By: Ariel Aisen <email@example.com>
Today is the scheduled release date for the fourth installment in the “Indiana Jones” franchise, “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” Harrison Ford will reprise his celebrated role as the adventurous archaeologist, with a big difference: the most recent installment, “The Last Crusade,” starred a much younger Ford (19 years younger, to be exact).
Conveniently, this film takes places in the same time frame, set roughly 19 years after “The Last Crusade;” fittingly, everyone’s favorite whip-cracking hero will be fighting against conniving Soviets instead of plotting Nazis.
In similar fashion, a “Star Trek” film, reportedly serving as a prequel to the ground-breaking 60s series starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, is set to premiere next May.
The young cast includes several noted comedians, such as John Cho from the “Harold and Kumar” series and British actor Simon Pegg from “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Hardcore fans of the classic series question how this modern film will live up to the reputation of its predecessor.
These examples reflect a trend that has been going on in Hollywood for years: revivals and remakes of classic and successful films—and more recently, television series—that more often than not modernize the older media to an almost unrecognizable extent. The question is however, whether or not this trend is unique to the mass media; does it reflect a retro movement in our culture in general, a sort of veneration for the days of old?
Society has advanced in countless ways since the 60s, and even since the 80s, when the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” took the nation by storm.
But even as technology develops at groundbreaking speed, and picture phones and text messages replace cameras and telephone calls, homage is still paid to classic traditions, as evident in some fashion and music trends.
Artists like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones are still cranking out tunes, and vintage stores peddle old fashions to a new, impressionable generation of consumers. One explanation could be the theory that time is cyclical, and events and trends of the past are bound to repeat over and over.
A more logical conclusion would be that industries such as film studios wish to take advantage of the popularity of older, but wildly successful, creative ventures. By presenting them to both the old fans as well as a modern audience, the profits generated can be continued long after a television series, for example, has concluded. Ariel Aisen is an entertainment editor for the HiLite. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.