Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ranting On...Lost's Future

When it comes to every beloved franchise, whether it be books, TV, or film, the question usually becomes "how do we expand it?"  It's worth noting that the question is rarely "should we expand it," even if that should be part of the consideration, and six years out from Lost it's a question that probably should be on the table.

After all, fan demand for followups has never been higher and capitulating to those demands (regardless of whether or not it's good for the series) is something we constantly are seeing.  Sometimes we see a series rebranded or extended in some fashion like Arrested Development, Full House, and Boy Meets World.  Other times, it comes in a movie (Veronica Mars, Firefly) or a comic book series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof have indicated that they don't really want a reboot, but that they don't have that much control over whether or not one occurs, so I think it's worth discussing whether Lost should continue on in some format other than a random week of blog posts six years after the finale.

There is a part of me that is, of course, willing to scream from the mountaintops "HELLS YES!" and I'm guessing any true fan who says an unqualified "no, I don't want it back" is lying.  As we've found out this week, there are still a number of questions that weren't explicitly answered or there were side characters who still have a host of questions surrounding them.  The idea of stepping back into this universe is unbelievably attractive to me-quite frankly re-watching all of the episodes for the first time in five years felt like an unhindered joy, just re-introducing myself with Sawyer and Kate and Eko and all of the many characters of the show that made it feel so special.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to see them again.  It's half the reason I tune into Colony every single week, in fact.

But the reality is that the show truly concluded well.  I know I discussed this yesterday, but the finale answered the question of whether or not the characters had happy endings, and while some of them didn't in the world of the living (Locke, Shannon, and Libby come to mind in particular), they all had a happy ending in the sideways/limbo world, and entered into the next phase, whatever that may be, together as one.  All of the characters we would want to see again would have to have their stories rewritten to continue on with the show, or if we just started where the main timeline ended we'd have to do the series without John or Jack, which feels blasphemous.  The ending for the show was pretty much perfect in terms of emotional closure.

A reboot, or a Star Wars-level reboot, might be a possibility, of course, but even that is rife with problems.  We could see, for example, an era where Walt takes over as the Island's protector (we get the sense that he would, inevitably, be Hurley's successor), and there were a number of established children who could grow up and crash in a plane.  Take a world where Clementine, Aaron, Ji Yeon, Julian, Megan, and Charlie Hume all somehow end up on the same flight, all of whom not knowing what might be in store-Lost: The Next Class, if you will.  Throw in a couple of actors from the original series (perhaps Emilie de Ravin in old age makeup), and you have an idea that at least could make it past a board room.

But that wouldn't be Lost, and it wouldn't be what the show needs added to its lore.  The reality is that most reboots are terrible, and in some ways simply hurt the original packaging.  Even Star Wars, a film that is fun to watch, is going to give us a world where Han Solo dies at the hand of his son (sorry, I'm not doing a bloody spoiler-alert-if you wanted to see it, you would have gone by now), rather than having a noble life that continues for decades to come with Leia as we imagined.  Reboots are rarely as good as Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the few extensions of a series that genuinely worked, and even then you had to tackle an entirely new world and change the plot in many ways.

I'm not saying I'm opposed to any sort of extension of the series, but like Harry Potter, I think the best you should be shooting for is an exhaustive encyclopedia with all of the secrets (yes, I'll buy the new HP book but I'm not very happy about it and worried Rowling is about to ruin her wonderful series).  Lost essentially already did this, but has enough inaccuracies I wouldn't be opposed to a more complete installment.  Aside from that, it feels like this story is finished.  It's sad to think we'll never go back to the Island, but we had a marvelous ride while it lasted.

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