Sequels

So I watched The Matrix Resurrections last night and it made me think about the dangers of sequels. I mean, we all love continued series, don’t we? To have further adventures with our favorite characters — how could that be a bad thing?

Well, sometimes it is. If the sequel doesn’t add anything new or, even worse, it actually ruins the central premise or the main characters. I remember seeing Ghostbusters 2 and thinking it actually made me like the awesome original less just because I couldn’t watch the first one without thinking of all the stupid decisions made in the sequel!

I’ve been guilty of writing sequels that sucked, too. I mean, sometimes I’ve had fans tell me they enjoyed those books but for me, I knew that I wrote them for one reason only: I felt I had to. The stories just kind of exist and they don’t break any new ground for the main characters. So why did I feel that I had to do them? Was my publisher standing outside my door, haranguing me about when the next Peregrine or Lazarus Gray would be finished? Nah… but sometimes we get caught up in the whole process. ‘It’s been so long since I wrote an adventure in this series! I better churn one out!’ or, even worse, ‘I can’t think of anything new to do but I can probably crank out a new adventure of Mr. XY!’

I’m not proud of having done that but every genre writer is guilty of it, at least once along the way.

Anyhow, this is all my way of saying that the new Matrix movie exists for one obvious reason: somebody, somewhere, said there needed to be a new one. It doesn’t exist because anybody involved had anything new to say or anything groundbreaking to reveal about the setting.

It’s just there.

It’s not bad… but it’s not particularly good, either.