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Author Topic: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future  (Read 692 times)

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Offline HalOfBorg

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 08:36:06 pm »
I've thought about how Old Biff was able to get back to his unaltered timeline after changing the past. I assume that he returned 'before' the change altered the future - assuming that the change is moving forward like a wave.

I think Old Biff seemed to be in an awful lot of pain after he returned the Delorean. Maybe he was starting to fade out, like Marty was on stage.

Didn't "Millenniuim" (time travel, stealing people from planes that are about to crash) have time changes that moved like waves? Time-quakes as I recall.

I seem to remember the idea of a 'super-observer", a person outside of time, who sees the change without being changed. Maybe when you change the past you become one for a while.

In any case, why was Old Biff so stupid as to RETURN the Delorean? I'd have gone home and set it on fire.
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Offline Mirror

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 12:52:15 am »
That's the thing, there's no explanation for why Old Biff could return to his own time after giving the sports the sports book to his younger self in the past. And there's more, Doc Brown explained to Marty that they could not travel from the altered 1985 to the future in order to prevent Old Biff to steal the DeLorean because they would travel to an altered future. So, the writers already knew that. The only thing that occurs me is that it was easier to do it that way and the viewers wouldn't notice.

I don't remember seeing "Millenium" but stealing people from planes that are about to crash sounds familiar to me. They did that to recruit people from the past whose absence wouldn't change the future, right?

But I did see "A sound of Thunder". I didn't enjoy the movie because I didn't agree about the changes while the time ripples occured. Well, the movie was set in 2055 and time travel was possible. An enterprise sold trips to the Cretaceus to kill an Allosaurus who, in fact, was about to die anyway, so history would not be altered. But somebody kills a butterfly by mistake and the future changes drastically, but not inmediatelly, it's like time-waves. In the future, each moment when time is hit by one of those time-waves, everything changes (new kind of animals and vegetation), and everybody is aware of all those changes. Well, although I could name many wrong things in that movie (for exemple, there were no Allosaurus in the Cretaceous), the idea of time-waves was interesting.

I don't thing it was the case in Back to the Future, but that would explain why Old Biff could return to his own time (who probably was disapointed as he probably expected to return to a future where he was rich) and why Doc and Marty could not. The changes happened as if a time-wave hit the future, but Old Biff returned before the time-wave hit 2015. But Marty and Doc, having travelled back to an already altered 1985 could not travel to an unaltered 2015 because they had already been reached by that wave.
Does it make any sense?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 12:53:52 am by Mirror »

Offline HalOfBorg

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 08:44:32 am »
It occurs to me that we only have Doc Brown's word that they could not return to 'their' future - what if he was simply wrong?

What if the change in the past created a different timeline, but you'll go back to yours (which still exists) when you travel forward again? Staying in the past and living your life would keep you on that timeline, but maybe there is a connection of sorts that would bring the Delorean back to it's original timeline? Maybe the time computer and the flux capacitor would bring them back to timeline A127.00035 - NOT to A127.00035B that they created.
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Offline Mirror

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 09:23:15 am »
Mmmh... I don't think so. Travelling through time to the future can take you to many possible futures created from that point, from your time departure. Although it seems not logical that Old Biff could go back to the same future he knew, it still was one of the possible futures from 1955 point of view, even if it was an unaltered future. But Marty and Doc, being placed in an already altered 1985, the only possible futures they could travel would have been the ones possible from that point. It could be a future were Biff would be rich, a future were Biff had been killed earlier, a future were Biff had lost all his properties... But not a future where (when) Biff would have never got a fortune. Although it's possible in other movies with a different time premise, that wouldn't work in Back to the Future. My opinion anyway.

Offline HalOfBorg

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2013, 10:08:21 am »
Maybe there is one 'main' timeline - the 'correct' one - and when you alter the past, changing the future, the 'main' timeline changes into an alternate, and the new one occupies it's space, becoming the 'correct' one.

Doc, Marty and Jennifer leave the newly improved 1985 to go to the future to help their kids. Then Old Biff steals the Delorean, going back to 1955 to give himself the almanac, and returns the Delorean.  (he gets back to his timeline because he just left it. The Delorean has it in it's memory.) The Delorean has now lost 'contact' with the 'newly improved 1985', so it can't return to that timeline - it's now just another of many alternates, just like the one with Griff and gang going to jail is. In fact, the last past it has been to/come from is the one with Young Biff having the almanac. - so it would 'return' them to that timeline.

So they would NOT be able to get back to their timeline because it was now one of trillions of possible alternates, inaccessible (or at least impossible to locate) by the Delorean. (Maybe with an upgrade to the time computer......)

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Offline Mirror

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 10:57:03 am »
That's interesting. I mean, an altered timeline becoming the "correct" one. In every movie (not talking now about BTTF, but in general), who says that the first timeline we see is always the correct one, or in other words, the first one? Like in Star Trek (but this is to be discussed in another existing thread maybe), we always assume that the only people who travel in time are those who we see on screen, but there are more starships which have probably encountered time anomalies or ways to travel through time. Same could happen in BTTF or in any other time travelling movie, any "prime" timeline could have been the result of a previous change not seen on screen. Let's say, in the BTTF universe it's likely to assume that in the future other time travellers have travelled to an earlier past changing the future (for exemple, Jules and Verne). For every traveller, his own timeline, the one they have always known, is their correct/prime timeline. For exemple, for Lorraine (the one being married with Biff and living like a diva), that timeline is the correct one (well, of course, she never learned about time travelling, so I bet she never thought about that).

Offline S'kai

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2013, 05:29:28 pm »
"I hate temporal mechanics."
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Offline HalOfBorg

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 10:42:14 am »
That's interesting. I mean, an altered timeline becoming the "correct" one. In every movie (not talking now about BTTF, but in general), who says that the first timeline we see is always the correct one, or in other words, the first one?

I've always thought that Terminator had the same thing going. John Connor became a major threat to Skynet, so it sent Arnold back to destroy him. (Trying to do what should NOT be able to succeed). When Arnold arrived and started killing Sarah Connors, I bet one of the earlier ones was the CORRECT one – remember that Skynet had no clue who Sarah was, so Arnold was being methodical.
Then he locates ‘our’ Sarah Connor. But this Sarah - in her own words - is “not the mother of the future. I can't even balance my checkbook!"
If Kyle had not saved her, and put terror of the machines into her, there would have been no John Connor, or if she ever did have a son he wouldn't likely be ready to lead a war against the machines.
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Timeline 1 - One of the Sarah's that were listed earlier in the phonebook had a son named John (John1) who would lead the rebellion. Daddy was a survivalist type. Skynet gets the idea to kill John1 before he is born, and the Resistance sends Bob back to stop him, creating timeline 2.
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Timeline 2 - Arnold and Bob arrive in the past, and Bob succeeds, but is unable to save the earlier Sarahs. He survives the pipe-bomb explosion of the terminator. The police spend a lot of time with him, trying to find the cop-killer. Sarah stays in the hospital until Bob dies of his injuries, then heads out, eventually stopping for gas, but does not get her picture taken because the kid had no more film for his camera, so she has no picture for Bob to see in the future. Sarah eventually has a son, and names him John (John2). As it happens his father is the same man from timeline 1 who fathered John1 (this guy REALLY had a thing for women named Sarah.) So John2 fights the machines and Skynet sends Arnold back. But John2 never met Bob, but he does know a very skilled soldier named Kyle and sends him, creating timeline 3.
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Timeline 3 - Arnold and Kyle arrive, and Kyle tries to save the earlier Sarahs, but like Bob, he is unable to. Kyle can only hope that the remaining Sarah is the correct one. The other major difference is that Sarah becomes pregnant by Kyle, and that Sarah gets to the gas station a day earlier since Kyle died in the factory. The kid still has film in his camera, and takes a picture of Sarah and her dog. This change creates timeline 4.
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Timeline 4 is the movie "Terminator" as we see it. Kyle makes no attempt to save the earlier Sarahs because he knows they are not the correct one, since he has a picture of Sarah, and loves her already.
------------------------------------------
In each of these timelines, where useful pieces of the terminator are left behind to be found by CyberDyne employees, Skynet is altered and improved, changing from a 'neural net' CPU to an AI program running on the distributed computing system we call 'the internet'. The neural net CPUs still are used in the terminators, but they are improved versions. It also has even more advanced tech available, allowing more advanced terminators to be sent back in later attempts to kill John Connor - the T1000 and the TX.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 10:44:56 am by HalOfBorg »
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Offline Mirror

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Re: Time Ripples, Alternate Realities and Back to the Future
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2013, 07:51:07 pm »
I think John Connor's existence can also be considered as a time paradox. He can't exist in the future unless he sends his father to the past, so he had no choice although he had a choice. But my opinion is also that there has been a different timeline earlier, without John Connor (or with another son with a different father but with the same name, but not the same person) like you describe. But after what you have very well explained, this situation becomes a time paradox.

There's also a very tiny paradox in BTTF part 1. When Marty McFly is in 1955, plays Johnny B. Good and Marvin Berry calls his cousin Chuck and makes him listen the song. After that Chuck Berry makes this song as his own and in the future Marty learns it so he can play it in the past.

The question is: Is a time paradox really possible? To answer that we should ask first ourselves if time travelling is really possible. I heard once that if somebody discovered in the future how to travel to the past, we would know it and we would be aware that this would be possible, but since we never heard about people coming from the future, this will never happen.
But I wonder... perhaps we are living in the unaltered very first timeline (Prime 1), which still exists because I'm aware that it never happened (or better said, I never heard it happened), yet somebody coming from the future did travel to the past, changing some events, thus creating a different timeline (Prime 2) which coexists with ours. If we accept this is possible, then I don't see why a time traveller from the future can have a son with somebody from the past. This would logically change future events and two very important things could happen in the future involving this person (let's call this person John Connor) :

1) That because the natural course of time has been altered, his father might not exist in the future (in Prime 2) or the situation changed making his father not travelling back in time and have a son, so a third timeline (Prime 3) would be created OR Prime 2 changes to the Prime 1 again, making then that somebody from the future travels back in time, conceiving John Connor and so on (Prime 1 > Prime 2 > Prime 1 > Prime 2 >...)

2) That the new events in this timeline where John Connor exists (Prime 2) do not alter the future, or at least John's father exists in the future and still travels back in time conceiving John. Then it's when a paradox is created, but in the second timeline (Prime 2).

(same thing happens with Johnny B. Good)


 

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