Few things in the movies are as dramatic as the death of a beloved character. From the death of Mr. Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to the shooting of Bambi’s mother, the most dramatic moments in many movies come from the death of a central character. However, not all deaths in the movies are noble and dignified. In fact, many fictional characters die in downright stupid ways that often make little sense. These deaths leave audiences bewildered and angry. Yet the trend towards killing off important characters continues, so here we look at the 10 fictional characters that died in incredibly stupid ways.
10. Boba Fett – Return of the Jedi (1983)
A fan favorite, and arguably the most popular bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe, Boba Fett first appeared in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back as the bounty hunter who will deliver Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt. In 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett had his role expanded to include a decent fight scene on the planet Tatooine during the movie’s first half. However, fans of the film were disappointed to see Boba Fett get eaten by the dreaded Sarlacc during the fight. Especially disappointing is the fact that the scene is played for laughs, with the Sarlacc belching after swallowing the bounty hunter. Worse, Boba Fett himself let’s out a weak whimper of a scream as he falls into the Sarlacc’s mouth. Surely the most fearsome bounty hunter in the universe deserved better.
9. The T-800 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Virtually indestructible, the T-800 robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgement Day survives a non-stop onslaught of action and carnage in the 1991 film directed by James Cameron. So it seems pretty lame at the end of the film when the T-800 volunteers to be lowered into a pit of molten lava at an iron refinery and destroyed by heroine Sarah Connors (played by actress Linda Hamilton). A too cute by half death, the scene ends with the T-800’s hand emerging from the lava to give a thumbs up and end the movie. Add in some non-stop whining from the teenage John Connor (Played by Edward Furlong), and it all adds up to a lame death and limp ending to a movie that had previously provided non-stop thrills. Not the way you want your indestructible robot from the future to go out.
8. Jonathan Kent – Man of Steel (2013)
Jonathan Kent is the noble farmer who finds a baby Superman after he crash lands on earth, and takes it upon himself to raise the little alien on earth with his wife Martha Kent—naming the child “Clark Kent” and instilling in the youngster all of the middle America, salt of the earth values that you would want in the world’s greatest superhero. In the original 1978 Superman movie, the character of Jonathan Kent dies of a heart attack on the farm, and the dramatic event is the catalyst that sends Clark Kent off the family farm in Smallville and into the bright lights and big city of Metropolis. Going for extra dramatic effect in 2013’s Man of Steel, filmmakers killed Jonathan Kent on a highway using a tornado and flying cars. Can you say “overkill.” This death feels contrived and forced and ends up being less dramatic than the simple, subtle death of the character in the original Superman movie. Worse, the tornado seems to come out of nowhere and is only there for the convenience of killing off poor Jonathan Kent after he’s served his narrative purpose.
7. Deadpool – X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The “Merc with a mouth,” as Deadpool is known, is a favourite of comic book readers and a beloved character in the Marvel universe. Movie studios have tried for more than a decade to give the character his own movie and one is finally scheduled to hit theaters next summer (2016) with actor Ryan Reynolds playing the character. Of course, it won’t be Mr. Reynolds’ first time portraying Deadpool. He first suited up as the character in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Unfortunately, Deadpool was decapitated in that movie after battling both the character Wolverine and his nemesis Sabertooth. Beheading is never a dignified way for a superhero to die, but the decapitation of Deadpool was particularly lame—especially given the fact that an after-the-credits scene in the movie showed the head of Deadpool inexplicably come back to life. This begs the question: Why decapitate the character in the first place? Of course, there is also the question now of how to explain all this and set-up the new standalone Deadpool film? Might be best for the filmmakers to pretend the death never happened.
6. Venom – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
As Spider-Man’s doppelganger, the character Venom is larger than life and a villain fans cannot get enough of. Venom is powerful, evil and scary. When the character is on screen, audiences want more. So it was disappointing when Venom wasn’t introduced into the 2007 film Spider-Man 3 until the final act of the movie. More disappointing was the fact that Venom was so quickly dispatched and killed by one of the Green Goblin’s bombs. Given how powerful and menacing Venom is, the death just didn’t do the character justice. Killing Venom off seemed to be a quick and easy way for the filmmakers to move onto fighting other villains, such as Sandman, and left audiences feeling cheated. To date, this is the only appearance Venom has made in the Spider-Man movie franchise. Here’s hoping the character is resurrected in future movies.
5. Jill Masterson – Goldfinger (1964)
Goldfinger is considered one of the better James Bond films starring Sean Connery as the British secret agent. However, the 1964 films also contains one of the stupidest deaths for any Bond character—notably a “Bond girl.” Jill Masterson (played by Shirley Eaton) is the assistant to the film’s main villain, Auric Goldfinger (played by actor Gert Frobe). Jill Masterson is in the movie just long enough to be seduced by James Bond. After bedding down together, Bond decides to go to the fridge in his hotel room to get a bottle of champagne—naturally. But while at the fridge, Bond is knocked unconscious by Goldfinger’s henchman, Oddjob (played by actor Harold Sakata). Bond later awakens to find that Jill Masterson has been painted gold and died from “skin suffocation”—punishment for her betrayal of Goldfinger. This is lame enough when you consider that Oddjob took the time, while Bond was unconscious, to paint Jill Masterson’s entire body. But when Bond calls his bosses at MI6 and utters the line: “She’s covered in paint. Gold paint,” it becomes downright ridiculous.
4. Padme – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Consensus is that the most recent Star Wars trilogy was pretty awful—something Hollywood is hoping to rectify with the release this December of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, of all the glaring problems and stupidity to be found in Episodes 1, 2 and 3, the death of central character Padme at the end of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith is right up there. The Star Wars universe contains death stars, space ships, robots, light sabers and mechanical hands, in the case of Luke Skywalker, and yet women can still inexplicably die suddenly during childbirth. Worse, it is made to seem in the movie that what Padme really died from is a broken heart, after her beloved Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side for good. Another death of convenience, this seemed well timed but poorly conceived. Isn’t it bad when audiences ultimately don’t care when the central female character in the movie dies?
3. The Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz (1939)
With her green face and high pitched cackle, the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty terrifying for audiences when the Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. Played by actress Margaret Hamilton, the Witch could also fly, teleport and create deadly explosions out of nowhere. She was also the leader of a threatening army of flying monkeys. So it seems pretty stupid when the witch simply melts after getting water thrown on her during the movie’s climax. Why water? At no point is this explained. And how convenient that a bucket of water just happens to be sitting next to the witch at the right time. I guess water just didn’t agree with the Wicked Witch of the West. Suppose she never took a bath then, which may explain the green colored skin.
2. Professor X – X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The end to the original X-Men movie trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand had to go out with a bang, and this meant the death of plenty of mutants. But killing off Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart) just didn’t seem right, given he is the leader of the good mutants and supposed to be the most powerful mutant in the world. So it seemed exceedingly stupid when Professor X was killed in an explosion of blood. His death seemed very anticlimactic and unsatisfactory. Given his strength and telekinetic abilities, one would think Professor X would put up more of a fight. But no, he was killed in an inglorious death that did nothing but piss off fans of the franchise. It also left the film’s producers in a quandary and forced them to go back to lame origin stories in X-Men: First Class (2011) and a mind boggling space/time continuum arc in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) to keep the character of Professor Charles Xavier alive, so to speak.
1. Captain Kirk – Star Trek Generations (1994)
Did Captain Kirk need to die? Did audiences need to see that death scene? Wanting to transition into movies starring the cast of the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and away from movies featuring the aging cast from the original Star Trek TV series of the 1960s, producers concocted what amounted to an extended cameo appearance by Captain James T. Kirk (played by the indomitable William Shatner) in the 1994 film Star Trek Generations, which was the first movie to feature the Next Generation cast. And killing off Captain Kirk was thought to be a nice way to transition from the original to next generation characters. So how does Captain Kirk die? What death is befitting of one of the most beloved science fiction characters of all time? He dies pinned beneath a bridge while uttering the last words: “It was fun.” If only audiences that paid their hard earned money to see Star Trek Generations could say the same.