Click Here for Our Recommended Antivirus for Your Device

Difference Between Spin-off and Prequel

Movies, books, and TV series are sources of fascination and extreme interest for many. While we mostly vibe with the lead roles, there are also times when we relate with the side characters.


Entertainment Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to entertainment

1 / 10

What was the first Disney animated feature film?

2 / 10

What is the name of the artist who painted the famous artwork "The Starry Night"?

3 / 10

What is the name of the world's most famous comic book superhero?

4 / 10

Who wrote 'To Kill a Mockingbird'?

5 / 10

Who wrote the classic novel "The Catcher in the Rye"?

6 / 10

What movie does NOT have Brad Pitt in it?

7 / 10

Which classic novel was written by Jane Austen?

8 / 10

Who is the lead singer of the popular band Pink Floyd?

9 / 10

Who played the character of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

10 / 10

What type of music is characterized by synthesizers and electronic beats?

Your score is


There are many excellent books and movies wherein these supporting characters also have a great fan base. 

Spin-offs, prequels, remakes, sequels, etc., are some terms we are familiar with in these days of character fanaticism.

The prequel is a backstory, and a spin-off is more like a character description.

Spin-off vs Prequel

The spin-off is a book, film, or television series, usually after a successful book, movie, or television series. This can also mean that a particular character from the original series gets another series of their own. 

The prequel is a film or book that is made about the earlier stage of the story. It is about providing the background of the story that is already successful.

Spin off vs Prequel

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!

Parameter of ComparisonSpin-offPrequel
DefinitionA book or a film about events that happened before those in a popular book or film that has already appeared.A book, a movie, a televised program, or an object that is based on a book, movie, or very successful television series
TimelineBefore the story.It can be before or after the story has taken place.
ThemesSince the first sagas were told, prequels have been increasing the life of films, books, television programs, and shows.The spinoffs are a time-the honoured notion, going back decades to when characters would be informed in sketches on a variety show and then given their series just months later.
ImportanceThe characters’ past or the story itself is essential to forming an opinion.The fan-favourite side characters are appreciated through these.
ExamplesThe Godfather Part II (1974)
Wicked (2003)
Star Trek: The Next Generation(1987)
NCIS: Los Angeles( 2009)


What is Spin-off?

Spin-off (or spinoff)  is a radio program, film, book, TV series, video game or any narrative endeavour originating from already prevailing works that concentrate on more details and different aspects from the initial work (e.g. particular topics, characters or events).

This is usually meant to indicate a change in perspective from the story, based on the activities of the series’ central protagonist. Hence, there is a shift in the dynamics of the story as a side character now becomes the hub of attraction.

The protagonist of the spin-off was initially a side character in the original series and is now given a show based on their narrative. The popular animation cartoon Batman: The Animated Series was back after revocation with a fresh name and a new mode of animation which only remained for 24 episodes.

It was later replaced by one more spin-off Batman Beyond which lasted 52 episodes, and then begot another spin-off, The Zeta Project. This a great illustration of building an entire franchise based on spin-offs.

spin off 1

What is Prequel?

A prequel is a literary, dramatic, or cinematic undertaking whose saga comes before that of previous work as a backstory by concentrating on events that occur before the initial description. Like sequels, prequels may or may not concern the identical conspiracy as the work from which they are developed.

They often clarify the setting that led to the occurrences in the source, but sometimes the connections are not entirely explicit. Sometimes prequels play on the audience’s understanding of what will happen next, using intentional citations to create dramatic irony.

For example, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) is a prequel to Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) but is only a prequel to Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) because of the release order.

Likewise, 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a prequel to 1981’s Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark in that it is set in 1935, one year before the first film. A prequel hence provides a much-required setting to understand the character better. 


Main Differences Between Spin-off and Prequel

Both the spin-offs and prequels are usually based on some other creative work, but these are significantly different. 

  1. Prequel implies the origin story of the given story and is more focused on providing a backdrop. Spin-offs are stories of the character mentioned in the original report, built on their point of view. 
  2. Prequels are situated in the past, which may not be a rule for spin-offs. 
  3. Prequels usually show the protagonist as it is an insight into how the story is formed, while spin-offs might not even mention the protagonist.
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *