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Furiosa is already in danger of over-explaining its main character's backstory

Sometimes it is enough to go "and she had a wicked cool robot arm" and leave it at that.

Furiosa with a shaved head and a robot arm
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The biggest news you’ll hear all day is that the first trailer for Furiosa has dropped and brought with it a whole new set of awesome set-pieces for George Miller to deliver in his signature style. As cool as it was to see Chris Helmsworth nearly smothered in bullets over a flaming pit, we’re a little concerned Furiosa runs the risk of overexplaining everything about her character and, as a result, making her a bit less cool.

The constant danger of any prequel will be over-explaining the origins of a character. Did we need to know why Poirot grew his glorious mustache? Or how Wolverine lost his memories? Sometimes the mystery is what makes the character work, allowing us to imagine their past rather than know. The fact that the Furiosa trailer gives us lingering shots of her robot arm in action and shows Anya Taylor-Joy sporting the same crew cut that Charlize Theron had when we first saw the character in Mad Max: Fury Road makes us worry that the movie is going to over-explain the character’s allure away.

Cover image for YouTube videoFURIOSA : A MAD MAX SAGA | OFFICIAL TRAILER #1

Don’t get us wrong; that shot at the end of the trailer when we first see Furiosa with a shaved head for the first time is very cool, but we don’t want the movie to feel like a checklist of things we know about the character. We don’t want to sit through the entire runtime thinking “Ah, this is probably where she gets her robot arm” or “And now she’s going to cut that long hair off” when we should be thinking “How is she going to blow up, shoot, or otherwise dismember the group of men chasing after her?” More details are just distractions from what we're really here for.

Knowing how much to tell and when to hold back is sometimes the most difficult skill a storyteller can learn. That restraint is what made Lando's introduction in The Empire Strikes Back so effective. We really hope George Miller gets the balance right and lets Furiosa just be cool for the sake of being cool.

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Mad Max: Fury Road


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Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon


Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)