After years of carefully making science in my hidden laboratory with Tesla coils, beakers, and a souped up Easy Bake Oven (Sciencing can work up a mighty hunger), I have determined the greatest plague to human civilization- nay – the UNIVERSE!
What did I discover while delicately imploring nature to provide better clues – like the $10,000 Pyramid with lab coats? (This is exactly what I imagine what my scientist fella Mike’s day is like. Just him, staring at some science, seeing which one will blink first.) I discovered that there would be no war, famine, disease, or hunger if…
We got rid of the concept of prequels or sequels that are done by different creative teams.
I really hate prequels in nearly every permutation. They’re a rainbow of crap, each shade a little different, but in the end, you’re still looking at crap.
I put a caveat on this – prequels are almost universally terrible (Disagree? Toss out an example in the comments!), but sequels and extensions can work, provided they’re made by the same basic creative team. They’re working a steep, uphill battle, but some of the best installments of a series can be the second entry. (You’ll never be able to convince me that Spider-Man 2 was not pure awesomesauce.)
But, when you start, oh, I don’t know, pulling in Brett Rattner to tackle something as massive in scope and nuanced in emotion as the Dark Phoenix Saga, then you’re just trying to hurt me. (Did Rattner run out of toilet paper and decide that fan adoration of the X-Men films would be a solid substitute?)
I’m convinced that George Lucas, emissary of the Toad-Person Planet, discovered the destructive power of the prequel long before he ever shot the first Star Wars trilogy (4-6). He created a universe beloved by many, then crushed it and your spirit with a series of prequels that looked like they’d been blocked by a high school student for her theater midterm. Yes, I saw Phantom Menace, and look what happened – I was so turned off to the whole idea of the series that I just only saw A New Hope.
Enough soul-crushing blows like this and the Earth will be too weak to fight the coming Toad-People invasion.
Dadaist insanity aside, choosing between prequels and sequels, I’ll always go for the latter. Why? Well, there’s the aforementioned crap rainbow. But, more than that, I know how a prequel will end. I’ve read the last five pages before starting.
A prequel should take us on a journey to present continuity. But the issue is, within 20 minutes, most of us understand these characters and we see the end point. By and large those making prequeals aren’t creative enough to make the next 100 minutes interesting.
For every Godfather: Part II, there’s an X-Men Origins: Wolverine (all the worse for having a great potential premise), Dumb and Dumberer, and Red Dragon. All of these are less insightful and deft than their creative predecessors. They’re cultural pollution – squandering rich character resources for the sake of mass appeal.
When this is a person’s introduction to the franchise, these subpar efforts kill their ability to arrive at the real deal, the inspiration, the original installment in the franchise fresh. Like me, they see Darth Vader as that annoying kid from Jingle All the Way, and they wonder why Obi Wan acts like he’s meeting Artoo for the first time. And, most of all, you come to the original film jaded.
This is just films; I haven’t even touched comic books or video games (mostly because I’m poorly versed in both and a Google search is too much effort). What are your opinions on prequels? On sequels? What the best/worst you’ve seen?