At the end of Back to the Future (1985), Marty1 comes back to 1985 from 1955 to save Doc, and seems to get there too late. He sees Marty2 disappear into the past in the Delorean right upon his arrival.

Where does Marty2 go?

Does he go to the same 1955 (and therefore there are two Martys there, although one might disappear), or does he go to an alternative 1955 (which in turn would create a 4th version of 1985...), and who cuts down the second tree in this alternative 1955?

  • As you can see here ( visual.ly/back-future-timelines and i.stack.imgur.com/tVqJk.jpg) he goes to the the past of that second modified timeline. – mattiav27 Nov 23 '16 at 17:33
  • Who breaks the second three there? – MicroMachine Nov 23 '16 at 17:41
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    more importantly, it is "Martys" or "Marties"? – Steve-O Nov 23 '16 at 18:53
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    and maybe then it goes to him originating the 0 Pines mall, and maybe then -1 Pine mall etc! – MicroMachine Nov 23 '16 at 18:59
  • @fabriced Why should someone break the second pine? The first was broken because it was on the way... – mattiav27 Nov 23 '16 at 19:19

Marty2 is Marty 1 from the beginning of the movie. He goes to the same time and place Marty1 went earlier.

In the scene you describe, Marty1 is watching the events from earlier in the movie. The "Marty2" he sees is himself from earlier... when he was about to begin his trip to 1955.

It's almost like Marty1 is watching a recording of himself from before he went to 1955. Nothing changes for the person in the recording, Marty2... Marty2 goes on to have the exact adventure Marty1 had experienced.

  • He can't be. The mall sign has changed, indicating he's in a different timeline. – T.J.L. Jan 8 '17 at 1:03
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    It's not so much a different timeline as an updated timeline IMO – Shiz Z. Jan 8 '17 at 1:48
  • So, you're saying it was the same, not different, after being "updated"? Think about that for a second... – T.J.L. Jan 8 '17 at 20:08
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    I think I have different definition of "timeline"... I think there is only one timeline, and it "updates" as Marty and Doc and Biff jump around from year to year. So Marty1 is looking at an earlier version of himself when he sees Marty2. – Shiz Z. Jan 9 '17 at 3:58
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    Marty2 has successful parents who were brought together by a strange kid named Calvin (it was written all over his underwear). Marty1 has loser parents who were brought together by invasion of privacy and accidental vehicular assault. – T.J.L. Mar 14 '18 at 15:27

The second Marty travels back to the same point Marty originally traveled to, and becomes the Marty that prevented his father from being hit by his future father-in-law's car and endangered his existence. The issue is, this Marty has been told a different story his whole life about how his parents met, about a mysterious stranger named Marty who brought them together and then vanished (Doc Brown probably provided some excuse). Once Marty was in 1955, though, it is likely that Doc Brown and Marty were able to piece together that Marty was the mysterious stranger all along and endeavored to reproduce the events that Marty had been told were how his parents met, leading to a stable time loop.

This is all conjecture, mind you, but given the rules of time travel given in the movies, and the events we see, something similar to this had to have happened.


... I'm not sure what you're talking about. The way I remember he gets back to 1985, Doc then takes the Delorean to the future and then comes back from the future to bring Marty forward to save his older self or his kids....

Oh! I remember! Marty saw the terrorists shoot Doc with the machine gun (again) and started to scream "NOOOO!" but ended up just mouthing it while 'his past self' (whom you're calling "Marty 2") actually did yell it before he got into the Delorean and went to 1955.

... I'm missing something---the Marty that went back to 1955--was he the same Marty both times? Would he have even MET Doc Brown if his parents had been successful?...

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    Your question needs editing ;) also, Marty 2 has successful parents, Marty 1 doesn't. Different lives = different martys – MicroMachine Dec 3 '16 at 2:57

There is no second Marty!

I was going to comment on Shiz Z's (correct) answer but my comment became too long!

The real question here is, What happens to the memories of someone who is time travelling now that their past has changed?

The movie makes it clear on multiple occasions that they retain the memory from the timeline - or version of events (because I don't want to suggest there are multiple co-existing timelines, just one that gets over-written as Shiz Z. said) - from which they came.

Now we see two Martys co-existing for 10 minutes. But that is just because Marty set the destination clock 10 minutes earlier than the time from which he departed, and was able to watch himself, creating a sort of feeling that there are now two Martys.

But what if he had set the clock 10 minutes late? All that would have happened - from 1985s point of view - is rather than an overlapping Marty, there would be no Marty for the duration of 10 minutes. But none of us would be asking this question, because we didn't see two Martys on screen at the same time, even though the situation would be nearly the exact same.

However we are now in the "Lone Pine Mall" world, where George is confident. You could say that the Marty of this timeline remembers George being confident all his life, however, his memory is replaced by "our" Marty's memory of George being subservient and Biff being his boss.

But this is just one of the time-travelling rules of the trilogy - whenever someone travels through time they bring their memories with them.

  • Although if second Marty's father had been confident his whole life, Marty wouldn't have been seeking a surrogate father in dr. brown – MicroMachine Mar 14 '18 at 20:06
  • @MicroMachine is that ever established in the movies (i.e. that that's the reason for them being friends)? – colmde Mar 15 '18 at 10:27

Marty 2 is from George and Loraine 2. When Marty 2 goes back in time he doesn’t nesessarily act the same way as Marty 1 would and perhaps he goes strait to see Doc rather than explore Hill Valley and inivertily alter his parents course. If that would've happened then George would've fell from the tree and get hit by Mr. Baines. Then the timeline of Marty 1 would've been reset. Marty 2 wouldn’t need to correct anything except things that happened at Mr Peabodys farm. Doc would've insisted on fixing the tree (knowing of Mr Peabody's reputation of breeding trees). Marty 2 goes back to 1985 and things are set back to Marty 1's timeline. Now Marty 1 and Marty 2 have swapped timelines and would've had to adjust to being with each others family. Who knows if Doc would've needed to take Marty 2 into the future if he never had the truck to get into an accident and Marty 2 would've had to adjust to everyone in his family being "losers" and may have continued with persuing music because he can.

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