Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A crackpot Back to the Future theory

So we're watching Back to the Future tonight (because OF COURSE we are!), and I had a rather crackpot "Great Scott" moment which I shall now share with you all (because OF COURSE I shall!).

Those of you who still haven't seen the Back to the Future film series: a) what is wrong with you? and b) best avert yer eyes, mateys, thar be spoilers ahead.

Remember this scene?

Yes, the one where Marty McFly pranks his once-and-future-dad, George, in 1955 by showing up in his bedroom in the middle of the night and introducing himself as Darth Vader, an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan.

You may also recall that Marty eventually returns to 1985 to find every other member of his family much improved -- and just in time to witness the unveiling of his father's "first novel," A Match Made in Space:

Now, the McFlys of this timeline have clearly moved from lower middle class to upper middle class (or higher, if they live well below their means), so what was George McFly busy doing all that time between the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and the first novel?

Well, I'll tell you.

After high school, George married Lorraine and started writing short stories and submitting them to science fiction magazines (using a pseudonym, of course; that was pretty common for sci-fi writers during that era). The quality of his writing impressed a new television screenwriter, Gene Roddenberry, and the two briefly became friends, bouncing new ideas for stories and TV pilots off each other. (Roddenberry really latched onto the idea of Planet Vulcan, but felt "Darth Vader" was too farfetched to be a believable alien name.) The two parted ways less than amicably when Roddenberry shamelessly stole some of George's ideas for a new sci-fi series he was shopping around.

After seeing Roddenberry's Star Trek franchise take off, George realized he had more to offer the world than just short stories. He wanted to go bigger. Way bigger than television. So with Lorraine's approval and assistance, he applied to film school and began creating experimental movies, many of them with a science-fiction bent. Eventually he began writing the sci-fi screenplay that would make him famous. But after years of writing under a pseudonym he still wasn't sure "George McFly" would make it in Hollywood, so he picked out a different surname. "Lucas" had a nice ring to it...

This theory also neatly explains all the insane retconning of creatures, characters, etc. into the Star Wars Special Edition; George hasn't fully internalized the dangers of retroactively changing the past.

Yes, tongue is firmly in cheek.

[Please do not write to tell me The Real George Lucas was only 11 years old in 1955. The Real George Lucas lives in a whole different timeline from the Back to the Futureverse, as you can easily verify by searching for the city of Hill Valley, California on Google Maps. Repeat to yourself, "It's just a show, I should really just relax."]

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