If you haven't seen Netflix's new movie See You Yesterday yet, you should definitely get on it. Produced by the legendary director Spike Lee and directed by newcomer Stefon Bristol, the film takes place in modern-day New York City and centers around two teenagers from The Bronx High School of Science who develop the technology to time travel.
Claudette "CJ" Walker (Eden Duncan Smith) and Sebastian Thomas (Dante Crichlow) plan to use their invention as a golden ticket into top tier universities, but they soon shift focus when CJ's brother, Calvin (Astro), is shot and killed by a police officer. The two attempt to reverse Calvin's death, but instead are met with failure and loss over and over again.
With a poignant nod to Black Lives Matter and a hint of Caribbean flare, See You Yesterday is Back to Future for today's Black Americans. But Bristol also made sure to throw in a few nods to the original film, too. Here's every Back to the Future easter egg in See You Yesterday, but be warned: Spoilers abound below.
There's no way a true Back to the Future fan didn't catch the Michael J. Fox cameo within the first five minutes of the film. CJ and Sebastian are waiting for their class bell to ring and, seated behind a teacher's desk reading Octavia Butler's Kindred (which, BTW, is about time-traveling through slavery) is Marty McFly himself, Michael J. Fox.
Fox plays Mr. Lockhart, a supportive yet strict science teacher who warns C.J. about the serious repercussions of successfully inventing time travel. The scene is brilliant.
MICHAEL J. FOX IS IN THIS & HE WAS READING OCTAVIA BUTLER'S KINDRED. My childhood just went through a portal to the present. Michael J. Fox = Back to the Future Kindred = Time travel This movie = already awesome #SeeYouYesterday #Afrofuturism pic.twitter.com/toE9kbXddsMay 24, 2019
Fox actually says Doc Brown's famous tagline.
You remember the phrase "Great Scott," right? Every time Doc was surprised or shocked, he would utter those two words.
Well, Bristol managed to sneak them right into the beginning of See You Yesterday. After Mr. Lockhart (Fox) has his conversation with CJ about time travel, he looks up at the ceiling, pondering its possibility. "Time Travel," he says. "Great Scott!"
The rules of time travel are the same in both flicks.
In a world where something as powerful as time travel exists, rules are kind of a necessity. One of the first few ground rules established by C.J. and Sebastian—and Marty and Dr. Brown before them—is not to talk to their future selves. It's a rule Fox even took to Twitter to point out.
But, if I were to break that rule – I’d tell my past self See You Yesterday is going to be good. Watch #SeeYouYesterday on #Netflix today, May 17. pic.twitter.com/0CoXpORT6bMay 17, 2019
CJ's color scheme was probably not a coincidence.
No one can forget Marty McFly's bright red puffer vest, which he fashioned over several layers of clothing including a jean jacket, a button-up shirt, and T-shirt. (In the original movie, people in the 1950s keep thinking it's a life preserver.) Well in See You Yesterday, CJ wears several red outfits.
First, she swaps out the puffer vest for vibrant red overalls, which she wears over an afrocentric short-sleeved button-up with a jean overcoat on top.
Then in the final scene, CJ channels McFly's red vest again. This time she's serving some serious Wakanda vibes as she runs down the street in a red jumpsuit with turquoise tribal print around the front.
The endings to both movies are pretty similar.
Both Back to the Future and See You Yesterday end on a massive cliffhanger. Back to the Future closes with a conversation between Marty McFly and Doc as they prepare for another ride in their time traveling DeLorean. And Doc delivers the iconic line, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” It ends with the words "To Be Continued" flashing across the screen.
See You Yesterday ends in a similar manner. After three failed attempts, Sebastian decides he doesn't want to jump back in time ever again, so CJ jumps by herself. The final scene of the movie shows a close up of CJ running down the street with a panicked look on her face as she rushes to beat Calvin to the murder scene....And then it just ends.
There's definitely that same feeling of "to be continued," and fans of the film have already expressed their frustration with the ending, demanding a sequel.
There NEEDS to be a sequel .. homie didn’t even get his date. This movie was soooo good but feels like they got half way through and was like #SeeYouYesterday pic.twitter.com/Twtefc9JoyMay 19, 2019
According to an interview with Bristol, his ending was not an intentional nod to Back to the Future and he has no plans for a sequel. “I am thinking about moving on with my life and making new art,” Bristol said. “Making another movie. I personally like when a story ends. And that’s all I’m gonna say!”
But according to Hufffpost, Back to the Future wasn't originally written as a sequel either: The "To Be Continued" was added a year later in the home video release of the film.
So maybe there's still hope for See You Yesterday? Fingers crossed.
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Alexis Jones is an assistant editor at Women's Health where she writes across several verticals on WomensHealthmag.com, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness, while also contributing to the print magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, lives in Brooklyn, and proudly detests avocados.
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