Thursday, April 26, 2018

if grandpa hadn’t hit him, then none of you would have been born

I never really got around to talking about destiny yesterday.

Probably because I really didn't want to. There is a bit of a deterministic streak to Back to the Future, and I've written about stuff like that before in this blog. How what we call "free will" is just a long series of tiny events leading to all the inevitable decisions you will make and actions you will take. It's both entirely plausible and entirely pointless at the same time.

At the moment, I'm more interested in a couple details from the end of the film that have little to do with time travel.

1) who parked Marty's truck in the garage at that weird angle? It's impractical, and actually would have been fairly difficult. But, it shows off the truck real nice, so I guess it's good for the product placement.

2) And this is interesting because I have got to wonder if the placement is deliberate. So, the Libyans drive a blue and white VW bus. When Marty gets away in the DeLorean, they crash into a Fox Photo booth.

They probably are not dead. But, Doc Brown drives Marty home and then heads into the future, so he's not around for them to find. Except for this: how did they find him the first time? Did they follow Marty from Doc's place? Or had they already linked Marty to Doc and they had been staking out the McFly residence? If they had been staking out the McFly residence, then the other VW Bus might be a little suspicious. Especially, since it appears out of nowhere.

HBO NOW won't let me do screencaps or I'd show you. [But YouTube would.] When Doc drops Marty off at home, there's a blue truck (and I think it's a sort of old fashioned truck, too--maybe a nod to the 1955 portion of the film--but I don't know what make and model it is) parked across the street. There's a car parked on the McFly side of the street.

And, the next driveway down has a striped van in it. When Doc arrives the next morning to pick Marty up, that blue truck is still across the street. As Doc initially talks to Marty and then grabs trash for Mr. Fusion, there seems to be the same car as the night before parked on the McFly side of the street. The striped Van is gone, but it's like 10:30 in the morning on a Saturday; maybe they had somewhere to go. But, now that it's light out, we can see that in a driveway across the street there is a blue van. Then things change.

The wide shot of the street, DeLorean backing out of the McFly's driveway, shows that parked in front of that car on their side of the street is a yellow VW Bus. (Also, in this shot, we can see the blue truck and the blue van, and it's like someone accidentally deconstructed the blue VW Bus from the night before.) And, I find myself wondering if there are armed Libyans in that Bus. And, now Marty is flying off into the future with Doc Brown and those Libyans are going to take the McFlys hostage while (though that "while" is debatable) Marty is off getting a hoverboard and fancy shoes.

So, I find myself trying to recall the order of events of the sequels--especially Part II--rather than paying much attention to the original playing on my TV. First thing's first, I find Part II on HBO NOW and start it playing on my phone, see the reenactment of the end of the original with Jennifer recast. Because they seem to have cut original shots in with the new ones, it's fairly seemless.

But, as I'm obsessing about background vehicles right now, I notice a red pickup truck in a driveway across the street that wasn't there before, and I wonder what kind of time travel incident altered Jennifer's face and put that pickup there but doesn't seem to have changed much else... Except maybe it did change a lot else. Like maybe just down the street, past those Lyon Estates signs, there is a zombie apocalypse going on. Also, there is a VW Bus parked at the curb, and already visible as Doc comes over to talk to Marty. But, it's not yellow. It's green.

It also seems to switch which property it is parked in front of from shot to shot.

But, that just makes me think that it is the Libyans, and they've seen Doc arrive, and they backed up to figure out how they're going to approach him this time. They did see him die last night--or so they think.

The blue van is briefly replaced by a blue car.

The van is yellow again for the wide shot, because they're just reusing the original footage. And, the added bit with Biff running out to show Marty the new matchbooks for his detailing company is weird, because Biff's truck is gone from the driveway, was already gone from the driveway in the original sequence, and I thought he left after the arrival of George's books. But, they've got to set up Biff's plot-driving role for this more convoluted mid-trilogy film. This also allows for some dodgy CGI as the DeLorean lifts off the ground, and that red truck has been replaced by a camper, because the background vehicles are both random (and maybe just the locals' vehicles) and (maybe) deliberate.

Anyway, after Doc knocks out Jennifer for some reason, she eventually faints when she comes face to face with her 2015 self. She is unconscious when they return to 1985. This 1985, they will figure out later, is different from the one they left because Biff has done his almanac thing that is basically the main plot of this one. I remember some talk about how the repaired timeline would reshape itself around Jennifer, but the transition from Part II to Part III has nothing to do with 1985, so we won't get back to Jennifer again until the end of the trilogy. At the end of Part III, Marty returns to 1985 (the repaired version) and Jennifer is still on the porch where they left her. She remembers the visit to 2015.

My question here is this: in this version of 1985, Doc still got the plutonium from the Libyans, right? So, after Doc flies away on his train with Clara and their kids, does Marty go home to find Libyan terrorists have taken over the house and are holding his family (and maybe Biff) hostage? Where is that movie? And, why does Doc get to say damn the consequences and Marty's going to end up dead in an violent interactions with Libyan terrorists?

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