In one week, Marty McFly is going to visit from 1985. Hill Valley, wherever it is, will get a quick touch-down from him and the Doc. They’ll snag a sports almanac, and — whoosh — they’ll be off again. The last chapter (chronologically) in the trilogy will be finished.
That’s a rather melancholy thought until I realized … Wait! It’s not over. Actually …
Marty’s life is about to get magical.
A quick recap for those of you who haven’t seen the movies dozens of times (I’ve been told such people exist): Doc grabbed Marty from 1985 and they spent an afternoon in 2015 before heading back to 1955, 1885, and finally 1985 again. Each time the time machine touched down, they made changes that would affect the future, and by the end of the series, Marty had gone through enough personal changes that the future Doc was helping him save (his life a pitiful mess, his kids’ lives worse) is no longer going to unfold that way. But they will come to 2015 anyway. They will because they did; it’s part of Marty’s past.
After much mucking about in time, Marty and Doc parted in 1985. Marty watched the DeLorean get pulverized, then Doc and his family took off in the pimped-out steam engine to parts unknown. The end.
But if Marty was listening closely (He often wasn’t, but I’m guessing this bit stuck with him), he’d have picked up on one sentence that is about to change everything. When Doc brings him to 2015 and explains what is going to happen to Marty’s son, Doc tells him that he has traced all the events of Marty’s family’s tragedies back to this one event. We already know that Doc was time-hopping quite extensively before he went back for Marty, but this tells us that most of his travels post-2015 involved checking in with Marty.
And since they fixed the one event that was causing all the trouble, the world Doc comes to will be quite different. But that won’t change the fact that Doc will come to visit throughout Marty’s life because that’s already part of Doc’s past.
Do you see yet what’s so great?
From the moment young Marty leaves us in 2015, middle-aged Marty (heck, probably Martin now) is about to live the dream. Every day of his life will be full of promise.
To start with, he’s about to see his high school best friend again. They haven’t lost touch or grown apart; the Doc who’s about to show up at his house is exactly the same guy he was hanging around with thirty years ago, and who will be just as thrilled to see Marty.
He gets to have adventures again. They don’t have to be save-the-world or make-your-pop-undead missions this time. All they have to be is something new, a secret vacation from his regular life.
Imagine middle-aged Martin now. He’s chilling in his house in the suburbs, living a modest life. Married, two kids*. Boring job. Probably lying awake at night driving himself crazy with the scenarios that plague us all … Should he quit his job? Would it be smart to downsize to a smaller house? Should he have tried harder to copyright that crazy idea about flying cars?
But, unlike the rest of us, he’s going to get answers to those what-ifs. Heck, he can even try out a few alternate endings, pick the life he enjoys best.
And if that’s not enough, he can commandeer that DeLorean, crank up Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” and go back to spend more time with all the people he loves most.
Marty, you are one lucky son of a geek.
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