Feature: Back to the Future: Hill Valley 30 Years On

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Originally published on The National Student on 21/10/15. 

It’s no secret by now that in the parallel universe of Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future: Part II, hero Marty McFly travelled to this exact date (21st October 2015) and was met by some rather strange developments. 

In Zemeckis’s 2015, the small town of Hill Valley had been overtaken by huge holograms, flying cars and gangs on hoverboards left right and centre.

Now, it’s pretty obvious that the large majority of these advancements never quite came true, so it seems pretty silly to try and break down exactly how they haven’t, but it does give us good reason to look forward to our own future, and think of how the world might change over the coming thirty years. 

So, if Marty McFly were to go ‘back to the future’ from today, and travel to the same town but in 2045, how would it look?

President Kanye

We already know that he’s planning on running in 2020 (or was that some sort of hilarious joke?) so it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary if Kanye West was still up to his political tricks some time later.

Failing the appearance of several ‘Kanye For Re-Election’ billboards dotted all around the town, the fallout of his political campaigns would still no doubt be noticeable. Whether that’s in the form of some punky ‘Yeezus’-style graffiti or just his music blaring out of every noticeable speaker around, the Kanye legacy will no doubt be pretty damn unshakeable.

Maybe it’ll have even sparked some crazy pop-culture fronted revolution, where we end up with anIdiocracy-style situation. 

Movie franchises reach a new low

Zemeckis may have forecasted the relatively ambitious Jaws 19 (in reality, we never made it past #4, and even that one was a bit far) but now it seems incredibly possible, with some franchise plans like Marvel’s stretching out as far as 2029, that by 2045, we will have reached at the very least, the nineteenth sequel to one of them.

It won’t be a gigantic shark hologram lunging out and scaring Marty, it’ll be a huge interactive poster for DC vs. Marvel Part III: X-Men’s Revenge featuring just about every superhero under the sun, including random ones you haven’t even heard of yet – like that guy from Misfits who can control dairy products with his mind.

You have been warned. 

Pepsi Presents… the United States of America

Those fancy pants exclusive pepsi bottles from the film may now actually be a real thing but what’s stopping the big-time drinks brand from going that little bit further?

True, it’s most likely Coca Cola would triumph in a bidding war if it ever came to it, but to keep things Hill Valley relevant, and with corporate branding spreading further and further, it’s very possible that instead of simply finding a cafe kitted out with Pepsi gear, 2045 Marty would find the entire town colonised by the brand.

We’re not even just talking billboards and holograms either, this could be shown on everything from civilian clothing to the name of every single business being prefixed by the now immortal words: “Pepsi presents”. 

REAL hoverboards

Maybe this is just me getting over excited at the idea of actual hoverboards one day being a thing, but surely with another thirty years of research we could finally crack the secret to hovering?

It’s not like I’m asking for flying cars (that would be a logistical nightmare what with flight paths etc.), the potential for this one is definitely there, and then Zemeckis’s dream would finally come true, albeit several decades too late.  

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