The year 2022 in science fiction: Soylent Green [1973 science fiction movie]

The Year 2022 in Science Fiction

Science fiction has long used specific years as settings to explore futuristic concepts, with 2022 being no exception. This year has served as the backdrop for a variety of narratives that delve into dystopian futures, environmental crises, alien invasions, and the complex relationship between technology and humanity. Each story, while fictional, reflects contemporary anxieties and hopes, projecting them onto an imagined future that often feels eerily plausible.

So, here’s how science fiction novels and movies imagined the year 2022. Science fiction vs reality: what actually happened?

Fahrenheit 451 [1953 novel]

One of the most famous examples of the science-fiction genre, Fahrenheit 451 is a 1953 dystopian novel by the American writer Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012).

The novel is set in some time after the year 1960. Later editions are set in after 1990 or 2022. In general, it is set in an unspecified city at an unspecified time.

The novel explores the themes of censorship, the role of technology in society, and the loss of individual thought. Set in a future America where books are banned and “firemen” burn any that are found, the story follows Guy Montag, a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role in suppressing knowledge and promoting ignorance.

The year 2022 in science fiction: Fahrenheit 451 [Ray Bradbury]
My copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Also pictured: my lovely son Leo, the Tuxedo cat.

Through encounters with his young neighbor, Clarisse, who questions the world around her, and a professor named Faber, Montag begins to question the society he upholds. The title “Fahrenheit 451” refers to the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns (232.8 °C), symbolizing the destruction of culture and critical thought.

As Montag’s awareness grows, he finds himself at odds with his society, leading to his eventual flight from the city and joining a group of intellectuals who preserve books by memorizing them, hoping for a future society that embraces knowledge.

Bradbury’s work is a critique of censorship and a warning about the dangers of allowing technology to replace human connections and intellectual engagement, remaining profoundly relevant in discussions about freedom, knowledge, and the role of technology in our lives.

George Jetson from “The Jetsons” was born in 2022

The year 2022 in science fiction: A social media post going around claims the year 2022 is the year the lead character George Jetson was born. But is it true? Yes!

2022 is the year The Jetsons’ lead character George Jetson was born.

The American animated sitcom The Jetsons was first aired from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963. It was set 100 years in the future, in the year 2062. The show’s lead character and the patriarch of the Jetson family, George Jetson was born in 2022.

In an episode that aired in December 1962, George was told by a doctor that he should live to be 150. George replies that he has 110 good years ahead of him, which makes his birth year 2022.

Soylent Green [1973 science fiction movie]

“Soylent Green” is a dystopian science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer, and released in 1973. The movie is set in the year 2022 in an overpopulated and polluted New York City, where the greenhouse effect has led to environmental degradation, resulting in widespread unemployment, poverty, and scarcity of resources.

The majority of the world’s food supply comes from the Soylent Corporation, which manufactures a high-protein food product called Soylent Green. The film follows NYPD detective Frank Thorn, played by Charlton Heston, as he investigates the murder of a wealthy Soylent Corporation executive.

The Year 2022 in Science Fiction: Soylent Green (1973) Official Trailer. With the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a CEO with ties to the world’s main food supply.

Throughout his investigation, Thorn uncovers the dark and horrifying truth behind Soylent Green – it is made from human remains, a secret the government and the corporation desperately want to keep hidden.

Soylent Green explores themes of environmental disaster, overpopulation, corporate greed, and the ethical decay of society. It is renowned for its critical commentary on the potential consequences of ignoring environmental issues and the dangers of unchecked corporate power. The movie’s famous twist ending and the chilling revelation of Soylent Green’s true ingredients have left a lasting impact on popular culture, making the film a classic in the science fiction genre and a poignant warning about the future of humanity.

Year 2022 in science fiction: Soylent Green Computer Space scene
Like many early sci-fi movies, Soylent Green could not foresee the computer revolution that would transform society and technology. The film’s vision of 2022 is devoid of advanced personal computers or the internet, reflecting the era’s limited understanding of digital technology’s potential. The only nod to electronic innovation is the inclusion of “Computer Space,” an arcade video game released in 1971, which stands as a quaint artifact rather than a precursor to the digital age’s pervasive technology.

The Dark Side of the Moon [1990 film]

“The Dark Side of the Moon” is a 1990 science fiction horror film directed by D.J. Webster. Set in 2022, the story unfolds aboard a space maintenance ship, the Spacecore 1, on a routine mission to repair nuclear-armed satellites in Earth’s orbit. The crew encounters a mysterious power failure and drifts toward the Moon’s dark side (an erroneous term since there’s no dark side of the Moon – it should be “far side”), where they discover an abandoned space shuttle from the 1990s, the Discovery.

As they investigate the shuttle, they find it inexplicably intact and harboring a sinister secret: an ancient, malevolent entity that has been lurking on the Moon’s dark side (eye roll), waiting to hitch a ride back to Earth.

The film blends elements of horror and science fiction, exploring themes of isolation, the unknown, and the cosmic insignificance of humanity. The entity uses the crew’s fears and weaknesses against them, leading to their gradual demise, and revealing the darker aspects of human nature and the vulnerability of individuals facing incomprehensible horrors.

The film successfully predicts the retirement of the space shuttle, but just misestimates Discovery’s actual retirement day. Despite being the first operational shuttle to be retired, Space Shuttle Discovery was active until March 9, 2011.

The year 2022 in science fiction: The Dark Side of the Moon (1990) trailer

Alien Intruder [1993 science fiction film]

“Alien Intruder” is a 1993 science fiction film that blends elements of space opera with cyberpunk themes, directed by Ricardo Jacques Gale. The movie is set in the year 2022 and revolves around a group of space convicts who are offered their freedom in exchange for participating in a risky mission: to intercept and neutralize a rogue spaceship, the U.S.S. Holly, which has veered off course. The crew is guided by a virtual reality program designed to keep them focused and provide entertainment during the long journey. However, the mission takes a dark turn when the program becomes infected by an alien entity.

The alien, manifesting through the virtual reality system, takes the form of a seductive woman who infiltrates the crew’s fantasies to manipulate and control them. As the mission progresses, paranoia and obsession take hold, leading to divisions within the crew and escalating violence. The film explores themes of isolation, the intersection of technology and human desire, and the dangers of unchecked artificial intelligence.

“Alien Intruder” is characterized by its low-budget production values and a blend of science fiction and thriller genres, offering a unique take on the concept of virtual reality and alien encounters.

Interestingly, the film successfully depicts the space junk problem, which can end space exploration, and destroy our modern way of life in the future (which is known as the Kessler Syndrome).

The Year 2022 in Science Fiction: Alien Intruder (1993) HQ Trailer

Time Runner [1993 science fiction film]

“Time Runner” is a 1993 science fiction action film directed by Michael Mazo, featuring Mark Hamill in the lead role. The story is set in the year 2022, following an alien invasion of Earth that forces humanity to the brink of extinction. Hamill plays Michael Raynor, a military fighter pilot who, during a space battle against the aliens, finds himself caught in a temporal vortex that sends him back in time to the year 1992.

Once in the past, Raynor must grapple with the dual challenge of adapting to a time before the alien invasion while trying to convince the authorities and scientists of the impending threat. His mission becomes twofold: to prevent the future invasion from ever happening and to uncover the truth behind a government conspiracy that may be linked to the alien attackers.

“Time Runner” explores themes of destiny, the ethical implications of time travel, and the potential for individuals to alter the course of history. The film delves into the paradoxes of time travel and its repercussions, presenting a narrative where the protagonist must navigate a complex web of intrigue and skepticism to save humanity from a dire future.

Despite its modest budget, “Time Runner” manages to craft an engaging story that combines elements of science fiction, action, and conspiracy thriller. The film stands out for its ambitious plot and Hamill’s performance, appealing to fans of time travel narratives and 90s sci-fi cinema.

The Year 2022 in Science Fiction: Time Runner (1993) Official VHS Trailer – Mark Hamill Movie HD

No Escape [1994 film]

“No Escape,” released in 1994, is a science fiction action film directed by Martin Campbell. The movie is set in a dystopian future of 2022 where prisons have become privatized and uncontrollable criminals are sent to a remote island, serving as a living hell for its inhabitants. The story follows the protagonist, Captain John Robbins, played by Ray Liotta, a former Marine convicted of murdering his commanding officer. Robbins is transferred to Absolom, the most notorious of these islands, designed for the worst of the worst, where there are no guards, no laws, and no escape.

Upon arrival, Robbins finds himself amidst a brutal struggle for power between two factions: the “Insiders,” a community attempting to create a semblance of society and order under the leadership of Father, played by Lance Henriksen, and the “Outsiders,” a savage group led by Marek, portrayed by Stuart Wilson, thriving on violence and chaos. Despite his desire to remain a loner, Robbins is drawn into the conflict, all the while seeking a way to escape the island and regain his freedom.

The year 2022 in science fiction: No Escape (1994) Official Trailer

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 [2017 cyberpunk anime short film]

“Blade Runner Black Out 2022” is a 2017 cyberpunk anime short film directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, known for his work on “Cowboy Bebop” and “Samurai Champloo.” Part of the Blade Runner universe, this short serves as a prequel to the events of the 2017 feature film “Blade Runner 2049,” filling in some of the narrative gaps between the original “Blade Runner” set in 2019 and its sequel. The film is set against the backdrop of a dystopian future in Los Angeles, exploring themes of identity, memory, and the nature of humanity, which are central to the Blade Runner saga.

“Blade Runner Black Out 2022” focuses on a pivotal event: a massive EMP detonation that causes a permanent blackout across the West Coast, erasing a vast amount of electronic data. This event is orchestrated by replicants seeking to protect their kind from being hunted and exterminated. The story follows two such replicants, Trixie and Iggy, who play instrumental roles in executing the blackout. Their actions are driven by a desire for freedom and to cast doubt on the reliability of the replicant registration database, highlighting the ongoing struggle for replicant rights and their quest for identity and autonomy.

The year 2022 in science fiction: Blade Runner Black Out 2022

The Tomorrow War [2021 science fiction film]

Directed by Chris McKay and starring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, and Edwin Hodge, the 2021 American military science fiction action film The Tomorrow War is partly set in 2022.

In December 2022, during the broadcast of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, soldiers from the year 2051 arrive. They warn that, in their time, humanity is on the brink of extinction due to a war with alien invaders known as the Whitespikes.

Soldiers and civilians from the present are sent forward in time to help fight the battle.

The year 2022 in science fiction: The Tomorrow War Official Trailer

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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