Tag Archives: trilogies

The Trilogy: Part five of three

It had to happen eventually. That’s the line that’s been haunting me ever since I posted my award winning trilogy, The Trilogy: The World’s First Four Part Trilogy. I kept fighting the urge to exploit my past success, to phone it in for a day and write the fifth part of what is already one of the most successful four-part three-part sagas in all of history. But I can’t put it off any longer. I knew that sooner or later I’d have to return, to continue the journey. And why the hell not? Let’s see how many parts this trilogy is really made of.

Let me do a really quick recap for those who somehow missed out on parts one, two, three, and four. That’s it. That’s the recap. I made links to all of the other parts, so you can just click on them and read them. Linking is the toughest part of blogging. I naturally assume that eventually society is going to collapse and the servers that sustain our Internet will eventually stop running and that the only thing left of my writing will be the hard copies that I’ve instructed my readers to religiously print out and store away in case of said inevitable collapse. And these sacred texts will get passed down from generation to generation, and finally, somebody will be like, “I didn’t get this part. What was he talking about when he said that was the recap? And why are some of the words blue and bold?” because hyperlinks don’t show up on regular paper. And people might start to doubt me. So for any readers studying this text generations from now, I was just linking. The words showed up blue and you clicked on them and the earlier text I was referring to automatically popped up. But since you don’t have computers anymore, please see The Trilogy, parts one, two, and three, and four.

That was so funny right? The four part trilogy? And I ended it with this big joke that it was going to continue as a five-part trilogy. And then I was like, “just kidding. But am I? I am.” At least that’s what everyone thought. But I kept writing and the months piled up and one day I was so bankrupt for an idea of what to write about I thought, what the hell? And much like Rocky VI, there’s really nothing new being done. This is a huge victory lap. I’m literally taking a break between each paragraph and patting myself on the back, laughing lightly, murmuring stuff like, “You funny devil Rob.”

One of my readers sent me an email after part four, telling me that, “you didn’t do the first four-part trilogy. Indiana Jones did. Ha.” And I know I’ve put off the response for a while, but Indiana Jones? I’ve never seen any of his movies. They all seemed kind of boring. Even when I was a little kid and all of my friends would have sleepover parties and whoever’s parents were hosting rented a ton of movies and we’d stay up all night watching them, I’d always fall asleep as soon as I heard that boring Indiana Jones theme song start up. And then someone would wake up me up, “Rob, Indiana Jones is over. Wake up. We’re putting on Terminator.” I loved Terminator. “I’ll be back,” classic. And I’d be sitting there on the edge of my sleeping bag, totally gripped with suspense and terror, thinking to myself, why are all of my friends laughing? This is a crazy thriller. Why am I not getting any of the comedy? And it wasn’t until I went to the bathroom later that I realized that my friends weren’t laughing at the movie, they were laughing at me, because while I was lost in my Indiana Jones induced coma, everybody brought out some permanent markers and drew penises all over my face.

Terminator is another contender for almost four-part trilogy. Unfortunately, trilogies are all about hindsight, planning. You can’t just make a movie and say, “Well, if it’s successful, we’ll do a sequel. If the sequel is successful, we’ll do a third. And who cares if the third is successful? We’ll put them all in a box and sell them as a trilogy.” It doesn’t work that way. Why don’t you think anybody ever talks about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy? Because it doesn’t exist. There are two cool turtles movie and then a really weird one where everybody gets sent back to feudal Japan. Yeah I didn’t get it either. And it’s the same with Terminator, you could totally tell they were just following the money.

It’s even worse for Indiana Jones, because while I had absolutely no interest in the first three movies, they were out there. They existed. It was a trilogy. And then they ruined the whole triloginess of the first three by releasing that terrible fourth movie. Again, I never saw it, but I think at this point it’s a generally accepted fact that it was an insult to everything that Indy fans held dear.

Look at Star Wars. Did you ever notice me mentioning the second trilogy during my original trilogy posts? No. Because they pretty much sucked also. But Lucas had the foresight to guess that he’d probably lost his touch at storytelling and filmmaking, so he wisely separated the first trilogy from the second trilogy.

And this brings it all back to me. I’ve been planning this ever since I typed out the word “the” as in The Trilogy: Part One. I knew that it was going to be a five-part trilogy. Maybe I know that it’s going to be a twelve-part trilogy. All I know is, I’m calling it. It’s all been carefully set up. And just when you think I’m completely out of nonsense to write about, that’s when The Trilogy is going pop on your computer screen. That’s what trilogies are all about.

The Trilogy: Part three of three

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.

The Trilogy: Part one of three

Things are about to get a lot more awesome around here. I’m talking about the trilogy. This trilogy. This is part one. I’ve always wanted to do a trilogy. Some of my favorite things in life are split up into three. You obviously can’t write a trilogy without at least acknowledging the most influential trilogy of all time: the Blade trilogy. I’m just kidding. Blade 2 was cool, but that’s about it. Everyone knows I’m really talking about Star Wars.

How great is Star Wars? Great enough that I shouldn’t even really be talking about it. Everybody’s already said basically everything there is to say about Star Wars. Personally, I think it would have been a little bit more interesting if Uncle Owen refused to buy R2-D2 and instead stuck by his original purchase of the inferior R5-D4. You remember, that red one over there? Maybe then we wouldn’t have had to hear C-3PO complaining about R2 so much. That got old pretty fast, didn’t it?

Trilogies are great because each part of the story is perfectly compartmentalized into just the right proportions of a perfect story. Part one’s are always the best. We’re just starting out. Not only do we have this whole first part in front of us to enjoy, to take in and to savor, but we’re left with so much to look forward to. The worst part about anything great is the ending. That’s it. It’s over. We’re glad you enjoyed it, but now it’s done, and the enjoyment is over, and all you’re left with is a hollow, sinking feeling of finality, of everything. Part one, while it ends, it’s not really an ending. You’re not even halfway done with the whole trilogy. The ending is just the beginning.

Everything’s new in the first part of a trilogy. You don’t have any established rules to abide by, because everything’s unfolding for the first time. Remember how cool it was to see Batman train to become Batman in that first Batman movie? I’m talking about the good Batman movies, with Christian Bale, not those lame ones that started in the 80s. And then he got his whole Batman outfit? And the first time he appears out of nowhere and everyone’s just like, “Who the hell are you?” and he’s like, “Call me the Batman.” Epic. Just absolutely epic.

I love trilogizing. I try to break up everything that I do into three parts. If I’m at work and I’m waiting on a table, I really like to only make three appearances. Part one: “Hey how’s everybody doing today, ready to order?” They better be ready to order, because I’m not coming back until Part two: the serving. That’s when I serve the food. I then disappear as the customers come to grips with what they’ve ordered and realize that I’m not coming back to check up on them, and so they’d better just make the best out of their meals. And then, finally, Part three: the check. Pay up mothafuckas.

Life is basically one huge trilogy also. You’re a kid, then you’re an adult, then you’re an old person. I’d have to say that the first part of this trilogy is definitely the best. That’s why I’ve been reluctant to embrace the part two of my life. Every time that I feel like I’m acting too old or that I’ve lost a little of my whimsy or whatever, I like to throw a huge temper tantrum, throwing stuff, acting like a huge baby, crying, screaming, everything. And then when I settle down, I’ll look at myself in the mirror and say to myself, well Rob, you’ve sure got a lot of growing up to do. And I’ll feel better, like I’m still wrapping up the part one of my life. And it’s true. It’s all about expectations here. I plan on living to be a hundred and twenty years old. So based on simple arithmetic, I still have over a decade left of acting like a self-centered entitled brat. I’ll grow up eventually. Unless I get hit by a bus while I’m doing something completely irresponsible, like running across the street with a huge lollipop in my mouth, and I start choking on it, because you’re not supposed to run with candy in your mouth, and I’m panicking from the choking, and I turn to my left and the Q69 is right there and, well, I hope that doesn’t happen.

The best part about the first part of a trilogy is that you never have to wrap things up. Coming up with a satisfying ending is the hardest part of any storytelling task. You could have the best idea for the coolest story on the planet, but if you don’t know how to end it, if you can’t think of a convincing way to answer all of those giant questions and gaping plot holes that you’ve posed to your audience, then everyone’s going to be pissed, and nobody’s going to let you do anything else ever again. Like that TV show Lost. J.J. Abrams couldn’t deliver on the finale, and since then, his career has been total garbage. Didn’t he have some prison show? I have no idea because I’ve completely written him off. Maybe if you kept Lost to three seasons the laws of the trilogy would have worked in your favor. But no, seven years on the air. Great job buddy.

What was I saying about not having to wrap things up? Check back tomorrow for the answers to these questions, and even more questions, and even more hints at possible answers, and hopefully enough distracting nonsense that you won’t remember all of the bad parts about this first part, you’ll just be looking forward to part three, but that’s not until the day after tomorrow, because tomorrow’s part two.