There seems to have been a kind of a transmedia-shaped hole in many peoples’ lives, for some reason. I’ve had some quite interesting chats around some of the thoughts floated in the past few blog posts, and I’ve been pointed in the direction of a few research papers and articles that I feel are looking at the topic in somewhat new lights.
For me, the most thought-provoking was an idea in an article in a book that has just come out, a book called “The Transmedia Franchise of Star Wars TV”. I’ve not read the full book, although there seems to be quite a few interesting articles. Star Wars is, of course, invariably pointed to as a true transmedia franchise if there ever was one, so I do feel there could be way worse topics to write a transmedia book about.
One chapter that was highlighted to me really struck a cord. It’s a chapter about Star Wars and nostalgia, with a special focus on the TV adverts for Star Wars, looking at them in the light of “Using story, characters, nostalgia, and parody they convey important messages about family, intergenerational relationships, and what it means to be a fan in anticipation of new content. “
What struck me was something I hadn’t been taking into consideration fully – the ability of transmedia storytelling to bridge not only over stories, but also over time. How a story world can see stories grow from it that build connections over generations, connecting narratives from decades ago to narratives that start to grow today.
This might sound quite obvious to some. For me, it’s like finding a new room in your house, a room that someone told you about when you moved in years ago but that you’d totally forgotten about, and it’s a room filled with exciting possibilities. While constructing a solid story world and making sure the essential stories grow from it onto the most suitable platforms, one can also look back in time and use narratives of old to steady and support these new stories as they grow.
It feels like my 2-D world suddenly expanded into another third dimension. Like the I’ve been handed a lever with which to turn the board and watch the game from totally new angles. I guess I will have to play around with the concept a bit, to see how it behaves, what gains traction and what doesn’t.
In the meanwhile, I was also pointed to an article this week about the Assassins Creed franchise, which sees the latest expansion, Valhalla, hit the markets pretty soon. While the article doesn’t talk much about the transmedia aspects of the franchise, I agree with much of the sentiment in the article. The franchise would undoubtedly benefit from stronger world building and a much more coherent storyline. It has everything else going for it, so to not put an effort into solidifying the story strands of the franchise is just wasteful.