Happy 25th Anniversary, Back to the Future! Know Your Dates With This Helpful Trilogy Timeline
Today is the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future. Sort of. I know, I know -- you're thinking, Didn't we just go through this back in July on Twitter? Wasn't it all a hoax? Well, yes and no. That's the problem with Back to the Future trilogy: There are so many dates involved with the three films -- as well as so many claims of what turn out to be false prophesies -- that it can all get a bit confusing. This calls for a timeline.
It's true that today is neither the day Doc, Marty, Jennifer and Einstein traveled to the future (that was Oct. 21, 2015) nor the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future's release in theaters -- that was July 3, 1985. What today represents is the 25th anniversary of the day -- Oct. 25, 1985 -- that Doc Brown asks Marty McFly to meet him at 1:15 A.M. the next morning at the Twin Pines Mall. At this meeting, Doc reveals the time-traveling DeLorean to Marty and his intentions to use it to travel 25 years into the future. That would have happened early tomorrow morning, on Oct. 26, a little after 1:22 A.M. If, that is, Doc had not been rudely interrupted by terrorists and gunned down. Brown never even gets a chance to enter the date, which is why Marty winds up in 1955.
Dates!! So many dates! With the trilogy's Blu-ray series debuting this week -- and in an effort to avoid unfortunate false memes like we experienced back in July -- here's a comprehensive account of every day visited* in the three Back to the Future films. It was as good an excuse as any to rewatch the movies again:
[*Listed chronologically as they occur in the films.]
· Oct. 25, 1985: This is the date on which the original Back to the Future film opens.
· Oct. 26, 1985: The first leap in time only involves Doc's dog, Einstein, traveling one minute ahead, from 1:21 AM on that date until 1:22 AM. Doc intends to travel to Oct. 26, 2010, but is gunned down before he gets the chance.
· Nov. 5, 1955: Marty jumps in the DeLorean and travels back to this date -- the date Doc first envisioned the flux capacitor -- that Doc Brown had set it to when he was demonstrating how the time machine worked. Marty spends one week in 1955, returning to the future on Nov. 12, 1955 at 10:04 PM.
· Oct. 26, 1985: Marty, with the help of young Doc and a lightning strike, returns to the date he left, at 1:24 AM.
· Oct. 21, 2015: Doc warns Marty that there are a few problems with his kids, so they must go to the future to correct a situation. Of note: The film Jaws 19 plays at the local movie theater (or "holomax") -- so the Jaws people only have to release 15 more Jaws films in the next five years for this to come to fruition. And the Chicago Cubs (ha!) sweep Miami, whose logo is not a marlin but an alligator swinging a bat, to win the World Series. Not, as rumors persist, an actual prediction of either of the Florida Marlins' World Series victories.
· Nov. 12, 1955: An old Biff Tannen, mortal enemy to the McFlys, steals the DeLorean to take the 1950-2000 Sports Almanac -- that Marty bought for himself but Doc forbid -- to his younger self in 1955.
Universal Shares 100 Factoids For its 100th Anniversary
(see Factoid #9 about the DeLorean)
· Oct. 21, 2015: Biff, after delivering the almanac to his younger self, returns the DeLorean to the date he found it.
· Oct. 26, 1985: Marty, Doc and Jennifer return to 1985 to continue their lives. But, because of Biff's new wealth due to his uncanny ability to predict the outcomes of sporting events, it's a completely different 1985 than the one they left during the first scene of the film.
· Nov. 12, 1955: Before they make this jump to prevent Biff from delivering the almanac, the dashboard flashes January 1, 1885. Apparently there's a glitch, Doc mentions, "I gotta fix that thing."
· Jan. 1, 1885: After confiscating the almanac, the DeLorean, with only Doc in it, is struck by lightning. Sending him back to 1885.
· Sept. 2, 1885: At the start of the third film, Marty uses the DeLorean that's been in hidden for the last 70 years to travel back to the Old West to rescue Doc.
· Oct. 27, 1985: Marty returns to 1985. Only two days after the original film started (yes, somehow, Michael J. Fox looks five years older). Later, on that same day, Doc, with his new wife and kids (Jules and Verne, clever) travel to 1985 on a time-traveling locomotive.
· The last date unknown, but sometime before 1985: After Doc says his goodbyes to Marty, he leaps through time again. Marty asks Doc if he's going back to the future. Doc replies, "Nope, already been there."