[We posted this article earlier this summer, but to celebrate “Back to the Future Day”, we decided to share it with you today.]
No, Marty McFly did not travel to the year 2014. Nor did he go to 2013, or 2012, or any other year in which you’ve seen the false Back to the Future meme flying around. October 21, 2015 is the actual date on which Marty, Doc, and a recast Jennifer went to the future in order to prevent a catastrophic series of events, during which time they accidentally cause a new catastrophic series of events themselves.
While the brilliance of Back to the Future was a near impossible act to follow, with Back to the Future Part II, director Robert Zemeckis embraced the idea of time travel wholeheartedly, taking audiences to three very different time periods/timelines throughout the course of the film. It’s a severely underrated movie, but its most striking element is the film’s vision of the year 2015, for which Zemeckis and Co. took the atypical route of striving for fun over accuracy. The film doesn’t attempt to predict what the world will really look like in the future, but instead takes the opportunity to offer a somewhat satirical and ultimately delightful take on 2015 with plenty of in-jokes for the folks living in 1989.
But even though Back to the Future Part II doesn’t attempt to craft a realistic future, the movie actually gets quite a few things right about the year 2015. Obviously power laces never came to fruition (on a wide scale, at least) and no one is purposefully wearing their pockets inside out, but Zemeckis came pretty darn close to predicting a few other larger norms that have taken hold in our present.