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14 Great Movie Characters Done Dirty By Sequels

November 23, 2020 6.1k votes 1.2k voters 146.6k views14 items

List RulesVote up the best characters who got the worst treatment in sequels.

One of the worst feelings you can have as an audience member is sitting down in the theater to watch a sequel to a movie you love, only to find that a beloved character has been severely deprived of their happy ending - or worse, killed off in between movies. Characters wronged by sequels appear in just about every type of film, but this disappointing trope is especially prevalent in genre films.

Characters done dirty in the sequels are kicked out of - or otherwise mistreated by - their movies for a number of reasons. In some instances, actors either aren't asked back or they just don't want to appear in a sequel, but in other cases, these beloved characters are knocked down a peg in service of the story.

Each of these characters are great in their own right, but they were absolutely done dirty by the sequels. But which one of them was done the dirtiest? Remember to voice your displeasure with your votes!

  • Oof. In a movie in which his wife gains the Earth-shattering ability to destroy people with her mind, you'd think Scott Summers (AKA Cyclops) would have more to do in The Last Stand. Summers's entire storyline is pretty much just being sad that Jean Grey is gone before seeing the Dark Phoenix in her body, and then he's vibrated into dust.

    For the previous two X-Men films, Summers is the leader of the group. Sure, he's a wet blanket, but that's his whole deal. He keeps a level head and thinks about the repercussions of the group's actions while Wolverine gets to be edgy. It would have added dramatic stakes to The Last Stand if Summers were alive to deal with his wife being possessed by an evil alien presence, and the lack of his level-headedness makes the film suffer a bit.

    The whole movie is kind of a wash, and Cyclops wouldn't have saved it, but it's weird that the leader of the X-Men is gone for much of the film.

    Great character done dirty?
  • There are some baffling choices in The Rise of Skywalker, the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but none more baffling than the decision to reduce the screen time and overall usefulness of some of the best characters in the series. From the earliest moments of The Force Awakens, Finn and Poe are on a trajectory to have really great story arcs.

    Finn is a former stormtrooper attempting to find his own way in the galaxy, while Poe is a hotshot X-wing pilot who acts without thinking and disregards the advice of his higher-ups. When Rose appears in The Last Jedi, she's just watched her sister perish and steps up to become a great hero of the Resistance. Star Wars has always used a classic narrative structure, so these three storylines should have been easy to knock out of the park. Each character should have grown and changed into something new and better, but that's not what happens in Rise of Skywalker.

    In the final film of the trilogy, Rose is downgraded from hero to essentially background extra. She has lines, but they just as well could have been spoken by any other Resistance member. It's disappointing to see a fan favorite and rare person of color in the Star Wars universe dropped out of the main plot.

    Finn isn't ditched in the same way as Rose in the third film, but it does feel like the writers forgot what they were going to do with his character. There's a suggestion that he's Force sensitive, but that's never developed. It's as if J.J. Abrams decided he wanted to focus entirely on Rey and everything about Finn's storyline was brushed aside.

    Finally, sweet Poe Dameron was and will always be a major crush in a galaxy far, far away, but he has nothing to do in Rise of Skywalker aside from deliver quips. The word on the web is that he was meant to have a much darker storyline that looked into his history as a spice runner, but that was jettisoned long before cameras started rolling. It's disappointing that these three fan favorites were reduced to comic sidekicks and background characters in the climactic final installment of the franchise, but maybe there will be room for them in the Extended Universe.

    Great character done dirty?
  • It's rare that a character is done as dirty as Marie in the Bourne series. She's a full-on co-protagonist in The Bourne Identity. She helps Jason Bourne escape from Zurich and survives some serious super-spy action - and she hasn't even undergone regular spy training. Marie is just a regular person who's rolling with the punches and that's awesome.

    Sadly, Marie perishes within the first act of The Bourne Supremacy when an assassin shoots her in the back while she drives Jason through India. Their car plummets into a river and she passes before Jason can save her. What a horrible way to go.

    Great character done dirty?
  • Can you die from a broken heart? You can in the Star Wars universe. Padmé Amidala is legitimately cool throughout the prequel series, even when she's on a boring date with Anakin Skywalker for an hour or so during Attack of the Clones. She takes over the Galactic Senate as a teenager and does her best to govern fairly, but for some reason, she's dispatched like a secondary character in Revenge of the Sith.

    Star Wars fans know that Amidala has to perish to set the plot of the original trilogy in motion. It's disappointing, but that's just the way it goes. But seeing her pass during childbirth because she's sad about Anakin (or whatever she actually succumbed to) is such a disservice to a strong female character. She could have gone out with a blaster blazing or in some kind of kamikaze mission, but no, she croaked because she was sad.

    Great character done dirty?