When Marty McFly jumped into the legendary DeLorean in 1985 and catapulted across the space-time continuum to 1955, 2015, 1885, and back again, our imaginations were struck by lightning.
Looking back from the future I’m still waiting for a hoverboard (although it looks like Lexus is really close), but we do have smartphones with unlimited access to information and applications for everything.
I haven’t tested whether or not the iPhone 6s Plus has a hover feature.
Recently, I binged-watched the Back to the Future trilogy (thank you, Amazon Prime) and a two key aspects stood out.
Cliff hanger (sort of)
Typically, we hate getting to the end of a TV episode and seeing those three dreaded words “to be continued…”. We want to know what happens next right now, damn it!
Back to the Future I and II end with such obvious lead-ins to the next movie that I imagine studio executives had no choice but to greenlight each project.
Morals to the story
One advantage to a trilogy is utilizing the same characters and story elements across the span of all the films. While each installment had plenty of entertainment and laughs, there were some underlying lessons revealed by watching all three movies in as many days.
- You can’t change the past. Or at least you shouldn’t. Getting erased is bad news. What’s happened is done. Learn from your experiences. Reminisce about the good times.
- Live in the moment. If you spend too much time rehashing the past or worrying about the future you’ll miss the people in your life right now. Like your kids. And building LEGO sets together.
- Stand up to bullies. Some people are jerks. Maybe they had a rough childhood. Maybe they are on medication. Maybe no one ever told them “no” and they’re used to running people over. Muster up some courage and take a stand.
- Encourage the underdog. Survival of the fittest has some major flaws. Namely a lack of compassion and intelligence. Might doesn’t make right. Root for the little guy because you might be working for him.
- Rock the guitar solo. People are always gunning for the limelight. Once in awhile you’ll take the stage and it’s your turn to shine. Prepare for the moment, and when it comes, go all out. Even if they’re not ready for it.
- Ignore antagonists. You know someone who likes to push your buttons. Whatever it is, they’re able to instigate conflict or guilt you into doing something you’ll regret. Guess what? If you ignore them they eventually go away.
- The future isn’t written yet. Regardless of your “heavy” circumstances, you have options. You are not doomed to repeat mistakes or wander through life at the mercy of fate. You can’t be anything, but you can be someone.
Remember what Doc Brown said:
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
Despite the lack of hoverboards and flying cars, Back to the Future is a classic and inspires us to consider the past, live in the present, and reach for the future.
What car would you turn into a time machine? When would you go? Who gets to ride shotgun? Share in the comments.
Image credit: Universal Pictures
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