In the movie Logan’s Run (1976), once you hit the age of 30, you are forced to participate in an event called "Carousel". At the beginning of each spectacle, the announcer states:

If you are strong, you win renewal.

But, if you didn’t win renewal, you got vaporized. As the audience chants "Renew! Renew!" the participants in the ritual fly up and get zapped, one after another. What did the crowd think it took to win renewal in the "Carousel"?


People trying to...?

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    Note: I believe this question refers to either one of the films (the first one, from the look of the picture) or the TV series; that whole idea was not in the book.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 0:52
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    @KeithHWeston Correct. I'm asking about the Movie (but I wondered about the book). Thanks for the comment.:) Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 2:31

4 Answers 4


An earlier version of the film script makes it clear that if you reach the top of the carousel and touch the rainbow (presumably via a mixture of good luck and some undefined measure of worthiness) your life-clock is revised downward and you're allowed to live for a further period of time.

FRANCIS : and that's my friend, Logan. We're celebrating his next in line. Carousel - Arcade - who knows? Want to come along?

WOMAN (smiles, shakes her head) : Only if I make it to the top of Carousel. Thirty - and the big spin.



High, reaching downward out of the shadows beneath the dome, fringing, intersecting rainbow bands appear, looping the swirling upper Carousel like Saturn's rings. Now we see figures reaching outward toward them...reaching and missing and falling -downward against the curtain and the flash of extinction.


At the highest level...straining for the rainbow...

With the ultimate goal being personal survival

JESSICA : I suppose. But what if you want to live?

LOGAN : So? Do what everyone does. Try like hell for renewal.

LOGAN : When this turns black that's it. If for any reason you want to be 31...you have the same chance as everyone else, Carousel.

For the record, there's no mention of reincarnation in the book or the film scripts until the film itself where a line is added to the opening scrawl: "Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of carousel"


The concept of "life renewal" appears to have changed over the course of the production process.

The early draft of the film script (as mentioned above) states that renewal means reaching the top of Carrousel and touching the rainbow/crystal, following which the lucky person is allowed to live beyond 30 (presumably another 30-year cycle) IN THEIR CURRENT BODY. Note the conversation in the draft script between Francis and his female Lastday friend (who says that she can join them in their late-night activity provided she reaches the top of Carrousel). However, this female character and her statements are removed from the final film.

Now let's look at what is shown onscreen in the final film. Firstly, we should note the DVD commentary by director Michael Anderson, who says that for a person to be renewed, he/she must touch the white crystal at the top of Carrousel. So there is no question about what the Lastday people have to do. But what happens to them when they do touch the crystal? Though not explicitly stated, it is possible to arrive at a reasonable answer after considering the following onscreen references to the ritual made by several characters:

  1. At the start of the film, Francis tells Logan that "there'll be a couple of Sandmen in [Nursery] tomorrow", as "some of our guys are on Carrousel tonight, and Sandmen always renew."

  2. When Logan is told by the Computer that there are so many unaccounted missing Runners, he says "maybe most of them renewed on Carrousel."

Now, 1 and 2 clearly imply that those select few who are "renewed" also undergo vaporization like everyone else, LOSING THEIR CURRENT BODY but because they touched the white crystal, they've earned the privilege of having their disembodied souls reincarnated into newborn babies in Nursery. Hence the Computer's famous statement "Be strong, and you will be renewed". So no one's original physical body ever lives past their 30th birthday.

Hope this helps.

  • I don't follow your logic, perhaps you should further explain the "clear" implication.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 13:56
  • That makes a lot of sense. As many times as I've seen this movie, I never put that together.
    – DCShannon
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 22:42

It's been a while since I saw it, but I think you have misinterpreted the meaning of "if you are strong, you win renewal." If you look at it instead as having the potential to be reincarnated, it makes more sense - all people get vaporized, and some may return.

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    This is the conclusion I came to as well - the process of Carrousel has to be ambiguous enough that spectators think that someone may have renewed, because the alternative is unambiguous renewal and equally unambiguous death. And if its unambiguous, why does the general public have any faith that Carrousel is actually a valid option at all? I dont mean on the level of a handful of runners every now and then, but en mass rejection of a process where its obvious no one survives and thus is always a death sentence?
    – Moo
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 23:36

This post is a follow up to my previous one (which discussed what the Lastdays have to do to attain renewal and also what happens to them when they supposedly renew).

To clarify those who are "renewed" assume physical form as babies in Nursery, thus implying the original 30-year-old adult body is destroyed.

Those who are "renewed" physically disappear from public view (hence Logan associating them with the physically missing Runners), implying the adult body is destroyed as in order to return the souls to infancy.

If one thinks about it, the revised version of renewal is more believable than the original. Since no one technically renews (as they all die after one 30-year life cycle), it would be hard for the populace to believe that renewal even exists (had the original version been retained for the final film), since there are no physically old people seen in the City. The Computer is in a better position to deceive most of the populace by using the revised version of renewal, since there is no real way to verify that someone's soul has been reincarnated into an infant body.

Hope this clears things up.

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    This answer sort of missed what the OP was asking they were asking what were the criteria of Renewal (what was the steps needed to gain the goal of renewal?) Your answer answered other things like what they thought would happen when renewed.
    – Rincewind
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 14:29
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    you should edit your first answer to include this information rather than adding another answer. There is an edit link under each answer just before your avatar and name. Commented May 25, 2016 at 10:19

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