The new Ghostbusters get new gear: meet proton pack 2.0

New Ghostbusters means new gear. Sure, the trailer looks like it's the old familiar proton packs but there are some modernising tweaks to the line up, and some completely new stuff as well.

Let's start with the proton pack. It's still basically a portable particle accelerator, but modernised with more up to date equipment. Dr James Maxwell, a resident particle physicist at MIT, was charged with making Ghostbusters tech believable but with, "as few huge leaps of miraculous sciences as possible.” Key to that was swapping out the 80s-tastic cyclotron (used to accelerate particles in a spiraling loop) with its more modern replacement, the synchrotron. You can see him explain that process here here:

You can also get a good look at the new packs via the Ghostbusters viral site:

This new proton pack includes a cryogen reservoir, as that new synchrotron needs liquid helium to keep it cool. Notice as well that the original film's 'don't cross the streams' catchphrase lives on with the less snappy "plasma stream convergence not recommend" in the lower right.

Also given a slight overhaul are the famous ghost traps, now with a more cylindrical design.

Specs for the trap include a lot of techno-babble about a polarised 'spectral foam generator', 'spectral reflective plating' and a 'resonant holding cavity' to contain captured spirits.

There's also a new, Psycho Kinetic Energy, or PKE, meter. Like everything else this mirrors the original movie's designs with those prominent antennae, but there's a modernising take with a proper screen and what looks a lot like some PS4 Dualshock d-pad buttons.

So far, it's all friendly reinterpretations of classic tech from the original movies. But it looks like the new movie is adding its own gear to the canon, specifically via three new weapons briefly glimpsed in the new Ghostbusters trailer. In turn we have...

Some sort of rifle or shotgun (note the proton thrower still clearly visible on the backpack).

These twin pistol shooters were a little harder to miss due to some gratuitous licking action. Again, while these are dispensed from the base of the proton pack, they're clearly not the thrower, which all the Ghostbusters can be seen waving about at the end.

And, finally, we have what appears to be knuckledusters, by far the weirdest addition to the toolkit.

Now, my take is this: there's a hint in the trailer that many of the ghosts are in someway artificially created or enhanced, and might be different in some way to 'normal' ghosts. In these shots above, the Ghostbusters are fighting a huge group of spirits seen in Time Square - way too many to capture or bust. It makes me think that these last three pieces of equipment 'kill' or disperse ghosts rather than trap them. That would let director Paul Feig create a far more speedy pace when dealing with what looks like a veritable festival crowd of undead. Trapping looks cool but takes ages, whereas shooty shooty stuff is far more favourable to a faster, more action orientated pace.

Directed by Paul Feig and starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth, Ghostbusters opens in UK and US cinemas on July 15, 2016.

Images: Sony Pictures Entertainment

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