Back to the Future

Question: If Marty goes back to the future and sees a duplicate of himself go back to the past, would the duplicate see the Marty that had just got back to the future watch him (the duplicate that goes to the past), thus 3 Deloreans and infinitely more Deloreans as it continues...and so on and so forth, or is that the the universe rewriting his timeline to prevent this time loop of paradoxical events?

Craig Celestin

Chosen answer: There wouldn't be infinitely more Deloreans, as versions of Marty would keep having to leave in order to appear at a different point in the timeline to watch himself. There's no real limit on how many there could be at once though - at one point on November 12th 1955 there are four Deloreans in Hill Valley at the same time (brought there by Marty from the first film, Marty from the second film, Biff from the second film, and the one Doc buried from 1885). They're all the same car, just travelling from different points in time.

Jon Sandys

Question: At the end of the film Marty gets out of the DeLorean sees the bad guys and runs after, what ever happens to the DeLorean?

Answer: After he has "seen the bad guys", he discovers that Doc was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and that he had read Marty's letter from 1955. Both he and Doc then return to their homes, so presumably Doc picked up the DeLorean on his way or right after this, before going into the future.

Twotall

Question: What exactly did Biff do to George McFly's car? It is strongly suggested, but I couldn't understand what caused the accident.

Answer: He mentions spilling beer on his shirt so it's inferred that he was somewhat less than entirely sober, and he also refers to the car having a blind spot. Based on this, my assumption has always been that he was tipping his head back to take a drink from a can of beer, which means his eyes left the road, and he struck another vehicle; most likely at an intersection where the other driver had the right of way.

Phixius

Question: I heard that at one point during the part where Marty's being sent back to the future, Doctor Brown is seen putting the letter from Marty in his pocket. Is this true?

Movie_Freak 1

Chosen answer: In the scene where Doc tears it up, he stuffs the pieces into his jacket, because he is distracted by the tree limb that falls and "unplugs" the cable from the Clock Tower. He was likely going to throw the pieces away, but did not have time. We are then led to realize that when Doc got home after Marty left, he found the pieces in his pocket and became curious, thus taping it back together and following Marty's instructions in 1985. On a side note, since Marty comes back to that spot at the end of BTTF 2 to get Doc's help to go back to 1885, Doc had even more time to spend with Marty in 1955, and even more reason to become curious as to the contents of Marty's letter.

Jazetopher

Question: What happened to the original timeline to cause such a dramatic change in Marty's mom? In the original timeline, Marty's mom was 'born a nun' as Marty described her to Jennifer. But when Marty goes back to 1955, Lorraine is a drinking, smoking, parking with boys kind of girl. In the original timeline, what would have made it to where Lorraine thinks it's inappropriate for a girl to make advances on a boy? She seems to already be a boy chaser before Marty even gets there.

unicorngoddess

Chosen answer: Actually, nothing happened to the original timeline to change Marty's mom. It's Marty, like many children, who had a rather unrealistic view about what Lorraine was actually like when she was a teenager. He always believed (and was deliberately given the impression) that she was extremely shy and proper, when in fact, she was a boy-crazy flirt, though she apparently changed after falling in love with George. Parents are often evasive regarding their own youthful behavior.

raywest

Question: Just before Marty hides the DeLorean, he flags down a passing car. What does the woman in the car shout at the driver?

Answer: "Don't stop, Wilbert. Drive!"

Bishop73

Question: What is the principal's problem? Why is he taking it out on a 17 year old?

Answer: Just look at him and you'll know. LOL Seriously though, he just has a problem with slackers and he has a short fuse so he acts this way around them. In 1955, he acted the same way towards George and Biff too.

Question: Is it just me or is "Power of Love" playing in the background after Marty's audition?

Answer: Marty is playing a heavy metal version of 'Power of Love' FOR his audition. Immediately after the audition, a short excerpt of a March plays, for Mayor Goldie's election. The original Huey Lewis version plays at the end of the next scene.

ChiChi

Question: I have seen a different ending to this film. Every now and then when it airs on TV the movie ends with Doc in 1955, standing at the site where Marty just went back to 1985, and then Marty comes running up to him and says "I'm back" (or something similar). I seem to remember that this is the standard ending to the second film. Why is it occasionally used to end the first one?

Answer: That's actually the beginning scene in Back to the Future 3. It would make no sense to end the first film with that sequence, as at that point Marty hasn't returned to 1955 after getting home the first time.

Correct. Just for completion: This scene, opening part 3, is also shown at the end of part 2.

Question: In the "first timeline", Marty's father is a loser. He has never hit Biff. Marty goes to the past, and when he's going to 1985, he says that to Doc. He returns to the "new" 1985, where his father is successful, and he has hit Biff. He sees himself going to 1955, and that Marty is about to do everything that Marty did in the movie. But here's a question: that Marty lives in the "second timeline", where his father has hit Biff. Why then, in the past, he would say that his father has never hit Biff in his whole life?

Answer: I see two possible explanations. One is simply that the improved George McFly never told Marty the story about how he clocked Biff, perhaps to keep Marty from getting into fights himself. The other explanation is that the 1955 Marty went back to had not yet changed before he came back to the improved 1985. As the slowly-changing photograph illustrates, changes in timelines can be very gradual. Therefore, the only version of 1955 we are able see is the 1955 that the Marty of the original 1985 went back to.

Matty Blast

Answer: Another good example for a parallel timeline being created, which the writers/story denies. but while the "second Marty" has no reason to tell Doc that his father never stood up to Biff. His comment is of no significance to the outcome of events. The important change in the past was Marty being in George's spot and then having to fix things.

Chosen answer: It only took me a couple of seconds to find a fan site with a credible answer. Apparently, in an early draft, Marty mentions in passing that Doc hired him to clean out his garage for fifty bucks and total access to his record collection. This scene was presumably never shot, thus the backstory was lost to time. See www.kristensheley.com/bttf/bttfuniverse.html for more extensive info.

Macalou

Question: At the beginning of the movie, the brother is a loser who works at Burger King. At the end, he wears a suit and work at an office. As a presumably successful business man, wouldn't he have moved out of his parents' house?

Answer: Who says he didn't? Perhaps he lives close enough to come over for breakfast each morning. There isn't enough information in the scene to show that he still lives there; he is simply sitting at the table.

Macalou

Answer: I think that both of Marty's siblings live at the house. This theory comes from Dave remarking that somebody named Greg or Craig called for his sister. If he had his own house, he wouldn't have got that call, and it wouldn't go to George and Lorraine's house either.

Answer: Even though the brother now has a steady career and would normally have his own place, this is a movie-plot device using a "suspension of disbelief." The audience needs to be able to see Marty's reaction and surprise as to how every McFly family member has changed for the better. We just accept the premise.

raywest

Answer: If we presume he's living at home, wearing a suit to an office job doesn't really reflect on his success or wealth, and he's still just 21 or 22 years old. He may still be in college and just working on the weekend and living at home to save money.

Bishop73

Is there a source for his age? I always wondered if he wasn't closer to being around 28.

In the novelization of the film, he is said to be 21. In a first draft version of part 2, where Marty travels to 1967, Dave is 5 years old.

Bishop73

Question: In the scene where Marty is being chased around Twin Pines mall by the Libyans why is Marty driving straight towards the 1hr Photo Booth? I'm assuming he doesn't realise the time circuits were on, as he accidentally engaged them when changing gear. If he DID know, why drive 88+ mph knowing you don't have enough plutonium to get back from 1955? (00:30:00)

Paul Andrews

Chosen answer: He could have been planning on veering aside at the last second, hoping the Libyans would crash. In any case, it provides a convenient solution to the problem of the Libyans threatening our heroes when Marty returns from the future. :)

Krista

Question: Why is it Doc Brown and Principal Strickland both look the exact same age in 1955 and 1985?

Answer: Doc doesn't really look the same age; his hair is shorter/blonder, and he doesn't have as many wrinkles. Christopher Lloyd was only in his mid-40s when the movie was made, so they actually used makeup to age him for the 1985 sequences. As far as Strickland goes, it's a joke in the film... Marty even asks, "Geez, didn't that guy ever have hair?" when he first sees him in 1955.

Answer: Technically you CAN see an age different in Strickland. First seen in 1985, he is FULLY BALD, and has some wrinkles and looks of retirement age. Then seen in 1955, he is mostly bald but still has some hair on the sides and does look younger (like 35 or 40) - no wrinkles.

Question: When Marty is playing "Johnny B. Goode", he is doing guitar moves from different performers. What performers is he imitating?

Answer: It seems to me that he is imitating the following: Chuck Berry (which makes sense), Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and Pete Townsend (the kicking the amp bit.)

Daniel Wilkie

Also Bruce Springsteen doing the full guitar circle, Angus Young crawling on the floor and Jimi Hendrix with the guitar solo.

Answer: Due to his scheduling on Family Ties, Michael J. Fox was not originally available, so they went with their second choice of Eric Stoltz. The studio, however, permitted Fox to film the movie only if it didn't interfere with his obligations to them. So, he filmed Back to the Future at night and on days he wasn't needed at the Family Ties set.

Macalou

Question: Doesn't anybody think that when the Star Wars movies were released, that the name of the enemy, Darth Vader, would get George McFly a little suspicious? After all, he had to have remembered the name of the spirit that "came down to him from planet Vulcan" since it is on the cover of his book at the end.

Answer: Suspicious of what? He never finds out Doc Brown has a time machine or that Marty affected his past. It might make him believe in some sort of "The truth is hiding in plain sight" conspiracy theory. Oh and BTW, he'd see Star Trek in 1966 (with the Vulcan reference) before he sees Star Wars.

Grumpy Scot

Marty says that he is "Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan", and unless George doesn't remember "meeting him", he might think back to it and be like "wait a minute..." Regardless of when Star Trek and Star Wars would come out, a nerd like him would be able to put two-and-two together and see that they don't add up, unless he thinks that it's just a coincidence.

Answer: I think it was mostly as a shock to him waking up like that with loud noises right in his ear. Disoriented and confused and already being kind of a jittery and craven person he just did what he was told. Doesn't matter at that point how unalien the encounter actually was. I mean the music was guitars, Vulcan is a common word, the "alien" spoke plain english and i'll bet people from the 50's have seen an environmental suit before (basically a diving suit with a gasmask).

lionhead

Answer: In a special "front page wrap" of USA Today for October 22, 2015, written by Michael Klastorin. The name of the alien is "Garth D'Vade." Obviously done as a joke, it does show that George may have not remembered the name and didn't associate it with Darth Vader, so there's nothing for him to be suspicious about. It's also possible he believes Darth Vader to be real and thinks Vader must have visited George Lucas.

Bishop73

I highly doubt George became a paranoid alien conspiracy theorist and a respected scifi author at the same time.

lionhead

Answer: Vulcan had long been used as the name of fictitious planets (when 19th century astronomers thought they'd discovered a planet closer to the sun than Mercury, they were going to name it 'Vulcan'). As for Vader, George wouldn't have heard the name again until more than 20 years after his 'dream, ' and either chalked it up to coincidence or misremembering what he heard.

Brian Katcher

Answer: The release of the DVD was delayed because of legal issues over the Eric Stoltz footage, which was eventually removed. Stoltz can, in fact, be glimpsed in the final film: in the scene where Marty jumps into the DeLorean to escape the Libyans, that's actually Stoltz.

Sierra1

Answer: There are (or were) clips of the Eric Stoltz footage on YouTube.

raywest

Answer: There's also the scene where Marty is driving the Delorean in an attempt to escape from the Libyans. A close look at the driver reveals that it's Eric Stoltz.

Answer: Yes, in the final film. When Marty punches Biff in the cafe there is a quick shot focused on Biff. If you put it on extreme slow motion the hair is darker, unlike Fox's brown hair and a slightly different skin tone, unlike Fox's bright skin.

Question: In BTTF 1 when the family are around the dinner table, Marty is drinking Diet Pepsi, his mother is drinking vodka and his sister has some other soft drink. Who is drinking the Bud Light in front of these 3? It's too far away from his brother and George.

Answer: Considering that Lorraine was alcoholic, the beer was likely hers as well. It is what is known as a "beer chaser."

raywest

Answer: Check the scene again, it is Linda's can. George has a glass of milk, Dave has a Pepsi can and a glass, Marty drinks Pepsi from a can, Lorraine drinks vodka and Linda drinks light beer from a glass. Since she's Marty's older sister she is of legal drinking age.

Question: The ending of Back to the Future, Marty says he's not going to the lake as the car is 'wrecked'. All the family react as if he's talking about the BMW. They rush out and see it is fine. But they know Marty has the Toyota truck - why would they not think he meant his car is wrecked'? I know he says car not "truck" but he's talking about going up to the lake - he wouldn't be going in his Dad's BMW. So is this a mistake or bad script writing? (01:49:00 - 01:51:00)

blueslipper@gmail.com

Answer: Why wouldn't he go in the BMW? Going to the lake doesn't mean off-road driving, it might be a nice paved road all the way to a touristy spot. I don't think it's a mistake or bad writing.

Actually, Biff comes up to him with the keys to his truck, saying it is ready for his trip. So he was going with his truck.

lionhead

Answer: It would've simply been down to the pure shock of what Marty was saying. The second he said "The car's wrecked", they dropped what they were doing and went to check. They didn't even care about the first part of Marty's sentence at this point, as all that was going through their heads would've been "Has something happened to the car?"

Answer: Marty didn't know about the truck at that point. He was surprised when Biff handed him the keys, so it's not wrong that the family thought he meant the BMW.

Correct, but the family all knew he had the Toyota.

Back to the Future mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When we first see the machine in action, the travel is shown from three different angles. In the second, a line of fire passes directly between Doc's legs, but in the third angle, they pass to the left of both of his legs. (00:21:00)

Knever

More mistakes in Back to the Future

Marty McFly: Calvin? Why do you keep calling me Calvin?
Lorraine Baines: Well, that is your name, isn't it? Calvin Klein? It's written all over your underwear.

More quotes from Back to the Future
Back to the Future trivia picture

Trivia: In the battle of the bands scene, when Marty introduces The Pinheads, Huey Lewis, who provided "The Power of Love" for the film's soundtrack, plays the second judge from the left, and is the one who eventually says, "You're just too darn loud." (00:07:40)

More trivia for Back to the Future

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.