we need to find is the same DeLorean Marty I needs to find when he's stranded at the end of Back to the Future II. It's his ticket out of 1955. Now, we may not know where this missing DeLorean is, but Marty I certainly does. In fact, he know exactly where it is, because Doc told him. He did?

Let's take a look at what has happened to Doc since he went back to 1885. Obviously, Doc has the DeLorean with him, but it doesn't work. If it did, he would have come back to 1955 to get Marty. Eight months after arriving in the Old West, he writes a letter to Marty I telling him what happened. (By the by, why did he wait so long?) The letter has two purposes. First, he wants to let Marty I know he's OK. But most importantly, Doc wants Marty I to come back to 1885 and rescue him.
But what would Marty I use to time travel back to 1885? Why, the missing DeLorean, of course. The one Doc had in 1885.
Just as Doc's 1885 letter sat in a vault at Western Union for 70 years, Doc's 1885 DeLorean sat in a barn somewhere for those 70 years, hidden away from prying eyes. Somewhere in Hill Valley, there's a rusty old broken DeLorean waiting to be uncovered. And Doc's letter to Marty no doubt tells him exactly where to find it.

And this time, Marty McFly is going Back to the Past.

See you in the theaters for Back to the Future III - then see you in the pages of Starlog, one more time!"


The following is from Starlog #154 (May 1990) letters section:

"Do you remember back in Starlog #108, Bruce Gordon's 'The Other Marty McFly' which postulated a Marty I and a Marty II in the original Back to the Future? Well, I've seen Back to the Future II and wonder if Bruce Gordon is going to propose a Marty III or even a Marty IV.

Did I like it? Yes, for the most part, it was an enjoyable, entertaining motion picture. But, the plot makes no sense whatsoever. Now, leaving aside the improbabilities (such as USA Today running the story of the arrest of an obscure smalltown teenager on its front page or Western Union delivering a message held for 70 years) and some rather steep coincidences, there are several impossibilities suggesting that the law of cause and effect is either no longer working or it's working erratically.

For example, Marty and Doc Brown return from the future to discover an alien alternate present that the older Biff had changed by giving young Biff Marty's sports almanac. But neither Marty nor Dr. Brown remember this present, even though a change in the past would have changed their past as well and therefore their memories. It would have been the original present they should not have been able to remember, right?

When Marty and Doc Brown return to 1955, they encounter scenes from the first movie unchanged. Therefore, Biff's changed present must have left the events of the first movie unchanged. Brown must have invented his time machine anyway and Marty must have made his trip to the past anyway. But how could they do that if Doc Brown was in an insane asylum and Marty was in school in Switzerland? Biff's changed present would have rendered the events of the first film impossible.

Dr. Brown quite rightly tells Marty that it would be pointless to go to the future to keep the older Biff from traveling to the past with the sports almanac since the future would have been changed as well as the present. But if that were the case, would the older Biff have still made that trip to the past? Would he have had a reason to go back? Would he ever have had a time machine to go back in?"

Letter by Donald Alan Webster

"I was really looking forward to seeing Back to the Future II. I wanted to love it as much as I loved the original. I wanted to leave the theater laughing and feeling uplifted again. But I didn't. Nobody around me did either.

This sequel just didn't have the heart of the first one. The human element was missing somehow. And it was confusing. It was so confusing in fact, that the reviewer in Newsweek said that Michael J. Fox 'gets to play his own son Marty at age 47.' (That wasn't his son! That was Marty himself, 30 years older - wasn't it?)

The imaginative special FX were done wonderfully, but after they gave us such a tantalizing glimpse of the future, I was disappointed that they didn't stay there.

And the only way they could make their story work was by violating one of their own scientific premises as they set it up. When Doc and Marty find themselves in a changed 1985, Doc says they can't go into a future altered by changes in the past. Yet Old Biff has no trouble at all getting back to the original future after he zipped back to change things in the past. He shouldn't have been able to do that. Didn't they think we would notice? (But of course, if he hadn't been able to get back, Marty and Doc wouldn't have had a DeLorean at their disposal, but still).

And the end, instead of being terrific and uplifting, was just abrupt. It was further marred by an ad for Back to the Future III.

I'm sorry to say that after seeing Part II and the scenes from III, I won't be looking forward to the next sequel. But maybe if I don't expect so much from it, I might be happily surprised. Maybe."

Letter by Mary Ann Schuller

The following is from Starlog #158 (Sep. 1990) letters section:

"Bruce Gordon's article 'The Return of the Other Marty McFly' is nothing short of brilliant. However, there are a few points which Gordon neglects to bring up (and a few he brings up that he shouldn't) to be addressed.

First, a few smaller points in which I feel Gordon is questioning the film Back to the Future II too much. He wonders why Doc Brown isn't the least bit concerned over meeting his other self in 2015, while he expresses so much concern over Marty and Jennifer encountering themselves. Well, as Doc says in the first film, he is traveling to the future to 'see beyond his years.' His assumption that he will not be alive in 2015 (through natural causes, not gunshots) is why he isn't concerned about encountering himself.

Second, Gordon asks, 'Why is the 78-year-old Biff we meet in the Café '80s so nasty' when he was so nice to 'his friend' Marty in the Hip 1985? Answer: He was kissing up to all the McFlys because he worked for George, but he was still nasty old Biff. Biff's question 'What the **** is going on here?' sounds like 1955 Biff even though he says it in the Hip 1985.
Gordon claims that his Marty II - the loser of Hill Valley in 2015 - is the same Marty that 'we watched jump into the DeLorean at the first film's end.' He then asks, 'But how did Marty II get there?' I failed to find an adequate explanation within Gordon's article. Although Marty I could see Marty II jumping into the DeLorean and driving away to escape the Libyans (thus momentarily creating two Martys within the same dimension) look at what happened then to Marty II. He should have followed the exact path of Marty I: going to 1955, encountering his parents for the first time, returning to 1985 (and seeing his Marty II driving away from the Libyans), and, eventually, going with his Doc Brown and his Jennifer to 2015, etc., etc.
Another point which must be addressed is that originally echoed by Mary Ann Schuller in her letter in Starlog #154. The big question: Should Biff, having altered the past to create an alternate 1985 (and thus an alternate Evil 2015) been able to bring the DeLorean back to normal 2015? Most likely, no. He would have returned to an Evil 2015 (where a wealthy, 78-year-old Biff II would already reside), stranding Doc and Marty in a parallel, normal 2015 without any DeLorean. One answer might be that the Rolls-Royce accident of 1985 (involving Marty II) fused not two but three timelines: the Nerd Reality, the Hip Reality and the Evil Reality.

One last point, for those who like to look at the 'little things.' Notice how Doc's line 'You and Jennifer both turn out fine' has changed between the first and second film. Although the words (and the scene) are basically the same, listen to the inflection in Doc's voice as he says it. In the first film, he's being sincere - Marty and Jennifer do turn out fine. Although he says the same words in Future II, he clearly is lying to avoid telling the truth about their future selves. Just listen to the difference!"

Letter by Dan Polster

"If every time Doc and Marty alter history, whether intentional or not, Gordon says an alternate reality is created, parallel to the original. Why then, in Future I, does Marty's family picture wipe out his brother and sister? Shouldn't that McFly family be all right since they would live in a different reality? Wouldn't two realities exist: one of George and Lorraine being wed, and another where they weren't? If this were true, then the Sport Almanac incident, Marty getting hit by Lorraine's Father's car (just how many car accidents is Marty destined for?), and even Marty paying for his 1955 coffee with 1985 money would create alternate realities since none of these even occurred in mainstream reality. Sheesh!!

With all these apparent paradoxes popping up, one question stands fast. Doc keeps reminding us that temporal paradoxes will unravel the entire space-time continuum, right? Well, how long would that take? Paradox on top of paradox (even the first film had a bunch of 'em) and yet no 'end-of-the-universe.' Could Doc be wrong?

More foreshadowing can be found in (of all places) Future I! Remember when Doc tried to hold off the Libyans? Look close. The gun he's holding is none other than a six-shooter, a standard of all Wild West gunmen! And when George orders a milkshake in Lou's Café just before Marty's skateboarding) the milk shake come sliding down the bar, just like in a saloon. Is this sort of thing in the McFly blood?"

Letter by William J. Meyer

"Once again, Bruce Gordon raised some fascinating points. I'm glad he noticed what I found to be the biggest problem with Future II.

When the aged Biff steals the time machine and changes his past, he returns to the exact same present from which he left. This is impossible. As proven in the first film, any time you go back in time and change your past, you return to a changed present, not the one you left originally.

Thus, the entire second film could not have happened, at least not the way it was shown. This fact lessened my enjoyment. At the very least, old Biff should have come back to find a very different present than the one he left. Yet nothing was changed.

As for Doc's comment that Marty and Jennifer turn out 'fine' when, if fact, they turn out to be nerds, maybe that's Doc's idea of turning out fine. Or maybe Doc was lying to prevent Marty from finding out the truth.

Kudos, also, to Gordon for figuring out how Marty will escape from 1955 in the third film, using the DeLorean left behind in 1885. I've seen each of the first two films several times, but I'm still amazed at how many minute details Gordon notices.
It should also be interesting to see how screenwriter Bob Gale responds to Gordon's second article, which was based much more on facts than some of the guesswork the first time around. (Gale never did explain the existence of the second Marty McFly to my satisfaction.)

My real hope for Future III was that everything would go back to being exactly the way it was at the first film's beginning, with Marty having learned his lesson about tampering with time. The whole idea of going back in time to change people is a pretty evil one. Marty's parents in Future I may be nerds, but they are, after all, his parents, and he should love them just as they are."

Letter by Barry Dutter

Note from me: Starlog never did publish a response from either Bob Gale or Bruce Gordon to these letters.

The following is from the letters section in Starlog #159 (Oct. 1990):

"Gordon has built the premises of his article upon false assumptions; to him, the clues in Back to the Future I & II suggest multiple McFlys. To me, it offers the opposite.

There is only one Marty McFly.

Here's why: The Marty we are exposed to in the first film operates (as it were) on a single time line. A number of times throughout the first two films, Marty 'doubles up' on himself: in the Twin Pines parking lot, at the prom. An accepted law of time states you cannot be in the same place twice (or more) at the same time (if you follow that) but note: Marty is not physically in the same place, and, given that the human body is always losing and growing cells, a Marty who is 'doubling back' on himself is not exactly the same.

It was also established in the first film that someone can 'step' out his/her 'normal' timeline and interact for a period of 'time'; Marty is present for over a day in the past and present in various segments of Future I & II. This is important when Biff changes the present-day; Marty and Doc are not affected. For the moment, there seems to be sort of 'protection' or delayed effect on them. Also, when Jennifer is left behind in the altered present, she 'snaps back' to the corrected present - she did not belong in the altered present and was somehow protected when reality shifted back to its original present. Marty, Doc, Jennifer and Einstein are therefore able to function for an un-established (but longer than one day) period of time 'outside' their 'normal' time zones."

Letter by Michael E. Dempsey

"Back to the Future Part III answered at least some of Gordon's questions (we now have a notion of who Needles is) and derailed many of his assumptions. No, Biff is not the hero. In fact, Biff only appears long enough to show that he is every bit as nasty in 1985 as he will be in 2015. Apparently, he was only sucking up to the rich and famous McFly family. In 2015, he has no reason to be nice to the son of that loser Marty McFly. No, Marty and Jennifer did not skip over the rest of 1985. (It is not clear to me why Gordon though they did.) No, the Marty of 2015 is not Gordon's hypothetical Marty II; at least Doc tells Marty that the future Marty is indeed him. (Apparently, when Doc said that Marty and Jennifer turned out 'just fine,' he was just being tactful). No, Jennifer at the conclusion is nothing more than a witness that Marty has changed for the better. No, the hoverboard was not left in 1955. Marty and Doc had use for it in 1885. I wonder what Gordon will say now. Will he admit he was wrong or will he conjure up other alternate realities to explain it away?

Now for the few matters that Gordon addressed but the movie did not. Why doesn't the older Marty expect himself to arrive in time if he is not Marty II? Because it is not yet part of his past. Doc's return to 1985 and his taking Marty and Jennifer to 2015 is just as much a change in the past as Biff's giving the Sports Almanac to his younger self. Since it has been clearly established in the first film (and reinforced in the third) that changes in time react very slowly and only in incidental details (like photographs) at first, it would be surprising if the older Marty did remember his trip to 2015. (Biff remembers the DeLorean taking off but only belatedly. This of course explains how Biff was able to get back to an unchanged 2015. Biff simply got back before the changes set in.)

May I submit for your approval an alternative hypothesis? When an alternate universe is created by changes in time, instead of both realities existing simultaneously, the alternate takes over and the old reality ceases to exist. Doc's speaking of the 'real' 1985 would imply this. If both realities existed, they would both be equally real. So, the Nerd Reality is dead. It never happened. The Hip Reality ceased to exist when the Evil 1985 came into existence. Marty brought it back into existence by taking the almanac away from Biff. So there is no Marty II and there never was. If there was a Marty II, he could not have returned to Marty I's family, as they would never have existed after Marty changed the past. He and Marty I would have both returned to the same family to endless confusion. As that did not happen, there was never a Marty II, just the one and only Marty McFly!"

Letter by Donald Alan Webster

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Quote:
The following is from an article titled "The Other Marty McFly Rides West" by Bruce Gordon in Starlog #170 (Sep. 1991):

"A funny thing happened on the way to the theater. We got there in the wrong time. Not at the wrong time, but in the wrong time.

It happened last year, on Tuesday, April 3, 1990, to be precise. In all our excitement to get an early look at Back to the Future III, which wasn't due to open in theaters for another month, it seems we somehow managed to cross over into an alternate dimension of time: one with an alternate version of Back to the Future III.

That's right, there's another timeline with another Back to the Future. And amazingly enough, this other Back to the Future answers every question ever raised in our previous essays!

Right about now, you're probably asking yourself, 'How could such an amazing (and convenient) coincidence come to be?'
Well, it's really quite simple.

There's no doubt that we live in a world of impulse and instant gratification. Being charter members of that not-so-elite club, we couldn't just sit around and wait for Part III to come out. So, we did what comes naturally - we made a quick trip over to the Universal Studio Tour in Hollywood and hijacked their time-traveling DeLorean.

While some friends created a diversion aboard the Glamor Tram, we jumped over the barriers and hopped into the DeLorean. With a flash of light and trail of flames, we shot across the parking lot at 88 miles an hour - which, coincidentally, is also the exact speed it takes to elude studio security!

In an instant, we were transported forward to May 25, 1990, just in time for the opening of Back to the Future III.
But there was a slight problem.

As we have all learned from Doc Brown, whenever you go forward in time, you wind up arriving in your own most likely future. Or, to put it another way, your most likely future is simply an extension of the way things are today.

Now, here's the important part: At the moment we went forward in time, on April 3, 1990, 'The Return of the Other Marty McFly' had just been published in Starlog # 154. However (and it's a big however), on that date, Part III had not yet opened in the theaters.

So, when we went forward in time, we wound up in our most likely future, a future with a version of Back to the Future III that was exactly the way the article had predicted it would be.

At 8:00 p.m., on May 25, 1990. Part III screened for a loud and passionate crowd. Clutching our souvenir Marty McFly rainbow caps in our hands, we anxiously waited for the story to unfold.

This is the film we saw in that alternate dimension:

As expected, the film opens in 1955, at the moment the lightning hits the clock tower and sends Marty back to 1985. Doc is dancing a jig in the street, when out from behind a parked car jumps another Marty McFly. 'I'm back from the future.' Marty hollers, as Doc falls to the ground in a dead faint.

The scene changes, and we see a flying DeLorean rushing through the clouds. We move in on the car, and see it's not Doc at the controls, it's Old Biff! He has just given a copy of Gray's Sports Almanac to his younger self, and right now, he's busy trying to find his way back to 2015.

Just as Old Biff hits 88 miles per hour, the Destination Time Panel shorts out. If only Doc had gotten that panel fixed! With a major memory flashback jumbling its circuits, the panel resets itself to Doc's previous destination, October 27, 1985.

In one of those great cosmic coincidences, Old Biff lands on the roof of Biff's Pleasure Palace at the moment his younger self - Rich Biff - is regaining consciousness after Doc knocked him on the head with the DeLorean's door.

As Rich Biff stumbles to his feet, Old Biff comes fuzzily into view. Rich Biff stares for a second, then realizes that this old man is the same guy who gave him the Sports Almanac back in 1955.

Rich Biff grabs Old Biff, demanding some answers - and also demanding the keys to that flying DeLorean. Old Biff struggles with Rich Biff - he's well aware of what kind of an adversary he's up against - until Old Biff clubs Rich Biff over the head with his cane. The cane cracks, but doesn't break off. Rich Biff stumbles backwards and falls through the skylight to the floor of his penthouse below.

Old Biff climbs back into the DeLorean, starts it up and takes off once again.

Twenty feet below, Rich Biff lies dying on the floor.

Realizing he may have just killed himself (literally), Old Biff can only think of one thing to do: Go back to 1955, retrieve the sports book and return everything to the way it was. Old Biff takes off in the DeLorean and disappears in a flash of light.

At the very moment Old Biff leaves 1985, Rich Biff dies on his penthouse floor.

The scene changes to 1955. It's 6:00 a.m., 22 minutes before sunrise, and Doc and Marty have just arrived from the evil 1985. Marty sets off to retrieve the Sports Almanac - but winds up getting trapped in Young Biff's garage instead.

Just down the road, we see Old Biff also arriving in 1955. He stashes the DeLorean - something everybody must be old hands at by now - in a hiding place down at Old Man Peabody's Twin Pines, er, Lone Pine Ranch.

Finally, at 6:00 p.m. - after 12 wasted hours in 1955 - Young Biff opens the garage and takes his car to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, with Marty hiding in the back seat. Moments later, Doc rides up to the Tannen house on a bike. 'Marty!' he calls, 'Where is that kid?' Finding no sign of Marty, Doc rides off.

As Doc pedals away, out of the bushes steps Old Biff. He has been trying to figure out a way to retrieve the Sports Almanac, but now it looks like somebody - namely Doc and Marty - is going to do the job for him! Old Biff figures it's time to get back to 2015, before anything else goes wrong. He heads back to Peabody's ranch and fires up the DeLorean.
The time panel display reads 6:38 p.m.

Old Biff swings the DeLorean around the barn, guns it up to 88 miles per hour - and flies straight into Old Man Peabody's last remaining pine tree. The force of the impact sprays pine needles across two counties. Old Man Peabody runs out of the house, firing his shotgun into the sky. 'That does it!' he screams. 'From now on, I'm breeding oak trees! Let's see somebody try and knock those down!'

Meanwhile, Old Biff is on his way back to 2015. But there's one thing he didn't figure on: Since his younger self still has the Sports Almanac, the evil 1985 is still the most likely future. And in that evil 1985, Old Biff is lying dead on the floor of his Please Palace penthouse.

That means there's not going to be any place for Biff in 2015.

So, when Old Biff lands the DeLorean in 2015, he crawls out, collapses, and disappears, forever erased from existence. Biff has rid the world of Biff.

We return now to Doc's home at 1640 Riverside Drive. It's 1955 again, and time for Doc to help Marty return (once more) to 1985.

Doc and Marty head off to the DelGado mine, where they find the DeLorean still sealed off in a side tunnel after 70 years, two months, and 13 days. In the process, they also find Doc's tombstone in the old Boot Hill cemetery outside the mine.
Here Lies Emmett Brown. Died September 7, 1885. Shot in the back by Buford Tannen over a matter of 80 dollars.
Now, it's Marty's turn to save Doc.

They gas up the DeLorean, and Marty time travels back to Wednesday, September 2, in the wild, wild west of 1885. Marty tracks down Doc and convinces him it's time to leave the Old West behind.

When Doc realizes that they need gas for Marty's DeLorean, they do the obvious thing: They head for the old DelGado mine, where there just happens to be another DeLorean - the one that carried Doc to 1885. And as anyone might assume, that DeLorean still has plenty of gas.

On the way back from the mine, with Marty's horse lugging two small barrels of gasoline, Doc spots Clara Clayton and her runaway wagon. Doc rides off and rescues Clara, pulling her to safety moments before she would have plunged to the bottom of Shonash Ravine - Clayton Ravine - the deadly fall that was to have been her destiny.

Back at the blacksmith shop, Doc and Marty patch the hole in the fuel line and gas up Marty's DeLorean. Outside the shop, the Sun is already approaching beginning to set, and the rapidly approaching darkness will make a nighttime escape impossible. Remember, Doc's letter told us that the flying circuits were destroyed when he crashed, and there aren't any roads here in 1885.

Yes, where they're going, they need roads!

So, with a free evening on their hands, Doc and Marty head over to the Hill Valley Town Festival, where Mad Dog challenges Marty to a shootout, to take place Monday morning at 8 a.m. Doc looks at the photo of the tombstone and sees Marty's name - Clint Eastwood, that is - where Doc's own name used to be. 'Doc, don't worry,' says Marty. 'We're going back to the future tomorrow!'

There's just one problem, though - Doc has fallen head over heels for Clara. (After all, she's one in a googolplex - and she like Jules Verne!) Doc decides to stay in 1885.

Sunday morning dawns as Doc helps Marty get the DeLorean ready for its return to 1985. On a horse trail just outside of town, Marty speeds up to 88 and disappears in a flash of light. Doc pulls out the Polaroid of the tombstone, and sees that the space where Marty's name used to be is just blank granite.

As Doc starts dancing in the dirt, he turns around - and finds himself face to face with Mad Dog Tannen, who has been watching the whole thing from up atop the hill. 'We were all ridin' over to Pine City on, uh, business,' says Mad Dog, 'when we saw that silver wagon you were ridin'.'

Mad Dog demands to know where Marty was going - and when he's coming back. Doc smiles. 'He isn't ever coming back, Tannen. He's gone for good!'

'Well, I aim to shoot somebody on Monday,' Mad Dog growls, 'and I'd prefer it be that Eastwood fella. But if he's just too dang yella, I guess it'll have to be you!'

Doc looks down at the Polaroid. It's no longer blank. Emmett Brown is once again carved clearly into the stone.
So, Doc decides he had better get out of Hill Valley - and Clara insists on going with him. At precisely 8:00 a.m. Monday, Doc and Clara ride into town, and run straight into Mad Dog and his gang.

'Where do you think you're going'?' Mad Dog asks.

Mustering up his greatest bravura, Doc hollers, 'What do you care? Where we're going, you'll never find us, as long as you live!'

'As long as I live?' Mad Dog snarls. 'If I was you, I'd worry about how long you're gonna live!' As Mad Dog pulls out his gun, Doc rears his horse up into the air - sending Mad Dog tumbling headfirst into the tombstone. It shatters into the street.

Doc looks over to the station, where the train is already pulling out. 'Come on, Clara!' Doc hollers. 'We'll head off the train at Coyote Pass!' As Doc and Clara make a dash for the train, Mad Dog stumbles to his feet, points his gun at Doc, then falls over backwards into a pile of manure.

One frantic ride through the woods later, Doc and Clara catch up with the train, and leap from their steeds onto the caboose. They collapse into a pair of seats, settle back and ride the train all the way to the end of the line - San Francisco, that boomtown by the bay, a city with everything a scientist could ever need.

The scene changes again and we rejoin Marty as he arrives in 1985 at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, October 27.
With a flash of light, he crashes through the time barrier - then crashes headlong into the Fox Photo Booth in the mall's parking lot. The horse trail Doc picked in 1885 must have run right through Old Man Peadbody's ranch, the mall's future site.
A six-man construction crew is standing near the wreckage, staring in disbelief at the car that came out of nowhere. The crew had just finished working an all-night shift, replacing the booth that the Libyans had crashed into the day before. Now, it's just broken lumber and little yellow boxes.

Miraculously, Marty escapes the crash unhurt. He crawls out of the twisted wreckage, stands up, and sees the construction workers coming. They're not smiling.

Marty takes a quick look at the DeLorean. The car itself might still be driveable, but the critical time circuits are completely destroyed. And with Doc still living back in the Old West, there won't ever be anyone around to fix them.
As Marty backs away from the rapidly gathering crowd - then turns and breaks into a full run - the camera pulls back and we see the sign at the parking lot entrance.

The Oak Tree Mall.

Marty makes his way back to his house. It's 11:15 a.m., and the rest of the McFly family is on their way to Sunday brunch. As Marty walks up the driveway, he sees that the garage is empty. 'Hey, Marty,' his sister calls. 'What are you doing back here? I thought you went to the lake.'

He gives her a puzzled stare, then looks into the empty garage. 'Where's my truck?'

'You drove off in it yesterday morning, Marty. Are you all right? Where's Jennifer?'

'That's what I'm gonna find out.' Marty replies. With an uneasy feeling growing inside him, he grabs one of his skateboards out of the garage - wheels again!- and rides off to find Jennifer. 'Where's that hoverboard when I need it?' he mutters to himself. 'I sure hope Doc is taking good care of it!'

Marty skates up to Jennifer's house and finds her still sleeping on the porch. He awakens her with his prince's kiss - the same kiss he has been trying to plant all these years. (Well, actually, it has only been two days before!)
Jennifer asks Marty where his truck is.

'Marty's got it,' Marty replies. She stares at him. 'Another Marty,' he continues, as if that answers the question.

'What other Marty, Marty?'

Marty stare off into space. 'There can only be one answer,' he finally concludes, 'there must be two of me here in 1985.'

Two Marty McFlys!

OK, admit it, you knew it had to come to this, sooner or later.

The scene changes, and now we're seeing Marty - the other Marty - riding in the truck. And sitting next to him is, you guessed it, another Jennifer!

They're on their way back from their Saturday camping trip (which went very well, judging by the looks on their faces). As they're waiting at a traffic light near the train tracks, another pickup stops next to them. At the wheel is Needles.

'How's it hangin', McFly?'

Needles obviously wants to race - and Marty isn't above taking the bait. But remember, this is the Marty who has just returned from 1955, and who has only been driving this truck for one day. All he ever had was a skateboard!

The light changes, and with a squeal of tires, the two trucks take off together. Needles is out in front as Marty tries to shift gears. He looks down at the shifter - just as a Rolls Royce pulls out from a side street.

Marty looks up, but it's too late.

We cut back to our Marty and Jennifer, as they walk down the road, trying to sort out what's gong on. In the background, we can hear the sound of sirens. As Marty and Jennifer round the corner, they can see there has been a wreck. One of the cars looks like it used to be a Rolls Royce, and the other car looks like - Mary stares in horror - his truck.

His truck, with him inside!

And another Jennifer!
From across the street, they can see the other Marty lying on the ground, still breathing. And there's the other Jennifer - she's all right - leaning over him.

'Marty,' our Jennifer gasps, 'that's me!'

She starts to cross the street, but Marty pulls her back. 'We can't let them see us.' He says. Then, he adds, 'And don't ask why! Just trust me on this one!'

They both take cover near a crossing gate on the railroad tracks. 'This must be the accident Doc warned me about in his letter.' Marty says to himself, 'the accident that ruins my life. Uh, his life.'

Jennifer stares at him. 'The accident? Then, it wasn't a dream!'

Marty and Jennifer watch from the distance as the accident is cleared away. Not sure exactly what to do, they turn and walk slowly back to town, following the railroad tracks. As the tracks pass through a thick grove of trees, Marty and Jennifer hear a distant rumble - then a blinding flash of light knocks them to the ground.

A huge, steam-powered locomotive has appeared on the track, right in front of them. And waving from the window is Doc Brown.
'Doc.' Marty shouts. 'I didn't think I would ever see you again! You've got to help us, everything's all mixed up! There's another one of me here, and another Jennifer, and I, I mean he, just go hauled away in an ambulance!'

'Don't worry, Marty! You'll be fine - that is, he'll be fine! I've already made arrangements to leave written instructions with his doctor, describing a surgical procedure I learned long ago, back in the future. He'll be as good as new by this time tomorrow!'

'What about the guy driving the Rolls Royce?' Marty asks.

'Don't worry about him. He's just a big motion picture director, out here scouting locations for his next picture. I'll be sending him some story ideas I've had.'

'That's great, Doc,' Marty hollers back. 'I didn't know you wrote stories!'

Of course, Marty! This one's about a crazy cartoon rabbit!'

'Roger, Doc! Hey, if he likes your ideas, maybe he'll give you a part in the movie!'

"I could play the villain,' Doc replies, striking a bug-eyed pose. 'A crazed scientist with a grudge against the world. But seriously, Marty, we've still got a problem!'

'A problem?'

'Yes. It's you, Marty. You and Jennifer! There's no place for either of you here in 1985, since both of you are already here! It's all my fault, of course, I just wasn't thinking fourth-dimensionally!'

'So, what happened?'

'Well, when I sent that other Marty back to 1985 on the night of the lightning storm, there was a second Marty - you - hiding behind a parked car!'

'I remember, Doc,' says Marty. 'When you saw me, you fainted dead away!'

'Right! Well, that Marty reached 1985 on Saturday morning, at 1:24 a.m. to be precise. After he discovered his new truck he and Jennifer went off on their camping trip.

'Unfortunately, when I sent you back from 1885, you didn't get here until Sunday morning at 11:00 - a full day after the other Marty got here. By the time you arrived, he had already taken your place!'

'Doc,' Jennifer yells, 'what about me?'

'When we brought you back from 2015 and dropped you off on your patio at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night, we were actually dropping you off in an alternate 1985 - a 1985 that already had its own Jennifer. When the alternate 1985 was destroyed, the two dimensions transformed into one - which still had both Jennifers. Of course, by the time you woke up, the other Jennifer had already left on the camping trip with the other Marty!'

'So, Doc.' Marty wonders. 'what are we going to do?'

'Well,' Doc replies. 'since there's no place for either of you here, why don't you both come along with us? We've got plenty of adventures left ahead of us! I've finally figured out how to keep this time travel business under control, so I'm going to open up an Institute of Future Technology, for the advanced study of time.'

'An institute?' Marty shouts back.

'Of course! I think I'm going to build it in Florida,' Doc continues, becoming lost in his thoughts once again. 'The high humidity is good for the flux dispersal, and besides, it might not be bad for my health!'

'By the way,' says Marty, 'how did you know we'd be right here, I mean, right now?'

'It's very simple. When I suddenly realized I had duplicated both of you in 1985 - a thought which occurred to me right in the middle of testing my new flux miniaturizer - I figured I'd better come back here and straighten things out. I knew that the flow of the time continuum was bound to bring the two Marty and the two Jennifers together - it always does - so I took a chance that you would be here at the temporal junction point, which, of course, is the scene of the accident!'

Then, Marty and Jennifer climb aboard the train. Clara is there, along with Einstein, Jules and Verne. Doc fires up the circuits, the train rises in the air, spins around and takes off right toward the audience.

And across the screen come the words:

TO BE CONTINUED

The trailer that followed - apparently a new tradition in Back to the Future films - showed such enticing scenes as Doc and Marty testing a time-traveling suit of armor back in the Middle Ages, and Clara on trial as a witch in Old Salem. We saw Jennifer as Lady Guinevere and Marty as the Yellow Knight. The trailer even left us with a cliffhanger as we saw Doc back in the Dark Ages, being led to the chopping block by Tannen the Terminator!

The film was finally over, but it turned out our adventure was only beginning.

As we walked out of the theater, we heard some people remark, 'Wow! Part III was even better than Part II, which won all those Academy Awards.'

We asked them what they were talking about.

'Hey, where have you been?' they replied. "Part II won an Oscar for best writing, best director, best cinematography - it even won two Best Actor Oscars, not to mention Best Picture!'

"Now, wait a minute,' we thought.

Back to the Future II getting all those Oscars? Any SF film winning major Academy Awards? Not in any dimension we ever heard of!

Suddenly, everything became very clear - we had to be in the wrong dimension.

So, we got back into the DeLorean one more time, carefully set the destination time to the exact moment we left, and crossed our fingers. In a flash, we landed and prayed we had returned to our original dimension.

There would only be one way to know for sure: We would have to wait all over again for Part III's premiere. So, on May 25, 1990, we once again headed for the theater, hoping we wouldn't be disappointed. And, boy, were we ever!

Watching this other Back to the Future III - the real Part III - is what it must have been like to be trapped in evil 1985. Everything was going wrong! It was great to visit with Doc and Marty again, and as a Western, it was terrific fun. But we saw plot holes in Part III big enough to fly a DeLorean through. Heck, big enough to fly Doc's steam train through!

There was only thing we could figure: The story problems must have been caused by our goofing around with the time continuum - Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale couldn't possibly have made this big a mess without outside interference!

First off, in 1885, when Doc and Marty realized that they couldn't start the DeLorean without gasoline, why didn't they just get the gas from the DeLorean parked in the mine? They both could have been out of there the next morning! Even if Doc had drained the tank, he would have saved the irreplaceable gasoline!

And just what exactly is the story with Marty McFly's ancestors? There's something odd going on here!

Listen: Shamus McFly's wife, Maggie, was a dead ringer for Marty's mother Lorraine. But how could this be? Lorraine was a Baines, not a McFly. We know that Shamus and Maggie had a son, named William McFly, who was Marty's great-grandfather. William and his wife must have had a son, who became Marty's grandfather. That son married, and had a son of his own, who was name George - Marty's father. Now, since Lorraine Baines looks just like Maggie McFly, a granddaughter of Maggie must have married a man named Baines. But that means - gasp - Lorraine's grandmother (who married the Baines) and George's grandmother (descended from Maggie) must have been one and the same! George McFly married the granddaughter of his own grandmother!
Ah, small town life.

There's more: When Doc and Marty are in 1885, Doc mentions Marty's accident with the Rolls Royce. If Doc already knew about Marty's accident when he took Marty and Jennifer to 2015, why was he wasting their time chasing Marty Jr.? Why not prevent the accident? On the other hand, if Doc heard about the accident for the first time while they were in 2015, why didn't Doc warn Marty about it in the Western Union letter? After all, it's the least he could do since Marty saved Doc's life with that letter about the Libyan terrorists!

Then, of course, there's the whole incomprehensible business about the train hitting the DeLorean, right there in the middle of Hilldale.

First off, the DeLorean rolls down the tracks past a sign that says Eastwood Ravine. But why would it be called Eastwood Ravine? As far as the townspeople know, Marty had no connection with the ravine. And if they had found out he was the hijacker, why would they name their ravine after a thief who stole a locomotive and crashed it off a bridge?

One more thing: Take a look at the ground around the sign. Time travel works in strange ways, but it doesn't use shovels - and it sure doesn't leave footprints!

And this: When the diesel engine collided with the car, how come the train didn't stop? How come no one in any of the cars waiting at the crossing came over to see what happened? Why didn't anyone come out of their Hilldale houses to see the crashed car? How come the police never came by - even hours later when Marty and Jennifer returned to the scene? Was Hilldale populated by emotionless pod people from nearby Santa Mira?

When Marty got back to 1985 on Sunday morning, he went home and found Biff still waxing his truck. But back in Part I, Biff started waxing it on Saturday. If Biff had really spent two days putting on that second coat of wax, he would have rubbed the paint right off the truck!

And how did Doc know that Marty and Jennifer would be standing by the tracks at the exact moment Doc arrived in his flying locomotive? How did he know there wouldn't be another train coming in the opposite direction?

Finally, last but not least, who was in the Rolls Royce? Not getting the answer to a question like that is like never finding out the meaning of 'Rosebud'.

'You're just being too picky,' you may be thinking. 'After all, it's only a movie.'

Wrong.

It's not just a movie - it's Back to the Future."

Bruce Gordon, a show producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, is part of the team developing the new Tomorrowland for Disneyland. His previous exploits with the 'Other Marty McFly' appeared in Starlog #108 and #154. Tony Baxter, David Mumford and Doug Hartwell provided special assistance and technological input for this journey.

Now, why was Mr. Gordon disappointed? Well, it seems to be because Part III doesn't verify his "Marty II" theory. Why else concoct an alternate Part III instead of just dealing with the movie? It seems to me that he could have proposed a Marty III or even a Marty IV instead. As I posted previously, his essays on Part II and III are not nearly as interesting as his original essay. He seemed to become obsessed with attempting to "prove" his original theory despite evidence in the movies that contradict it. Why did Gordon include the whole part with Old Biff? The only reason is to answer why Old Biff's departure time was 6:38 p.m. (several hours after he arrived). To me, this departure time is just interesting trivia - not a question that Part III should have answered. Old Biff's inclusion in Part III would just needlessly confuse people. Basically, Gordon concocts a Part III that answers HIS questions from Part II.

The following is an interesting letter from Starlog #180 (July 1992):

"I am writing in response to Bruce Gordon's Back to the Future Part III article. I was also disappointed with the way Part III turned out. I would have much rather seen Bruce Gordon's version of Part III. However, there is another Marty in our Back to the Future Part III. As you'll recall towards the end of Part III, the tombstone that Doc's name is supposed to be on is smashed. The photograph that Marty had shows that the tombstone will not exist in 1955. Think of the consequences of this. Once 1955 rolls around, Marty and the '55 Doc will get the DeLorean out of the Delgado mine, but Marty will not see a tombstone. Marty will think that Doc is enjoying himself in the Old West and leave him there. This Marty will go directly back to 1985. Probably still to October 27, 1985 at 11 a.m. The first thing this Marty will do is go to Doc's lab and dismantle the time machine. At this same time, the original Marty will have arrived from 1885. He will go home and then to Jennifer's house. This is why the two Martys didn't see each other. The alternate Marty will go home and find that everyone's at brunch and his truck is gone. He'll then use the hoverboard to travel to Jennifer's house, and find that Jennifer isn't home either. Marty will then just go back home. Imagine the original Marty's shock when he finds another Marty sleeping in his bed, not to mention the screams they'll both let out."
Letter by Tony Tuski

Here is a Bruce Gordon-esque theory to explain this away:

1885 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Doc arrives. Doc leaves letter with Western Union for Marty. Marty arrives. Marty saves Doc due to his knowledge of the tombstone in 1955. Marty departs.

1885 ("Hip" Reality) - Doc arrives. Doc leaves letter with Western Union for Marty. Marty IV arrives. (Marty III was the Switzerland Marty in the Evil 1985.) Marty IV's time machine does NOT get hit by an arrow as he departed 1955 from a different location. Marty IV does NOT save Doc as there was NO tombstone in his 1955. Doc tells Marty IV to go back to 1985. Marty IV departs. Doc is shot by Mad Dog Tannen.

1955 ("Hip" Reality) - Doc departs. Marty receives letter from Doc. Marty and the 1955 Doc see the tombstone. Marty departs.

1955 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Doc departs. Marty IV receives letter from Doc. There is NO tombstone for Marty IV and the 1955 Doc to discover. At the last moment realizing he will never see Doc again, Marty IV resets the time circuits to 1885 (instead of 1985) so he can see Doc one last time. Marty IV departs.

1985 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Marty arrives. Marty avoids the car accident due to his 1885 experience.

1985 ("Hip" Reality) - Marty IV arrives. Marty IV gets into the car accident with the Rolls Royce.

2015 ("Hip" Reality) - Marty and Doc arrive. The 2015 Marty is Marty IV.

2015 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Marty IV and Doc arrive. This is OUR Marty's future.


If anyone is confused, read my posts for Part I and II. Of course, Mr. Gordon probably didn't advocate this theory since he wrote that the 2015 Marty was his "Marty II". There is a way he could have kept that part of his theory. What did Doc and Marty do when they discovered they were in a different 1985 than they remembered? They found out what the problem was and then left to correct it. So, if his "Marty II" (by his theory) was stuck in Marty I's reality, wouldn't he try to find out what happened? Perhaps, his parents told him about "Calvin Klein" and maybe even showed him a yearbook picture of the dance and remarked how much Marty looked liked him. "Marty II" would then depart for 1955 for two reasons: to be "Calvin Klein" to get back to the family he remembers and to save Doc. He then would have basically the same adventures as our Marty: to 1955, to 1985, to 2015, to another Evil 1985, back to 1955, etc. So, in the above theory, just replace Marty IV with Marty II. However, that seems convoluted to me. Even with this theory, he would have to abandon his "merging realities" theory. It seems Mr. Gordon didn't want to admit that he was wrong.

The following is a great letter criticizing that essay from Starlog #177 (April 1992):

"I desperately waited one year, two months and five days from the theatrical release of Back to the Future Part III for Bruce Gordon's final essay on the trilogy. Boy, did I waste a lot of time sitting on the edge of my seat! What happened, Bruce?!!!
Bruce created a BTTF fanatic in me from his two previous essays in issues #108 and #154. I purchased Starlog #108 right off the newsstand in July 1986, and I was hooked! I rented Part I and watched the mall parking lot scene about 300 times! One of my biggest concerns on the opening night of Part II was if the filmmakers would remember to have the clock tower ledge broken from Part I, and they did! Bruce really notices a lot of details! But 'The Other Marty McFly Goes West' was a tremendous disappointment. Don't get me wrong, he posed some OK questions this time, but you had to read through four-and-a-half pages of 'fantasy' before he actually got to the 'real' movie. Then, after giving us a little bit of brain food, he quickly reverted back to the fantasy story by using Universal's BTTF:The Ride storyline. Bruce, all I learned from your alternate movie is that you are a great fantasy writer, and that you ought to begin a script for BTTF Part IV, a BTTF comic book series or write for the BTTF cartoon staff. But it wasn't what I've come to expect from such a talented individual!"
[Note from me - This is a completely accurate description of the article.]

"There are many downfalls in his third essay. First, Bruce Gordon did not even answer the questions he posed in the second essay, mainly concerning the hoverboard. When I saw Part II on opening night, I too noticed that Marty was leaving behind the hoverboard in 1955. But when Part III opens, we see Marty using it as a footrest in Doc's mansion! When did he get it? Why didn't he ride it into town to begin with? So, he ran into town on foot, confronted 1955 Doc, drove the fainted Doc back to his mansion, and along the way, stopped and picked up the hoverboard? It seems that Bruce also forgot about Old Biff's demise (explained in 'The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy' on home video), and to add one more DeLorean to the number of time machines residing in Hill Valley on November 12, 1955 (four, including the one in the old mining cave).

Second, Marty and Doc could not have gotten gas out of the DeLorean in the mine, because Doc drained the tank before hiding the DeLorean away. He did? Yes! Let me quote Doc from 1955 when he and Marty are in the drive-in parking lot:'I think we're about ready! I put gas in the tank, ...' This means that Doc in 1885 had to have drained the tank, or the gas evaporated over 70 years. True, if Doc did drain the tank, we know that he would have kept the gas for future usage. But I cannot see how Bruce, a man of great vision, could have missed this conversation in Part III. ...

Next, what does it matter who was in the Rolls Royce? That has no bearing on the wreck, or on Marty and Jennifer's futures whatsoever. It could have been Crispin Glover and Claudia Wells!

Gordon had many interesting points about the train sequence, but he neglected to mention the major problems with the ending. Since when did the flux capacitor allow Doc to space travel? We've seen the DeLorean travel in time over and over. But when we see the train arrive on the tracks at the end, where did it come from? Remember, Doc said that he had to go pick up Einstein at his lab. His lab was in the same 1985 dimension on the time continuum, but I assume it was located across town. So how could Doc time travel in the train from his lab to the wreckage site of the DeLorean? He must have gone to another time period somewhere in between. The DeLorean could not travel in space, so how else could the train have gotten there?
Also, how did Doc build the train time machine in 1885? The only parts he had to work with were the hoverboard and the manifold off of the DeLorean. Were these part futuristic enough to build a flux capacitor in 1885?

And where did Doc get the second train from? Did he buy it? He could have, because he still would have had that suitcase full of money in 1885. And where did he get all that money? Was it left over from the insurance claim when his mansion burned down (remember the newspaper clipping on the lab wall in the opening credits of Part I?) Or was it from selling a certain rare element? Remember, Doc had the DeLorean 'hover-converted' in 2015, so he no longer had a use for the Plutonium. Wouldn't Plutonium carry a hefty price in the future? Doc had to have sold the remaining Plutonium in 2015 in order to pay for the $39,999.95 hover-conversion, his 'rejuvenation', and Marty 'Jr.' clothes. Maybe he had enough left over to purchase a train, too! Surely he would not steal, uh, borrow another train from the railroad!

These are the questions I would have like to have seen Bruce pose and answer, instead of the 'dream' we got. As entertaining as it was, he should have left that stuff to the cartoon series. He posed some good novice questions this time, but not good enough to appease fans like myself. We have grown accustomed to expect much more from Bruce's expertise! (I still don't know how he spotted that silhouetted Marty II in the mall parking lot scene!) I just hope now that Starlog has published his essay, they will realize that they published an essay written by Bruce II! We fans want to know, 'Where is the other Bruce Gordon?'..."
Letter by Stephen M. Clark


The following is ONE good comment (which I agree with) that Bruce Gordon made in Starlog #170:
"When Doc and Marty are in 1885, Doc mentions Marty's accident with the Rolls Royce. If Doc already knew about Marty's accident when he took Marty and Jennifer to 2015, why was he wasting their time chasing Marty Jr.? Why not prevent the accident? On the other hand, if Doc heard about the accident for the first time while they were in 2015, why didn't Doc warn Marty about it in the Western Union letter? After all, it's the least he could do since Marty saved Doc's life with that letter about the Libyan terrorists!"

In Starlog #177, Donald Alan Webster responded to this:

"Doc has an aversion to changing history for fear of creating paradoxes that might somehow result in the universe's destruction. Therefore, he would be reluctant to tell Marty about the accident until he had to in order to save Marty's life. (Saving Marty Jr. would be a relatively safe change.) Warning Marty in the Western Union message would not be paying him back since the accident was not fatal."

That explanation doesn't wash with me.

Here is a partial reaction to Gordon's Part III from Starlog #177 (April 1992):

"Bruce Gordon's alternate Back to the Future Part III is so much worse than the one we saw that we should congratulate him if he indeed accidentally messed up the time continuum. This time, it was an improvement. The alternate version (apart from apparently being an hour longer) is needlessly convoluted, illogical, and sometimes outright silly. (Roger Rabbit? Puh-lease!) For one thing, it ignores the all important plot thread set up in Part II about Marty's aversion to being called 'chicken'. Marty needs to learn his lesson and in the real Part III, he does, but not in Gordon's version. Also, the whole business of Old Biff killing Rich Biff after Marty and Doc have left Rich Biff in the DeLorean and Old Biff later arriving in 1955 while Marty and Doc arrive to get the Sports Almanac back is illogical. Marty and Doc cannot make their trips until after Old Biff returns to 2015. So, we have two different timelines branching off from Old Biff giving Young Biff the almanac: One without our Doc and Marty and one with. The latter does not come into existence until Old Biff gets back. Anyway, didn't Rich Biff die when Lorraine shot him to death several years after 1985?"
Letter by Donald Alan Webster
also the link to the website i'm getting them off:http://scifiscoundrels.com/?p=127

cause its getting confusing with all these big quote bits
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21-09-2006, 00:33   #5
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Actually BlitzKrieg would you mind linking the chart for the first "Marty2" scenario ? I think I need to read through it again.

EDIT : Whoops, just saw the link there, thanks.
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21-09-2006, 00:41   #6
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i got lost in marty 2 and am not bothering to read marty 3 till I get some suger in me. (grabs himself a 2 litre bottle of coke)
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21-09-2006, 15:33   #7
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Very impressive... getting the BTTF trilogy out on DVD when i get home from work!

Nice one BlitzKrieg.
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21-09-2006, 16:23   #8
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Nice one BlitzKrieg.

I feel all warm inside now.
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