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Totally Pointless Movie Prequels

The prequel is all the rage in Hollywood these days, despite the fact that the word itself is nonsense, and is also horrible. Even though there has yet to be a single instance where a prequel flick has actually been any good, it seems more and more studios want to wring every ounce of inventiveness and originality out of every franchise possible. Here, now, are ten of the worst offenders.

Prometheus (2012)

Ridley Scott's original Alien is one of the greatest movies of the 20th century, blending elements from horror, science fiction, and thrillers into one amazing package. Prometheus, however, is a ridiculous, poorly written mess from start to finish, serving as an unnecessary foundation for the rest of the Alien franchise. Prometheus looks great, and Michael Fassbender is always a blast, but this movie has no reason to exist.

Pan (2015)

Peter Pan is one of those characters that seems intimately known by the English-speaking world. Between the novel, the stage play, the Disney movie, the Robin Williams-starring sequel, and the peanut butter brand, we're up to our armpits in Peter Pan. Why, then, did Warner Bros. make a prequel that tells us the story of Peter's early adventures in Neverland? This is truly the story that no one was asking for.

Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

On that same note, there are a whopping 14 books set in Oz, the fairytale land created by Frank L. Baum. Every single one of them takes place after the original book—and, consequently, the 1939 Judy Garland classic based on it. Still, someone thought it was a good idea to fill us in on the backstory of the Wizard of Oz, probably the least interesting character in the entire franchise. We already know he's a BS artist by the end of the first movie! Why would we want to watch a BS artist figure out how to manipulate everyone else into believing he's a friggin' wizard?

Maleficent (2014)

By a show of hands, who was wondering why the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty was so evil? Okay, anyone who's got their hand up: please walk yourselves directly into the ocean. The original Disney flick was itself an adaptation of a Grimm fairytale, with a fairly cut and dried beginning, middle, and end. In it, the evil fairy who would be adapted into the witch Maleficent put a curse on the king and queen's baby because she wasn't invited to their party. That's it—and it's more than enough as far as motivation in a fairytale is concerned. Sometimes a villain is just a villain—do we really need a whole movie devoted to figuring out why?

The Hobbit (2012-2014)

There are folks who like the Hobbit trilogy, and that's fine—they're not the worst movies ever made by a long shot. But they do stretch a short book into three ridiculously long movies. What's much, much worse, though, is that they don't quite adapt JRR Tolkien's Hobbit novel as much as they simply set the scene for the already-made Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And those movies didn't need setting up. It's a shame Peter Jackson had to go to the trouble of making three unnecessary movies when one would've sufficed.

The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (2000)

In 1994, John Goodman and Rick Moranis were able to buy new boats after starring in the awful big screen adaptation of The Flintstones cartoon. That's fine—it's what adaptations are for, right? Starring in a kids' movie designed to print money is a part of every actor's duty. However, what possessed Universal Pictures to try and fill in the backstory in the Flintstones' lives? Was anyone truly dying to see how Fred managed to woo Wilma? Was the love story between Barney and Betty truly one that needed to be told? Why do we live in a world where a prequel to The Flintstones movie is a thing that exists?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

On the face of it, this is a no-brainer. Wolverine is arguably one of the most popular comic book characters ever created, and his portrayal by Hugh Jackman only cemented that status when he hit movie theaters in the first X-Men movie in 2000. But the big problem is that part of Wolverine's popularity comes from his mystery—if we know too much about who he is and where he came from, a big part of what makes him cool falls away. Making matters worse, the official comic book origin for Wolverine—2001 and 2002's appropriately titled Origin—is godawful. The movie relied on this piece of trash for part of its plot, and then managed to mangle plenty of other characters and the entire X-Men franchise's continuity along the way. This movie sucks.

Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)

What do you do when you have a megahit comedy, and no one wants to sign on to making a sequel? Make a prequel starring lookalikes with new writers and a new director! That's what happened with this ill-advised prequel. It's actually not as bad as you might think, all things considered. Even still...it's pretty bad, and completely unnecessary.

Star Wars: Episodes I, II, And III (1999-2005)

Obviously if you click on something about pointless prequels, you know that George Lucas's ridiculously bad Star Wars prequels have to make the list. It's become pretty hip to hate on these movies, so one might wonder whether or not they're really as bad as people say. Well: they are. They are so, so bad. They are long, and confusing, and the fact that about 85 percent of them were shot in front of green screens on sound stages is impossible to ignore. We learned that before Darth Vader became an evil, unstoppable, badass-space-wizard, he used to be a whiny creep who actually invented C3PO somehow. We learned that Boba Fett was a sad little kid who was actually a clone for some reason. We learned that one of the greatest threats to the galaxy was an old guy with a crooked lightsaber named Count Dooku. Let's just pretend these movies never happened.

Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)

Ah, yes. There was yet another Star Wars prequel—this one coming out in 1984, shortly after Return of the Jedi. An Ewok Adventure tells the story of the Ewoks befriending a family of humans who have no actual relation to anyone or anything in the Star Wars universe. It answers the important question posed by Return of the Jedi: who cares about the Ewoks? The answer: nobody. Nobody cares.