by Victoria H

Yesterday October 21, 2015, wasn’t just any old day. It was the day in the future that Marty and Doc travel to in the second film in the Back to the Future trilogy. In the film they travel thirty years into the future to figure out how to save Marty’s family. Yet who could have guessed that thirty years after the film’s release, that this day would set the internet alight. Marty and Doc even made an appearance last night on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. Decades may have passed but the Back to the Future trilogy is still a relevant part of the zeitgeist.  

The Back to the Future trilogy follows Marty McFly and Doc through their (mis)adventures in time travel. And once again, in this second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy, our hero is time travelling. Although this time he doesn’t head to the past but to the future. Time travel has always interested us, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to change history and shape their own future? Yet as this film shows us, even small actions can have major repercussions. Perhaps this is what resonates so much about this film. It illustrates how important your actions today are for the future you will have, whether you have access to a time machine or not.

What got people so excited about October 21st, was the predictions that the film made about our future. Some predictions fell drastically short of reality. Specifically the flying cars and the lack of smartphones.  In Back to the Future II, Marty uses a payphone – I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone using one. That action alone is far removed from the reality of 2015. Hoverboards are a predication of the film that many have been patiently waiting for. While they might not be available to the general public just yet they do exist (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwSwZ2Y0Ops). But that is not the only prediction that Back to the Future II that came close to reality. Marty Jr’s high-tech glasses are eerily similar to Google Glass. It would seem that technology is catching up to our imaginations even if some predictions of the film fall short of reality.

At the end of the day though, it’s not the future predictions that made Back to the Future trilogy a legend and a part of the zeitgeist. It was the adventure that drew audiences in again and again through the decades. How strange is it to think that we are now living past the future that Back to the Future imagined?

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