Doc’s parting words to Marty in Back to the Future Part III summarize the entire message of the series perfectly. The franchise contains some of the most successful time-travel films ever made, and this isn’t just because they tackled the difficult subject of time travel so competently. It’s because of the wonderful beating heart running throughout the whole franchise, as illustrated in Doc’s final scene.
With the Back to the Future movies, it’s the themes that run through the films that make them so special, beyond the nitty-gritty of time travel itself. The characters work so well with each other and each one of them is so memorable for all the right reasons. The meaning of Back to the Future isn’t to explain time travel – it’s something much more important and profound than that, as Doc ultimately explains to Marty and Jennifer in his last Back To The Future Part III scene.
Doc’s Love For Clara Is Powerful Enough To Change His Timeline (And For The Better)
Back to the Future Part III is an interesting entry in the series because it largely centers around Doc Brown as a conflicted man of science. He falls in love with Clara Clayton after saving her from riding off a cliff into a ravine. Yet, as the man of science that he is, he faces an ethical dilemma over whether to stay with Clara in the old West and risk messing up his timeline and his very existence, or do the right thing scientifically and travel back to the future with Marty. Doc’s decision to stay with Clara in 1885 confirms that love is all-powerful and conquers all, including science.
What’s interesting is that Doc caused no such destruction of the space-time continuum or indeed his own existence by staying with Clara in the old West, and later on, in some of his final words to Marty from his new train time machine Doc created, he explains why by imparting, “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one, both of you!’” In falling in love with Clara, Doc has revealed to himself that love alone is powerful enough to change the course of time, and indeed override any assumed predetermined destinies in Back to the Future Part III for the better.
Marty Is On A Quest To Create Love Between His Parents In Back To The Future
Marty’s primary motivation in the narrative of Back to the Future, and indeed his existence literally as a character, is wholly dependent on his parents having met and fallen in love. This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s this simple yet powerful idea of love that demonstrates just how important true love is. It’s almost as if fate had Marty travel back in time specifically so he could understand and experience first-hand how vital and powerful love is, as he stands on stage watching his hand begin to disappear at the risk of his parents possibly not hitting it off and thus eventually giving birth to Marty.
Marty’s plot becomes simply to try to get his parents to fall in love after he accidentally interferes with their meeting in 1955. He quickly realizes that if he doesn’t correct the timeline of events, he himself will cease to exist. All in the name of love, Marty must actively try and get his mom and dad to fall in love. This act, of course, reflects the very adulation and joy any child feels when they witness their parents sharing a moment of love and happiness, ultimately warmly bringing the family together (in this case literally preserving it for Marty’s ability to exist). It’s this message about the power of love that is so effectively reinforced by Doc’s parting words in Back to the Future Part III.