"Back to the Future" Day
Also known as
Back to the Future Day
annually on October 21st (since 2015)
Film & Television
Fun & Games
Back to the Future Part II, released in 1989, starts out set in 1985 where the previous film in the series left off. Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, along with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, and Jennifer Parker, played by Elisabeth Shue, travel to the future in Doc's DeLorean to save Marty and Jennifer's future children. The date they travel to is October 21, 2015, the date which would become the first "Back to the Future" Day. In the years leading up to the day, photoshopped images appeared online that claimed the day of the DeLorean's twenty-first-century time travel had arrived. But true fans of the film series knew they had to wait until 2015.
Many events were held during the inaugural celebration, some of which raised money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Screenings of the film or the whole series took place in almost 2,000 theaters on the date and on the following weekend. Similarly, Esquire Network showed the trilogy all day and on the following weekend. We're Going Back was held at filming locations in California, the documentary Back in Time was released, and The Million McFly March was held. Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson appeared on Today, and Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd appeared in character on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The day prior, Universal Pictures re-released the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD and Blu-ray. "Back to the Future" Day has continued to be marked by fans of the film in subsequent years.
When the first "Back to the Future" Day arrived, comparisons were made between what October 21, 2015, looked like, and what the film portrayed it as. There were no flying cars or hoverboards, but there were big-screen televisions and virtual reality goggles. Mr. Fusion was nowhere to be found, and Jaws 19 was not playing in theaters. The film had predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015, but they didn't. However, they made it to the National League Championship Series that year, one step away from the World Series, and they won the World Series the following year, for the first time since 1908. October 21, 2015, was chosen as the date in the film because it was plausible that the World Series could take place on that date, and in the 1980s it didn't appear that the Cubs would win a World Series anytime soon. In 1988, the year the film was written, the Cubs had gone 77–84. This made 2015 feel like a distant time, a time so far-off that perhaps their victory could be possible then.
How to Observe "Back to the Future" Day
Some ways you could mark the day include:
- Watch Back to the Future Part II or the whole trilogy.
- Dress up as a character from the Back to the Future films.
- See the DeLorean that was used in the films on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
- Check to see if any events related to the day are taking place near you.
- Read a book about the Back to the Future series such as Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History or We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy.
- Watch Back in Time.
- Explore the official Back to the Future website.