Starz announced the prequel series we’ve all asked for: ‘Power: Origins’ — the Ghost and Tommy story

OPINION: If the new series about the early days of Ghost and Tommy is as good as the series about Kanan, we’re in for another thrilling Queens, N.Y., story. 

Actors Joseph Sikora (L) and Omari Hardwick speak onstage during the 'Power' panel at the Starz portion of the 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Starz recently announced its fourth spinoff from the uber-successful “Power” series: “Power: Origins,” which follows “Power Book II: Ghost” (Tariq’s post-“Power” story), “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Kanan’s origin story) and “Power Book IV: Force” (Tommy’s post-“Power” story). 

Once we realized we were getting all of these spin-offs (including the eventually canceled “Power Book V: Influence,” which was supposed to center politician Rashad Tate’s story — he showed up in “Power Book II” instead), every conversation I’ve had with anybody willing to talk about the show was if and when we were going to get a series that explained to us how Jamie “Ghost” St. Patrick and Tommy Eagan became friends and eventually the drug kingpins that they were when “Power” started. How did these two kids from Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., ascend to the top of the drug food chain in New York City? 

I, for one, am really glad we’re going to get some answers. While Tommy and Ghost’s relationship deteriorated over the course of “Power’s” six seasons, when the show started, they were thick as thieves and mostly on the same page. I say mostly because Tommy was an absolute hothead and Ghost was clearly the more even-keeled, front-facing arm of their drug-dealing organization. Tommy was the enforcer and enforcers need some reeling in, but he and Ghost were absolute brothers, and Ghost’s family was Tommy’s family. By the time the show ended, however, Tommy was about to kill Ghost, wanted Ghost’s son Tariq dead and was pretty much out on the whole St. Patrick family. Oh, and Tommy also killed Ghost’s boo, Angela, while unsuccessfully trying to kill Ghost. 

Let’s just say, their relationship fell apart. It reminds me of Jay-Z’s song “D’Evils” from his 1996 debut album, “Reasonable Doubt,” where Jay raps about how he could never foresee his and his best friend’s relationship ending over business and money, to the point where in this fictional story, he kidnapped his best friend’s baby momma in an attempt to find his former partner. At some point, that relationship was good and fruitful. Or think of Nino Brown and Gee Money in “New Jack City.” 

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It’s also wild to think about three friends, Jamie (he apparently became Ghost when Angela left for school and their paths separated), Tommy and Angela hanging out as kids only to eventually all be on a quest to trap and catch one another, leaving only one of them alive … BECAUSE of their friendship, or lack thereof. 

I’m also really curious how Kanan fits into this whole picture. I can’t lie, I’ve been WAITING to see some glimpse of the Ghost and Tommy on “Raising Kanan.” I don’t know much about Queens, but now I’m really curious to see how they enter Kanan’s orbit. Kanan is from South Jamaica, which seems like a world away from Forest Hills; Kanan was their mentor in the drug game. Also, young Tasha will be fun to see in this mix as well. 

Probably my favorite reason we’re getting this particular prequel is this: “Raising Kanan” is so well done — shouts out to executive producer Sascha Penn and the whole team behind it — from the fashion to the look to the feel of what early 1990s New York City looked like (in my head — I’d never stepped foot in New York City until June 2001) that the nostalgia alone makes the show worth watching. “Origins” would have to continue in that tradition. While I have no idea how old Ghost and Tommy will be when this show starts, it will likely be in the late ’90s or early aughts, a time I’m very, very familiar with. The music and style of the era, plus the internet, made New York (and every other city and sound) available to us all. Early ’90s New York is a time I romanticize, but early aughts New York is a time I experienced. Point is, I’m excited for the continuous trip down memory lane. 

But if I’m being honest, the most significant thing I’m looking to have addressed in this new spinoff is this: 

I really want to know who or why Tommy was introduced to the phrase “cancel Christmas,” a phrase that led to the eventual demise of everything in the world of Ghost, Tommy, Angela and Tasha. I want to know where that phrase came from and who was the first person to cancel Christmas on Tommy so much that he made it part of his lexicon. I will watch the entire season not only to see the choices made (like Ghost NOT going to a prestigious school and instead staying in Queens because of Tommy) and how he and Tasha came to be but mostly to get an answer to the question of canceled Christmases.

I can’t wait. 

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest), but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said: “Unknown” (Blackest).

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