Back to the Future (1985)
A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.
Altering the Future
The prominent theme throughout the film is how our choices can alter the future. Choices have consequences. What we do and say can affect others. The conversation between Dr. Brown and Marty McFly is similar to God and King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7. After Solomon dedicates the temple in Jerusalem to God, God reveals to the king the future. The future is conditional on obedience to God. If Solomon obeys God, then the future is bright and blessed (2 Chronicles 7:17-18). However, the king turns from God and does not obey Him, then the future will turn difficult for the people (2 Chronicles 7:19-22). The future will be irrevocably changed depending upon the actions of King Solomon. God can see all of the possible outcomes. As humans we can’t see those outcomes. Our future can change. God wants to be involved in the process. God wants us to seek Him for help with our future.
The film describes the responsibility that a person has to time. In the film, people can travel through time. In this case, Marty McFly travels back to 1955. Since he encountered his parents before he met Dr. Brown in 1955, events changed in his life. Dr. Brown tells Marty that he has one week to make things right. In essence, he is told to make the most of his time so that he can make things right. As Christians, we are encouraged to make the most of our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:17). Why does God tell us to do this? Because God exists outside of time in eternity. He has put a taste of eternity in our hearts to let us know that we need Him (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God has made everything beautiful in its time. That is why it is dangerous when we as humans mess with time. We need to submit our time to Him as well.
Confidence and Contentment
One of the difficulties that the audience may find in the movie is the contrast between the McFly lifestyle at the beginning and the end. Some have criticized the film for promoting the idea that if things change, one can easily fulfill the American Dream. However, what is really shown is the change between poverty and contentment. One of the ways George McFly gets out of poverty is by making choices based on confidence and not on fear. Through his confidence, George McFly finds an ability at which he excels – writing. His writings provide income for his family.
- Dr. Brown tells Marty McFly that what he does in the past can affect the future. What events in your past have affected your future.
- If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be? Why?
- Dr. Brown says that if we change time, it can change the future. What is one thing you would like to change today that you think could change your future?
- The Bible talks about making the most of your time. What would be the best way to make the most of your time today?