For various reasons, this does not always happen. In the movie series Star Wars, the first movie was Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). It was followed by three prequels, which were Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999); Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
For correct use, the term 'prequel' is only applied when work is part of a series, and when the later publication refers to an earlier time. It is an old idea, but one which is often used today for drama on movie and television. The Cypria, a work of Ancient Greek literature, is a prequel to Homer's Iliad. A related idea is the back-story, which is the background story of a main story or character.
- Churchill, Winston S. 1948–1953. The Second World War. 6 vols, Macmillan, London.