Do We Always Need to Know What's Next?

The media loves sequels. Name almost any popular action, animated, or other movie from the last decade and you can pretty much bet it has a sequel or is getting one this year. The same is true for television shows. For example, Fuller House serves as a sequel to Full House, although it’s something of a reboot, too. Books that were not meant as series also get sequels. The wildly popular Wonder (a personal fave) has some short story sequels from the POV of other characters besides Auggie.

Sequels are great, and there’s obviously a huge market for them. But do we always need them? That is, do we always need or want to know what’s next, or can we be content to let characters live happily ever after, as it were? What about writing our own sequels – besides being a ton of fun, do fanfictions and headcanons fill some sort of creative void? Discuss.

  • I like this, so long as the focus is on the creative merits of sequels, rather than a look at the financial incentives to produce them. The two are inexorably linked, but the latter topic has sort of been done to death. – John Wilson 5 years ago
  • The media loves sequels? No! The production companies love sequels to swell their bloated bank accounts and, in my opinion, have been (and still are) guilty of pumping out any old garbage because they know there are fans who are desperate for more and so will even accept something that doesn't come up to the originality and/or quality of the first. Conversely, I have no problem with genuine sequels taken from source, or imaginatively created sequels that stay true to and further explore the world of the first, but when we get to the point where a James Bond sequel is based on an idea based on a novel that Bond happened to be reading in one of the original books, I despair! It also makes me wonder why some fans of a certain film or TV series can't simply accept that the story ends here - why do they need a continuance? One example I can use is a You Tube comment in response to the 2012 anime film 'Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki' (released in the West as 'Wolf Children'); she wanted to know what happened next. Why? The story is complete as it is and had she been paying attention to the story then she would have understood that there is no need for a sequel. – Amyus 5 years ago

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