Novel and film spin-offs achieve different success

Lily Tran, Feature Editor

It’s often mentioned that no one cares about the side characters. Even so, these side characters have their own stories, and sometimes, these stories are brought to life for the enjoyment of the fans.

Spin-offs are any novel, TV show, or movie that takes either a side character, subplot, history or side idea from the main plot of the story and makes it into its own story. Spin-offs contribute to world-building and help to expand a fan’s understanding of what occurs in the main plot.

“I like spin-offs because they go more in-depth to the plot and the characters’ lives,” senior Mackenzie Newman said.
However, others find them redundant.


“I don’t like spin offs,” senior Jayden Noeurt said. “They don’t get my interest because they’re not [about] the main cast. In my eyes it’s more of a filler instead of the real story.”

Spin-offs have had varying rates of success. Some spin-offs do extremely well while others flop and don’t make it past the first season.

“Usually they’re pretty bad so I don’t tend to have respect for them, but some are amazing,” senior Spencer Fulgham said.

Failed spin-offs include NBC’s “Joey,” a spinoff of the hit show “Friends” which was cancelled mid-way through its second season. Another one is Freeform’s “Ravenswood,” a spin-off of the immensely popular “Pretty Little Liars” which was cancelled after its first season.

However, in the noveling world, spin-offs tend to have much success. Novels and series that authors write spin-offs for are often prompted by fans. The end of one fiction world is not enough and fans beg for more.

Young Adult author Leigh Bardugo has written a “NY Times Bestsellers” series called the “Grisha Trilogy” set in a fictional world where darkness has plagued part of a nation and soldiers known as the Grisha are blessed with the ability to manipulate the elements. Bardugo came out with a spin-off duology set two years after the events of the “Grisha Trilogy” and they both took the number one spot on the “NY Times Bestsellers” list as well.

“My favorite spin-off series is the ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series by Rick Riordan,” Fulgham said. This series is a spin-off from the popular “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series.

Spin-offs for movies seem to be very popular as well. Movies that have a large fan-base typically have higher success rates for their spin-offs.

“I think [spin-offs are] cool, especially for movies where there’s a big fan base, [because] it broadens and opens up the [fictional] world,” senior Catherine Morelli said.

Some well-known movies with spin-offs include “Minions” from Despicable Me, “Puss in Boots” from Shrek, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” from “Harry Potter” and “Deadpool” from “X-Men.”

“‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ was really cool because it explained things that happened before the first [Star Wars movie],” Morelli said.