Movie Series with the Biggest Continuity ProblemsJust because a movie franchise has lasted for years and consists of multiple instalments, that's no guarantee that everything has gone smoothly along the way. Sometimes even one of the most important elements to a franchise, the continuity between films, can go astray. This, of course, leads to a lot of confusion regarding what's canon and what isn't. This list compiles the movie series that seem to have suffered the most where continuity problems are concerned.
Okay, okay, okay. Here's the timeline more or less explained :
X-men, X-men 2 : United, X-men : The Last Stand constituted the original franchise, with two Wolverine spin-offs that we're still trying to forget. There is a prequel, X-men : First Class, and it's sequel, X-men : Days Of Futur Past that thanks to some time travel timeline messing up managed to erase pretty much everything that happened in X-men 2 and X-men : The Last Stand. X-men : First Class and some of the Wolverine stuff however still exist, along with Deadpools 1 & 2. Although, all this time travel mumbo jumbo messed up everything so bad several alternate realities appeared, respectively X-men : Apocalypse and Logan. Dark Phoenix will be set 10 years after X-men : Apocalypse and to be honest, I have no clue what timeline The New Mutants or Gambit will be in. Albeit all these continuity issues, it's been a pleasure to get hopelessly lost in spacetime with our favourite mutants.
This series is so irreversibly-screwed when it comes to continuity that I'm not even going to try to explain it. So many things said and done in later films occur in direct violation of things that were previously-established in the series. The filmmakers even tried to fix it but only ended up making matters worse in the end. Good thing we're getting an MCU-flavoured reboot in the near future.
It's not so much that the series has failed at maintaining a solid continuity. It's more that the series keeps wiping the slate clean and starting over. 1 and 2 felt like a complete story, but when 3 confused audiences by attempting to turn the franchise into an anthology series and failed, it jumped back into the Michael Myers story line and gave us an overly-complicated story arc in 4, 5, and 6. Then, it wiped those last three films out and made 7 and 8 the direct successors to 1 and 2. Then we got a prequel/remake of 1 and that film got a sequel that concluded the story. Now, we have an 11th film that pretends the remake series never happened, returns us back to the original series, and (while retconning 2 for the first time in the series) makes itself yet another direct sequel to the original. Whew. That's a lot.
There's 5 timelines:
Timeline 1 -
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Timeline 2 -
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Timeline 3 -
Timeline 4 -
Halloween II (2009)
Timeline 5 -
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
A few notes to add:
- You can consider Halloween II (1981) to be the end and you won't have to watch any of the other films in Timelines 1 and/or 2.
- You can consider Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) to be the end and you won't have to watch Resurrection, which SUCKS in my opinion.
- There are 2 different cuts of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995): the Theatrical Cut and the Producer's Cut. I definitely ...more
I blame 'Alien 3'. I never shy away from the fact that I hate that movie and everything bad about this franchise seemed to stem from that ugly, brown, hateful stain of a third instalment. It doomed 'Alien: Resurrection' before it was even made and led to the series' decline in popularity. That's probably what fuelled Fox to make the desperate-for-money 'AVP' movies (which have both been rendered un-cannon with the release of the two more recent prequel films).
Let's be real here, has anyone liked a James Cameron film since Titanic? Everyone thought Genisys was going to be a "return to form" just because it had the Terminator 2 theme placed into every single scene but instead, we got something on the level of T3 if it was made by the guys that thought up of T Salvation. Just give us a cheap direct to DVD knock off of the original. It would probably be better than anything Terminator Genisys was trying to accomplish in the first place. Also, I hope the John Conner curse finally gets its way to biting John-whoever-played-him. Schwarzy for Presdient
Things were going fairly well before 'Terminator Salvation' and 'Terminator Genisys' sort of stomped all over the franchise and it's continuity. Thankfully, 'Terminator: Dark Fate', a direct sequel to 'T2' that's being produced by James Cameron, is coming along to save the day!
The continuity makes sense, it depends on what era you're in; Showa-1954-1975, Heisei-84-95, or Millennium-1999-2004. The show's continuity is loosely explained and connects in a loose way that makes sense IF YOU'VE ACTUALLY SEEN THE MOVIES, the millennium era is all essentially reboots, and the Heisei continuity follows a tight knit plot and characters through the movies. But what do I know, I mean, I have actually seen these movies.
This over-50-year-old franchise cares about as much about continuity as your grandmother cares about Fortnite (which I couldn't care less about either, for the record).
Don't even get me started...
If you want to talk continuity problems and screwing over the timeline, there's no better place to look than the Saw franchise. Every new twist seems to make the timeline messier than the last, and the only justification one could possibly come up with is the Jigsaw Killer being an omniscient God that knows everything, and even that doesn't explain some of the ridiculous continuity errors that are continuously thrown around as the series hit its later installments. They're pretty hilarious though, so.
Is it just me or did each movie seem to retcon the previous film's explanation of the history between humans and transformers? With the King Arthur and Nazi moments being among the oddest. I sort of stopped trying to follow the story. Thank goodness 2018's 'Bumblebee' officially rebooted the story. Mind you, I didn't know it was a reboot watching the darn thing in theatres so when they retold the origin AGAIN I almost threw up my arms in defeat.
The end of the original showed Ralph and Vanellope actually now getting along much better with the other characters in their respective games, they were good enough friends with Felix and the blonde sergeant to serve as best man and maid of honor at their wedding, and Ralph seemed to be friends with the other "villain" characters. All that was ignored in the sequel.
Vanellope declared herself president instead of princess at the end of the original. In the sequel she's considered a princess again just so she can encourage the actual Disney princesses to dress like a Walmart ad.
"Don't die outside your home game; you won't regenerate! " Six years later: "Don't die outside your own game, you won't regenerate... unless the other game has a Mary Sue who being a Mary Sue will find a way around that."
The first movie it said that the video game characters should never switch games and then in the second one Vanellope switches games.
The second and third movies both devote a considerable chunk of intro time re-writing the story from the previous film. Somehow, everyone was cool with it, and the series is seen as a linear trilogy in spite of all the retconning. I guess continuity isn't too big of a problem when everyone loves the movies.
This has over 10 sequels. Suff said. Overloaded as heck.
Each subsequent film almost feels like it takes place with a different family in a whole different reality. They can't even seem to keep Leatherface's name straight in these films (yes, I know the reboots did that intentionally). That doesn't mean they're not still brainless, gory fun.
The issues weren't so glaring back during the original HP years. Sure, 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' conjured up a lot of visual discrepancies (the location and landscape of Hagrid's Hut, for example), but the story line seemed to keep itself safe from making chronological mistakes. It would appear, however, that the 'Fantastic Beasts' films don't care to keep that careful streak intact. From what I hear the second film is kind of sloppy in that regard.
Only the first film of the series had great continuity.
Now, I've never seen any of the sequels but they're famous for being irredeemably-screwed, continuity-wise.
If you're talking about the Harvey Dent skin color change between Returns and Forever, then yes
What is Batman wearing?!
Even if you ignore the fact that Bond changes appearances every few movies, every movie taking place in the "present"-meaning the year they were each released-becomes a problem when said series goes for fifty years, and in turn brings up some questions about Bond's history and longevity.
As much as I love the Nanoha movies, I'll admit that the continuity that they follow can mess up a bit sometimes.
The Dragon Ball movies aren't canon to the main series. The whole T.V. series itself is a continuity problem, especially the dumb Super part of the series, which went against so many things that were mentioned in the Z part of the series.
This is just a 20th century monster joke...
How was this not on the list when I first looked at this list? I had to include Marvel's Dumb Universe on this list.
I know that there's lots of timelines but...