There are a lot of sci-fi movie franchises out there that go on and on and on and apparently, to be a fan of them, you have to accept all of their various and sundry versions throughout the years. That’s not how I look at it though. I’m often a fan of only specific sections of long-running franchises and I consider things that go outside of those sections to be non-cannon, at least in my personal estimation.
For example, I think Star Trek ended with the original series. I have no love for any of the new series, having grown up on the original. Yes, I remember watching The Next Generation but it wasn’t my show, I don’t identify with any of the characters and I don’t particularly like where the show went once Roddenberry wasn’t personally and intimately involved in the series. I hate Deep Space 9. I detest Voyager. I couldn’t take Enterprise. For me, the only Star Trek series I will ever care about is the original 79 episodes and the movies associated with them. I find the view of the future to be far too neon and liberal once you get to TNG and beyond. Star Trek, at least the series, ended in 1969.
The same is true of Star Wars. Star Wars, as far as I’m concerned, ended in 1983. There were no prequels, there is no extended universe, it is made up only of the first three movies and died thereafter. I can’t stand anything George Lucas did afterwards, I hated the cartoons and even though there are some books that I’ve read and enjoyed, I consider those fanfic, not actual Star Wars continuity. Some of it might be good fanfic, but it is fanfic nonetheless.
I’d also argue that the Indiana Jones story was made up only of the first three movies, the fourth movie simply never existed and any TV series… pass. There never was an old Indy and the less said about Shia LaBeouf, the better.
Aliens? Two movies. Game over man, game over! Predator? I might be tempted to say the first film but I honestly do enjoy, for some reason, the second with Danny Glover so I’ll let it go to two. Terminator also gets two, the franchise died for me in 1991.
There’s an unfortunate need in Hollywood to milk film franchises far beyond their sell-by date, to keep cranking them out until they are so awful that nobody wants to watch anymore. I’d much rather see a series end when it’s on top than when it’s gasping for breath and crawling across the ground. Sequels are rarely as good as the original and the more sequels it gets, the worse the franchise becomes.
So where do you fall on sci-fi film franchises? What’s your cut off and why? Inquiring geeky minds want to know!