When I was reading an article on io9 about J.J. Abrams Star Trek being a “reboot” it struck me. Isn’t that the same thing we have experienced with the latest edition of D&D? So, what’s a reboot?
Take the latest James Bond movie “Casino Royale” for example. Not only the actor playing Bond has changed, we also see the whole series restarted. James Bond isn’t 007 yet, and there are no signs of fancy gadgets and even Q. The whole movie is darker and more violent than most of it’s predecessors. I believe the same thing could be true with J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie. The ship and the crew are the same (played by a younger cast of actors of course) but there will probably be massive changes to Star Trek lore.
Now let’s look at D&D 4th Edition. The developers have taken a lot of the elements that made D&D and arranged them in new ways. They reintroduced concepts from eras long gone (like epic destinies) and took other concepts out completely (like Vancian magic for example). When you look at the new Forgotten Realms you can perhaps see it more clearly what I mean by reboot. It’s still the Realms in a way, but there has been some world-changing event that turned it into something new.
When you take this in consideration, you can understand why some people hate the new edition so much. It’s the same reaction I first had, when I heard of the changes they made in “Casino Royale”. “That’s not James Bond anymore… how could there be 007 without Q and his gadgets… this is just another action movie” these were my words. But when I gave the movie a chance, I was positively surprised.
But of course, there will still be people who are not content in the way things turned out. But that’s the way things work. And don’t forget: even if the “powers that be” reboot James Bond, Star Trek and D&D, nobody will take your “Goldfinger” DVD, your Star Trek Classic VHS collection or your AD&D 2nd Edition PHB away from you.