prequels

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The value of prequel development

Prequels are often seen as cash-ins that don’t add much to the original text. For example, even Solo’s fans tend to admit that the movie wasn’t particularly necessary: it does not add much to the themes, ideas, or lore of Star Wars. But other prequels have offered deeper insight (or counterpoints) to the original text. For instance, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was used to deepen the apocalyptic themes of the main text.

So: what makes a valuable prequel? If a prequel isn’t adding anything to the original, then should it be "re-skinned"?

  • I think there are a lot of really good and really important prequels especially in the superhero genre. X-Men is a really good example. Also I think its important to add spinoffs of tv shows that are meant to be prequels because I think you can see a strong difference in a film that is a prequel and a series that is a prequel. – tingittens 7 months ago
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  • "Re-skinning" a prequel is a waste of time and money, especially if we keep getting stuck in a rut (with some sequels I can mention). I think a good prequel gives enough information without being stuffed while staying faithful to the original. Peter Jackson's The Hobbit series would be a good example of how that did NOT happen (at least in the second film). – OkaNaimo0819 7 months ago
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  • A prequel can be useful in the case of Captain Marvel where it introduce a new character to a series. Or it can give a character a back story which is what they are doing with Black Widow, but It is useless to tell the back story when she is dead. I think there can be a good prequel but it must be written well – Amelia Arrows 6 months ago
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  • As with sequels, adding substantive depth in a way that develops the plot and is stylistically pleasing is vital. It’s pretty much like writing a new story, but with a pre-made narrative to work with and to accommodate. – J.D. Jankowski 6 months ago
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Exploring Hollywood's Obession with the Prequel

Filmmaking is a business. Hollywood knows that, and so does the general population. For a long time, Hollywood has been ensuring guaranteed hits by extending already existing popular franchises. This would traditionally take the form of a sequel like Die Hard 2; Mad Max 2; Terminator 2 (you get where I am going with this), but in recent years there has been a number of prequels cropping up: Fantastic Beasts, Star Wars, Terminator, Star Trek (both the new films and the upcoming television series). This article would explore the idea of why Hollywood thinks prequels are such a marketable storytelling device? Is it because people love throwbacks and little Easter eggs? Do we love a good origin story? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Yes! I'm very excited for this topic. Part of me wonders if prequels aren't the new sequels. Perhaps the film industry is counting on our nostalgia for popular franchises to make more money. Or perhaps people feel like the original film starting in the wrong place. Maybe we simply have unanswered questions that could only be remedied by a prequel. I'm curious to see what people think! – ReidaBookman 3 years ago
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  • A very interesting topic! Are audiences sick of prequels, because they view them as resulting from a lack of creativity in Hollywood? Numerous discussions I've had with viewers of 'The Original Content' have actually commented on the fact that they struggle to enjoy prequels because they feel it takes away from the initial cast or narrative. I think individual enjoyment of 'the prequel' is generational, but I'm fascinated to see what you think! – Madi 3 years ago
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Prequel-itis: Causes, symptoms, and cures

Symptoms of prequel-itis, in TV shows specifically, include 1) pointless cameos and foreshadowing for the sake of fan service and 2) backtracking to keep the plot from progressing "too far," which would result in the show ending. Examples of victims include Gotham, Smallville, and Merlin.
What I don’t know about, and what I’d be interested in reading, is possible cures for this problem. I am unfamiliar with the Star Wars cartoon prequels, but I’m told they do a better job, so they may hold answers.
Another possible piece of this topic is causes of prequel-itis. Why do prequels exhibit these problems so often? Is there something inherently problematic with prequels in general?

  • Sounds like a good topic in my opinion. Although a more specific definition of prequel-itis would definitely help. You might also include a third point to them. Which is: retroactively improving the already established lore and story of the series. The best example for this include the Walking Dead, as well as Flash. Looking forward to reading about this topic :) – shehrozeameen 4 years ago
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  • @shehrozeameen Prequel-itis, as I see it, is like a syndrome, a set of symptoms that commonly occur together. There isn't really a definition other than "a set of symptoms experienced by prequels including x, y, z...." If the author of the topic could think of a specific definition, of course, he/she'd be welcome to apply it. – noahspud 4 years ago
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  • I'd certainly be interested to read this. Would you also consider doing one for sequelitis, because there are a ton of bad sequels out there. Disney is particularly guilty when it comes to both prequels and sequels. They're also fond of the midquel for some reason. – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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  • To be clear, this topic is a suggestion for someone else to write (that's how this works). Also, you do have a point, but sequelitis is a separate thing, and I felt that prequelitis was a topical subject that hadn't gotten much attention. – noahspud 3 years ago
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  • I think this is a very interesting topic but I disagree with Merlin being placed in the prequel category. Although the show did begin before Arthur was King, the show very much did hit every major event in Arthurian Legend. It included everything from the sword in the stone, knights of the round table, Guinevere's Affair and Arthur's (spoiler alert) eventual death in the series finale. I'd argue that rather than backtracking, the show fast forwarded a bit to hit all these plot points before their pre-decided series end in season 5. The only real difference was that Merlin was depicted as young rather than a wizened old sorcerer adviser. (The series has a host of finale issues that I could probably write a whole different article about but that's not relevant to this comment) – LC Morisset 3 years ago
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  • Fair point. Except for the first, what, three seasons, Arthur isn't king, Morgan isn't evil, and Merlin isn't a respected advisor. So it certainly begins as a prequel, and it does indeed backtrack: Arthur starts to think magic is okay. Merlin almost tells his secret. Something bad happens. Arthur is once again convinced that magic is bad. Repeat. Morgan dies as punishment for her bad deeds. Oh wait, she has more to do later. Let's bring her back and let her sit in a cottage for a year. All the Arthurian mythology stuff happens in those last couple seasons, and we see the set up for all of them: the lady in the lake, Excalibur, each major knight of the round table, and Morgan's descent into villainy. I call that a prequel. – noahspud 3 years ago
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