The Future is Here… or is it?


October 21, 2015 marked the day Marty McFly arrived in a time machine in Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future part II from the year 1985. Its interpretation of the year 2015 bewildered viewers with its stunning special effects and visuals as well as its appealing interpretation of what this year would be like. Oddly enough, their interpretations were more accurate than inaccurate, despite in the Q&A Commentary with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gal in the Back to the Future Part II 2010 Blu-Ray release, Zemeckis stating, “rather than trying to make a scientifically sound prediction that we were probably going to get wrong anyway, we figured, let’s just make it funny,”

Initially, it seems 2015 in Back to the Future II was got many things wrong in what life would be like in the future. It centered everything from building designs to fashion styles around neon, a theme most prevalent during the 80s, It showed cars that flew on rockets and hoverboards as common appliances to be owned by the average individual. While Back to the Future’s 2015 may have seemed plausible to viewers in the 80s, since technology was exponentially advancing during the cold war, now in 2015, our sky’s have yet to be dominated with the invention of the flying car, and kids aren’t riding to school on hoverboards. A number of other things the movie got wrong were rear-projection window shades, 100% accurate weather, abolishment of all lawyers (including how it sped up the legal process), and society’s obsession of fax machines, which are now virtually obsolete. It also missed two important additions to today’s society: the Internet and handheld devices.

Back to the Future part II still manages to get many things right about 2015. Technology wise, they predicted video chat, mounted television, thumbprint scanning, drones, and even controller-less gaming such as the Xbox Kinect. Even more impressive is the inspiration it gave for fans to create inventions which the movie predicted, including self-tying shoes, and Pepsi’s Pepsi Perfect. While not completely correct, it also predicted the flying car, though the only current one is a plane/car hybrid. And while hoverboards technically exist, they only work on special tracks and are extremely difficult to fly. Companies like Toyota have promised to no longer sell fossil fuel cars in 2050, unveiling its first hydrogen car in October of this year. The hydrogen is produced from the decomposition of trash, closely resembling the Mr. Fusion fuel system shown in the movie. In a funny twist, the Cubs did almost win the World Series, which was also shown in Back to the Future.

For many it was indeed a sad day on October 21, 2015. It’s the first time ever that the world has celebrated a 1 time holiday which will never occur again, all because of one simple movie.