We write. Sometimes we write for ourselves and sometimes we write for others. At times, we look at what we wrote and think it sucks. Other times, we can’t wait to read it to someone else. What you write and what you do with it not only decides your future but also profoundly shapes the world.
George Lucas has done many wonderful things for the world (Star Wars, American Graffiti, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Wars), but one of the most fun is his popularization of the term “prequel.” According to Wikipedia (that hub of fan information that hasn’t necessarily been vetted), the term appeared sometime in 1956, but wasn’t popularized until Lucas announced he was doing a “prequel” to his Star Wars trilogy that would give backstory of Darth Vader.
By definition, a prequel is a sequel. It comes after the original work was written. However, it’s the backstory component that leads up to how the main characters got to be who they were.
While I love George’s popularization of the prequel, I’m not that happy with one other thing he popularized: re-numbering the series to make it seem as if the prequel should be read/watched first. There are many things I loved about Star Wars: Episode I, but I’m not sure I would have sat through that much Jar Jar had I not watched the now renamed Star Wars Episodes IV, V (OMG, Darth Vader is Luke’s father!) and VI. Continue reading “Fitting a Prequel into Your Series”