Apparently, the world is going to end this year. To be exact, it’s going to end on the 21st of December 2012. Cineastes the world over are already bemoaning this utter catastrophe; it means we will survive just long enough to be able to catch a screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which will be released in the UK on December 14th), but have absolutely no chance of being around for the sequel, There and Back Again (which won’t hit the cinemas until 2013). Still, we wouldn’t worry about it too much – as film fans, we already know that the world can’t end in 2012. In fact, it’s impossible; science fiction tells us that our future is only just beginning.
After all, we’re only seven years away from the polluted neo-noir dystopia of Blade Runner (2019), when the Tyrell Corporation will create robots (or Replicants) so lifelike that they can’t be told apart from humans; except of course by Harrison Ford, who will be tasked with hunting down and ‘retiring’ the badly behaved ones. Not too long after that, everyone on the planet will become infertile and Clive Owen will have to take charge of a miraculously pregnant woman in Children of Men (2027). In the 2030’s there will even more robot related madness when Will Smith has to battle an evil she-computer in I, Robot (2035). Three years later the US economy will have completely collapsed, leaving Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving to bring down the corrupt British government in the strange, post-crash world of V for Vendetta (2038). In the 2050’s Tom Cruise will able to predict murders before they happen in Minority Report (2054), while by 2072, war and murder will have been eradicated completely due to a clever new drug which surpresses all human emotion in Equilibrium (although Christian Bale will eventually put a stop to that nonsense).
Then, in the 2100’s, things will start to get really interesting. First off, Sigourney Weaver will discover some slimy and incredibly disgruntled space creatures in Alien (2122). She will rid herself of the monsters before going into cryogenic storage for fifty-seven years, and then awake to battle the toothy parasites again in Aliens and Alien 3 (2179). But that’s not all; while cryogenically frozen she will somehow find the time to show up on planet Pandora in the 2150’s – along with Sam Worthington, she will take on the form of an eight foot tall blue-skinned half-human half-panther, and join in the fight for eco-justice in Avatar (2154). Then, right at the close of the 22nd century, we will discover that the world we live in is not real; it’s just a computer simulation of (disturbingly) the 1990’s. Most of us will be trapped in gooey pods plugged into the system, while the rest of us will be living in a cave, but all is not lost; Keanu Reeves will become the new Messiah and save us all from enslavement to the evil machine overlords in The Matrix Trilogy (2199).
After all that’s done with, we will find ourselves running out of breathing space as the Earth becomes massively overpopulated, but not to worry, the great thinkers of the future will have it all under control. When we reach the age of 30, hopefully after having spawned a replacement version of ourselves, we will be ceremoniously killed by a machine that resembles a large electrified roundabout. Thankfully, this period of history won’t last that long either; Michael York and Jenny Agutter will save us all from an early grave in Logan’s Run (2274). Just one hundred years later, Sigourney Weaver will be back again, this time quite literally brought back from the dead so that yet another evil corporation can get their hands on the Alien in Alien: Resurrection (2379). Then things will take a turn for the worse on planet Earth. Our home will become so polluted that it will be completely uninhabitable for humans; everyone’s favourite little robot will be assigned clean-up duty in Wall-E (2805).
Unfortunately, within 1000 years of Earth becoming liveable again, the revolution that James Franco unwittingly started in Rise of the Planet of the Apes will come to fruition. In 3955, Charlton Heston will travel through time and crash-land on a planet that is ruled by startlingly intelligent apes, only to discover the terrible truth: the planet is Earth. Somehow, we will manage to lose a war to a bunch of monkeys (albeit super-intelligent monkeys), undoing all human history and endeavour in a single stroke.
But look on the bright side; that won’t be happening for nearly two thousand years, and there’s a whole load of exciting stuff to go on before then. The world can not and will not end this year; there’s just too much still to get through (according to science fiction, anyway).