If the Keurig could talk,...
Well let's face it, the water cooler isn't where people are hanging out these days. In offices all over the country, 'round the gourmet coffee dispenser is where the buzz on everyone's personal details are brewed fresh daily. You know how the work week goes. You're either talking about what happened over the weekend or delving into plans for the upcoming weekend.
This weekend-heavy coffee talk inevitably turns to entertainment. Television and movies are often discussed and it's not long before someone utters the phrase, "did you hear about...?" revealing the all too common subject of a sequel, prequel or any other quel you can think of. This can spark quite a debate as the idea elicits either squeals of joy or grunts of disgust.
Armchair Producers are quick to point out what SHOULDN'T have been green lit, while then leading into their opinion of what concept SHOULD be expanded, repeated or redone. To some, these story continuations are just evidence that Hollywood has run out of ideas! You'd hear the verbal daggers "unoriginal", "lacking inspiration" or "lazy" being flung around. Well, let's examine this, shall we?
Is the movie businessman simply making a cash grab off an audience of suckers or are they doing a great service by answering the demands of a clamoring fan base? Is it lazy? Is it a quest for the all-mighty dollar or an answer to what audiences have been asking for; more play time with characters and stories that they've grown to love?
Maybe it's a little of all of the above. It's no secret that if a property performs well, the pressure of MORE is always there from both sides. Whether you're a fan or not, everyone is aware of the impact on the world of the new Star Wars movies. We'll likely not see a mania like that again in our lifetime. Those original three movies influenced and defined a generation such that seeing Han Solo appear on screen 32 years later left many in tears when just watching the teaser trailer.
Stories open us up to a world that we haven't known before. What if J.K. Rowling stopped after the first Harry Potter book? Remember the fandom for the book sequels? This was the first time we saw the insane midnight release lines outside of book stores.
You may have heard the Victor Hugo quote "a writer is a world trapped inside a person." These worlds will continue to expand and inspire new generations as fans become writers and storytellers themselves being influenced by the stories they were told. J.J. Abrams grew up with Star Wars and ended up being able to show the world his take on the continuation.
So what do you think? Is there a place for sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, universe crossovers, alternate versions and story expansion in any way? Are they a drain on originality and creativity or an avenue to creativity unleashed?
There are plenty of potential stories within us, but one thing's for sure; they must be told.