Back to the Future Part II

New this week Question: In Biff's casino Marty is escaping Biff and his goons - he goes into the stairwell and jumps from one stair to another. What I don't understand is how this stairwell works as it seems to be double, with 2 sets of stairs ending up on the same floor parallel to each other, one on one end and one at another but on the same floor. Does this even make sense? Can anyone tell me why a big building would have 2 sets of stairs in 1 stairwell going parallel and end up on the same floors? Any special name for this type of stairwell perhaps? I can't find anything on it.

lionhead

New this week Answer: Your assumption is pretty much correct. There are 2 staircases spiralling around each other like a double helix. It is a fairly common way of constructing fire evacuation staircases as it allows a greater number of people to use them at the same time.

I see, so it's purely for fire escape reasons or more to handle overflow capacity in general?

lionhead

Question: Doc Brown strongly believes that nobody should ever find out about their own future. With such a strong conviction, why would Doc tell Marty that his children going to prison is the one event that would ruin the whole McFly family?

Chosen answer: At the end of the first film, Doc says, "what the hell" in response to the letter Marty gave him. So this shows it is not that strong a conviction, especially in the face of definite knowledge about something bad happening. It is also a way for Doc to repay Marty.

MasterOfAll

Question: In the alternative 1985, there is an alternative Biff, Lorraine etc. Shouldn't there also be an alternative Marty and Doc?

Chosen answer: Yep, and there is, but they're both elsewhere. Doc's been committed to an asylum somewhere. When Marty first meets the alternate Biff, Biff tells him that he's supposed to be in Switzerland at boarding school - that's where the alternate Marty is.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Has anyone an idea about what kind of car is this one which almost hits Marty McFly Jr. as he runs out from Cafe 80's? For me it looks like Renault or Mazda, but I'm not sure, though I I can swear it must be some future descendant of the really existing nowadays car. Does anyone recognize any other familiar car in future vehicles? :).

Chosen answer: I was able to recognize the red one that almost hit him. It is a late 1980's Ford Probe. There is also a jeep that flies down that Marty grabs a hold of.

Toolio

Question: When the DeLorean travels through time, it arrives in the same place it leaves from, only in a different time (eg. In BTTF, Marty leaves Twin pines mall in 1985 to arrive on the farmland it was built on in 1955. In BTTF3, Marty leaves 1885 on the train tracks above the ravine and arrives on the completed bridge in 1985) So, at the end of BTTF2 where Doc and the DeLorean are struck by lightning and sent back to the past, the DeLorean would be arriving mid-air. The problem is, Doc states in the letter that the lightning destroyed the flying circuits. So, the DeLorean would have plummeted 50 feet to the ground when it arrived in 1885? Why was it not damaged when Marty found it in mines 70 years later?

kaydee91

Chosen answer: Doc had spent several months in 1885 before Marty came to rescue him, which would have given him quite some time to fix the damage the DeLorean received from the assumed fall and repair it before he went to place the DeLorean in the mines. It could have been a controlled descent rather than a catastrophic plummet.

Casual Person

Answer: To be fair, we don't know if the DeLorean quit working altogether. We just know the time circuits were fried. I would assume he could still at least land it as the hover tech was unaffected.

Question: Can someone explain me what's the problem when Doc went to 1885? He's got the time machine with him, so why didn't he just come back?

Loesjuh1985

Chosen answer: The unexpected jump brought on by lightning striking the DeLorean caused the circuits to fry. Since Doc didn't have the equipment to make new ones in 1885, he decided to hide the car and resigned himself to life in 1885.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: When the old Biff gives the Sports Almanac to his younger self, he cautions him that in the future, a teenage kid and an old man claiming to be a scientist will ask him about that book. The old Biff surely knew who they were; why didn't he give his younger self their names, Marty McFly and Doctor Emmet Brown?

Allister Cooper, 2011

Chosen answer: Old Biff did not count on his young version to be able to remember names. He knew what he was like at that age, and knows that young Biff with his short attention span and hotheaded nature would not be prone to remember much details, so he leaves them out.

Twotall

Question: When Marty is playing the guitar after he get fired in the future, Jennifer is trying to sneak out and while he's playing, she stops and turns around to look at Marty. Why does she do this? It made no sense, she could have been caught. Was he playing their "special" song or something?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: It is because Marty used to be a very good guitar player. After his accident, when he broke his hand, he couldn't play very well anymore. Jennifer stops in shock that he is playing so horribly now. She is used to him playing the guitar greatly.

SAZOO1975

Question: OK, hope I'm articulating this properly: when Marty returns to 1985 from 2015 with Jen and the Doc, he places Jen at the porch of her own home. At this point, he hasn't realised yet that he's actually in an alternate 1985, because old Biff has discovered the time machine, and taken the Sports Almanac to the Biff of 1955. We all know what happens from there: Marty and the Doc now have to go back to 1955 (again) to stop Biff from getting the almanac, thus making the upcoming 1985 timeline "correct." Well, as they are successful...how come Jen is OK? Surely, as she was left in the alternate 1985 and isn't really in the "correct" 1985, she now fails to exist when Marty comes back to the "correct" 1985 to collect her at the porch? She must disappear with the alternate 1985? Or am I over thinking this?

Chosen answer: According to Doc, the timeline fixed itself around her. The best explanation I found online was since she was from the original 1985, when everything reset, it was as if she was still in the original timeline.

MasterOfAll

Question: I LOVE these movies and have seen them over 100 times. But one thing I never understood was when Doc was struck by lightening in 1955 and got sent back 1885 wouldn't the Delorean be there with him?

scouty

Chosen answer: Of course it did. You're not thinking fourth dimensionally :-) Doc and the DeLorean were sent back to 1885. Doc then placed the DeLorean in the abandoned mine for Marty to retrieve in 1955. Marty then used the repaired DeLorean to travel back to 1885. So technically, during Marty's time in 1885, there are TWO DeLoreans, the one in the abandoned mine (that Doc brought back with him) and the one in Doc's workshop (the same Delorean, just older, which Marty travelled in).

Guy

Technically there is actually 4 Deloreons in 1955 at one point. The one Marty took there and needed to get back to 1985 with, the one Doc and Marty took there in Part II, the one Biff took from 2015 there and the one hidden away since 1885 in the mine.

Shawn M. Milburn

Question: When Marty and Doc arrive in the bad 1985, they learn that 1985 has changed and are told that alternate versions of themselves exist. Alternate Doc has been committed and alternate Marty is at a boarding school in Switzerland. Nice movie trick to keep them from running into their alternate selves. Question though, isn't the 1985 at the start of this movie also an alternate 1985? This too has been altered from the original 1985 as seen at the beginning of the first movie. So, where are the alternate Marty and Doc in the timeline when Marty's family is actually upper middle class? Since this is an alternate 1985 as well, where is "rich" Marty? Why didn't he bump into his other self, the Marty that owns the black pickup truck?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: We see the alternate Marty depart for the past at the end of the the first movie. As for Doc, as he's simply lived through the thirty years from when the timeline was changed, rather than jumping through time to get there, he actually is the alternate Doc.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: At the beginning of the movie, as Doc, Marty and Jennifer are leaving in the time machine to go to 2015, Biff sees the DeLorean fly and then disappear. It perplexes him greatly and he even states, "What the hell is going on here?" 1) Why wouldn't Doc have been more careful when he knew that anyone could've walked out of the McFly house and seen the DeLorean? 2) Why didn't it alter things in the future? Sure, Biff may not have told anyone about what he saw, but it's unlikely since he witnessed such a strange event.

Zinka17

Chosen answer: There's no real explanation about why Doc wasn't more careful, but he is an eccentric person who often acts on impulse rather than logic. It also serves the movie's plot for Biff to be there when he was. Biff in 2015 is an old man, and he is obviously somewhat confused about what he saw. He may well have thought it better to say nothing about it for fear he wouldn't be believed and could be accused of hallucinating the event.

raywest Premium member

Question: When Marty suggests (in 1985A) that they go back to 2015 to stop Old Biff from taking the almanac in the first place, Doc says no because it'll be 2015A instead. When Old Biff went from 2015 to 1955 to give himself the almanac, when he came back to 2015 again, it was still the same one he left because Marty and Doc are just getting Jennifer out of the new McFly house when he returns. So what's the difference? If Biff can go from 1955 to 2015, without it becoming 2015A, then why can't Marty and Doc do it from 1985A?

Answer: There is a deleted scene on the DVD that answers this. You will notice that when Biff returns to 2015 it appears as if he is dying, on the deleted scene when Marty and Doc leave 2015 you see Biff vanish which suggests the "ripple effect" of Biff giving the Almanac to his younger self places everyone in an Alternate 2015 which Biff is no alive to see so is erased from existence. I have seen somewhere a suggestion Biff was shot in 1996, chances are with Biff gone by 2015 Hill Valley may have been a more peaceful city again. Hilldale was a run down suburb in the original 2015 and could have been the same in an Alternate 2015, we never saw inside any houses at that point to answer where Marty may have lived in an Alternative 2015 but perhaps in Switzerland.

Answer: The implication is that Biff returned to 2015 before the consequences of his younger self's actions took effect. Biff would have returned to 2015 immediately, as he wouldn't want to risk Marty and Doc discovering that he had stolen the DeLorean. By the time Marty and Doc travel back to 1985, the consequences of Biff's actions have solidified.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Why does the storm end immediately after the clock tower is struck by lightning? This happens again in part 2 when the DeLorean gets struck by lightning. All of a sudden, the wind and lightning is gone.

Answer: It could probably be classified as a freak storm that quickly passed over. Mostly, it's a contrived plot device for the movie and doesn't reflect reality but serves the purpose of telling the story.

raywest Premium member

Answer: It actually starts raining really hard in both scenes. The rain clouds followed the thunder clouds.

Question: Two questions: something I have never understood about Marty traveling into the future to stop his kid from going to jail. In the first movie when Doc. puts his dog into the time machine and sends him 1 min into the future the car disappears for 1 min and arrives back with the dog in the car. Doc explains that as far as the dog is concerned the trip was instantaneous but to Marty and doc the dog disappears for 1 min. The question is when Marty travels into the future shouldn't he have "disappeared" for 30 years and not had an older self. The second question is, why is it so important for them to travel 30 years into the future to stop his kid from getting arrested, couldn't he have just as easily told Marty "hey on this day and year, don't let your kid leave the house. You have 30 years to figure out a reason or break his leg."

Robert Waner

Chosen answer: To answer the first question, it's because Marty ultimately returns to the past and therefore does live his normal life for the next 30 years. Had Einstein traveled back that one minute, he would be there as well. As to the second question, Doc needs to be sure Marty's son doesn't go and can't leave it to chance that Marty will take take care of it after 30 years.

Jason Hoffman

He could've just as easily traveled back to the same day in 2015 and knocked on 2015 Marty's door and told him to stop his son. 1985 Marty even told Doc to look him up in 2015 so, it wouldn't shock him to see the Doc there.

Question: Why does Biff travel through the outskirts of Hill Valley to get from his home to Hill Valley High school? Biff travels through what looks to be the countryside through the River Road tunnel to the school and he is travelling through the countryside when he heads home from the dance as well. It almost suggests that Hill Valley High is in another town. One could say the road Biff took in 1955 may be a populated area in 1985 but it doesn't really make sense to have the school so far away from the town center, the movie gives the illusion Hill Valley high school is in another town. The only logical answer I could think would be that Biff actually lived in another unnamed town in 1955 and drove into Hill Valley to attend high school, perhaps he was kicked out of the neighbouring town high school. Although that doesn't work that well, as we watch Marty follow Biff from his home to the town square.

Blair Howden

Chosen answer: Hill Valley is in a valley with hills to the west and east. The main street/Courthouse Square are against the western hill, the school is to the north of the square, Biff's and most of the other houses are on the eastern hill or to the south. To get to the school Biff drives through the tunnel (presumably under the railway line through the valley). Note the town square seems to be closer to Biff's house than the school as Doc leaves the house on his bike after Biff and Marty drive away, yet he reaches the courthouse while they are still in the tunnel. Biff only drives for a few minutes so it's not too far, and there are likely to be trees by the side of the road near the tunnel.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: When Doc and Marty go back to 1985, after going to 2015, they land and find out that it's an alternate 1985 wherein Biff is in charge. Someone said in a question that when they returned, shouldn't they have seen Biff's casino as they fly over Hill Valley - is them not seeing the casino there to mislead the audience into thinking nothing has changed or is it a mistake?

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen answer: Most likely this was deliberately done this way so the audience would not immediately know that the timeline had changed. It serves the plot better to have it revealed later.

raywest Premium member

Question: We see Biff groan in pain as he returns to 2015 with the stolen DeLorean. In a deleted scene we actually see Biff fade away as he is erased from existence by his actions. I assume this is because an alternate Biff now exists (or could have been killed) and so he is erased from time. If this happens to Biff, why doesn't this happen to Marty, Doc, and Jennifer? They too are replaced by alternate versions of themselves when they return and even before they return to 1985a. 1985a Biff even says in the film that Marty was in school in Switzerland, and Doc has been committed, so they too should fade away as Biff did, shouldn't they? I would say "time" was giving them time enough to correct things like in the 1st movie, but Biff faded away almost a soon as he arrived back in 2015a.

Carl Missouri

Answer: I read somewhere the reason Biff faded away was Lorraine shot him in the alternate timeline for murdering her husband, George.

I hadn't heard that one, could be in a novelization or something. This is entirely my own speculation with nothing official to support it; however, it could be that because Doc and Marty are trying to correct the timeline, he and his siblings' removal from history happens gradually, as they get closer or further from the act of their trying to set things right. Biff doesn't know or care and is actively trying to change history, so the moment he returns to 2015, he vanishes all at once.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Chosen answer: Biff faded away because he completely changed his own past. When Marty, Doc, and Jennifer return to 1985, they're returning to the alternate timeline that Biff created. They still exist and remember their own history because without it, Biff's timeline couldn't exist and a paradox would be created.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: After old Biff returns to 2015 he appears in pain. I've seen several submissions on this site saying it's because Lorraine shot him in 1995. My question is where do they get that information from? I've seen these movies numerous times and have never seen anything to suggest that.

Chosen answer: If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, watch the deleted scene with Biff vanishing and be sure to have the commentary on. Bob Gale confirms that Lorraine discovered that Biff had killed George and therefore shot and killed Biff in retaliation.

Question: Why was old Biff seemingly in agony when he returned to 2015 after stealing the almanac? Did this have to do with this not being his future anymore?

Answer: There is a cut scene of old Biff disappearing after returning the DeLorean.

Chosen answer: I saw a behind-the-scenes special about this, and it said the intention was that after giving the book to himself (thereby changing his future) something then happened to Biff after 1985 but before 2015- possibly being killed by Lorraine while they were married. This is why, after changing his past, Biff shouldn't exist in 2015. This incident was never scripted or shot, but that was the idea. Something similar happened to Marty in the first movie. As he faded from existence, he became sick and weak.

Krista
Back to the Future Part II mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Notice Marty's hair in the scene when he's playing "Johnny B. Goode." It's quite larger than when he says, some seconds later, "I guess that you're not ready for it yet." That's because when he says that, it's a recycled shot from the original BTTF, whereas most shots showing he's playing the guitar are newly made for BTTF2. However, Marty's hair is considerably longer in the new shots.

More mistakes in Back to the Future Part II

Biff: Go ahead, kid. Jump. A suicide will be nice and neat.
Marty: What if I don't?
Biff: [raising gun] Lead poisoning.
Marty: What about the police, Biff? They're gonna match up the bullet with that gun.
Biff: Kid, I own the police. Besides, they couldn't match up the bullet that killed your old man.
Marty: You son of a...
[Biff pulls back on the gun's hammer.]
Biff: Suppose it's poetic justice. Two McFlys with the same gun.

More quotes from Back to the Future Part II

Trivia: In an interview, the director stated that hoverboards were real, but they weren't on the market because parents didn't like the idea of floating children. He said this as a joke, but this didn't stop mass hysteria as thousands of kids went from store to store looking for hoverboards.

moviedude345
More trivia for Back to the Future Part II

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