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Back to the Future Writer Explains Away ‘Plot Hole’ Argument

April 23, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Back to the Future Michael J. Fox Image Credit: Universal Pictures

A long-standing claim of a plot hole in Back to the Future has been explained by the film’s writer. Since its release in 1985, people have wondered how Marty McFly’s parents don’t recognize him in the present after he traveled to the past, and that debate was brought back up when Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn discussed the idea of a “perfect film.”

Gunn discussed the idea of how a “perfect film can be different from a favorite film, or a great film. A perfect film is something that sings from start to finish with no obvious mistakes, whether they be aesthetic or structural. There are no logical lapses.” He went on to say:

Back to the Future SEEMINGLY could be imperfect (why don’t Mom and Dad remember Marty?), but I would still argue it’s a perfect film because there are reasons why this could conceivably be the case (time protects itself from unraveling, etc). Or maybe I’m in denial. Who knows.

Gale was asked about the supposed plot hole by THR and settled the matter, saying, “Bear in mind that George and Lorraine only knew Marty/Calvin for eight days when they were 17, and they did not even see him every one of those eight days. So, many years later, they still might remember that interesting kid who got them together on their first date.”

He continued, “But I would ask anyone to think back on their own high school days and ask themselves how well they remember a kid who might have been at their school for even a semester. Or someone you went out with just one time. If you had no photo reference, after 25 years, you’d probably have just a hazy recollection. So Lorraine and George might think it funny that they once actually met someone named Calvin Klein, and even if they thought their son at age 16 or 17 had some resemblance to him, it wouldn’t be a big deal. I’d bet most of us could look thru our high school yearbooks and find photos of our teen-aged classmates that bear some resemblance to our children.”

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Back to the Future, Jeremy Thomas