A Nostalgic Look at- Back to the Future
Today, October 21, 2015 celebrates the Back to the Future trilogy which first came on screen in 1985. It was quickly followed by sequel releases in 1989 and 1990 respectively. The first release was a box office success -the highest grossing film, earning more than $300 million. It rapidly became a global sensation, which led to the release of the two sequels.
The trilogy remains eternally popular-even after a quarter of a century, and has spawned various spin-off industries such as –numerous international theme parks, animated television series, video games, comic books, as well as many new sound tracks. The trilogy has been nominated for five Academy Awards-winning one Best Sound Editing.
The second film, Back to the Future Part 2 anticipated October 21/15 as an epic time where various technological wonders depicted back then, would have become an everyday reality in our timeline.
While most of the depictions of flying cars and teens scooting by on hover boards have not yet become an everyday reality, the series has had an enormous impact on the way we view our world today. Today’s special commemoration is full of speculation and commentary about how the trilogy has impacted our culture and lives. Created by co-authors Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale-Back to the Future Part 2 attempted to predict what the world of 2015 would be like. In several cases, they were extremely accurate, and in many others, they were far off the mark. Today’s special events celebrate and honor the film trilogy by drawing up a comprehensive list of every future prediction depicted, and to determine if fantasy has indeed become reality.
The predictions run the full gamut-from technological innovations in transportation, environmentally friendly garbage disposal devices which power other devices, fashion accessories, medical innovations in rejuvenating one’s appearance (including plastic surgery and anti-wrinkle treatments)-all the way to political insight as to the likelihood a woman President in 2015. Included are tantalizing fantasy advances in creating a better, stronger, and faster human being-including bionic brain implants. An interesting look back predicted thumbprint recognition systems which could be applied to bank accounts or credit cards, opening locked doors, or unlocking your iPhone with a fingerprint-thanks to Touch ID technology. Although the fingerprint connected to your bank account is not yet a reality, it does not feel as if the idea is very far off!
Many of the future technological innovations hinted at more than a quarter of a century ago have already shaped our world. The most expansive communication device-the internet-has radically transformed human society and international discourse.
Disappointing however, is that in other areas, technological innovations have been lackluster, and have not progressed much beyond the drawing board. We still burn fossil fuels and continue to degrade our environment. To date, there have been no important innovations in simple transportation. Our cars still run on polluting gasoline as they did in 1989.
Today’s date gives us pause to consider whether or not we are on track as a global society to solving the most important challenges that impact our lives and our world. In spite of some disappointments and unrealized dreams, the trilogy-especially Back to the Future Part 2 has stimulated our collective imagination, and has fired up the innovative capacity of our scientists to come up with new wonders.
The trilogy has helped shape our world in countless ways, and most importantly, has helped us to look forward to a positive future full of innovative marvels. Today’s science fiction film releases, depict a scary world of technological advances used by governments and the military to control populations, and wage a ‘push button war’ with little human intervention.
Today the lines are blurred between illusion and reality, and we can only gasp at what lies in store for us in a world in rapid transition. The current trend in sci-fi films tends to be for the most part negative. In such a climate, the true worth of celebrating the Back to the Future trilogy, is not whether or not the inventions and innovations came true-but rather that the films envisioned our planet as a meaningful positive place. Such optimism may be relegated to the feel-good 1980’s; nevertheless, today’s commemoration gives us all time to pause and think about how to confront today’s challenges in a meaningful way.