Mark Hamill and Tom Wilson, two actors from beloved franchises had an intriguing exchange on Twitter whether Donald Trump is the inspiration behind Wilson’s character, Biff Tannen, in Back to the Future Part II.
The Star Wars star, who played Luke Skywalker, decided to drop a random fun fact on Twitter about how Back to the Future creators Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale based Wilson’s character on the current commander in chief including a collage of comparison shots between Trump and Wilson.
FUN FACT: “Back To The Future” screenwriters Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale have both stated that Biff Tannen, played by the hilarious Tom Wilson (of Wing Commander fame) was, in part, based on our current “President”. #TrueStory #DonaldDrumpf
FUN FACT: "Back To The Future" screenwriters Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale have both stated that Biff Tannen, played by the hilarious Tom Wilson (of Wing Commander fame) was, in part, based on our current "President". #TrueStory #DonaldDrumpf pic.twitter.com/2uVwmFIakm
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 15, 2019
Hamill referenced Trump’s birth last name, “Drumpf” as part of the hashtag. Wilson, who has a love-hate relationship with the BTTF franchise provided a “tongue-in-cheek” response about truth on the Internet.
False. But on the internet, that doesn’t matter.
False. But on the internet, that doesn't matter.
— Tom Wilson (@TomWilsonUSA) January 18, 2019
Hamill responded clarifying his comment that he quoted Zemeckis and Gale rather than how Wilson himself engaged the role.
I didn't say YOU based your (great) performance on him. I was simply relaying what the screenwriters have said in various interviews. Also, wasn't your character in Wing Commander based on Herbert Hoover? It was on the internet, so it must be true! https://t.co/mfM4SxfeGN
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 19, 2019
Followers verified Hamill’s tweets from a 2105 article in the Daily Beast, which Gale admits the inspiration.
“We thought about it when we made the movie! Are you kidding? You watch Part II again and there’s a scene where Marty confronts Biff in his office and there’s a huge portrait of Biff on the wall behind Biff, and there’s one moment where Biff kind of stands up and he takes exactly the same pose as the portrait? Yeah.”
In BTTF Part II, Biff benefits from knowledge of the future from a sports almanac retrieved by his 2015 self after Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) discarded it into the trash, when he chastised Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) for purchasing the almanac to abuse knowledge of the future for personal gain. The 2015 Biff steals Doc’s DeLorean time machine and travels back to 1955, the setting of the first film, to hand his younger self, the almanac.
When Marty travels back to 1985 after 2015 Biff returns the DeLorean, he finds a very different Hill Valley than what he’s used to. Biff lives high in his own casino while the town’s descended to anarchy. While there are some similarities between the fictional Biff and the president, you could chalk it up to coincidence.
Only Wilson, Zemeckis and Gale know the truth. Since Wilson denies it, it could be he was never told. After everything BTTF was accurate enough on from Hollywood’s obsessions with sequels in the iconic Jaws 19 holographic sequence, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series even if it was a few years off, the inspiration to create a working hoverboard, automated compartmentalized homes, video conferencing, and recently, self-lacing sneakers.
It’s possible Gale took modest credit for predicting the Trump presidency, after the fact.
Not all of BTTF’s predictions came true like the overabundance of fax machines, rehydrating expanding pizza, auto-drying jacket, commercially available flying cars, and hovering back braces.
Do you believe Gale or Wilson? Sound off.