2015: 'Back to the Future II' vs. now - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

2015: 'Back to the Future II' vs. now

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Doc and Marty found a unique future in 2015. Doc and Marty found a unique future in 2015.
KHQ.com -

The future is now. It's just not what we expected. Or at least what the creators of Back to the Future II expected.

26 years ago, the future seemed like a lifetime away. I was six-years-old when Back to the Future II came out in 1989, and although I most likely didn't comprehend the complex story line of going into the future from the present, then back to an alternate present, only to be forced to go back to the past to make sure my parents hit it off to avoid the alternate present, there were things I did understand and was in awe of. Flying cars. Hoverboards. Self-drying jackets for when you fell into the town square's reflection pool. The future looked bright.

Well, now the future is here. It's 2015.

In 1985, Marty McFly went 30 years into the future because his son screwed up and gave into peer pressure from Griff Tannen (Biff's grandson) and his band of hooligans. This of course sets off a chain reaction of events which alters Marty and Doc's version of 1985 into an alternate dystopia where Biff Tannen is king of the hill, Doc is committed to a mental institution, Marty's dad is dead, and Sammy Hagar is considered "outlaw music." There are so many questions and concerns I have when watching these movies as an adult. I could write a thesis on the Back to the Future trilogy, analyzing every little aspect of the plot and drive myself crazy in the process. But let's just start small for now.

First, when Marty gets to the year 2015, the world has drastically changed from 1985. In the first film, the writers and producers didn't have to speculate very much, considering it took place in 1955. It had already happened. They knew exactly what they needed to portray an accurate 1955. In the second film however, they were tasked with painting a picture on what they thought the future might hold for us. Now the internet is buzzing with, "How accurate were they?" Well, let's see. Here are my top ten comparisons.

1.) Flying cars. An intricate highway system occupies the skies above Hill Valley in Back to the Future II. While we are toying with the idea of space tourism, we still are driving our cars on our streets. Though, wouldn't it be nice to fly around here in Spokane and avoid all of the potholes? Sadly though, where we're going, we still need roads. If the flying cars ever do become a reality, you can convert your old road car into a "skyway flyer" for only $39,999.95. At least that's what Goldie Wilson III is quoting us. Fail.

2.) Hoverboards. In a recreation of his famous skateboard chase through the town square 60 years earlier, Marty is amazed to find that in 2015, everyone rides a hoverboard. Marty steals a little girls pink hoverboard in an attempt to escape from Griff and his goons, only to find out "those boards don't work on water! Unless you've got power!" Griff has himself a "Pitbull" model (which we have to assume is named after the dog and not the terrible, perpetually fist-pumping creepy "musician" we are all familiar with today), and it does have power. Stuck on the water with his Barbie board, Marty escapes the mighty swing of Griff's baseball bat by jumping into the pool at the last second, sending Griff and his buddies crashing into the renovated clock tower that played such a key role in the first film. Well, we aren't too far off on this one, as a company in California debuted a hoverboard late last year. Tony Hawk has even used it. So it's legit. And while it may not yet be a "Pitbull", it's a step in the right direction. Pass.

3.) The Weather Service. "Too bad the Post Office isn't as efficient as the Weather Service," Doc says to Marty as he pinpoints the exact time the rain will stop. A bit of a grey area here as we do have "cloud seeding," The United States has been researching weather control since the 1940's, however there isn't an actual service that dictates when it rains, snows or stays sunny (expect in Philadelphia, apparently). Ultimately, it's a fail.

4.) Fashion. Thankfully I get to give us a fail on this one. Though it's still grey. You can actually buy Marty's rainbow colored hat, and Nike has released their version of Back to the Future II sneakers (a version with actual power laces is expected this year), but thankfully none of us are wearing giant garlic presses on our heads like Griff, or walking around with our pockets turned inside out. The worst fashion statement in Back to the Future II? Double neckties. Wearing two ties right next to each other. Horrible. Just horrible. "That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship." Thanks Biff.

5.) Communication. Not only do we get a pass on this one, but if you ask me, we've exceeded the expectations of the movie. Your smartphone enables you to communicate with anyone at any moment through phone, text, and social media. Sure, Marty "Face Timed" with Needles, but was immediately fired via fax by his screaming, video conference monitoring boss (more Orwell's 1984, than 2015 if you ask me.) While we still utilize fax machines, it is safe to say they don't play nearly the role they do in Back to the Future II.

6.) The Justice System. In Back to the Future II's 2015, the justice system moves very quickly. Why? They abolished lawyers. I'm not touching this one, but as you probably know, lawyers are still around. A lot of them. Fail.

7.) Food. "Hydrate level four please," Grandma Lorraine politely told her Black & Decker Hydrator when she shoved a quarter-sized pizza in there, only to pull out a full-size Pizza Hut pizza moments later. Sadly, this may be what I'm bummed out most about not having in our 2015. That pizza always looked so delicious to me! Fail.

8.) Health. Life expectancy in Back to the Future II skyrockets thanks to "Rejuvenation clinics." Doc Brown had 30 to 40 years added on to his life thanks to a "whole natural overhaul" that included a blood change, and spleen and colon replacement. If there's a place to get your colon replaced these days, I'm not aware of it. Though sometimes after eating at certain establishments I think a replacement would be nice. Fail.

9.) Sports. Marty McFly arrived in 2015 on October 21st and was told by a hologram with really bad graphics that the Cubs beat Miami to win the World Series. This is pretty impressive for two reasons. First, Miami didn't have a professional baseball team at the time of filming, and although they are the Marlins and not the Alligators they appear to be in Back to the Future II. The second reason this is impressive, is that the Chicago Cubs have still not won a World Series since 1908. So, while it is not possible for Chicago and Miami to meet in the World Series this year (they are both National League teams), it may be possible for the Cubs to win. Vegas has them listed at 14/1, just above the Mariners. Not bad. We'll wait and see. TBD.

10.) "The Great Mystery of the Universe." Doc Brown concluded that time-traveling is just too dangerous, so he was going to devote himself to studying the other great mystery of the universe: women. In our 2015, I'll concur with that. Pass.

Overall, you have to admit, the creators of Back to the Future didn't do too bad of a job predicting the future. Even if they missed something, their ideas are probably not too far off. I can't wait for the dog walking drones. But we still have nearly 300 days until the exact day when Marty arrived. So maybe some things will pop up. 

Compared to other visions of the future, at least Back to the Future II had an optimistic outlook on where we were going. That's about all we can hope for.

What do you think? What invention did you expect by 2015 that hasn't yet arrived? Tell us about it on our Facebook page!

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