The subject of how Lara's family has been portrayed over the years is one of the defining cornerstones of Lara's character. Changes to her family - and how she relates to them - have had drastic consequences for why and how Lara took an interest in archaeology, and the manner in which she pursues her goals.
Now that the first in SR's Spotlight series has been published (linky!), I wanted to ask people what their feelings were towards Lara's family. Which portrayal do you prefer and why?
Much as I liked some aspects of the Crystal-era families, my heart will always prefer Vicky Arnold's original vision for Lara's parents and wider family. I think it gave Lara's independence a rebellious, deeply passionate motivation; she wasn't risking her life for ancient shiny things because her father (or mother) wanted her to or were happy at her choice, but because it was what made her feel alive. The fact that she still pursued her passion despite being literally disowned for it speaks volumes about her personal determination. This Lara was a loner and happy that way.
I am totally with you on the family story I prefer.
I grew up with Lara being independent and not giving two figs about what others, not even her family, thought of her life choices, even when it meant being disowned! There was no need to look at her parents as they had nothing in common with Lara and it was all about her adventures.
When Crystal took over and made it all about Lara's parents, I felt like my Lara that I idolised so much was gone and forgotten as she was no longer motivated by her own desires, it was all about carrying on what came before, and I find that so Hollywood and so boring!
I was hoping that when the franchise was rebooted, they may have realised their mistake and gone back to the original storyline, but no such luck!
It's true - I think being completely cut off from her family emphasised Lara's nature and determination to follow her own passion. In the words of Dumbledore, it takes courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends! (or those who are traditionally meant to be on your side, especially family). The fact that Lara was prepared to risk life and limb because that's what made her feel truly alive, and NOT because she felt obligated by love or guilt to fulfil her father's work, gave her an edge that is completely lacking in the games today.
I blame the first movie for starting this preoccupation with Lara and her family. Although, to be fair, that relationship between Lara and her father in the first movie worked okay for me; it was bittersweet AND Lara was basically doing her own thing BEFORE she knew that her father had meant for her to find the Triangle (i.e. continue his work). So in many ways the first movie represents the direction any loving Lara-father relationship SHOULD have taken. And once it was over, it was over - in every narrative way that matters, Lara dealt with the problem and moved on. It did not spill over into the sequel, unlike Legend which required a further TWO games to bring the relationship issues to an end, or even the Reboot which took two (and will probably carry its father-baggage around for as long as is profitable).
I miss the opportunity of exploring the original biography; there were so many issues and conflicts and juicy character development arcs that could have been explored.