The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Hunger Games Prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Finally Hit Theaters


  “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” features an amazing cast along with a plot that left the audience speechless. Photo collage courtesy of Arts & Entertainment co-editor Vyolet Burrus

  Many students at San Luis Obispo High School are familiar with the Hunger Games franchise, whether they’ve fallen in love with the original books or they’re a fan of the movies. When “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was released as a prequel to the popular series in 2020, the love for the series was reignited for many fans. After three years of the prequel’s original publication, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” film was finally released in late November 2023. 

  “[‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’] provides a good background for the original movies and it shows more about what happens in the Capital and the beginning of the games,” said sophomore Roslyn Risner.

  The first installment of the Hunger Games franchise was released in 2008 by author Suzanne Collins, who later released books two and three of the series in 2009 and 2010. These books are set in the dystopian future of Panem, where the ruins of North America have been distributed into twelve districts ruled by the Capital. 

  In order to establish control as well as provide entertainment for the nation, the Capital forces each of the twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl as tributes for the deadly Hunger Games; a televised event in which the tributes fight to the death so one may emerge as a wealthy victor.

  The main series follows Katniss Everdeen, a girl from the impoverished district twelve, as she fights to survive in the games while protecting those she loves. 

  “I like how [the original movies] show both sides of humanity. Fear and violence can can affect a person when they’re in a desperate situation, but also when you care about someone that can carry you to places you wouldn’t have thought,” said sophomore Abby Wren.

  These three books were later turned into movies in the 2010s, and in 2020 the prequel novel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was published before being released as a movie late this year.

  The new book followed the young Coriolanus Snow (who in the main series is the power hungry president of Panem) in the tenth annual Hunger Games where he is assigned to mentor a tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird. 

  “The best part of the new movie is the amazing character development and arcs of already known characters,” said Risner.

  Snow is the primary antagonist in the main series and with the new movie fans have gained a greater understanding of how he lost his humanity and became the villain they love to hate.

  “People should go see it if they enjoyed the previous Hunger Games movies. The acting was great and keeps you on the edge of your seat even if [you know what happens because] you’ve read the books,” said Risner.

  Tigers, head to the theaters because “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is definitely worth watching!


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Vyolet Burrus, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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