I think Back to the Future gets the most references in Cura, of all media I kind of poke at and throw in. There’s a reason. It manages to juggle time travel (an admittedly complex phenomenon) without dropping the ball in terms of plotholes, and it gives us memorable characters and visions of potential futures.

The best thing about it, for me, is the internal consistency. There are a few impossibilities, a few little loopholes, but I take a lot of how I crafted the time travel element from BTTF. There are a few things, I blush to say, I hope I have improved, but I can’t tell you what they are without spoiling a major upcoming plot point, so I’ll just talk about it later when someone kicks me.

The movie brings up debates that have recently been expanded upon in comics, movies, and books all over the place. If you change time (provided you can change time), does the old universe still exist? Are they negated? Do they split? Is there a universe where they’re all happening simultaneously? If you break a grandfather paradox, what happens? (That’s Doctor Who territory, which I also admire and will write about here).

Mainly, however, the thing I admire the most is the idea of trying to get things right by mucking with dimensions. If only I could change that one thing…. but then there’s a monkey’s paw attached to it. Every time. Well, is it every time? Cura will explore that. It’s a common theme, I know, but it seems most memorable for me in BTTF. Or maybe that’s just the first place I fell in love with it.

Groundhog Day, which I referenced before I even posted page one, also confronts that paradox. I’m exploring that facet of this dilemma in another story, where I explore the consequences of what happens if you don’t die.

These things, these plots that are so very hard to not resort to cliche with, are something I’ve been having a good time exploring, because I realize that many artists say “I can’t do time travel. Too many loopholes. I can’t do an invulnerable, super-strong hero, because he’s got no weakness. I can’t do a multiverse, because there are too many potentialities.”

I love hearing that, because then I say, “I can do that. Watch me.” And I’ll try my damnedest.

BTTF gives me something to point at and say, “And they prove it can be done well, if you care enough.” And they’re probably the reason you’d give the old saw a try in the first place, to see if she sings. I am grateful to them for that.