From cellphones and tablets to laser cannons and freeze rays, countless sci-fi inventions have ended up dropping the "fi" and come into the real world. One of mankind's most impressive talents is taking something one nerd wrote into a story and making another nerd build it for real. Who knows which far-out, awesome-looking tech will cross over into our reality next?
Hopefully not one of these things ...
6Space Helmets With Lights Inexplicably Pointed At Your Face
Hollywood has been making movies about astronauts since before there were astronauts, so it's completely understandable that they had to bullshit around a little when it came to designing their getups. All the way back in 1951's The Day The Earth Stood Still, for instance, space helmets were skintight, face-hugging pain-hats, because those Lindy-hopping Jitterbuggers figured that other planets were like Russia: cold and terrifying.
20th Century Fox
"Klaatu barada nikto" means "can't see shit."
Even though we know what they look like now, modern sci-fi movies are just as full of shit when it comes to helmets. The problem is, actors are supposed to be sexy and brooding so audiences will buy tickets for their terrible movies ... and if you put that sexy, brooding face inside a metal sleeve, nobody will see it. That's why all the helmets in current movies have lights in them. Not on them, because that's logical and actually a thing NASA does all the time -- these lights have to be inside the helmet, pointing directly at the actor's stupid, handsome face.
20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers Pictures, Paramount Pictures
"Mission control, one of the bulbs went out and no one can see my gorgeous cheekbones!"
"ABORT MISSION! ABORT MISSION!"
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon even retconned some face lights into the helmets of the Apollo 11 astronauts, which would have resulted in them staring at their own reflections.
It was imperative that you knew Neil Armstrong was being played by, you know, that guy.
Obviously, even without reflective helmets, these things would function like pure dogshit. Rather than being able to see their way around dangerous and unknown terrain, these helpless astrohunks are going to have a constant beam of bright white light pointed at their eyeballs. They'll be fumbling around the moon like Mr. Magoo, except when you trip in zero gravity, you fall forever.
"How are we gonna blow up that asteroid, Matt Damon?"
"No idea, Ving Rhames."
5Pointlessly Ball-Shaped Vehicles
One of the simplest methods Hollywood uses to let us know we're watching a sci-fi story is to make all vehicles look all futuristic and badass. Doesn't matter if it's a regular Toronto street or the middle of the desert; as soon as you see some weird-ass car rolling around, you know some laser shit will be coming out sooner or later. Unfortunately, sometimes the "rolling around" part is a little too literal.
Hopefully, the Men in Black are paying royalties to Mr. Garrison from South Park.
Look at that silly crap. Monowheels were already outdated in the 1930s -- society has officially relegated them to clown accessory status by now. And yet sci-fi movie writers are obsessed with making completely circular vehicles, like they're all still cavemen and the most mind-blowing form of transportation they can think of is a huge goddamn tire.
Speaking of prehistoric baloney, Jurassic World put a new spin on the Big Wheel concept by putting tourists inside some oversized hamster balls so they could get up close and personal with a bunch of dinosaurs. Now imagine the mounds of dino dung littering those fields, and then picture what that stupid ball is going to look like by the time they're done with their little jaunt.
At least they won't be able to see the dung through all the puke covering the inside.
The Star Wars universe, meanwhile, has a long-standing appreciation for this trope.
Alternate headline for this article: BB-8's Parents REVEALED? Click To Find Out!
Oh yeah, we're going there. While it's undeniable that BB-8 has got more charm and personality than many real actors in the franchise (including most of the principals in the prequels), even NASA thinks it's a garbage droid. It looks modern because Hollywood has trained us to think "balls = future," but its mobility leaves much to be desired. The rule of thumb is: If you can't play a soccer match there, BB-8 is shit out of luck. If only there were a way to get BB-8 up off the ground a little bit so it could more easily navigate difficult terrain. What would such a clearly superior design even look like?