The Deja View: Why are there so many movie and TV prequels and reboots these days? – The Hindu | Episode Movies

In a world that seems headed for an apocalypse, we’re too scared to see into the future

In a world that seems headed for an apocalypse, we’re too scared to see into the future

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

As if that wasn’t long enough ago, the new one war of stars series Andor provided a prequel to the 2016 spin-off Villain Onewhich is itself a prequel to the previously known film war of stars (now Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope). Unlike many war of stars Nerds, I can’t keep them straight. I’m just watching and hoping Chewbacca shows up eventually.

It’s raining prequels, or rather, it’s streaming prequels.

war of stars has not only AndorThere are also Boba Fett’s book, The Mandalorian and Obi Wan Kenobi. house of the dragonwhich premiered in August of that year, delivered gore and gore but was set generations before the gore and gore of game of Thrones. collect Harry Potter‘s success, we have the Fantastic Beasts Prequel trilogy that, among other things, forced us to think about Albus Dumbledore’s romantic life. Lord of the Rings has gone far back in time to create The Rings of Power, the most expensive TV series of all time. It’s like the grandmother of all prequels set thousands of years before the adventures of Bilbo and Frodo.

“Better call Saul,” an exception

As The New York Times points out when Arondir, an elf soldier, enters The Rings of PowerSaying “The past is with us all, whether we like it or not,” he could well be speaking about what’s streaming on our TVs these days.

A prequel sounds like a bad idea on paper. They’re basically walking dead men. After all, the ending is set even before the beginning begins, but the best prequels make us forget we know the ending. Or they’ve stepped so far back in time that their end isn’t entirely set in stone. In the most cynical case, it’s all about mere brand awareness. The studios believe they’re just familiar enough to captivate viewers amidst the dizzying online choice.

A still from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999).

A still from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999).

That doesn’t mean it has to be creative blah blah. some like Better call Saul were critically acclaimed. Others not so much. war of stars was about the epic battle between good and evil, a battle in which we each held a stake or a lightsaber. The Phantom Menace, informed us in his opening scribble: “Rebellion has engulfed the Galactic Republic. Taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is controversial.” Trade is hugely important, of course, but it takes a particular hubris to consider it the basis of a must-see space opera.

The real appeal of a sequel, however, lies in the world-building. It takes a world whose contours we know and fills in its remote corners. In that sense, it roots us more securely in the world and in the franchise. And its goods like Baby Yoda. Some prequels attempt to answer questions we might have had about enigmatic characters we loved or hated. From Hannibal Lecter or the Joker, what made Hannibal Lecter the Joker? One wonders if we’ll see soon desi Equivalents – a streaming series about how Gabbar became Gabbar or when Mogambo really was kush.

Baby Yoda, a popular character from The Mandalorian spin-off branch of the Star Wars franchise, merchandise for sale in a shop in Leeds, UK.

Baby Yoda, a popular character from The Mandalorian spin-off branch of the Star Wars franchise, merchandise for sale in a shop in Leeds, UK. | Photo credit: Getty Images

India loves sequels

But India is even more obsessed with reboots and sequels. Baahubali: Before the beginninga precursor of Baahubali: The beginning, apparently restarted itself. Sometimes, though, prequels are proof that just because you can answer a question, you don’t have to answer it. As much as I love both, we really didn’t need a completely unforgettable film telling us how Han Solo met Chewbacca.

But there’s perhaps a more existential reason we’re seeing such an explosion of prequels everywhere. The world seems to be headed for an apocalypse. Icebergs are melting, climate change seems unstoppable. Species are going extinct at breakneck speed. Scientists warn COVID-19 was just a preview of things to come, as new viruses and bacteria wake up as the permafrost melts. It’s already happening. In 2016, a heat wave melted permafrost and exposed the infected carcass of a reindeer in Siberia, leading to a deadly anthrax outbreak.

Politically, in many liberal democracies that thought history would not repeat itself, old-school fascists are emerging from the permafrost. A 2021 UNICEF survey shows that while young people in poorer countries still feel hopeful about the future, in the six richest countries only a third of young people believe they will be better off compared to their parents . In contrast, a 2022 Priority Report finds that 72% of Indians believe their country is on the right track.

In such a world, it seems natural that the West, which still sets global cultural standards, does not really look too far into the future. It keeps glancing back in time and hoping we all will enjoy the deja view.

The author is the author of “Don’t Let Him Know” and is happy to let everyone know their opinion, asked or not.

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