WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Tired, eating a ham sandwich and Cheez-Its, no particular plan for this viewing.
So I can’t seem to find an article where he specifically states this, but Cinemanaut John has told me that when he sits down for his weekly viewing of Jurassic Park (as part of the Cinema 52 experiment), he doesn’t have any goal in mind. I, on the other hand, having been mentally devastated by last year’s 52 weeks of Top Gun, have spent all of this year’s Back to the Future viewings trying to select one aspect of the film to meditate on as I watch, so I don’t go absolutely insane. Unfortunately, there’s one thing I didn’t factor into my calculations.
I actually like this movie.
Hey, buddy! Welcome back!
So, I put down the notebook and just had fun watching one of my favorite films. Hooray.
But at the end…
Nope. I couldn’t just let them ride off into the sunset.
Okay, so when Marty comes back to 1985, he’s actually lived an entire week of his life that nobody else has. Doc can’t drop him off a week later, because everybody will wonder where he’s been for seven days. Now, if we take into account all the time traveling Marty does in the entire trilogy–
“This week’s article will be a breeze.” – Me, two hours ago, thinking this first draft covered all my bases
–double-check it against Futurepedia–
–then round everything to the nearest hour, don’t adjust time spent in any version of 1985, and remember to subtract for whenever Marty is dropped off later than the time he departed, this gives us a discrepancy of 16 DAYS, 6 HOURS. Here, I showed my work.
Begin arguing, Internet. (Mouseover for nitpicks.)
In the long run, is being sixteen days and some change ahead of everyone else really going to affect your life that much? Probably not. Still, it got me to thinking… let’s say this is officially the end of Marty’s time travel career. He’s hung up his poncho, he refuses to get in Doc’s time train, and we’re not going to count Back to the Future: The Game as canon. So does Marty ever tell his parents what happened? I’m assuming the movie wants us to believe that George and Lorraine ask how Marty’s weekend was and he just winks. Freeze frame. Credits. It’s our little secret.
“Sorry about Biff, Mom!”
I couldn’t do that. See, I hate lying. Not from any moral high ground; it’s just too hard to keep your story straight. Lying is actually a bit like time travel. You go back and look at what you were doing and change the timeline to what you claim you were doing. And just like time travel, lying can get ridiculously complicated. Did you see that Futurepedia timeline page? That takes an entire team of anonymous nerds to keep straight.
You are not that smart. So don’t lie.
Still, let’s say that Marty doesn’t tell his parents about a whole trilogy’s worth of messing with history. Maybe he wants to protect Doc from the government or something, so he keeps his mouth shut. Still, there’s one day every year that has to gnaw away at Marty’s conscience: his birthday.
First of all, they never reveal the date of his birth in the films, so we don’t know it, but if you just need a date, replica prop Marty McFly driver’s licenses say it’s June 9th or June 12th, Michael J. Fox’s actual birthday is June 9th, and the original script for Part II claimed it was June 20th. For the purposes of this argument, let’s go with June 9th. Now, when the weather starts warming up, does it ever cross Marty’s mind that his new birthday should technically fall somewhere around May 24th? Wouldn’t that annually dredge up feelings of remorse for all the lies he’s told his parents? Hell, I couldn’t make it from October to May the first time around.
Fine, you say Marty has a solid poker face, a flawless cover story, and he sucks at math, so the birthday thing never bothers him. You know who’s all about numbers? Doc Brown. Pardon the fanfic here, but I think every time June 9th rolls around, Marty reads some cards, opens a gift or two, and has a little cake. But sixteen days prior, like clockwork, his telephone rings, and a kindly old man says, “Happy birthday, future boy.”
“Thanks, Doc. Hey, when is your birthday now?”
Nope. You can do your own math on that one.