Now to film buffs around the world, this can be one of the conversations that can get you into a lot of trouble, one you don’t really approach unless you are in a circle of true cinematic trust. It’s along the same lines as Politics/ Religion and The Meaning of Life to any true film lover…and with great apprehension I will attempt to lay down the gauntlet to shed some light on the question:
Can Prequels and/ or Sequels really hold a candle to their originals.
Now I think it is truly dependable upon the taste of the viewer and how the film is defined both in visual content, meaning and consistency to the original.
Take for instance Star Wars (And for this example I will not be including the 2008 Star Wars-Clone Wars…as it has no place within the trilogy of trilogies!), Older fans of the Lucas films will marvel in the story line, the consistency, the fantasy and the characters as well as the special effects that were out of this world (I thank you!) even for the 80’s, but may shudder at the idea of The Phantom Menace where many enthusiasts admitted they didn’t like the over the top characters in this installment of the second trilogy and its huge effort on effects purely as it didn’t flow from the last 3 films. I am the opposite, I prefer the newer chapters as I find the effects and visuals far greater, BUT I also agree that sometime that can take away from the real story which seems a bit disjointed. However, in no way shape of for do I think there should have been just one Star Wars movie! Look what we would have missed on! Luke would never have found out who his father was, Han and Leia would never have created the rotten fruit of their loins and …well…it wouldn’t have worked, there needed to be sequels and prequels to understand it all.
Now there’s no denying Star Wars isn’t for everyone so let’s try a different franchise. How about the horror/ gore franchise of Saw?
One of a kind, directed by James Wan, created on a small budget and only shot over 18 days, was first screened in 2004 and soon bled out to make 6 more sequels which when watched develop into a mix of both prequel and sequel across the lot. Now even I kept thinking these are the kind of movies that leave them opened ended just enough to enable another movie, to either explain or confuse what you last thought from the previous ones. Yet I am drawn in by the (ahem) “creative” was the characters meet their maker and how the twist could affect any short-term protagonist. Nonetheless, did it NEED to have those other 6 films to understand it? I don’t really think so. It was a perfectly gruesome and thrilling horror as it was and the extent that the gore was dragged to over exaggerated and sometimes verging on idiotic scenes. In such desperation Chester Bennington from Linkin Park was also used as a ‘Celebrity’ cameo. Even so, is that not the nature of Horror gore films nowadays?
(Lets stick to the main plot or I’ll get distracted)
Come on, I don’t think I even need to discuss the idea of The Land Before time originally made in 1989 and its 13 Sequels! 13! They ruined a perfectly emotive film for family viewing and went way, way, way way too far.
Now I get to the nitty gritty. I bring to the table the Alien series.
Now for this example I won’t include any co-op films (Alien vs Predator) just to keep it simple. The theme and style of these films is continued throughout, with the feel of the metal industry and the progression of technology and space travel indicated the whole time, even in the Prequel Prometheus which initially I was very dubious of as a hard fan of the original trilogy, still I was surprised how it did answer some questions about the origin of the xenomorphs, the extent of Weyland Corp’s grasp on all things to do with collecting the creatures. The reason for the prequel is essential to know this information, but still stems back to the original point of was is needed to really understand the original…no. Did it help, most definitely. Did we think Ripley was such a tough son of a gun to take those relentless beasts on over and over again? Honestly no, but it was done, and it worked in my opinion.
She kicked Alien butt.
So let’s sum this up:
Star Wars Prequels/Sequels = Good
Saw= Not needed
Land Before time= Don’t even go there
Alien= Not needed but good none the less.
So I am still sticking to my guns that the variable between the need of prequels/sequels and whether they can be as good (or even better) than the original is entirely dependant on the new film’s content and its links to the original,because if it makes it more confusing or completely changes what the whole thing is meant to be about, it’s pointless. Films that create a point of infinite possibilities of sequels/prequels build the stereotype that they are only making them purely to bring in the dough and don’t really care if they make sense of not or if it’s just flogging a dead horse.
Now this is only MY OPINION so if you have any other examples of where you think sequels could continue to flow till the cows come home or where they should have just stuck with their star player lets add it to the table. I’m always up for some banter and a debate.
What are your favorite/ most hated film series?
AND most importantly WHY?
To be Continued….