At the end of Back to the Future 3 we see the DeLorean getting hit by a train in 1985, seemingly wrecking it beyond repair.

Looking at the scattered parts we actually see the time circuits and flux capacitor turning off, and we even see Mr Fusion (the future technology). Those two parts did not seem to be greatly damaged.

See here and here.

Given the risk of someone finding and reverse-engineering these crucial (and in some cases anachronistic) parts, did Marty just leave them at the scene?

  • 2
    What are you looking for here? It seems like you've answered your own question - he clearly left those parts.
    – LevenTrek
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:08
  • @LevenTrek - The last time we see him, he's back at the train track. It's not really clear what he did next, although we can guess
    – Valorum
    Aug 31, 2020 at 9:30
  • @Valorum. Dupe deleted. I totally agree with your view: the official story continues in many other media (animated series, games, novels, writers/director comments). Therefore my question is if this topic was cleared up or touched upon eventually...
    – Wesly
    Aug 31, 2020 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


According to the film's official novelisation, Marty recognised that they were smashed beyond any hope of repair.

‘I’ll just be a minute,’ Marty called back. Actually, it might not even take that long. When that diesel had run over the DeLorean, it had done a pretty thorough job. Wreckage was scattered all along the tracks. Marty kicked a fender with his boot. Beyond it he saw a twisted piece of metal with the words ‘Mr Fusion’, and a bit torn from the time displays on the dashboard: ‘Last Time Departed’.

But where was the flux capacitor? That was what really ran the time machine. If that particular mass of tubes and wires had somehow survived the crash, he might still be able to rescue Doc.

It took Marty a minute to realise he was looking right at it, a twisted bit of metal and glass beneath the time display. The glass cover had been shattered, and the inner workings were scrambled and bent. This flux capacitor would never work again.

History doesn't record what he did next, but I think we can assume that it included picking up the more esoteric parts and storing them out of harm's way.

  • 1
    we're speculating about what happened after the last movie of a series - maybe someone DID find the parts and reverse engineer them... who knows?
    – LevenTrek
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:26
  • 6
    @LevenTrek - Well, we know what happened after the movie based on the comic serial and cartoon series that followed. In short the Doc (and Marty) traveled extensively in his time train but at no point is it mentioned that Marty reverse-engineered the parts. He's too dumb.
    – Valorum
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:36
  • 1
    That is exactly what I'm looking for. A reference on this topic from other official (or unofficial) BTTF media source.
    – Wesly
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:39
  • 1
    @Wesly - They just gloss over the DeLorean.
    – Valorum
    Aug 31, 2020 at 7:41
  • 2
    What we do know is that a few moments later, one of Doc Brown's kids desparately needs to go to the batrhroom ... Aug 31, 2020 at 15:12

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