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15 Things ‘Back to the Future Part II’ Promised vs. What We Actually Got in 2015

7. 3D Movies, Endless Sequels, and Jaws 19 Specifically

Movies will be milked in the future. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
Movies will be milked in the future. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we were promised: Hollywood would keep milking popular movies with endless sequels and would sell tickets using gimmicks such as 3D. Today, or at least in the future’s version of today, Jaws 19 was supposed to be one of the top movies at the box office, directed by none other than Max Spielberg, Steven Spielberg’s real-life son born in 1985 (coincidence?).

What we actually got: 3D movies definitely exist, with films like Avatar leading the pack. The Jaws franchise never quite made it to movie 19, but Fast and Furious 8, 9, and 10 have been announced. Several franchises that existed in the 80’s such as James Bond, Terminator, Godzilla, and even Star Wars continue to pump out films as well. In fact, 2015 marks the 24th film in the James Bond franchise. Here’s a mock trailer Universal Pictures released for Jaws 19 earlier this month.

6. Flat Panel Home TV’s (With Widescreen)

Multi-channel flat screen TVs as they were predicted to exist in 2015. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
Multi-channel flat screen TVs as they were predicted to exist in 2015. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we were promised: In the future, we’ll have voice-controlled widescreen (yes, widescreen) TV’s in our homes, complete with the ability to have multiple channels displayed at once.

What we actually got: This one was actually pretty close, but not quite as good as reality. Yes, the future is actually better than the film predicted. In fact, the technology predicted in the film has actually been readily available to consumers since the mid to late 90’s. Today, in 2015, not only do we have high definition instead of the fuzzy standard definition shown in the film, but we’ve recently made the jump to 4K resolution, something unimaginable back in 1989. Our TV’s are thinner than they’ve ever been, and several smart TV’s now feature voice controlled features.

5. Photography and Dog-Walking Drones

A dog-walking drone can be seen on the upper left. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
A dog-walking drone can be seen on the upper left. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we were promised: Walking your dog in the future is as easy as attaching a special flying drone to its leash. The drone will then take your dog wherever it’s programmed to go before returning your loved one home, safe and sound. News outlets of the future such as USA Today also use drones to snap closeups of crime scenes and other newsworthy items.

A USA Today camera drone is seen taking a picture of a crime scene. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
A USA Today camera drone is seen taking a picture of a crime scene. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we actually got: You may not have realized this, but drones can now be made to walk dogs, as this video aptly demonstrates, although it’s not really something that’s become a normal part of life in 2015.

Drone technology, of course, has hardly been used for such purposes as dog walking, however. Instead, it’s more widely used for warfare, surveillance, and cinematography.

4. Crazy Self-Drying Neon Fashion Trends

2015 fashion according to 'Back to the Future'
2015 fashion according to ‘Back to the Future’

What we were promised: Futuristic fashion will consist of tie-died plastic baseball hats, lots of neon colors and patterns, wearing your pants inside out, transparent neckties, and wearing two neckties at the same time. If you’re in a gang, then studded helmets are all the rage, as are clothes reminiscent of “do-it-yourself” Halloween costumes.

Got stuck in the rain? In the future, this won’t be a problem. Your jacket will self-dry when it senses it is wet.

What we actually got: For starters, we have skinny jeans, plastic dark rimmed glasses, and ear gauges. For men, beards are in, man buns are cool, and manly hair braids are trying to become mainstream. For women, hairspray and big hair didn’t stick around as much as the producers expected. As for self-drying clothing, we don’t quite have that, but hair dryers still exist.

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3. Incredibly Fast Lawyer-Free Court Systems

“The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.” Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
“The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.” Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we were promised: In the movie’s version of 2015, after Griff and his gang crash through the glass of the courthouse, they are arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary within two hours of the incident. When Marty expresses his dismay, Doc brushes this off by simply stating “The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.”

What we actually got: Lawyers are definitely still around and the court system is hardly getting any faster. High-profile cases still take years to go to trial, and the entire system has been infiltrated by lawyers armed with fancy loopholes and technicalities. Basically, Back to the Future 2 couldn’t have been more wrong on this one.

On a side note, USA Today actually updated their website logo today as well as releasing a movie-inspired version of their newspaper today, complete with the infamous headline “Youth Jailed”. As part of their PR campaign behind this, we expect some versions of the paper to say “Gang Jailed”, which is what the paper changes to after Doc and Marty’s successful mission to do something about Marty’s trouble-making future kids.

2.Hands-Free Video Games and Entertainment

What we were promised: When Marty walks into the 80’s cafe in 2015, he finds some kids trying to play a classic arcade shooter. He grabs the gun and demonstrates his crack-shot skills. The kids exclaim “You mean you have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy.” It’s implied that futuristic game-based entertainment is hands-free at best, and non-existent at worse.

What we actually got: The producers semi-accurately predicted the evolution of video games past simple hand-held controllers. While we still use our hands for most video games, motion-based technology is now prevalent in every console today. Kinect for Xbox is completely hands-free, uses your body as the controller, and has been around for several years already.

1. Chicago Cubs Will Win the World Series

What we were promised: One of the billboards in 2015 greets Marty with large letters declaring “CUBS WIN WORLD SERIES”. The film also predicted that the Cubs would sweep a team called the Miami Gators, which didn’t exist as of 1989 (and technically still doesn’t).

What we actually got: Miami did end up getting a Major League Baseball team, but it wasn’t the Gators as the film expected. The Miami Marlins became a team in 1993. Miami didn’t make the playoffs in 2015, but the Cubs are actually doing quite well. If they manage to get past the New York Mets, they’ll face either the Kansas City Royals or the Toronto Blue Jays in the finals. If the Cubs do, in fact, win the World Series, this prediction will truly have been a 100 to 1 shot as the fundraiser in the film says.

Don’t forget to watch Toyota’s video “Fueled by the Future”, in which Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd discuss what the film got right and wrong before getting a ride in Toyota’s vehicle of the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFyY7_hc-14

And don’t miss this special greeting from Doc Brown himself, today in the PRESENT.

The world as it exists today may not be the same exact 2015 predicted by the film, but we’ve certainly come a long way since 1989. What are your favorite things that exist now that didn’t back when this film was made? What cool futuristic technology from the movie are you still holding out for? Let us know in the comments section below!

Written by Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer is the Head Writer and Editor-in-Chief of PopMalt. He is an avid follower of all things pop and Internet culture, and works as Creative Director at NURV, a boutique creative multimedia and digital marketing company.


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