As culture looks forward, there has been a variety of opinions about what the future will look like. One piece of film history that has set the tone of this generation and the last was Back to the Future II, and its time has come. As the DeLorean travelled forward in time it saw a 2015 that is much different than the one today. Though many have hoped to see some of the technology displayed in the movie, many of the predictions made have failed to come to fruition. However, there may be more similarities than it would seem.
With the film displaying futuristic products from large American companies such as Nike, Pepsi, Hasbro and Pizza Hut, it has opened the door for the development of such technologies. With nearly all of the predictions being branded, the film is a marketing dream for the companies featured. Even though some of the main predictions were outlandish and fantastical, with some technology remaining fairly far behind, many of the companies have taken the opportunity to refer back to the movie for advertisement.
The technology displayed includes many things, from flying cars to dehydrated pizz. One of the more realistic inventions were the self-tightening sneakers from Nike. The company itself has responded to this request in different forms with the last and probably most exciting marking the arrival of the date displayed on the console of the DeLorean on its initial visit to the future, being the release of the shoe with the inclusion of the power laces in the film. This is marked by a statement released by Mark Parker, Nike’s President and CEO, who said, “We started creating something for fiction and we turned it into fact, inventing a new technology that will benefit all athletes.” The first pair of these shoes was sent to none other than Marty McFly himself, Michael J. Fox, who showed himself trying them on for the first time in a YouTube video. Though the mechanism is shown to make a different noise than the one in the films did, and is a bit more sluggish, it seems like Nike has pulled the shoes straight off the big screen. The shoes will not be released for commercial sale but will be auctioned with the profit’s going to Fox’s charity for the research of Parkinson’s.
Though Nike was the most prominent response this week to what is being called Back to the Future day, similar responses were also shown by other companies who were present in the film. Pepsi released a limited number of “Pepsi Perfects”, the soda McFly gets from a soda parlor while in 2015. This didn’t work as intended though with many fans becoming angry due to the limited number. Mattel, being the company who initially attempted to appease fans of the movie, in 2012 came out with a toy hover board like the one in the movie. The board is pink and plastered with a font more reminiscent of the 80s than anything that can be seen today. Though collectors had a field day with this, the general public took it poorly noting how it failed to clear even a couple centimeters off the ground. The hovering chase in the movie that made many kids stare hopefully at the screen while starting their countdowns to 2015, sadly, is still far away. There are, however some
technologies that the movie predicted correctly. Things such as augmented reality, facetime calls and flat-screen televisions were foreseen by the film.
Though the future promised by Back to the Future II is far different from the one of today, there is still hope moving forward. The development of flying cars and hover boards are on their way, while ideas such as the Mr. Fusion trash fueled vehicles are still merely fiction. A video showing Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown leaves those disappointed with an inspirational message saying that though it’s not what was anticipated, “the future is whatever you make, so make it a good one.”