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How The DeLorean Time Travelled WITHOUT Going 88mph In Back To The Future 2

Back to the Future Part 2 seemed to break its own rule, allowing the DeLorean to time travel without reaching 88 MPH, but it turns out this isn’t a pothole after all. Naturally, the beloved science fiction franchise is full of such questions and mysteries, and it often takes a bend of the imagination to make everything make sense. Whenever time travel gets involved, there are sure to be some paradoxes. However, in the case of Doc’s jump to 1885 at the end of Back to the Future Part 2, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation.
By the end of the second Back to the Future movie, Marty and Doc had become pretty familiar with the ins and outs of time travel. They jumped back to 1955, returned to 1985, traveled to 2015, and repeated this cycle several times before a final trip back to 1955. From here, The pair were ready to finally head back to their true time, 1985, once and for all. However, just as Doc and his flying DeLorean were about to return to the ground and pick up Marty, the time-machine car was struck by lightning and sent to 1885. The problem is, the DeLorean wasn’t traveling at the requisite 88 MPH when it jumped.
Related Back To The Future: All 8 Timelines In The Movies Explained Back to the Future’s classic time travel trilogy has been delighting viewers for decades. Here’s a breakdown of all eight timelines in the movies.
The DeLorean Reached 88 MPH Thanks To Being Struck By Lightning In Back To The Future 2
The DeLorean Traveled At 88 MPH In A Rapid Loop-De-Loop
The problem regarding the stationary DeLorean being sent back in time was spotted relatively quickly after Back to the Future Part 2 was released in 1989, and it has plagued many ever since. It was clear that the time machine still needed to get up to 88 MPH since Marty and Doc had to use a steam engine to get it up to speed at the end of Back to the Future Part 3. So, the change didn’t come down to upgrades made to the DeLorean in 2015 (which eliminated the need for plutonium after the first Back to the Future). As it turns out, the answer is pretty simple.
The DeLorean did get up to 88 MPH. In fact, it likely traveled much faster than that.
According to Back to the Future creator Bob Gale, the DeLorean did get up to 88 MPH. In fact, it likely traveled much faster than that. When the car was struck by lightning while flying in the air, the vehicle was sent spinning on its axis. It looped around so quickly that the required speed was achieved, and between this and the power of the bolt of lighting (or perhaps Mr. Fusion), the DeLorean’s time-traveling capabilities were activated. Of course, it all happened so quickly that Marty (and the audience) could barely see it. Still, there was clear evidence of this sudden loop-de-loop.
The Backwards 99 At The End Of Back To The Future 2 Explained
The Mysterious Number In Back To The Future Part 2 Didn’t Have A Secret Meaning After All
Gale’s answer about how the DeLorean got up to 88 MPH makes perfect sense when remembering the mysterious backward 99 that appeared in the sky in Back to the FuturePart 2. This number became the inspiration for a wide variety of fan theories. Some believed the number referred to different points where Doc and Marty had already traveled in time. The number nine was visible on street signs in both 1955 and 2015, and the backward 99 might have referred to Doc going backward in time. However, the truth is much simpler.
As previously explained, the DeLorean was thrown into a rapid loo-de-loop after it was struck by lightning, and since the speed was beyond 88 MPH, the car went back in time. Whenever the time machine jumped before this, fiery tire marks were left in its wake. Of course, this wasn’t quite possible at the end of Back to the FuturePart 2 since the DeLorean was flying in the air. So, the fiery tread marks were left floating in the sky instead. The backward 99 was just the visible path the car had taken to get up to speed after being struck.
Why The DeLorean Sends Doc Brown Back To 1885
A Malfunction Was Responsible For Kicking Off Back To The Future Part 3
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Another mystery connected to the DeLorean’s spontaneous jump is why Doc traveled back to 1885 when the car was set to go forward to 1985. This was subtly answered moments before lighting struck at the end of Back to the Future Part 2 when Doc gave the time circuits a good old-fashioned punch to set them right again. Since they had been malfunctioning only moments before, it’s no great surprise that a jolt of lightning would cause the dial to change from 1985 to 1885. Of course, without the letter that Doc arranged to be delivered to Marty, no one would have known precisely where he ended up.

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