Is it possible to replace or "overwrite" an existing variant?

Maybe I’m just misunderstanding exactly how variants work, but I haven’t been able to figure this out.

Imagine a component with variants State1 and State2. These variants are used all over the place by designers in other projects.

Now imagine I basically want to rebuild the State1 variant from scratch. I’m guessing I can’t delete it, make a new variant, name it State1, and have it still be linked in every instance the old variant was being used. I’m just assuming there’s some kind of ID or something but maybe that’s not the case.

In my head I’m wanting each variant to be its own “artboard” (sorry, Sketch habits die hard) that I can do whatever I want with its contents without messing up where it’s being linked.

Hopefully all that made sense, and hopefully you guys have some tips on how to do what I’m trying to do.