Listening to: Take Cover by Mr. Big
This is not something that I often stop to think about. But all my life I was always fascinated and intrigued by science fiction stories that were set in the future. Good examples being The Terminator, Robocop, Megaman, Transformers, etc. Now, back in the middle of the 20th century (around the 1950s and 1960s), people were always wondering what the year 2000 would have been like. Because back then, people always said "The year 2000 sounds so futuristic, so far away." And as such, people wrote science fiction stories that took place around that time. And even in the 1980s and 1990s when we were closely approaching the 21st century, we still wrote stories that took place around that time. But now, the year 2000 is the recent past. And if you ask me, the year 2000 was basically just another year in high-school for me. Despite some of the few technological advancements we made (cell-phones, newer video game consoles, and how much the internet has advanced), the world was pretty much the same as it was since the 1980s and 1990s. Except for little differences. But back in the 80s when I was a kid, the year 2000 sounded so far away. But in reality, it was the near future. And now its become the recent past. The original Transformers movie which was released in 1986, was set in the year 2005. By that year, I was attending my second year in college, and that was also the year when Batman Begins was released. Now, I know that 1986 to 2005 is a long time, because that's literally almost 20 years into the future. But again, that was the near future. Nowadays people would laugh at that since that year has past now, and is now the recent past. But back then, the year 2005 sounded like it was so far away. Another example of a show that took place in the near future which is now the past is the 80s cartoon Spiral Zone, which some of you might have heard of and might have seen at some point in time. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some of you didn't know about the show until now since it's rather obscure. So anyway, Spiral Zone is yet another 80s cartoon I saw in my youth set in the year 2007, which again, was the near future when the show first aired, but is now the past. Now, in both Transformers: The Movie and Spiral Zone's case, we could think of this as an alternate history, or we could think of it as the future from an 80s perspective. Because technically, the original Transformers film took place in the year 2005 from the 1986 perspective. While Spiral Zone took place in the year 2007 from the 1987 perspective. So what would the far future be like from a 1945 perspective?
Let's take another example; Back to the Future. Everybody knows what that movie is about right? A scientist creates a time machine out of a Delorean which can travel into the future, the past, and back to the present. Marty McFly, the main protagonist of the series, uses the time machine to escape from Libyan terrorists, and travels back to 1955 when his parents were young and haven't been married yet. After interfering with their first meeting, Marty puts his existence at risk, so he must get his parents back together again to correct the accident he made, and then travel back to 1985. In the sequel, Marty, Jennifer, and Dr. Brown travel 30 years from 1985 to 2015, which is now the present. And keep in mind, the sequel was released in 1989, and even then, we fantasized on what the year 2015 would be like. We imagined that there would be cars that fly in the sky, self-lacing shoes, and hover boards. But so far, none of that stuff exists. And despite some of the technological advancements we made in the last 30 years, the world remains pretty much the same. Don't get me wrong, a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. Unless of course you consider the events of 9/11, which some people still remember quite vividly. Though, it has been announced that we might be able to create hover boards and cars that run on hover engines instead of wheels. So we might be seeing those in the near future. Plus, robot technology is advancing as we speak. And in Japan, there has been bipedal humanoid robots made that can move almost as fluently and as freely as human beings can. And not only that, but some news coverage has speculated that we might be using robots for warfare to lessen the need to sacrifice the lives of real human soldiers. So if you think about it, what was once the future, is slowly becoming the present. What about The Terminator? Well, that too takes place in the near future. In 1984 when the first Terminator film was released, the future setting was in the year 2029, which is not too far away from today, and will soon become the present. And as for Megaman and Robocop, those series take place in between what is now present day and the near future. But back in the 80s and 90s, people could only wonder what the 21st century would be like. Well, we have our answers now. It's like my wise grandpa Delmar used to tell me; "Time changes everything." And well, he wasn't joking. I mean look how much has changed since World War II. Sure, World War II is a subject that is still being talked about right to this day even though it happened literally over half a century ago. But still, one could never forget the impact that such an event has had on the world. Now, Star Wars on the other hand is different. Despite the futuristic elements in the Star Wars series, the opening credits of every film seems to indicate that Star Wars takes place in the past rather than in the future. But regardless, the various sci-fi works have left an impact on the world, and they still continue to have a powerful effect in the entertainment industry today. Though there are some subjects that haven't been touched in ages. But I think you get what I mean. Concepts can always be revisited and touched upon again, although there are some cases where change is required. Time is always moving forward, but there's always room for change and improvement as long as its done right. And well, who knows what the future holds?