What are you going to call it? \ Image Pixabay

What Is A Reboot?

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What are you going to call it? \ Image Pixabay
What are you going to call it? \ Image Pixabay

When fans hear that their favorite franchise is getting a reboot, they get both a sense of horror that it won’t be like the original as well as hope that maybe, just maybe, it will be better.

While talking about the announcement of a Ghostbusters 3, my husband and I came on the subject of the 2016 film and whether or not it was a true reboot.

What is a reboot?

My husband said that a reboot for him means the same characters but they can be changed in terms of race, sex, gender, etc…What he didn’t want to see changed though were mannerisms or the personality of said characters. Makes sense to me.

An example he gave was Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. Originally played by Dirk Benedict, when the role was reborn they cast Katee Sackhoff. The character though remained the same cigar smoking, smartass, best pilot in the fleet. Had they taken the character and changed up her mannerisms to being a ladylike flier who thought no better of herself than her squadmates, that isn’t a reboot, that’s rewriting.

Was Ghostbusters A Reboot Or A Rewrite?

Given his definition, the Ghostbusters was not a reboot, it was a rewrite. They took some of the old characters and ideas but they essentially rewrote the book on what and who a Ghostbuster was.

This is not a bad thing.

It gave young girls the vision of themselves busting ghosts, something as a child I myself was lacking as my brother’s played (not that it stopped me from suiting up in one of their Ghostbuster suits when they weren’t looking). But was it what the fans were thinking of when they heard it was being rebooted? I guess that depends on the fan.

What About Other Reboots?

Another popular reboot worth mentioning is Spider-Man. They took the same characters and put different actors in the suits in new situations. They didn’t rewrite what it meant to be Peter Parker. Each actor kept his mannerisms and origin and just played them a bit differently.

Star Trek has some people on the fence. Was it a reboot or a rewrite? It depends. Some would say the time shift with Spock made the new Trek the new original Trek. Some say this was a rewrite of some of the characters because of the changes made due to the circumstances. This is why time travel always puts my head in a spin.

Other films that have been rebooted over the years include The X-Men, Tomb Raider, Godzilla, The Mummy, and Planet of the Apes. Some did well (The X-Men) and some I barely recall being in theaters (Tomb Raider and The Mummy).

What do you think? Is it okay for creators to rewrite a fandom or are you someone who prefers your characters to stay the same no matter the creative reason? Do you have a favorite reboot you think was better than the original? Let us know in the comments!

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1 thought on “What Is A Reboot?

  1. I think it really depends on how good the world building is. Amazing world building means there can be a constant stream of characters and the rewrite works (Star Trek, X-Men), but if the original story is loved only because of the character, then you have to have a reboot of what made it work (Spider-Man). Concept or character made us adore the story?

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