We are long overdue!
OpinionTelevision & Film

Where Are The Hoverboards? (A Fan Theory)


It’s now 2015. And everybody seems to be asking the question. According to the Back to the Future trilogy, we’re supposed to have hoverboards by now. It’s been thirty years! What gives?

I have my own theory. And as it turns out, the explanation is very simple. We don’t have the technology because of Marty McFly.

You read that right. Blame McFly. Also blame Doc Brown. Their time-traveling shenanigans cost us the very technology their adventures teased us with. And it’s more than just the hoverboards, mind you. It’s also flying cars, holographic technology, nearly ubiquitous use of video phones, self-drying clothes, and self-lacing shoes.

Remember this one? We’ve been denied cool holographics!

So how are they to blame?

Quite simply, they altered the timeline. Multiple times.

In the first movie, Twin pines Mall became Lone Pine Mall, Biff Tannen was turned from a bully into a weakling, George McFly was turned from a weak pushover into a successful author, and Doc Brown’s life was saved by Marty’s preemptive intervention.

In the second movie, all it took was one book going back in time to radically change the world. But didn’t they fix that?

Here’s where we get to the final movie.

In Part III, Marty took the DeLorean back to 1885 to save Doc Brown. The two of them saved Clara Clayton from falling into the ravine, keeping it from being renamed Clayton Ravine. (Strange how that was supposed to happen before she bought the headstone for Doc Brown. Yes, I know the suicide theory. But as far as I know, that’s not canon.) Brown was saved from being killed by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen. Tannen was emasculated by McFly. And the ravine was renamed Eastwood Ravine. Plus all the other incidental interactions along the way.

Blame it on this car and its drivers!
Blame it on this car and its drivers!

Then comes the Butterfly Effect, that legendary and convenient plot device. Over time, the timeline was changed enough that the ones who would have worked on those promised technologies instead focused on other things.

So what other things did they focus on? What do we have today that they didn’t have in the 2015 from Back to the Future?

Although the Internet was already online in 1983 (built off of DARPANET which began in 1969), the World Wide Web didn’t go online until 1992. Not only that, but we have smartphones that allow us communication all over the world in a variety of ways, like video phones (not as commonly used as in BTTF, but having more options), passing off satire as real news, getting into arguments with complete strangers, and looking at pictures of cats. In Part II, cars could fly, but not pilot themselves. Not only are there working prototypes of self-driving cars today, there are commercially available cars that can parallel park themselves. We have better robotics. We also have functioning artificial limbs. We have 3D printing. We have functioning 3D printed artificial limbs. And the list goes on and on.

And we’re also less reliant on fax machines than they were.

Yeah, we've got cool technology!
Yeah, we’ve got cool technology!

So it’s not that we’re less advanced than the Back to the Future trilogy promised. It’s just that we’ve advanced differently thanks to Doc Brown and Marty McFly screwing around with time.

So now let’s stop lamenting the lack of cool technology. Let’s instead look at the cool technology we have … and figure out how to acquire the technology that was denied to us! I WANT MY HOVERBOARD!!!!!!!

We are long overdue!
We are long overdue!



Do you agree with my theory? Do you think I’m simply full of it? Do you have a completely different theory of your own? Comment below!




Daniel C. Handley

Dan Handley was raised a Trekkie, fell in love with "Star Wars" at an early age, and became obsessed with comic book superheroes. He spent his youth dreaming of how to get real superpowers, starships, and so on.

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