Richard Hatch b. 1945
Mr. Hatch is the major link between the original Battlestar Galactica and the re-boot, though he does not play the same role or even an older version. Many happy returns of the day to him.
Shrek Forever After released, 2010
Terminator Salvation released, 2009
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back released, 1980
It's nerd blasphemy to say this, but I am not the biggest Star Wars fan ever. Ewoks sucked the fun out of it for me long before anyone heard of Jar Jar Binks. That said, The Empire Strikes Back is still one of the greatest sequels ever made, right up there with the second Godfather. If it hadn't been as good as it was, the series could easily have faded away.
Prediction: On May 21, 2011, the righteous will ascend bodily into heaven before the five months of tribulation that proceed the destruction of the planet.
Predictor: Dr. Harold Camping
Reality: I first heard of Camping in the early 1990s. In 1992, he published a book entitled 1994? which postulated that Christ would return in a few years. He gave himself some wiggle room with the question mark and when nothing happened in September 1994, he adjusted his date to March 1995. He did the same in May of 2011, adjusting the date of the Rapture forward five months. The big difference between the prediction last century and the one from two years ago was Camping's advertising budget. It is estimated that over $100 million was spent getting the message out, the vast majority of all the assets the company had. There was also a lot more media attention in 2011 than there was in the 1990s, so his failure was even more humiliating.
Blogger's note: I realize Dr. Camping in no way counts as science fiction, but the same could be said for John Elfreth Watkins. I love a good prediction and if it comes with a date attached, it's gold as far as I'm concerned. Of course, the people who predict the biblical apocalypse suck at it, but regular readers of this blog will realize that science fiction doesn't do all that great a job of predicting exact dates either. There are some brilliant gems, but in general, science fiction predictions adhere to Sturgeon's Law, Ted Sturgeon's famous answer to a critic who claimed that ninety percent of science fiction was crap.
Sturgeon's reply: Ninety percent of everything is crap.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
My man crush John Elfreth Watkins gets a week off because we have yet another exact date that came and went, this one from one of my least favorite films of this century, if not of all time.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!