prequel is a literary, dramatic, or filmic work whose story precedes that of a previous work, [1] [2] by focusing on events that occur before the original narrative. [3] A prequel is a work that forms part of a backstory to the preceding work.

All “prequels” are, by definition, essentially sequels in which they “expand on a previous or preceding work.” [4] The term is a 20th-century neologism that is a portmanteau of the prefix “pre-” (from Latin prae , “before”) and “sequel”. [1] [2]

Like other sequels, prequels may or may not concern the same plot as they are derived. Often, they explain the subject, but sometimes the connections are not as explicit. Sometimes, the audience knows what will happen next, using deliberate references to create dramatic irony .


Though the word “prequel” is of recent origin, works fitting this concept existed long before. The Cypria , presupposing hearers’ acquaintance with the events of the Homeric epic, confined itself to what preceded the Iliad , and thus formed a kind of introduction.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word “prequel” first appeared in print in 1958 in an article by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction , used to describe James Blish’s 1956 story They Shall Have Stars , which expanded on the story introduced in his earlier work 1955, Earthman Come Home . The term came into general use in the 1970s and 1980s. [2]

Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979) may have introduced the term “prequel” into the mainstream. [5] The term has since-been popularized by the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005). [6] [ unreliable source? ]


Rather than being white has distinct concept from That of a sequel , a prequel still adhered to the general principle of serialization, defined only by ict internal chronology and publication order. For example, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) is a prequel to Return of the Jedi (1983) goal is only a predecessor Rather than a prequel of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) Because of the release order. Likewise, 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a prequel to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark , in which it is set in 1935, one year before the first film.


Sometimes “prequel” describes followups where it is not always possible to apply a label defined solely in terms of intertextuality . [7] In the case of The Godfather Part II , the narrative combines elements of a prequel with those of a more generalized narrative strands, one continuing from the first film ( the mafia family story under the leadership of Michael Corleone ), and one, completely Call separate, detailing events That preceded it (the story de son father Vito Corleone in His youth). In this sense, the film can be considered as both “prequel and a sequel”, and is often referred to in this manner.[7]

In the original Planet of the Apes series , even though the second three films are the first two movies, the narrative is still in the world, go back in time . The later installments ( Escape from … , [8] Conquest of … , [9] [10] and Battle for … [11] ) are sometimes called “prequels” in a broad sense of the word, but they are primarily sequels, as defined both broadly and narrowly (as continuation of the previously established storyline). [1]

In recent times the term “prequel” has also been applied to original -story reboots , such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes , Batman Begins , and Casino Royale . [12] [13] The creators of both the Batman Begins and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes also stated their intention to dispense with the continuity of the previous films so they would exist as separate pieces of work, with Christopher Nolan -director of Batman Begins -explicitly stating he does not consider it a prequel. [13] [14]Here, “prequel” denotes status as a “franchise-renewing original” that depicts events earlier in the (internally inconsistent) narrative cycle than those of a prior installment. [13] Most reviewers require a prequel That must lead up to The Beginning of icts original work, [3] qui is inconsistent with exempt That works with the narrative of previous work and arent Significantly dans le même continuity . At times, the term has been used, it has been chronologically set, before any other work. [15] [16] However, that use conflicts with the fact that a prequel is a type of sequel.

The 2009 Star Trek movie features characters from the 1960s Star Trek TV series , but earlier in their careers. However, the film is set in an alternate timeline caused by a Romulan captain of the universe of the original series going back in time and interfering with history. Thus, the film has been described as a prequel and a reboot. [17]

See also

Look up prequel in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • List of prequels
  • Chronologically related terms to Sequel


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.). Springfield, Massachusetts : Merriam-Webster . 1993. pp. 921, 915, 1068, 246.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c “prequel, no.” . Oxford English Dictionary (online) (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press . March 2012 [March 2007] . Retrieved 19 April 2012 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Silverblatt, Art (2007). Genre Studies in Mass Media: A Handbook . ME Sharpe . p. 211 . ISBN  9780765616708 . Prequels focus on the action that took place before the original narrative. For instance, in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith the audience learns about how Darth Vader originally became a villain. A prequel assumes that the audience is familiar with the original-the audience must rework the narrative so that they can understand how the prequel leads up to the beginning of the original.
  4. Jump up^ merriam-Webster Dictionary, Entry for sequel
  5. Jump up^ Burgess, Steve (1999-06-26). “Richard Lester: A Hard Day’s Life” . Lester may also have locked up the dubious distinction of inaugurating the term ‘prequel’ in 1979 when he directed ‘Butch and Sundance: The Early Days.’
  6. Jump up^ Deever, Chris (May 28, 2001). “On prequels and the prequel” . TruthInStuff. Archived from the original on 1 January 2004.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Jess-Cooke, Carolyn (2009). Sequels: Theory and Practice from Hollywood to Bollywood . Edinburgh University Press . p. 6 . ISBN  9780748626038 .
  8. Jump up^ Dirks, Tim. “Science Fiction Movies Part 5” . AMC Filmsite. A sequel and prequel to the first two films.
  9. Jump up^ Britt, Ryan; . “Who’s Your Caesar? Rewatching Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ” . Macmillan Publishing . Conquest is a separate category of films and two pre-movie films.
  10. Jump up^ Matheou, Demetrios (August 14, 2011), “Ascent of Ape” , The Sunday Herald , Washington, DC , aficionados of the original series of five movies will Know That a prequel already exists derived, namely Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes .
  11. Jump up^ Chappell, Arthur (2011-08-20). Film Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes: After the Tim Burton travesty, the Apes are back in a genuinely fantastic movie . History . Socyberty / Triond. Stunning prequel to the original Planet Of The Apes movie, with some elements of the original franchise sequel / prequel Battle For The Planet Of The Apes.
  12. Jump up^ Associated Press . “With the documentary ‘Chimpanzee’ opening, look at 5 prime primate movies” . The Statesman . Retrieved 5 May 2012 .
  13. ^ Jump up to:c Sutton, Paul (2010). 8. Prequel: The “Afterwardsness” of the Sequel. In Jess-Cooke, Carolyn ; Verevis, Constantine. Second Takes: Critical Approaches to the Sequel Movie . State University of New York Press . pp. 139 -152. ISBN  9781438430294 .
  14. Jump up^ Keegan, Rebecca (11 August 2011). ” ‘ Rise of the Planet of the Apes’: 21 nods to classic ‘Apes ‘ ” . Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 19 April2012 .
  15. Jump up^
  16. Jump up^
  17. Jump up^ Skipper, Ben (September 23, 2014). “Star Trek 3 to Include Spock and Kirk Reunion With William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy” . International Business Times .