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A while ago, as a result of the Mass Effect finale, one of the many conversations I have had as a result of the Mass Effect finale, the idea came up that the final segment of a trilogy should be the best and most emotionally satisfying part of that trilogy.

Does this always work? After all we are all individuals with differing tastes and emotional reactions. We all look at things differently. Again because of conversations about Mass Effect 3, I realize I have some widely different opinions then many of my peers.

And the issue is, idealistic, yes, the final segment in any long-term series should wrap things up in a nice little bow and be the most satisfying of the set.

But it does not always work out this way.

And I can think of many examples of it. Many people say the Empire Strikes Back was a better movie then Return of the Jedi.

That the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie is better than either of the two sequels. Or, for that matter, On Stranger Tides.

That Halo 1 was better than Halo 2 or 3, that the original Mass Effect was better than ME 3.

Or as I believe personally that ME 2 was better than ME 3, the second Pirates movie was the best of the set, and that the best season of Babylon 5 was the fourth and not the fifth.

This works because of a gamble in art, not everything that you do is going to find an effective place in an audience. You take a risk, you try to do something different, and some people hate it. Some people may even hate it over some idealized picture of the first installment and thus that no matter what the other installments in any series does, especially if its different, they hate it.

And this is ultimately why things may not work out for the best. Because an author or artist is forced to comply to different pressures. To fan pressure, to the pressure of the people they are working for, to their own original artistic vision. To the writers and costume people who are also a part of the creative vision and each putting their own technical restraints on a project.

To even new writers being added to a project mid way…or people dying or people getting sick and tired of circumstances. Of people leaving a project, or getting bogged down in other commitments.

You can say as a writer, ‘hey I want this person to be playing this role in my movie who has been there since the beginning, but sadly he has moved on to do a big hollywood thing!’

Or something simply not matching audience expectations.

There are a few examples of trilogies ending with a bang, IMO. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings are fine examples of their craft.

But we all have to realize that just because something should be this way, doesn’t mean it will be this way.

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