Why was October 21st, 2015 known as Back to the Future Day?

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Why was October 21st, 2015 known as Back to the Future Day?

Back_to_the_Future_Part_IIBecause in 1989, a sequel was made to the blockbuster movie Back to the Future, somewhat predictably named Back to the Future II.

In the first film. Marty McFly had travelled back in time to 1955 – in the sequel he went forward in time to – you guessed – October 21st, 2015.

In 1989, I imagine that 2015 seemed to be in the distant future — yet here we are. And many of us were around when the movie was released. Many more have seen it on TV. So the question on many lips is ‘how did the movie’s version of 2015 match up to reality?’

In fact, the film makers had no intention of accurately portraying the future (not that it would have been really possible!) so they did not consult scientists or inventors – they simply adapted what was going on in 1989 and used their own imaginations. In some instances, they got it right – in others, they were way off the mark. Test your knowledge.

Did they get these right?

oneDrones – these have been in the new a lot in the last couple of years. Think back to the movie – did the film makers predict that drones would be created and used in day-to-day activities? Unmanned aerial vehicles were being developed by the military back in the eighties. Did the film makers know?

twoSkype – Skype and video-conferencing has been around for a long time now,or so it seems. I remember when the idea of ‘visual telephones’ definitely seemed to be a science fiction impossibility. Did the film predict that this type of video-conferencing would be commonplace by 2015?

3Botox – it seems that today some people have Botox injections as often as I have hot dinners.Plastic surgery has been around for ages (mostly since the mid nineteen fifties) but those scary-sounding injections being made available to everyone were not. Did the makers of BttF II develop the use of Botox in the movie?

fourSmartphones – how many people do you know who don’t always have a smartphone with them these days? Certainly we had mobile phones back in 1989 but did the makers of the movie predict that we’d be able to have the functionality of today’s smartphones by the time 2015 came along?

fiveHoverboards – if you were just a kid when you watched Back to the Future II, I’ll be willing to bet that you desperately wanted a hoverboard! (I know I did and theoretically, I was too old for such things). Skateboarding was, and still is, popular so did manufacturers take notes and develop this for us?

Of course, there were many things that they got very wrong. That’s why watching the movie is such fun today. We do not, for example, have flying cars. (I think I’m rather glad that we don’t). In the film version of 2015, fax machines were still used.

And do you remember that scene where they put a tiny little disc into a food hydrator and just a few seconds later it has become a delicious, gooey pizza?  We don’t have that. In fact, the film seemed to miss the fact that by 2015 we’d be more interested in natural, healthy food rather than instant versions.

But they did realise that we might be making use of our garbage in a more responsible way. You’ll remember that Doc fuelled the time machine by rummaging around in trash cans. Today, we’re recycling, re-purposing and refurbishing.

So, did they predict the above questions?

  1. Drones – yes they did. Drones were used to carry robotic cameras in the film.
  2. Skype – yes, Marty the Elder used a video conferencing system in his home. The trouble was though, compared to today, that the screen was huge and wall mounted. Now we can use Skype or Facetime on our tablets or phones.
  3. Botox – nope. In the film, old people still looked old. Remember old Biff?
  4. Smartphones – they came close but they didn’t show a device that covered all the functions we now take for granted. For example, they had fingerprint identification (now used for iPhones) and the ability to control your home automatically (turning on lights and so forth) but they were not all packaged in a neat little device that fits into the pocket of your jeans.
  5. Hoverboards – yes and no. See the video below.

Don’t forget too to check out your Back to the Future knowledge here.

See the trailer.

Which Back to the Future II wins or fails do you remember?



Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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