Max explores whether reboots or the revival of old franchises erodes the quality of the original concept.
Resurrection is a theme often discussed in science fiction and fantasy. So it is an appropriate metaphor for soft reboots or continuations of a very famous movie, book, and TV franchises.
In real life, we are currently freezing dead human bodies with the hope that someday in the future, we will be able to resuscitate them and restore them to life. Since this is completely theoretical, we don’t know any of the side effects resurrection can cause. Will something integral to the person be lost or converted when restored to life. Let’s hope it’s only positive. Anyway, in the late teens, early twenties; media has been all about reviving classic franchises. Some may see this as a desperate effort to squeeze money out of an old idea, yet for the fans; it’s pure nirvana.
When they announced Star Wars Episode 7 in 2012, I could not believe my eyes. Dragonball Super was also a huge surprise, as Akira Toriyami had been teasing a series for years when out of the blue, he announced a new movie and then another. Then BOOM, a series! Harry Potter was perhaps the least successful of the three. But they tried to breathe life into an afterthought character (Newt Scamander) and managed to create a decent movie trilogy. Yet, there is always a drawback to a revival.
For Star Wars, it meant erasing the entire Expanded Universe after the sixth movie and starting over. Since 2014’s purge, a lot of old themes and characters have returned to the new mainframe; so it would appear that everything is in order. However, this is truly not the case. The writers of the new movies were too afraid to tick off fans with anything too controversial. Ergo they made a trilogy that was kind of a carbon copy of the Original Trilogy.
The old storyline had its problems, but it was composed of mostly fresh and unique content. The new Sequel Trilogy suffered from a lot of deja vu sequences and I feel that that is uncreative. Also, the whole plotline of the “Chosen One” was rendered null and void by the new movies. It may be fixed sometime in the future, but as of right now, the Chosen One prophecy was indeed wrong and Anakin Skywalker destroying the Sith was negated as the latter returned and had to be destroyed by a brand new character.
Dragonball Z ended with Vegeta’s acceptance that Goku will always be a better warrior than him, no matter how hard he trains. And it was a powerful moment for such an arrogant, prideful and egocentric character. Yet, Super (while not rebooting the Z Saga) allowed Vegeta to catch up to Goku. His rage at having his wife slapped by the God of the Destruction Beerus, boosted his Super Saiyan 2 form until it was temporarily mightier than his Super Saiyan 3. Yes, it was only temporary. But Vegeta achieved Super Saiyan Blue without a ritual and becoming a Super Saiyan God first. This shows that Vegeta truly is a better warrior than Goku, as his skills progressed much more naturally than Goku’s. During the Tournament of Power, Vegeta again ascends past Goku, by reaching his version of Super Super Blue, which he can presumably use indefinitely.
Goku achieved Autonomous Ultra Instinct but did NOT master it and only had it come as a hail Mary during his fight with Jiren. The whole point of Z was to show how Goku progressed to higher levels than the proud Saiyan Prince Vegeta and having him come back years later seems to be a poor story choice.
I’m not even going into the horrible abomination that is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Yet the main problem lies in a concept introduced in the Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies. In these movies, we learn that if a child suppresses their magical abilities, they then become a dark being called an Obscurus and usually die before their 10th birthday. It’s incredibly dark and grim for such a “warm” story. And many have wondered why the eponymous character of the Harry Potter book series did not become an Obscurus himself. As in his early childhood, his rotten Muggle aunt and uncle did whatever they could to impede his magic by crushing his spirit.
Lily Potter’s sacrifice-love-spell may have shielded Harry from becoming an Obscurus. But most children are not as fortunate as Harry and it opens the door for many Muggle-born Obscuri doomed witches and wizards.
All in all, new project reboots or revivals always enhance the fan’s experience. But it seems inevitable that its existence will inevitably cause something important to be lost along the way.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!