Thoughtful Thursday: Movie & TV-related Book Franchises

Thoughtful Thursday
It is time for Thoughtful Thursday and the bookish questions that pop up while I am reading. Please share your thoughts on the bookish question of the week. I am curious to hear what you have to say! There are no wrong answers. Questions about Thoughtful Thursday or future Thoughtful Thursday posts? Check out my Thoughtful Thursday section. Alright, on to the question!

How do you feel about books that are related to movie/television franchises (e.g., movie novelizations and extended universes)?

I have been reading a lot of comics that are supposed to be additional seasons of television shows (e.g., The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), and these comics got me thinking about all of the Star Wars books I read when I was a kid. When I sat down and thought about the number of books that I read that are related to a movie or television franchise I was a bit surprised. I haven't read a lot of books that are directly related to movies or television shows as an adult, but I read a ton of these books as a kid. I read the novelizations of Stars Wars: Episodes IV, V,  and VI (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). In addition, I read a lot of the extended universe books that involved the married life of Princess Leia and Han Solo. Thinking back on the Stars Wars books and on the recent venture into The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer comics, I must admit that I generally enjoy these books. There were definitely a few bad apples, but overall, a lot of these stories were fun. I enjoyed imagining my favorite characters from these movies and television shows going on adventures.

Unlike "fan fiction", I believe that The X-Files, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the Star Wars books are all considered cannon (i.e., are officially sanctioned by the creators and are supposed to have actually happened to the characters). Although I am all on board for my favorite characters going on new adventures, I have mixed feelings about these books being cannon. I don't consider the books not to be cannon. It is just that I think about them differently. When I think about how the television shows and movies end, I imagine a world of infinite possibilities that are now open for the characters. I don't immediately think of what happens to the characters in the books or comics that continue these stories. I just imagine that the story ends. At the same time, I will read the comic and book continuation of these shows to discover what happens to the characters. I guess that I imagine at the end of the movie/television show that there is a fork. One prong is the comic/book storyline, and another prong is the world of infinite possibilities. I think what I am trying to say is that although I read the comics and books that are extensions of beloved television shows and movies and that are considered to be cannon, I don't see the comics and books as direct and permanently attached extensions of these movies and television shows. I just see these comics and books as one possibility.

So what do you think? How do you feel about books that are related to movie/television franchises (e.g., movie novelizations and extended universes)? Do you read anything you can get your hands on? Do you avoid these things like the plague? Once you read something in the comics or books do you have a hard time separating it from the movies/television shows?

12 comments:

Chene Sterckx said...
December 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Hmmm interesting topic Pamela :) I think if it works then they should use it and carry on with a story / comic and so on. Like you pointed out, sometimes it doesn't work out so well either. I do have a bit of a problem separating the books from the series, but it's not a big deal to me! If I love it, I still read it and/or watch it :)

Great Post!!

Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

katenread said...
December 26, 2013 at 3:35 PM

I've always enjoyed novelizations and extended universes. I think they're a great way to keep fans interested in series, and are sometimes pretty good stories. My mom was a Star Trek fan and Trek novels kept the series going for her between the original series and the movies. Likewise for me with Star Wars. While I have no problems with alternative continuing story lines, I'd love for Timothy Zahn's Thrawn novels to be the next Star Wars trilogy.

My anxious life said...
December 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

oohh I like this!!! I myself am a huge Star Wars fan and comic fan. I haven't read these books though. They have a huge following though. I agree that these are not fan fiction but have become a world of their own. I am not sure if this is similar but I love Dungeons and Dragons and read the Drizzt series by RA Salvator. This is also a branch off the game D&D. I love these books so much since it explores the world even more!

kimbacaffeinate said...
December 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM

I enjoy them, and am always eager to explore the different venues that embrace a pop culture phenomenon like Stars Wars, Doctor Who, Superman, Harry Potter etc.

Greg said...
December 30, 2013 at 2:08 AM

I liked the Star Wars novelizations as a kid, I thought they added something to the stories but I haven't read them in years (hmmm...). I think I read the brian daley Han Solo books too, or some of them. I kind of agree about the fork thing- there is movie canon and then sorta movie + book canon as an alternate possibility or universe.

Pabkins said...
December 31, 2013 at 5:21 PM

I have to seriously admit...I don't usually like the the comics that come from books that I love. I also have never really loved the books if I loved the movies or even vice versa. Or some in the case of Star Wars - I have no interest at all in reading any of the Star Wars books - there are just too freaking many of them, written by too many authors. Thats the same in the Dragonlance universe - too many authors writing in that "world".

With the comics that come from tv series or from books...they just usually aren't that good. Its hard to translate a book to a comic - they have to leave so much out that the characters end up feeling flat and stale to me. Where as I LOVE graphic novels and if I just read one - without having read or watched anything related to it I seem to be able to enjoy it more because my own imagination fills in the gaps. Am I making sense here of am I bonkers?

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM

I think I have been doing separating the Buffy comics from the show because I watched the show so long ago. Thanks for sharing! :)

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:22 AM

My husband loves the Timothy Zahn Thrawn novels. He was actually hoping that was going to be the next Star Wars trilogy too!

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:23 AM

I read a few D&D books when I was younger. My husband actually just started reading The Companions by Salvatore today. We have been playing D&D Next with friends, and he has been wanting to start the new D&D series related to the new D&D edition. :)

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:24 AM

It is really neat to see where different authors take beloved characters.

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:26 AM

I agree with you. I definitely read the Star Wars books when I was a kid to get more of the characters from the movies. I needed more Leia and Han. :)

Pamela D said...
January 1, 2014 at 12:34 AM

I think what you are saying makes sense. It sounds like you to keep your stories to one medium. I am guessing that you have certain expectations for a story, and when the story moves from TV (etc) to a novel (etc) your expectations are not met. That sounds more harsh than what you are saying, but I feel that way about some things too. I am not always a big fan of graphic novels of books I have already read.

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