Perhaps that final point is the real kicker. What happens when too much messing with the formula ruins our cherished memories of the original product? It’s happened before. Crafting a worthy follow-up to something millions hold dear and strongly identity with is a mercurial science with no guarantees - and sometimes it’s not even worth it. By serving up more, creators effectively un-write the carefully crafted endings they spent so long perfecting. Ricky Gervais transporting his pompous alter-ego David Brent to the big screen is the perfect case in point. Sure, 2016’s Life on the Road has its moments - and it certainly has its fans - but it hardly packs the same emotional punch and funny-bone tickle of the all-but perfect final moments of 2003’s Christmas special. That tender (and surprisingly noble) small-screen conclusion for Brent? Poof! Gone in an instant as soon as the opening crawl of Life on the Road appeared. Bye bye, lasting memory. Hello, more story!
It’s not just TV that’s at risk either. This same greed almost split the Star Wars franchise in two with Rian Johnson’s sandwich-filler trilogy instalment The Last Jedi in 2017. Johnson’s bold strokes and gleeful abandon during his time spent in a Galaxy Far, Far Away were praised by many - but it’s hard to ignore the rift they caused among die hard fans who were less than pleased with the direction he took their beloved characters. Heck - they even set up a petition to remove the film from official Star Wars canon. Whatever your thoughts on Johnson’s work, or continuations in general, our feverish need for more from our pop-culture cornerstones undeniably changes our relationship with the very thing that made them special in the first place. To paraphrase Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcom, Hollywood seems so preoccupied with whether or not they could - they didn’t stop to think if they should. Good quote, that. Here’s hoping we don’t come to hate Malcolm in Jurassic World III, due June 11 2020.