Some people find origin stories tiresome and backstory a waste of time. “Let’s get to the good part,” they say. “Let’s get to the action!”
By the fact that I am referring to such persons as “they” (and also by the title of this post), you have most likely deduced that I am not one of those people.
I am, in fact, rather a backstory fanatic.
There are three principal reasons that will usually make me want to know someone’s whole life story.
- A tragic backstory is hinted at
- How on earth did they turn out this way??
- I JUST WANT TO SEE THEM AS CHILDREN!
Or just because generally love them and want there to be more about them for me to read or watch.
(By the way, Rogue One wins some kind of backstory award because the whole movie is based on ONE LINE from the original movie. And clearly we needed the backstory for that line.)
Now, without further ado I present 10 Backstories I
Need Want Very Badly
1. Jack Kelly (Francis Sullivan), Newsies
Here’s what we know of his backstory: His father is in jail, his mother is dead. He was living on the streets and starving, so he stole food and ended up in a jail for kids run by the strangely disturbing Mr. Snyder. Doesn’t that sound like a fun story?
2. Jason Bourne, The Bourne Movies
So, yeah, there are a lot of flashbacks in these movies. But I NEED MORE. Please, tell me all about your dark past as an assassin. Disclose to me all your deep psychological problems and their roots.
I sometimes forget this is an action movie series and therefore the point is… the action. Not the story. Or the backstory.
3. Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Who doesn’t want to see Newt as a young Hufflepuff child being awkward and shy and quiet and not having any friends and endangering human life with all his magical creatures at Hogwarts????
4. Sherlock and Mycroft, Sherlock
Sherlock in the flashbacks in ADORABLE. Whenever Sherlock and Mycroft talk about their childhood, it is hilarious (or… you know. Terribly horrific). The way they interact as adults is so enjoyable to watch. What were they like as children, living in the same house?
5. Christopher and Geoffrey Heron, The Perilous Gard
It’s been a while since I read this and I can’t quite remember all the details, so I just went to grab it off my bookshelf and refresh my memory but then I remembered MY COUSIN STOLE IT.
So I don’t have it.
Let us take a moment to weep for me.
Basically, Christopher says that when they were growing up, his father hated him and never spoke to him (and Kate says “Never?” and Christopher says, “I do remember him once telling me that I was born damned.”). But Christopher was really close to his older brother Geoffrey.
Also, grown up Christopher is fantastic.
So, yes. Please give me this backstory.
6. Faramir and Boromir, The Lord of the Rings
So… I guess this is the jerk father section of this post.
Like The Perilous Gard it’s the younger brother that the father hates and the older brother who basically takes care of the younger brother.
And Faramir. FARAMIR.
I want backstory.
7. The Snicket Siblings/ Everyone in VFD, A Series of Unfortunate Events
This backstory is hinted at in The Unauthorized Autobiography and The Beatrice Letters. There’s even a whole series about young Lemony Snicket (All the Wrong Questions), but it hardly connects to the original series at all and my favorite parts were just when he was thinking about his sister. But it’s not enough! I NEED MORE.
Also, there are siblings. Siblings are the best.
8. Shorty, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
So Indiana Jones says he caught Shorty trying to pick his pocket, and that’s basically all we know. But Shorty is the best thing that ever happened to the Indiana Jones movies. Can’t we know more? Don’t we get his whole life story??
Also, a side not because this isn’t backstory it’s… front story?
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO SHORTY?? He just disappeared off the face of the earth between movies and NO ONE NOTICED. I mean, yeah, that happens to the girls in every movie and that’s kind of annoying, but Shorty is a kid. What did Indy do, just leave him on the streets? He was so attached to Indy, I can’t see him leaving of his own free will. Did the kid get trampled by ostriches and die or what?
But moving on.
9. Doc Brown and Marty McFly, Back to the Future
How did the “cool”, skateboarding, guitar playing teenager end up being friends with the eccentric scientist with the crazy hair and big eyes?
HOW, I ASK YOU??
Because it’s AMAZING, but I need to know how it happened. It’s not like Doc is a friend of the family or anything. So how did Marty start hanging out with him? I would love to hear this story. (My sister her version of the story once which involved cranberries and a bike accident and, later on, a memorial for a goldfish)
10. Remus Lupin, Harry Potter
Remus Lupin is one of my favorite characters in Harry Potter. I would read a whole series about his backstory. It could start when he’s a little kid and GREYBACK THE IDIOT JERK WEREWOLF MAN bites him. And then we could all sob for weeks over childhood of painful transformations and isolation and fear. And then we could all cry tears of joy when he finally gets to have friends.
I also want to read about the original Order of the Phoenix. Because Lupin, obviously. But also Neville’s parents??!!!!
What about you? Have you been wishing for any of theses? Are backstories the meaning of life? What backstories are you dying to hear?