When is a Star Wars prequel not a prequel?

Oct 8, 2017
douglas chiang phantom menace concept design

When it's a sequel!

I noted a great discussion on Reddit about how Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are prequels to A New Hope but also act as sequels to The Phantom Menace.

Mind blown?

Probably not if you understand the meaning of 'sequel'.

What it basically comes down to is the anchoring in time of the original publication:

"a published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one."

Many people think of sequel as being a publication that comes after the initial publication.

And that's pretty fair, however the definition also gives room to describe what one would consider a prequel as being as sequel.

It's all simple word play then or a game of semantics right?

One could even state a sequel is "something that takes place after or as a result of an earlier event."

And that's when you can describe Attack of the Clones as being a sequel to the story of The Phantom Menace as it's a continuation of the story.

Technically then, every release after ANH, inclusive of The Last Jedi is a sequel.

Some smart ass might like to argue then that A New Hope is a prequel to The Empire Strikes Back.

And they'd be wrong because ANH was the first publication and thus the defintion of what is a prequel or sequel hands on that.

So Rogue One is a prequel to ANH as it is published some 40 years after the original movie.

Is it a sequel to Revenge of the Sith?

You could argue that in terms of the time line of actual publication it is, however I would contend that given it has very little plot connection to ROTS, it doesn't serve as a continuation of that story story so is not a sequel but it does meet the definition in relation to ANH...

Now, any considerations on the Holiday Special?

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