Sequels are everywhere. Literally, anything, from a part II to part 100, after a first installment can be considered a sequel. However, for this particular 5 Fandom Friday, I'll be going with the definition that a sequel immediately follows the preceding release. That's going to limit me quite a bit, but after my wheels spinning on some of my favorites, it truly helped me narrow down to a top 5 rather easily.
As sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave. The 2005 sequel to Joss Whedon's overly underrated TV series, Firefly, is an excellent continuation of a story that was cut drastically short (thanks FOX!). Joss gives us closure, while also ripping our hearts to shreds (I'm a leaf on the wind....), but I savor every moment shared with the crew of the Serenity, even if I'm crying right along with them. It astounds me how many geeks that I've come across lately that have never sat down to watch through both Firefly and Serenity. I'll say this right here: Y'all are missing out and I'll be more than happy to help you fix this drastic mistake.
2. The Empire Strikes Back
No sequels list of mine could be complete without The Empire Strikes Back. While A New Hope is, almost, a light and airy introduction into a galaxy far, far away, The Empire Strikes Back pulls our heads out of the clouds and down to the nitty, gritty of the battle on Hoth, Luke's training on Dagobah, and onto the Cloud City. No planet is safe from the Empire and this film shows just how menacing the disciples of Darth Vader can be. I'm sure many of us can remember the first time that we watched Episode V, and how enthralled we were by its unpredictability and heart-wrenching plot twists. Well, if you don't, I do; hence, its place on my list.
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
I've watched all of the LOTR movies and I've read all of the books, and by far, of all three - I love Two Towers the most. Now, most Tolkienites know that LOTR wasn't originally three volumes, but one long saga. However, with that amount of material, we get to seperate them and Two Towers can get a well deserved spot on my list. What do I love about this film? Can the answer just be "everything?" I mean, we get introduced to two of my most favorite characters within the saga - Haldir and Eowyn, we get a battle like none other in cinematic history with the Battle of Helm's Deep, and we get such great movement forward for the ensemble leading into The Return of the King. There are many times that I'll just pop in the Two Towers because it's what I want to watch, rather than watching the entire trilogy through again.
4. Dragonfly in Amber
I bet one of the hardest things that Diana Galbadon did was follow up Outlander with the next installment of the series. Can you imagine if she just left Outlander open-ended? We wouldn't have this amazing alt-timeline story that has eight books in print, and a ninth on the way, on top of an expanded story with the novellas and Lord John series. Aside from A Song of Ice and Fire, this is one of the most fully fleshed out universes of our time. If Outlander didn't hook you, then let Dragonfly in Amber take your hand and lead you in.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
If you were to ask any of my gamer friends what my favorite First Person Shooter is, they'd immediately answer with Call of Duty. The closer ones would be able to tell you that it is Modern Warfare 2. I had played other FPS style games throughout my life, but it was MW2, and Soap MacTavish, that stole my heart. It is one of the only FPS games where I've played the entirety of the story, and completed all Xbox 360 achievements to 100% (you can check my Gamerscore if you want). MW2 is also the first that, truly, got me into competitive gaming and working to better myself at it, thanks to some amazing gaming clanmates.
I had so many more sequels that could have made this list. I wanted to do an Honorable Mention, but had too many to honorably mention, which would have made this post much longer planned. In any case, I always love to see when directors or writers expand upon the world in which they created in any form of media. A quick shout out to my friends who kept me amused with their favorite sequels as I was writing this post. I think my favorite answer was "Obama's second term."