And then you get to part three of your trilogy and you probably realized that you bit off a little more than you could chew. What happened to the beautiful optimism of part one? If only there were some way to go back and maybe make the ending of part two a little less sensational, a little easier to write or explain your way out of. But it’s too late. And your audience is expecting something huge. They’ve lined up around the block for the better part of a day just so they can experience your grand conclusion, in IMAX, and those tickets cost close to twenty bucks, and it’s a midnight showing, like people are basically giving up their Friday so they can stay up until four in the morning just to say that they saw your finale first. Gulp.
That’s the problem with trilogies. The wrap-up. It better be good or else it cheapens the success of the first two parts. Whereas part two is your constant high, ever upward, oblivious to the fact that even this story is going to have to reach some sort of a conclusion, by the time part three shows up, it’s obvious that there’s going to be a letting down of sorts. From the moment part three starts, we’re already in the business of having our expectations lessened, maybe gently, maybe not as delicately, but it’s plain to see what’s going on. Even the most successful trilogies suffer from this inevitability.
Let’s look at Star Wars again. Empire starts out with this crazy ice planet battle and culminates with the big reveal, with Luke getting his hand cut off, and with Han Solo trapped in carbonite. And how do they pick up where they left off? Back in space? Nope, we’re right back on the desert planet, right where we started, right back with the droids, a really slow build up to, let’s be real here, a half-assed Jabba the Hutt scene. Leia’s in a gold bikini. Boba Fett’s there. OK, fine. But it doesn’t really have anything to do with anything from part two. What about the Empire? What about Darth Vader? Where’s Lando?
And they try to reconnect with whatever made the first two so magical, but nothing sticks. Luke goes back to Degobah and it’s not the same. There’s another Death Star, but it’s not the same. Lando’s back, finally, but totally not as cool as he was in part two. “Luke, I am your sister,” doesn’t even come close to packing the same wallop as “Luke, I am your father.” I could go on and on, but then I’d have to start mentioning Ewoks and I’m afraid everything would just spiral out of control and I’d have to finish up with some sort of weird musical number.
But whatever, I mean, this is part three of this blog post trilogy. I’m being honest, it’s going to be a let down, it just has to be. You make a trilogy and you’re bound by certain laws. Unfortunately, the third part of any trilogy is going to invariably disappoint on some level. I could go emo for a little bit, maybe have a jazz dancing scene like in Spider-Man 3, but everyone hated that. I could go back to the Wild West and turn an old locomotive into a time machine, but everyone knows that Back to the Future Part III was god-awful. Whenever a TV station airs an entire trilogy, nobody sits around to watch part three. It’s always such a waste. And let’s not even talk about The Matrix. Please. Let’s not get into that guy in the white suit, or whatever the hell happened at the end. I wish Neo and I could have switched places, so I could’ve had my eyes gouged out, so I wouldn’t have had to actually see such a disappointing finish.
I’m obviously not talking about Batman here. The Dark Knight Rises was sick, and as far as I’m concerned, is the only exception to this rule. But I already wrote about that, so I can’t really borrow any of that Batman magic to spice up this part three. Hmm. What else can I do to wrap things up here? Is it too early to start thinking about how I’m going to package all three together as a whole? Maybe draw up some cool artwork? How am I going to market this trilogy now that it’s all but complete? Maybe I should actually finish first. Hmm.
Well, I guess that’s it. Trilogy complete. That was kind of fun. Part two was definitely the best.