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The First Purge's Biggest Mistake Can't Be Resolved By The Purge 5

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When The Purge hit theaters back in 2013, fans were immediately left to wonder how the 12-hour consequence-free violence spree started. Two more movies and a TV series came without answering that question. Fans were promised an answer with the fourth movie in the series, prequel The First Purge, but unfortunately, that movie didn't give a satisfying answer to the question on the audience's minds, either. Since the next movie in the series, The Forever Purge, is both a sequel and confirmed to be the final movie in the long-running franchise, it looks like that question will never fully be answered.

The First Purge does give a little context to the previous Purge movies. As laid down in the 2013 movie, the series takes place in a world where all crime, even murder, is legal for one 12-hour timeframe each year. The subsequent two movies in the Purge series focus on the stories of different people dealing with the purge. The First Purge chronicles the first controversial purge experiment on Staten Island.

Instead of giving the audience the story they asked for, The First Purge continued to set its focus on following a group of people's individual experiences during this sanctioned 12-hour period of chaos. Since The Forever Purge will continue the story forward in time, likely branching off to solve problems after Election Year, the upcoming film likely will not be able to resolve the missed opportunity from The First Purge. Failing to provide that background will likely set up The Purge franchise for a disappointing ending, as the origin of Purge Night is still a question that needs resolution and a more detailed response.


The First Purge gives a few hints as to how the annual purge started and expands on The Purge's overall timeline. In the franchise's alternate universe, a group called The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) rises up and becomes more powerful than any other existing political party in the United States. Publicly, the purge was meant to act as a release so general crime rates would go down every other day of the year. But, as the NFFA skewed the results of the first purge so the results of the experiment appeared to be a success, it's clear the purge was really created as a release for a select few citizens β€” namely, the affluent, wealthy, and privileged.

The First Purge would have been better served if it had instead chronicled the events that led up to the first purge instead of following that night itself. The NFFA was key in the creation of the event, but they were formed off-screen. A movie that focused on the rise of the group would've acted as a truer prequel instead of just showing yet another purge, which viewers criticized for feeling repetitive by the franchise's fourth movie. However, as The Purge television show has been canceled and the upcoming The Purge 5 has been confirmed to be a sequel instead of a prequel, the series will likely never divulge the true origin of the purge because they can't necessarily go back in time without confusing the narrative.

Passing over the chance to fully explain the beginning of the annual purge is a wasted opportunity. The decision to forgo this highlighted The Purge franchise's ongoing issues with redundancy. If The Forever Purge doubled back and really dove into the beginnings of the purge, it'd risk seeming too similar to The First Purge. However, if the series continues in its expected pattern and chronicles the story of yet another Purge Night, the movie could easily become a forgettable retelling of the same plots from before. Simply put, the final Purge movie is being set up for failure, which could have all been avoided if The First Purge actually offered an explanation of the purge's origin, as prequel movies are meant to do.

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