We’ve already looked at the effect that movies can have on a science fiction story, but what about spinoffs?
We’ll have to go to the big gun for this one: Star Wars. Both these story lines have seen their own standalone movies, but what about their spinoffs?
Let’s look at Star Wars first. The original trilogy was meant to be a movie. Actually it was a b-movie, but the crazy way in which A New Hope became a cult movie, led to the production of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return Of The Jedi.
There was a long hiatus and fans begged and begged for sequels or prequels (they came much later). In the meantime, a massive range of Star Wars novels were approved by writers that had initially started out as fans just writing fan fiction. Slowly but surely, the franchise realized that there was money to be made in expanding the Star Wars Universe by giving official seals of approval to other stories that could fill the gaps that are not told in the original movies.
The plethora of science fiction novels that are officially sanctioned cover everything from the stories of the Bounty Hunters which were sent to capture smuggler and central character, Hans Solo, to beautifully crafted stories about Jabba the Hutt’s slaves. and the early life of Luke Skywalker’s friends on Tattooine.
The beauty of the way it was done was that there were so many writers contributing: there was an element of creativity and randomness that could not have been achieved through the official script writers for movies. Fast forward 20 odd years, and the prequels to the originals were made. Move forward in time again, and we are now waiting for the second sequel. But best of all, with Rogue 1, we now have a movie that is actually a prequel to a side story from the original movies. And that’s the beauty of science fiction – your imagination has no limits!