Back to the Future: Writer Bob Gale Settles Plot Hole Debate

Despite the film's release 35 years ago, Back to the Future (1985) continues to endure the test of time. Screenwriter Bob Gale addressed a significant plot hole resurfaced when "5 Perfect Movies" trended on social media. Director James Gunn shared what constitutes to his standard via Twitter, "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." Citing the 1985 Robert Zemeckis-directed film as an example, "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."

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. Image courtesy of Universal Pictures
Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

Guardians of the Galaxy Star Chris Pratt Chimes in on Back to the Future Debate

Gunn's star of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise Chris Pratt chimed in chalking up the plot hole as coincidence. "Maybe they do remember him tho, not as Marty, as Calvin. When Marty returns to present-day 1985, it could have been years since his parents would have perhaps originally noted the uncanny resemblance between their son and that kid from high school 20 years previous." Gale confirmed Pratt's assessment talking to the Hollywood Reporter.

Screenwriter Bob Gale Confirms Pratt's Theory

"Bear in mind that George and Lorraine only knew Marty/Calvin for six days when they were 17, and they did not even see him every one of those six days. So, many years later, they still might remember that interesting kid who got them together on their first date," Gale said. "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."

Despite Marty making an impression at the Enchanted Under the Sea Dance and ending up missing shortly afterward, he presumably left no trace or clues behind to his identity even with his connection to Dr. Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd). "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." The film starred Michael J. Fox, Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Tom Wilson.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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