Since Buffy ended a little over a decade ago, the series has lived on via comic books since Season 8 debuted in 2007. While the comic books feature talented writers (many whom worked/acted on the show, and occasionally Joss Whedon himself) and artists, a large portion of Buffy fans have never been able to get into them, myself included. I will admit that I’ve never actually read any of the Season 8,9, or 10 stuff, but I have read the first two Omnibus volumes of previously published stories set before or during the television series. Regardless, I’m just not that big of a comic fan to begin with. On top of that, I’m continuously hearing about the outlandish story lines Season 8 and 9 follow, and how the characterization can seem off at times. Because of this I’ve never really been overly motivated to read the comics. I’m content with my re-watches and blog explorations. However, I began asking myself: If Buffy were to continue on in someway, how would I want to see it done? What would I like to see come out of the Buffyverse in today’s day and age? Ruling out the ideas of a re-vamped television show or a movie (which I would never want to see happen), this list was born.
Six Continuations of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I’d Love to See, in no particular order:
1. LEGO Buffy A couple of months ago, I discovered the jaw-dropping, amazing work of Ryan Rydalch in the form of Buffy LEGOs. This amazing guy painstakingly created a ton of custom Buffy sets. Each figure bears a perfect resemblance to the character on the show. Check it out: JUST LOOK AT THAT!! Joan of Arc Willow, Pirate Xander, BUNNY ANYA, FIESTA GILES, AND RED RIDING HOOD BUFFY!! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to own these?!! Ryan did an amazing job, and LEGO would be smart to pick this kind of thing up and sell it. In addition to appeasing die-hard Buffy fans, Buffy LEGO sets could introduce younger kids to the series, welcoming a whole new generation of fans. If the Buffy sets sold well, we’d probably get to see a LEGO Buffy video game made too.
I’ve played the LEGO Star Wars games before and found them entertaining and fun, and I’m sure a Buffy game following the same suit would be no less awesome.
Be sure to head over and check out the rest of Ryan’s Buffy LEGO creations; he made a ton of sets including one with The Gentlemen and stuff from the comics. If you’re like me, you’ll probably spend a good amount of time staring in awe and imagining how wonderful it’d be to have them, and then message him saying how great he is for making the sets. Check out the album here. (P.S. The Willow and Tara figures are ADORABLE)
2. Annual SlayerFest
Not sure how many of you are Star Wars fans, but I’ll tell you right now: I’m a die-hard fan. It was my very first fandom and over the years I’ve realized that Star Wars fans know how to organize events like no one else. One of the things on my bucket list is to attend a little thing called Star Wars Celebration. It’s usually held every three years, and it’s basically this massive palooza of Star Wars love for the fans, by the fans. There’s guest speakers, art shows, fan panels, props on display, fan tables/booths, costume contests, screenings, activities, etc. It’s such a great way for fans to interact and express their love for the franchise. It unites fans of all ages, bringing awe to newcomers and nostalgic joy to long time fans. The event is made possible because of Star Wars’ enormous fan base and the impact the films made on the Hollywood industry and sci-genre.
Now think about that for a minute. What television show has an extremely dedicated and loyal fan base? Which television show has influenced all that have come after it, spanning across multiple genres and tackling almost every issue life has to offer? Which television show defined an era and had/continues to have an undeniable influence on pop culture as we know it? Ah yes. Buffy the freaking Vampire Slayer.
So why can’t us fans have our own SlayerFest, Star Wars Celebration style? I know that many Buffy actors, writers, artists, etc appear at Comic-Cons. But imagine a Comic-Con like setting completely dedicated to Buffy. Picture it. You buy your tickets for two days of SlayerFest. On the first day, you visit some fan tables. People are showcasing their Buffy fan art, Slayer inspired handmade jewelry and clothing, and proudly displaying their personal figure collections. After awhile you stop by the props area and take a gander at legendary items like Mr. Pointy, Willow’s overalls, and the Vampyr book. After grabbing a dish of cookie dough ice cream (with “I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking.” printed on it’s side) you settle down to check out a panel on the writing process behind an episode of the show.
On day two you attend the costume contest, and after casting your vote for the girl in the full Anya Bunny Suit costume, you head over to a screening of Once More, With Feeling. After mingling with some fans and attending an interactive seminar on martial arts moves used in the show, you head to the main hall where Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Alyson Hannigan are heading a panel and taking fan questions. Okay, that’s wishful thinking.
But imagine something like that happening every three years! A strictly Buffy event for fans who have continued to love and appreciate the series more than a decade after it’s end and for people who have just discovered it, hungry to soak up more Buffy knowledge and interact with fellow fans. I know that some areas have little Buffy events sometimes, but I live in Wisconsin and let me tell ya… stuff like that never happens here or in surrounding areas. So I’d sure as hell pack my bags and head over to wherever Slayerfest would take place, because an event like that is an experience you’d remember forever.
As I stated before, Buffy was a highly influential show and continues to provoke casual and academic study/discussion today. It also boasts an extremely loyal, smart and kind fan base, so I’d say the show and the fandom have more than enough clout and heart to pull of something like this. It’d be nice to have on official fan festival to look forward to every so often. I’d be down for it. Would you?
3. Re-Vamped (No pun intended) Reference Guides/Complete Encyclopedia
Yes, there are a few Buffy reference guides in existence. The Watcher’s Guide Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are all pretty awesome. But they were published in 1998, 2000, and 2003 respectively. The information in them is very limited. For example, Volume 1 has a Monster Guide and a Sunnydale Guidebook. But this was published in ’98, so it only has demons/vampires and locations from the first/second season. Volume 2 doesn’t even bother with guides outside of episodes, and instead focuses on interviews and actor profiles. Volume 3 contains even less; just episode guides and essays.
I’m sorry to bring up Star Wars again, but the folks at Lucasfilm came up with some great stuff that I think could transfer very nicely to the Buffyverse. Star Wars has this book series called Essential Guides. There’s a ton of them, including Essential Guide to Weapons, Essential Guide to Vehicles, Essential Guide to Characters, etc. Since 2003 the Buffyverse has expanded to comic books and a few video games as well. Thus, there’s a ton of stuff within seven years of television and a multitude of comics that could be compiled into nice, hardcover, coffee table/bookshelf ready Essential Guides.
Some ideas: Essential Guide to Locations (think of all the places that could be written about; the library, the Magic Box, Spike’s Crypt, etc), Essential Guide to Weapons (everything from Buffy’s Scythe to Cordelia’s spatula in Homecoming), Essential Guide to Characters (from heroes like Buffy to baddies like Glory), and Essential Guide to Demons (considering there’s more than one in almost every episode, this would be a heavy volume) just to name a few.
Come to think of it, you know what would be even more awesome? A completely updated, brand new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Encyclopedia. What a project it would be; but how amazing would it turn out? I’d shell out big bucks for that.
I think that if Buffy were to go the book route at all, reference guides would be the only way to do it. I mean, novels could possibly work if people started publishing Whedon approved, canon stand-alone novels, but I just don’t see that working; there’s not a whole lot of stories that could be told and coherently fit within the 144 episodes of the series and the various comics published. The books published way back in the 90’s/early 2000’s aren’t really considered canon anyway, and never seemed to take off, so I don’t think releasing books of the same vein would be successful. Reference guides, however, are accessible, canon, and fun to look at (they usually contain original artwork too). I see no problem here. 🙂
4. A New Buffy the Vampire Slayer Video Game
The last time we saw a Buffy video game (for consoles) was Chaos Bleeds in 2003. 2003 PEOPLE. We are long overdue for another one. A decade has passed since then, and with that time has come unparalleled technological advances in the video game world. Environments and characters are more realistic than ever, and vast developments have been made in the gameplay area. There is no better time to come out with a new Buffy video game than now.
The story line could be original, perhaps taking place in between seasons, or even during the comics. Like Chaos Bleeds, players would get to play as different Scoobies throughout the course of a mission. Players could toggle between 1st and 3rd person as they defeat the Big Bads using weapons, magic, etc. There could be an awesome co-op mode where you play alongside your friends as the Scoobies. If there was a multi-player option, people could make imagined battles a reality: For example, you pick Faith and your friend picks Dark Willow, and the battle begins. There could be a mode in which you play as a Slayer and do nothing but slay vampires in increasingly difficult waves, a la Gears of War Horde. The possibilities are endless!
I would most like to see a game released for consoles (which could also possibly make use of the Xbox Kinnect and Nintendo Wii capabilities), but an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) could always be an option as well. Either way, this needs to happen.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Complete Series Re-Release on Blu-Ray and DVD with Never-Before-Seen Special Features
The Blu-Ray thing is a given, I honestly don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet. Actually, I do. It’s probably painstakingly difficult to convert the earlier seasons to high-definition, but I’m not going to get into that. The folks on Blu-ray.com already have enough good points regarding Buffy on Blu-Ray, so I advise you to check out that thread here.
In addition to being re-released in Blu-Ray, these discs need to have some awesome special features. I’m talking archived footage, bloopers, deleted scenes, table reads, dailies, new interviews, and more. Mutant Enemy has got to have stuff they’ve been saving for a Buffy’s 25th anniversary or something. And if they do, and are totally planning on using it for a re-release, I’m fine with waiting. But this needs to happen eventually or I will have a hole in my heart FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series
For those who haven’t seen the only clip of BTVS: The Animated Series in existence, watch it now:
Wasn’t it great?? And to think Fox or any other network didn’t want to pick it up. Joss Whedon himself has said:
We had a great animation director, great visuals, six or seven hilarious scripts from our own staff—and nobody wanted it. I was completely baffled. I felt like I was sitting there with bags of money and nobody would take them from me.
We’re in the same boat, Joss. However, these events took place around 2005. It’s 2014 now people! I say they should bring it back. Lately it seems like the small screen is the way to go, and kid’s shows are no exception. Think Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. (I swear this is the last time I’ll bring up Star Wars!) It was fun for kids, yet dark and adult at that same time, appealing to older fans. BTVS: The Animated Series, would work much in the same way. I could see it with a later time slot, perhaps around seven, aimed at older kids and adults. If networks didn’t want to pick it up again, perhaps Netflix would pick it up as a Netflix Original Series.
Based off the clip, the series stayed to true to the classic Buffy humor and action, so I think it would have no problem appealing to long-time fans. While the series would serve to introduce a younger generation to BTVS, I also sincerely think it would do kids some good: Buffy promotes such positive messages that could have a profound impact on kids. I know when I was little I picked up things from shows and movies that stayed with my whole life thus far: Kim Possible showed me that girls could be action heroes too. That’s So Raven showed me that it’s okay to be yourself. There’s many others, but my point is that kids remember what they see on TV, and it’d do them a ton of good to watch something like BTVS: The Animated Series, a show that features a bunch of conventionally “weird” kids who band together and save the world a lot. Maybe I’m out of touch, but from what I’ve seen, there aren’t really any good kids shows out there right now promoting positive messages in an interesting way while promoting higher level thinking, all of which BTVS: The Animated Series would do, no doubt about it. Hell, I wish we could show BTVS to kids right off the bat, but I do think the series is a lot better suited to be introduced to teenagers, as the issues in the original series are complex and realistic, and can be truly scary at times. That’s why, as a precursor to the original series, this animated series would work in today’s day and age. Also, I need to see this Buffy pun penned by Jane Espenson played out on-screen:
Here Buffy has just inappropriately used her Slayer-Strength on the volleyball court, so she vows to restrain herself:
Sure. Okay. I can hold back. Call me Dairy Queen, ‘cuz here comes a soft serve.
Sorry, that was kinda lame.
There you have it, folks. Six continuations of BTVS that I’d LOVE to see!
Hit the comments and let me know if you’d like to see some of the same, or if you have an idea of your own!