‘Ghostbusters’ Vs. ‘Star Wars’ — How To Reboot A Story

by Frank Martin

Rebooting and reviving old franchises is a big trend nowadays. Nostalgia is huge as filmgoers want to experience and revisit the characters and stories from childhood. But the success of these stories has been all over the map. Some have been great and worthwhile endeavors, while others seem to be nothing more than a vein cash grab to keep a franchise going. A lot of times these stories merely retread old territory while sprinkling in some new characters and storylines. Two films that tried this model were Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The overall plot of Ghostbusters: Afterlife sees the children of a fallen Ghostbuster try to stop essentially the same bad guy from the first film. It brought back the ghost creatures known as the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster, and even had them take possession of characters similar to what happened in the first film. The old Ghostbusters then returned to help in the final battle. The threat was definitely the same, just in a new setting with new characters at the helm.

The Force Awakens did something very similar as the plot followed along the same lines of the very first Star Wars movie. A droid encounters a young person with big hopes and dreams on a desert planet. Then the final battle takes place in a giant space station that’s capable of threatening the galaxy. The difference between The Force Awakens and Afterlife is that the latter didn’t try to hide its rehashing of its plot. The elements were right there in front of the audience, allowing them to enjoy it. Meanwhile, The Force Awakens tried to mask its similar plots with new characters. There’s even a scene in a dastardly pub that kind of mimics Star Wars’s famous cantina scene. So while both of them touched upon nostalgia, Ghostbusters: Afterlife harnessed it in a much better way.

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