Tag Archives: trilogizing

The Trilogy: The Prequel: Part Negative One of Three

Before there was ever a trilogy, there was always the Prequel. I’ve been prequelizing for some time now, you just haven’t realized it. And you still might not realize it, even after I’ve just said it to you, just laid it all right out there for your eyes to consume, for your soul to devour. But it’s all going to make sense. Even though nothing makes sense right now. By the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’re going to be like, “Ahhh … so that’s where he was going with all of this.”

Yep. Back to the start. Or back to before the start. Before there ever was a start. This is the new start. What I mean is, a whole new way of looking at things. Because the best way to come up with something new to write about is to not come up with something new to write about at all. Instead, you pick something that you’ve already done, and then you just kind say to yourself, “What now?” and then you go run some laps and you play some Zelda and you go to McDonald’s and you buy yourself a snack. You call it a snack anyway, but it’s actually a full combo meal. Whatever, it’s only four, too late for lunch, and you’re still definitely going to have dinner later on, so yeah, it’s a snack.

And then you’re done with your McDonald’s and you’re done fucking around on the Internet and you look at your watch and you’re like, “Shit! It’s eleven o’clock and I haven’t gotten any of my writing done!” and so you just go through all of your old stuff, again, like the Trilogy: Parts one, two, three, four, and five, (wait, I should have probably saved that for the end, for continuity’s sake … oh well, I’ll just do it twice, it doesn’t matter) and you say to yourself, what about a prequel?

The prequel. Think about other prequels. Think about Prometheus. Think about the technology, the same sorts of gimmicks, the stasis, the corporate space faring, the robots, think about how nothing really new happened, how you still had the same strong young female hero lead archetype, the same “ehhh-uuuEEE” sound effects, the same headless robots. And then you watch the whole movie and you’re like, “Huh?” but then you stick around for the end and it’s like, “Oh yeah. There’s the Alien alien. It’s Alien! It’s a prequel! Right? Right. Maybe?”

Think about this new Wizard of Oz movie, all about James Franco playing a young The Wizard of Oz. Actually, don’t think about that. It looks pretty lame. Maybe it will be a good movie, I don’t know. I’m just imagining a lot CGI and a lot of good witches and bad witches and flying monkeys and … didn’t the Wizard of Oz come out like a hundred years ago? There’s nothing more recent we can reinvent? We’re going to have to wheel all of these senior citizens out of their retirement homes, take them to the picture show because, “I saw the Wizard of Oz live in theaters when I was three!” and instead of being happy that they had a nice night out at the movies, they’ll leave and complain about the lack of creativity and how that doesn’t make sense and where’s Dorothy?

No, let’s think about a different James Franco prequel, an actually successful prequel, the new Planet of the Apes movie. I’ve got to tell you, I wanted nothing to do with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The trailers looked terrible. But, whatever, that was a pretty sick movie. Good enough that, I guess Franco was like, “I’m the king of all prequels! Next up, the Wizard of Oz!”

But seriously Franco, two prequel movies in a row? And that’s not considering that you’re probably going to be doing another Apes prequel. You’ve got to branch out a little. Well, you were in Spider-Man 2, so that was a sequel. Yeah, I guess everybody’s got to have their thing.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. The prequel. This prequel. It’s a prequel to the Trilogy. And here it is. Here’s how it all ties together. Ready? I actually wrote this before I wrote the Trilogy last August. Before parts one, two, three, four, five, and six. What’s that? Six didn’t get released yet? It will. It’s all part of the plan. This plan. Before I even started there was a master plan. Is this the whole master plan? For now. Maybe there’s more. If I sequalize this prequel, it’ll all make sense, fill in any holes, answer any questions.

Sound like a bunch of bullshit? Yeah, well, it’s a prequel, so … you know.

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 four of three

Please, I hope nobody tries to tell me that they saw this one coming, because nobody did. I’m catching everybody completely off guard here. I’m pretty sure that this was already the world’s first ever blog post trilogy. Don’t quote me on that. I’m not saying that, I’m just throwing it out there, that I’m pretty sure. Well now I also have the distinct honor of writing history’s first ever four-part trilogy. Right here on my blog. It’s incredible. I just feel so special, writing it, putting it up on my web site for dozens of people to read. I can only imagine what you are all going through as readers, staring at this block of text, reading it, leading the charge with me right here at the frontlines of the Internet.

I’ve talked all about the roles of each part of a trilogy. It’s all very formulaic. Part one: setup. Part two: action. And part three: the inevitable disappointment (again, I’m not talking about Batman here, the Dark Knight Rises is obviously the only exception. And you know what? I’m wondering if they might not make an Inception trilogy. I’m going to call that as not applicable either. Inception was sick. Avatar, on the other hand, is almost definitely going to follow the trilogy formula to a T. I wouldn’t be surprised if the N’avi also wind up having to get rescued by Ewoks at the end.)

I was so excited about my blog trilogy, but looking it over, I realize all too well that even I am susceptible to the limits of the genre. I’m no Chris Nolan. How do you do it Chris? Tell me the secret to your powers! Just as things got going, I looked back at my part three and thought … eh. So I do what I always do when I look back at something that I’ve written and I’m not happy with: I cry a little on the inside but just put it up anyway, because trying to get one of these things out every day has pushed my standards super, super low. And I thought to myself, how can I fix this? Specifically, how can I fix this without having to go back and rewrite anything? And part four seemed like the perfect solution.

I’m considering this part four to be like a cast for the broken leg that were my parts one through three. We’ll just leave it on and six weeks later, yeah it’ll smell a little funny, but … yeah, I don’t know where I was going with this whole cast metaphor either. Is it metaphor or analogy? I always get those two confused. And by always, I mean only when I had to take that one English test in high school where one of the multiple-choice questions asked the difference between a metaphor and an analogy. I think I got it right. I can’t remember.

The thing is, I keep writing sentences, but I don’t feel like anything’s really happening. I was so excited by my idea of a trilogy, excited that I would call it Trilogy, capital T, excited about this part four nonsense. Haha! Trilogies don’t have four parts! Haha! But the further along that I get, I come to see that all I’ve done is taken an idea for one everyday blog post, thrown in a ton of filler sentences, like this one right here, with a lot of commas, unnecessary words, more words, a few more, and I’ve stretched it out for four days straight. I think I could have actually and more appropriately condensed all four of these posts into one paragraph:

I love trilogies. Trilogies are made up of three parts. Remember Star Wars? I liked Empire the best. Remember Back to the Future? I liked Part II the best. I don’t like Ewoks. I did like Inception, but I didn’t like Avatar. Actually, that’s not true, I loved Avatar, I’m just anticipating not liking their sequels. But I’ll probably see them anyway. And I like Batman.

Man, that wasn’t even a full paragraph. I mean, I guess technically it met all of the requirements of a paragraph, but my paragraphs are never that short. And it’s not even that well written. But what can I do? That’s basically all that I’ve been talking about for the past three days straight. Man, this is going to ruin me. I’m trying to ground everything I write here based on universal appeal, but I feel like I’ve somehow sunk myself lower than some sort of Internet fanboy.

I’m so screwed. I’ve already invested three days in this. You know what? I’m not that screwed. This can’t be that big a deal. I’ll just put something up even funnier tomorrow, funnier than anything I’ve ever done before. A five-part trilogy. Is that funny? No, no, forget it, it’s not going to happen. Unless … No, I can’t allow myself to even think about this any further. Wait, unless …

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 two of three

Part one left you breathless. Even though you knew it was a trilogy, you still got to the end and couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything else. It left you completely enthralled with its gripping narrative, and just as you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, it was over. The end. To be continued. And you had to wait. But you couldn’t wait. You’re heart was racing and the adrenaline was coursing through your system and you hit the end and that was it. And the comedown from the excitement was too much for you to bear. You scrolled back to the top and reread the first part in its entirety. And it was still amazing, still everything that it once was, but as you got closer to the end that second time, you panicked. You knew what was coming, a huge cliffhanger, a ton of unanswered questions. How many times are you going to put yourself through this?

And here it is. Finally. Part two. You’re shaking. You can’t even wait. That is, unless you’re reading this way in the future, like you’ve come across this trilogy already completed, already finished. And so you immediately read the first part and then it’s just a matter of jumping right to the second part. It’s like when I was a kid and I watched the Star Wars trilogy. All three films were already available on VHS before I was even born. All I had to do was pop in the second tape and I was ready to see Han Solo cut open a mountain yak’s stomach and crawl inside with his buddy Luke so they could survive the nighttime’s subzero temperatures on the ice planet Hoth.

In fact, I don’t even remember ever seeing Star Wars for the first time. I had fleeting memories of being a little kid and watching some of the tapes at my grandparent’s house. But I was too young to really get anything, or to understand what was going on, or to sit still for two hours. By the time I really watched Star Wars, I already knew basically everything that happened. By the time my brain really became conscious, it was already preloaded with Star Wars. It’s like you don’t remember meeting your mom and dad, you just think back as far as you can and they’ve always been there. Unless you’re an orphan, of course.

What would it have been like to walk out of the movie theater in 1977 and say to yourself, “Wow! That was so cool! I can’t believe I’m going to actually have to wait a bunch of years to see how this story continues!” And you have no idea about Yoda or Jabba the Hut or Luke kissing his sister or Luke I am your father.

A lot of people make the case that part two of a trilogy is always the best part. I can see the arguments. There’s no wasted time setting everything up. All of the characters have already been introduced. There’s no laying out any story, no big exposition about who’s doing what and why they’re doing it. It’s just jumping right into the action. It’s like ready, set, go, except they don’t even say that. They just go right to go. Ready and set were part one. Go is part two. And you’re rolling.

Look at the Back to the Future trilogy. Part II is easily the best movie. Why? Well, there’s obviously a hoverboard, and that’s just sick. But more importantly, you don’t have to spend so much time setting everything up. Who are you? I’m the Doc. What’s this? It’s a time machine. A time machine? I don’t believe it. Well, believe it kid. I still don’t believe it. OK, meet me at the mall. Oh no! Terrorists. Oh no! I’m dead. Oh no! I’m in the car. Oh no! I’m in the past. The movie’s been on for like half an hour and we’re just finally getting to see some actual time travel which, if I’m not mistaken, is the whole point of the movie.

Part II starts with the time machine automatically flying out of nowhere, ready to take them on another adventure. No nonsense this time. In fact, Part II is so ready to roll, that it doesn’t even wait for the beginning of the second movie, it starts at the end of the first. Genius. By the way, if I remember correctly, the Doc got the plutonium from the Libyans, right? And Qaddafi was in charge then, right? So if it weren’t for Qaddafi, Marty would’ve never gone back to the past and his dad would still be a huge loser and Biff would still be giving him noogies and making him wax his car. Is Qaddafi the secret hero here? What does it all mean?

Sorry, I’m getting distracted. But there’s no better place to get distracted, to run your mouth, to set up some truly crazy shit than in part two. Seriously, not only are you jumping head first into the action, but you have to heighten the suspense, the drama, you have to escalate based on your fans’ expectations. So throw in everything you’ve got. A crazy twist that you haven’t even begun to think of a logical solution to? Go ahead. Just write it. Write everything. Don’t hold back. This is part two we’re talking about here. You’ve got plenty of time after it’s out there and after everyone reads it and scrutinizes it to think, OK, I’ve really done it this time, I have no idea how I’m going to end this, but it doesn’t matter, I’m not going to think about that, I’m not going to try to work out a solution, I’m just going to milk part two for everything it’s got. Sure, there’s no way I’m going to be able to top all of this, but who cares? Let it ride. Luke, I am your father. Why so serious? Whatever they say in the Godfather Part II. Khan!

Check back tomorrow for the epic conclusion. Unless, like I said, you’re just finding this now and it’s already written. In which case, just go for it. It’s right there. Part three. Read it immediately.