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Film still from Back to the Future, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/Universal/Zemeckis
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Universal/Zemeckis

Back to the future that is now the past

Stefan Dege / kbm
October 21, 2015

We who grew up with "Back to the Future" loved Doc's crazy-scientist hair and never dared drive over 88 mph. Now we have to come to the grips that the future is now the past. But our parents hooked up and we still exist.


"Back to the Future," the science-fiction trilogy by director Robert Zemeckis, traces the time travel adventures of student Marty McFly and his friend, Dr. Emmett L. ("Doc") Brown.

Marty accidently takes a journey in a time machine - a plutonium-powered DeLorean that jumps time when it reaches 88 miles per hour - and lands in the 1950s, where he finds himself trying to keep his young parents together.

First, he has to make sure his mom falls in love with his dad, and not her future son, in order to ensure that he actually exists in the future - that is, the present, which was actually 1985.

With its unforgettable 80s soundtrack and eccentric characters, the film immediately became a classic and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) were stars.

The second and third films in the trilogy followed quickly, in 1989 and 1990, respectively. For the past quarter century, fans have been asking when the fourth part will finally arrive. "Oh God, no," director Robert Zemeckis, 63, told British newspaper "The Telegraph," comparing the idea of a fourth film to a remake of "Citizen Kane."

88 miles per hour…

The successful trilogy didn't have such an easy start. It's said that Bob Gale's original screenplay was rejected more than 40 times in Hollywood before Universal Pictures finally decided to give it a go. Fortunately, they did it right and put Steven Spielberg in the producer's chair.

Perhaps Hollywood traveled to the future and saw that it would bring in $380 million at the box office with the sci-fi flick.

Was is Doc's crazy hair, Marty's awkwardness or those hoverboards that made "Back to the Future" so endearing? Or perhaps the reality that, had just one thing in our parents' past not happened, perhaps we would never exist today.

In the first film, Marty and Doc travel to October 21, 2015. Today, that's a great reason to throw a party - albeit without hoverboards, but with a marathon of three nostalgic films.

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