The novel, the cinema, the theater and the comics have several types of story and for that their creators can resort to different narrative techniques and ways of sequencing the most varied events. Prequel
A prequel is a narrative approach through which the story refers to another one already known by the audience. Usually the prequel tells the background of a story. In other words, it is a work of fiction in which the second part tells the story before the first part.
Hypothetical prequel example
A writer becomes famous because he writes a novel about aliens who visit our planet to become mascots with the intention of manipulating human beings. The novel is titled “Mascots of the Galaxy” and becomes a world bestseller. Given this circumstance, the writer decides to tell a new story entitled “Lost in the Universe ” which deals with what happened before the arrival of the aliens on Earth. The prequel would be this last novel, which by the time it is normally read the reader already knows the plot of the first story. Thus, “Lost in the Universe” is the second part of “Mascots of the Galaxy”, but chronologically it is the first part.
Real examples of movie prequel
In the recent history of cinema there are several examples of prequels. Thus, some of the most famous movie series use the prequel as a narrative technique , as it happens in the movies: Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, The Godfather, Batman, Indiana Jones, among others.
A commercial strategy
More than a narrative technique in the strict sense, the prequel is a commercial strategy to attract the public. If a film were not successful, it would be absurd to tell a story about the background of this film itself.
The viewer of a prequel is faced with a very particular circumstance, as they already know the story of the film and this aspect can be especially attractive.
The origin of the term and the Bible as the first antecedent
This word is an adaptation or a calico of the English “prequel”, a term that came to be used in the Anglo-Saxon world a few decades ago and in recent years has become popular around the world.
This way of telling stories is not something completely new, as in the Bible it is already possible to find narrative aspects similar to the prequel.