New material appearing in Hollywood has taken a back seat for adaptations, reboots, and sequels. With this in mind I would like to take the time to address an interesting trend of sequels that have been appearing in the last number of years.
The trend of which I speak are new sequels for older movies for newer generations. I am talking about movies that are around 20 years of age or older in the last time that we saw these movies. In this category we also see new characters interacting with older ones to further prove that the movies are indeed sequels. Some of the examples that I have include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road, Creed, Independence Day: Resurgence, Jurassic World, and Tron Legacy
These movies all follow a similar trend. The movies are sequels from movies that appeared originally twenty years or more earlier. Is this trend a good thing for a new generation to learn about the past and of these older films or is it detrimental to Hollywood to focus on these films instead of new creative ideas.
We are in the age of the internet where we are exposed to information and images of the past and we use them all the time in the form or memes, gifs, or whatever else we can think of and as such we are influenced by older movies and we tend to think of interesting ideas of what might happen to these characters that we have learned to love.
I will say though, these new sequels to old movies capture the essence of the old films while breathing new life to them for us younger generation to experience what an older generation experienced many years ago.
With Creed, we have Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed and adopted son of Apollo Creed's Wife and Rocky Balboa, former heavy weight world champion and former rival and friend of Apollo Creed. Adonis wants to box, like his father but not for the name recognition but to prove to himself and everyone else that its not in his name but in his skill that makes him who he is. He decides to go to Philadelphia to gain the help from Rocky Balboa, his father's former rival.
With Force Awakens, we meet the New characters, Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron first before they ever meet the old characters. Rey and Finn meet Han Solo similar to how Luke met Obi-Wan. Both Old timers provide information and help to the new characters in the direction that need to take. Of course its not so black and white as we learn from the movie, both Rey and Finn have similar but different paths and Han Solo is not necessarily the same as Obi-Wan. Force Awakens does have a lot of similarities to New Hope, but there are key differences between the two that make Force Awakens a unique story in the Star Wars Universe.
Mad Max Fury Road is more unique compared to the other two. Whereas Creed and Force Awakens have new characters meeting old ones, Fury Road has an old Character meeting new ones, but since the change in age is not significant, Fury Road is a proper sequel meaning that it is a Mad Max story not too many years into the lore, unlike the other two where they are years apart.
Independence Day Resurgence has yet to be released except for a trailer, but from the trailer we can tell that Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are returning to their former roles. Will Smith is not returning as his character is confirmed dead. It will be interesting to see how the new characters will play out with the old ones.
Jurassic World is a little different in that most of the original cast does not appear for this film. In fact the only character from the original movie that came back was BD Wong's character, a highly trained scientist from the first Jurassic Park, now the head of the science division and one of the two antagonists for the new one. The interaction between the new characters and the old are very limited, but we seem to have a self aware character that knows the history of the park who provides a bit back history to the new generation watching this new Jurassic Park film.
Tron Legacy came out in 2010, but it still holds a similar trend to these other films. It is a sequel to a film that came out many years before with the returning cast of Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner and new characters portrayed by Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. The story has similar elements to these other films where the new characters meet the old ones and becomes a passing of the torch sort of deal.
Overall this trend of new sequels to older films seems to be at least profitable and is quite exciting for younger generations to be exposed to older material by seeing the new material. Perhaps the new sequels to old films will inspire later filmmakers to make truly original films with no connection to older ones