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This weekend, one of Sylvester Stallone's most iconic film characters, John Rambo, will take what appears to be his last ride in the new film Rambo: Last Blood. Rambo first hit the screen back in 1982 and while the near 40 year journey might be ending for Stallone, that doesn't mean that the story is truly over for Rambo, as the actor would love to see a Rambo prequel happen.
We first meet John Rambo in 1982's First Blood after he has already been through the horrors of the Vietnam War. It's clear the experience has had a permanent impact on the man's soul. Sylvester Stallone says he'd like to see a movie go back and show the person that Rambo was before Vietnam made him the man we know. According to Stallone...
I always thought of Rambo when he was 16 or 17 – I hope they can do the prequel – he was the best person you could find. He was the captain of the team; he was the most popular kid in school; super athlete. He was like Jim Thorpe, and the war is what changed him. If you saw him before, he was like the perfect guy.
None of the movies, or the novel the first film is based on, ever really give us any indication what sort of man John Rambo was before ending up in Vietnam. However, Stallone tells ScreenRant that he apparently has a very clear idea of who Rambo was before he was drafted. He was the all-American boy.
It's stated in Rambo III that Rambo's exceptional abilities in combat came more from natural talent than training, the training just perfected what was already there, so it would stand to reason that he was an incredible athlete, but the idea that John Rambo was the most popular kid in school really doesn't match with the man we see in the films, but then, of course, that's the point. War has changed him forever.
While prequels often seem like a last ditch effort to pull more success from a popular franchise when there's nowhere left for the story to go, a prequel to Rambo doesn't necessarily sound like the craziest idea. We know this character has a story from earlier in his life, we're not inventing one, and watching this super popular, super talented, kid go through the experience of training and war that turned him into the killing machine that he became would certainly be full of drama.
There's plenty of opportunity here for action, which the Rambo series truly embraced in its sequels, but we could also see a lot of the personal drama, and trauma, that was key to First Blood as we watch this man who is so, unfortunately, good at his job, come to terms with his own actions and become a prisoner of war.
Perhaps, if Rambo: Last Blood does well at the box office, we could see a prequel. Before we see the beginning of the story, however, it's time to see the end. Last Blood is in theaters Friday.