What ‘Back To The Future 2’ Got Right About 2015

Above: Nike's self-lacing Back to the Future inspired sneakers are coming this year
Above: Nike's self-lacing Back to the Future inspired sneakers are coming this year

Back to the Future Day doesn’t officially arrive until October 21, but 25 years ago, Robert Zemeckis spent the first 30 minutes of the second film in this Marty McFly-led trilogy in the year 2015.

When the movie originally hit theatres (November 22, 1989), we still weren’t sure what 2015 would look like. The future still seemed more likely to look like The Jetson’s than a slightly more technologically advanced version of today, and so Zemeckis – who wrote the film with his creative partner Bob Gale and directed the film himself – played some hunches, took a few guess and tried to envision what this coming October would look like.

And you know what? They didn’t do a bad job.

While we don’t have hoverboards (yet), here’s a look back at what Back to the Future II got right (or pretty close to right) about the year 2015.

Sequels and 3D

So Jaws 19 isn’t real, but it’s not all that far-fetched either. A few years ago, everything was getting the 3D treatment because movies where things are flying off the screen at you are better than movies where nothing is flying off the screen at you. And sequels? Fast 7 comes out this summer and six of our 10 most anticipated movies of the year are follow-ups or continuations of establish series.

Video Calling

In the movie, Future Marty stands in a dimly lit living room on a video conference call with an obviously shady character named Douglas J. Needles, played by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. In reality, just about everyone has used Skype, iChat, FaceTime or any of the myriad video conferencing platforms that have become ubiquitous today. Good call, Zemeckis!

Wall-Mounted Flatscreens

Speaking of the McFly Family living room, the television that serves as a video conferencing tool is massive, flat and mounted to the wall above the fireplace. Sound familiar? Walk into your living room and let us know how many of those three components fit your current setup. Chances are at least one of those elements applies to your living room and there are likely a lot of people reading this that have that exact setup in their living room right now.

Google Glass

OK – so they’re not exactly Google Glass, but the eyewear that just about every prominent member of the future cast dons at one point or another are pretty much in line with the do-everything eyewear Google has rolled out in recent years. They get bonus points for making them look only slightly more ridiculous than the current incarnation too.

Drones

When Griff gets arrested, it’s a USA Today camera drone that is dispatched to take the photos. While the movie failed to forecast the slow crawl towards death the print industry is suffering, drones have become pretty popular these days, both for government agencies, tech nerds and creepers that like to spy on their neighbours alike.

Wireless Video Games

The kids in Cafe 80s – one of whom is actually Elijah Wood – think it’s stupid that you have to use a gun connected to the cabinet to play Wild Gunman. Nowadays, the only reason poeple use wired controllers when playing console games is because they forgot to charge their wireless controller and for some games, you don’t even need a controller; PlayStation Move, XBox Kinect and the Nintendo Wii all let you play various games just using your movements.

Tablets

Marty is asked to sign a petition to save the clock tower on what is pretty much an iPad. Seriously. They called it.

Rejuvenation Clinics

Doc Brown hits one up and gets “an all natural overhaul,” as he tells Marty. While no one is going to get a spleen and colon replacement these days, hair replacement, Botox and all kinds of other natural cleanses and spa treatments have been wildly popular for a couple years now.

The Scenery Channel

Broadcasting beautiful views 24 hours a day: you’re tuned to the Scenery Channel.” Laugh all you want, but the Christmas fire log channel gets used a ton and there are screensaver-type channels that rotate through various serene landscape shots in the upper reaches of channel lists if you look hard enough.

Nike MAGs and Powerlaces

The Marty McFly shoes came to life in 2011, when Nike made a limited run of 1,500 versions of the MAGs and auctioned them off on eBay with all the proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. On top of that, Nice Kicks dropped a little gem earlier this week where Nike chief designer Tinker Hatfield confirmed that the company will release MAG 2015’s with powerlaces at some point this year. Sneakerheads around the world are lining up for these shoes already.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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