We're getting a new Hunger Games movie, which was inevitable the moment Suzanne Collins began penning her upcoming Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The plot centers on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, the man who would eventually rise to become Donald Sutherland, the emperor of Panem and the antagonist of the original series. It seems fitting that a story about the formation of a dystopian society comes at a time when or own society is getting all dystopian up in this ish, but we think there's an even more distressing parallel here. Isn't this just the plot of the Star Wars prequels?
Seriously, Coriolanus Snow might as well be accompanied by C-3PO and R2-D2, be really into podracing, and talk about how much he hates sand, as we chart his ascent towards the head of an evil empire. Are there differences between Coriolanus Snow and Anakin Skywalker? Obviously. Coriolanus loves roses and Anakin loves Natalie Portman, but considering the path that they're currently on, we'd be hard-pressed to imagine the Hunger Games straying far from the formula that essentially allows Disney to print money, especially with Lionsgate getting into the theme park business.
Which is a shame, because there are so many prequel ideas that can be explored besides the highly-trod "what made the bad guy so bad" plot. For example, it would have been cool to see a Rocky-esque take on the Hunger Games with Haymitch Abernathy's underdog journey (Woody Harrelson's character) as he wins the Games only for the world to turn against him anyway. Or we could have learned how the first Hunger Games even started and what set of conditions allowed for it to stay in place. (Hint. Hint. We're back to some real-world parallels here.) Or, we don't know, show us the story of when Effie Trinket's stylist had her first psychological breakdown.
In fairness to Collins, there appears to be some variations on the Anakin Skywalker story arc that we, and Joseph Campbell, would find ourselves destined for. Here's a synopsis given from The Hollywood Reporter:
"Young Coriolanus is handsome and charming, and though the Snow family has fallen on hard times, he sees a chance for a change in his fortunes when he is chosen to be a mentor for the 10th Hunger Games, only to have his elation dashed when he is assigned to mentor the girl tribute from impoverished District 12."
So it seems like Snow could be occupying more of an Obi-Wan type role as he mentors another character. It's a cool twist, and while we fully expect the story to veer off into Coriolanus being gradually seduced by the dark side along with a heavy dose of Panem politics, we're more than willing to be pleasantly surprised. Maybe this won't be a complete retread after all. Fuck, Coriolanus Snow has a parent die at a young age. Either way, Lionsgate will assuredly look to milk this franchise for all it is worth and we'll get back to you in ten years when we're covering the Hunger Games sequel trilogy.
Top Image: Lionsgate/ The Hunger Games