Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer existed in 2015 after traveling since 1985 on Back to the Future Part II. But was it really a plot hole?

Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker traveled to 2015 in Back to the future II, but its existence on two separate timelines has become a source of confusion among viewers. Michael J. Fox reprized his role as Marty for the Return to the future sequel, with actress Elisabeth Shue taking on the role of Jennifer. Picking up on the events of the original 1985 film, Marty and Jennifer agreed to travel to the future with Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) to help the couple’s future children. Jumping to 2015 from 1985 had dire consequences, but it also unearthed a long-term debate within the franchise canon.

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Time travel is never an easy concept to identify in the narrative, and the same can be said with the Return to the future the franchise’s focus on jumping through time and space. On the surface, the series followed a young man tasked with repairing moments in the past and future to stabilize the current timeline in 1985. Digging deeper, Marty and Doc’s journey through time introduced eight different timelines with the threat of paradoxes. Understandably, some details regarding the altered timelines were questionable from a logistical point of view, but the intricate storyline was enough to make up for the alleged continuity issues.

Related: Back to the Future: Doc’s Death Plot Hole Explained

A debate that still has a history of emergence emerged from Marty and Jennifer’s trip to 2015. The first act in Back to the future II focused on preventing Marty Jr. from participating in a robbery that would destroy the McFly family fortune. During the mission, the older version of Marty and Jennifer came into play, as well as the presence of the couple’s two children. However, viewers questioned how Marty and Jennifer could exist in 2015 if they left the year 1985. When leaving the universe, the couple should not have been present in 2015, nor should their two children. While some have labeled the Return to the future direction of the story a hole in the plot, others have argued how Marty and Jennifer could exist in 2015.

Breaking the simultaneous existence of Marty and Jennifer in Back to the Future Part 2

Back to the Future Marty McFly Jennifer Doc Brown

Those convinced that the simultaneous existence of Marty and Jennifer was a plot hole have primarily used the evidence surrounding their departure from the universe. Based on the supposed rules of time travel, the couple would have ceased to exist once they left in 1985. This was demonstrated when Einstein was sent one minute into the future in the original film. For his short journey back in time, the dog did not exist in 1985 until he returned. Following that track, Marty and Jennifer would not have existed in 2015 until they returned to the year 1985.

On the other hand, some viewers have suggested that there were always wait times connected to events in time travel. Marty and his family members did not begin to faint when he traveled to 1955 for several hours. If Marty and his girlfriend stayed in the 2015 timeline the longest in Back to the future II, it is possible that earlier versions of themselves have begun to disappear from existence based on the paradox that is being formed. There was also evidence to suggest that the future would not have changed until Marty and Jennifer returned to 1985. The couple always had plans to return to the present, and since the outcome of the future depended on the events of the time they left, there were no there’s reason to avoid its existence in 2015. The popular franchise may never clarify the franchise rules for time travel, but it’s still important to look at different sides of the plot-hole debate.

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