15 Great Movie Characters With Disappointing Deaths

Though death can be a tragedy, these deaths go way beyond tragic.

Death, when written and handled properly, can make for a poignant and memorable moment in cinema.

Fox / Via WiffleGif

But there are times when outstanding characters are killed off in horrible manners, and their deaths become memorable for the wrong reasons. So, let’s dig up some bad memories by looking at 15 great movie characters with disappointing deaths.



Llewelyn Moss — No Country for Old Men

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After dodging death at the hands of ruthless hitman Anton Chigurh, protagonist Llewelyn Moss meets his end off-screen at the hands of some Mexicans chasing after him. Josh Brolin gave a terrific performance as the morally-conflicted Moss, so it was a shame to everybody that he met such a tragic fate just 20 minutes before the end of the film. This death was unexpected and even dissatisfying to many, but it helped emphasize the film’s theme of how unpredictable life can be. Even though this film won multiple Oscars, Moss’s death showed it was never meant to appeal to everybody.


Darwin — X-Men: First Class

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This one has been the subject of recent debate. Darwin is a mutant that can adapt to survive anything, but despite that, the writers just killed him off after Shaw forced an energy blast into his mouth. His death was clearly meant to show how strong a villain Shaw was, but Darwin wasn’t just a super-powerful mutant. He also had a strong presence that could’ve made him a leader to the team, akin to Cyclops.


Boba Fett — Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

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Though he didn’t have many lines or much screen time, Boba Fett was one of the most popular characters in Star Wars. Even if his character wasn’t that big, the way he’s killed in Return of the Jedi was still lame. The cool and skillful bounty hunter was defeated when a blind Han Solo hit his jetpack by accident, sending him flying into the Sarlacc’s pit. On top of that, the Sarlacc burping after devouring him makes his death nothing more than a joke. We can all be glad this death was recently retconned.


Elizabeth Shaw — Alien: Covenant

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Though Prometheus wasn’t the most adored Alien movie, after audiences watched its protagonist, Elizabeth Shaw, survive all the horrors of the film, they still wanted to see more of her adventures exploring humanity’s origins in the sequel. However, just as Covenant got rid of the alien Engineers set up in the previous film, it also had Shaw killed off-screen by the evil android, David, an end that was a total disservice to her character.


David Dunn — Glass

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This film was not meant to give everyone a happy ending, but that didn’t stop Glass from disappointing audiences. In the third act of this movie, David, Kevin, and Elijah Price are all murdered by a secret organization trying to keep the existence of superhumans hidden. David’s death by drowning carried plenty of meaning, given the character’s weakness to water, but it still felt unsatisfactory to many to see him killed by a nameless henchman.


General Hux — Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker

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General Hux was a standout villain in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, as he was a threatening and zealous leader of the First Order who was highly devoted to its cause. So not only did him becoming a spy for the Resistance to spite Kylo Ren appear so out of character for him, his unceremonious and almost comedic execution by General Pryde was a fate unbefitting for such an excellent antagonist.


Mystique — Dark Phoenix

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In a film riddled with problems, probably the most controversial aspect of Dark Phoenix was Mystique’s death while trying to help Jean. Since Mystique was a hero in the eyes of many mutants, her demise had the potential to be so much more. However, it was glossed over for the rest of the film, with it only really having a lasting impact on Beast and Magneto. What ruined her death even more was how the trailers spoiled it to hook audiences into seeing the film, making it seem more like it was done for mere shock value.


Martin Brody — Jaws: The Revenge

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Simply put, the fourth Jaws movie is just one giant mess. The idea that a shark would seek revenge on Martin Brody’s family and follow them to the Bahamas is ridiculous. Roy Scheider dodged a shark-shaped bullet when he refused to star in this film. But instead, his character, Martin, was killed off-screen at the start of the movie, revealed to have died long ago from a heart attack caused by his fear of sharks.


Laurie Strode — Halloween: Resurrection

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This iconic final girl had a ridiculous and unsatisfying end in the first act of Halloween: Resurrection. After murdering a man she mistook for Michael Myers (which was a horrible retcon to help create a sequel), she spends her last days confined to a psychiatric hospital before being hunted down by Michael. Though she set up a trap for Michael and succeeds in capturing him on the hospital roof, she made the foolish mistake of grabbing his mask to check if it is Michael. She is then stabbed and thrown off the roof in a death underserving of her character.


Captain Kirk — Star Trek: Generations

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How do you kill off one of the most famous characters in science-fiction history? “Have him be crushed by a bridge” is what they thought for Captain James T. Kirk while making the seventh Star Trek film. Not only is this death unbefitting of such an iconic figure, but it was soiled even more by Shatner’s bad acting, with the way he says “oh my” being the final nail in the coffin.


Newt — Alien 3

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One of the most standout aspects of James Cameron’s Aliens was the surrogate mother-daughter dynamic between Ripley and Newt. Audiences were delighted to see the two of them make it through the film alive, but when David Fincher’s sequel film began, we learn that she and Hicks died when their ship crash-landed, making the journey to protect her feel like it was all for nothing.


Cyclops — X-Men: The Last Stand

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In Fox’s first attempt at filming “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” the studio disappointed audiences by killing Cyclops in this film’s first act. His shortened role in the film was due to actor James Marsden having scheduling conflicts with Superman Returns, so the decision to kill him off was understandable. However, the writers could’ve at least come up with a better death for the character who, aside from the Professor, was the leader of the X-Men. They still could’ve accomplished this by showing him pass the baton to Wolverine in his final moments.


Sarah Connor — Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

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Though the Terminator films depicted John Connor as humanity’s savior, his mother, Sarah, was arguably the true protagonist of the franchise. She was a strong and loving mother willing to do anything to protect her son, and she always looked cool doing it. But after two films of surviving attacks from the Terminators, it was a shame to see that she died of leukemia off-screen, and her character deserved a much better sendoff.


Bane — The Dark Knight Rises

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Tom Hardy’s Bane is one of the most threatening villains seen in recent cinema. Thanks to his overwhelming strength and intellect, he broke the Bat, trapped the citizens of Gotham in the city, and unleashed full anarchy upon them for over a year. But after it was revealed that Bane was merely a servant of the real villain, Talia al Ghul, he was cast aside as he was suddenly shot dead by Catwoman.


John Connor — Terminator: Dark Fate

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Dark Fate could’ve been the film that saved the Terminator franchise after its many failed sequels. But in the film’s first few minutes, Dark Fate turned everyone against it by killing John Connor. After all those films spent time setting up John as the hero who would lead humanity to victory against the machines, this film went and threw it all away. Seriously, in hindsight, they should’ve just ended the franchise after Judgment Day.

Do you agree with this list? What other great characters had such disappointing deaths? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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