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Out with the new, back with the old.
So, you have a classic film or series that is beloved by an entire generation. It has great critical acclaim, broke all sorts of box office records, and has a massively loyal and devoted fanbase. However, several years have now passed and someone decides that a remake of it is a good way to cash in on its success. By updating for a modern audience and adding references to the original, it seems like it could be successful.

Maybe the reboot doesn't quite work, proving to be an Audience-Alienating Premise to fans of the original and new viewers just aren't interested (again, for the same reasons). Perhaps the reboot is warmly received, but fans still want more from the original timeline. So, how do you rectify the situation?

A sequel set in the same continuity that goes back to the roots of the original, while forgetting the remake ever happened. You bring back the original cast and continue the story while making loving Continuity Nods to truly tap into nostalgia.

Forms of this include:


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics with its DC Rebirth is considered as this due to the mediocre reception of its New 52 initiative. However, rather than saying nothing that happened since the last reboot counts, it's a soft un-reboot, "revealing" that some people and elements are more like their earlier selves than it appeared, and some characters formerly deemed not to exist just hadn't been encountered yet but are still there and also more like you remember than not.
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal and Infinite Frontier bring the Rebirth-era myth-arc to a close and restore not just the pre-New 52 continuity to canon, but all past continuity is merged into one, with Broad Strokes employed to make it all work. Generally in practice, continuity tends to bow closer to pre-New 52, but with characters introduced in the New 52 era kept and their history tied into the pre-existing continuity.
  • The "Retroboot" of Legion of Super-Heroes, which not only returned to the original Legion continuity after two hard reboots, but also undid the softer reboot of the "Five Years Later" era to create something more like if the Bronze Age Legion had just kept happening and been modernized. For added measure, it kept the Reboot and Threeboot Legion continuities by explaining they actually occurred in alternate realities, the destroyed Earth-247 and the still existing Earth-Prime.
  • When Rogue Trooper was rebooted in 1990, he was replaced with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named Friday, who survived a similar massacre of his fellow G.I.s. Things got really messy when both continuities were merged, which eventually led to the original Rogue being killed off. After Friday's story was finally concluded and the entire Tor Cyan solo stories that emerged from Spin-Off Mercy Heights were done, Gordon Rennie began penning new stories set during the original Rogue's hunt for the Traitor General.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: "Vendetta" by Josh Elder seems to take place in a never reached point in the Wonder Woman (1987) (Post-Crisis) continuity, where Amazons Attack! never happened and instead things played out in a trajectory that made sense with the plot Greg Rucka had been building before the story got derailed by events outside of Wonder Woman's book.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica creator Glen Larson wanted to make a second season that would start with Starbuck waking up from a dream where Galactica 1980 happened.
  • The Chucky series shares continuity with the original Child's Play movies and not the 2019 remake.
  • Cobra Kai is a Distant Sequel to the original The Karate Kid (1984). The creators have confirmed that all four of the original films are part of its canon, but The Karate Kid (2010) is not, though it's not a case anymore as the crossover movie is set to be released in 2024.
  • Evil Dead: Several years after Army of Darkness, the series got a reboot with an all new cast starting the story from scratch... or so we thought. The cameo by Bruce Campbell's Ash at the end kinda leaves it all up in the air. However, a few years later, the story returned to series protagonist Ash Williams with the TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, which featured none of the characters or scenarios from the remake film. Word of God always said the remake was a Stealth Sequel and there were hopes of a crossover movie where Mia met Ash or having her appear in the TV series but they never came to pass. Evil Dead Rise also featured a new cast but heavily implied that both the original trilogy and TV show and the 2013 film are still canon to it.
  • Seven years after the original Perry Mason series starring Raymond Burr ended its run, The New Perry Mason, starring Monte Markham in the title role, had an unspectacular run of fifteen episodes from 1973-74. Over a decade later came the made-for-TV-movie Perry Mason Returns, which brought back the surviving cast of the original series (including, above all, Raymond Burr) while disregarding the New reboot.
  • Star Trek: The 2009 reboot creates a new parallel timeline of movies (sometimes called the "Abramsverse"), but is still a very loose continuation of the events of the original timeline. Come 2017, the sixth live-action series of the franchise, Star Trek: Discovery, is set in the original "prime" timeline. Star Trek: Picard, debuting in 2020, is set in it as well, although it's a sequel, not a prequel - and it does take into account events from the 2009 film that took place in the original timeline. Discovery would then confirm that the Abramsverse still exists alongside the Primeverse, with at least one crossing between the 'verses occurring as part of the Temporal Wars.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 2004, World of Darkness was rebooted. However, in 2011 the original setting was given a new lease on life in the form of the 20th anniversary editions of Vampire, Werewolf, Mage and Wraith, which were later expanded upon with entirely new supplements. This proved so successful that in 2015 they not only announced that Vampire: The Masquerade would be getting a 5th edition, but that the rebooted continuity would have its name changed to Chronicles of Darkness. Not quite a straight example though, since Chronicles of Darkness remains its own distinct continuity and continues to get support.
  • In 2014, Warhammer got a Soft Reboot in the form of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar but the original setting got a new lease on life thanks to Total War: Warhammer. This eventually lead to the announcement of Warhammer: The Old World in 2019, though Age of Sigmar will continue to be expanded upon.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • When Wizards of the Coast launched Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, in addition to an assortment of drastic rules changes, the decision was also made to effectively turn the edition into the Ultimate Universe of Dungeons and Dragons: the "base" setting was switched from Greyhawk, which had been the presumed core of both editions of Advanced D&D through to Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, to a completely new setting called the Nentir Vale; The Multiverse of the Great Wheel was replaced by the new World Axis cosmology; and in general the game's lore was rewritten to sharing only Broad Strokes with what came before, as opposed to the "build up, expand and sometimes Retcon" approach that had characterized the lore shifts from 1st to 2nd to 3rd edition. The result was incredibly controversial, and the subsequent Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition actively marketed itself as a return to the original lore, which made it hugely successful... although, ironically, it would also begin heavily retconning its own lore after its initial debut, and by the end of 2021 would be as different from 3rd edition as 4th edition had been when it came to lore.
    • The Forgotten Realms setting underwent a drastic lore shakeup during the shift from 3rd edition to 4th edition. The timeframe was advanced to a full century after a magical apocalypse known as the Spellplague drastically altered the cosmology and the landscape. This proved so unpopular that a new magical catastrophe called the Sundering was introduced to effectively retcon the setting back to being as close to what it looked like in 3rd edition as possible for 5th edition.

    Video Games 
  • After Devil May Cry 4, the next entry was a reboot called DmC: Devil May Cry with an entirely new take on the Devil May Cry mythos by a different developer. The next game after DmC was Devil May Cry 5, with the original continuity, characters, and developers, only a making a few references to and gameplay elements taken from the reboot continuity.
  • Doom³ reset the original Doom series' canon to start over fresh. While Doom (2016) initially appeared to be another reboot, its direct sequel Doom Eternal reveals that the 2016-verse is actually a Stealth Sequel to the classic games, with the original Doomguy eventually dropping out of Hell and onto Argent D'Nur sometime after the events of Doom 64, where he was taken in by the Night Sentinels and eventually remade into the even more powerful and badass Doom Slayer.
  • Double Dragon IV was a direct sequel to the original Double Dragon trilogy (specifically based on the NES versions of the game rather than the arcade originals) released in 2017, almost 26 years after Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones was released on the NES. The series wasn't exactly dormant during those years, as there were plenty of pseudo-reboots and remakes of the first game released in-between. This created a bit of a Sequel Number Snarl, while there was never an official "Double Dragon IV" prior to 2017, the SNES game Super Double Dragon was mostly considered to be fourth game for many years, since there was a later U.S.-developed fighting game tie-in to the animated series titled Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, but neither game were set in the continuity of the original trilogy.
  • The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time trilogy (itself a reboot of the original Prince of Persia series) was followed by a reboot, Prince of Persia (2008), which performed poorly, so the next game, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, returned to The Sands of Time continuity as if the reboot never happened.
  • Several Tomb Raider spinoffs — Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and its sequel, Lara Croft: Relic Run, and Lara Croft GO — use the character design and voice actress from the first Crystal Dynamics era despite being released after the 2013 reboot. The reboot's continuity remained active however, and its entries retain considerably higher budget.
  • Ratchet & Clank (2016) is either this or an aversion, depending on who you talk to. Two-thirds of the game is a direct Remake of Ratchet & Clank (2002), but the other third of it (as well as the overall universe and the context it all takes place in) is taken from the movie, giving it a Reboot flavor. On the one hand, despite fans clamoring for a similar remake of Going Commando, the next Ratchet game was Rift Apart, which returned to the universe of the PS2 and PS3 games, fitting this trope perfectly. On the other hand, the 2016 game entered development well after the movie it's based on did, making it much closer to a one-off Licensed Game similar to Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game.note 

    Visual Novel 

    Western Animation 
  • Downplayed with Blinky Bill; the 1990s animated series got a CGI reboot in 2015, with a new TV series the following year. Despite the reboot's sizeable marketing push, the new movie and series angered many fans of the original, so modern merchandise has recently gone back to using the more-widely accepted 1990s designs of the characters.
  • After the 2014 Rainbow Brite series failed to make an impression due to poor marketing, later merchandise for the franchise went back to the more-well known 1980s designs for the characters.
  • After the critical failure of VeggieTales spin-off/reboot series VeggieTales in the House (which made a number of changes to the show that nobody, especially the show's fanbase, appreciated), the series was rebooted a second time in the form of The VeggieTales Show, which scrapped the characters' controversial redesigns in favor of updated versions of their more familiar "classic" designs and ignored the changes made in In The House in favor of going back to the original show's roots. The only references to In The House that have been made since have been the occasional cameo of characters introduced during that show (and even then they have pointedly never been any of In The House's many scrappies), redesigned to match the show's normal art-style.