The Vaue of Persistent Universe Mechanics

I touched on this earlier with my Harry Potter post but I feel it has value to be examined in further detail as to what I mean.

Star Wars/Star Trek

Normally I would run a mile when examining things like this because anyone (and I mean anyone) who is a hardcore fan of these films/series gets very worked up when an outsider deigns to write a piece on them but here goes...

I have picked these two as they are probably the best known to the general public. Both have spawned a mythology that vastly exceeds the core body of work that originally existed, and that in turn has lead to the official production of more material that continues to perpetuate that world. For example there are ship plans for the various craft that appear, languages, races with physiology and cultures, history that far exceeds what the original creators ever laid out for them. What is particularly interesting is that even when there is no official material being produced these universes continue to expand and grow organically through the input of fans - internet forums, conventions, all these add to the sense that these 'exist' and continue to be fleshed out.

In the case of Star Wars it is particularly interesting that George Lucas went back in time with his films to flesh out the pre-history rather than going forward and expanding on what happened to the Empire after the rebels won. Did the rebels take control? Did the Empire cling on to power? I know that there are some books out there that expand on these possibilities but what Lucas did very cleverly is leave it open ended. Star Trek is the same. There is no overall goal in Star Trek to be achieved. It just goes on.

Harry Potter

This is where Rowling failed so utterly. She tacked an ending on to satisfy herself without any real understanding of what this would do to the fan base. To have left it open ended would have given rise to an infinite number of possibilities. Did the Death Eaters all fade away? Did the Ministry stay as it was? What did Harry do once he had completed his tasks? It wasn't as if she caught up with them a year after, or a couple of years down the line. Effectively with this trite ending she had written off a significant chunk of the principle characters lives with a stroke of her pen.

It is so a missed creative opportunity to expand on the whole world she had spent 7 books establishing, to expand on the hints of mythology she had given glimpses of. An infinite world of possibility ended at the stroke of a pen.

Was it a lack of will or ideas I wonder?