Knuckles and the Sonic Movies Timeline, Explained

Paramount+’s ‘Knuckles’ brings back the beloved extraterrestrial echidna Knuckles from the Sonic universe. Introduced in the second ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie, it is one of the most important characters in the Sonic universe and also one of the most interesting ones. The film itself sees him go through a remarkable character arc, but there is so much more to Knuckles’ story that is yet to be explored. This is where the TV miniseries comes in.

Because Sonic’s universe is so expansive, the stories can go either way and still have a lot to tell. This might leave the fans wondering where the Knuckles TV series fits in the Sonic universe timeline and what impact will the events of the TV show have on the upcoming Sonic movies. SPOILERS AHEAD

Knuckles TV Show is Set Between Sonic 2 and 3

When Knuckles was introduced in the second ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ film, he had already been through a lot. The character has a rich backstory, with a lot of events that can be focused upon in a miniseries, and a lot of which will most likely be explored in the future films. The TV show, however, is more of a breather between the second film and the third instalment which is set to be released in December 2024.

By the end of the second Sonic film, Knuckles has turned from an enemy to a friend, and at the beginning of the TV series, we find him living with the Wachowskis, along with Sonic and Tails. He still has a long way to go in learning about the human ways and what life looks like on Earth. The TV series gives him space to go through that adjustment, become more familiar with his surroundings, and forge some strong connections, all of which will become imperative in the events of the next film.

The TV series was also specifically planned to exist between the second and the third film for several reasons. First, the creative mind behind Sonic wanted to do something the games had done about three decades ago. In 1994, Sega released Sonic’s third installment in two parts, titled ‘Sonic 3’ and ‘Sonic & Knuckles’ as part of one overall arch. As a nod to this move, the film’s creators decided to choose the same route with the second and third installments of the film series. With Tails and Knuckles fully introduced in the second film, they are ready to expand the Sonic universe with the third film, which will see the arrival of Shadow.

As the universe of Sonic expands, the filmmakers are completely aware of the scale at which the following movies are going to take the story. It isn’t simply about introducing the new characters but also about being able to have all these important characters in the same space without compromising on the arc of any of them, much like in the Avengers movies. Sonic’s creators took a page from the MCU in this context and decided to take a detour with the TV show to get more into the depths of Knuckles as a character, especially outside of Sonic, something that wouldn’t be possible in the movies. The TV show allowed them the space to give the supporting characters the grounds to evolve so that by the time the next film comes around, the audience will already be familiar with the changes in their character.

Actor Idris Elba, who voices Knuckles in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ and the TV show ‘Knuckles,’  hinted that the miniseries is a step towards something much bigger in the third Sonic film. Without giving away any spoilers, he revealed that the film is full of Easter eggs, specifically laid out for the die-hard fans of Sonic, and will lead up to some very interesting things. Considering all that’s to come, it makes sense that they decided to give Knuckles his own TV show.

Another thing that the TV series allowed the creators of the Sonic franchise was to tap into the variety of storytelling they’ve been experimenting with since the beginning. They tagged the first Sonic as a buddy comedy movie and the second more in line with the Indiana Jones adventures. With the Knuckles TV show, they tapped into the genre of the 90s comedies, which not only gave something fresh to the audience but also put Knuckles in a different situation, helping his character grow.

While the Sonic series could have easily been a prequel, diving into Knuckles’ backstory before the events of the films, it actually works better as a bridge between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. Another clever thing about the show is that while its events have a huge impact on Knuckles as a character, it doesn’t really seem to affect the overall arc of the story, which means that even if the audience misses the show, they will not feel left out while watching the third Sonic. With this, the film and show’s creators fulfill the dual purpose, which is a great win-win for Knuckles.

Read More: Sonic 4 Begins Filming in the UK Early Next Year