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SuperBacon

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Seems like a thread.

Are there ANY good prequels? Better Call Saul apart.

For me a prequel is something that comes after a definite end to a series like Phantom Menace.

So for me Clive, Temple Of Doom doesn't count and Godfather 2 DEFINITELY doesn't count.

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18 hours ago, BomberPat said:

It'll be shit for the reasons all of this kind of origin story/prequel is shit. The whole point of Willy Wonka is that he's a mysterious, eccentric figure in this mad self-contained world. Explaining how he came to be that way is pointless.

 

18 hours ago, SuperBacon said:

To you.

I have a 10yo who really likes the films and books and is intrigued by the trailer and how he came to be how he is.

Or shall we just stop all prequels?

Maybe actually.

 

 

 

18 hours ago, BomberPat said:

I wouldn't complain. They're almost always shit, because in 99.9% of cases everything you need to know about a character is explained in the original story, because that's how storytelling works. Almost invariably, prequels fuck up the existing story or undermine characters as originally intended.

 

17 hours ago, SuperBacon said:

Nah come on now, that's not true.

There's...

...give me a minute. I'll think of one...

 

17 hours ago, westlondonmist said:

Yeah I kind of feel Grandpa Joe explained it well enough to be honest.

 

17 hours ago, organizedkaos said:

If you're counting ones that follow the "how the original story / character came to be" It's pretty much Better Call Saul as it managed to actually add context to the original work and stand on it's own. It used the fact you knew where it was going against you.  I guess you can argue Godfather 2 but that's probs blurring the assignment.

 

There's a bunch i guess that get included by definition (stuff like Prey that's set in an earlier time period, or stuff like Fire Walk With Me that's basically in the same time frame as the story but chronoligcally is earlier)

 

17 hours ago, air_raid said:

Plus there's no jeopardy if you know all the characters survive....

Does Rogue One count?

 

17 hours ago, Gay as FOOK said:

"We looked back into the source material and found there was just such interesting untold stories about that Hufflepuff, Hannah Abbott" is basically the new stand in for "The studio ordered more content". 

 

16 hours ago, wordsfromlee said:

I'd much rather a prequel about Grandpa Joe and the origin of his massive coke nail.

 

15 hours ago, Just Some Guy said:

Or Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom?

 

15 hours ago, westlondonmist said:

Temple of Doom is set before Raiders of the Lost Ark but it could be set afterwards really. There is no origin to it and was pretty much here's an adventure by that guy you know and love. 

 

14 hours ago, Just Some Guy said:

Rubbish! We see Indy learn that you should always have a gun in his holster when facing a big bloke whirling a sword around his head.

 

14 hours ago, Uncle Zeb said:

All you lamewads bitching about your passive media like Yakuza 0 and Red Dead Redemption 2 don't exist.

 

17 minutes ago, Vamp said:

Temple of Doom is definitely a prequel. He's out for fortune and glory in that one, by the time he gets to Raiders he's shown doing really boring lecturers and thinking relics should be in museums. 

I quite enjoyed Cruella but it only really works if you consider it a standalone film rather than a prequel so that's possibly not the best example...

Does Casino Royale kinda count? I know its a reboot, and chronologically it'd make no sense, but it's so much about how Bond became Bond and its in a series where the main actor changes but is supposedly the same character anyway, that it feels like you could equally consider it a prequel. I mean, I think it's aged terribly and drags but a lot of people really rate it.

 

The conversation so far.

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Stuff like Better Call Saul, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Temple of Doom being brought up are good counterpoints, I'll admit.

I think perhaps there's a distinction to be made between prequels and origin stories - so less Temple of Doom, more Young Indiana Jones.

A prequel can be good if it's world-building, and expanding on minor characters or underexamined bits of a story, but is almost guaranteed to fail if it's focused on a major character. 

 

To use Star Wars as an example, ignoring the TV shows and just looking at the movies, it's one good prequel and four bad ones.

Rogue One is a good prequel because it actually fills in some gaps, adds contexts, and expands the world surrounding the first film. It explores ideas of the Rebellion being an uneasy alliance of different factions rather than one group of perfect good guys, it actually explains away potential plot holes (why the Death Star would have such a glaring, cartoonish flaw in the first place), and for the most part deals with characters you haven't met before, so you don't know ahead of time exactly what their fate will be. The weakest parts of the movie are when it deals with established characters.

Solo is probably the worst Star Wars movie because it actively undermines what comes after it. By deciding it has to be an origin story, it sets out to explain things that never needed explaining - "how did Han Solo get his name?" was never a question anyone had ever asked, because everyone assumed it was just his fucking name, it didn't need explaining. Han Solo, in A New Hope, was a smuggler and outlaw just in it for the cash, who by the end of the film had been won over and convinced of the need to fight for something bigger than himself - telling a story in which he already fought for the Rebellion and had basically undergone that character arc beforehand completely ruins his character development in the first film. I can't think of many better examples of a prequel/origin story completely undermining the character as originally written.

 

The prequel trilogy have a different problem - aside from being bad films - in that it's less about undermining one character's development as undermining the entire world it's set in. The beauty of the original Star Wars trilogy is that it feels like one story taking place inside a bigger universe with plenty of other stories going on - everyone in the Mos Eisley Cantina, everyone in Jabba's Palace, every bounty hunter in Empire Strikes Back, suggests another story going on that you're not watching, every allusion to the world's history, or to planets, people and events not seen on-screen, suggests a world of other stories going on away from the camera's eye. That's what makes Star Wars special. The prequels do the exact opposite, and conspire to make that world smaller with every decision - Darth Vader built C3PO, Yoda and Chewbacca were mates, R2D2 was there from the beginning, Greedo was knocking about with baby Darth Vader. None of that adds a single thing, but subtracts so much of the magic.

 

I think that last point is what it comes down to - most prequels can't help but cram in characters from the original that, logically, don't need to be there, or else they feel the need to explain character traits that never needed explaining. Most characters in films are as fully formed as they need to be to play their part in the story, and whatever information we are given about them within the story is all we need to know about them. When the appeal of Willy Wonka is that he's a mysterious recluse in a world of his own making, we don't need to, nor should we, see what he was like beforehand.

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I'm not George Lucas so I don't know, but it just feels like the original trilogy was a definitive end, and he meant to stop there.

So the prequel trilogy was just a mess as you then have to dig deep to make things make sense, and that's where the issue lies.

You are also dealing with a whole host of characters, scenes, lines, action, moments etc that people love and you are now asking them to accept something new which leads those characters to those decisions etc, which is hard to do. See also The Many Saints Of Newark.

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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes seems to get forgotten about but was a good origin story for how the apes came to be, made sense and set up the two modern sequels nicely.

Does Final Destination 5 count? Because I was full pointing DiCaprio meme at the end of that film.

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14 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

Rogue One is a good prequel because it actually fills in some gaps, adds contexts, and expands the world surrounding the first film. It explores ideas of the Rebellion being an uneasy alliance of different factions rather than one group of perfect good guys, it actually explains away potential plot holes (why the Death Star would have such a glaring, cartoonish flaw in the first place), and for the most part deals with characters you haven't met before, so you don't know ahead of time exactly what their fate will be. The weakest parts of the movie are when it deals with established characters.

Agreed with this entire post, except the bit in bold (partly) - I still maintain that, to someone who'd never seen any Star Wars at all, Rogue One surpassed the first film for the most terrifying introduction to Vader ever. If there was a way to tack on that scene of him walking down the defending rebels and carving them up through that corridor to A New Hope, you'd have a near-perfect first sight of him.

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6 minutes ago, cobra_gordo said:

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes seems to get forgotten about but was a good origin story for how the apes came to be, made sense and set up the two modern sequels nicely.

I love Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, but I don't know how well it functions as an actual prequel to the original movie - it's better treated as a full-blown reboot than a true prequel, because it completely fucks the timeline of events; in the original movie, the Apes evolve over a few hundred years before rising up against humans, and become the dominant species after an extended nuclear war, whereas the "prequel" trilogy that begins with Rise condenses the rise of the apes into a few years, and leaves out the nuclear war and other factors entirely.

Given that the original Apes films eventually become an absolutely mental mess of time travel and time loops, that's probably no bad thing, though.

 

Just remembered another one that's more reboot than prequel, but makes the same mistakes of explaining or filling in backstory that never needed explaining - Rob Zombie's Halloween. In that, Michael Myers is a kid showing all the clichéd signs of growing up to become a serial killer, who eventually snaps and murders an abusive family. Whereas the whole point of Michael Myers, as I understood it, was that he was just a perfectly normal kid and nobody could have predicted what he did, that it came out of nowhere. Surely that's much scarier, and trying to explain it away just misses the point? Same goes for origin stories for any slasher villain - something about them being unknowable, and the audience not knowing any more about them than what the characters on-screen know, is where the horror comes from; we didn't need, and never should have got, an origin story for Leatherface, because we shouldn't have known anything about him beyond what the original story gives us. 

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6 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

Agreed with this entire post, except the bit in bold (partly) - I still maintain that, to someone who'd never seen any Star Wars at all, Rogue One surpassed the first film for the most terrifying introduction to Vader ever. If there was a way to tack on that scene of him walking down the defending rebels and carving them up through that corridor to A New Hope, you'd have a near-perfect first sight of him.

The problem with this is, as good as that scene is, it's in a film that also includes Darth Vader having a Saturday morning cartoon supervillain volcano base, which I hated. Though, admittedly, setting up a volcano lair on the planet that turned you into Darth Vader is at least in keeping with the prequels version of Anakin as an overdramatic whining idiot. 

A lot of it comes down to the changing depiction of Vader across all the films; in the original movie he was never intended to be Luke's father, was never intended to be the Emperor's second-in-command, never anybody historically significant - he was just the "dragon" for Peter Cushing's character, basically a samurai archetype. Vader as explained in every subsequent movie wouldn't have random Imperial officers mocking him to his face, or be doing the bidding of Tarkin. 

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3 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

The problem with this is, as good as that scene is, it's in a film that also includes Darth Vader having a Saturday morning cartoon supervillain volcano base, which I hated. Though, admittedly, setting up a volcano lair on the planet that turned you into Darth Vader is at least in keeping with the prequels version of Anakin as an overdramatic whining idiot. 

Oh, absolutely - it was just that one scene I felt was the exception to your point. But yeh - pretty much everything else that dealt with existing characters, bang on.

3 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

A lot of it comes down to the changing depiction of Vader across all the films; in the original movie he was never intended to be Luke's father, was never intended to be the Emperor's second-in-command, never anybody historically significant - he was just the "dragon" for Peter Cushing's character, basically a samurai archetype. Vader as explained in every subsequent movie wouldn't have random Imperial officers mocking him to his face, or be doing the bidding of Tarkin. 

Yup - it's always struck me as amusing that one of the biggest cinema franchises ever got progressively "re-engineered", so to speak, to be about a character that was never supposed to be anything more than the evil henchman. To be fair, at the time of the first film, there would have been the least "lore" around it, so they had a lot more scope and flexibility to adapt and change to public reaction.

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If we're not including Temple Of Doom what about that Young Indiana Jones movie/series ? 

Also on the video gaming prequel tip, what about the Street Fighter Alpha series? By extension Street Fighters 4 & 5 can be interpreted as prequels to Street Fighter 3 as well, given the off chronological order that the games take place in. Street Fighter 4 definitely feels more like a sequel to Street Fighter 2 than Street Fighter 3 ended up being given how shortly after the original it takes place. 

Saturday Night Slam Masters/Muscle Bomber could kind of be seen as a prequel to Final Fight as well given that it takes place before Mike Haggar became Mayor of Metro City. 

Art Of Fighting is kind of a prequel to the Fatal Fury series as it involves some of the same characters and takes place a few decades beforehand. 

I think a lot of the problem prequels have is that they try to be too clever for their own good with their "Did you see that? You know what that's going to lead to, don't you? Eh, EH?" and it can be a bit jarring when it derails the course of a movie. I think I preferred the bits in Rogue One where characters from Episode 4 would just turn up in a blink & you'll miss it cameo. 

Does Prey count as a prequel? That one was decent. 

Edited by jazzygeofferz
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41 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

I'm not George Lucas so I don't know, but it just feels like the original trilogy was a definitive end, and he meant to stop there.

So the prequel trilogy was just a mess as you then have to dig deep to make things make sense, and that's where the issue lies.

You are also dealing with a whole host of characters, scenes, lines, action, moments etc that people love and you are now asking them to accept something new which leads those characters to those decisions etc, which is hard to do. See also The Many Saints Of Newark.

George Lucas was discussing Star Wars being 9 films in the 80’s. Hell, I know it was retconned after the event but Empire Strikes Back was released as episode 5 meaning A New Hope was episode 4. The prequels may have felt like a cash grab, but they were in his plan, and he had 7-9 planned before he sold up and Disney scrapped the scripts.

Deciding Temple of Doom isn’t a prequel because of rules you’ve decided is nonsense though. It’s set before, very clearly, Raiders so it’s a prequel. 

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45 minutes ago, Gus Mears said:

I'd like to throw my sixpence in for worst prequel (at least in written form). Hannibal Rising, an utter mess of a book created under duress and the worst thing I've read since Naked Lunch.

Books is a forgotten one.

Skagboys, which is a prequel to Trainspotting, is pretty shit, and was very unnecessary. 

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I'm torn. Definitely in the middle between it being intriguing to see back stories for characters and some just not needing them.

I don't need every single character to have this deep motivation or traumatic background or whatever it is. Sometimes arseholes just need to be allowed to be arseholes with no redeeming qualities.

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32 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I love Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, but I don't know how well it functions as an actual prequel to the original movie - it's better treated as a full-blown reboot than a true prequel, because it completely fucks the timeline of events; in the original movie, the Apes evolve over a few hundred years before rising up against humans, and become the dominant species after an extended nuclear war, whereas the "prequel" trilogy that begins with Rise condenses the rise of the apes into a few years, and leaves out the nuclear war and other factors entirely.

Given that the original Apes films eventually become an absolutely mental mess of time travel and time loops, that's probably no bad thing, though.

 

Just remembered another one that's more reboot than prequel, but makes the same mistakes of explaining or filling in backstory that never needed explaining - Rob Zombie's Halloween. In that, Michael Myers is a kid showing all the clichéd signs of growing up to become a serial killer, who eventually snaps and murders an abusive family. Whereas the whole point of Michael Myers, as I understood it, was that he was just a perfectly normal kid and nobody could have predicted what he did, that it came out of nowhere. Surely that's much scarier, and trying to explain it away just misses the point? Same goes for origin stories for any slasher villain - something about them being unknowable, and the audience not knowing any more about them than what the characters on-screen know, is where the horror comes from; we didn't need, and never should have got, an origin story for Leatherface, because we shouldn't have known anything about him beyond what the original story gives us. 

Is the prequel trilogy a prequel to the film? Could be to the book where there is no nuclear war, you have no idea how humans ended up in zoos or being tested on in labs. Mind you the book isn't exactly clear it's on Earth, it could be but it could be that no matter what planet humans are on we will downfall.

 

You still have the timeloops though.

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