What do you remember about the year 1997? Probably not a whole lot. Titanic? The Spice Girls? The tech bubble economy? It's the kind of year that won't get a lot of mentions in future history books.
But the same can't be said for science fiction. According to a lot of science fiction movies, comics and TV shows, 1997 was the single most eventful year in the history mankind. Why did they all pick 1997? Who knows? But according to sci-fi ...
6It's the Year SkyNet Becomes Self-Aware (Terminator 2)
What Science Fiction Promised Us:
"Three billion human lives ended on August 29, 1997."
According to Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, 8/29/1997 at 2:14 a.m. (EST) was the exact moment when machines decided they had enough of our bullshit and started wiping us out like ants, if ants were wiped out with nuclear explosions. The movie predicted that on that date, a complex artificial intelligence defense system would become aware and take control of the country's entire nuclear weapons arsenal, launching an attack against Russia basically just to piss them off. And that would lead us to this part:
Now, we're not advocating the extermination of the human race or saying that a nuclear apocalypse would be "balls awesome" -- we're not soulless monsters. However ... this chain of events did eventually lead to the creation of possibly the most awesome series of killer robots in science fiction history, plus a badass human rebellion led by guys like adult John Connor and time-traveling Kyle Reese. Honestly, we'd be lying if we said a big part of us wasn't looking forward to getting to see all that shit for real.
Sure, we all probably die. But to Terminators, instead of cancer and diabetes and heart attacks.
Plus if the humans win the war, we'd be left with the coolest looking home appliances ever.
What Actually Happened:
In the U.S., the computer networks of government agencies like the FBI, CIA, and the Departments of State and Justice were all breached at the same time in June, 1997, along with various computer systems and power grids all over the country.
"Now, delay Starcraft one more time and see what happens."
But, just as we all got our hopes up and started stockpiling shotguns, it all turned out to be an unannounced anti-hacker exercise carried out by the those jerks at the NSA.