The Back to the Future series has a special place in my heart, and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. It is a film series that has struck a cord with anyone who has ever set eyes on it. The music, acting, story, and car make this series an amazing mix of awesome that we have yet to see again. After 30 years, this film still gives kids and adults alike chills when they are watching it, which begs the question: Why?
Back to the Future sticks around and is so good because it has hope for the future.
We live in the future, it’s 2015, and in a few days it will be the 21st of October 2015. The film predicted that we would have flying cars, Pepsi would be perfect, and yes, we would have the damn hover boards too. When it made these predictions the film was looking at how humans came to the present when it was made and assumed we would keep on dreaming toward this better tomorrow.
Only, that tomorrow never came. Granted, the movie didn’t see the events of September 11th coming either, but neither did we as a country and world. Since that day, our future has been one to be afraid of in film, books, and comics. The future isn’t a gleaming ball of hope, and granted in Back to the Future 2 it had its problems with gangs, terrible neighborhoods, and cross-dressing Michael J. Fox’s; but the difference between BttF and today’s films is that the future is something to be excited about and race toward.
You look at most of the sci-fi genre today, you are looking at teenagers in awkward haircuts and strange love triangles (Seriously, how is this still a thing? Just pick the dude who doesn’t suck. There, you win.). The Martian is the closest, in my memory, to a sci-fi film that wasn’t completely depressing from beginning to end.
Booting up any of the three films, you immediately get the sense that we are going on an exciting ride. That we are going to go on some amazing adventure that will never forget. We live in a world that would make Marty and Doc Brown depressed to see, and to me, making these fictional characters depressed just saddens me. That level of sadness would be on par with disappointing Mr. Rogers, which would be crushing!
The world that made this movie was looking forward to innovations and technology that would push humanity toward a better future. At some point, that world changed and we have been worse off ever since. Every day someone somewhere is talking about the end of the world instead of the fact we found water on freaking MARS! People fret over elections with people running in it that talk about nothing and are surrounded by a media that spins everything into a doom storm of lies.
We have electric cars that cost pennies to run. We have power plants that are run by wind, solar, and water. We have fuel sources from hydrogen power to gas made by algae. We are currently finding out more and more about the human body, our planet, and the universe at a rate that is gonzo!
And yet, we will worry ourselves into the smallest corners when something bad happens. When new ideas come up, we shake our fingers at it and smash our heads into the sand.
Today, more than ever, we need Back to the Future. We need it because we need to be reminded that the future is worth fighting for and that it should be a hopeful one and not a bleak landscape. We need these movies to remember that even when we make a mistake, we try our damnedest to fix it.
This world can do with more Doc Brown’s and Marty’s in it.
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