“Back To Future II”: What Did They Get Right About 2015?


Well, here we are: October 21, 2015 – the day to which Marty McFly traveled in “Back To The Future II”. And how well did the 1989 film predict what our lives would be like now?  Of course, there are no flying cars yet. We’ve been waiting for those since the 1950s, at least.

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We do have the large-screen TVs. But opening doors and paying bills with a thumbprint? Well, your iPhone comes close to doing that. Communicating by video is commonplace. And those video glasses that seemed so radical then, look an awful lot like something we’ve seen from Google.

Hoverboards aren’t available yet, but remember “Cafe 80s” and its celebrity avatars? Just in the last couple of years, we’ve seen stars reborn and performing concerts as holograms.


Sadly, perhaps, we still have plenty of lawyers – despite the film’s optimistic prediction otherwise. Also our legal system hasn’t yet arrived at a “future” that would allow Marty’s kid to be sentenced in two hours or less.

Some of the concepts are just way off the mark. Marty using a pay phone? Try even finding one of those these days. And we don’t see too many thugs walking around in boombox vests with pasta strainers on their heads, like Biff, Tannen and his cohorts did.

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Fashion hasn’t put men in Saran Wrap neckties. And there haven’t been 19 “Jaws” movies. Dehydrated food? Still not a big seller. But the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is a possibility. As of this writing, they are playing for the National League championship.

Regardless of how much fun it is to dissect the film’s view of what life would be like in 2015, it wasn’t meant to be taken that seriously. And “Back To The Future II” is still a delight to watch.

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With all of the futuristic concepts and devices on screen, it’s easy to forget that the most important invention associated with “Back To The Future II” is the VistaGlide motion-control system. That’s what enabled star, Michael J. Fox, to appear to share scenes with himself. The software controlling the camera was created especially for the film by Industrial Light & Magic, and it’s considered to be a milestone in film-making technology.