Who Wore It Better? Retro vs. Reboot

Star Wars: Retro vs. Reboot

Reboots have been the bread and butter of Hollywood for years. They also tend to divide fans into two camps: those who prefer the classics and those who prefer the reboots. And, oh boy, can those two camps go after one another. But really, at the end of the day, we’re all fans. And isn’t that what matters?

Yes. Yes it is. Which is why this article won’t be comparing the qualities of reboots with their original franchises. Instead we’ll be putting the costumes side by side so fans in both camps can appreciate how tastes and styles have changed over the years. And if you and your friends happen to find a costume you like, it’s always fun to do a group costume where universes – or timelines – collide!

Star Trek

Few franchises have had as many different costumes as Star Trek. Every new iteration of the show has brought a new uniform for the crew. Now some of the changes are understandable. Roughly 75 years pass between the original series and The Next GenerationDeep Space Nine takes place during the course of Next Generation with Voyager following up on the tail end of Deep Space Nine’s run.

And these are just the TV shows. I’m not even touching the chronology and uniforms of the movies! In fact for the sake of this article I’m limiting the comparison to the original series and the Kelvin timeline reboot.

Given that the series covers so much time – both in the real world and in the Star Trek universe – it makes sense for Starfleet’s uniforms to change, just like real-world organizations.

Star Trek TOS

In the original series the uniforms were fairly simple. Women could wear dresses or tunics and Starfleet personal of any gender could wear the combination of black trousers and boots paired with a sweater color-coded to their department. One notable difference between the Enterprise crew in the Prime Timeline versus the rebooted Kelvin timeline is the way they wear their pants.

Kelvin Timeline Enterprise Crew

In the original series the crew wore their pants outside their boots. The pants only went down to mid-shin and flared out around the boot. It was most likely a look adapted from real-world American naval uniforms, given the much of Starfleet’s ranking and operation systems are fashioned after those of naval fleets.

In the Kelvin timeline reboot the pants are worn tucked into the boots. While they’re not bloused like many current military units require, it is a modern look.

Other changes include removing the decorative gold rickrack around the wrists. In some cases, namely the chief officers of different departments, the rickrack was replaced by two silver bands for a much more modern and utilitarian spin on the former decoration.

Star Wars

Stars Wars didn’t so much get a reboot as a continuation. And while the fashion of Star Wars didn’t change much between the first trilogy and the most recent set of movies – to say nothing of Padme’s amazing wardrobe in the second trilogy – there are a few key differences.

Original Star Wars Trilogy

In the original series we see a lot of shiny black boots, even on those who aren’t in militant groups. We also see a lot of oranges and yellows, tones that were very common in the ’70s but have largely fallen out of favor since.

The Force Awakens

New costumes tend to favor dark browns, rich blues, and black in addition to the khaki color carried over from the original series. Modern costumes also use more leather while costumes in the original trilogy – with the exception of Han Solo’s – favored fabric vests and accessories.


Original She-Ra

Some reboots are more welcome than others. And as anyone with a fandom social media account can tell you, the She-Ra reboot was less welcome than most. It’s not surprising given that the original She-Ra cartoons were hotly contested by the He-Man fandom. Of course She-Ra eventually grew to be fan favorite with a huge cult following, much of which have come to love the reboot too.

She-Ra Reboot

The most obvious change – and the biggest complaint – is that the rebooted Adora is not an adult. She’s a teenage girl and that her costume was changed to give Adora more coverage. Rather than a bustier top Adora now wears what is effectively a tank top dress over white shorts. Her boots have a smaller heel  and her cape is attached to her dress rather than, seemingly, to a collar around her neck. She still bears a winged head dress and has same symbol on her chest.

The Addams Family

The Addams Family franchise first met the world thanks Charles Addams in 1938. It is one of the longest-running popular franchises around and has had so many iterations that some people forget it started out as a cartoon. The kind in publications, not on a screen. Even beloved characters like Thing and Cousin Itt – which weren’t introduced until 1954 and 1964 respectively – have been around so long most people don’t remember a time without them.

Original Addams Family

After all the reboots and iterations, though, The Addams Family still stands out for one reason: nothing much has changed. Morticia still wears a mermaid cut dress that flares at her ankles, Gomez still wears pinstripe suits, Fester is still in an oversized monk-like robe, and Wednesday is still in pigtails with a Peter Pan collar while Pugsley runs amok in his striped shirt, black shorts, and boots.

Addams Family Show

The age orders of the children change a little as does Gomez’ height. But the family always stays spooky, ooky, mysterious, and kooky.

Addams Family 1991

Later versions of Wednesday favor a dress over pants and a coat as seen in some of the early cartoons. And for a while Pugsley lost his pet octopus, Aristotle. But no matter what form the family takes, they always stick together. And that is just as obvious in the most recent 2019 reboot which brought the family back almost to the exact looks they had in the original Charles’ Addams cartoons.

Addams Family 2019

There are a million more reboots we could go into. Whether it’s Westworld, Marvel, or Ghostbusters, there are too many to count. And more are on the horizon. Wheel of Time is coming to Amazon Prime and He-Man – at least rumor – has two reboots coming to Netflix. Each one is sure to bring in new fans and stir up fresh fire in those that have been around since the original franchise. And when those reboots launch we’ll be here with fresh costumes for fans new and old!

About the Author

A.C. Rodgers

A.C. Rodgers is a writer and a researcher combining her love for pop culture with her passion for storytelling. She is easily distracted by Marvel, mythology, sci-fi, fantasy, a good book, or a nice cup of tea. When she's not writing for Carbon Costume she can be found on Twitter and Instagram or working on her latest novel,

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