Written by Jiawei Chen
With the development of Media, storytelling has changed dramatically in the recent year. New media provided a different way to strategies of storytelling development setting stronger concentrate on audiences, changing them into active participants in one or the other way. It is means that transmedia storytelling is a new feature in the post-cinematic world. Henry Jenkins (2006) coined this term as
“[…] a transmedia story [which] unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole.” (p.97)
The transformation in the post-cinema era and the chances of the transmedia storytelling that there could be a new strategy of narrative to post-cinema. But “there is more to today’s media than competition with another media”. It seems like a symbiotic relationship.
The most successful case which used the transmedia storytelling is the Star Wars trilogy. The reason is that Star Wars trilogy could be seen as a big change from classic narrative strategies to transmedia storytelling. When the first episode Star War: The Phantom Menace was released in late 1990s a revolutionary transmedia world was built.
“Star Wars became more than just a classical movie trilogy” (Freeman, 2016).
Numbers of literatures, cartoons, imitation show, music, and games, frequently produced by general audiences or fans of the cinemas were released and gave variety of ways for various specific group to Star Wars. These media occur in the space of universe and story (which resembles the narrative universe in which certain storylines take place) produced by George Lucas in his space-opera. Although this space- opera do not consequentially have direct links to the original narrative and deal with side characters, it also has some creative features. Because audiences or fans were not merely putting their fund but they could creative a world which they love. It like a bridge that audience and film could have an interaction after that.
In addition, Star Wars conferences are a special zone of roam for fans or audiences where they can communicate or meet and share their experience with each other around the world and cinematic games such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008), gamers from worldwide could be fight together in the Star Wars universe as a real role in the cinema, such as even Sith, Jedi, or Storm Trooper and all narratives from the whole cinema. However, “some artist and writers started to explore and expand the universe even further” (Pett, 2016). Many films, TV series and homage to the original. For example, TV series Family Guy Specials (2007-2010) put Star Wars to the small screen again and a large number of fans made movies on Online video channel seems to be endless.
Star Wars’ “[…] novels expanded the timeline to show events not contained in the film trilogies, or recast the stories around secondary characters” (Jenkins,2006 p.108).
Star Wars could be seeming as an interaction-like transmedia experience that evolved over time beginning from classical era to the post-cinema era. It changes the relationship between cinema itself and audiences, and transform audiences to become a group of fans who love this film. Star War as a good example show the significance of accustoming to the changes as they endure wonderful chances for audience (fans) and film industry similar. Audiences could through more ways and channels into the world they love whereas franchises in cinema as a new way that industry could gain massive revenues. Transmedia storytelling cope with different channels of media, push the narrative more complicated, they have symbiotic relationship could improve each other.
Freeman, M. (2016). Promoting transmedia’Star Wars’: strategies of branding and un-branding a galaxy far, far away.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. NYU press, pp.97-108.
Pett, E. (2016). “Stay disconnected”: Eventising Star Wars for transmedia audiences. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 13(1), 156.