12 Movie Characters Who Should've Stayed Dead

List Rules
Vote up the characters who really didn't need to be brought back to life.

When a character dies in a movie, it's supposed to mean something. Audiences are supposed to take these shocking deaths to mean that anything can happen in the movie they're watching and that even the main characters are in danger. But when a cinematic death is undone, either through retconning or a mysterious return from the grave, it takes the air out of the narrative.

That being said, it's kind of cool when fan favorites come clawing back from the hereafter either by hook or by crook. Who doesn't love to see a beloved side character pop up after they were blown up by a heat-seeking missile? That's not the case for every dead character in movies. Some of them just should have stayed down for the count.

The following movie characters run the gamut from interstellar evil to regular people who just happen to have hologram technology at their fingertips. It's up to you to let us know which of these character returns are the most egregious.


  • Ramirez is the best. This fancy-pants immortal comes to Scotland via Spain, Egypt, and Japan, but speaks like he's never stepped foot out of the UK. He's amazing. In the first Highlander, he teaches Connor McLeod the rules of the game, and how to live in harmony with nature when people are constantly coming for his head. The best parts of this movie are the flashbacks where Ramirez explains the ups and downs of being immortal. Sadly, he's taken out while defending Connor's wife from the Kurgen.

    Ramirez fans rejoiced when the best character in the series was reanimated in the bug-nuts sequel Highlander II: The Quickening. Basically, the sequel reveals that immortals are extraterrestrials sent to Earth as punishment. Once on Earth, they become immortal and fight forever until one of them is left standing. When more immortal aliens arrive to knock off McLeod, he summons Ramirez back from the grave. The swashbuckling immortal reappears in the middle of a performance of Hamlet (seriously) and makes his way back to his old friend. It's fun but it makes zero sense, which is saying something for a film franchise where the rules change from movie to movie.

    Everyone loves Sean Connery. He's perfectly hammy in the first two Highlander films, but Ramirez should have stayed decapitated.

    10 votes
  • In 1983, audiences were thrilled as Luke Skywalker convinced his father to overcome his Sith conditioning and toss his boss into the depths of a fully operational Death Star minutes before it exploded. Aside from the prequels, Return of the Jedi was the last time anyone saw Palpatine kicking around... until he returned from the grave in The Rise of Skywalker to pull off his most cunning plan yet: taking over Rey's body.

    To make a long story short, Palpatine planned to force Rey into taking part in a Sith combat ritual that would allow him to take over her body once she struck him down, which is all well and good but... why did it have to be Palpatine? Snoke was right there, leading a new Empire for a new generation. Why not wait to take him out in the third movie?

    Aside from the nostalgia of it all, there's not a good reason that Palpatine remains the big bad of the Star Wars universe. As great as it is to see Ian McDiarmid back in the costume and shooting lightning out of his fingers, this character should have stayed stardust.

    18 votes
  • Letty Ortiz ('Fast & Furious')
    Photo: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

    The family is back together in Fast & Furious, the fourth film in this long-running automotive soap opera franchise. In this film, Letty gets involved with the FBI so she can clear Dom's name, but she gets caught up with a crew moving drugs over the US-Mexico border. When her cover is blown, she's taken out by one of the crew's higher-ups, who blows up her car on camera. It's rough.

    As sad as it is to see Letty go, her demise opens up a world of possibilities for Dom. He doesn't have to worry about protecting her anymore, and he can move on with his life. It's an awful way to break up but it needed to happen. Unfortunately, Letty returns in Fast & Furious 6 as a member of Owen Shaw's international crime syndicate. This time she's not undercover; she has amnesia.

    For all of the wild stunts and ridiculous villains that pass through these movies, Letty's near-death in an explosion and return to the franchise with amnesia makes the whole thing feel like one big soap opera for guys who like things that go vroom vroom. What's next? Is Dom going to have a brother that everyone knew about but never mentioned?

    14 votes
  • For all of its imperfections, Alien 3 provides a fitting end to the saga of Ellen Ripley. After discovering a hive of Xenomorphs on LV426, every moment of Ripley's life became dedicated to wiping out this hard-to-eradicate vermin from space. She killed Xenomorphs alone, she killed them with space marines, and in Alien 3, she goes out killing a Xenomorph queen as it hatches from her chest to keep it from falling into the hands of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

    Her last moments are noble and pure as she swan-dives into a vat of molten lava to keep the denizens of the universe safe. That should have been a wrap on Ripley. It's a perfect end to her hero's journey, but because the Alien franchise basically prints money, she couldn't stay dead.

    Ripley returns in Alien: Resurrection as a clone made up of her DNA mixed with that of a Xenomorph. The Xenomorph DNA gives Ripley a cellular connection to the creatures, but it also gives her super-strength and other heightened abilities. It's what you might call an interesting take on the character. This movie definitely takes the franchise into campy territory, which is fine, but filmmakers should have left Ripley out of it.

    13 votes
  • Woof. Okay. Out of all the heavy hitters in the horror genre who have died and returned to life, Michael Myers has the most egregious return of them all. Sure, Jason was brought back by lightning, but Jason never had the gravitas of Michael Myers. Michael's first appearance in Halloween presents him as a human being who just wants to kill babysitters. Great. After he takes a bullet from Dr. Loomis, he disappears for 20 years before popping up in Halloween H20, the first of many Halloween movies that try to retcon the insane mythology of this franchise.

    Twenty years after Myers disappeared from Haddonfield, IL, he tracks down Laurie Strode to her new home in Summer Glen, CA, where she works as the headmistress of a private boarding school. Michael rips through the students and faculty with ease until he comes face to face with Laurie, who gets rid of him once and for all by decapitating him with an ax.

    The super cool, fist-pumping ending of H20 is completely undone in the following film, Halloween: Resurrection, when it's revealed that Michael removed his mask and put it on some guy with the exact same body type. Laurie is put in a mental institution and quickly dispatched by her secret brother in the cold open.

    13 votes
  • Steve Trevor is too good for this world, which is exactly why Wonder Woman finds him so wonderful. When the two met back in WWI, he was a pilot who nearly drowned during the conflict. Saved by Diana, he joined her cause to help her take down the literal god of war, Ares.

    Steve gives his life to destroy a new form of mustard gas that the German military plans on using to wipe out the British. It's legitimately awesome when Steve flies a war ship above the clouds and blows it up while he's inside to save the day... and it's a total drag when he's revived via magic in Wonder Woman 1984. He's brought back by the Dreamstone, a rock that grants one wish per user, although that wish comes with a price. That price? Testing the patience of the audience.

    13 votes