Han Solo Prequel – Too much of a good thing?
With the announcement this month of the Han Solo Prequel (or more likely a trilogy), and the upcoming Rogue One, are we in danger of too much of a good thing?
Like all fans you probably can’t get enough of your favourite escape to an alternate Universe where goodies (metaphorically) dress in white and baddies dress in black. A place where love, family, comradeship, and even new age religion, can redeem even the worst of us, but be warned… too much, especially prequels, brings great danger to the very fabric of force that links our fandom.
For those of us over 40 Episodes 1, 2, and 3 never quite lived up to Episodes 4, 5, and 6. Not just because it is impossible ‘to see a thing for the first time’ more than once. Not just because the effects were a bit too big and the story a bit too small. Not just because of Jar-Jar Binks. No! The fundamental problem was, we already knew what would happen. Whilst it was fun to explore the why, there was never any peril, mild or otherwise, because peril relies on an uncertain outcome. For us the outcome was the outcome and would inevitably lead us to episode IV.
If you are lucky enough to be a lot younger and have watched the full sequence in quasi chronological order then 1, 2, and 3 will get much better reviews from you. There was plenty of foreshadowing and hints, but for you there was uncertainty.
The trouble with prequels is the story is already told. Often they seem a cynical attempt to continue something that has finished. There are plenty of examples where franchises have finally hit the buffers in prequel-land.
Star Trek Enterprise tried hard to scupper the federation and the prime directive forever, but luckily for them, along came JJ to administer CPR and breathe new life.
Battlestar Galactica’s Caprica promised much, but flopped after two seasons. (Or was it one and a half?)
You can probably tell that I am not a big fan of prequels, but as a vehicle to extemporise around a character then, sometimes, the device is not too bad.
‘Young Indiana’ was not a televisual triumph, but then again it was a pleasant enough way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The problem arises when you try to make a new blockbuster. Filling in a back story is exactly that, filling a void with a filler!
Perhaps that will be enough for some of you, but not for me. I fear for Han’s legacy. I fear the casting. The writing will have to be exceptional. I hope I am wrong.
However, my ‘New Hope’ is episode VII where the story can unfold before me. I will embrace it, suspend reality, and be immersed in the uncertainty. As I have said before, I can hardly wait!
‘Rogue One’ looks promising too! So perhaps all is not lost, but we should all be careful what we wish for.