5 Specific Dates in Science Fiction Movies That Didn’t Turn Out as Predicted

Part of what makes science fiction films so interesting is their portrayal of the future.  And it’s not just the societies that have formed, the laws that have been passed, or the wars that have been fought – it’s specific, identifiable events that change the course of history dramatically.  The genre of science fiction has been around for over 100 years, and being that it’s currently 2010, we’ve been able to live through many of the times that at one point were considered the distant future.  While it’s unfair to criticize a science fiction film for incorrect predictions – especially since most films in the genre are metaphors for something greater than the story itself – it’s also fun to see what predictions have and have not come to fruition.  Of course, with regard to specific dates, it’s virtually impossible to predict the future, but nevertheless, let’s take a look at five specific dates in science fiction movies that didn’t turn out as shown.

By the way, Back to the Future II‘s future is 2015, so we can still hold onto hope for hoverboards.

September 25, 2010 – Demolition Man

According to Demolition Man, which takes place in 2032, the last murder committed in the city of Los Angeles occurred on September 25, 2010.  The LAPD is powerful and efficient and, thanks to literally freezing dangerous criminals, is able to clean up the streets of Los San Angeles.  That is, of course, until Simon Phoenix is thawed out and escapes custody.

I haven’t checked the recent crime report from Los Angeles, but I think it’s a safe bet that, unfortunately, there are going to be more murders.

August 29, 1997 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Anyone who’s a fan of the Terminator movies surely remembers Sarah Connor screaming and yelling at anyone who would listen that August 29, 1997 is Judgment Day, or the day that Skynet launches a nuclear attack in order to exterminate all of mankind.  Fortunately, that hasn’t happened, but later Terminator movies, as well as the criminally underrated Sarah Connor Chronicles showed that Judgment Day can’t be stopped – it can merely be delayed.  So those of you rooting for the robots, keep your chins up.

January 12, 1997 – 2001: A Space Odyssey

There’s a lot in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece that never comes to fruition, but perhaps most significant is when an artificial intelligence whose power rivals the human brain becomes operation on January 12, 1997.  The HAL 9000 is “born” in Urbana, Illinois on this date, and is capable of not only performing more efficiently the same functions that a human can perform. but of experiencing real emotions and insight.  HAL, it can be argued, is as alive as you or I.

As of today, no AI has passed the Turing Test…but it’s really just a matter of time before one does.

Sometime in 2009 – Children of Men

I wanted desperately to find the specific date of Baby Diego’s birth and death in Children of Men, but even the newscast in the movie itself shows 2009 and 2027, respectively.  At 18 years old, Baby Diego was the youngest person in the world, and the world collectively mourned when he was stabbed to death in 2027.  Obviously, babies have been born post-2009, so the apocalyptic future as shown in Cuaron’s film isn’t going to happen.  At least not soon.

We’re never told what causes women to stop having babies, but then again, that’s not important.  What’s important are the choices people make once that concept is fully realized.

July 4, 2005 – Southland Tales

This trainwreck of a movie from Richard Kelly (yes, it has some cool ideas, but it’s a disaster) begins at a Fourth of July barbecue in Texas when two nuclear attacks are simultaneously launched against the state.  The reach of the Patriot Act is expanded significantly, the government gains complete control of the Internet, the dominoes fall, and the end of the world begins.  World War III may be a very real possibility someday, but it wasn’t catalyzed by any attacks on the United States in 2005.

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  1. They never said Baby Diego was the last baby born, merely that he was the youngest person on the planet. One would assume that others had been born after he was but didn’t survive long.

  2. My assumption from that movie was always that he was the last child carried to term, and one of the last conceived.

    It was a really big deal that the chick was pregnant at all, so I just assumed that there had been no new pregnancies in about 18 years.

  3. I don’t have the movie and haven’t seen it since it came out but from memory would it be possible to find out Baby Diego’s B-day by finding the date of the newscast (maybe from Clive Owen’s computer at work?). I believe the newscast says the exact number of years, months and days of Baby Diego’s age.

    Also I believe it is fair to say Baby Diego was the last baby born. “Baby” Diego seems like a strange nickname for someone who obtained the title after someone younger died. The nickname makes sense if the world had been following his life since birth, which would only really make sense if he was the last baby born. Firsts, lasts and bests are all anyone is interested in.

    1. Agreed all around, that’s a good point. And yes, on his computer, they DID show the years, days, etc…the newscast merely showed the years, though. I’ll have to look into that.

  4. The only thing that happened on August 29th, 1997 was my brother turned 13. Oh, and unlike what Sarah says in the deleted scene, Michael Jackson did not turn 50, he turned 49.

  5. @ Josh
    there was a big deal made about the pregnancy of the woman so yea NO babys were born after because the newscaster says baby diego being the last baby before infertility took over meaning no conception


    you mean to tell me you never say your birthday is coming up or past without saying how many you’ve had

  6. It’s stupid that you put Southland Tales on this list because, even though it was a bit too packed full of ideas, it was written and released well after 2005 and was meant to be an alternate “what if?” scenario.

  7. Southland Tales was based on a novel, and I actually enjoyed the movie, of course the plot didn’t make since unles you watched it 4 or 5 times, but that is one thing that made it interesting.

  8. TITLE: “5 Specific Dates in Science Fiction Movies …”

    EXAMPLE: “Sometime in 2009…”

    “Specific”…I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

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