Study Guide

Back to the Future Fate and Free Will

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Fate and Free Will

Considering Back to the Future is a time travel movie, fate and free will are naturally going to come into play. Are we all set on a predetermined path, which no amount of meddling can alter? Apparently not… if someone can go back in time, push someone out of the way of an oncoming car and drastically change the future.

Or, if you want to get really deep, perhaps it was always set in stone that Doc would invent time travel, and Marty would go back in time and fiddle with things as he did. As Marty would probably say…"Whoa. That's heavy."

Questions About Fate and Free Will

  1. Would George and Lorraine have ended up together no matter what, even without Marty and Doc's efforts?
  2. By inventing time travel, was Doc in effect "playing God"? If so: is that a bad thing?
  3. As the likelihood that George and Lorraine would separate increased, Marty's brother and sister started to disappear from that photo. Does that make any sense to you? Why or why not?
  4. If you had to peg this movie as either "endorsing fate" or "endorsing free will" box, which would you choose, and why?

Chew on This

The entire timeline of the universe was written before it began. The events in Back to the Future couldn't have played out any differently.

By going back in time, Marty unraveled the entire fabric of the universe and rewrote history.

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