Yes, The Phantom Menace takes us to a time even longer ago than Star Wars. Yes, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (which George Lucas executive-produced) delves into an earlier Indy adventure than Raiders of the Lost Ark. But if you think the notion of a sequel that’s a prequel is all Lucas’, think about these films and the sequels that came, er, before. — Bilge Ebiri
1. Bette Davis starred in this adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s play about a decaying Southern family. The prequel showed us how they got so corrupt in the first place.
2. Alan Ladd starred in this story of a Howard Hughes-like industrialist. Steve McQueen took Ladd’s role in the prequel.
3. Michael Caine and Jack Hawkins played British soldiers fighting a horde of African warriors. The prequel, released 15 years later, featured Burt Lancaster and Peter O’Toole.
4. Ex-POW Chuck Norris goes back to Nam to rescue his still-caged buddies. The prequel is set while Chuck is imprisoned.
Answers: 1. The Little Foxes (1941) and Another Part of the Forest (1948) 2. The Carpetbaggers (1964) and Nevada Smith (1966) 3. Zulu (1964) and Zulu Dawn (1979) 4. Missing in Action (1984) and Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)