Hollywood: The land of Sequels

by Peter D. Marshall

by Tomas Shore.

Sequels are everywhere these days, most summer blockbusters these days are released with a view to having at least 2 more films mined out of the concept. With book franchises this can be spread further still. The Harry Potter films established the now common practise of splitting the final book in two. Peter Jackson took this further when he split a short novel into 3 interminably pointless films.

What makes a good or bad sequel though? Which are the worst, most pointless sequels and does this trend show any sign of ending soon? When we talk sequels there is only one logical starting point, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Back when George Lucas knew how to establish characters and to leave the dialogue to other people, he created the perfect sequel.

The template was a simple one; Make it darker in tone, expand the characters, widen the boundaries of the story and you have your perfect second movie. This has been the blueprint for sequels for many years now; Terminator 2, Aliens and Toy Story 2 are all classic films in their own right which follow the template set by The Empire Strikes Back closely. Toy Story goes to the next level of this by following the template, parodying the template and paying homage to the template.

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