By Stefanie Sadocha
Flying cars? Not yet. Robots everywhere? Not quite. A regressing climate? Yep. Movies from the past have poked at what society would be like in the future, which, for us, is the present. Films and television shows such as Blade Runner, Back to the Future and The Simpsons were able to make many predictions that turned out to be accurate, while other predictions do not depict today’s society at all.
The action packed film from 1982, starring Harrison Ford, takes place in a dystopian version of Los Angeles in 2019. Throughout the film, many characters are portrayed as “replicants” rather than real humans. It is up to the viewer to decide if Rick Deckard, the protagonist, is a replicant or a human. Obviously robots have not taken a role in our society just yet; however, they could be used frequently in years to come.
One of the largest advancements that this film predicted was a technological feature in which one can talk to a computer or television. In the film, Rick Deckard, the protagonist, commands his television to do certain things such as zooming in on a specific part of the screen. This prediction was correct. Features such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are able to follow similar commands to those shown in the movie.
Throughout the film, society is depicted as dark and rainy pretty much every day. This hints at climate change, and although it is not as extreme as shown in the film, climate change is definitely an issue that our society finds problematic today.
One prediction that Blade Runner was not able to nail was flying cars. Similar to many futuristic productions, flying cars are illustrated throughout the movie. Although flying cars have not been introduced into our society just yet, advancements such as self-driving cars hint that flying automobiles could potentially occur in the near future.
Back to the Future
The 1985 science fiction film starring Michael J. Fox depicts the year 2015. Although some of the predictions were absurd, the storyline was able to accurately predict some aspects of the past decade.
The first prediction the film nailed was tablets. In one scene, Doc and Marty, the protagonists of the film, reveal a clunky, small device portraying what we call iPads or tablets. Although the tablet from the film is definitely larger than and not as advanced as ones used today, it was still an accurate representation of technology that could be seen in the future.
The film also came extremely close to accurately predicting the World Series results of 2015. In the film, they showed the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series against the Miami Gators. Although in 2015 the Cubs did not make it to the World Series, they did in 2016.
The Simpsons is a 30-season-long comedy that has become known for predicting the future. The show first aired in 1989 and follows the story of fictional characters in the Simpson family. The predictions made by this show are certainly the most specific and accurate out of all the productions mentioned.
One of the most accurate predictions from the show was that Donald Trump would be our president. In the episode from 2000, Lisa Simpson becomes president and takes on a challenging role due to the financial mess created by her predecessor. The previous candidate happens to be Donald Trump, who is, in fact, our president.
Another major prediction The Simpsons made is smart watches. The first smartwatch created by Apple made its debut in 2015, but The Simpsons debuted one even earlier! In an episode from 1995, the characters fast forward to the future, and they were seen using a smart watch. The characters were shown making a phone call through the watch, but today smartwatches are able to do so much more.
Although The Simpsons has been able to accurately predict a great number of events, it have made some errors. In a 1995 episode, The Simpsons fast forwards to London, 2010. Big Ben is shown in the episode with a new look: a digital clock rather than the traditional face clock. London’s Big Ben has not gone digital just yet.
Multiple productions from the 20th century have been able to accurately predict occurrences in the future, which is now present day. Although films such as Back to the Future, Blade Runner and The Simpsons had some errors in their predictions, they deserve credit for being able to accurately predict many events.