Why Expanded Universe Novels, Comics, and Video Games Are Important
What happens when a popular television show or movie franchise ends or when production takes longer than expected and leaves fans with an entertainment drought? What about when a movie or show hints at a past event that is not adequately explained in the main story? Extended universe novels, comics, and video games pick up the slack and fill in the gaps. These oft-overlooked novels, comics, and games can be downright necessary for fans of several pop-culture phenomena, and here’s a few reasons why.
Explore New Locations and Stories
Ok, this reason is pretty obvious, but it’s primarily why most of these novels, comics, and video games exist. While Star Wars fans will always treasure the movies (sans Episodes I-III, of course) and their stories, characters, and locations, the films take place in a galaxy far, far away, and galaxies contain uncountable worlds, most of which can’t be explored in 2-3 hour-long motion pictures. However, Star Wars expanded universe novels, comic books, and games tell their own stories and are free to explore these distant planets as they see fit. Korriban, the homeworld of the Sith Order, is one of these planets. In the films, the existence of the Sith Lords Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine is taken as a matter of fact, a necessary Yin to Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Luke Skywalker’s Yang — and Korriban isn’t even mentioned. However, plenty of the expanded universe novels, as well as comic books and video games, explore this blasted wasteland of a planet and delve into its dark and terrible secrets. If it weren’t for these stories, Star Wars fans would never have learned that the Sith Order got its start from evil, exiled Jedis who landed on Korriban and conquered its native, red-skinned inhabitants, the Sith race. Similar novels, comics, and games expand on the giant skeleton on Tatooine in Episode IV and give it an ecology and a name — the Krayt Dragon. And don’t even get me started on Admiral Thrawn and his on-again, off-again relationship with canonicity. Of course, not every expanded universe novel, comic , or video game follows the protagonists of the source material, but if they’re well received by fans, they don’t need to.
Ask and Answer Questions
Sometimes, a story leaves a few questions unanswered, which can be good or bad depending on the story’s quality. In the case of Five Nights at Freddy’s, it’s most certainly good, as these unanswered questions send fans into a tizzy as they search high and low for any sort of clue or answer. Some of Matthew Patrick’s (aka MatPat, aka The Game Theorists) most popular videos revolve around him trying to answer questions left in the Five Nights at Freddy’s games, such as the identity of Purple Guy, the main-antagonist of the franchise, and whether or not the animatronics are possessed, malfunctioning, or killing as intended. Often, the answers are (possibly) hidden in the games, usually in locations players ignore or glance over as they frantically avoid death at the hands of Freddy Fazbear and his menagerie of murderous mechanical muppets, but creator Scott Cawthon intentionally hides several answers in the expanded universe/tie-in novels, The Silver Eyes and The Twisted Ones. However, Cawthon is nothing if not crafty and makes sure the novels raise even more questions — the answers that I dare not mention. Given Cawthon’s penchant for mysteries and cryptic clues, he will definitely hide answers to questions raised by the novels in FNAF 6 (because of course it isn’t cancelled), which will provide even more mysteries that will be answered in an upcoming book or movie.
Continue Where The Plot Left Off
It is a fact of life that every television show, no matter how popular, eventually ends, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the franchise. Occasionally, an expanded universe novel, comic book, or video game picks up after the series finale, and while some of these books and games are of questionable canonicity, others are readily recognized as canon by fans, especially books and comics written by the original show creators. For example, back in 2007, Dark Horse started publishing Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics written by show creator Joss Whedon and other show writers. These comics continue the Buffy the Vampire Slayer story and are recognized by fans as the official eighth, ninth, and tenth seasons of the series. Not only do these these comics help keep the franchise alive, but they also explore stories the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer show never could. Examples of these stories include Buffy’s not-quite sister Dawn transforming into a giant and fighting a Mechagodzilla-esque robot and Buffy dreaming about living in a cartoon that, in a bit of meta-humor, is a reference to the failed pilot episode of Buffy The Animated Series. While all shows, movies, and video games must eventually end, comics, if they’re successful, can potentially run indefinitely, which allows fans to live out their dreams of continuing to follow their favorite characters from their favorite franchises ad infinitum.
Bloodborne: A Song Of Crows Comic Cover, Release Date, Price
It has been a while since FromSoftware released the critically-acclaimed PS4-exclusive Bloodborne, with fans still clamoring for a sequel to this very day. However, despite that apparently not being on the horizon, fans have still been able to keep the good times rolling thanks to a comic series based on the popular game.
This new comic is called A Song of Crows, and Amazon has recently posted their product page for it that reveals lots of information. The following is an overview:
“Discover the twisted story of Eileen the Crow in the continuing comic series spinning out of Fromsoftware/Hidetaka Miyazaki’s critically-acclaimed Bloodborne videogame!
The City of Yarnham is buried in snow.
Eileen the Crow buries the Hunters. But one eludes her. Poisoned and overcome with beastly senses, he prowls Yarnham causing misery and havoc. Meanwhile the bodies mount, reality shakes, and strange things are amiss in Byrgenwerth. On the hunt for the Hunter, Eileen struggles with her own sanity and the disturbing change that a glimpse beyond reality brings.
Blood and death pervade Yarnham and those who travel in its wake. Follow the quest of Eileen as she looks to uncover the truth of the city, and her most inner turmoil.”
Bloodborne: A Song of Crows will release on August 20th, 2019, with the price being set at $16.99. You can check out the cover of the comic below.
LitRPG Books That Will Get You Hooked
LitRPG is the up and coming new genre in science fiction and fantasy. But where’s a good place to start if it’s something you might be interested in diving into? There are several really good series by various authors out there. There are even a lot of Russian authors who have had their stories translated into English. So here are the best LitRPG books for beginners.
The Land is an interesting tale about a gamer, Richter, who is transferred to another world. The premise is that humans are in fact what would be called Chaos seeds. This is important because it plays a dramatic role in The Land. Being a chaos seed allows the protagonist to have some interesting powers and make choices that are often not available to everyone else. This is because the entire foundation of chaos is free choices. So the protagonist is allowed to make choices where anything can happen. And it in fact often does.
Play to live follows the premise of merging alternate realities. The character is actually terminally ill, but is allowed a second chance to live by essentially downloading himself into a game. This is a fairly common situation in this world and makes it an interesting story as the protagonist and his friends actually end up back in the real world as their player characters. D. Rus is one of the Russian authors and manages to add in a complex battle between nations within the game world in the story.
The Gam3 diverges a bit from most other LitRPGs. Whereas many of them are set in fantastical worlds where knights and magic exist, The Gam3 takes place in a science fiction based world. Cosimo does a phenomenal job of making an interesting character with original powers in an interesting world. It follows the tale of a lowly boy working to make money in the game, but he must first pay off his debt to the man who supplied the equipment to get into the game.
As with all genres, there are many more quality books out there to read. The best advice is to get out there and find the ones that interest you personally. I wouldn’t write it off though if you find a few that stink. The subgenre is relatively new and so quality can range widely, especially with the easily available self-publishing we have with digital technology.
Dresden Files TV Series being rebooted by FOX21
In a report by Deadline, a new live-action tv series based off of the Dresden Files book series is in the planning process. Fox 21 has the rights to the story and plans on rebooting it as a tv series. Right now there are very few details in regards to where the studio is planning on taking the show. Fans of the book are excited about the possibility of seeing their favorite series on the small screen.
There was a previous Dresden Files tv series airing in 2007 on the Scifi channel which lasted a single season before being canceled. It is possible that the show will run for more than one season due to its popularity and mass of material. There are a total of fifteen books which combine the elements of a noir detective novel with urban fantasy. Dresden Files is not the first series to combine these elements. But it has had success in the literature industry and easily made the transition to the small screen once before.
Fans had long wanted a Netflix adaption. An unknown employee of Frederator Studios, which contracted Powerhouse Animation, looked into doing an anime adaption similar to the Castlevania.
Fans reached out to the minds behind the animated Castlevania series hoping to see Harry Dresden return tot he screen in some form. The Castlevania Anime on Netflix had seen widespread success since its creation in 2017. Fans thought that perhaps the Dresden Files could do well as an animated series. Unfortunately for Frederator and Powerhouse Creative, it seems that Fox21 beat them to the punch. Although the details of the series are few, fans can expect updates in the near future.
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