Home » From Fallout to Cyberpunk, from Stargate to Oblivion: why is science fiction fixated on 2077?

From Fallout to Cyberpunk, from Stargate to Oblivion: why is science fiction fixated on 2077?

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From Fallout to Cyberpunk, from Stargate to Oblivion: why is science fiction fixated on 2077?

In the beginning it was 1984: for George Orwell it was relatively easy decide when to set his novel, reversing the last digits of the year in which it was written. Easy but also intelligent: compared to 1948, 1984 was far enough ahead in time to be perceivable and acceptable as a future, with a leap forward almost forty years old.

Today, with technology that proceeds at a very rapid pace and the innovations that follow one another frantically, sometimes even within a few months of each other, forty years is no longer enough. We need at least 50. Fifty-three, or maybe even fifty-four. Sixty-four, possibly.

In reality the amount to add does not matter: what matters is that the final result is 2077, and that 2077 is when the story is set. For some time now, this has definitely been the favorite year for screenwriters, game designers and science fiction writers. But why are so many people setting their works in 2077? There is no official reason, but there are many plausible ones. And even John Carpenter knew some of them.

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Films, series and video games set in 2077

Before understanding why, let’s understand how broad the phenomenon is, with a list that is more of a starting point than a point of arrival. And it starts with two very recent works, which are the ones that can arouse curiosity:

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in Falloutthe beautiful TV series (who our spoiler-free review) taken from a famous video game saga, 2077 is the year in which the atomic bombs fall, devastating the Earth and starting everything;

Cyberpunk 2077one of the most successful video games of recent yearsis clearly set in 2077;

Oblivionthe 2013 film in which Tom Cruise works as a mechanic from the future, takes place in 2077;

in SG-1the series based on Stargate2077 is the year in which the protagonists believe they have awakened.

That’s not all, because video games too Overwatch (the first and the second), Red Faction (the first and the second), System Shock (both the original and the remake), Deus Ex: Invisible War e Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown are set in 2077. Again: in Continuuma pleasant and not very well-known science fiction serial which can be seen streaming on Prime Video, a detective travels back in time to arrive on present Earth. Starting from 2077, obviously.

Because 2077, between logic, language and graphics

In short, it is undoubtedly there a trend that concerns 2077 as the preferred time in which to have the events take place. But why does this happen? A first explanation comes from logic: for those who write science fiction, whether for a book, a film, a TV series or a video game, a moment in time is needed that is ahead but not too far ahead.

Better said: for the story to be credible or plausible, and perhaps allow people to identify more easily, it must be set in a possible future. And to be possible, this future must be relatively near, not 10191’s Dune. And yet, not too close, otherwise those who read, watch, play video games will understand that what they are seeing is not possible, because if it were possible they would already know it. It is necessary find a compromise: ahead of time but not too far ahead.

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And 2077 is together the year closest to us but farthest away that has more numbers 7 in it. Which seem to be the real reason for this collective love for 2077, which in itself is a graphically beautiful number to look at, satisfying for the eyes, round at the beginning and angular at the end. Alone, 7 is also a number dear to humanity: it is that fortunato in gambling and card games, it occurs often in the Biblewe have 7 days in the week, 7 continents7 mari, 7 colors in the rainbow. Even Snow White was with 7 dwarfs.

This brings us to another plausible reason: the word set It’s a beautiful word to say. It fills the mouth well, has a pleasant sound: in English (the language in which many titles are constructed), it is the only number between 1 and 9 that has two syllables and from a metric point of view its use allows us to construct what are called trochaic trimeters. Words that sound good, indeed two thousand seventy-seven.

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The previous one: all in 1997

Given all this, we understand that what makes magic, from a graphic, symbolic and linguistic point of view, is the repetition of the number 7 more than what’s in front of him. So have there been other uses of 7 in science fiction? And were there also in the century before the one we are living in? Definitely yes, confirming this thesis.

For example, Interstellar it begins in 2067, even if by dint of jumps in time who knows where and when it ends. Going further back: in the saga of Terminatoril August 29, 1997 is Judgment Daythe one where Skynet becomes sentient and tries to wipe out humanity, and two films (Judgment Day e Genisys) are specifically set in 1997; Predator 2 takes place in 1997as well as Open your eyesthe Spanish film it inspired Vanilla Skye Crimes of the Futurea little-known 1970 film directed by David Cronenberg. And there’s probably no need to say when the events told in take place 1997: Escape from New York by John Carpenterwith the Italian title making it clear.

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Remaining to other classics of modern science fiction, it is true that the two Blade Runner are set respectively in 2019 and 2049 and that the saga of Matrix takes place around 2199, but that’s probably the charts exceptions that confirm the rule. Which on the next lap will take us towards 2177. Or 2277. Or even 2777, obviously.


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