J.J. Abrams has a pet peeve when it comes to TV or movie stories set in the future.
The Star Trek into Darkness director gets annoyed when writers use phrases or actions in their futuristic stories that will not be used in that future time frame being shown, but are only relevant today.
“I don’t often kick my feet up and ponder what it’ll be like fifty years from now,” Abrams said, “but I find myself — whether it’s been working on movies like Star Trek or a series like Almost Human — I do find myself asking what do I believe about what could happen. Frankly, one of my biggest pet peeves is the use of certain phrases that I just can’t for the life of me believe will exist five decades from now.
“Even little things. If you read a story about a hard drive, it’s like, There won’t be a hard drive! I’m not saying there won’t be a version of a memory cartridge or some obvious equivalent. If you’re telling a story about the future, we’re going to be bipeds, we’re going to be wearing clothes, we’ll live in structures, we’ll consume comestibles, we’ll inhale oxygen. They’re all things we know we’ll maintain.”
Abrams reminded people to look back in time to understand his complaint. “When you think on a day-to-day basis how many little things we might say or refer to that if thirty years ago someone had said to you, ‘You know, I’ll text you in 10 minutes,’ you’d be like, ‘What’d you say?’ It would almost be like alien talk.
“You have to think in terms of practical dialogue. Producing a TV show or movie, there are just going to be certain phrases and terms that will be completely alien to us now, if we heard them from the future.”