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Overload! The Dangers of Giving Fans Too Much of a Good Thing

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Richard Cosgrove explains why, as a fan, he's a little concerned about having too much of a good thing...

It's been argued that you can never have too much of a good thing, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to be the voice of dissent here, which given my love of the franchises involved, may be a little surprising to those that know me.

You see I love the Star Wars Universe, passionately up until the coming of The Phantom Menace (1999) but still extremely fondly afterwards, and like many people of my generation (I'm old enough to have seen Star Wars (1977) on its first release – you do the math) I feel as though I've grown up with Peter Parker, otherwise known variously as the amazing, sensational and latterly superior Spider-man, but the announcement of a trio of spin off movies from these two franchises has me a little worried.

Let's kick off with the news that in addition to Episode VII (due 2015) of everybody's favourite space opera, there are going to be a number of stand alone movies, the first of which you might think would have me jumping for joy – the continuing adventures of the baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy, the one and only Boba Fett. (Yes, I know, technically he's a clone and therefore far from being unique, but let's not let a little retcon get in the way of a good moan.)

What could be better, you'd think, than more screen time for one of my all time favourite movie characters? Well, frankly, I'd have to go with anything. When Fett first appeared* on the bridge of the Executor way back in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) it was the fact that we didn't know much about him that made him all mysterious. Even the original version of Return of the Jedi (1983) featured just enough of Fett to satisfy us without having him outstay his welcome, but let's please try and forget the awful scenes inserted into the Special Edition that turned him into an intergalactic pimp daddy in Jabba's palace.

(*live action, that is - the character of Fett first appeared back in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.)

So far, so good for Fett and even the stories in the expanded universe were reverent enough to his mythology so as to add to his legend, but then the Prequels arrived and suddenly Boba Fett wasn't the Bad Boy from Mandalore anymore. No, now he's a whiny little brat who is about as cool as the lava rivers on Mustafar where the other great de-clawed Star Wars villain met his fate.

So forgive me if I'm not exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of the last Mandalorian featuring in his own movie because I have a bad feeling that we're going to get a steaming pile of Bantha poop about his journey from floppy haired moppet to the man with the dented helmet. I might be wrong, and I sincerely hope I am, but after watching Darth Vader's chilling villainy be neutered over the course of Episodes One through Three, I think I may just break down and weep if they do the same to Fett.

Moving onto Spider-man, I'm equally worried about a severe drop in quality of the franchise after the announcement of not one, but two spin off movies that will feature Venom and The Sinister Six. Now I love all of these villains, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they're going to do with Electro, Rhino and whoever else they're going to shoehorn into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (though I'm a little nervous that they'll over egg the pudding like Sam Raimi did with his Spider-Man 3), but I just can't see how they're going to carry movies on their own without a certain wallcrawler. (I'm assuming, of course, that Spidey wouldn't be involved in these movies, otherwise they'd be, you know, Spider-Man movies, no?)

Andrew Garfield has confirmed that he's only contracted for three movies, which in turn makes me a little nervous about the already announced Amazing Spider-Man 4 but we'll worry about that one when we get there, so the chances of his showing up in either Venom or The Sinister Six smaller than Ant Man's boxer shorts. Shouldn't be a problem, though, as it's not like Venom or The Sinister Six are synonymous with the webslinger. Oh, hang on....

Having been there at Venom's birth, way back in The Amazing Spider-Man issue #300 (his first story, though he actually appears in the final panel of the preceding issue), I'm always going to think of him as the fusion of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote who turned Spidey's life upside down due to not triggering his spider sense and, more worryingly, knowing that he was Peter Parker in real life. I've never been able to buy into the Flash Thompson 'heroic' version of Venom which logic would dictate the eponymous movie would have to adopt, given that if Venom is pitched as the bad guy (and make no mistake, he should be – well, in my book anyway) then his most obvious virtuous nemesis would be a certain guy in red and blue spandex.

As for The Sinister Six, I'd love to see a whole movie where they go up against, well, you know who, but as a stand alone I really don't see what they're going to do with this. They can't even make them a heroic version of the heinous half-dozen because, let's face it, the clue and the super powered elephant in the room is in the movie's title.

The only scenario that possibly comes to mind, and makes me break out in a cold, uncomfortable sweat, is one where they are recruited Armageddon style as a bunch of badasses who are earth's only hope in stopping something, well, sinister from happening. This, though, is a huge reach given that, again, you'd think that maybe that guy in the red and white duds, or the Avengers, or the X-Men, or even the freaking Guardians of the Galaxy might be on hand to deal with such a threat.

Nope, I'm fresh out of scenarios when it comes to The Sinister Six movie, and fresh out of enthusiasm for either a Venom or Boba Fett movie. So you see, there really can be too much of a good thing, and while I'm hoping against hope that I'm going to be proved wrong (after all, who'd have thought an Iron Man movie was going to work, let alone be so successful – not I), I have, as a certain golden protocol droid once said, a bad feeling about this.


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#1 RE: Overload! The Dangers of Giving Fans Too Much of a Good Thing Afr0 2014-01-30 16:51
"they'll over egg the pudding like Sam Raimi did with his Spider-Man 3)"

You mean the way Sony forced Raimi to over egg his pudding by making him add a character he wanted nothing to do with...
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