Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nerd Word of the Year: Reboot

[365 Toy Project: 057/365] To Boldly Go Where ...Image by nhussein via Flickr
Reboot (n.) - A new version of an existing story or franchise that discards or ignores existing story continuity. This is different from a retcon, which sees much or all of existing continuity maintained, but with select changes in the backstory. Reboots start from scratch in many ways, and are sometimes indistinguishable from remakes. For example, the Ron Moore/David Eick reinvention of Battlestar Galactica saw major deviations from the 1978 original with main characters changing race, gender, or even species alongside the introduction of major new characters, settings, and themes.

I bring it up because: As we look back at 2009, this was The Year of the Reboot. Culturally, politically , economically, and spec-fictionally, so much was given the reset button it's hard to fathom it all. Sticking close to the nerd-o-verse, Star Trek was conspicuously rebooted, as was the classic TV series V. You can be forgiven for ignoring the painful cinematic reboots of GI Joe, Land of the Lost, Friday the 13th, and Astro Boy along with the second punch-to-the-brain installment of the live-action Transformers reboot. Even classics like The Prisoner, Day of the Triffids, and Sherlock Holmes weren't above the reboot footprint this year. The aforementioned, critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot -- which in many ways kicked off the reboot craze that dominated 2009 -- also drew to a close this year. Here's hoping that in 2010 we get a few more original ideas.