Year after year, Hollywood churns a host of sequels, reboots, and remakes on a quest to find Eden, because embedded deep within our souls is a nostalgic quest for a lost paradise—and film is often where it leads us.
The reason sequels, reboots, and remakes become mixed up in this desire is because our broken world is deficient to satisfy our hunger. Instead, we attach the desire to something more tangible, but still vague enough to provide an ineffable hope, like memories of feelings we have had in certain times in our past, when things seemed just right. We can expect evidence of this reality when we go to the movies. We are drawn to sequels and prequels because they promise to take us back to a place we remember enjoying. We are drawn to reboots and remakes because they promise to recreate encounters with characters and stories that once gave us comfort. We love these films because they promise to give us something we remember being perfect.
As C.S. Lewis says: “The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”