Does anyone else miss the last decade as much as I do? The beginning of this decade has not been good to us, but I’m confident things will get better soon. Maybe it’s because I’m the type of person to look for a silver lining, but hey, it’s always good to be optimistic. We can be optimistic, but for the moment, I’d like to take a moment to once again look back at the last decade. Just a forewarning, if you don’t have a box of tissues next to you, I suggest you get one.
A dramatic movie can make us sad, but if a movie that isn’t supposed to be a drama makes us sad, then that’s saying something. Action movies, science fiction movies, or even superhero movies have succeeded in making at least one viewer shed a tear. With the last decade giving us plenty of incredible movies, there were also plenty of sad movie deaths. Like I said, grab that tissue box.
Get ready to cry, movie fanatics, here are the top ten saddest movie deaths of the last decade.
10. Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek: Into Darkness)
Hold on… Captain Kirk was resurrected by the end of Into Darkness? Yeah, I know he did, but come on, you’d be lying if his heroic death didn’t make you cry. Kirk’s sacrifice wasn’t what made his death a real tear-jerker, however. The tearful goodbye between him and Spock solidified how strong their bromance was and caused Spock to finally elicit some emotions. From watching them giving the Vulcan hand signal, to seeing Spock cry made this a truly memorable movie death. Plus, hearing Spock yelling Khan’s name was just awesome.
9. Daisy (John Wick)
Now who doesn’t cry when a dog dies in a movie? For ex-hitman, John Wick, it was like waking a sleeping giant from his peaceful sleep. Very bad idea for those three punks. Stealing that cool car was low enough, but killing his little dog, Daisy, was the lowest of the low. The significance of Daisy was more than anyone could understand for John Wick, as it was the last gift to him from his dying wife. When he explains what she truly meant to him to the ignorant Viggo, we fully realize his pain and root for him more than our football teams. This just reminds us how special our pets are too us and how we feel when they pass. At least he got himself a nice Pitbull after.
8. Everyone (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Suicide Squad meets Star Wars is something I didn’t think I’d ever see. When I saw Rogue One in 2016, I let the theater speechless. A whole squad of misfits embark on a suicide mission to steal data that reveals a flaw in the Death Star? Now what can possibly go wrong? The answer is everything, as Jyn Erso and Cassian Endor embrace each other as the Death Star obliterates them and everything around them. It was sad to watch, but just before that, we had to watch their friends make heroic sacrifices as well. From the facetious droid, K-2SO, to the blind warrior, Chirrut Imwe, this is one suicide squad we actually grew to care about. If you really think about it, they’re the ones truly responsible for the destruction of the Death Star.
7. Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies)
Say what you want about The Hobbit Trilogy, but when Thorin died at the end of The Battle of the Five Armies, it hit right in the feels. His fight with Azog the Defiler resulted in both of their deaths, leaving Thorin to die without the comfort of his kin. The real tear-jerker came when Bilbo Baggins came to his side. After much hostility between the two, the dwarf and hobbit finally make amends and say their tearful goodbyes to each other. The Lord of the Rings franchise has always been about unlikely friendships being formed, but Thorin and Bilbo’s friendship meant something. They became better people because of their friendship and in the end, Bilbo always remembered him. I don’t remember if I cried more at Thorin’s death or Boromir’s, but to be honest, they both hurt.
6. Charles Xavier (Logan)
Charles Xavier died once already, so killing him off a second time seemed redundant. Walking into Logan, I had a strong feeling he would die again, and I thought it wouldn’t make me cry. Boy, was I wrong. Throughout Logan, Xavier was suffering from dementia and had little recollection of what happened to the X-Men. He initially believes that Logan was responsible, but in his final moments, his memories come back to him. When a person he believes to be Logan approaches his bed, he reveals his recollection of what happened and expresses his gratitude for Logan. Only it’s not Logan, but a feral clone of Logan called X-24. X-24 kills him and the real Logan tries to save him and assures him it wasn’t him.
The saddest thing about Charles’ second death is that we’re not completely sure if he truly knew who is killer was. Did he die believing Logan murdered him? I seriously hope not. But I must admit, props to them for making his death more meaningful and tragic the second time.
5. Black Widow (Avengers: Endgame)
We all knew some Avengers were going to bite the dust when Endgame came around. However, I must admit, I really didn’t expect Black Widow to die. She didn’t have to die, but she chose to sacrifice herself so that Hawkeye could live with his family. They actually fought to jump off the cliff so one of them can acquire the soul stone, and the noble Natasha had to restrain Hawkeye from falling. That alone showed how strong their relationship was and made her death even more unexpected. Since Hawkeye one of the few family men of the Avengers, I honestly expected him to die. Seeing Natasha sacrifice herself was one of the biggest shocks of Endgame.
If Iron Man is the godfather of the MCU, then Black Widow is the godmother. She debuted in Iron Man 2 back when the last decade began, and became increasingly more loved by fans as the years went by. I’m not sure if her upcoming solo film will bring her back, but even if it does, her death will remain as one of the most saddest MCU moments.
4. Severus Snape (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2)
The Harry Potter franchise killed off many of it’s awesome characters, but the one that struck the hardest was Severus Snape. From the very beginning, Snape represented the douchebag teacher we all hated to have. He spent almost the entire series antagonizing Harry and even killed Dumbledore. How can this guy possibly redeem himself. Well, once Harry observes his memories and discovers that Snape was working with Dumbledore to protect Harry the whole time. He was secretly aiding Harry behind the scenes and protected him out of love for his late mother. The revelations behind Snape’s true intentions was shocking, but his sacrifice was by far the most meaningful out of all the heroes in the franchise. Harry even named his son after him. How many people find new respect for a their least favorite teacher?
3. Logan (Logan)
Charles Xavier’s death in Logan was hard to watch, but the main mutant himself made a sacrifice that struck the softest spot in the heart. As a character that’s been with us for seventeen years, losing Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine felt like losing an old friend. Throughout his time as Wolverine, he spent a lot of time suffering and fighting to look cool, but in his final battle, he finally found something worth fighting for. As he died in his clone/daughter’s arms, Logan accepted his fate and reminded his daughter that she didn’t have to be the weapon she was made to be. It was a bloody end for a character we’ve come to love over the years, but it was a satisfying one. Find in the peace in death that you couldn’t find in life, Logan.
2. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Avengers: Endgame)
First we lost Natasha, then we lost Tony Stark. The golden Avengers called Iron Man was usually viewed as a selfish playboy with an ego bigger than The Hulk’s biceps. Cap once said he would never be the guy to make the big sacrifice, but by the end of Endgame, he did exactly that. A mere human used an infinity gauntlet and destroyed Thanos and his entire army, but the power was too great. The dying hero was surrounded by his friends and family, with pretty much every character in the MCU attending his funeral. Seeing Pepper assuring him that she and their daughter would be okay was the last thing he heard, allowing him to die in peace. Man, I just can’t get over it.
1. Han Solo (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
How many characters on this list have been with us since the seventies? Han Solo needs no introduction, but what he did need is a death worthy of his status. Harrison Ford wanted it for years, we didn’t want it, but when we got it in The Force Awakens, it probably killed us more. What made it most tragic is that Han died at the hands of his own son, Ben Solo, or Kylo Ren. His son was seduced by the dark side and in an attempt to save him, Kylo Ren betrayed and drove his lightsaber through him. Like Chewie, we were all crying out in anguish and left with our grief. Harrison Ford got our wish and our worst fears became a reality.
Han Solo’s death is by far the most tragic death in the whole franchise and he’s sure to leave behind the greatest legacy. Even in death, he managed to save his son. Boy, do I love me a good father/son moment.
You get through your box of tissues yet? The good news is that’s all I got. When a character’s death in a movie makes you cry, you know they left their mark. My only hope is that the new decade will give us more characters that will live long enough for us to love.