17 May 2012

Throwback Thursday: The Tripods

For this throwback series, I've reworked some classics for contemporary times. Well here's one that will require no work at all because it's pretty much exactly the direction YA is going anyway. Someone whip up some new covers and re-release already! Most of these throwback ideas practically write themselves but with this one, I think it literally already did. I mean, seriously, read the synopsis for The White Mountains:
"Long ago, the Tripods -- huge, three-legged machines -- descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods' power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives. But for a brief time in each person's life -- in childhood -- he is not a slave.

For Will, his time of freedom is about to end -- unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists. The Tripods trilogy follows the adventures of Will and his cohorts, as they try to evade the Tripods and maintain their freedom and ultimately do battle against them."
The story goes on to detail how Will and his friends go around usurping the powers that be and save the world or something. I dunno, who can remember what happens; I read this so long ago. My point is, there's not much you'd have to do with these books to bring them back into prominence. I can smell a movie deal already. And an accompanying video game. I mean, check out this screencap of a Colossus from Starcraft 2. Tell me that's not a Tripod -- with Extended Thermal Lance no less. Devastating stuff, I assure you.

Sure, we could tweak things a little, if we wanted to, seeing as it isn't 1967 anymore. For example, I don't recall if there was a prominent love story but we'll go ahead and inject one. Maybe Will can fall in love with an alien. Or better yet, his "cousin" Henry will secretly be an alien -- but not realize it until later of course. Big twist, pre-spoiler spoiler alert!

And their friend, Jean-Paul, who is currently just plain jane French -- Will and Henry are Brits -- doesn't really qualify as diverse these days. So we'll just go ahead and rename him "Samad" and make him Bangladeshi. I know, that saddens me too, but we must make a hat tip to contrasting colors in these modern times. (Useless fact: When I took French in middle school, I picked "Jean-Paul" as my nickname specifically because of these books. Oh, the whims of the young.)

If we wanted to get real fancy, we could give the trio some super powers or something. But that might be taking it too far afield. I think we should keep it pretty old school and not remix too much. Overall, what do you think? Would you read a post-apocalyptic adventure story featuring mysterious tentacle-y overlords, anachronistic artifacts, and the enslavement of the human race?

Oh wait, you've read four of those in the past year already? Well then...