16

In Back to the Future Part II, when Jennifer was in her future house in 2015 she witnessed the old Marty getting fired after being provoked by Needles into sticking his card in the slot. What kind of financial operation was that and what was illegal about that?

Update: One more thing: if Fujitsu knew that Needles was involved then why wasn't Needles fired as well?

  • 6
    I haven't seen in in a few years, but, as I recall, it was explained just before the firing -- some people (I think at his job) wanted him to go in with them on something shady, and he wasn't going to.. until they called him chicken. At which point he agreed, and was instantly caught. I don't remember what it was specifically, if they ever actually defined it. My GUESS would be some form of embezzlement, or other fraud that they thought would work. (Salami slicing, or something similar.) No hard details, or this wouldn't be a comment :) – K-H-W May 24 '17 at 19:25
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    @K-H-W is correct as far as the film tells us - worth adding as an answer imo - springfieldspringfield.co.uk/… – NKCampbell May 24 '17 at 19:46
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    @user2513149: Eh, all it would take is a company debit/credit card, and a lot of employees get those for incidental/travel expenses. – FuzzyBoots May 24 '17 at 20:08
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    To the last point, what makes you think that Needles wasn't fired? – Josh Caswell May 25 '17 at 11:48
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    I'm almost convinced that Needles was actually the sting operation Marty was claiming to be part of to get out of it. Needles gives some look to someone off-camera before he hangs up and I'd bet he's letting Fujitsu know he can move in. – Jesse C. Slicer May 25 '17 at 14:39
25

Unless it's explained in the novelization, it doesn't look like we're meant to know exactly what the operation was; it's suggested that it's some kind of easily missed financial malfeasance (like Salami Slicing), but the nature isn't defined. (Details, had they been provided, would likely have gotten viewers focusing on the moral details / practical chances of getting away with it, etc.)

Watching the scene, here's the relevant part transcribed:

Needles: Did you take a look at that little business proposal of mine?
Marty: I don't know Needles.
Needles: What are you afraid of? If this thing works, it will solve all of your financial problems.
Marty: And if it doesn't work, Needles, I could get fired. It's illegal. I mean what if the Jits is monitoring, huh?
Needles: The Jits will never find out.

I think it's meant to be unspecific, and we know all we're meant to --

  • It's illegal
  • It could be noticed and Marty would get fired if it is
  • Marty just needs to stick his (ID? Authorization? Company Credit?) card in the slot to join in
  • (Out of Universe) It's another tool to show Marty's weakness to being called 'Chicken'

14

We don't know and it's not explained.

In both the draft script (where it's not mentioned at all), the final revised draft script and the novelisation it's simply described as a "plan", one that has something to do with Marty's access card.

‘Hey, Needles,' Marty replied, trying not to sound nervous.

Needles didn't seem to notice. Instead, he launched quickly into exactly what Marty had to do if their little plan was going to work. Somehow, whenever Needles explained this sort of thing - in all the years they had known each other, ever since high school -it always sounded so easy.

So what do you say, Marty?' he finished breezily, once more flashing the grin that had gotten Needles to a position in the organization that Marty could never hope to reach.

Back to the Future Part II novelization


According to the usually highly accurate KristenSheley.com website, there was a brief mention in a revised draft script that it was a "902 deal" but beyond that, no further description. Note that the order of events play out slightly differently.

Inside the McFly's 2015 house, things play out similar as they do in the film, though there is more conversation between Lorraine and George. We learn, for example, that Marty blamed everyone but himself for the race with the Rolls Royce. When Marty arrives home from work, he takes a message from a "Harrison" at work, who tries to cajol him into the "902 deal" at work. Marty is reluctant, as he is up for a promotion, but the chicken thing provokes him. Fujitsu pages him during dinner to fire him, as Harrison turned Marty in after "catching" his illegal transfer. Even when Marty explaines he was tricked, his boss still says he's fired "for being stupid enough to fall for it."

THE FUTURE THAT NEVER WAS....

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