It used to be the case that “arguing about Ghostbusters” simply meant, say, debating the feasibility of parading a 200-ton copper statue through the streets of Manhattan without doing way more damage than any evil painting ever could – but these days, it means something entirely different. 

Sadly, the Ghostbusters culture wars are again in the headlines these days after it was announced that the new Blu-Ray “Ultimate Collection” box set will feature Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and the recent Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but not the 2016 female-led reboot. For many, this felt a blatant attempt by Sony to cater to the toxic segment of the fanbase that viciously attacked the movie for having the gall to cast four women as wacky paranormal exterminators.

Sure, 2016’s Ghostbusters wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination (some parts were downright baffling), but it was definitely a Ghostbusters movie … hence the title Ghostbusters. So you’d think that it would be included in the “Ultimate” Ghostbusters set. Pretending it simply doesn’t exist is just … weird. Even director Paul Feig seems pretty pissed off that his movie was excluded from the set, Tweeting at Sony that this “must be a mistake.”

The primary defense behind this omission seems to be that 2016’s Ghostbusters isn’t canonically part of the same story since Afterlife takes place within the world of the first two movies. But arguably, the 2016 movie can still be considered part of the original continuity since, as we’ve pointed out before, it perhaps takes place in another dimension. The idea of parallel realities was introduced in the very first Ghostbusters movie through the character of Gozer, and the comic Ghostbusters 101 literally found the two Ghostbusting teams meeting up, thanks to Gozer’s Jerry O’Connell-like powers.

And if we really want to get into the weeds of the Ghostbusters-verse, technically, none of these movies depict the “true” Ghostbusters continuity. In the episode “Take Two” of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, Hollywood decides to make a movie about Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston – the resulting feature film is literally just the movie Ghostbusters.

So, really, everything from the classic 1984 movie to the reboot to Afterlife merely exist as works of fiction inside of the larger universe that is a 35-year-old Saturday morning cartoon series.

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Top Image: Sony

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