As fans, we always want more of what we love. More Star Wars. More Star Trek. More Indiana Jones. More Ghostbusters. More Breaking Bad (Better call Saul!). More Arrested Development (which Netflix actually delivered last year!). More Community (which Yahoo Screen is actually delivering this fall!). We want more of everything even if we know we will be disappointed more often than not.
This week, a new Harry Potter story was published, and it made waves in the pool that is the Internet. Everyone was talking about it. Harry Potter was trending like it was 2007, and you had to avoid the Web until you finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so nobody could spoil it for you. Well, maybe not quite on that level, but more that you’d expect a book series that concluded in 2007 and a movie franchise that rolled the end credits in 2011 to at any time later on. I was intrigued, but nervous. The ending to the Harry Potter books was second only to the ending of Breaking Bad as far as satisfying endings to things are concerned (the 1998 ending of Michael Jordan’s basketball career would be at the top of the list had he not ruined it by coming out of retirement with the Washington Wizards a few years later), and I was perfectly content with J.K. Rowling leaving that universe alone. I’ve seen it go wrong too many times.
Truth be told, I still haven’t gotten around to reading J.K. Rowling’s new story. I searched for it on Google, and found article after article linking to article after article and providing spoilers before finally finding one that said it was available on Pottermore. I needed to create an account to read it. Along the way, I found out the story was an article by Rita Skeeter that was published in 2014, when Harry is now 34 years of age. The last time I checked, Rita Skeeter had been found out to be an unregistered animagus (J.K. Rowling must have disabled spell check over a decade ago or all the red underlines would have driven her mad by now) transforming into an insect, and secured in a magically unbreakable glass jar, effectively ending her career as the beat reporter for Gryffindor common room gossip. So now 20 years later she’s back? How does that happen? The very premise was enough to make me think I wouldn’t like it.
I do have some hope for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them adaptation, though. It’ll be another movie in Harry’s universe, but it’s based on a Hogwarts textbook, and shouldn’t open any new doors into Harry’s life or effect the canon of the existing books and movies. It can be independent, the way Alien, Blade Runner, Predator, and Firefly all are, but exist in the same universe without bumping into each other too much.
With Star Wars, it was Jar Jar Binks and the unnecessary edits to the Original Trilogy that made fans turn on George Lucas. With Indiana Jones, it was the 2008 alien-infested Kingdom of Crystal Skull installment that made George Lucas a bad guy again with Steven Spielberg as his guilty accomplice. Dan Aykroyd has been teasing us with the possibility of a third Ghostbusters movie, but if it ever gets made, it will now be without the late great Harold Ramis to reprise his role as Dr. Egon Spengler, so how good could Ghostbusters 3 possibly be? Sometimes it’s better to be satisfied with what we already have, but at the same time, I still cannot wait for Star Wars Episode VII or Better Call Saul and any more of the franchises I love. I just can’t look away.