Bleats

Prequels Which Created More Plot Holes Than They Solved

Some stories really don't need to be told, you know.

Once upon a time film series progressed in a linear fashion with the films made afterwards being set after the ones that came before. And then the idea of prequels emerged and tore massive plot holes in the space-time continuum.

And it’s probably possible to make a prequel that doesn’t completely ruin all the stuff that happened before (the Marvel films can now presumably go “um, it was in a different time line!” now, for example), but given the way that three of the biggest franchises have been messed up that’s maybe not the case.

For example:

1. Harry Potter

The Fantastic Beasts film series seemed to have been invented to answer the question “how can we make the Harry Potter franchise rain money the way it did before we ran out of books?” rather than anything especially pressing that needed telling regarding the Wizarding World.

And there are several big, if somewhat arcane, questions about the prequels but here’s a big one: is Professor McGonagall is immortal, or is she Paul Rudd?

Maybe she just moisturised a lot?

This is asked because her appearance in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald has her about 30 years older than would make sense given what had already been established in the Potter continuity.

Fortunately that was definitely the only controversy about the fictional wizard films and everyone was fine with everything else oh hold on wait.

2. Alien

The problem with the Alien franchise is twofold, in that the most important problem is the existence of all the films that aren’t the first two. FACT.

Truth.

But now it, like the Terminator and Halloween franchises, is being forced to decide which bits are “canon” and which are “bollocks” because it’s painted itself into such a corner with films establishing the origin story of the titular aliens, none of which gel with the other.

First was Alien Vs Predator in 2004, positing that the aliens were created as things for the predators to hunt. Hence the versus in the title.

And that was fine, if dumb, until 2012 when Prometheus claimed that nah, the aliens were created by the “architects” as murder-animals. And then in 2017 we got yet another origin story in Alien: Convenant: the aliens were genetically engineered by the android David for… um, reasons.

What I Did On My Holidays

What, so the aliens can’t just be things evolution knocked up? What metaphysical agenda are you pushing here, Ridley Scott?

3. Star Wars

Well, obviously this is the big one.

The prequels are almost shorthand for bad ideas executed unimpressively, despite also being massive successes which made more money than many nations. But what problems did they solve?

After all, we presumably all knew that Darth Vader and Boba Fett were adorable tykes at one time, but did we actually have to meet them? No. No, we did not.

But then you get a bunch of weird inconsistencies once you sit down and watch the Original Trilogy, or as I choose to call it, the Orige Trge.

These include, but are not limited to, the following complaints:…

  1. Why did Obi Wan say he didn’t know Artoo in A New Hope, despite Artoo literally saying that he used to be his property?
  2. How come Luke could learn to Jedi as an adult in a few weeks (or days) to the point of being able to hold his own against Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back when his Chosen One dad took years AND was almost rejected for being too old when he was a kid?
  3. How does Leia remember her mum in Return of the Jedi when Padme literally died giving birth to her?
  4. How come Vader is a lightsaber-slinging badass at the end of Rogue One and then shuffling like a broom-wielding dufus when fighting Obi Wan on the Death Star about a day and a half later?

Honestly, maybe prequels should start with the plot holes and then work backwards. Anything’s better than whatever system they’re using.

Supervillains Could Have Fixed Climate Change For Us So Maybe They're The Real Heroes

"They said I was a madman! Me! Mwwaaahahahahaha! Those pitiful fools - I'll SAVE THEM ALL!"

We live in a golden age of superhero movies, and a horror time of human-created climate change – and yet, so many of the supervillain plots of the last several decades involved solutions to our climate nightmare.

So maybe… maybe we’ve been getting our hero films all wrong.

This magnificent premise was set up by Rob Bricken at One Zero, who pointed out that loads of supervillains have developed surprisingly helpful tech.

Sound doubtful? Then check these bad (mostly) boys out.

Doc Ock was this close to nailing nuclear fusion

Nuclear energy has a bunch of stumbling blocks, ranging from cost to disposal of the waste to the whole Chernobyl thing, but For Otto Octavius was so close to creating the dream of physicists everywhere: a room-temperature fusion reactor in… um, a loft apartment, by the looks of it?

And this isn’t completely impossible, as best as we can work out, but Spider-Man ruined the whole experiment just because it had a power spike, exploded and killed some people, and also fused Octavius’s mechanical arms to his back and drove him mad with vengeance. Thanks a lot, Pete.

Batman & Robin involved thwarting two great climate change solutions

In the rightly abhorred fourth Batman movie before Christopher Nolan decided to go the gritty reboot route, Poison Ivy proposed a reforestation strategy which, admittedly, would have killed millions. But given what’s happening with the Amazon right now, that feels like a decent tradeoff.

Similarly, if Mr Freeze could turn Gotham to ice then he would appear to have a solution to the question of how cities can survive the extreme temperatures predicted by the end of the century.

Although to be fair, maybe it wasn’t worth the number of puns we’d need to endure.

So very, very many villains have had weather machines

Destro had the “Weather Dominator” in GI Joe, Sir August De Wynter had his “Prospero Project” in the Avengers movie that no-one remembers because of rather more successful subsequent franchises, Professor Menace had one in Static Shock, there was one in one of the goddawful Get Smart movies and in an Underdog episode… god, it got used a lot.

However the best one was in the Man With The Golden Gun, which was the “Sole Agitator”, essentially a solar focussing device. Which, again, has obviously applications for clean energy. Oh, Scaramanga, you could have been Elon Musk.

When all else fails…

There’s the break-in-case-of-ecological-devastation option, aka the Genesis Device in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

“Oh, hey.”

That basically wiped a barren planet clean and then created a new and verdant utopia in its place, assuming that it all went to plan. Which – spoiler! – it did not.

You know, climate change does seem like a tricky issue, and supervillains are maybe not that trustworthy. perhaps we’re better off just taking better care of the place?

Forget Spider-Man, Tom Holland's Got Another Big Film Loss On His Hands

With great responsibility comes great abdication of responsibility.

You’ve got to feel for Tom Holland, the man who was until very recently assumed to be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the greatest of all Spiders-Man, for he has just suffered another loss in the form of a director for the doomed Uncharted film adaptation.

Yes, Spiders-Man. That’s the proper plural, just like Attorneys-General. I will not hear otherwise.

I KNOW RIGHT IT JUST MAKES SENSE.

As you’re doubtless aware by now, Sony has just had the rights to Spider-Man return to them and expressed their lack of interest in doing any more things that involve Marvel using the character. So that’s that for Pete and the MCU, despite Far From Home setting up a whole lot of loose thread-work which was clearly meant to be addressed in future Marvelry.

And Uncharted should be an absolute no-brainer of a film, given that the games upon which the film is based are all very cinematic; which is a polite way to say that they rip the hell off of the Indiana Jones films and also every other swashbuckling adventure film with a wise-cracking hero.

And when Holland was signed on to play Nathan Drake everyone went “really? But isn’t he a dead ringer for Nathan Fillion?”

Yes. Yes he is.

But since Fillion is nudging 50 and Holland is but a callow youth, it was clear that they were thinking long term and starting with what is essentially a prequel.

However, it’s just lost another director with the news that Dan Trachtenberg has decided yeah, nah.

And this wouldn’t be noteworthy were it not the fifth – count ’em! – director to jump from the project since it was first announced almost a decade ago, following David O. Russell (who planned to star Mark Wahlberg as Drake), Neil Burger, Seth Gordon, and Shawn Levy.

The team, five directors ago.

Anyway, now seems like a perfect time to remind you that there is a campaign afoot to have a building in Edmonton renamed in honour of Mr Fillion, who called the city home, and have it used as a public meeting space.

And anyone who doesn’t think the world would be improved by the existence of the Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion has already given up on life and hope, sir.

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