Afterlife Reveals What Happened to the Original Ghostbusters

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, now playing in theaters

Ghostbusters: Afterlife largely focuses on the rest of the modern generation of the Spengler family, specifically Callie (Carrie Coon) and her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), but it eventually dives further into the history of more than just the Ghostbusters' technology and ideology.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife reveals the ultimate fates of the original four heroes from the first Ghostbusters, suggesting that some of them found surprising happiness outside of the team, while one of their core friendships fell apart in a tragic manner.

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What Happened to Egon in Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) was the most technically brilliant of the original Ghostbusters and (along with Ray) invented most of their ghost-capturing technology. Lacking nominal social skills, Egon eventually started a relationship with a woman off-screen, resulting in the birth of his daughter Callie. However, Egon eventually discovered hints that Gozer would one day return. Despite no one believing him, he stole the remaining Ghostbusters technology and relocated to Summerville, Oklahoma, discovering a temple for Gozer hidden in a nearby mine.

He spent decades alone containing the ghosts within the hidden temple -- until an attempt to seemingly seal away Gozer's Terror Dogs proved to be only somewhat successful. Although he caught one and contained it, the others successfully followed him and killed him in his home, setting off the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Egon's spirit remained on the farm, however, and served as a ghostly guide to Phoebe as she learned more about his history. He even got the chance to stand alongside his fellow Ghostbusters one more time when they fought Gozer and eventually faded away after the group was victorious.

What Happened to Ray in Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) was a leading doctor of parapsychology, and in the original Ghostbusters, was the most committed to the idea of investigating the supernatural forces in New York. The "heart" of the group and an expert on paranormal history, Ray's spirit was seemingly crushed when the Ghostbusters business fell apart, and Egon disappeared with the rest of their supplies and funds. Ray initially condemned Egon from afar and found life working in a small occult shop, continuing his fascination with the supernatural.

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It's clear that the years hadn't been kind to Ray when he was reintroduced halfway through Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He was initially resistant to Phoebe's request for help. He threatened to hang up as soon as she mentioned the Ghostbusters. Still, he ultimately reassembled the rest of the original team to help fight against Gozer. The film ended with Ray making peace with Egon's spirit as it passed to the next realm of existence -- and finding an unlikely friend in Podcast (Logan Kim) as it turned out he was the boy's one consistent subscriber.

What Happened to Venkman in Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) was the unofficial leader of the original Ghostbusters and a smooth-talking flirt with the tendency to make things worse with jokes. Like the rest of the original Ghostbusters, he lost faith in the group after the events of the first film, with Ray recalling how Venkman believed they'd "done their job too well" and effectively solved any potential ghost crisis by defeating Gozer. After Egon abandoned the others, Ray returned to his original profession in academia and became a college professor.

In Afterlife, Venkman dropped everything to come to assist Ray and Winston, rejoining his friends and even buying the group time during the fight with Gozer by distracting the dark god with a series of jokes and insults. Notably, Venkman also seemingly confirmed to have maintained his relationship with Dana (Sigourney Weaver) from the original film, with one of Ghostbusters: Afterlife's two credits sequences showcasing the pair together.

RELATED: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Clip Reveals Info About the Film's Slimer-Esque Ghost

What Happened to Winston in Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Of the original Ghostbusters, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) proved to be the most successful outside of the first film. Originally not even a scientist like the others but just an average New Yorker who took the job to make some money, he ended up incredibly motivated after the events of Ghostbusters. Winston turned his attention toward a separate business venture. Within a few decades, his two-man operation had grown to become an international conglomerate -- with Winston even quietly providing the funding for Ray's occult store.

Winston reunited with the original Ghostbusters at the end of Afterlife and took part in the final battle with Gozer. He also found himself not just touched by seeing Egon once more but being reunited with Ecto-1, the franchise's iconic car. The final post-credits scene even saw Winston get the car from the Spenglers and drive it back to New York. He even seemed to believe there was a place in the world for Ghostbusters again, as the final post-credits sequence had him seemingly purchase a building similar to the original Ghostbusters HQ (which Ray indicated had been converted into a Starbucks), with a final shot hinting that a new generation of Ghostbusters might have their work cut out for them.

To get caught up with the original team, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now. 

KEEP READING: A Grim Ghostbusters Theory Makes the Sequel More Terrifying

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Brandon Zachary (4204 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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