I have an idea I'm working on, where there's a huge backstory that I'm not sure how to deal with.
In my particular case, the backstory and main story are these:
The backstory begins as stereotypical “Hero” plotline, whereas a boy starts from nothing, gains companions, and goes to save the world. However, his seven companions betray him at the climax of the story where they defeat the clichéd villain that is the source of all evil in the world, who turns out to be a construct designed by his seven “companions” to gain the rest of humanities trust, requiring someone blinded by justice to act as their mask.
The "main" story begins two thousand years later, with this protagonist somehow being resurrected. His history has turned him cold, and he directly avoids the path of a hero – attempting to avoid those similar to his previous seven companions and eventually to him being the one to betray his companions themselves.
I’m currently conflicted between three different ideas:
Creating an entire book or half of a book, playing out the backstory, the hero’s constructed ‘fake’ journey, as a sort of ‘Volume 0’
Summarizing the backstory in a prologue (Yes, I know. ‘ugh’), where I feel I can quickly juxtapose the "heroism" of the story with the pain and shock the protagonist feels at his betrayal.
Skipping the backstory, beginning the story with the protagonist having no memories, and building the world and his memories fresh.
The primary advantage of the first idea is that I don’t believe it’s been done before, and it's a dramatic, effective story. However, since the primary story I want to tell is a very different thing - it revolves more around creating a nation and the intrinsic business, economic, and technological sides of it, which is all very different from the betrayal arc – I’m unsure if it would throw the readers off too much, or bore the readers with a semi clichéd story at the start.
This issue is slightly patched in the second idea, as it’s far shorter; however I don’t know if the readers would be emotionally attached enough to the companions to feel the weight of a betrayal, where the readers wouldn’t relate fully to the main character.
In the third option however, while it would seem the most relatable and allow me to jump to the bulk of the nation building, I fear that simply jumping into the story may seem again clichéd and also confuse the reader not making them emotionally attached enough.
Of course, one option I could potentially create is simply writing option 1 for my own reference, using option 2 alongside option 3 to deepen the story, and perhaps release option 1 for further backstory.
In general, I’m wondering if there is any other cases similar to this, or at least similar to option 1.