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The body of work from Tom Clancy regarding Jack Ryan runs so contrary to the material in the new Prime series "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan" that other than the name and very few other factors "this" Jack Ryan is NOT "that" Jack Ryan.

They are both CIA analysts and they interact with a guy named James Greer. But other than that this (new) character might as well be Joe Turner (Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor), yet they produce and publicize this new series around a link to the original Clancy character.

Why? (as in, where is the advantage or motive? what benefit is gained?) I've only seen a few episodes, and I would not call it bad (nor am I willing to call it 'great') but Jack Ryan, Joe Turner, Bob Smith are just names and these episodes cannot be (canon) prequels to the original character, so why bother trying to foist the illusion? Or am I missing a stronger connection to the Tom Clancy character here that justifies the usage of this brand a little more?

Would this be a lesser show if they just called it "Bob Smith"

closed as primarily opinion-based by Paulie_D, Meat Trademark, J M, LevenTrek, sanpaco Sep 12 '18 at 5:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    To be perfectly honest, this looks more like a "I don't think the new Jack Ryan series should be considered canon, who's with me?" rant than an actual good faith question. – F1Krazy Sep 10 '18 at 5:55
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    Dissapointed.. you aren't the only one mate, but this doesn't sound like a question but you looking for some other people to agree with you. – Vishwa Sep 10 '18 at 7:35
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    As it's written, this question is likely to get deleted. You sorta answer your own question in the title ("it isn't"). But it's a reasonable question (I answered it), so perhaps you just need to rephrase it. Perhaps something like "Other than Jim Greer, how is the new Jack Ryan similar to previous Jack Ryans?" – LevenTrek Sep 10 '18 at 8:23
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    I tried to improve the question a little more into not looking like a rant and asking more of a real question. Seeing how we successfully did questions of this kind before and it has a good answer adressing its concerns, this seems like a sufficiently reasonable question now. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 10 '18 at 8:25
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    To what end? You already made that point. Where's the point of having some invented example name there. I googled "Bob Smith" and it seems you just made it up to drive home your point. A point that has been elaborated on end in the preceding paragraphs. Obviously "Bob Smith" as a title (rather than just a character name) isn't going to work and you know that. So why even ask such a highly rhetorical and contentious question at the end? Phrases like that are what makes such things look like rants to others and I'm trying to reduce that, since I do think this is a valuable question. – Napoleon Wilson Sep 10 '18 at 13:33
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Probably the most important element of Jack Ryan's personality is that he's just an analyst in the CIA, yet he repeatedly gets drawn into dangerous situations where he's forced to act as an operative. He succeeds, and even excels, despite his lack of operational training.

Arguably the second most important element of Jack Ryan is his back injury. While he was a Marine, he was in a serious helicopter crash that severely damaged his spine. It could have left him paralyzed, but he spent years learning to walk again, driven by his love of country and strength of character.

You mentioned his boss, Jim Greer. But he's more than just a black guy that Jack works with. Greer is a calculated and experienced intelligence officer, and sees Jack as young and brash - until he discover's Jack's value and becomes his mentor.

There's also Cathy, his girlfriend, fiance, or wife (depending on his age). Cathy is naturally loving and gentle, but like Jack, she has the capacity for complex tactics and great bravery when it's called for.


To be fair, there are differences between this Jack Ryan and other Jack Ryans. To make him more relatable to modern audiences, they replaced his cold war enemies with a Middle-Eastern terrorist.

When the same character appears in different movies over such a long time period, these kinds of discrepancies are unavoidable. The best comparison I can think of is James Bond, who has plenty of his own discrepancies over his decades of movies.

The Jason Bourne movies were able to maintain continuity, but only because the movies were so close together. Still, he's dramatically different from the Jason Bourne that appears in the original Robert Ludlum books.

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    Well done. Don't forget that Cathy has always been a medical doctor but is now an epidemiologist, rather than the ophthalmologist she had been prior. – mike65535 Sep 10 '18 at 12:59
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    So I'm trying to find a name for this. When you have a named hero, that hero can become an archtype, and you can tell inconsistent stories about the hero without causing distress in (at least some of) the audience, so long as the hero remains the hero. Like camp fire stories about paul bunyian or whatever. – Yakk Sep 10 '18 at 14:22
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    @Yakk I know what you mean. My dad used to tell me "Jack stories", which were basically parables about this random "any guy" who happened to be named Jack. How about... archehero? multi-character? legendary? – LevenTrek Sep 10 '18 at 14:57
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    @LevenTrek It is more than that; that seems too narrow. I mean, Jesus from the bible qualifies (the testaments aren't consistent). Comic book heros (even within a given "reboot" their stories make more sense as disconnected, if locally reasonably sound). Coyote stories. Basically, the opposite of having a single canon narrative. – Yakk Sep 10 '18 at 15:01

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