What Did Holograms Ever Do To You

Holograms exist everywhere in every future. The bright shiny technologically super-advanced futures, dirty industrial cyberpunk futures, semi-futuristic pasts, semi-pasteristic futures, not-so-distant futures and just about everything in between. Holograms have appeared in your Star Wars, Star Treks, Blade Runners, Aliens, big budget Hollywood sci-fi epics and hundreds of low budget B-movies, but there is always one thing that every hologram ever perceived in a sci-fi movie has in common, and thus we get to my theory:

No matter how technologically advanced a society is, their holograms will always be imperfect, barely working pieces of shit.

This is the picture that every sci-fi movie paints: a culture that has made intergalactic time travel something the family can do for fun on a Sunday afternoon. That has created space stations and civilized planets across the galaxy. Is able to transport matter from place to place instantaneously and has befriended countless alien beings. Yet it is still unable to get a fucking video to look good. In the future, holograms are used for TVs, phones, decoys and so much other crap. They have become a linchpin of communication. Yet, every instance of one in the future still shows signs of 1950s era television. Many holograms can only display one color. Way to go. Most show heavy interference, scan lines and picture refreshes/breaks constantly pulsing through them. Congratulations. They seem to cut out randomly, never actually letting the viewer see the whole thing. Seriously.

I am willing to accept that in some futures, these terrible holograms make sense. Blade Runner is a perfect example. A technologically advanced, yet run-down, industrial, depressing world. Holograms in this movie should look shitty. It works. Star Wars however, no excuse. The Fifth Element? No. And so on. So why is it that every future has such terrible holograms?

Why has no support been given to hologram makers so distant ahead in time. Do the people really accept that sort of technology as the ‘as good as it can get right now so we might as well take it’ when they are riding around space on beams of light with their alien space-dogs guarding the precious space-cargo (space-hot-pants)? Maybe everyone was too busy mining Spaceridium and creating folds in space-time to try and improve the picture quality of a hologram so that it was comparable to that of something 500 years in the past?

This isn’t some sort of thing that’s burdened by the technology of the film crew at the time, like computers. Computers look shitty too, but they improve as current-world tech improves. But holograms are different. First, they haven’t improved at all. Second, to make a hologram colored, or not look like a giant turd, doesn’t require a more advanced Special FX. There’s no excuse that the technology to make a good looking hologram doesn’t exist.

Is it that all these film creators thought an element of imperfection would help settle our disbelief that all we are watching could really happen in the future? If that’s the case, was there some sort of secret society that all agreed the sacrifice would be the poor undeserving hologram? Why did every movie pick the hologram as the piece of tech that gets the shaft? And did they really think, “Hey, maybe if we make this floating video only one color, they will believe that you can fly 10000 light years in a few minutes to get some sort of laser weapon that melts people’s pants.”

And so a plea goes out.

Dear future,
…with your motorcycle-helmet wearing police force, your cityscapes sprouting fire, your weapons and vehicles of unimaginable power and energy, please, please, fix your holograms. If you have to, please use your time machine to go back when the hologram was first developed and slap the inventor in the eye and tell him to stop being lazy. If you have to, allow Xenu back out of his space-volcano to use the power of Thetans to create a correctly working hologram. Maybe you could even pool together some space-beer money from some of your friends and use it to advance the hologram out of the second-middle-ages era of technology. Thank you,

Looking forward to meeting you,

Doug Hogan