Nearly a year ago, I had a short-lived series on my profile called "Answering & Debunking" where I would answer questions and debunk fan theories about some of your favorite films. I did one for Harry Potter and one for Back to the Future. You can check those out by clicking the links.
And I haven't done one in a while, so I might do one more later for Pixar films. But I've decided to debunk another Back to the Future theory.
Here we go! **SPOILERS**
This theory states that the DeLorean time machine featured in the films would break down on purpose in order to avoid creating paradoxes and it would intentionally create conveniences for the characters. This is why when Marty gets to 1955, the DeLorean breaks down somewhere no one would find it.
Later, the DeLorean breaks down while Marty is about to get back to 1985. The DeLorean breaking down caused Marty to take off several seconds later than Doc told him to and this resulted in the DeLorean getting struck by lightning at the correct time.
Marty had a plan to go back to 1985 ten minutes earlier than when he had left so that he could drive to Twin Pines Mall (or Lone Pine Mall) early and warn Doc about his impending death. Had his plan worked, he would have accidentally created a paradox as the other Marty might not have traveled back in time in the first place.
But what happens? The DeLorean breaks down.
Marty is forced to make the trip on foot and therefore does not make it in time.
Now, on the surface, it seems like a good theory but I can easily debunk it. A few months ago, I published an article titled "The Many, Many Paradoxes of Back to the Future".
That article covered all of the paradoxes of the Back to the Future trilogy that I could find. And the DeLorean didn't stop those. But here are some examples. When old Biff went to 1955 and gave the Almanac to himself, he created a paradox.
Because if Biff became the rich casino owner in 1985, there would be no old Biff to give his old self the almanac in the first place. It is said that around 1996A, Lorraine shot and killed casino owner Biff which means that there would have been no one to grow into the old Biff and no one to give 1955 Biff an almanac. Hence, a paradox.
If this theory were true, the DeLorean would have broken down when old Biff was trying to steal it.
And also, in the third film, Marty goes back to 1885 after he discovers a gravestone in 1955 with Doc's name on it.
And he goes back to 1885 and eventually prevents Doc from dying, and we see that when Marty looks in the photograph and sees the tombstone vanish.
But if the tombstone didn't exist in 1955 and Doc didn't die, then Marty would have no motive to go back in time to save Doc and therefore, Doc would die, which would result in the tombstone being there. This time loop is a paradox and if the theory were true, the time machine would not have allowed Marty to travel back to 1885 in the first place.
So, that is a Back to the Future theory debunked.