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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu

This one turned up in the shop the other day:

And I have to confess, I did read it. (It was either this or a 30-year-old novelization of a 40-year-old Dr. Who script.) I chose this one because I needed some fast and lightweight mind popcorn, and I do enjoy a good Tim Zahn yarn every now and then. He has a real knack for telling a tightly paced tale that just grabs onto you and takes you racing to the end.

But...the official movie prequel?

Yeah, I read it, and I guess I must have enjoyed reading it, because I finished it. But all the way through, I kept getting the sense that I was reading... I dunno. A TV series spinoff? An established character is put into terrible peril: "Oh, nothing will happen to her. She's part of the regular cast. She won't even have an interesting thought or a meaningful experience in this story." A new character gets introduced: "Aah, he's not a regular cast member. He is gonna die a horrible death before the second commercial break."

Is that it? Have our expectations been so shaped by the ubiquitous Star Trek redshirt that we're simply unable to imagine a story evolving in a different direction? I wonder.

But never mind that question now. Here, in all innocent honesty, is the question I really wanted to put up for discussion today:

To the best of your knowledge, has there ever been a truly good and necessary prequel?

Let the arguments begin...
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