Because I’m mildly insane, and because I have a great love for trying to connect fictional worlds that should never connect, I thought it would be fun to attempt to assemble a cohesive timeline connecting the films reviewed during this series. It don’t know that it’ll work, but I’m willing to try. I should also note that we didn’t think about this at all while selecting the films, we simply picked whatever sounded fun to review, so any similarities in plot are purely coincidental and lucky.
The texts detailing our past are sketchy and not much help in uncovering what happened to the Earth all those years ago. I have examined the colored discs the ancients left behind, in hopes of better understanding their ways and cultures. If my assumptions are correct, this is pretty close to an accurate version of our history from 1994–2013.
The first specimen was something called Escape From New York, and it is our baseline. Crime had apparently risen astronomically, and the great city of New York was turned into a prison. The story tells of one man’s desperate attempt to rescue the corrupt president of the United States, an event that would later shape the course of the country.
Meanwhile a couple of years later in 1999, the Japanese police force was also having trouble keeping their people in line, and had employed giant robots as their patrol labor. They thwarted a dastardly attempt at injecting a malware into the country’s AI, an early example of the tech-based threats we now live with on a day-to-day basis.
Back in the US, Snake’s rescue apparently inspired the nation. Tales of gladiatorial combat and his ability to kill without a second thought must have spread like wildfire, as in the year 2000 the great American pastime had become the Annual Transcontinental Death Race. It ran from the East Coast all the way to what was then known as New Los Angeles. Colorful characters drove equally flamboyant cars to satiate the country’s wild desires and bloodlust. This couldn’t have been good for the state of the world…
On the other side of the globe just one year later, prisons continued to be a source of societal issues. The increased focus on wild violence led some small groups of martial arts practitioners to learn striking methods so effective that a single punch could destroy anything it touched. I, of course, speak of the infamous Story of Ricky, and his short stint inside a corrupt Hong Kong prison.
Contrary to our popular belief that it is impossible, time travel seems to have been invented back in 1994. The United States government kept it completely under wraps from the public, though. Snake Plissken had faded into obscurity, with most again thinking he was dead, and the government re-purposed his act of desperation into a daring act of heroism by a fallen hero. This reinvigorated the American public’s dormant patriotism and their faith in the US government, making the 2004 election one of the most watched events in national history. A desperate man grasping for power sought to use this important election as a stepping stone, but his attempts were rather daringly stopped by the impressive folk hero known as JCVD. Of course, his ability to do the splits is still legendary even in our time, but this little known tale of his dedication proves what a national treasure he truly was.
Meanwhile, off-world on the planet Cybertron, the Autobots and Decepticons waged war over control of the planet in 2005. Their very way of life — and ours — was threatened by the ominously voiced planet of Unicron, but thanks to the valiant efforts and sacrifices of many, the universe was saved. It is easy to overlook the importance of events that happen outside our line of sight, but the work of the Transformers has been, and continues to be, very influential on the course of the planet and its people.
Back on Earth in 2007, the great quake finally hit New Los Angeles, causing parts of the city to be swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean. The city was rechristened New Angeles, and gangs reclaimed the streets with their fists and truckloads of neon colored clothing. But two brothers stood in the way of another evil man’s villainous dreams, proving that the bonds of brotherhood and a good jump kick really can trump the forces of evil.
The next few years seem to be lost to the sands of time, but hopefully another trip to the archives will reveal what happened in the lull between 2007 and 2013. These years have always been the sketchiest, but thankfully we were fortunate enough to uncover two detailed accounts of 2013. One focuses on the events that shaped what was once the state of Oregon, and another once again brought us to the remnants of Los Angeles. What became of the eastern lands of the States is lost to time, and we may never know.
The first account of 2013 is the tale of The Postman. In Oregon, the survivors of the apocalypse chose to reject modern society and instead fled to the hills. Driven back in time by the shock of the nation’s collapse, they lived as if it were the 1800s, growing their own food and using horses for their transportation. But mostly, they kept to themselves. The figure of the postman became iconic and important, as he brought the disparate communities together, and helped them to resist the evil hand of Bethlehem, a copy machine salesman turned warlord.
Meanwhile in the Los Angeles wasteland, our old friend Snake Plissken was driven out of hiding by the president. Snake’s status had continued to grow in the years following his daring escape from New York, so when the president’s daughter went apeshit and defected to the side of gang leader Cuervo Jones, the president knew there was only one man for the job. Once again, Snake was tasked with infiltrating a maximum security prison, and once again he made it out alive. But Snake’s final act led to what came to be known as the Great Global Campfire event of 2013, which would eventually lead to the slow reformation of human society as a whole.
It’s been many years since these events took place, but it’s always important to remember where you came from. Peace out.
Thanks for indulging me a bit, and hopefully this is as fun to read as it was to write! It was a great series; I had a total blast watching and writing about the films! Here’s to a great 2013! Preferably one without the strife, disaster and heartache, though. Oh, and I could do without the ’90s-esque folk-pop songs of The Postman too!