Is Nostalgia Killing Geek Culture?

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I’m getting pretty sick of reboots. Sure, the new “Star Trek” movies are amazing, and you know I shelled out a lot of money to see “The Force Awakens” multiple times in the theaters, but I think that all of these reboots are getting in the way of new things to geek out about.

There’s nothing inherently bad about rebooting a series — I just have a problem with how it’s being done. Take “Star Trek” as an example. Instead of building on the universe like was done with “The Next Generation” and “Voyager,” the newest iterations of the series are essentially a mousetrap using nostalgia as the cheese. The rebooted movies follow nearly the exact same formula as the original series, down to recycling jokes and tropes. The stories are (for the most part) innovative and original, but there’s nothing new in the way they’re being told. If you watch with a critical eye, you can easily see that one of the primary goals of the movies is to exploit the nostalgia of long-time fans.

The part that makes me angry is that this is what’s defining geek culture right now. All of the biggest geek movies of the last five years have been sequels, reboots, or adaptations.

Sure, we’re getting a lot of great things out of it, but we’re not really getting anything new. Think back to what made the original “Star Wars” such a hit. It wasn’t because J.J. Abrams was hitting all of the right nostalgia buttons; it was because it was new. Nothing like that had ever been done before. On the other hand, look at “The Force Awakens.” Compare it to “A New Hope.” One of the biggest complaints I heard about Episode VII is that the plot is almost the same as Episode IV. It was still a great movie (I was one of the people defending it), but the critics have a point. When are we going to stop catering to the previous generation and get something truly new in geek culture? As much as I loved seeing Chewbacca again, I have to wonder what we could achieve if we turned our gaze to the future rather than staying trapped in the past.

 

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In order to master the dungeon, you must let the dungeon master you.

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