Well folks, as of 4:29PM (Pacific!) today, every moment of the Back to the Future trilogy is officially set in our past. The franchise is a huge cultural milestone, particularly for anyone born circa 1980 or after. Was it because of the incredible, DeLorean-based time machine? Michael J. Fox’s oozing coolness? The nearly perfect screenplay and performances of the first film? The adrenaline-inducing score by Alan Silvestri? Maybe, maybe. But maybe part of the film’s lasting appeal has to do with something deeper. Maybe it’s because deep down, we all like the idea of being able to go back and see what our hometowns were like 30 or 100 years ago. Maybe we all want to see what it would have been like to interact with our parents or great-great-grand parents in the same place where we currently live. Not to mention being able to see other places the way they were before our time. Maybe it’s because a tangible link to the past is such a powerful, human thing, that’s hard to quantify but there all the same. Look, I’m not saying that Back to the Future is secretly a propaganda film for cultural resource management and preservation, but I will let the Hill Valley Telegraph / Hill Valley Preservation Society heavily imply that for me.
Marty even contributed to the cause! And he’s the coolest! We might not all get the chance to travel back in time in Doctor Emmet L. Brown’s DeLorean time machine, but we can all work together to preserve our past and keep that link alive.