Star Trek

Star Trek is turning 50 this week. The classic franchise that has always been about future people doing future things in a Galaxy far far… oh wrong one… where Kirk, Spock, McCoy and all the rest boldly go where no split infinitives have gone before. The Original Series spawned eleven movies, four more TV shows –plus one more coming in the Fall– and has become a cultural touchstone. The series’ message of hope for humanity and its ability to tackle weighty matters through classic science fiction storytelling has become a staple of the franchise, unless Jar Jar Abrams is in charge. Over the past five decades Star Trek has had its stumbles and flops -aka The Final Frontier– but it has always given us more than enough quality to make-up for the bad.

However, it has also given us something else, incorrect predictions about our future. By the very nature of a show like Star Trek, it had to make some assumptions about where humanity was heading. That means through backstory, set details, and other clues Star Trek has predicted some strange things for our present world. Some of them were not far off, some of them were very far off, and some were just strange. So in honor of fifty years of living long and prospering, let’s take a look at 50 years of predictions that Star Trek has made about our own time.

1968 Orbital Nuclear Weapons
According to Assignment Earth The Unites States of America launches a nuclear weapons platform into orbit above Earth. In the real world this didn’t happen, obviously. A nuclear weapons platform in orbit would have unbalanced the Cold War and possibly ignited a global war. In the episode it was done so that the Enterprise -which had traveled back in time- had something to contend with and use as a lesson to show the “primitive” 1960’s humans that nuclear weapons are bad. It also, worth mentioning that the episode aired on March, 29, 1968. So we’re also hoping that no one on the writing staff had government clearance enough to know something we don’t.

1986 Transparent Aluminum
During another time traveling escapade Kirk and crew travel back to 1986 to steal two whales… because reasons. However, in order to accomplish that Scotty gives an manufacturer the blueprints to design transparent aluminum, which is basically a tougher form of glass. Scotty needs to manufacture the material as a tank for the whales… again for reasons… so he gives the formula to humans of 1986. This whole thing was treated basically as a gag for the movie, The Voyage Home, but it is worthy of this list because in 2015 the US Naval Research Lab actually invented Transparent Aluminum. So Star Trek was right, they were just 19 years off.

1987 The New York Times Closes
Another throw away line from The Voyage Home claims that the New York Times Magazine closes its doors in 1987, as one of the last newspaper magazines of its time, which is a pretty ballsy statement considering the movie came out in 1986. Maybe the producers just didn’t like the New York Times. It is also worth noting that they were not completely wrong, just a little too early. Newspapers and news magazines are closing up shop quicker than ever these days thanks to the Internet, however the New York Times Magazine is actually still in production.

1992 Eugenics and Genetic Engineering
The biggest glaring prediction for Star Trek was their prophecy of the widespread use of genetic engineering by the year 1992. That is the year Khan Noonien Singh… KHAN!!!… rises to power in the Middle East and the Eugenics Wars begin. According to Space Seed and Wrath of Khan, humanity created a race of augmented humans, called Augments. These genetic supermen rose to power in various Middle Eastern and Asian countries the in 1990’s… because Bill Clinton… maybe… Khan at one point held power over a “quarter of the world.” The Eugenics Wars were a series of conflicts between the various Augment dictators of some forty nations. Normal humans eventually rose up and overthrew the Augments in 1996, condemning most of them to die as war criminals. Khan and 84 of his followers escaped Earth aboard the cryogenic-ship SS Botany Bay.

As you can tell none of this actually happened. In fact, the biggest news in genetic engineering to happen in 1992 was that China was the first country to introduce a virus-resistant tobacco plant. With the mapping of the human genome the benefits and risks of Human genetic engineering are still being debated in the science community today, but we are no closer to actually creating genetic supermen than Kirk is to successfully resisting the temptations of any green-skinned woman.

1994 Cryonics and Cryogenics
Speaking of cryogenics… According the Star Trek: Next Generation episode: The Neutral Zone, by 1994 cryogenics are so widespread and safe that people are willing to having themselves frozen at the time of death, and even stored on satellites until cures for their diseases can be found sometime in the future. As you may have guessed, we have not quite perfected cryonics or cryogenic preservation for humans. The closest we have come is being able to freeze human embryos in cryogenic stasis. There is however that portion of people freeze who their brains when they die, Walt Disney style… which our lawyer has reminded us to tell you is actually a myth.

1996 Life on Mars
In the Star Trek Voyager episode: Future’s End, it is briefly implied that scientists discovered ancient microscopic Martian life in 1996. The episode was filmed several days after the NASA announcement in August of 1996 of possible fossilized evidence of microscopic life from a Martian meteorite. However, that claim has never been confirmed fully and as of this article there is still no solid evidence of life ever existing on Mars.

marslife_96-12299

2001 The Millennium Gate
Another Voyager episode: 11:59, depicted the construction of the Millennium Gate. Construction began in 2001 and it was completed in 2011 as a way to commemorate the beginning of the 21st century. For some reason it was built in Portage Creek, Indiana and was a tower 1 kilometer high and 3.2 kilometers wide. The building was a self-contained biosphere with its own ecosystem and over six-hundred stores for shoppers to enjoy. It was covered in solar panels and eventually served a model for the first Martian colony. The Millennium Gate became a national landmark on par with the St. Louis Arch or the Empire State Building and it could be seen from space. This marvel of modern engineering was -of course- never actually built. The tallest building in the world is currently Burj Khalifa in Dubai, standing tall at only 830 meters in height. it is also doubtful that anyone will be looking toward it as a model for a Martian colony.

2002 The Nomad Interstellar Probe
According to Star Trek: The Original Series, in their episode: The Changeling, in 2002 Earth launched the Nomad probe, as our planet’s first interstellar probe with the mission to seek out extraterrestrial life. Of course in typical Star Trek fashion this comes back to bite Kirk and crew when the probe encounters an alien intelligence, gains sentience, and goes on a killing spree. However, as of 2016 we have yet to launch the Nomad, but Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2014, making it the first man made object to leave our solar system. And currently there are talks about creating the Starshot project, which might be able to propel a series of small probes to Alpha Centuari in a single human lifetime.

2015 Planetary Baseball League
In the Star Trek Universe by 2015 baseball had become such a popular worldwide sport that Major League Baseball was supplanted by the Planetary Baseball League, which included teams from across the planet, such as the London Kings, the Crenshaw Monarchs, and the Gotham City Bats. -Most likely that last one was meant as a Batman joke- One of the most notable players is Buck Bukai who breaks Joe DiMaggio’s 56 consecutive game hitting streak in 2026. In 2032 the Yankees win the World Series, and the last world series is officially held in 2042, after people’s interest in baseball fades. It is almost humorous that Star Trek created a world where baseball became anything but an American sport, especially since the last time baseball was played in the Olympics was in 2008. As Star Trek predicted the sport is growing less popular, but we doubt it will ever have enough fame to actually get a professional team from cricket-loving London.

2018 Sublight Propulsion
We suppose this one might be true, but it seems doubtful. In Space Seed, it is said that by 2018 sublight propulsion makes cryogenic sleeper ships obsolete. This could be true, considering that “sublight” is literally any sort of propulsion that goes slower than lightspeed. We have some pretty ingenuous forms of propulsion in space, including light-sails and ion drives. However, the bulk of our propulsion is still done through chemical rockets and we still do not have an engine that could get us to another star system in a shorter time than it would take to make the trip using the -also still fictional- cryogenic sleeper ships.

Other Future Predictions
Star Trek also has a few predictions for the coming years including:

  • 2024: Ireland Reunification – Northern Ireland becomes part of the Irish Republic, which could happen thanks to Brexit.
  • 2024: French Political Strife – France becomes unsafe for tourists thanks to battles between “Neo-Trotskyists” and “Gaullists.” Ironically, -and chillingly- France is currently facing similiar declines in tourism thanks to recent terrorism.
  • 2024: Sanctuary Districts – Sanctuary Districts are set up in major cities across the US and the homeless and poor are separated from the rest of the population and put into ghettos for the destitute and jobless. This is the strongest evidence to show that in the Star Trek Universe, Donald Trump was elected President.
  • 2026: World War III – The Third World War lasts until 2053 and results in nuclear genocide, population cleansings, and the near destruction of most world governments… Thank you, President Trump.

So we can look forward to that, but -all in all- Star Trek has been an amazing and sometimes weird ride though history, science, and imagination. Despite the fact that their history and our present don’t always line up we can still take the lessons of Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and the rest and apply them to our time. After all, warnings of a fictional World War III might be the best way to prevent it from actually happening. Our Earth has not suffered through or created the same things as Star Trek’s Earth, but that does not mean we cannot share in their sense of hope for the future. We may not have had the Eugenics Wars, but who knows what the future might hold? One day we might have space travel, Starfleet, the Federation… and maybe even a London baseball team.

As much as we at The NYRD love movies, even we have to admit they get a little old every now and then. When we were growing up movies used to astound us and bring us to new places. Now it seems like all we get are the same old things wrapped in a new packaging, and sometimes even that has been recycled from the Hollywood landfill of the past decade. We are not experts in the movies, but we are avid fans. We do not have any insider information, but if we had to take a guess, we would say that you should expect to see these following movies -or ones very much like them-  coming soon to a theater near you…

Connect4Connect Four

Tagline: Four in a Row… and Live!

Synopsis: Four Teenagers set out on the road trip of their lives, making a cross country journey filled with partying and scenes of a sexually suggestive nature, but all is not as it seems. When three really white kids and their one token black friend discover an abandoned toy factory they soon come face to face with a man known only as a the Toy Maker, and he wants to play a game… of life and death. Now each of the four young and ridiculously good-looking teenagers must struggle to stay alive while connecting the pieces to the mystery behind their terrifying tormentor. Not everyone will survive the night, but those that do will have to figure out how to… connect four.

Starring: Paul Wesley, Grey Damon, Trey Songz, Chelsea Kane, and Haley Joel Osment as the Toy Maker

 


2012II2012 II

Tagline: No One Saw This Coming

Synopsis: How many times can the world end? Well producers Roland Emmerich and John Cusak intend to answer that in this dramatic sequel to the “commercially successful” movie, 2012. We thought the worst was over. We thought humanity had suffered enough, but we were wrong. The Mayan Prophecy had only just begun to wreak its havoc on the last remaining humans of planet Earth. Now four years later, the survivors find themselves in a desperate struggle to outlast the next onslaught in this terrifying vision of the future… Alien invasion, demonic hordes, zombie uprisings, and every single type of disaster that our team of 12-year old writers could come up with is about to come crashing down on the last vestiges of humanity… If only the Mayans had been more specific.

Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, and Andre 3000 as Jesus Christ


TrollsTrolls

Tagline: Friendship Comes in All Shapes and Sizes.

Synopsis: Troy was just an ordinary teenager with ordinary problems, homework, bullies, and that special kind of unrequited love that you can only get in fictitious movies. Now with the impending divorce of his parents, Troy will need some help navigating the weighty and world-crushing concerns of high school, and that is exactly what he is about to get. Trinalin was a troll of Trollworld, with wild pink hair and an even wilder desire for adventure, but when his world becomes threatened by the evil of the wizard Magolith, he must go looking for help. Now this young troll will embark on an adventure to our world where he will find more than he is looking for. Prepare yourselves for an unlikely friendship, a heart-warming story, and more CGI than a George Lucas wet dream. Will this be a heart warming movie for the ages, or just a quick nostalgia cash grab? We can’t say, but you had best get ready to be trolled!

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Shailene Woodley, and Seth McFarlene as Trinalin Pink


ElongatedManElongated Man

Tagline: How Long Can a Man Stretch Before he Breaks?

Synopsis: As a child, Randolph “Ralph” Dibney was fascinated with contortionists and body-benders. As an adult he became a leading chemist and created a serum he dubbed, “Gringold.” Now whenever Dibney takes his chemical concoction he transforms into Elongated Man, the elastic hero. Unfortunately, his dreams are soon shattered and Ralph’s beloved wife, Susan, is left dead on the floor. Now mustering all his courage and power the Elongated Man must track down those responsible and rehash every edgy/dark cliche that the superhero genre can throw at the audience. There will be violence, there will be blood, and there will be absolutely no jokes. Criminals are going to learn that no one can outrun the elongated arm of justice.

Starring: Jeremy Piven; Katy Perry, Jonah Hill, and Michael Emerson as Dr. Arthur Light

 


TetrisTetris

Tagline: Sometimes All the Pieces Just Fall into Place

Synopsis: Edward Mayard is a construction worker who has lost touch with his son, Johnny, following the death of his beloved wife. Adam Sandler stars as Adam Sandler pretending to be a down on his luck character struggling to pay the bills. A single parent, Edward is on the verge of losing hope until a strange old man offers him a job on his farm constructing an impossible wall made of irregular pieces. There are mysteries to be discovered, half-hearted wonders to be found, cliched tropes to be rediscovered, and some fart jokes. Sandler’s character will soon find out that he is building more than a wall, as he and his son heal the past and begin constructing a brighter future together. So this summer, come see another attempt by the veteran actor to get the studio to pay for his another vacation… Also did we mention it’s about Tetris. Remember when Tetris was a thing?… Tetris…

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jake Goldberg, and Ian McKellen as Old Man Sterns


MovforDumMovies for Dummies

Tagline: A Movie for the Rest of Us!

Synopsis: Philip Yodelman was kind of a screw up. He could just never seem to get anything right, his career, his relationships, but particularly Windows 97, until he met Margaret. An IT expert who came into his life to try and explain to him what it means to right-click… together, but how will he ever win her heart? It will take the help of his cool and hip African American friend, Albert, and an array of unrealistic side characters who will do their best to make Philip conform to their standards. Then again, sometimes there is only one person who can truly help a man become the person others want him to be, his mother, Katherine. Now Philip will learn one of the most powerful lessons of all, sometimes when there is no instructional manual for life, you just have to let others make it up for you.

Starring: Jason Segel, Jennifer Aniston, Will Smith, and Doris Roberts as Mother Yodelman.

 


JeopardyJeopardy

Tagline: Your Answer Must be in the Form of a Fist

Synopsis: When quiz bowl genius Harry Chang comes to the United States to compete on a famous trivia show he gets more than he bargains for. Now caught between the mafia and the FBI Chang must use his knowledge and his accidental martial arts skills to stay one step ahead of the competition. Come see Jackie Chan as you haven’t seen him in years. Thanks to some shady offshore banking technicalities you can once again watch this serious Chinese actor portray yet another two-dimensional stereotype who is really good at kicking people. So, come join us for a game of mediocre intrigue and shallow plot points punctuated by thrilling displays of martial arts. Mr. Chang, must make the biggest wager of his life, because if he fails he will truly find himself in… final jeopardy.

Starring: Jackie Chan, John Leguizamo, Samantha Matis, and Alex Treback as himself.

 


Fantastic Four: Never Stop Trying

Tagline: You Know You’ll See it Anyway…

Synopsis: A reboot of the edgy 2015 movie that was already a reboot of the lighter 2005 film franchise about a four friends who have been granted cosmic powers. Come witness the action and suspense of the same damn origin story and scenes you have seen at least two times before, with characters that haven’t been interesting since the 70’s. When Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben Grimm get their powers a whole new world is opened up for them, and that world is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because, let’s face it, we give up… You win Marvel… We too want a little of that sweet sweet superhero money. So, we have finally figured out that if you can’t beat ’em you might as well join them, which is exactly what the Fantastic Four think when they are forced to team up with the Avengers in order to make all the money there is at the box office for one weekend out of the year…

Starring: Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, and Liam Neeson as Stan Lee.


SavedbytheBellSaved by the Bell

Tagline: Time to Get to Class

Synopsis: Join Zach, AC, Screech, Lisa, Kelly, Jesse, and Mr. Belding in this updated version of the classic early 90’s sitcom. When Bayside High School is threatened to be shut down by the school board instead of their rival high school, Valley, can six completely separate students come together as friends to stop this terrible event and win the big game. It all rests on the shoulders of Zach and the gang to save the school and form a friendship that will last forever… or at least until the end of high school. So come relive your Saturday mornings in the 90’s, because good times never end when you’re saved by the bell.

Starring: Alexander Ludwig, Taylor Lautner, Michael Cera, Selena Gomez, Anna Kendrick, Emma Stone, and Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding.

 


ExplosionsExplosions

Tagline: Because That’s All You Want to See

Synopsis: Director Michael Bay brings to life his newest vision for the screen in this heart warming, non-stop action packed, laugh out loud, thrill a minute, overdone, movie. Kurt Dumfrey is an ex-navy seal explosives expert who retired to run a dynamite factory. Unfortunately his quiet ordinary life is about to be interrupted by an uprising of robotic creatures with only one agenda, fiery death. The perfect killing machines, their sole purpose is to explode, sometimes for no particular reason. Only retired Colonel Dumfrey can stop this technological menace, by blowing them up first. If you think you have seen things blow up before then you haven’t seen Explosions.

Starring: Jason Statham, Shia LaBeouf, Rhianna, and John Travolata as Major General Walter “Short Fuse” Stackhouse