Monday, May 9, 2016

What's the Best Prequel? A Prequel That's Not Written Like a Prequel!

A long while back I bought the omnibus of the Han Solo Adventures, three books from 1979-1980.  I remember my dad had originals of them but I hadn't ever read them.  I finally got around to it this year.  The books are not written all that well and obviously there's not a lot of continuity because only one movie existed at the time.  Still, they were enjoyable books about Han and Chewie and the Millennium Falcon before they ever went to Tatooine.

What was really great to me is these were technically prequels but they weren't written like prequels.  By that I mean they weren't written with the purpose of trying to give Han Solo some grandiose origin.  They weren't written to hide a lot of "Easter Eggs" for fans.  They were just Han and Chewie flying around doing shit--and that was perfectly fine with me.

There's going to be a Han Solo prequel movie and I'm sure it's going to do all the lame prequel stuff like tell us about Han's childhood and give him some wonderful destiny and settle important questions like where Han's vest came from.  I'm sure Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Greedo, and maybe even Lando (if someone at Lucasfilm decides to remember he exists) will show up.  They'll probably go into how Han met Chewie and got hold of the Falcon.  There will probably be references to Darth Vader and Princess Leia and all that.

These three books don't deal with any of that (because most of it didn't exist yet) and I didn't miss it at all.  Because I really don't give a shit about where Han Solo came from any more than I care about where Wolverine (and his jacket) came from or where Darth Vader came from.

It's the kind of thing I wish they'd done with the new Star Trek movies instead of that lame, implausible origin story in the first one.  Or if Better Call Saul instead of trying to give him some pathetic origin had just focused on some outlandish cases he might have done before getting involved with Walter White.

I think I've said before that the problem with prequels is they're always trying to add significance to things that don't need it (Wolverine's jacket) and give every character some "tragic" whiny backstory to explain why they are who they are.  But I don't know, would you rather know where Han Solo's vest came from or watch him pull some con job and escape some Imperials in the Falcon?

So like I said in the title, the best prequel is one that isn't written like it's supposed to be a prequel.  In other words, a story that's written to show the character in action instead of trying to explain a familiar character.  Take note, Hollywood!

6 comments:

  1. The problem with this reasoning is that the resulting stories could literally be about anyone. And so what would be the point?

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    1. What's the point in the first place other than making money? Your logic only hols if the people making it know nothing about Star Wars.

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    2. The point is, if you're going to make a story about what comes before what everyone knows, it makes sense to...talk a little about what everyone knows. It's pointless to do otherwise.

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  2. My interest in characters other than Luke Skywalker really arose during my time playing the Star Wars RPG. I wonder if there are other roleplayers out there that would say the same thing? In other words, developing a roleplaying game kind of forced the hand of the Star Wars makers to go in and provide information on side characters and details of the world at large.

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  3. I see what you're saying, but I find it ironic that a lot of the recent super hero movies were like prequels in that they went back to so and so before they became a super hero. Like Spiderman, Superman and Captain America. I'm sure there's more, which were pretty successful. Not only that, these stories have been told in previous movies and comic books already, yet people want more and more reboots. Of course they give the people what they want.

    Of course, the Darth Vadar prequel didn't work, but that was really a bad premise as I said before. How a good guy, turned into a bad guy and was hacked to bits. It just doesn't leave one with that fun Star Wars feeling.

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  4. There's also "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" from that same time period and Luke and Leia make out, which is pretty funny what happens later lol. My issue with prequels is that they often tell a story I don't need told. I agree I would rather watch Han Solo being a bad ass than some lame destined to be awesome prequel story that they'll carefully shove into their new timeline. The Han Solo stand alone movie should be kinda like an episode of "Firefly"

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