Top 10 – Reboots
To reboot something is to give it fresh life, to revive a series long gone. Sometimes, this is done because of fan input and other times, it’s done completely out of the blue. Either way, we know that when something is rebooted, it can bring an entirely new direction to the series. As such, today, we’re here to list our Top 10 Reboots.
10) Robot Wars (2016-2017)
Ah, Robot Wars. When this show came back, I think we all just about lost our collective minds. I was living in shared accommodation through most of this – and it became our Sunday night entertainment. We would watch as genius inventors pitted their indestructible killing machines against one another, as well as some not-quite-so-genius designs being thrown deep into the robot arena pits.
Robot Wars is more than just a series that people were invested in from a viewing standpoint; we were invested in the lives behind the inventors. When Apollo won the first of the reboot series, we were in awe. When Carbide ripped through the competition in the second series, we loved it. We were all cheering for Eruption in the third series… and now, they’re all gone. Just like that, they’ve not been renewed. Bad form, BBC.
9) Futurama – Bender’s Big Score
Five years after being canned by Fox because Fox don’t believe we should be allowed nice things, Comedy Central commissioned the return of beloved sci-fi parody Futurama starting with a series of feature-length episodes. Bender’s Big Score was the first, and not only saw the group return to incredible form with one of their best stories – a tale of greed, scams, time travel, and self-resolving paradoxes – but it saw Futurama return to our screens for just long enough for us to get bored.
We see Fry returned to the past, pursue a Moby-Dick tale of heartbreak, reunite with his dog, and break our hearts all over again, while the gang wage war on Earth with Santa’s help, all the while dropping the same comedy quality we’d grown accustomed to, and then some. Follow ups were only mildly less humorous, although the Beast With a Billion Backs was pretty damn good, and it was nice to have Futurama back for long enough to give it a proper send-off.
8) Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy
We had to actually consider whether or not this could be called a reboot, as it’s a remaster. The difference should be obvious, but typically a remaster is when you take a game and improve its graphics and bring it to a modern audience, sometimes improving gameplay and more. With this in mind, it’s not like they just brought back Crash Bandicoot following this, now is it? Well uh, that’s actually where you’re wrong…
… See, the N-Sane Trilogy, for all of its controller flaws, brought Crash Bandicoot to the forefront of gaming. It made a megastar once more out of the already-legendary Australian creature. Crash was back and it was totally as hard as Dark Souls, you guys. However, hope for a sequel to the N-Sane Trilogy has been sparked, as there was a post on LinkedIn which spoke of an unannounced project. Furthermore, Spyro is now being remastered.
A reboot simply needs to bring new eyes, new life to an otherwise dead franchise. Therefore, in our minds, a remaster counts.
7) Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty
A sequel almost 20 years in the waiting, Blizzard took a rather dramatic step away from the RTS genre after the runaway success of World of Warcraft, so that rather see the masters of mass-appeal strategy gaming instead turned to dominating the MMORPG market for over a decade. But as the trailer said, “it’s about time”. This time we witness something of a love story, as Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan are reunited, and torn apart, again and again, as if the universe itself were against them.
One title may not exactly be a reboot, but the two game-sized DLC campaigns made it one rather substantial release that received Blizzards typical level of praise for its balance, narrative, and general gameplay. And there’s always hope for 2037 for Starcraft 3, right after they stop releasing more DLC for WoW.
6) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This prequel trilogy recently concluded the story of how ape supplanted man as the dominant intelligent species. We briefly see the launch of a space shuttle as we follow James Franco and best friend and smart ape Caesar – the role that took Andy Serkis from being merely very popular, to a household name – as they contend with their roles as two intelligent beings in a master/pet relationship, and how burgeoning intelligence caused the apes to reject their animalistic oppression.
Incredible use of motion capture, shifting dialogue into sign language, and a few reasonably well framed references… reasonably, make for a great reintroduction to some of the best made prequels this century. Personally I think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was the better film, but one could not have happened without the other, and they’ve all got stupidly long titles.
5) Mad Max: Fury Road
Fully thirty years after the release of Beyond Thunderdome, the series that defined post apocalypse in the way Tolkien defined fantasy returned with a return to form that blew everyone away. Tom Hardy as the wandering witness with a little-known history gave a strong performance, although he only needed to serve as a fixed point for the camera to follow as the plot careened wildly around him.
Based more on a storyboard than an actual script, Fury Road was a masterpiece of storytelling visually, shifting from set-piece to incredible set-piece, escalating, and erratically shifting in pace in a way that most films would not be accepted for. In Mad Max’s diesel fueled world it works so very well. Though the remainder of the Trilogy has been stalled by studio-politics, a sequel would broadly be embraced, in the hope that lightning can strike twice.
Not bad for a film that’s one long car chase.
4) Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is an excellent example on how to reboot a franchise, which had a bit of a bad last run. Whilst Star Wars has always been alive and good, it’s fair to say that J J Abrams continuation of the main storyline has been a roaring success story. Many people believed that with Disney at the helm, the franchise would have suffered with pandering to kids, but really let’s be honest – Star Wars always did cater to children.
Do not get my words mixed up! I’m not saying Star Wars is just a kids sci-fi series, I’m suggesting that it’s always been a kid-friendly franchise. If this weren’t true, Jar Jar Binks wouldn’t have been made. Sheesh, we really should stop sinning by using its name on this website. Nevertheless, Episode VII was excellent – It reintroduced old characters, gave context behind what happened after the events of Episode VI and, yes, created some brand new, truly enjoyable characters in the progress.
I am eagerly awaiting Episode VIII. Episode VII made a fan out of me!
3) Battlestar Galactica
It may have upset a few die-hards of the 1970s series, and its finale may have baffled some (I loved it), the SyFy series took the last stand of humanity to new heights of drama, intrigue, tension, and despair. Good science fiction benefits from being good drama, and the ever mounting question of the identity of the remaining Cylon sleeper agents was a heated subject for quite some time, and those who proved not to be fully Cylon… what were they in the end?
The last colonies reduced to a fleet of a few ships, humanity numbering a mere five digits, resources ever dwindling, suspicion rife, and an immortal enemy without number. It’s little wonder that our survival depended upon a philosophical victory rather than a military one, the question of the nature of life, the importance of mortality and individuality, and the embracing of the uncertain, the mystic, and the spiritual. In the end, perhaps the 2004 series could have stood without taking the title of the ’78 series, as it stood very clear out of its forebear’s shadow, and cast a rather large one of its own.
2) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
The ponies of Equestria are a magical bunch, bringing about a whole new meaning to magic. My Little Pony was originally a show for little girls, but when the reboot came about, there was enough behind it that a bunch of men and women from the internet decided they liked it too… And thus was born an interesting matrimony. One that blended memes with ponies, whilst delivering something aimed for kids.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is often a taboo subject, as there are those out there who just say bad things about the fandom, collectively known as Bronies or Pegasisters. However, I say that these My Little Pony fans are just that; fans who want nothing more than to love their magical show – and who can blame them? Pretty colours, fabulous hairstyles and all in all, ponies with powers that can rival any superhero.
1) Batman Begins
Arguably the best of all of the Batman films and, depending on your view on what constitutes a good superhero, this is arguably one of the best superhero films ever made. At least, that’s what Joel thinks and I’m hard pressed to find an argument against this. Batman Begins rebooted the DC Universe’s dark knight in the best of ways – It made him gritty, it made him serious, but most importantly, it contained incredible sequences, a compelling plot and all in all a visual redesign fitting the caped crusader
Of course, we later on ended up getting The Dark Knight itself, which was an absolutely incredible film. Without Batman Begins, however, we’d have never gotten the trilogy including The Dark Knight. Whilst Batman Begins was just the beginning of the rebooted series, it certainly left its mark on us.
… Now, If we were being serious for a moment, there is only one major flaw. Batman’s armour nipples are gone. Boo.
Not all reboots are the same – Sometimes, they come back and are genuinely excellent. Other times, when a reboot occurs, we’re greeted with something that is much worse than the original. Below are two more examples of reboots we just had to mention.
Not all reboots need to actually succeed and indeed, we sometimes need something to fail hard to understand trends. Take, for instance, the Dungeon Keeper reboot which, needless to say, was a bit of a trainwreck that nobody appreciated. The game was rife with in-app purchases and microtransactions, which hindered the game from a gameplay perspective quite significantly. It’s hard to fathom why Peter Molyneux barely contributed to the title. Ultimately, this led to such a dismal performance, along with aggressive censoring of user reviews. No guys, your complaints are not worth their time – You’re just playing it wrong!
But there we are – That’s what we got. It was in no way similar to Dungeon Keeper of old, opting for a more tower defence style of game. But what really did make this game flop hard was the in-app purchases. This being said, people were happy enough to gravitate towards it, as the game did look good and, all things considered, played well enough for a free-to-play. Furthermore, bad publicity is still free publicity. The game sparked uproar for the changes made to the much loved franchise, along with the atrocious wait times between certain actions.
Because there aren’t many puns that can be made about reboots, here’s the one good one we had left. The fully CGI kids sci-fi series presented us with a nightmarish vision of how anthropomorphic data witnesses the internet, the godlike users, the very existence of computer games, the corruptive power of viruses, and also showed us that CGI had some potential in the mainstream. It was also an awesome series, and got intensely dark in places that kids TV should do more often.
And the best news is Reboot is getting a reboot! Rebooted Reboot will be appearing on Netflix.
The bad news is, here’s what it looks like:
Now that our reboots have come and gone, it’s time for us to be able to going forth to enjoy new, original content. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll stop writing Top 10’s one day and be forced to reboot this long-standing series of articles? All we know is that we’re still going to be here next week, so you may as well vote for what our next Top 10 should be:
At the end of the day, a reboot can only exist as long as there is an original. But I wonder, what do you make of reboots these days? Do you think Batman Begins was a worthy winner of the top spot, or do you think something else should have been our number one reboot? As ever, share your thoughts and opinions below, or over on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Share your favourite reboots with us and have a happy Easter weekend!