On Turning 29

On Turning 29
Just my age.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back to the Future: Biff Really Won

The Back to the Future trilogy is probably the best trilogy of all time. That is a tough honor to hold considering, you have the Original Star Wars trilogy, the original Indiana Jones, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy to contend with. I say this because there is no set of movies out there that are funny, entertaining and as timeless as the Back to the Future trilogy. The closest to it is probably Indian Jones, but they lose because of the wretched movie The Kingdom of the Crystal skull. With my praise of the Back to the Future trilogy I was thinking about the end of the first one.


At the end of the original Back to the Future movie, we see that Marty McFly was able to get the Delorean up too 88mph and was able to get back to 1985. We see that that the letter that Marty wrote for Doc in 1955 survived despite being ripped up and we see the Doc live. The next day in the movie as Marty wakes up we see that his house has become one of a higher class. We see that his house is neat, his parents don’t drink, but rather stay in shape by playing sports. We also see that both his brother Dave and his sister Linda, have good careers and a good love life. As Marty walks outside we see that he is admiring the 4X4 pick up that Marty got as a gift from his parents. As he touches, the truck we see Biff Tannen(the main villian) is just working on polishing the truck.* They exchange a little bit and we can see Biff is not his domineering self. He is a wimp and this is due to the fact that George McFly stood his ground and knocked him out.

Anyways, wow, that got a bit long winded. You all have seen it. George’s first novel arrives, Jennifer shows up and says the timeless line “Can I have a ride mister?” and then Doc shows up, end of movie start of Back to the Future 2.

You are probably wondering why I took the time to try and get you back to thinking about Back to the Future. See what I fine interesting about that first movie is that we are supposed to see that Marty changed his family for the good. I think Marty might have changed his parents lives for the good but it did nothing for his future or if you break it down for the rest of the McFly clan. Consider this:

What if in the end all Marty really accomplished was making Biff Tannen and his family better off?

Spooky shit right. Just bear with me and I will explain why I think this is so. In Back to the Future, in the beginning we see that George McFly is a push over, loser type who seems to be lost in his own world. We don’t see much of George’s personal life, but what we see is quite grim. When Marty comes home from a long school day, we see that the family car has been wrecked by George’s supervisor Biff Tannen who also happened to be the same bully who has picked on him his entire life. I mean from the get go we see that Biff is a real scum bag. He is bitching and moaning about spilt beer, and that his insurance will not cover the accident. Also at the same time Biff is also getting George to write the reports for his work. George also had to do this in the past when they were in high school. Marty is saddened and it looks like he is disgusted with how much of a wimp his father is. George cannot do anything but say “I know what you’re gonna say son, and you’re right but uh Biff just happens to be my supervisor and I am just not very good at…confrontations”.

We also see that George is lost in his world, when Loraine McFly tells the kids the story of how they first met. So after Marty does his time traveling thing and it’s the next day in their present time we see that Biff now works for George. Biff owns a car detailing shop. It’s his business and he runs. He talks tough, but when George comes around you see what a pussy he has become. This is cool 80s fluff. I mean they did forget that Biff did try and rape Lorraine, but that was 30 years ago.

On the surface the McFly’s seem on the up and up and Biff was put in his place. But I say no. Look at Biff and look George. George now has a decent job, and his “first” novel just got published. That is good and they are sort of wealthy, and George doesn’t take no shit from no one. In Back to the Future 2 we travel 30 years to the future and we learn that Marty McFly’s kids become criminals. We learn that Marty Jr, is coerced into robbing something by Biff’s grandson Griff. We also learn that Marty’s daughter gets put in jail for trying to help her brother escape. We also learn that on the exact day that Marty gets that 4X4 he crashes it into a roles Royce and breaks his hand. We also learn that Marty and Jennifer are not having a good marriage and it is implied that Jennifer is having an affair on him, when older Marty McFly says “I’m not sure where Jennifer is” to his mother. Another interesting thing is they live in Hill Dale and if you listen to the cop’s dialog, when they find the unconscious Jennifer. “She lives in Hill Dale? We won’t make it there till after dark”. It is implied it is a ghetto like area with drug addicts and such.

To me it seems that they used all their luck up when Marty went back into the past and basically changed their entire universe. Now let’s focus on Biff.

Biff in the beginning was a loud, dumb ass who used people and was a big bully his entire life. After the George knocking him out incident his whole personality changed. He became a wimp, who had to kiss ass and became a business man. It is sort of implied that he is a sneaky kind of business man, but he owns his own business. He has “Biff’s Auto Detailing”. We know this cause in the beginning of Back to the Future 2 he is trying to get Marty to check his new matchbooks.

Owning an auto detailing business may not seem like a big deal to you, but look at his life before Marty changed it forever. In the beginning of Back to the Future, he was George’s supervisor. Not manager but supervisor. This meant that he was just middle management. He had to do reports on his team and he bullied George to do it for him. When you have his kind of character at middle manager it seemed Biff was doomed to be at that level of the company for the rest of his career. You can tell this by the way he dressed and the fact that he drank beer all the time. It was kind of a depressing time for every single person in that universe.

After George knocked him out, it may have made him scared of George and he may have stopped being a bully, but what it really did was make him more confidant in himself. I mean he probably had to go to some kind of schooling on how to actually run a business. Granted it was the 50s and 60s so he probably didn’t but he did have to use his savy and maybe he had to use brain rather then use his fist in order to get a lot of what he wanted. When people saw that a wimp like George McFly could stand up to Biff, I am sure a lot of the other kids who were bullied by him started to rise up. This caused a shift in how Biff had to think and act.

You could be saying that this to yourself:

“Okay Biff owns an auto detailing business, so what?”

In Back to the Future 2 when Marty McFly Sr. meets old Biff, he still has that business. That means the business is at least 40 years. A lot of people say 30 years, but I say 40 years, since it is implied that Biff has been working on George’s cars for many years. So for the sake of this blog entry I am saying that Biff had his auto detailing business for 10 years prior to the events that we saw.

So if Biff had his business for at least 40 years it is also implied that his family is well off. Doing pretty well is what I think. Look at Biff’s grandson Griff. He has an expensive German car, flying BMW, and he had all that expensive looking hover board crap, his bionic implants, that bat, his fashion savy and the other expensive looking crap he had. In the movie we see that old Biff is waxing Griff’s car, but I think Biff did this cause I think he loved his grandson. It sounds corny, but if Biff built the company from the ground up, then he would still have pride in his work.

Back to George McFly, a point that comes up is that George is successful and is a writer. If you listen to the dialog in the scene where the book gets delivered, it is stated that it his first book that has been published, meaning that he has been doing other types of work, but I think he just did the job that Biff was doing in the beginning of the movie. To me it seemed that since Biff could handle it, then George could have easily done it. With George’s free time, he could have written that book. It is also implied that it was his only book.

It seems to me that the McFly’s were only happy when Marty was in the past changing things for them. Yes George and Lorriane have a better relationshop, yes, they don’t drink, yes, George is more of a man, yes George and the McFly’s are better off for the moment, but in Marty’s point of view, this only really lasts about an hour. Remember that Marty has missed everything with the change of the universe and he only remembers the bad times.

In Back to the Future 2, Marty stops Griff from getting his son involved the robbery, thus saving Marty’s children from a bad life. Marty then gets the sports almanac and you know the rest. Biff takes it, steals the time machine and goes back to 1955 to give it to his younger self so he could be super rich. I think old Biff did this for two reasons. The first of course is money. His auto detailing may have left his and his kin well off but not the super rich that Biff became when he gave the almanac to himself, and the second I think old Biff had a hard life. Not in the sense that he was poor, but that he probably had to work seven days a week for years to get his business off the ground. I mean an independent auto detailing business lasting for 40 fucking years, that’s impressive.

On a side note. I think Biff got the idea to become an auto detailer from 3 different scenes in the first two movies. In Back to the Future, we see Biff crash into the manure truck. In Part 2, we see Biff go to the auto detailer to pick up his car, and finds out it’s going to cost 300 dollars. This is 300 dollars in 1950’s money. Also in Part 2 we see Biff crash again into the manure truck again. This might have been the push that Biff needed. An inception if you will.

“Good points, but at the end of Back to the Future 3, Marty misses the roles Royce and so his future is bright, right?”

I would hope, that Marty’s life would be different and he would be well off like his father supposedly is. I don’t think it is. In Back to the Future 2, Marty’s mom is telling her grand children about how the roles Royce car accident broke their father’s hand and that he gave up playing music. I am glad at the end of Back to the Future 3, the he missed the car, but just because he missed it, does not mean his life would be better. He was able to get over the fact that he lost his temper whenever anyone called him chicken or yellow. That’s pretty much it. He wasn’t that good of a musician. Marty could not get the prom gig, and that was pretty much the extent of his music that we the audience saw. It is possible that Marty’s life might have been different. Maybe he was able to control his temper better and not be stuck in almost the same position as his dad. In part 2 we see that he get’s fired because he gets peer pressured into interfacing with some sort of scam. Maybe that never occurred. We don’t know. The only we do know is that Biff is still around and he has his own home made business. The one that is still around regardless if his grandson get’s jailed for destruction of property.

I am not one of those guys who cheer for the bad guy, but this is has been something that I have thought for a long while now. Biff might have been an asshole, attempted rapist(we are not sure this would have happened in the real timeline, I think happened because Marty was in 1955 and changed things), dumb ass and retard, but he did something that neither George or Marty or even Doc did in any of the movies. Biff created a business from scratch, that was able to provide for himself, his family and the future generations of the Tannen family.

*One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the end of Back to the Future, George says it to Biff: “Now Biff, don’t try and con me, I said two coats of wax, not one.”
“What I meant to say was, I was just about to put on the second coat”
“That Biff, what a character, always trying to con.”

I hope you enjoyed this.

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