How Futuristic Are Old Sci-Fi Movies Today?

Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash


As a society, we have been promised things like flying cars and teleporters around every five years for more than a century now. On the whole, we’ve never been great at predicting technological changes, although sci-fi movies have often had a better time of it than most. As we look back at futuristic movies whose ‘future’ has come and gone, how well do they all line up now?

Digital Communications

You can basically throw a dart into a pile of retro sci-fi movies and find one where there’s some kind of advanced, remote way of talking to each other. That could be some kind of in-ear communicator or a tablet device, but either way, there’s nothing there that isn’t commonplace these days.

Our own devices, notably smartphones, are there and already beyond a lot of retro sci-fi; you only need to look at the online casino world for an example of how advanced they are. People can play graphically advanced games like the Sugar Rush slot or even link in VR headsets to play games live from across the world. Beyond holograms which are also in development, we’re far beyond most old sci-fi movies at this point.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Personal Transport

We already mentioned the flying cars and personal jet packs at the start of this article and we’re still some way off from those, probably for good reason. Even in classics like The Fifth Element, however, one thing that still appears among all of the future tech are cars we still have to drive ourselves. It’s Korbin Dallas’ job after all, albeit briefly.

Our own self-driving car projects such as Google Waymo or the various offerings from Tesla are in the early stages of development still, but they are gradually improving. There are a lot of hurdles to get past first, and we are still a very long way from self-driving flying cars, sadly, but we’re happy to call this one a draw between sci-fi and reality all things considered.

Space Travel

The holy grail of sci-fi has always been blasting off into the stars in a spaceship and, while we’ve taken the first tentative steps with companies like Tesla and Virgin Galactic, we are a far cry from anything seen even in Flash Gordon all the way back in the 1980s. We’re still struggling just to get private passengers into space at all while even the most rudimentary sci-fi universe has it as a given.

The benchmark for space travel sits at leaving our solar system at the very least. The main reason is that we are relatively certain at this point that there are no other intelligent species living close to us, so finding aliens would require us to at least go further than that. Sadly, the only thing we’ve managed to send that far out so far is a probe so we have a long way to go.

Of course, modern sci-fi is still pushing us forward in terms of what is futuristic, but with AI and cybernetics already in play today, we’re quickly running out of any science that feels like fiction.

Comment with Facebook