Happy Back to the Future Day!! This is a day that only happens ONCE in a lifetime. You see, once upon a time, back in 1989, Back to the Future Part II came out. In it, our hero, Marty McFly, and his best buddy/scientist, Doc Brown, travel to the future. Back to the Future Part II actually takes place in 1985, and the two guys traveled 30 years in time, to a far off year known as 2015. That’s this year. And the exact date these two guys showed up in their tricked out DeLorean? October 21st. That’s TODAY.
Today is most certainly a day to look back and reflect on the magnificent Back to the Future series, even if they did get a few things wrong about 2015 (WHERE. IS. MY. HOVERBOARD?). But you know something that Back to the Future couldn’t have predicted whatsoever? That some time down the road, we’d all be obsessed with fan theories. Those weren’t a thing back in ’85 (or ’89. Or ’55). Now, we care about them just as much as the OG movies themselves.
So in honor of this big day, here are some of the best Back to the Future fan theories courtesy of everyone on Reddit, that only make us love the trilogy so much more.
This thought has probably crossed your mind before: how come 30 years later Marty’s parents in the future don’t recognize the kid they met back in 1955? Well, according to Reddit user Ochobobo, over the years George was able to figure out that his son was using time travel. In the first movie we learn that George really likes science fiction, and has even been dabbling in writing on the side, so he would be totally open and accepting of any sort of time travel. Maybe, he’d even be proud that his son had successfully done it. According to Ochobobo, there’s even a draft of Back to the Future that has Future George looking at a photo of Marty in 1955 and commenting, “Nah. Couldn’t be.”
Reddit user The_Orange_Chair thinks that George suddenly got the strength to fight Biff during the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance because he saw Marty disappear on the stage. Like, if you see someone slowly start disappearing before your eyes, you aren’t going to think “OMG, there must be a break in the time continuum” (though, now you might think that). For George, the first thing he thought was “alien.”
Earlier in the movie, the alien Darth Vader from the Planet Vulcan visited George and told him that if he didn’t take Lorraine out, Vader would melt his brain. So George needs to go all in with this. That’s really why he fights Biff.
Yes. Yes. YES. Doc Brown IS always wearing a bowtie. It make sense, and has been well documented. He accidentally got stranded on Earth, and his Sonic Screwdriver broke. While trying to fix it, he made the flux capacitor. The DeLorean became his new TARDIS. And his companion? Marty, of course (also, his dog, Einstein).
SO WHERE IS IT? It’s in the Old West. Doc could make the DeLorean fly, and he also made a locomotive fly. Both of those things are much bigger than a hoverboard. However, in the end, Doc decides to live in the past (and all throughout time) with Clara and their kids, so he never comes to our future to build one for us.
There’s also a theory that Doc invented the hoverboard sometime before 2015. When he arrived in 2015, he didn’t like what he saw had been done with it, so when he went BACK in time he decided against building the flying board in the first place. At least one timeline in a distant paradox got to use it.
Time travel is really confusing. So here’s this theory explained as simply as possible. There are two Martys. Marty A and Marty B. Marty A is the one who goes back in time t0 1955, changes events, and then in the future, Marty B sees them happen instantaneously. Marty A then comes back from the future. Doc Brown is super paranoid about paradoxes and someone meeting themselves during time travel. He knows that he’s got Marty B, and that Marty A is coming back, so Doc sends Marty B off in the Delorean and rigs it so he can never come back.
A similar theory by ibeckman671 suggests that the events of Back to the Future II should create another second Marty. So… where is he?
Robert Lockard has written a very extensive theory suggesting that the events of both Part I and Part III mirror each other, while Part II mirrors itself. This is is known as a chiasmus. And according to Lockard, everything that happens is then repeated again, and again. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s simply a storytelling pattern that you might not pick up on unless you’re looking for it.
Here’s the best example of it to wrap your head around this: in Part I, the first time we see Marty he has just been “blown away” by Doc’s giant amplifier. In Part III, the last time we see Marty he has just been “blown away” by Doc’s locomotive. Coincidence? Or is this just a “GREAT SCOTT!”
(Images via Universal, Giphy)