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Franchises Don’t Know When to Die

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The newest Star Wars movie comes out in December. The next addition to Marvel will premiere in May. Yet another Harry Potter movie will come out in November. With every popular franchise, there will always be fans who want more content, new and exciting characters, and an expanded universe.

However, Hollywood must realize that sometimes, enough is enough. I mean, honestly, no matter how good these new additions may be, are they really necessary?

I will admit that I am a massive Harry Potter, Marvel, and Star Wars fan. I go to every premiere I can, and I buy my tickets months in advance. But at some point, I always stop and think: Why did we need this movie? Was the original series not good enough? And therein lies the problem. It was too good. Audiences want more, and production companies are all too happy to comply because if the original made so much money, imagine how the sequel will do!

Ok, let me rant for a minute: in 2016, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” came out, and as a Potterhead through and through, I was ecstatic. I went to Barnes and Noble the day it was released, and I snagged a copy. Oh, poor young(er), innocent me. What garbage hath thou wrought on thy brain? I will make myself as explicitly clear as I can: That book deserves to burn, and I refuse to consider anything within that monstrosity to be a part of my Harry Potter universe. Think I’m being a bit dramatic? Read it. Or, actually, don’t. Spare yourself.

However, this “book” is just one example of a series that should just be left as is. We had the ending we waited years for, and we got a little epilogue. Leave it at that. Not only was “The Cursed Child” unnecessary, but it is as if J.K. Rowling wrote it under the Imperius curse! I’d wager that it was written solely for profit, and not because the fans were crying out for more. It was one of the most poorly written books I’ve ever had the immense displeasure of reading, and the plot was an absolute distortion of the story we all loved. I wish, to the bottom of my heart, that it had never happened. But it did.

Onto another major series: Star Wars. This one is a bit more controversial. (A lot of) Star Wars fans are notorious cry-babies about anything in the series that they don’t like. Take Kelly Marie Tran for example. She deleted her Instagram after the backlash over her character in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Honestly, I thought her character was amazing, and I don’t think there was anything that warranted the retaliation against her. Nonetheless, if the Star Wars executives didn’t insist on new movies, this wouldn’t be an issue. And people have even petitioned to remake the movie! If the fans are going to hate a movie so much, then don’t make it! Isn’t that what focus groups are for?

Star Wars is certainly one of the main franchises that comes to mind when I think of expanding universes. They had the original trilogy, which was amazing. Then they had the prequels, which are notoriously bad, but still are classic. They could have (and should have) left it at that. Then, a few years back, they announced the new trilogies. They’d have the continuation, and then a trilogy of somewhat unrelated prequels, including “Solo.” I’ll admit, I was excited, and I went to all the premiers at our theater. “The Force Awakens” was a good movie. Unnecessary, and not great like the original trilogy, but good. Then the next year, “Rogue One” came out. Not gonna lie, I was bored out of my mind. I do not like that movie. Then “The Last Jedi.” It was good, not great, but it doesn’t need to be remade. See, none of these were needed, and in fact, they seem to hurt the integrity of the series!

And one final point I’d like to hit on: the superhero franchise. We’ll talk about both major companies here. Let’s start with Marvel. The MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is constantly growing and changing. However, Marvel makes it a point to make new movies about unexplored characters. Just in these past few years, we have Spiderman, Black Panther, and Ant-Man all getting their own movies. And coming up is Captain Marvel. Marvel, you just keep doing what you’re doing. Although we wouldn’t mind a Black Widow movie…

Now DC, you seriously need to step up your game. Another Superman? More Batman? More Justice Leagues, Suicide Squads, and Aquamans? I can’t speak for the general population, but I know I’m sick of it. You have other characters, DC. Use them.

There are too many franchises today that insist upon sequels and prequels and anthologies to movies that we’ve already loved. I will admit, I am a bit of a hypocrite because I see these movies anyways. But my love for the series will not grow because of these new additions. If anything, it’s lessened it. A while ago, I would have dreamed of seeing my favorite Harry Potter characters on Broadway. Now, the idea makes me sick to my stomach. I certainly think it’s cool that Star Wars has new movies with strong female leads, but I’m not compelled by their stories, and I miss the old trio. Poe Dameron and BB-8 can stay, though. Marvel is the exception to the rule. They are always working on new movies for unexplored characters, so we’re not seeing the same concept over and over again. But DC? We’re tired of the same heroes doing the same thing.

Hollywood, you have hundreds of thousands of writers with millions of ideas to create. I’m one of them. There was never a mega-successful sequel without the story to start it all. Let’s make one of those stories now. When you’re ready, movie industry, give me a call.

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Franchises Don’t Know When to Die