Bill and Ted 3 is the sequel the world needs right now


The most triumphant news of 2018 is here: Bill and Ted 3 is finally happening. And the world has never needed Bill S. Preston, Esq and Ted Theodore Logan more.  

It’s official: A Bill and Ted sequel is happening. No way, you might want to exclaim! After all, we’ve been down this road before. Yes way, though.

The news is even in The Hollywood Reporter and everything. That’s the epitome of real.

The long-awaited third Bill and Ted movie is tentatively titled Bill and Ted Face the Music. Reportedly, it will follow the story of our titular heroes, all grown up into middle-aged dads who still haven’t accomplished their dreams. Originally prophesied to write a song that saves the world, they’re now middle-aged and still haven’t done so. Thanks to a new threat, they must face their failure — and travel through time to find the song that can bring harmony to the universe.

Is this the greatest movie news to drop this year or what?

Let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to mock this announcement. Rumors have swirled for years about the possibility of a proper conclusion to the Bill and Ted franchise, but nothing ever materialized. Stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves repeatedly said they were down to participate, script ideas were reportedly kicked around, and Entertainment Weekly even featured the duo in one of their famous reunion spreads. And still, nothing.

Now, it’s 2018, over 30 years since the release of the original Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which came out in 1987. (Take a minute to realize how old that probably makes you, if you’re reading this with any degree of excitement.) A lot of time has passed.

Sure, revivals are cool at the moment and nostalgia is in, but how much is too much nostalgia? Does the name Bill and Ted even mean anything to that sought-after millennial movie-going demographic any more? Do people even want to see another Bill and Ted film?

Hopefully. Because a Bill and Ted sequel could not possibly come at a better time for all of us.

The original Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a classic ’80s comedy. It’s full of silly humor, physical gags and internal logic that doesn’t always make a lot of sense. (The movie definitely doesn’t pay any mind to the most basic rules of time travel, as the boys meet themselves and interact with many historical figures in ways that could change the world we live in today.) But it doesn’t matter at all. Because the movie’s just too much fun. It has a surprising amount of heart.

Like a weirdo American version of Doctor Who, Bill and Ted time travel through history, collecting important figures to help them ace their final exam. (The film’s sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, is much darker and weirder, involving the boys facing off against android versions of themselves from the future and going to Hell, among other things.) Along the way, they make plenty of dumb mistakes, drop roughly a thousand catchphrases (“Most outstanding!”) and cause trouble in multiple time periods.

Yet, despite all the wacky time-traveling hijinks, the movie is just as much about friendship, about expanding our minds beyond the world we know, about taking risks and being open to things that are different from us. Not only do Bill and Ted learn a few actual historical facts here and there, the figures they bring together bond as well. Is there anything better than Billy the Kid and Socrates’ weirdo friendship? Not really, no.

At one point in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted’s phone booth malfunctions, jettisoning them into the future. There, they meet a group of crystal cave-dwelling people from 2688 who wear robes that look like sleeping bags and do a pretty mean air guitar. Though these folks from the future don’t get names or any sort of real identity, they seem to have a sort of universal harmony. (Based, of course, on excellent music.)

They acknowledge Bill and Ted as important figures from the past, basically proving Rufus’ later prediction about them and their music changing the world as true. Though they get the chance to speak to them, neither Bill nor Ted ask about their future paths or try to promote themselves. This is maybe weird for future rock stars. (Or maybe it just means they didn’t think to ask any real questions. That’s also very possible.) But the scene lets us get at the heart of the movie’s larger message.

Be excellent to each other. (And party on, dudes!)

If that’s not the most important message we can all hear in 2018, I don’t know what is. And maybe it takes a breathtakingly stupid duo from the late 1980’s to remind us that anyone can be kind. That even those who seem the most different from us can be our friends. That a really good piece of art can change (maybe even save) the world. And there’s no bad time for a good party.

Plus, for those of us who grew up with Bill and Ted, maybe the existence of this sequel is a good reminder that our stories aren’t over either. Maybe we haven’t accomplished the things we set out to do in high school. But there’s still time. There’s still hope.

There’s always hope. And I think we need a little — or maybe a whole lot — of that right now?

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When Bill and Ted visit the future, a song you’ve probably never heard of by Robbi Robb plays in the background. (Unless you watch Mr. Robot, anyway.) When I was younger, I thought this was supposed to be the Wild Stallyns song Bill and Ted were meant to write. I’m still not entirely sure that was wrong.

In time, everything will be alright. And anything is possible. Even a third Bill and Ted movie.