Sequels are the big money maker in the entertainment industry today. Franchises are being built with every new year and our favorite stories are continuing on. Bringing us new exciting stories with established characters that we have fallen for. With every sequel, creators run the risk of devaluing what the consumers loved in the first place. Lets have a look at 7 important points that we, the consumer, want and need out of a sequel.
Not a remake-
There is no worse crime than when a sequel follows the exact same formula of its original. It is one thing to do a remake or a reimagining, but when it comes to a sequel there should be a fresh plot with original ideas. It is fair as a consumer to expect to see beloved characters in new situations. The only instance that this actually worked was with the Evil Dead franchise and even then the sequel was intentionally a redo.
Logical next step-
It is one thing to change the game and expand the world of the story. It is another to give a story that comes completely out of right field. The original scenario would have left the characters lives changed and the sequel should show the effects of such. Finding Dory made sense because at the end of the first film we were left with one main character who had no home and no family of her own.
Raising the stakes-
It is not the same story and a good sequel should reflect that. By raising the stakes and characters investment it brings the consumers excitement up. A good example would be the Alien franchise, the first installment risked one ship, a crew of seven and a cat. The second involved an entire terraforming planet, a fully trained military outfit, and an innocent little girl that our main character invested a personal attachment.
‘No… I am your father’ Empire Strikes Back is the most famous example of dropping the proverbial bomb in its predecessor. Adding an element that shakes up everything we have understood thus far gives a sequel its own legs to stand on. Any great sequel should change our expectations and the way we look at the world.
Every story carries with it a character that is growing or learning some valuable lesson. Continuing on a characters story should involve a connection to the original arc while facing new challenges, and in some cases, an even larger arc that develops over a series. Such as Harry Potter who grows and develops with every new year at Hogwarts.
Not dismissing the original-
That original story meant something, that is why we are returning to the world. If the sequel tells us the first story arc had no true effect, it devalues everything we enjoyed. Again, the new tale should be a natural progression of the events we have already enjoyed. When they rebuilt Jurassic Park in 2015 they had learned their lessons and showed us what changes were made because of the originals effects.
With any series or franchise there are elements and an overall feel that we love and grow to expect. When returning to the world that has been built we want to have an equal experience. Not to say the story can’t change or the underline genre should be the same. There is an element of wonder the first episode gave us that should be there when we return.
Thanks booknerds, ‘I’ll be back’.