From left, Commander Paylor (Patina Miller), Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Pollux (Elden Henson) in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”
Murray Close, Lionsgate
Fans of The Hunger Games series will be jumping back into the world of Panem with the Nov. 21 theatrical release of “Mockingjay — Part 1."
The first movie of the series, “The Hunger Games,” hit theaters in March 2012 and made $152 million on opening weekend, according to imdb.com. Its sequel, “Catching Fire,” debuted in November 2013 at $158 million.
“Mockingjay — Part 1” is expected to perform similarly. "Part 2" is scheduled for November 2015.
For those who may not be as familiar with Suzanne Collins' book trilogy, here's what you need to know heading into the first leg of the two-part finale.
Katniss Everdeen, who just escaped the Quarter Quell (her second time in the arena where "tributes" are forced to fight to the death) at the end of the film “Catching Fire,” discovers the mystery behind District 13, which was long thought destroyed, and suits up as the symbol of rebellion against the oppressive Capitol. Fellow tribute and (somewhat) love interest Peeta Mellark is now being held captive by the Capitol. New characters such as President Coin, Boggs and members of Squad 451 are introduced in "Mockingjay — Part 1."
In the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, the citizens are divided among 12 districts and controlled by a central Capitol. The Capitol is home to superficial, futuristic citizens who live extravagant lifestyles, made possible by the labors of the districts’ citizens. Each district is in charge of a specific industry, such as textile, technology or agriculture. President Snow runs the Capitol and controls the districts.
In the past, the districts’ citizens revolted against the Capitol and the annual Hunger Games was created as punishment. In the Games, 24 tributes — one boy and one girl from each district — are “reaped” from the 12 districts and sent to an arena created by gamemakers to fight to the death. The Games are aired on television as sport for the Capitol citizens. District citizens are also forced to watch as a reminder to be obedient. Only one victor comes out alive.
Book 1: ‘The Hunger Games’
Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute for the 74th annual Hunger Games when her younger sister, Primrose, has her name drawn from the reaping pool in District 12. Katniss goes to the Capitol with fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark, where she prepares and trains for the Games. Her years spent hunting in the woods — critical for her family’s survival — gives her the advantage with a bow and arrow.
Upon entering the arena, Katniss fights alone, but soon teams up with Rue, a young tribute from District 11 who is eventually killed. Meanwhile, the rules of the Games are changed: tributes can now team up with their fellow district tribute. Katniss finds Peeta and the two fake a romance to win favor with the viewers.
When Katniss and Peeta are the only two tributes left, the rules change again: there will only be one victor. Rather than killing each other, the “star-crossed lovers” spontaneously decide to both eat poisoned berries, threatening to upstage the Capitol. Gamemakers decided to let the two survive because they must have a victor. This act of defiance marks Katniss as a symbol of rebellion.
Book 2: ‘Catching Fire’
Katniss and Peeta must go on a Victory Tour following the 74th annual Hunger Games. From the Capitol, President Snow warns Katniss that he is watching her. In order to protect herself, she must continue to fake her love affair with Peeta, and the two become engaged. However, Peeta’s romantic feelings towards Katniss are genuine.