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[Article] – The Future is Now: The Influence of Back to the Future‏

 

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Posted October 5, 2015 by

 
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Back to the Now is another way to put it and now we can look back and realize how influential this movie was, not only in the film industry, but in our lives. Not many films can say the world looked forward to something in real life because they saw it in on the silver screen. Flying cars, hoverboards, and the Cubs winning the World Series are just a few things that this great trilogy made us look forward to. This film gave us hope for the future. This film also set forth a specific set of rules to time travel that films 30 years later are still following. Thirty years ago this film changed cinema and changed our lives by making us want to live in 2015. The future is now, we made it without 1.21 gigawatts, and now we can look back and keep learning from this trilogy and continue to learn about the trilogy.

Let’s first take a look at how Back to the Future attempted to predict the future and make us figure out how that future is going to look in real life. The truth is that the future is trying to catch up to Back to the Future – not the other way around. One major component that everyone thought was going to be a reality by the 2000s is the invention of the flying car. Traffic would be better and we could get to where we are going quicker. How exciting would it be to pilot a car? Very. When the wheel of the Delorean turn outward and the car begins to fly, everyone wanted to be in that seat. When I was growing up, whenever someone asked what the future was going to be like – the first answer was always flying cars. The next idea, I do not think would even be a thought without the Back to the Future trilogy – Hoverboards. Not only was this the coolest idea ever, but now companies are racing to try to make them a reality. We have boards with wheel that will move based on how we stand on them and companies are trying to utilize brand new technology to get things to actually hover above ground. Every thought process when these things are seen isn’t, “Wow, the future is here,” it’s “Wow, that is Back to the Future kind of stuff.” Our daily lives are now being affected by technology trying to catch up with Back to the Future. A surprising prediction is that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in the year 2015. This is seemingly coming true, as they are having one of the best seasons they have ever had. Last week a diagram showing that Pepsi may be making a bottle to replicate their bottle in Back to the Future leaked to the public. Please let this be true. Back to the Future didn’t attempt to predict the future – Back to the Future made the future what it is today.

Back to the Future has not only been an influence in the real world, but a major influence in films that followed. Time travel can be very tricky, but if you follow the rules that have been set, everything else will fall into place. Some films today attempt to be too ambitious and add new rules to time travel. Stop. These rules will always be compared to the rules set by Doc Brown and if they do not follow, they will not work. I am very open minded to time travel films and I love a lot of them, but I am guilty of saying, “That’s not how time travel would work or how the consequences would play out.” I say this, because in my heart I know it to be true thanks to Doc Brown. Films like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Project Almanac, About Time, and Butterfly Effect, just to name a few, are movies that fall into the previous statement. They stand on their own and create their own timelines. When they all jump to a different time, they, indeed, create an alternate timeline. When you go back in time, you cannot change something that happened, or the future that you know may not exist anymore. For the most part, these films follow that rule – ultimately they all break it and they pay for their consequences. The rule these all seem to fail is that you cannot interact with yourself or something that you have done. This is exactly what every time travel movie does – because everyone wants a second chance. It never works. These movies if standing alone, are good time travel films. The problem is, a time travel movie cannot stand alone – it will always be compared to Back to the Future and then we see the plot holes. We know time travel does not exist, but we know exactly how it would work if it did – Thank you Doc Brown.

When they started out, I bet Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had no idea what they were about to do. They would not be predicting the future, they were giving us goals to achieve when the time came. The time may not have come, but the world is trying to catch up to the timeline Back to the Future gave us. The hoverboard is coming and the technology is here before the timeline. The Cubs are a winning team – I won’t give credit to Back to the Future for that, but that is a fantastic coincidence. Everyone lets the flying cars go, we are probably far away from that, but thanks to Back to the Future, we are still looking forward to it. Jaws 19 may not be happening, but I bet the film that opened a few months after Marty went to the future is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We might be drinking Pepsi Perfect soon. We can buy Marty’s future shoes. Back to the Future didn’t predict the future, it gave us hope to what we could be doing in the future. The world is catching up because of this important trilogy. Future day is upon us and I know I only focused on Back to the Future 2 here, but I will link all of them together with influences soon. Maybe in the past. Hopefully the film influences us enough that, someday, wherever we are going, we don’t need roads.

 

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Drew and Champ

Drew Oliver
@DrewyK
Alone In The Theater
Freelance Contributor

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One Comment


  1.  
    Helen Ronald

    Indeed- the power of film! I think this particular one will live in everyone’s childhood memory and it’s fun to see how many of the quirky inventions in the film are nearly with us in one form or another!





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