Reboots Ever WorkRecently, you might have become aware of a hysterical spate of rumours about the return of hit 90s sitcom Friends. How would you even begin to market that? “Haggard and fat ex-superstars desperately flail for glory with a criminally uncalled-for comeback season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S”? Yeah, I’ve pre-ordered the boxset.

Even though it was denied by series co-creator Marta Kaufman herself in a snarling press release, reboot rumours have been wafting around my mind’s TV for a while now. Do they ever really work? Is it ever worth the hassle? Is it ever anything other than studio executives with big cartoon dollar signs in their eyes?

Take Star Wars. The Grand Tsar of all sci-fi movies before and since is being brought back for another trilogy, with the JJ Abrams-directed reboot scheduled to hit cinemas in 2015. Now, there is simply no discussion to be had about the original trilogy being an iconic landmark on the cinematic landscape, with soaring imagination, awesome aliens and kick-ass fight sequences. But episodes 1, 2 and 3?

They’re not totally awful. I have somewhat of a cancerous soft spot for The Phantom Menace – although that wasn’t a spectacular reboot, either. But I’m willing to forgive the series’ failings because we needed it. We had to know more about how li’l Ani became an evil walking binbag; we were dying to work out how Luke and Leia came into being, and we were damn sure we wanted to see more of Obi-Wan.

However, Return of the Jedi wrapped everything up pretty nicely, with the Empire defeated, Vader redeemed, and incest pushed uncomfortably to the back of everyone’s minds.

Do we really need another trilogy? In terms of getting a whole new angle on the eternally fascinating and expanding universe – always. As a long-term mega fangirl for the series, I can’t wait to see Abrams’ take on the movies after the inept flapping of don’t-let-him-near-a-clapperboard George, and with some of the original cast on board, I’m practically salivating .

But in terms of plot? No, we really don’t need any expansion. It’s not like Battlestar Galactica, which was a complete reimagining of the original series that left endless room for creating new stories and developing new characters. As far as far, far away goes, the story’s done with.

That’s not to say that plot-redundant reboots can’t be entertaining. Me, I’m a Crystal Skull apologist. I loved the reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise, loved it almost blindly, so buoyed was I on the memories of The Last Crusade and Temple of Doom. But it was great in its own right too. A leather-faced Harrison Ford prancing through a script as sharp as Uma Thurman’s rapier? It’s one of the comebacks that worked.

But for every Crystal Skull you’ve got twenty Freddy vs Jasons, a handful of The Pink Panthers, and four score and ten Bewitched’s. The problem with these kinds of remakes is that they often take what was good about the films or shows originally and amplify that factor to an infuriating degree. Liked the cool scientist aunt in Dark Shadows, eh?

Well, here’s Helena Bonham Carter being kooky in the Tim Burton remake! Some reboots come from a clearly financial standpoint; while I can understand the logic behind recreating the gentle charm of The Pink Panther for a modern audience, was there any real outcry for the Ryan Reynolds drivelfest The Amityville Horror? Thought not.

To end on a positive note: the new Star Trek movie works because it accepts that it was essentially a bit of a do-over. Modern audiences had seen the original stylings of the series done to death, and quite rightly it was turned into a wham-bam action thriller with some inspired casting, I’ll admit. It brings about a whole new layer of urgency and really, really cool action scenes to what should be by now a long-buried franchise. I’m going to base my feelings towards the Star Wars reboot on Into Darkness. Over to you, Abrams.