Back to the Future

Question: Since Marty's actions led to him not existing, shouldn't no Marty mean that there would have been no Marty to get hit by the car in the first place, meaning that Marty would have just reappeared when he ceased to exist?

Answer: The simple answer is NO. According to the time travel rules established in the films, alternate realities are created when changes are made to the past. Marty continues to exist as long as there's the possibility that he exists in 1985. Small changes don't affect him. Marty only begins to disappear after the past has been altered so significantly that he would *never* exist in the present. But at the time he gets hit by the car, Marty hadn't impacted the timeline enough to assure his non-existence.

JC Fernandez

Question: When Marty returns to 1985, we see that the "Twin Pines Mall" sign has changed to "Lone Pine Mall," but then Marty sees himself travel to the past. Wouldn't we see it alter the instant the DeLorean vanishes, not before he goes back (because technically, he hasn't changed the past yet)?

Answer: This is a time loop type of question that could be argued for a lifetime. Basically, he did already change the past in the "universe" the movie is set in, so seeing the sign is correct.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I'm not going to list this as a mistake since apparently it didn't happen, but George obviously changed his, his wife's, and Biff's future (at least) when he knocked Biff out in 1955. Since right there the timeline would have changed, what are the odds that Marty would still have been in the parking lot driving from the Libyans and going back to 1955? Couldn't Marty have accidentally caused a paradox to destroy the universe?

Answer: Yes, he could have. But some theorize that the function of the universe itself cancels out paradoxes. For example, Larry Niven proposed that time travel can never be developed because by its nature it would constantly cause paradoxes, so natural accidents and twists of fate prevent time travel from being discovered. In this case, it's possible that Marty's life was rewritten to insure that he was in the right place at the right time to prevent a paradox.

Phoenix

Question: Are we ever given any suggestion as to what offence Lorraine's brother was incarcerated for?

Answer: Not in any official, canon source. In the Back to the Future comic books published by IDW he is an aspiring member of Biff's gang and gets arrested breaking into the home of Doc Brown's mother in an attempt to steal a large sum of money. It must be reiterated that the comics are non-canon and this should be taken with a grain of salt.

BaconIsMyBFF

The comic books are so skewed from the movie events, they cannot be considered canon. "Jailbird Joey" was only a baby in a playpen when Biff and his gang were seniors in highschool. Unless Biff and his highschool buddies were still recruiting gang members into their mid-30s, there is no way Jailbird Joey would be trying to join their gang.

Charles Austin Miller

While the answer does state the comics aren't cannon, it's the only place that really delves into Uncle Joey's criminal history since the film's didn't need to spend time discussing the exact nature of his crimes. However, it would not be unreasonable (or even unheard of) for Biff to be recruiting members for his "gang" at 35. Plus, Joey wanting to be part of Biff's gang wouldn't necessarily require Biff or his high school buddies to be personally involved in recruiting young Joey.

Bishop73

Question: In this film, Marty suddenly appears and spends one week in 1955. So, how does Marty freely roam the hallways and cafeteria at Hill Valley High School (even getting into a physical altercation with another student) without challenge from teachers and administrators such as Mr. Strickland? All the kids are talking about Marty, but nobody in authority questions the fact that he's not enrolled, he's completely undocumented, he doesn't attend any classes, and he's apparently a troublemaker.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: High school in the 1950s was different from today, which has tight security and students are more closely scrutinized. Not every teacher, and even Strickland, knows every student, so Marty would not necessarily be immediately suspected as an outsider. And though the students are talking about Marty, that doesn't mean the adults are aware. Teens have their own closed-off society. Being as Marty was only in the past for a week, and he isn't at the school all that much, he could conceivably move about mostly unnoticed. If he was there any longer, the school would eventually wise up about him. Also, it's a movie, and suspension of disbelief is employed here. The audience just accepts the plot's premise.

raywest Premium member

Thanks. But I also remember (giving away my age) that teachers and administrators back then were very much aware of students "playing hooky" (skipping classes and wandering around the halls and off-campus during school hours). Back then there were even "truant officers" who patrolled the streets looking for school-age kids skipping school. With all of the attention to 1950s detail in this film, I was really kind of surprised that no-one apparently suspected Marty of truancy.

Charles Austin Miller

I also remember those days. As I mentioned, since Marty was only briefly at the high school during the one-week period he was in the past, he hadn't yet attracted enough attention to be considered a problem or a truant. Eventually, Strickland would have noticed something was amiss.

raywest Premium member

Question: At the dinner table in 1955, Marty's grandfather is there. It has always appeared to me that there is something off about his appearance. He seems to appear as if he was not actually there, and that he was spliced into the footage from another movie. The lighting on his face, his style of hair, the quality so to speak of him, just seems off from everyone else. He almost seems like he is from a black and white movie, spliced in and colorized a bit Is it supposed to be that he was to look this way, or did they actually take this actor's scene from another movie and splice it in?

oldbaldyone

Answer: I just pulled up this scene on YouTube, and I think it is just the lighting. The shadow from his wife's head is casting onto his right shoulder in a realistic way, which suggests the actor was there for filming. It would also be impractical logistically and economically to insert him after the fact, because they could simply hire another actor for the part if he was unavailable.

Phaneron Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Biff and his goon friends are in Biff's car, as they chase Marty on his borrowed 'skateboard', the car's rearview mirror repeatedly disappears and reappears, and the side mirror changes from round to square repeatedly. (01:06:50)

Super Grover Premium member

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: Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty. After filming quite a few scenes they realised his acting style was too dramatic for the humor desired, so they cast Michael J Fox (who they couldn't originally get because he was busy with the TV show Family Ties). Filming was on weekends and nights around his TV schedule and using his double at other times.

Stefanie

More trivia for Back to the Future

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