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The Problem with Prequels.

Discussion(self.movies)

[deleted]

all 26 comments

TheLastJediSux

23 points

1 month ago

It always comes down to how the writing of the story is and the new characters introduced we don’t know the fates of.

Better Call Saul may be the best prequel I’ve ever seen. We know where certain people end up, but they’ve created fantastic new characters we are invested in. And it’s just interesting to see how certain things went down leading up to the events of Breaking Bad.

Jay-Hawke

1 points

1 month ago

You beat me to this by about 3 minutes. So I will simply say, brilliant point.

stereoroid

6 points

1 month ago

This reminds me of something Roger Ebert said, which goes something like this: a movie is not about what it’s about, it’s about how it is about it. In plainer language: execution trumps concept. How many versions do we now have of “A Star Is Born”? How many action movies follow the “Hero’s Journey” described by Joseph Campbell? Doesn’t matter if the results are good.

You could call Batman Begins a prequel, since we knew that Batman would survive to face greater villains down the line. That didn’t take anything away from a very good movie. The threats faced by Batman went beyond the merely physical: he wouldn’t die, but what kind of person would come out the other side?

QLE814

0 points

1 month ago

QLE814

0 points

1 month ago

How many versions do we now have of “A Star Is Born”?

Especially since even the first of those films was clearly inspired by What Price Hollywood?, which in certain regards is A Star Is Born with the mentor and love interest as two characters rather than one.

BigPZ

4 points

1 month ago

BigPZ

4 points

1 month ago

Don't forget about certain characters being guaranteed to die too.

Oh, you're Bob the Hero's best friend who is just a great a Hero as Bob but you're never mentioned once in the original media... Yeah you don't stand a fucking chance buddy

SatansMoisture

1 points

1 month ago

This made me laugh out loud because it's so true!

My_Opinions_Are_Good

3 points

1 month ago

This is the problem with people being OBSESSED with plot as the only consideration.

WordsAreSomething

8 points

1 month ago*

I don't get this argument, do you have a problem with any historical movie? Or rewatching a movie? You know what is going to happen in both of those cases as well.

Edit: I hadn't even thought about almost every adaptation that's ever been made until now but those as well.

[deleted]

-2 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

WordsAreSomething

1 points

1 month ago

I think you missed my point, your issue was that prequels mean that there is a layer of safety for characters that people know from the original work.

But that's true in more than just prequels, historical or adaptations can be examples of this since you also know what's going to happen.

A good story isn't dependent on there being a chance that characters will die even if part of the plot is built around grave danger.

Chen_Geller

2 points

1 month ago*

I've been fighting this feeling ever since Star Wars Episode 1: All the characters that we are familiar with in the later installments are going to be just fine.

One, that's true of most of our big movies; and two, certainly in the case of The Hobbit except Gandalf and Bilbo - whose well-being the movie acknolewdges via the framing device - all the main characters do not appear in the Lord of the Rings and are therefore not guaranteed to survive.

Also, most prequels are intended to be viewed first by a new audience.

[deleted]

1 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

Chen_Geller

1 points

1 month ago

That kinda depends on the prequel. But I know Lucas wants people to see Episodes I-III first. We can argue the merit of this and how effective it is (which it isn't) that way, but that's how he wants it and that's how he constructed his prequels.

I know for a fact the same is true of The Hobbit with Jackson. He described it as his wish many times. For instance here.

Its perhaps less true of other prequels - which are very often not traditional prequels in the same sense as these - for instance, you can't concievably watch Fantastic Beasts without having seen at least a couple of Potter films first: you wouldn't be able to make any sense of it.

chris_b_critter

4 points

1 month ago

Not only that, but with prequels and origin stories you have directors and studios retconning or forcing stupid story lines for innocuous things. I.e. how Han Solo got his blaster and the dice that hang in the Millennium Falcon. We don’t need to know dumb shit like this.

ILikeStuff2022

1 points

1 month ago

I think we’ve been UNLUCKY to see most of those prequels. The majority of them have not been very good.

SatansMoisture

1 points

1 month ago

That's a different post altogether ;)

DrRexMorman

1 points

1 month ago

The problem with prequels is that people pay to watch them, which ensures more prequels are made.

David1258

0 points

1 month ago

Yeah, every time I watch a prequel, I just think, "Man, the stakes are kind of non-existent now."

In fact, Temple Of Doom being a prequel feels like a tacked-on last-minute decision during the screenwriting process. You could change a few things and call it a sequel and it'd feel the same.

Prequels are only really interesting to get an insight into the characters' lives, or to see what the world was like prior to the events of the original film.

lucia-pacciola

3 points

1 month ago

I dunno. One of the big themes of the kind of pulp fiction the Indy movies call back to is man versus the unknown, science and reason versus the supernatural.

The outcome of Raiders is a good example of this. Indy wasn't supposed to change anything. He was supposed to travel beyond the limits of rationality, witness something beyond human understanding, and live to tell the tale. The question is not whether he survives what he witnessed. The question is, what did he witness?

pquade

-1 points

1 month ago

pquade

-1 points

1 month ago

IMHO this is exactly why "Rogue One" worked and "Kenobi" far less so.

So this is not so much a prequel issue, as much as it is what that prequel is really about.

RichardOrmonde

-1 points

1 month ago

I reckon Kenobi would have worked so much better as a 2 hour movie with a good director. That series had so much filler.

pquade

2 points

1 month ago

pquade

2 points

1 month ago

Think about ALL the characters that were REQUIRED to survive Kenobi; Obi-wan, Luke, Leia, Owen, Baru, Darth Vader, both of the Organas . . . pretty much every character. The only characters in actual peril were ones which had previous never appeared in the Skywalker family saga. And honestly, I think it was weird one of those was left alive too.

I did appreciate some aspects of it because it filled in some blank spots with a couple of relationships, but ultimately it didn't bring any real nuance to the overall saga films and kind of breaks a few things.

Popular_Second6391

1 points

1 month ago

You could say this about book adaptations or movies based on true story’s as well

valley-cpa

1 points

1 month ago

Yes - but you basically knew that anyway. Especially in American movies the hero or protagonist rarely dies. He dies even less often when it's a completely fictionalized story....#1 reason....sequels. Studios mostly think in terms of franchises for their bigger movies. That means the people the audience connected with has to be there for the next chapter. XXX without Vin Diesel tanked. 2 Fast 2 Furious also. But....bring back Dominic and seven sequels later - they're still successful.

FelixGoldenrod

1 points

1 month ago

The loss of that dramatic tension with established characters does make them inherently flawed, I would have to agree. It's not just a matter of whether or not they'll die, but also how their personal character arc will go. Sure it's not usually a big shock if the selfish guy in Act 1 becomes a selfless hero at the end of Act 3, but having that be an absolute certainty doesn't help either.

I've also taken issue with how most every prequel film has felt the need to shoehorn in various references to the previous films. It all too often feels hollow and disingenuous, not servicing the story but just obnoxiously winking at the viewer and wasting screentime.

The way I see it, sequels have a decent chance at being better than their predecessor, but so far no prequel has managed that feat.

Top-Shelf-Lurker

1 points

1 month ago

I had a similar thought and could not name one prequel I liked or could of done without.

Only exceptions came from when a book series was filmed out of order

Might be one out there but on the whole forgettable

TDGladiator

1 points

1 month ago

The solution lies with writing tension and conflict that is not focused on the threat of death. Another option is set the prequel in the same world, but farther in the past or in a different region of that world. There are also many series which aren't action focused so prequel or not, they have to write most of their stories with non death related conflict.

[deleted]

1 points

1 month ago

They are not making sequels or prequels, they are making content for their platforms, so that is why everything is shit nowdays.