Finally back in 1985, just a few hours after he left 1955, Marty McFly travels thirty years into the far future, to October 21st, 2015 to save his unborn kids from tearing his family apart.
The plot might be hard to follow if you never saw the movie but, to keep it simple, the hit sequel “Back to The Future Part II” takes us on a journey into the 2015 that Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale imagined in the mid-80s. Flying cars, video conferencing, biometric security & payment, autonomous drones, holograms, self-tying shoes laces and of course hover boards. This is how 2015 was meant to be.
Since the premiere of the movie, a whole generation of hopeful fans has been looking forward to these inventions and a few of them even became reality. The camera drones are already here, although the dog-walking version seen in the movie still isn’t around. Hover boards have been invented in different versions, although so far just as marketing stunts. Pepsi created a limited edition “Pepsi Perfect” bottle, and we might even see a limited edition of Nike Power Laces. But why are we so fascinated by the imagined gadgets from a 1989 blockbuster hit?
We love the technology because we love the story.
Back to the Future was a love letter to the 50s, and watching it today is also a love letter to the 80s. From the music to the fashion to the simple good-versus-evil storytelling, it makes us think of what we thought was a simpler time – which really wasn’t any simpler than today; we just didn’t pay taxes back then when we were kids.
The story of a teenager in love and his relationship to his family captures us, because we’ve all had the “I must be adopted” discussion in our heads as teenagers, when looking at our parents. What if you could change who they were – or what if you could have gotten to know them on eye-level as teenagers? Time doesn’t really matter when it comes to human nature. Some things just never change.
Technology has brought us faster computers, the Internet, social media, smart devices and a plethora of ingenious inventions. But when we close our laptops for the day, we jump on our bike (invented in 1817) or take the subway (1863) or drive our cars (1769) and go home to our families. We hunt a paycheck instead of livestock, live in modern caves and cook over modern fire, but the basic things are still based on creating and supporting a family and keeping them alive. And everyone knows about the wonder, imagination and insecurities of being a teenager in love.
So tonight, find a location in your neighborhood that shows the “Back To The Future”-trilogy – there’s more than you might think – or invite your family and friends to your home cinema. Turn of your smartphone and send a kind thought back to the days where video rental was something you did at a store, before social media or even the Internet was invented – and remember that something never changes. And tomorrow morning when you get to the office, remember the person you wanted to be when you were younger. Sit down, open your computer, and if you want to sell something – don’t start with the technology, start with a great story!