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Spoilers ahead for Sonic the Hedgehog.
Video game adaptations have had a colorful history in movie theaters. Countless video game movies have been flops throughout the years, including classics like Super Mario Bros. to more modern attempts like Assassin's Creed and Warcraft. But there have been a few exceptions to this rule, including recent animated/live-action fusions Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog. The latter blockbuster had a rocky road to theaters, but became a critical and box office success after its release. Although fans are wondering: why wasn't Super Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds included?
The Chaos Emeralds are major macguffins in the Sonic video games. Those who are able to collect each gem are given ultimate power, which pits Dr. Robotnik against Sonic and his friends in a never-ending conflict. Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler was recently asked why these elements of the game were left out of the movie, to which he said:
It didn't make sense to obviously bring in the Super Sonic thing just yet. I mean, there were very early versions of the script and the outlines where... because we knew that's something that's very important in the fan mythology, or the mythology that fans love. And Chaos Emeralds are definitely a huge part, even going back to the first game in '91, and it was definitely something that we were kind of trying to see. Like, ‘Does it make sense to include one of these?’
Well, that certainly clears things up. It looks like Jeff Fowler and company didn't want to overcomplicate the Sonic movie on its first outing. There's a rich story behind the blue blur's life in games, and overstuffing the comedy blockbuster would have been a misstep.
Jeff Fowler's comments to Comic Book help to peel back the curtain to Sonic the Hedgehog's development. Fowler and writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller had quite the task ahead of them, given the title character's iconography and the genre's rocky history in theaters. They had to decide how to change Sonic for the big screen, and how much of his lore to include in the new blockbuster. And as a result, some famous game mechanics were left by the wayside.
The Chaos Emeralds are often major objective in the Sonic video games. Not unlike the Infinity Stones, the Emeralds grant massive power to those who can successfully accrue all seven. When the speedy blue protagonist does this, he transforms into the golden Super Sonic and has increased speed and even the ability to fly.
Ultimately Sonic the Hedgehog's narrative was a bit more simple, allowing the title character to develop a relationship with the human characters. Sonic's buddies also didn't factor into the story, although fans are hoping that a video game might unite the likes of Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and the like. Especially after Tails got his quick cameo at the film's end.
Sonic the Hedgehog is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies