4 Ways X-Men Film Franchise Showed How To Do A Prequel (And 4 Ways They Messed It Up)

3. Links Don€™t Need To Be Tangible

james mcavoy A mistake a lot of prequels make is thinking that the best way to link back to the main franchise is through repeating actors or characters €“ I€™m looking at you, Star Wars. You can count the number of main reoccurring characters in First Class on one hand and the number of reoccurring actors on the other. The other ways of linking back to the original trilogy are varied. There are the repeated settings and props of Xavier€™s mansion, the prototype Blackbird plane, Charles€™ chair, Shaw and Magneto€™s helmet. First Class also creates links through themes and character development and design styles. Of course there are the fabulous five-second cameos of Rebecca Romijin and Hugh Jackman. But the repeated themes of isolation, hiding vs. revealing, a separate mutant society or assimilation give First Class the same overall feel as the original trilogy. Design wise, we have the repeat opening of coin or object rotating to reveal the X-Men symbol. Charles€™ first turn in Cerebro uses a similar sequence to how Professor X in the trilogy €˜sees€™ the minds around him in the machine. Raven€™s scales are the same but move slower and are larger to hint that she is less adept at shape shifting. One of my favourite links, and indeed, jokes in the entire franchise, hinges on Xavier€™s speech regarding the importance and his amazement at mutation. In the original trilogy, it opens the first film, setting up Professor X as a character of great wisdom, intelligence and gravity. In First Class, it€™s his pickup speech at a university bar. This links the two films strongly and tells the audience that yes, this is Charles Xavier, but he has a long way to go before he€™s Professor X. Even at the end of First Class, it€™s still a long walk (roll?) ahead of him. In short, links don€™t always need to be namedrops and characters jammed into roles that don€™t suit. You can be subtler than that.


I'm a 19 year old Arts student from Melbourne Australia, who finds it really awkward to write in third person. Other things I do awkwardly are watch TV and write far too much about fictional characters.