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Old January 24 2011, 06:41 PM   #1
Mutara Nebula 1967
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Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Generally I feel it's kind of a betrayal to the fans who followed a character through the original and sequels (if they don't buy it in the first sequel).

Probably the most (SPOILERS) egregious example is Laurie Strode in the Halloween movies. They actually had her killed off screen between 2 & 4 but was later retconned as a cover story for her to leave Haddonfield. So after surviving that horrible night in 1978...21 years later she dies trying to kill Michael in Halloween 8. Laurie should have been left alive. (I suppose there is still a chance she lived after being stabbed and falling off that building but Halloween has now morphed into a new continuity).

Same thing for THE HITCHER 2..all those years later they bring C. Thomas Howell back....to die?

The only movie where it worked was Psycho 2...I didn't want Lila Crane Loomis to die but the film set up Norman Bates as almost the "hero" so Lila was offed as kind of a retribution for "persecuting" Norman (well he did murder her sister after all! So I was on Lila's side).

Anyway I was just wondering what others thought of this practice.
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Old January 24 2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

One of the thing many people hated about Alien 3 was that it killed off - offscreen, too - Hicks, Newt etc. Thus effectively making all of Ripley's efforts to protect them in Aliens pointless. When you watch her fight the Alien Queen at the end of Aliens, you know it's all in vain, as they're going to die in the following space journey.

Apparently the journalist character Knox was supposed to die in the first draft of Batman Returns, but the actor didn't want to return to be bumped off, so he was left out of the movie entirely.

On the other hand, the killing of Rachel in The Dark Knight made for a very powerful sequel, the fact that we had seen her as a character in Batman Begins (even as a child) making her loss even more poignant and disturbing.

I think it may be the offscreen or throwaway death that bothers people most. Again, looking at a sequel to a James Cameron classic, killing Sarah Connor off by cancer 'between' T2 and T3 rankled, as did the 'death' of Xander Cage, mentioned in xXx2 - though he may return in a third movie, apparently. (No-one really could complain about Henry Jones dying offscreen in KOTCS because logically, the character would be unlikely to be still alive into the mid 1950s). Whereas if a character is given proper screen time and a proper send-off, I think people will be more accepting of it.
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Old January 24 2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
One of the thing many people hated about Alien 3 was that it killed off - offscreen, too - Hicks, Newt etc. Thus effectively making all of Ripley's efforts to protect them in Aliens pointless. When you watch her fight the Alien Queen at the end of Aliens, you know it's all in vain, as they're going to die in the following space journey.
See, I love that they killed of Hicks and Newt because it made Ripley's story in Alien 3 that much more tragic. No matter what she does, she can't win.
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Old January 24 2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

^ But it was such a shitty, offhand manner to do it, without even bringing back Michael Biehn or re-casting Newt (the original actress would have been too old to reprise the role, obviously).

The killing of Ripley herself was actually well done, oddly enough.
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Old January 24 2011, 10:30 PM   #5
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
One of the thing many people hated about Alien 3 was that it killed off - offscreen, too - Hicks, Newt etc. Thus effectively making all of Ripley's efforts to protect them in Aliens pointless. When you watch her fight the Alien Queen at the end of Aliens, you know it's all in vain, as they're going to die in the following space journey.
See, I love that they killed of Hicks and Newt because it made Ripley's story in Alien 3 that much more tragic. No matter what she does, she can't win.

But it just cheapens all of Aliens to do it. Ripley had the tragedy of everyone she ever knew being gone, but by the end there was some hope. She had saved the day, and the survivors had formed a sort of family unit. It seemed, though she had lost everything, she had gained something else in return. There was no poignancy to killing Newt or Hicks. The only purpose is served on film was to jettison excess baggage. It created despair for the sake of despair and it casts a gloomy shadow on the whole rest of the film. Alien 3 is just a depressing film from start to finish.
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Old January 24 2011, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Eh, I guess it comes down to who it is and how its done. See, when Randy died in Scream 2 I wanted to run out of the cinema in tears, but when Dewey was stabbed and appeared as though he died as well I couldn't care less.

But does provide a unique view of earlier installments. Knowing that it doesn't matter what happens to the character, as they ultimately wind up dead anyway.
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Old January 24 2011, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
One of the thing many people hated about Alien 3 was that it killed off - offscreen, too - Hicks, Newt etc. Thus effectively making all of Ripley's efforts to protect them in Aliens pointless. When you watch her fight the Alien Queen at the end of Aliens, you know it's all in vain, as they're going to die in the following space journey.
See, I love that they killed of Hicks and Newt because it made Ripley's story in Alien 3 that much more tragic. No matter what she does, she can't win.

But it just cheapens all of Aliens to do it. Ripley had the tragedy of everyone she ever knew being gone, but by the end there was some hope. She had saved the day, and the survivors had formed a sort of family unit. It seemed, though she had lost everything, she had gained something else in return. There was no poignancy to killing Newt or Hicks. The only purpose is served on film was to jettison excess baggage. It created despair for the sake of despair and it casts a gloomy shadow on the whole rest of the film. Alien 3 is just a depressing film from start to finish.
And at the end of Alien 3 she died satisfied with the knowledge that the Xenomorphs were dead and that the bad guys would never get their hands on them.

...and then 200 years later she wakes up to find that she'd been cloned and that the bad guys have in fact gotten their hands on the aliens.

It's how Ripley works. Tragedy follows her wherever she goes.
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Old January 24 2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

^Well forgive me if I prefer my characters to have happy endings if they've earned them. Ripley having completely undeserved shit piled onto her over and over and over for the sake of "tragedy" is not entertaining to me.
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Old January 24 2011, 11:52 PM   #9
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

I have no problem with a character being killed off if it serves the story. It's not a sequel, but I'll use the death of Ianto in Torchwood: Children of Earth as an example.

But I agree that I don't like it when a major ongoing character in a film series just conveniently dies off-screen. Because all it says to me is the writers and/or producers were too lazy to a) wait for a certain actor to become available, b) recast the role or c) come up with some way of handling it that doesn't come off as a "by the way, so and so died 5 years ago" type of thing. Terminator 3 is a good example because there really was no reason why Linda Hamilton couldn't have made an appearance, even as a cameo. Salvation takes place much later, so OK, but T3 just felt wrong as a result.

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Old January 24 2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Linda Hamilton didn't want to make T3. That's your reason.
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Old January 25 2011, 12:35 AM   #11
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
Alien 3 is just a depressing film from start to finish.
And yet it's my favourite Alien film.

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
^ But it was such a shitty, offhand manner to do it, without even bringing back Michael Biehn or re-casting Newt (the original actress would have been too old to reprise the role, obviously).
What else could they have done though? At least they die peacefully in their sleep. Awake and wounded, or slain by the Alien would have been worse. Or sent off with the happily on the Sulaco whilst Ripley faced her fate alone? She'd never have known they hadn't been impregnated too.

I love that despite how bleak it is she wins. The extended edit is even darker, since they even catch the beast, for a disturbed Golic to let it out again.
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Old January 25 2011, 03:55 AM   #12
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Mutara Nebula 1967 wrote: View Post
Generally I feel it's kind of a betrayal to the fans who followed a character through the original and sequels (if they don't buy it in the first sequel).


Granted, there are cases when the killing is done badly, but character death is a crucial artistic tool, and your above statement therefore goes much too far in a chilling direction.

Myself, I found The Mummy Returns' whole "Evy is the reincarnation of that Pharaoh's daughter, and thus not entirely herself, and thus not entirely her son's mother" to be one of the grosses character abuses around.

It's the writing and overall quality that makes or breaks sequels, just like originals.


OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
^Well forgive me if I prefer my characters to have happy endings if they've earned them. Ripley having completely undeserved shit piled onto her over and over and over for the sake of "tragedy" is not entertaining to me.
This. A3 would have to be generally regarded as a great work of film to make up for its unpleasantness, but since it isn't, I don't intend on seeing it.

23skidoo wrote: View Post
Terminator 3 is a good example because there really was no reason why Linda Hamilton couldn't have made an appearance, even as a cameo.
It didn't fit with the story, and the thirteen or so years between T2 and 3 is plenty enough time to get sick and die (especially when you've been around the sort of toxic chemicals/weapons Sarah was during her badass years). Life is like that sometimes. The movie paid appropriate tribute to her character, IMO.
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Old January 25 2011, 05:27 AM   #13
RoJoHen
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
^Well forgive me if I prefer my characters to have happy endings if they've earned them. Ripley having completely undeserved shit piled onto her over and over and over for the sake of "tragedy" is not entertaining to me.
You're forgiven.

To each his own. I just happen to really enjoy it. I think part of it is because, yes, I also want Ripley to have a happy ending, so I also feel a sense of tragedy knowing that she'll never get one.
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Old January 25 2011, 05:46 AM   #14
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

Yes, Alien 3 will no doubt be the most controversial example. Honestly, I would have preferred another direction (not that I want a aliens rip-off mind you) but think the film is still entertaining as is.

I think every single character in the first Planet of the Apes film is dead by the end of the third film. It fits the style of the series, but I always found that weird......weirder that they managed to squeeze out two sequels after that, Conquest being one of the better entries.

I agree what was said about KOTCS. Did anyone hate that scene? I thought it really drove home the aging themes, and is one of the better scenes in the film. It was also nice to see a nod to Marcus. Not to open up the endless debates, but I thought the first 40 mins or so of the film (before they leave America) was outstanding.
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Old January 25 2011, 07:22 AM   #15
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Re: Your thoughts on when a character is KILLED of in a sequel.

I love the Halloween series (warts and all - and there are many, many warts), but the Laurie Strode death(s) never bothered me. I mean it's a slasher series and there's only so long you can go without killing a main character before you make the killer seem completely ineffectual.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Jamie Lee Curtis' contract for H20 obligated her to have a cameo appearance in a sequel if they chose to make one. I never got the idea she wanted to be the heroine again.
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