Back to the Future Part II
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Back to the Future Part II can be found here.

The day after returning to 1985 from the year 1955, 17-year-old high school student Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker (Elisabeth Shue) are whisked away to the year 2015 in the DeLorean time machine created by his inventor friend Dr Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). It seems that Marty and Jennifer's children—son Marty Jr and daughter Marlene (both played by Michael J. Fox)—are about to be incarcerated. Marty's attempts to save his children are further complicated when old Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), ever a bully to the McFly family, obtains a copy of Gray's Sports Almanac, steals the DeLorean, and takes them both back to the 1950s.

Back to the Future, Part II is the second movie in the Back to the Future trilogy, all of which are based on screenplays written by American film-makers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It follows Back to the Future (1985) and was followed by Back to the Future Part III (1990).

Theory 1: At first, this appears to contradict Back To The Future where Doc Brown demonstrates the time traveling capabilities of the DeLorean to Marty by sending Einstein 1 minute in the future, and when Einstein arrives, there is only one Einstein and not two. However, at no time ever does Einstein return back one minute to the past. He continues living on one minute in the future. We know that 1985 Jennifer and Marty return back to 1985, so their 2015 selves are most likely a continuation of themselves after returning back to 1985. Since Doc has every intention of returning Marty and Jennifer to 1985, there is no reason they should not exist in 2015.

Theory 2: Doc travels to 2015 alone after Marty makes his return to 1985. With the future not being set in stone, the future was pretty much simulated. Although it is only hours after Marty's adventure, the future senses Marty's presence. If Doc traveled to the future with Marty and Jennifer the first time, then there would be nobody living out their lives in 1985.

There probably are, just in different places. Doc recorded Marty Jr.'s movements, went back to get Marty, then landed in a different spot to avoid a paradox.

Old Biff had as much time as he wanted to figure out how it worked. It could have taken him literally hours or even days to figure out and all he had to do was to return to Hilldale in 2015 just after he left. Of course for the narrative of the movie, we never see Marty and Doc return with Jennifer to find that the Delorean's gone but that is what would have happened because obviously Biff couldn't have gone back to 1955, give his younger self the almanac, and then return it on time. Turning on the time circuits is not a laborious task. Punching in the date should also be a very easy thing to do as the digital time and dates are clearly marked and there's a key pad clearly visible. If he didn't get it right the first time, he could try again (as Doc did at the start of BTTF I). Operating the time machine is so easy that Marty accidentally traveled to 1955 in BTTF I. Yes, Biff would not have known to travel to 88 miles per hour (MPH), however, he most likely just sped up until he reached the precise speed needed to activate the time displacement. The Mr. Fusion question requires some speculation. At the end of BTTF I (or beginning of BTTF II), Doc powers Mr. Fusion using trash. However, it is never stated that Mr. Fusion is needed to be powered after every time travel trip. One load could likely last several trips. Some people just assume this is true because Doc powers Mr. Fusion before returning from 2015 to the alternate 1985. It is also implied that Doc has made several trips in 2015. We don't know if Doc powered Mr. Fusion every trip he made. We also don't know when Doc got Mr. Fusion to power the time circuits. It was probably when he first entered 2015 so he wouldn't need plutonium anymore. So we don't know for sure whether Mr. Fusion is needed for every single trip. If this is true, then Biff would have no trouble going to 1955 and then back to 2015. It is also very likely that Mr. Fusion is a relatively common appliance in 2015, evidenced by its design and signs of branding. Therefore 2015 Biff may be familiar with the device. Also, even if Biff needed to refuel, all Mr. Fusion takes is garbage to fuel it. Therefore, he likely had no problems finding garbage in 1955. In the re-shooting of the DeLorean's departure from 1985 that took place in order to incorporate Elizabeth Shue, "less old" Biff witnessed the departure and may have known to accelerate if not the precise speed he needed to reach.

When old Biff returns the DeLorean to 2015, it is the alternate timeline he returns it to, not the original one. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have said that they deliberately made sure not to return to the inside of the McFly household after Biff landed the Delorean to give the sense that the ripple effect is changing things but we are unable to see them as we stay outside, and they did not spend much time in 2015 after that. Alternatively, from Doc and Marty's point of view, the ripple effect would need time to catch up to see any significant changes. The time which Marty and Doc spend in 2015 after Biff comes back is a mere matter of minutes, or even seconds. They will experience two different timelines: one where Biff returned the DeLorean to the original 2015, and one where the ripple effect had caught up and the DeLorean was returned to the alternate 2015.

According to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Biff was shot and killed by Lorraine sometime in the 1990s (possibly by Lorraine acting in self-defense) of the new alternate timeline he had created. He would therefore have been dead in 2015, and the pain was that of being erased from existence because he'd traveled past the time of his death. This is the same physical distress that Marty goes through during the dance in the first film. In the deleted scenes for the movie, old Biff is seen collapsing and then fading out of existence a few moments later. It was shown at the first screening for test audiences but, according to Gale and Zemeckis, they found it so confusing they decided to leave it out of the final cut.

Three possible factors... (1) Perhaps he had to immediately hide the DeLorean near Hilldale in 1955 to begin with and get to Hill Valley some other way. (2) Being a rookie time-traveler, he only had Doc's and Marty's words to go by. So he merely followed Marty's plan and made sure to only give his younger self limited information other than the sports almanac. Having heard the dangers of time travel from Doc firsthand, he most likely figured that leaving Doc and Marty stranded in the wrong time period may cause some catastrophe that he can't even fathom. (3) Upon feeling the early effects of being erased from existence, he realized that his plan backfired on him somehow while still driving the DeLorean. Hence, bringing back the time machine is his last-ditch effort at setting things right again.

Depends on how detailed and varied the statistics are. We only know that it has the scores of various games and the winners of some horse races. With small enough font, the almanac could accomplish this—or by using a cross table, which could fit a whole season of results on half a page. Old Biff tells young Biff, "All you have to do is bet on the winner, and you'll never lose." This line seems to indicate that only winners across different sports are recorded in the book. It'd be pretty thin then, even for 50 years of statistics of "football, baseball, horse races, boxing."

There are two possible answers as to his whereabouts: (1) He's dead or (2) he's alive whereby we just don't see him (as he off living elsewhere or elsewhen). As for Doc's age, he was born in 1920, as implied by him being 35 years old in 1955, and thus 65 in 1985. However, there are some nuances to his theoretical age progression...

When in 2015, the 1985 Doc does state he went to a "rejuvenation clinic" and "added a good 30 to 40 years to his life." Let's just say it was 40 years "added" to his life. Depending on how you use the word "rejuvenation" (e.g. to make young again or restore to youthful vigor) and if the clinic's methods are very effective, this would now make Doc "younger" by 40 years than he really would naturally be, thus 65 years old with the vigor of 25-year-old (younger than the 2015 Marty). If he would never visit a rejuvenation clinic again yet also not do anything to accelerate his senescence, then in span of time that separates 1985 and 2015 from one another, he would become 95 years old with the vigor of at least a 55-year-old, which reduces the odds of him having died of an age-related illness. The 1985 Doc still does look 65 even having after been treated with at rejuvenation clinic which is not the equivalent of a plastic surgeon. (Which is why the subtle joke about when Doc peels off the "age makeup" and asks Marty what he thinks, Marty is clearly less than impressed as Doc pretty much looks exactly the same.)

Einy (Einstein), being the first time traveler, does not bump into his future self. This is due to the fact Einy does not go back to his original time (albeit only one minute). There is one Einy before the time travel, zero Einsteins during the following minute, then one Einy again when he "arrives". Marty and Jen do see themselves in 2015. However, they do eventually get back to 1985 (their original time), so can exist in the future, just like Einy in Part I but unlike Marty and Jen in Part III. Doc does not return to his original time, but instead decides to stay in 1885 in Part III, so he would not and does not exist 30 years into the future. 30 years after the events of the trilogy, Marty and Jennifer would be 48 and living out their lives in 2015, whereas Doc would be 95 (but with the vigor of a person aged from 55 to 65) and living out his life in 1915 (or in whatever year to which he might time-visit or even time-migrate). As a time traveler with access to a rejuvenation caveat, Doc's fate (as well as the fates of his life-long companions, e.g. Clara and Einstein) is a little more arbitrary than the other characters' or ordinary folks'.

Marty successfully burns the Almanac while Doc hovers overhead in the DeLorean as the storm breaks out. As the Almanac burns, Marty notices that the logo on Biff's matchcover changes from "Pleasure Paradise" to "Auto Detailing." The newspaper heading changes from "George McFly Murdered" to "George McFly Honored". Marty calls Doc with the good news that things are reverting back to the reality they knew before. Doc checks the headline on his newspaper and sees it revert from "Emmett Brown Committed" to "Emmett Brown Commended". Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the DeLorean, and it vanishes. Marty tries to call Doc on his cell, but there is no answer. Moments later, a car pulls up, and a man gets out. He informs Marty that he is from Western Union and has a letter for Marty that they have been holding for the past 70 years with instructions to deliver it at that exact location on that exact date and time. Marty opens the letter, which is signed, "Your friend, 'Doc' Emmett L. Brown." Doc says that he's now living in the year 1885 in the Old West. Utterly alone in the 1955 timeline, Marty can think of only one person who can help him, the 1955 Doc who is currently in the town square helping Marty's counterpart get back to 1985. In the final scene, Marty runs up to 1955 Doc and totally surprises him. Doc has just sent the yesterday Marty back to the future. Marty replies that he's back from the future, and Doc faints. The words "To Be Concluded" appear on screen, and then a montage of scenes from Back to the Future Part III are shown.

Though it has a reminiscent shape, it's not a number at all. The fire marks are the tread marks of the DeLorean when it goes back in time. Apparently the DeLorean does a loop and hits 88 miles per hour and goes back to the Old West, presumably because Doc was caught off-guard inside the DeLorean and didn't have the chance to steer it straight like the other trips we'd seen.

By the end of the first movie, Marty is just one week older. He entered 1955 on November 5th at 6:00 A.M., and then left November 12th at 10:04 P.M.; which totals one week, 16 hours, four minutes. Marty re-enters the timeline 10 minutes earlier, thus making him one week, 16 hours, 14 minutes older than he was on October 26th, 1985, at 1:24 A.M. when he left. At the start of Back to the Future Part II, Marty, Jennifer, and Doc travel to October 21st, 2015, spending less than a day there. Then they go back to the alternate 1985 for just a few hours. We know that the two events take about a day for Marty and Doc from the dialogue upon their arrival in 1955, "This is heavy, Doc. It's like I was just here yesterday." "You were here yesterday, Marty. You were!" Marty spends all of November 12th getting the book back. So, at the end of this movie, Marty has aged two more days.

The DeLorean does not hit 88 miles per hour (MPH) by spinning; the force of doing so would have resulted in Doc being killed by the impact. Those who've watched that part of the film closely say that the DeLorean only wobbles and then pitches upwards slightly before vanishing, which would have been far from fast enough to get it up to 88 MPH. The most likely answer is that the three lightning bolts that struck the DeLorean gave it a power surge that overrode the need for it to accelerate to 88 MPH, by going straight into the flux capacitor and activating it. Also, the letter that Doc sent Marty stated that the lightning bolt that struck the DeLorean scrambled the time circuits which caused a gigawatt overload in the flux capacitor and sent him back to 1885, though we only find this out at the start of the third film.

At the point in which we see old Biff give the Almanac to young Biff, there are only three DeLoreans, the highest number from the audience's point of view at a time during any period in the Trilogy: (1) DeLorean that Marty prime took to 1955 to escape the Libyans, (2) DeLorean that old Biff took to 1955 to give young Biff the Almanac, and (3) DeLorean that Doc and Marty seconde took to 1955 to retrieve the Almanac. The DeLorean in question or the "fourth" one (from 1885 in the mine) does not actually exist in this period and won't until Doc gets struck by lightning at 9:30 in the evening. When Doc is struck by lightning, the timeline instantaneously changes around Marty. In this new timeline, Western Union comes to deliver the letter at 9:31 to Marty, and the DeLorean is now inside the mine.

When old Biff was in 1955 to give the book to young Biff, that was in the timeline before Doc was in the past, so Doc was not in the early history books and the DeLorean certainly was not buried in the mine.

However, while it is entirely true that we do not ever witness a moment in the films where all four instances coexist, but the text "from the audience's point of view" above should hint at a solution. Once the DeLorean (DL) is sealed in the mine in 1885, consider what it would detect (if it were in a position to witness the comings and goings of its former selves): over 70 years of peace, then DL 1 arrives, then DL 2 and DL 3 arrive in some order; DL 2 then leaves at 6:38, DL 3 leaves around 10 PM, and DL 1 leaves at 10:04. DL 4 itself leaves soon after that. If we grant that all three of those instances DLs 1 through 3 continue to exist in the "final" timeline, then there should be no problem accepting this theory. Still not convinced? Consider the 100-year gap near the end of BTTF III when Marty takes the DeLorean on its final journey. 70 years into it, for a few hours, there are 4 instances of the car.

This question is actually one of the fundamental logical problems associated with the possible reality of time travel. These logical problems have actually lead to a number of prominent physicists publicly stating that time travel (meaning travel into the past) is an impossibility purely because there is no logical way to reconcile the varying paradoxes it would cause. In this instance, as stated in the prior paragraph, we the viewer are seeing events presumably as they happen for the first time. In this instance the fourth DeLorean would not exist until the DeLorean taken back from 2015 by the Doc and Marty has been struck by the lightning outside the tunnel. Once that has occurred the DeLorean will have been left left in the cave by Doc Brown in 1885 which means that the DeLorean will have already existed in the cave prior to Marty having gone back to 1955 the first time as it was left there 70 years earlier. The characters simply were not aware of its existence there until Marty is made aware by the Western Union telegram from Doc.

In other words, we experience time linearly from the perspective of Marty McFly. Most theories of time itself are not so linearly limited with all things always happening at all times. For the DeLorean to ever have existed in the cave in 1955 it would always have to have existed in that cave since being left there in 1885 and will always have to have been left in the cave in 1885. Thus we have a logical paradox.

The itv copy is missing 53.60 seconds due to 16 cuts and features 3 segments with muted/changed audio to remove some cursing. There is additional time difference due to a longer black screen at the beginning of the DVD and marginal cuts before each commercial break in the itv copy (mostly under 1 second). A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

After Back to the Future 2 came out in 1989, there were rumors claiming that hoverboards were real and that the Mattel company and Robert Zemeckis were hiding the hoverboard. But Zemeckis assured them they weren't real and were just special effects. There are hoverboards out there, such as the air cushion hoverboard, Zipline hoverboard, and Maglev hoverboard, or the Self Balancing hoverboard on two wheels. As for the hoverboard or flying cars as depicted in the movie, however, they do not exist, and the year 2015 has come and gone.

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