The Prequel Super Editions are four installments of the Warrior Cats franchise that explore the world of the Clans before a young kittypet named Rusty wandered into the forest. Each book focuses on one of the four warrior Clans, showing the events of the time from four different viewpoints. Each book also contains a short manga drawn by James L. Barry that touches on the events of the main series.
The first book, Bluestar's Prophecy, was released on July 28, 2009 as a follow-up to the first Super Edition, Firestar's Quest. It focuses on the events that took place in ThunderClan from Bluestar's birth up to her first glimpse of Rusty.
The second book, Crookedstar's Promise, was released July 5, 2011, (its creation was theorized by fans to be due to Crookedstar's surprising performance in the 2008 Ultimate Leader Election popularity contest), and focuses on events in RiverClan, while also showing Crookedstar's side of some of the scenes from Bluestar's Prophecy. It is notably the only Prequel Super Edition to not feature Firestar, and the only Super Edition to not mention him.
The third book, Yellowfang's Secret, was released October 9, 2012, and tells ShadowClan's story. It is the only Super Edition that does not star a Clan leader (likely because Raggedstar dies four moons before Into the Wild and because Brokenstar is a villain), and also the only one where the main character's death is not shown. It also attempts to tie the first series to the SkyClan saga.
The fourth and final book, Tallstar's Revenge, was released July 2, 2013, and tells the tale of WindClan. It also involves tunneling, which was mentioned in Battles of the Clans, and shows the Clan cats to be aware of their roots, as a tie-in to the Dawn of the Clans arc.
A 2015 Super Edition has also been announced, and is rumoured to be another Prequel Super Edition focusing on the Tribe of Rushing Water, or Mothflight, the first medicine cat.
Some short stories featuring the characters from the Prequel Super Editions also appears in the Field Guides, and Vicky has expressed desire to do an e-book focusing on ThunderClan medicine cat Goosefeather.
Spoiler Warning: Because the Super Editions involve characters interwoven with the backstory of the main series and features events from the main series, this page will contain Unmarked Spoilers for The Original Series and Starlight.
The Prequel Super Editions contain examples of:
- Abusive Parents: In Crookedstar's Promise, Crookedstar's mother Rainflower is pretty irredeemably bad where he is concerned. She dotes on him when he's a young kit, but after he is disfigured she stops loving him. Rainflower forces Stormkit to sleep in a different nest from her and his brother and also convinces Hailstar to change his name to Crookedkit.
- A Day in the Limelight: The prequel Super Editions give spotlight to Bluestar, Crookedstar, Yellowfang, and Tallstar, who, although they have had varying degrees of importance in the main series, had never starred in a book before.
- Arc Welding: Yellowfang's Secret reveals that Brokenstar's reign was penance the Clans had to pay for driving SkyClan out. How well it works is up to the reader.
- Ascended Extra: Crookedstar was a minor character who died in book five of The Original Series. In the prequel Super Editions, he gets his own book, is a major character in Bluestar's Prophecy, and has cameo roles in Yellowfang's Secret and Tallstar's Revenge.
- Big Bad: There are obviously villains, although each book contains its own villain rather than having a single central antagonist.
- Bluestar's Prophecy has Thistleclaw, whose bloodlust and desire to rule ThunderClan place him in direct opposition to Bluestar.
- Crookedstar's Promise has Mapleshade. While she appears to care for Crookedstar, she's actually very bitter and using him to fuel her own vengeance. Crookedstar overcoming Mapleshade's impact on his life is a central theme in the book.
- Yellowfang's Secret first has Marmalade, a rogue attacking ShadowClan. However, he stops appearing about halfway in, and the real villain Brokenstar is born in the last third. Brokenstar's villainous schemes allow him to become the leader of ShadowClan and Yellowfang has to fight to stop him.
- Tallstar's Revenge has this subverted. Before the book was released, readers expected either Hawkheart (WindClan's medicine cat, who killed Bluestar's mother and resides in the Dark Forest) or Sandgorse's killer (due to the blurb stating that Tallstar left WindClan to avenge his father) to be the antagonist. However, the book is about forgiveness, and Hawkheart is a rather minor character, so there actually is no main antagonist. However, if you're one of those people, you could say that the Big Bad is Cedarstar, who leads plot-critical attacks on WindClan and is essentially the Final Boss.
- Distant Finale:
- The last few chapters of Bluestar's Prophecy take place a while after Bluestar becomes deputy, first showing her nine lives ceremony and then skipping ahead a few more years to just before the beginning of Into the Wild.
- Crookedstar's Promise skips ahead to a few moons before the Original Series for its last chapters, and then the manga skips ahead a while later to show events spanning from Forest of Secrets to halfway through A Dangerous Path.
- The last chapter of Tallstar's Revenge takes place about two years or so after the end of the main story, showing his leadership ceremony. It also has the biggest gap between last chapter and manga, its manga taking place a third of the way through Starlight, which is years and years after Tallstar becomes leader of WindClan.
- The Empath: In Yellowfang's Secret, Yellowfang is bizarrely revealed to be able to feel the pain of other cats. It doesn't make sense within the verse, and is only used to make her become a medicine cat.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Bluestar's Prophecy has one for its villain, Thistleclaw. He was a fairly normal, if annoying kit and apprentice, but then his sister Sweetpaw died and he became more violent. He managed to contain his grief, for the most part. However, then his mate Snowfur died while on a walk with Bluestar, and Bluestar, who should have looked after Whitestorm in Snowfur's stead, completely ignored him. Then, she suddenly starts telling him that he's a bad father, causing him to hate her even more. All the while, his grief is causing him to become more and more violent. It's expanded on in Crookedstar's Promise where we find out that Thistleclaw was training in the Dark Forest, and the other cats there were manipulating him and making him think that only the strongest would survive.
- Bluestar's Prophecy also has a small one for series villain Tigerstar. His father Pinestar left the Clan to be a kittypet shortly after his birth. This caused Tigerstar to hate kittypets all throughout his life.
- Bluestar's Prophecy also touches on Scourge's freudian excuse. Bluestar witnesses Tigerpaw brutally beating a young Scourge, which lead to Scourge's burning desire for revenge.
- Near the end of Crookedstar's Promise, we learn that Mapleshade has one. She was once a ThunderClan warrior (fanon has her as deputy) involved in a forbidden romance with a RiverClan tom. Both of them had vowed to only ever love each other, and Mapleshade gave birth to his kits, who she thought were perfect. However, when ThunderClan learned of Mapleshade's forbidden relationship, they exiled her. She attempted to carry her kits across the river to RiverClan, but they drowned and RiverClan also cast her out. As well, her former mate took another she-cat, this time from RiverClan, as a new mate, all the while blaming Mapleshade for the death of the kits that had had together. Mapleshade snapped and did something horrible for revenge, causing her to go to the Dark Forest after her death. She later learned that her former mate's great-grandson was destined to become RiverClan's leader, while her kits would be forgotten by history. Enraged once more, she tried to wreck his life as vengeance. However, we learn all this from her, so Unreliable Narrator might apply.
- Subverted in Yellowfang's Secret. Brokenstar seems like he's going to have one, but he actually had a pretty decent life and was just a bad cat at heart.
- Manipulative Bastard:
- Mapleshade in Crookedstar's Promise, who manipulates Crookedstar so that he falls into the depths of despair.
- Sagewhisker in Yellowfang's Secret. She constantly tells Yellowfang that she can't be a warrior because of her power, and has to become a medicine cat. She berates Yellowfang for "selfishly" staying a warrior and not becoming a medicine cat every time she sees her. And when Yellowfang finally caves to her and becomes a medicine cat, Sagewhisker's first lesson is how to control her power so that it doesn't distract her.
- Raggedstar in Yellowfang's Secret manipulates Yellowfang's emotions to get her back together with him.
- Meaningful Rename:
- In Crookedstar's Promise, we find out that Crookedstar's original name was Stormkit, but it got changed to Crookedkit when he broke his jaw.
- Tallstar's Revenge reveals that Deadfoot was named Hopkit as a kit, but his apprentice name was Deadpaw, after his, well, dead paw.
- Prequel: Well obviously. They take place before The Original Series and explain how the situation their became what it was. Amusingly, each successive book starts at an earlier point that the book before it, and eventually culminating in Tallstar's Revenge, where the main story ends before Bluestar is even born.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Bluestar's Prophecy tells events from ThunderClan's point of view, and features scenes involving ThunderClan and RiverClan's eternal fight over who gets Sunningrocks and Bluestar's friendship with Crookedstar. Crookedstar's Promise shows the fights over Sunningrocks from RiverClan's point of view, and retells the Crookedstar scenes from his perspective. Yellowfang doesn't feature very much in either of those books, however, so Yellowfang's Secret only gets to mention ShadowClan's view on certain events (such as ThunderClan's attack on WindClan's medicine supplies). It's completely subverted with Tallstar's Revenge, as while Tallstar appears in Crookedstar's Promise and Yellowfang's Secret, and everyone was expecting to see his point of view in ThunderClan's attack on WindClan, his book actually takes place earlier than the other three and doesn't involve their events.
- In Crookedstar's Promise, Mapleshade reveals that her goal is to get revenge on the descendents of her former mate, who rejected her and took another mate.
- Tallstar's Revenge has this in the title, so it's obviously. The eponymous revenge is Tallstar leaving WindClan to hunt down Sparrow, who he blames for the death of his father.
- Second Love:
- In Crookedstar's Promise, it's revealed that the great-grandmother of Crookedstar and Oakheart was one for their great-grandfather. He was originally together with Mapleshade, but he left her after their relationship was exposed and dissolved.
- In Tallstar's Revenge, Palebird gets together with Woollytail after losing her mate Sandgorse to a cave-in.
- Secret Relationship: They wouldn't be Warriors books without it.
- Bluestar's Prophecy and Crookedstar's Promise both have Bluestar and Oakheart, cats from different Clans, having an affair in secret.
- In Crookedstar's Promise, we find out that the WindClan deputy Reedfeather and the RiverClan warrior Fallowtail were secretly together.
- Crookedstar's Promise also reveals that Mapleshade was in one with Crookedstar's great-grandfather, and became a villain when things went sour.
- And in Yellowfang's Secret, there's Yellowfang and Raggedstar.
- Series Continuity Error: Plenty. Some of the worse ones:
- In Yellowfang's Secret Mudfur becomes Brambleberry's apprentice when he's Mudpaw. But in Crookedstar's Promise he becomes her apprentice as an adult, after fighting ThunderClan for Sunninrocks after his mate dies.
- In the same book, when WindClan and ShadowClan are fighting, Talltail and Shrewclaw are present, but Shrewclaw is called Shrewpaw, despite those two becoming warriors at the same time.
- In Bluestar's Prophecy One-eye and Dappletail are younger than Speckletail, but in The Prophecies Begin they're older than she is.
- Starts with Their Funeral: The prologue of Bluestar's Prophecy is about Bluestar's Heroic Sacrifice in A Dangerous Path from her own point of view. The book then moves back and explains how she became Clan leader.