Episode 228: Where does the story come from?

On April 29, 2023, Kasie and Rex took on adaptations and origin stories in episode 1 of what will likely be a two-fer. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day

Origin Stories


  • Adaptations & other origins of stories
Other versions of the same story? Redundant or Creative Extension? | Photo by indra zavala on Pexels.com

We’ve done plot twists, internet grab bag, outlines, and subplots so far this month. We’ve been all over the map. And the madness continues this week as we take on origin stories in two senses of the word. The first is adaptations – films made from books and vice versa (Rex wrote a book off a video game). The second is character origins. We’ll flip a coin to see which goes first.

But first! We had a film challenge this month. My (Kasie) family challenged Rex to watch Love Jones and he challenged us with another HItchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. So we’ll talk through our impressions of those.

Then: Origin Stories! What are adaptations and who would do them? These are not of the plant and animal variety, but of the art variety. Here’s a few types:

  • Stage play to film: Glengarry Glen Ross, Fences
  • Book to film: Atonement, Little Women, Pride & Prejudice
  • Book to stage play: The Phantom of the Opera, A Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof, Wicked
  • Film to stage play: Clueless, Mean Girls, Shrek
  • Stage play to book: to Shakespearean re-writes like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet count?
  • Video game to movie: Dungeons and Dragons, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Brothers, Angry Birds Movie
  • Video game to stage play: The Trail to Oregon, It’s-a Me, Mario!, and CHOMP! A PacMan Musical (link)
  • Video game to book: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Minecraft: The Crash, Assassin’s Creed
  • Film to video game: Harry Potter, Spiderman, Star Wars
  • Comic books into stage plays: Peanuts, Spiderman, Popeye the Sailor Man, The Addams Family
  • Comic books into movies: (same as above but also) Spiderman, Batman, (basically all of DC and Marvel)
  • Comic books into video games (list): Superman, The Amazing Spiderman, Alien vs. Predator

What do we think? Seeing a story in a different medium? Yay or nay?

What are some advantages? (link) because bloggers love lists:

  • Telling the story with more breadth and include more characters – example, Star Wars which makes use of novels, comics, films, TV shows, animated and live action, to tell a fuller universe story.
  • Finding interest (an audience) in other mediums – example, non gamers getting into Assassin’s Creed via the films
  • Give existing fans more of what they love – example, because of the character’s appeal in the films, my kid picked up Spiderman video games (which she might not have otherwise played), and got into reading comics
  • New stories means new creators – example, again from our own stretching of the Star Wars galaxy, HB discovered a novel series exploring Padme’s backstory via author EK Johnston; Charlie read a novel about Arrow, and HB picked up a Sarah Maas book, Catwoman: Soul Stealer, and it convinced her to try other Sarah Maas books.

All right, so by the same token, what are some disadvantages? (same link)

  • Costing fans time and money – when the universe expands, it takes fans with it, but that costs them money and time, trying to keep up with the lore. Most expensive: gaming console upgrades. 
  • Contradictions – the more the universe expands and overlaps, the more likely those contradictions become; The Bad Batch, the character Kanan Jaris (known as Caleb) and the Order 66 occurrence – apparently Kanan’s master was short dead in front of him and this contradicts the comic origin story. The entire Star Wars sequel trilogy contradicts the comics and novels that came after the original series; Luke had a wife (Mara Jade) and Leah and Han had three kids. When new versions contradict old ones, the old ones are said to no longer be canon.
  • How does it all fit together? The giant puzzle can be frustrating to fans who want the original character origins and story arcs left intact.

Which is a great segue to the other half of the origins conversation: Character Origin Stories.

We spent a lot of time here and bumped the Character Origin stuff to next week. Tune in then!

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